This is a tribute to some of the unique and forgotten music and artists of the past.
Some of this music and the artists never received the chance they deserved,
some deserve to be forgotten. None the less, enjoy my tribute to Retro Rarites

Everybody Knows Matilda
Another forgotten song of the late 60s is “Everybody Knows Matilda”. Looking at the charts, it appears not many people knew Matilda at all actually, nor its author Duke Baxter. It is a great song that got some airplay across the U.S. and Canada from which he is a native.
While the intenet is scattered with much information about Duke Baxter, it is very difficult to tell what is factual and what is not. After reading numerous articles I have found that he is James Blake, a Canadian also known as Dudley F. Baxter. If you search for Baxter, you may find a list of Duke Baxter compositions, many from 1969. Identical lists are also found under Dudley F. Baxter, Dudley Ford Baxter, and James Blake. Baxter also had a hand in various other groups including The Rob Roys and Revelation, none of which produced any significant hits.
I also found this posted on YouTube by Baxter, who posted about some of his songs that were recorded for an unreleased album. Using the YouTube alias Jim Shaman, he writes: “Maybe some people want to know what happened to Duke Baxter. Did he just vanish or did he keep writing songs? I am that guy after a few incarnations or iterations.”
Another forum has this from a fellow named Bob Priest:  “Hi there! I was lead guitarist in "Revelation" with Duke Baxter, Kerry Hatch, Dave Wightman, Mark Benson & Roger Conway. All of us appeared on "Cotton Candy Weekend." I later played a solo on duke's "Everybody Knows Matilda" LP - with my 1960 cherry sunburst Les Paul & an old fender baseman amp - cranked, of course! You will find my name on the back of the LP as Bob Priest, Jr.”  In another reply he writes: “No, I haven't heard anything from Duke in over 40 years. I wonder where and how he is. The only one I’m still in touch with from that time is the bass player from Revelation, Dave Wightman.”
In the U.S., “Everybody Knows Matilda” reached #52 on Billboard, and it was on the Cash Box chart for seven weeks, peaking at #69. In Canada it spent three weeks on the RPM100 chart, peaking at #58. (RPM at the time was the Canadian version of Billboard.). It did have somewhat better luck in Australia apparently. But, it hit the WOLF Hot 30 on July 16 spending 6 weeks on that chart. Then peaked at #8 on August 6 of 1969 here in Syracuse.

The song was produced by Tony Harris, who was active as producer, writer, arranger and performer from 1963 till 1969. Matilda was another album in the LONG line of musical compositions that featured members of the infamous Wrecking Crew. Among the musicians were Hal Blaine on drums and the late Larry Knechtel on keyboards.
The “Everybody Knows Matilda” album yielded three singles including the title track. “Everybody Knows Matilda”, “I Ain’t No Schoolboy”, “Crosstown Woman”, “Mississippi Gentry”, “Pretty Heavy”, “Static Interference”, “Superstition Bend”, “53rd Card In The Deck”, “No Tell Motel”, “Don’t Hurt Us” and “John Q. Citizen”. Duke Baxter would later release a single on the Mercury label called “Absolute Zero” b/w “Wings of Love”, and an AVI album, “My Ship Is Coming In”.  It seems no one has heard of these either.
Then there is the question “Where he is now?” I have read so many contradictory things I would say it is anybody’s guess. Some have reported that he’d passed as of 9/3/2011. Some say he is alive and well and is in this version of the Duke Baxter Band: There seems to be no definitive answer but one thing is for sure: Matilda is a classic from my favorite year in all of music history.
So why was it not a hit? Possibly because it was on an obscure label in the U.S. that had no distribution, or the fact that he was a Canadian at a time when not many Canadian artists got airplay in the U.S.  However I have found that the single and LP are apparently worth a great deal of money at the collector fairs as they are going for big bucks -- anywhere from $2.99 to $19.00 for the single, and better than $25.00 for the LP.

Everybody Knows Matilda … by Duke Baxter

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