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

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Campbell's Classics: Mmm Mmm Good!

She was a little bit country

and a whole lotta rock 'n' roll.

Jo Ann Campbell!

In this 3 part series we're turning back the clock
to the 50s and early 60s. You will meet zesty
singer Jo Ann Campbell and hear some
of her greatest recordings.

For decades the only thing I knew about
sassy songstress Jo Ann Campbell was
her 1962 top 40 hit single "I'm the Girl
From Wolverton Mountain," an answer
to country crooner Claude King's hit
"Wolverton Mountain," which spent
nine weeks at the top of the
country music chart.

"I'm the Girl
From Wolverton Mountain"
(Sept. 1962, highest
chart pos. #38)

I lied. I was also familiar with another
novelty record that became a minor hit
for Jo Ann the following year. "Mother,
Please!" (I'd rather do it myself) was
based on the popular slogan from the
Anacin pain reliever commercials.

"Mother, Please"
(May 1963, highest
chart pos. #88)

When I did some digging I realized that I
had missed a bunch of great recordings
made by this vivacious vocalist from
Jacksonville, Florida.  Let's go back
to the start of Jo Ann's career
and check 'em out.

Jo Ann's debut single, released in 1956
when she was age 18, set the rockin' tone
for many records that followed. "I'm Coming
Home Late Tonight" is an up tempo goody
reminiscent of "Sixty Minute Man," the
hit by Billy Ward's Dominoes
five years earlier.

"I'm Coming Home Late Tonight"
(1956, uncharted B side of 
"Where Ever You Go")

I was thoroughly impressed by the bluesy
authenticity of Jo Ann's follow-up
single, "Come On Baby."

I was surprised to learn that Jo Ann wrote 
the song and did so while still in her teens.

"Come On Baby" was released on break-in
novelty record king Dickie Goodman's
Eldorado label as the B side of a less
than spectacular ballad written by
Goodman. If I had been in charge
I would have picked Jo Ann's
original song as the A side!

"Come On Baby" 
(1957, B side of
"Forever Young")

Jo Ann next signed with Gone Records
and released seven excellent singles,
most of them doublesiders.

Here's a great example. The A side
features a boogie woogie piano intro that 
sounds like the beginning of Little Richard's 
hit "Lucille." I declare, Jo Ann Campbell,
"You're Driving Me Mad!"

"You're Driving Me Mad"
(1958, uncharted)

On the flip side of most up tempo records you
usually find a ballad. Not so on this single.
What you''ll find instead is more of
that pounding piano and a whole
lotta "Rock and Roll Love."

"Rock and Roll Love" 
(1958, uncharted B side of 
"You're Driving Me Mad")

If you've developed a taste for

Campbell's classics... stay tuned.

I'm serving more in parts 2 & 3

and they're mmm mmm good!

Have a Shady day!


  1. This post is a refreshing change. It's fun any time of year-- and especially during the holidays-- to go back and listen to some very old oldies. At first I thought you were saluting Glen Campbell--lol

    I am sorry to admit that I never heard of JoAnn Campbell and don’t remember any of her songs-- but I do vaguely recall the original Wolverton Mountain. I am thankful that you introduced JoAnn because she is an exciting singer. Her songs have a rock and roll beat and they're great for dancing. I remember those funny Anacin commercials. On Come On Baby-- JoAnn sounds like a black blues singer. I like that song in particular along with You’re Driving Me Mad-- the one that sounds like a Little Richard record-- and Rock & Roll Love. JoAnn is terrific and I look forward to parts 2 and 3!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for warming your innards this morning by savoring the sassy sounds of these Campbell's classics. :) I agree that the holidays are a great time to roll out the very old oldies. Stocking the jukebox with records from the 50s and 60s helps get us in the spirit of the season and brings the happy memories flooding back.

      Jo Ann Campbell is one of the best artists I overlooked all my life. This 3 part series is designed to give her long overdue props. In particular I dig Jo Ann's early non-charting sides like "Coming Home Late Tonight" which follows the melody of "Sixty Minute Man," and the bluesy “Come On Baby” which is Shady's Pick To Click for this post. "Come On Baby" knocks me out and I'm glad you like it, too. "Driving Me Mad" and "R & R Love" are also fabulous early recordings by this gifted thrush and I can't wait for you to hear more of her stuff in volumes two and three.

      Thanks again for reporting in, Kathryn, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. Looks like she had a great career. I still can't imagine signing a deal at that age. I wouldn't have been ready for it.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for dropping in, good buddy!

      Jo Ann Campbell's career came and went light years before you were born. I hope you enjoyed part 1 of this series which offered two of her chart hits along with her earliest recordings. I hope you will stick around for parts 2 and 3 coming right up!

  3. Well, good Morning, Shady! It's a cool morning in Fort enough to enjoy some cool sounds coming from your blog! Gosh, I have to admit, I don't remember Jo Ann Campbell, but, I clearly remember the song "Wolverton Mountain".

    She really did get a good start at a young age. And, what a beautiful lady! Her voice is really countrified, and, so feisty! And, great subject matter for her songs, considering the time line. And, I do agree, the piano in "You're Driving Me Mad" is really great.
    I listened to rock and roll stations in the late 50's, but just don't recall any of her music.
    So...Shady, I cheated and looked her up. I saw some of her songs on YouTube, and, I SWEAR...I didn't listen to any of them. Even though Jo Ann is not familiar to me, I will wait for your next post, listen then, and learn a bit more!

    This was a great introduction to a new face, and talented lady. Thank you Shady! Hope you are doing well. Have a great week! ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thank you very much for coming over to flash back with me to the good old days and listen to the countrified rock 'n' roll style of Miss Jo Ann Campbell. Given your musical background I'm surprised you aren't already familiar with her. If you listened primarily to rock 'n' roll radio stations back in the day it might explain why Jo Ann was unknown to you. Perhaps her records were mostly played on country or rockabilly stations.

      Please don't cheat and listen to any other recordings on YouTube. :) In the next two posts I will be presenting the rest of Jo Ann's best sides in chronological order.

      Yessum, Jo Ann was a petite little firecracker with a brash and sassy vocal style. In part 2 you will meet one of her famous love interests. (Don't cheat. :)

      I'm very pleased to see you, Suzanne, and to know that you enjoyed this first set of songs by Jo Ann. Have a great week in Fort Worth and say hello to Scootie Potter for me. Thanks again for dropping by, dear friend!

  4. Hi Shady!

    A great little peppy post this morning as I head out for a day of discoveries!
    Can't say I'd heard of her, yet Ms. Campbell's tunes - especially "The Girl from Wolverton Mountain" - sound very familiar. "Mother Please" is an easy favorite and gave me a smile and added a spark just right for today - Thank you, dear Shady!

    1. Hi, Diedre!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks for coming over to hear some vintage rockabilly and rock 'n' roll tunes from the pride of Jacksonville, Florida, Jo Ann Campbell.

      You're a lot younger than Shady and it doesn't surprise me that you never heard of Jo Ann before this. Jo Ann's answer song to Claude King's big hit "Wolverton Mountain" became the biggest hit of her brief career. (You will find out how brief her career was in part 3.)

      You are also probably too young to remember that Anacin ad campaign featuring short tempered people nursing headaches barking at their loved ones. Those old spots were unintentionally outrageous and Jo Ann's "Mother, Please" single capitalized on their appeal.

      I'm delighted to know you enjoyed yourself this morning, dear friend Diedre. Thanks again for stopping by in the middle of your busy week. Hope to see you again soon!

  5. ... remembering the Wolverton song just as i remember my mumme's cabbage rolls ... simply delicious ... smiles ... thanx for presenting me with good memories, friend Shady ... Love, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      Thank you for coming all the way down from Western Canada, dear friend!

      I'm excited to learn that you remember the song "Wolverton Mountain" from childhood. If this tribute to singer Jo Ann Campbell conjured up happy memories for you then it's...


      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend cat, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  6. I remember the Wolverton Mountain song.
    I rather like the rock a billy sound. It was fun and gosh no swearing, four letter words and calling women all kinds of names.
    Very interesting post today.
    Even though I said I would post on Monday just too busy and not in a good way. See you on Friday. Can not miss that day !

    cheers, parsnip

    1. Hi, Gayle!

      Thank you very much for coming by, dear friend!

      I found some interesting trivia about "Wolverton Mountain" on Wiki:

      << The song was a rewrite of the original version by Merle Kilgore (personal manager of Hank Wms. Jr.), which was based on a real character named Clifton Clowers who lived on the mountain (the mountain's actual name being spelled Woolverton) north of Morrilton, Arkansas. >>

      I think most people of boomer age remember that Claude King hit but fewer remember Jo Ann's answer record.

      You are so right, Gayle. Now and then it is refreshing to give your ears a rest from the explicit language used in many of today's recordings. Slowly but surely my modern pop, rap and hip hop phase is coming to an end and I will be posting more oldies like these in the coming year.

      I am very sorry to hear that you have been busy and not in a good way. I hope it doesn't involve your health or the health of thehamish or your cats. Please take good care of yourself and your animals and I'll see you Friday. Thanks again for dropping by, dear friend Gayle!

  7. I was going to say I had no idea who Jo Ann Campbell was but then I played "I'm the Girl
    From Wolverton Mountain" and I know that song.

    1. Hi, Jo-Anne!

      How are you, my dear Australian friend? Thanks a lot for coming over!

      I'm happy to know you recognized that other Jo Ann's signature song, an answer to Claude King's signature song "Wolverton Mountain." Answer records were more common back then and a good number of them performed well on the chart.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend Jo-Anne!

  8. I was pretty young when she was shelling out these hits but I appreciate them more now anyway! I like her little southern twang! The songs bring back the gentler days of music. Still rock and roll, but oh so different from today! I remember the song, Wolverton Mountain but didn't know there was another song in answer to it...thanks again for the education! Hope your week and weather are perfect Shady! The cold is creeping in up here so grab some sunblock and say hi to the sun for me!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for taking a seat at the table and sampling some Campbell's classics with me - just the thing to warm you up on a cold fall night in Ohio.

      Yessum, you are light years younger than Shady and I doubt that you remember much of the music from the 50s and early 60s, but it's fun to turn back the clock and experience a more innocent kind of rock, isn't it? If you'll be patient with me, I promise to bring you more benign oldies in the months and years to come.

      It was just cool enough down here today for a late afternoon walk. I really enjoyed taking a break from the air conditioning.

      Thank you again for visiting and spreading holiday cheer, dear friend YaYa. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  9. Kathleen Mae SchneiderDecember 7, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    Like some of the other readers and as you would probably guess, I never heard of Jo-Ann Campbell. When she was in her prime, I was preparing for a possible career as a classical pianist. From the time I was 10 years old until I graduated from high school, I was totally absorbed in long hours of practice (4+ many days) while keeping up with school assignments. I had little-to-no interest in music other than the likes of Chopin and Beethoven, and I realize now that was pretty limited, one-dimensional and downright weird, especially for a teenager.

    This being said, when I listened to the songs you posted here, I had flashbacks to a simpler, less cynical time in our culture. There was less angst and more upbeat lyrics and melodies, even when the subjects were about typical relationship issues. While it does no good to wish fruitlessly for the good old days (In reality they probably weren't all THAT good!) I miss that now in many current music trends.

    Times have definitely changed and art always reflects and expresses the environment in which it occurs, so I try to understand some of the contemporary dismal sounds and negative emoting that I hear in that light. Understanding is different from enjoyment though!

    I'm dating myself here (Oh, why not?!), but these songs reminded me somewhat of ones I heard in passing on programs like Your Hit Parade and The Ed Sullivan Show, which my parents watched on our old "halo" Sylvania television when I wasn't hogging up the living room practicing my "long hair" music.

    Although I missed Jo-Ann back then, when I hear her vibrant voice and catchy melodies now, I can appreciate it with a fresh perspective informed by my musical past. For instance (and for obvious reasons), it was especially fun hearing the sheer energy and exuberance of the honky-tonk piano accompaniment in "Come on Baby" and "You're Driving Me Mad". The sixteen-year-old me would never have appreciated that Jerry Lee Lewis sound over Van Cliburn playing Rachmaninoff!

    By the way, is that Bobby Darin in that one photo hugging Jo-Ann?

    Thanks for sharing your discovery of Jo-Ann Campbell with us, Tom. While I still love classical music, it's good to expand my repertoire. I had a soup-er time!

    1. Hi, Kathleen!

      I am very pleasantly surprised to find a comment from you this week. Thank you very much for making time for a visit. I'm happy to know you had a soup-er time savoring a cuppa Campbell's classics. :)

      It makes me very happy to know you appreciated these old sounds, Kathleen, especially because they are all brand new to your ears. Keep in mind that most of them are new to my ears as well. Going in, I only knew 2 of the 18 Jo Ann Campbell songs I am presenting in this series. I am discovering and appreciating them along with you and the other readers.

      I'm delighted that you singled out "Come On Baby" because it's my Pick To Click. As Mrs. Shady mentioned, Jo Ann sounds like a blues drenched African American woman singing in an all-black juke joint on that one. The sound is authentic and Jo Ann penned the song herself! "You're Driving Me Mad" has that vintage Little Richard - Jerry Lee Lewis pumping piano sound that is found on many hits of the 50s. Why oh why didn't Jo Ann score a hit with her record?

      I didn't want to be a spoiler but the cat's out of the bag. Entertainment icon Bobby Darin and Jo Ann Campbell were indeed a couple for a while and I will have more on their relationship coming up in part 2 this Sunday.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and generous comments, dear friend Kathleen. I hope you and mother Margaret are both doing well and getting into the Christmas spirit. Please come back and see me again soon.

      God bless!

  10. Hi again Shady! Since you asked about how Jordan's doing without Eddy I thought I'd fill you in. He's doing good but the months of September and October were filled with taking care of his dog and he's been taking classes on line for work which were put on hold. I know most folks think it's just a dog but, without going into details, Eddy was a lifesaver for Jord. I know he'll get another dog some day but with work and school he's putting that on hold. Besides, Eddy will be hard to replace! Thanks for asking about him and your kind words and thoughts. Have a good weekend!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for allowing me to pry and for coming back over to explain Jordan's situation. I was curious.

      Folks like you and Jord and me never think of a canine companion as "just a dog." A dog is a member of the family, a blessing, a gift from God, and when they leave us it hurts badly and leaves a void. I hope Jordan will continue to adjust to the loss of Eddy and continue to make steady progress toward reaching his life goals with or w/o a replacement pet.

      Thanks again for the follow-up, dear friend YaYa!

  11. Hey there Shadester,
    I have never heard of Jo Ann but i do like the Come on Baby song.
    I love hearing new ( to me) music from your posts. Hope all is well my friend.

    1. Hi, Holliwood N. Vine! :)

      How are you, dear friend? I'm very happy to see you!

      Your ears are a lot younger than Shady's :) and it doesn't surprise me that you didn't know about featured artist Jo Ann Campbell.

      I just listened to "Come On Baby" for the dozenth time. It always knocks me out, especially the wailin' sax solo in the middle. I'm delighted to know you enjoyed that one, too. I'll be serving more Campbell's classics (good and hot) in parts 2 and 3 coming right up.

      Thank you for spreading holiday cheer, dear friend Holli. I hope you and your family are well and in good spirits. Enjoy the rest of your week and weekend!

  12. I had never heard of this young woman. I listened to Wolverton Mountain and enjoyed it. She certainly has the West Virginia twang going on in that song.

    Thanks for sharing this artist from the past! Enjoy the rest of your week!

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks a lot for coming!

      Yessum, you weren't even born yet when Jo Ann Campbell released her string of recordings. I was young, in the age range of 6 to 14, during the span of her career, and the only two songs of hers that I remember are "Girl from Wolverton" and "Mother, Please."

      I hope you enjoyed some down home country style rock 'n' roll from Jo Ann and her musicians. If so, please join me for part 2 this Sunday and part 3 on Dec. 16.

      Thanks again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend Sherry!

  13. I never heard of Joann Campbell but it was nice to be introduced to her. My favs by her that you presented here are Mother Please, Come On Baby and Rock & Roll Love. So gems there! Really brings back the sounds of yesteryear!

    Have a great weekend Shady!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thanks so much for coming over, dear friend!

      Most of you guys are a lot younger than Shady and it stands to reason that Jo Ann and her music are new to you. I am very happy to know you enjoyed the introduction and found three faves in this batch. I'll be serving up more hot Campbell's in my next two posts so please stick around.

      Thanks again for your visit and kind comment, dear friend Michele!

  14. Tom, Someone made the comment Jo Ann Campbell sounds like she's from West Virginia. Trust me when I say this, she doesn't. She does a good country accent but many artists who sing this genre adapt their normal voices to fit their mewsic style and they don't even sound like their singing voice. Jo Ann had some cool sounding tracks. I was born in 1961, so none of these are familiar to me, not even "I'm the Girl". I reckon she's an artist my uncles and aunties didn't listen to when I was growing up. I like all of her features. Thanks for the introduction and mewsic education of this little bit country and a whole lot of rock n' roll chick!

    1. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks a million for coming by, dear friend. I'm pleased to see you!

      Yessum, you are surely right about artists adopting a particular accent to suit the material and the style of music that's popular during a given period. I read that Jo Ann was influenced by rockabilly queen Wanda Jackson and I'm thinking that she must also have been influenced by Brenda Lee whose career started in 1955, the year before Jo Ann released her first single.

      I'm thrilled to know you appreciate Jo Ann's talent and liked her first set of songs. I hope you'll join me again for parts 2 and 3 to be published over the next couple of weeks. Thanks again for your kind visit and wonderful comment, dear friend Cathy!

    2. Tom, I'll be sure to pop in when additional posts in this series publish. I'm extending myself a bit too much with the holidays and blogging. I probably will take next week off and not return to Blogosphere until after the New Year. I have my regular posts scheduled for those who want to come by for a visit but honestly I think everyone has other things on their mind this time of the year and that's really quite alright. I do appreciate your visits and comments. You're a great friend! Have a good evening and try to stay out of trouble while Mrs. Shady is out of town. :D

    3. Hi, Cathy!

      Thanks a lot for the return visit, dear friend. I appreciate it! You are a great friend, too. :)

      I have four more posts to publish this month and I will certainly understand if you need to break away for the holidays. My friendship will be waiting for you when you return... even if it is not until next year. :)

      Take good care of yourself. Best of luck to DH as he begins his job Monday and happy holidays to you and your family, dear friend Cathy!

  15. I've heard of "Come On Baby" and I always liked that song. I loved the ones you posted, Shady. It's great listening to the classics and taking a walk down memory lane. :)

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      I am very happy to see you, dear friend. Thanks for coming!

      As you stroll down memory lane with my featured artist Jo Ann Campbell you will at times be walking the blues. Such is the case with the song "Come On Baby," my Pick To Click, and a recording that seems popular with most of the people who have commented. I'm glad you like it, too.

      Part 2 of this series is coming first thing tomorrow and I hope you can check it out.

      Thanks again for your visit and comment, dear friend JM!

  16. I have never heard of her...not even her hit Wolverteen Mountain. For some strange reason, I kept thinking of Ovolteen( spelling??). She has a good voice but it sounds a bit too sharp in some areas. Actually I like the the "I'm coming home" ditty the best. Thanks for introducing her. Some of these people have gone through the mists of time.

    1. Hi again Birgit!

      I'm glad I found your comment on this older post. I appreciate it, dear friend!

      The hit "Wolverton Mountain" by country singer/songwriter Claude King was based on the true story of a man named Clifton Clowers who lived on Woolverton Mountain in Arkansas. As the story goes Clowers didn't take kindly to menfolk who climbed the mountain to pitch woo at his pretty daughter.

      I'm delighted that you picked Jo Ann's debut single "I'm Coming Home" as one that you like.

      Thanks again for coming, dear friend BB, and have a great week!


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