Gary U.S. Bonds

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Gary U.S. Bonds
Gary U.S. Bonds performing in 1981
Gary U.S. Bonds performing in 1981
Background information
Birth nameGary Levone Anderson
Born (1939-06-06) June 6, 1939 (age 82)
Jacksonville, Florida, U.S.
GenresR&B, rock and roll, pop rock
Occupation(s)Musician, singer, songwriter
Years active1956–present
Top Rank
Razor & Tie
Sue[citation needed]
Associated actsBruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt

Gary U.S. Bonds (born Gary Levone Anderson, June 6, 1939)[1] is an American rhythm and blues and rock and roll singer, known for his classic hits "New Orleans" and "Quarter to Three".


Born in Jacksonville, Florida, Bonds lived in Norfolk, Virginia, in the 1950s when he began singing publicly in church and with a group called the Turks.[1] He joined record producer Frank Guida's small Legrand Records label where Guida chose Anderson's stage name, U.S. Bonds, in hopes that it would be confused with a public service announcement advertising the sale of government bonds and thereby garner more DJ attention.[2] His first three singles and first album, Dance 'Til Quarter to Three, were released under the U.S. Bonds name, but people assumed it was the name of a group. To avoid confusion, subsequent releases, including his second album Twist Up Calypso, were made under the name Gary (U.S.) Bonds. The parentheses were discarded in the 1970s.[3][4]

Bonds' first hit was the song "New Orleans" (US No.6)[citation needed], which was followed by "Not Me", a flop for Bonds but later a hit for the Orlons, and then by his only number one hit, "Quarter to Three" in June 1961. "Quarter To Three" sold one million records, earning a gold disc.[1] Subsequent hits, under his modified name, included "School Is Out" (#5), "Dear Lady Twist" (#9), "School Is In" (#28) and "Twist, Twist Senora" (#9) in the early 1960s. In a 1963 tour of Europe, he headlined above the Beatles. His hits featured solos by the saxophonist Gene Barge.[3]

"Quarter to Three" appears on The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll list.[5]

In the early 1980s, Bonds had a career resurgence with two albums Dedication and On the Line, collaborations with Bruce Springsteen, Steven Van Zandt, and the E Street Band, and had hits including "This Little Girl" (his comeback hit in 1981, which reached #11 on the pop chart in Billboard and #5 on the mainstream rock chart), "Jolé Blon" and "Out of Work".[3] Bonds continues to release albums sporadically, and today is a mainstay of the nostalgia concert circuit.[citation needed]

While Bonds is mostly known for achievements within rhythm and blues and rock and roll, he often transcends these genres, e.g., his song "She's All I Got", co-written by Jerry Williams, Jr. (better known as Swamp Dogg), was nominated for the Country Music Association's "Song of the Year" in 1972 when it was a big hit for Johnny Paycheck (Freddie North also charted his only pop hit with a soul cover of the same song). He is also a 1997 honoree of the Rhythm & Blues Foundation. Bonds is an accomplished golfer and often plays celebrity PGA Tour events.[6] Bonds guested in Blues Brothers 2000 in 1998 as part of a rival blues supergroup the Louisiana Gator Boys.

Bonds released an album in 2004 called Back in 20, the title referencing his repeated sporadic pop-ups of popularity (his first hits were in the 1960s, then again in the 1980s, and now another significant album in the early 2000s, each 20-odd years apart). The album features guest appearances by Springsteen and Southside Johnny.[3] Bonds was also inducted into the Long Island Music Hall of Fame on October 15, 2006.

In 2009 he released a new album Let Them Talk and toured the UK as a special guest of Bill Wyman's Rhythm Kings.[7] Most recently, in 2010, Bonds contributed duet vocals on the song "Umbrella in My Drink" on Southside Johnny's album Pills and Ammo.[8] He also made a guest appearance in the 3rd season of Lilyhammer which stars and is produced by Steven van Zandt.


Studio albums[edit]

Live albums[edit]

  • King Biscuit Flower Hour (Live) (2001)
  • Live! (2002)
  • From the Front Row... Live! (2003)
  • In Concert (2005)

Compilation albums[edit]

  • Certified Soul (Singles from 1968 to 1970) (1982)
  • The Best of Gary U.S. Bonds (1960s material) (1990)
  • Take Me Back to New Orleans (1960s singles compilation) (1994)
  • The Best of Gary U.S. Bonds (1980s material) (1996)
  • The Very Best of Gary U.S. Bonds: The Original Legrand Masters (1960s material) (1998)


Year Titles (A-side, B-side)
Both sides from same album except where indicated
Chart positions Album
1960* "New Orleans"
b/w "Please Forgive Me"
6 5 59 16 Dance 'Til Quarter to Three with U.S. Bonds
1961* "Not Me"
b/w "Give Me One More Chance" (from Twist Up Calypso)
"Quarter to Three"
b/w "Time Ole Story" (Non-album track)
1 3 16 7
"School Is Out"
b/w "One Million Tears"
5 12 86
"School Is In"
b/w "Trip To The Moon" (from Dance 'Til Quarter To Three With U.S. Bonds)
28 The Greatest Hits of Gary (U.S.) Bonds
"Dear Lady Twist"
b/w "Havin' So Much Fun" (from The Greatest Hits Of Gary (U.S.) Bonds)
9 5 Twist Up Calypso
1962* "Twist, Twist Senora"
b/w "Food Of Love"
"Seven Day Weekend"
b/w "Gettin' A Groove"
27 The Greatest Hits of Gary (U.S.) Bonds
"Copy Cat"
b/w "I'll Change That Too" (Non-album track)
"I Dig This Station"
b/w "Mixed Up Faculty"
101 Greatest Hits
"Where Did That Naughty Little Girl Go"
b/w "Do The Limbo With Me" (Non-album track)
The Best of Gary U.S. Bonds (From The Original Session Tapes)
1963 "I Don't Wanta Wait"
b/w "What A Dream"
Non-album tracks
"No More Homework"
b/w "She's Alright"
"Perdido"—Part 1
b/w Part 2
"My Sweet Ruby Rose"
b/w "King Kong's Monkey"
1964 "Ella Is Yella"
b/w "The Music Goes Round and Round"
"My Little Miss America"
b/w "You Angel You"
"Oh Yeah - Oh Yeah"
b/w "Let Me Go Lover"
1965 "You Oughta See My Sarah"
b/w "My Little Room"
"Do The Bumpsie"
b/w "Beaches U.S.A."
1966* "Take Me Back to New Orleans"
b/w "I'm That Kind Of Guy"
"Slow Motion"
b/w "Due To Circumstances Beyond My Control"
1967 "Send Her to Me"
b/w "Workin' For My Baby"
"Call Me for Christmas"
b/w "Mixed Up Faculty" (from Greatest Hits)
1968 "Sarah Jane"
b/w "What A Crazy World"
"I'm Glad You're Back"
b/w "Funky Lies"
Certified Soul
1969 "The Star"
b/w "You Need A Personal Manager"
1970 "One Broken Heart"
b/w "I Can't Use You In My Business"
1974 "My Love Song"
b/w "Blue Grass"
Non-album tracks
1975 "Grandma's Washboard Band"
b/w "Believing You"
1981 "This Little Girl"
b/w "Way Back When"
11 5 26 43 Dedication
"Jolé Blon"
b/w "Just Like A Child"
65 29 51
"It's Only Love"
b/w "Your Love"
"Your Love"
b/w "Just Like A Child"
1982 "Out of Work"
b/w "Bring Her Back"
21 82 10 58 On The Line
"Soul Deep"
b/w "Bring Her Back"
"Love's on the Line"
b/w "Way Back When" (from Dedication)
"Turn the Music Down"
b/w "Way Back When" (from Dedication)
1984 "Standing in the Line Of Fire"
b/w "Wild Night"
Standing In the Line of Fire
1985 "Summertime Fun"
b/w "Dance To The Beat"
Non-album tracks
* Produced by Frank Guida[10]


  1. ^ a b c Murrells, Joseph (1978). The Book of Golden Discs (2nd ed.). London: Barrie and Jenkins Ltd. p. 132. ISBN 0-214-20512-6.
  2. ^ Back in 20. Gary US Bonds – 2004 – MC
  3. ^ a b c d "Gary U.S. Bonds". Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  4. ^ "Gary U.S. Bonds - Grandma's Washboard Band / Believing You - London - UK - HLA 10485". 45cat. March 21, 1975. Retrieved August 18, 2015.
  5. ^ "500 Songs That Shaped Rock and Roll". Retrieved January 29, 2014.
  6. ^ "Gary U.S. Bonds biography". Retrieved January 29, 2012.
  7. ^ "Bill Wyman website news page". Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  8. ^ "Pills and Ammo Review". Archived from the original on August 20, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2012.
  9. ^ a b c Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992 (illustrated ed.). St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. p. 41. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
  10. ^ "Discography". Retrieved September 16, 2012.

External links[edit]