Bobby Bloom – Montego Bay

3rd October 1970 · 1970, 1970s, Music
Successful songwriter Bobby Bloom stepped into the solo spotlight to easrn his first hit with his hymn to a Jamaican beach he’d never visited, Montego Bay.

Here’s a summer tune you don’t get to hear any more – even on the radio – despite its winning combination of whistling and what sounds like a tuba in the background.
I’m not sure whether Bobby Bloom from Brooklyn had ever been to Jamaica when he made this – but I dare say he could afford it.
Two years earlier he co-wrote a chart-topping single – Mony Mony by Tommy James & the Shondells – with the legendary songwriter Jeff Barry, and they wrote several songs for The Monkees.
Bloom started singing as a teenager in a Brooklyn doo wop group called The Imaginations, and worked as a sound engineer with Louis Jordan and Shuggie Otis before moving from New York to LA.
He formed a productive songwriting partnership there with Barry, but it was getting commissioned to sing a jingle for a Pepsi ad in 1969 that earned him a record deal as a solo artist.
This, his first release – again written with Barry – reached No.3 in the UK charts in the summer of 1970. Watch out for the surprise ending of the song with its sudden “Oh what a beautiful morning!” bit.
Poor Bobby met a surprise end too, long before Billy Idol took his first hit back into the charts. Having struggled with depression, Bobby fatally shot himself while cleaning his gun at his home in Hollywood in 1974. He was only 28.