High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lloyd Thaxton's Greatest Hits, Pt. 5

With the Halloween break behind us it's time to resume our salute to Lloyd Thaxton and the most memorable songs played on his TV show. The timeline now moves forward to the spring of 1965.

(March thru May 1965)

“Do the Freddie”- Freddie & the Dreamers

"I'm Telling You Now" by British invaders Freddie & the Dreamers went to the top of the U.S. chart and was every bit as good as the English pop released by Gerry & the Pacemakers and Herman's Hermits. The novelty dance ditty "Do the Freddie" went top 20 and had the entire Western world, Lloyd Thaxton included, hopping around and flailing their arms.

(April, May 1965)

“Let’s Do the Freddie” Chubby Checker

Like many other domestic recording acts, twistmeister Chubby Checker was struggling to keep his career afloat in 1965. Chubby managed to temporarily get back in the game with a top 40 hit called "Let's Do the Freddie," an answer song aimed at cashing in on the dance craze sparked by Britain's Freddie & the Dreamers.

WSBA radio played "Let's Do the Freddie" in fairly heavy rotation. I liked the song and bought the record.

As often happens I discovered another terrific song on the flip side. The killer bee was "(At the) Discotheque" (pronounced disco-tay), a high energy go-go style dancer that became the consensus A side at northern soul clubs in the UK.

(April, May 1965)

“Iko Iko” – Dixie Cups

They heard their grandmother sing a New Orleans Mardi Gras folk song called "Iko Iko." In the spring of 1965 the Dixie Cups, the girl group that hit number one a year earlier with "Chapel of Love," recorded and released their own version of "Iko Iko." Featuring a drumstick solo, chanting, and voodoo sensibilties, "Iko Iko" was exactly the kind of off-beat material Lloyd Thaxton liked to present on his show.

(April, May 1965)

“The Mouse” – Soupy Sales

Comic icon Soupy Sales, who passed away late last month was, like Lloyd Thaxton, a TV personality who loved to push the envelope. Soupy hosted a kiddie show that was sophisticated enough to appeal to teenagers and adults. Soupy peppered his program with ad-libs, inside jokes, spontaneous one-liners, and impromptu gags. Here's Soupy doing his shtick and then lip-sincing to "The Mouse," a novelty record released in the spring of 1965 and quickly picked up for use on The Lloyd Thaxton Show.

Its name notwithstanding, "The Mouse" was not a hit among Dell Rats. If I'm to be honest about it, Soupy's song was just plain terrible. Ready for some bitter irony? Finishing at #76 on Billboard, "The Mouse" still managed to perform better on the chart than any of the soul classics released by the Magnificent Men.

Well now, isn't that special?

(June 1965)

“Lip Sync (to the Tongue Twisters)” – Len Barry

His voice was already familiar to many as the lead singer of the Dovells in the late 50s and early 60s. After departing the group, Len Barry successfully stepped into the spotlight as a solo artist and recorded three of my all-time favorites. All three will be featured in this Lloyd Thaxton series.

Let's begin with Len's first solo single, "Lip Sync (to the Tongue Twisters)." This nifty novelty number barely brushed by Billboard (#84), but was tailor made for lip-sync lovin' Lloyd.

(June 1965)

“(He’s Gonna Be) Fine, Fine, Fine” – Ikettes

One of the best but poorest performing singles by the Ikettes (spelled Iketts on this Modern release) was "(He's Gonna Be) Fine, Fine Fine." The song spent two weeks on the Billboard Bubbling Under chart and finished at #125 in early June of 1965. Listen now to the wail of yet another innocent victim of Shady's Law!

More hard-to-find oldies straight ahead in Part 6 of my special tribute to the late Lloyd Thaxton. Join me next time!

Have a Shady day!

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