Eddie Rambeau was one of those rock & roll vocalists of the mid-'60s who held sway for a couple of years, until the band acts overwhelmed them on the radio and as live attractions. A rival to such figures as Tommy Roe, Gary Lewis, and Bobby Vee, he was one of a brace of "Eddies," "Tommies," "Bobbies," and other male pop/rock crooners who succeeded the likes of Frankie Avalon et al. in the mid-'60s. He may have been one of the most talented of them, however, for although Rambeau only saw one major national hit (ironically, a cover of "Concrete and Clay"), he was a reasonably successful songwriter for much of the 1960s.
He was born Edward Cletus Fluri (some sources spell this "Flurie") in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of would-be singers from the Keystone State, took his aspirations to Philadelphia. He was signed to the Swan Records label, the poorest of the three majors in the city (after Cameo-Parkway and Chancellor) in the hope of being another Frankie Avalon or Fabian and re-christened Eddie Rambeau, chalking up a regional chart single with "Skin Divin'." He recorded for the label into the early to mid-'60s, but never broke on any charts outside of Pennsylvania. In contrast to a lot of other aspiring singers in that era, Rambeau had other talents, including songwriting, and it was in partnership with producer/writer Bob Crewe that he enjoyed his first success as a composer, with the song "Navy Blue," which was a Top Ten hit for Diane Renay in 1964 on Mercury Records. Rambeau also co-wrote her next hit single, "Kiss Me, Sailor," but success as a vocalist eluded him until the spring of 1965.
He was signed to Crewe's DynoVoice label when he heard "Concrete and Clay," an original song by the British acoustic/electric rock group Unit Four Plus Two. Rambeau's version, hastily recorded and released to catch up with London Records' issue of the British original, followed an identical path up the charts and peaked at the same level as the original in the same week, both making the Top 20 and elbowing each other on radio station playlists up and down the East Coast for much of that spring and summer. Apart from the slightly more spirited reading and perhaps a little less hint of melancholy than the Unit Four Plus Two version, the two records sound almost exactly alike and Rambeau released a virtually identically arranged follow-up song of his own, "My Name Is Mud," co-authored with Crewe and Bud Rehak, as well as a Concrete and Clay album. On his first long-player, Rambeau did lively, if unthreatening, versions of "It's Not Unusual" and "Save the Last Dance for Me," and the early Al Kooper co-authored "I Fell in Love So Easily," which gets a smooth, sophisticated rendition; perhaps the best cuts on the album were "(Look for the) Rainbow" and "Don't Believe Him," on which he sounded uncannily like Gary Lewis. And that pointed up Rambeau's limitations as an artist, as rock music evolved past him. He saw more releases on Dynovoice through the mid- to late '60s and then moved to Bell Records, but most of Rambeau's success after "Concrete and Clay" was confined to songwriting, and he later became a music producer, before turning to acting in the 1970s. ~ Bruce Eder, Rovi