b. George Owen Smith, 3 February 1921, London, England, d. 23 May 1978, Malaga, Spain. Owen was a UK dance band leader who reached the US and UK charts in 1959 with his version of the song ‘Manhattan Spiritual’, written by Billy Maxted. The song was issued on the small Palette label in the USA and began its climb in December 1958, ultimately reaching number 10 in February 1959. Meanwhile, the record was issued in the UK on Pye International, where it reached number 20. Owen placed one other single on the UK chart, ‘Obsession’, in 1960, and although he continued to record, there were no further chart successes on either side of the Atlantic. None of his albums, including those recorded for RCA Records prior to ‘Manhattan Spiritual’s success, charted in either country.
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