Saturday, May 07, 2022

Twenty-five 45s: Guy Mitchell, The Voxpoppers, Jerry Vale, the Rivieras, more!


Twenty-five 45s.  Or is that forty-five 25s?  No, I got it right the first time.  Confused myself a little, there.

Projects like this always take longer than I expect, which is odd, since I do a lot of projects like this--you'd think I would catch on.  Anyway, some fun selections, with many examples of "pop" artists covering R&B/rock and roll, with Steve Lawrence's Speedoo and Nick Noble's Lucy Lou my favorites along that line.  In fact, the Jesse Stone-penned Lucy Lou (the melody a borrowing of Frere Jacques!) may not even be a cover--I can't find info on the song.  But it's a pop singer performing a slow-rocking song, and very well, I might add.

Plus, two pop singers covering Chuck Willis numbers--Georgie Shaw delivering an excellent I Can Tell (1955) and Patti Page giving us an adequate Search My Heart.  I was hoping the latter would be on par with Patti's fabulous What a Dream (also penned by Chuck Willis), but it's not quite in that league.  And, from 1954, Johnnie Ray's excellent Drifters cover, Such a Night--though most people probably associate the song with the 1960 Elvis version.  Also, big band rock and roll, with a not-at-all-bad Bip Bam (Charles Calhoun, aka Jesse Stone) by Art Mooney (1954) and a so-so Buddy Morrow cover of William "Bill" Haley's Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie (1955). Morrow did better things in this vein, but it's fun to hear any cover of this one.

In my opinion, Gale Storm does a much better pop version of Why Do Fools Fall in Love than I Hear You Knocking, but she hit the Top Ten with both, so she needn't care what I think.  Then we have the Modernaires, who date back to Paul Whiteman, doing a budget label-style medley of then-current pop tunes in the oddly titled Tops 'N Pops, Pts. I and II.  That is, I don't think the preposition in is typically contracted, unlike and (which is often incorrectly contracted as 'n or n').  Oh, well--none of my business.

Some un-pop-ized doo wop and other instances of rock and roll grace our playlist--The G-Clefs' Darla, My Darlin' (1956); The Voxpoppers' The Last Drag (1958); Bill Haley's 1957 Hook, Line and Sinker (be on guard for thumping triplets); Sonny Sheets' Skippin (sic) Class (1961); Joe Caldwell and the Majestics' How Long Will It Last and its flip, Make Up Your Mind, with Felix Lark singing lead (both 1961); and the more-or-less r&r Wonder, by The Three G's (1958).  Oh, and there's The Wanderers' A Little Too Long (1961), and a rip of The Stroll by Tina Diamond and Hal Gordon entitled The Glide, which is well sung by Don Cherry in an excellent Ray Conniff production.

Two nice Guy Mitchell sides, a charming Jerry Vale number (Around the Clock; 1958), and a swinging 1955 Jill Corey side, That's All I Need.  In fact, Jill's side is an R&B cover, now that I check it out--penned by Lincoln (Such a Night) Chase, LaVerne Baker, and Howard Biggs.  How about that?

Link follows:

DOWNLOAD: Twenty-five 45s

Lucy Lou--Nick Noble, 1957

The Glide--Don Cherry, 1958

A Little Too Long--The Wanderers, 1961

Wonder--The Three G's, 1958

Till We're Engaged--Guy Mitchell, 1958

The Last Drag--The Voxpoppers, 1958

Darla, My Darlin'--The G-Clefs, 1956

Around the Clock--Jerry Vale, 1958

Great Big Eyes--The Rivieras, 1960

Skippin (sic) Class--Sonny Sheets and Tonettes, 1961

Make Up Your Mind--Felix Lark and the Majestics, 1961

How Long Will It Last--Joe Caldwell and the Majestics, 1961

I Can Tell--Georgie Shaw, 1955

Hook, Line and Sinker--Bill Haley and His Comets, 1957

Search My Heart--Patti Page, 1955

Bip Bam--Art Mooney and His Orch., Vocal by Chorus, 1954

Tops 'N Pops--Pts. I and II--The Modernaires, 1955

Why Do Fools Fall in Love--Gale Storm, 1956

Speedoo--Steve Lawrence, 1955

The Chicken and the Hawk (Up Up and Away)--Same

I Hear You Knocking--Gale Storm, 1955

Such a Night--Jonnie Ray, 1954

Two--Guy Mitchell, 1959

That's All I Need--Jill Corey, 1955

Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie--Buddy Morrow and His Orch., Vocal: Jerry Mercer, 1954



Ernie said...

Love these singles posts, Lee. Thanks! A fun listen for sure.

Geoconno said...

The vocal on "Rock-a-Beatin' Boogie" is by Jerry Mercer, not Johnny Mercer though it might be fun to hear Johnny Mercer sing it.

Lee Hartsfeld said...


Oops! Thanks for pointing this out--I'll correct. I guess I just had Johnny Mercer on my brain...

Ravel said...

I agree that these many 45s are fun to discover.

I didn't know Georgie Shaw: fine voice.
Sadly, Don Cherry is not impressive in that one. But I like him. Not that one
(I sound like you Lee).
Patti Page tried everything, I guess.
(but I don't think she would have tried heavy metal).

Thanks again Mr Lee.

Diane said...

Wow. Just . . . WOW.

Lee Hartsfeld said...


Patti was amazingly versatile--and, I think, more talented than people realize. She could perform in any and every style. As for Don, I think he's too busy imitating the Diamonds' "The Stroll" to be at his best. And Shaw was great--he did the original recording of "Honeycomb," four years before the Jimmie Rodgers hit.


Thank you! And such a relief when I realized (while typing the playlist) that "Speedoo" has the extra o!

Ravel said...

Hi again.
Just to point out that I love Patti Page. Beautiful Lady.
She was very talented and had a large range in her voice.
An uncle gave me his 45s when I was around 12 and among them «Allegheny Moon». It is still a big favorite.
Your posting of these miscellany 45s is quite fun. Really my cup of tea (though I prefer coffee) to discover more music.
Bye !