March 21, 2015

Boomer Ballads: "Just Walk Away Renee"

Oh my, oh sigh, oh goodbye: Michael Brown, Keyboardist for The Left Banke, Dies at 65 - Michael Brown, a keyboardist and songwriter who at 16 was a writer of the 1966 hit “Walk Away Renee” for his band the Left Banke and composed “Pretty Ballerina” for it as well, died on Thursday at his home in Englewood, N.J. He was 65.

From whence came such talent, and where did it go? It’s a mystery; we know very little else about the performers. The Left Banke subsequently delivered a couple of other good songs (“Pretty Ballerina” was one), but the band split up quickly and Brown, despite a few more efforts, faded into obscurity and seclusion—as did Martin, as far as I can tell. neo-neocon » Blog Archive » The band that just walked away Renee (Part I: the song)
Posted by gerardvanderleun at March 21, 2015 1:19 PM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Like sand sifting through our fingers...

Posted by: D S Craft at March 21, 2015 1:34 PM

So he was 16 when he wrote Walk Away, Renee? Pretty good, if you ask me. I always liked that song. The Four Tops also did a good, Motown-ized version of it. Anyway, RIP Michael Brown.

Posted by: waltj at March 21, 2015 2:37 PM

Southside Johnny's version.

Posted by: Lance de Boyle at March 21, 2015 8:59 PM

That song has been a favorite melody in my mind for over 40 years. Never really knew or cared about the words, just liked the way that it was sung by those guys, and the melody of it.

Posted by: james at March 21, 2015 9:31 PM

“Walk Away Renee” is still on my playlist.

Posted by: ErisGuy at March 22, 2015 5:49 AM

I prefer the 4 tops version, which was the only one I ever knew.

Posted by: Christopher Taylor at March 22, 2015 7:23 AM

They called bands like this one hit wonders. Tom Hanks made a wonderful movie about this very subject.

Posted by: F1guyus at March 22, 2015 8:00 AM

It's always nice to see people that know their limitations.

Posted by: chasmatic at March 22, 2015 8:22 AM

I read the news today. Now I've got a "The Left Banke" Pandora channel. Amazing music from a lovely time in my life - Troggs, Zombies, Kinks, Beatles, Byrds. Songs just a fresh and wonderful as the first day they came over the radio.

Posted by: Nina at March 22, 2015 1:08 PM

Almost missed this tidbit -

"Mr. Brown left the group in 1967. He later performed with the group Stories, which had a hit with “Brother Louie,” before becoming a solo act."

And yes, you've all heard that song too.

Posted by: tim at March 23, 2015 6:20 AM

This reminded me of Gerard's post about Dust In The Wind, which I returned to and discovered that the linked video is no longer viewable on You Tube due to copyright laws. A shame. That was such a haunting video.

Posted by: Steve at March 24, 2015 6:53 PM

This song has lyrics? And it was sung by Americans?
I could never make out anything they said, at all. Always very pretty, but I thought they were just singing la la la.

Well, okay, the fact that the stereo in my parents' car was never stereophonic in any way might contribute to that....

Posted by: Suburbanbanshee at March 25, 2015 4:03 PM