Amoeblog

Jerry “The Phantom” Lott

Posted by Whitmore, September 4, 2007 11:56am | Post a Comment

A decade before the mayhem and lurid madness of the Legendary Stardust Cowboy’s “Paralyzed” there was Jerry Lott, a.k.a. “The Phantom,” recording his own blithering two minute psychotic-billy breakdown. Born near Mobile, Alabama in 1938, Lott played country music as a young teenager until he heard Elvis Presley and rockabilly in 1956. Something obviously went ping!

During the summer of 1958 in Mobile, Lott recorded Whisper Your Love. As he told Derek Glenister in a 1980 interview: "Somebody said, 'what you gonna put on the flip-side' - I hadn't even thought about it. Someone suggested I wrote something like Elvis 'cause he was just a little on the wane and everybody was beginning to turn against rock 'n' roll. They said, 'See if you spark rock 'n' roll a little bit' ... so that's when I put all the fire and fury I could utter into it. I was satisfied with the first take, but everybody said, 'Let's try it one more time.' I didn't yell on the first take, but I yelled on the second, and blew one of the controls off the wall. I'm telling ya," Lott continued, "It was wild. The drummer lost one of his sticks, the piano player screamed and knocked his stool over, the guitar player's glasses were hanging sideways over his eyes."

Love Me was that song, written by Jerry Lott in 10 minutes. Almost 50 years later that track is still startling, especially to the uninitiated. If the screams don’t stagger you at the beginning, perhaps The Phantom’s post-coital exhaustion at track’s end will. Yeah, most great Rockabilly records from the late fifties had more then their share of fire and dementia, but this track is insane … certifiably, wickedly, aberrantly insane! It’s beautiful!

Lott left Mobile for Los Angeles to shop his master tape around, on an impulse he followed Pat Boone to church one Sunday morning  and convinced him to give the tape a listen. It was Boone's idea to rename Lott  "The Phantom”, even agreeing to issue the record on his own label, Cooga Mooga. Eventually Lott signed a contract with Boone's management but the single of Love Me b/w Whisper Your Love was released on the label Boone recorded for - Dot  Records in 1960 (DOT 16056).

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