Johnny Colla (Huey Lewis and the News)

Johnny Colla, American musician with the band Huey Lewis and the News was born 2 July 1952 and lead singer Huey Lewis himself, was born 5th Juy 1950. Based in San Francisco, California. Huey Lewis and the News had a run of hit singles during the 1980s and early 1990s, eventually scoring a total of 19 top-ten singles across the Billboard Hot 100, Adult Contemporary and Mainstream Rock charts. Their greatest success was in the 1980s with the number-one album, Sports, coupled with a series of highly successful MTV videos. Their worldwide fame expanded when the song “The Power of Love” was featured as a key track in the film Back to the Future, became a number-one hit, and nominated for an nrss,Academy Award. The News combined a rock (and sometimes, a “blues-rock”) backing with soul and doo-wop-influenced harmony vocals and Lewis’ voice.In 1972, singer/harmonica player Huey Lewis and keyboardist Sean Hopper joined the Bay Area jazz-funk band Clover. Clover recorded several albums in the 1970s, and in the middle of the decade transplanted themselves to England to become part of the UK pub rock scene for a time. Without Lewis (but with Hopper), they eventually became the original backing band for Elvis Costello’s first album My Aim Is True.

Lewis also worked with Irish band Thin Lizzy, contributing harmonica to the song “Baby Drives Me Crazy,” recorded onstage for the Live and Dangerous album. Lizzy bassist/vocalist Phil Lynott introduces Lewis by name during the song. The band returned to the Bay Area by the end of the 1970s. Clover’s main competition in the Bay Area jazz-funk scene was a band called Soundhole, whose members included drummer Bill Gibson, saxophonist/guitarist Johnny Colla, and bassist Mario Cipollina (younger brother of John Cipollina). Like Clover, Soundhole had spent time backing a famous singer, Van Morrison. After getting a singles contract from Phonogram Records in 1978, Huey Lewis united his former bandmate and three of his former rivals to form a new group, Huey Lewis & The American Express. In 1979 they recorded and released a single, “Exo-Disco” (a disco version of the theme from the film Exodus), In 1979, the band wooed guitarist Chris Hayes and moved to Chrysalis Records. in January 1980 they changed their name to Huey Lewis and the News and issued their first studio album, a self-titled LP, Huey Lewis and the News. In 1982, the band released their second studio album, the self-produced Picture This, containing the songs “Do You Believe in Love” , “Hope You Love Me Like You Say You Do” and “Workin’ for a Livin’. their third studio album, Sports, initially hit No. 6 in the U.S. when first released. Four singles from the album reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100: “Heart and Soul” reached No. 8, while “I Want a New Drug,” “The Heart of Rock & Roll,” and “If This Is It” all reached No. 6.Their song “The Power of Love” was a number-one U.S. hit and featured in the 1985 film Back to the Future, for which they also recorded the song, “Back in Time”, which was nominated for an Academy Award.

Following the success of “The Power of Love” and Back to the Future, Huey Lewis and the News released their fourth studio album, Fore! in 1986. Fore! followed the success of Sports and reached number-one on the Billboard 200. The album spawned the number-one singles, “Stuck with You” and “Jacob’s Ladder” as well as the mainstream rock hit “Hip to Be Square”. In all, the album had five top-ten singles on the Billboard Hot 100 and was certified triple platinum. The band continued to tour throughout 1987, and released Small World in 1988. After two hit, multi-platinum albums, Small World was considered a commercial disappointment, peaking at No. 11 and only going platinum. The album, which was more jazz and less rock than their previous albums, had one top ten single, “Perfect World”In 1991, they released Hard at Play, which went back to the R&B/rock sound of their earlier albums, and released the hit singles, “Couple Days Off” (No. 11) and “It Hit Me Like a Hammer” (No. 21). The album was certified Gold the bands also released a cover album in 1994 called Four Chords & Several Years Ago featuring doo-wop and rock songs from the 1950s and 1960s. In early 1997, the band released their first greatest hits album, Time Flies, which focused primarily on the releases from Picture This, Sports, and Fore!, and included four new tracks.

In 2001 Huey Lewis and the News released the abum Plan B, which featured the single, “Let Her Go & Start Over”? The band continues to tour regularly, and in December 2004, Huey Lewis and the News recorded the live album, Live at 25, at the Sierra Nevada Brewing Company in Chico, California, which celebrated their 25th anniversary as a band. In the summer of 2006, the band co-headlined a U.S. tour with Chicago. Highlights of the tour included Chicago’s Bill Champlin playing with the band, and members of Huey Lewis and the News playing on Chicago’s percussion-laden hit “I’m a Man”. Huey Lewis also sang the lead on Chicago’s “Colour My World”. On August 21, 2007, the band played a show at the California State Fair and were joined on stage by Cipollina during a four-song encore, his first on-stage performance with the group in over 10 years. Huey Lewis and the News performed at the 28th annual presentation of A Capitol Fourth in Washington, D.C.,The band returned to the studio in 2010, recording their first album of new material in nearly a decade. The album, entitled Soulsville, is a Stax Records tribute album

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