MGM / UA Home Video MV600210
MGM / UA Home Video MV600210
Rockabilly Hall of Fame member Jody Reynolds died this past week of liver cancer in Palm Desert, California. He was 75. His most famous record, and sole Top 10 hit, "Endless Sleep," not only added a strange evocative sound to the typical Rockabilly rave-up of the day -- Reynolds differentiated himself from many of the era’s rockabilly artists with his disquieting, haunting melodies -- but was a forerunner in the long line of melodramatic teen hit records and a genre sometimes known as “teardrop rock."
Born in Denver on Dec. 3, 1932 as Ralph Joseph Reynolds, his family soon moved to Oklahoma, where he grew up listening to country music and Western swing acts such as Eddy Arnold and Bob Wills, eventually picking up the guitar as a teenager. In 1956 while performing in Yuma, Arizona, Reynolds wrote the song “Endless Sleep” after listening to Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" five times in a row on a jukebox. Two years later Reynolds met a music publisher named Herb Montei who forwarded the demo version to the Los Angeles based label Demon Records. Demon liked the demo but executives insisted on Reynolds tacking on a more uplifting end to the song; the revised finale has the suicidal girl saved from drowning by her guilt ridden beau. Another peculiar bit of history about “Endless Sleep” -- writing credits for the song went to Jody Reynolds and Dolores Nance, but according to Reynolds, Nance was a fictitious person created by the Demon Records to make it appear that there was songwriting team.
By the summer of 1958 “Endless Sleep” became a huge national and international hit, peaking at No. 5 on Billboard's Hot 100 singles chart, no doubt opening the door for several other doomed tales of love-death tinged million selling pop hits including Mark Dinning's "Teen Angel," Ray Peterson's "Tell Laura I Love Her," Dickey Lee's "Patches" and the Shangri-Las' "Leader of the Pack," to name but a few. Reynolds' next single was not as successful. “Fire of Love” peaked at number 66 on the Billboard charts. It would be his last charting single. Still, he continued to record and tour into the 1970’s for several labels including Smash, Brent and Pulsar Records. His typically anomalous 1963 recording, and excellent single, on Titan Records, "Stranger in the Mirror" / "Requiem for Love" featured a very young Bobbie Gentry (“Ode to Billie Joe”) in her debut. Eventually Reynolds opened a music store in Palm Springs and worked as a real estate agent. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1999.
Key Video 9057
Djosos Krost (DJ Pharfar and DJ Filip) are two dub-obsessed Danes who are better known for having produced the most popular mix of Junior Senior's dancefloor hit, "Move Your Feet."
I was on board No Sign Of Bad from the first dub moog-fuzz chords of this album. Guests on vocals include Tuco, Jah Bobby, Little Tasha, EMO and Adrian. Tuco, featured on lead vocals for the opener "Straight Upfront" has that lover's reggae vibe pulled from the holy book of Hugh Mundell and Gregory Isaacs. Such a slinky, relaxed delivery as the little dub bleeps and blurps chase each other's tails around the tune.
A good while back (95-99), I was really into the Japanese electro-dub outfit Audio Active and their super-tripped take on bong-heavy dub. Their two classic releases Tokyo Space Cowboys and Happy Happer still satisfy that stony, space-travel urge instilled in all lovers of On-U era Lee 'Scratch' Perry masterpieces like Time Boom De Devil Dead and From the Secret Laboratory.
Here's a classic track from Audio Active.
And one from that particular era of On-u Sound Dub Syndicate 'Scratch!'