Joey Powers

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American singer/songwriter best known for his 1964 rock single "Midnight Mary."
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American singer/songwriter Joey Powers is best known for his single "Midnight Mary," which reached number ten on the Billboard pop charts in January 1964. Born Joseph Ruggiero in Washington, New Jersey, the young singer recorded a handful of singles in the late '50s under the name Joey Rogers. Later, family friend Perry Como helped him secure a job working as a page for NBC. It was there that he met producer Paul Vance, who signed him to RCA and suggested he use the name Joey Powers to avoid confusion with country singer Jimmie Rodgers, who was popular at the time. A few more singles under his new stage name yielded little, and by 1963 his RCA contract had run out. While at RCA, Powers had left behind a demo of a song by Artie Wayne and Ben Raleigh that had been written for, but ultimately rejected by, the Everly Brothers. Powers' recording of "Midnight Mary" was heard by Paul Simon, who recommended it to Amy Records owner Larry Uttal. By the beginning of 1964, Powers' single had cracked the Top Ten and he quickly recorded an album of the same name in hopes of capitalizing on his sudden success. His debut album featured appearances by both Paul Simon and Roger McGuinn and his follow-up LP, Special Delivery, featured Roy Orbison and Bobby Darin. In spite of his efforts and the added star power, the arrival of the Beatles and the British Invasion in mid-1964 was too much to compete with and Powers' star faded quickly. He continued to play and record throughout the remainder of the '60s, releasing a single in 1967 as Joey Powers & the New Dimensions and a few late-'60s singles with his band Joey Powers' Flower. He remained in the music business in the '70s and '80s, running a booking agency out of New Jersey as well as a popular recording studio responsible for records by Aerosmith, Jethro Tull, and the Kinks. By the mid-'80s, Powers had transitioned into the Christian music industry and later became an ordained minister.