Henry Lovoy

From Bhamwiki
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Henry Lovoy (born February 2, 1947 in Birmingham) is a rock vocalist currently heading the group Razz-Ma-Tazz.

Lovoy, whose parents operated a grocery store on the north side of Birmingham, grew up in the Graymont neighborhood and attended Woodrow Wilson Elementary School before graduating from Ensley High School in 1965. He went on to enter the first class at Jefferson State Community College, earning a degree in business.

Starting at the age of four, Lovoy practiced dancing under the Levinge Sisters. By the age of six he was known as a prodigy Elvis impersonator with penciled-on sideburns. He won a talent contest on WAPI-TV's Happy Hal Burns Show, qualifying him for a spot on stage during the 1954 Alabama State Fair.

Listening to WJLD-AM in his father's store, Lovoy developed an appreciation for popular black artists of the day such as Bo Diddley, B. B. King, and Ray Charles. He taught himself to play drums and performed his own version of "Hey Bo Diddley" for his 1960 dance recital. He continued to lead that song after victories with his high school football team. During the AEA break in 1962 he joined The Counts as their lead vocalist and began a long career in music.

The Counts evolved into The Distortions and Lovoy performed with them as well as on his own. He backed up Jayne Mansfield as a member of The Road Runners. Lovoy's first record was his own version of "Baggy Maggie" which was released on Staff Records with a cover of Diddley's "Hong Kong Mississippi" as the B-side. It got some airplay on WJLD (after a few bottles of Falstaff beer changed hands) and is currently a collector's item.

In 1966 Lovoy joined the Rockin' Rebellions and gained notice for "By My Side", the local hit he co-wrote with Donald Barbee, recorded at Boutwell Studios, and released on the Vaughn Ltd label. They followed that up with a cover of Frank Zappa's "Any Way the Wind Blows" recorded at Fame Studios in Muscle Shoals and then spent time in Memphis recording for Gold Dust Records, a subsidiary of Sam Phillip's Sun Records.

Lovoy left the Rebellions to found a new band, Chair. They were signed to Warner Brothers, but only the single "Greater Miami Subterranean Rock Revival" got released. In 1971 Lovoy fronted Boditch, a group with a United Artists record deal that also came to naught. Lovoy continued to find work recording jingles for Ed Boutwell and fronting bands that toured around the South and beyond.

In the 1980s Lovoy formed his current group, Razz-Ma-Tazz which played a regular gig at Hogan's for many years, covering classic 50's and 60s songs as well as selected current hits.

Lovoy is married (Lynn) and has one son, Henry Jr, and one granddaughter.