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

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Caution: Red Hot Campbell Wax!

Welcome to part 2 of

my holiday series

turning back time

and paying tribute

to rock 'n' roll and

rockabilly queen

Jo Ann Campbell!

Jacksonville spark plug Jo Ann Campbell
started rockin' and rollin' at the age of 18.
Jo Ann released a string of great records
but most of them missed the chart.

Like another favorite of mine,
Wanda Jackson, Jo Ann Campbell
looked innocent but could turn on
the nasty. On her 1958 Gone Records
release "Whassa Matter With You,"
Jo Ann uses a Wanda Jacksonesque
growl to get the point across. Jo Ann
also sounds like Connie Francis did
on that female singing star's early
career rock 'n' roll records. When
you hear how the band cooks on
this Campbell's classic I know
you'll be stirred!

"Wassa Matter With You"
(April 1958, uncharted)

On the B side, Jo Ann rocks again
with another catchy concoction.
This 45 features a Bossa nova
beat, vocal melismas by Jo Ann
and a cool chorus - all the makings
of a hit. Whassa matter, Billboard?

(April 1958, uncharted B side of 
"Wassa Matter With You")

The next Gone classic released by Jo Ann
was another song she wrote, this time
under the pseudonym of Doris Hatcher.
Big, bold, brassy, brash and sassy,
and hinting of danger, it's another
Campbell platter that had hit
written all over it. Nada!

"I Really, Really Love You"
(July 1958, uncharted)

Flip Jo Ann's record over and
you've got the glorious B ballad
"I'm Nobody's Baby Now."

It was bad enough that Jo Ann's
dance records sold poorly. It was
a crime that this dreamy country
style ballad saw no chart action
whatsoever. To Shady's ears
"I'm Nobody's Baby" (Now)
sounds a lot like the
Connie Francis hit
"Who's Sorry Now."

"I'm Nobody's Baby"
(July 1958, uncharted B side of
"I Really, Really Love You")

Jo Ann's bad luck streak was unfortunate
and unfair because the quality of her
records remained high year after year.

Jo Ann was still only 20 when, at the end
of 1958, she released a fabulous big beat
ballad. It's soon time to ring in the new,
and Jo Ann gets us in the spirit with the
Neil Sedaka - Howard Greenfield song
"Happy New Year Baby."

"Happy New Year Baby" 
(Nov./Dec. 1958, uncharted)

"Tall Paul" was Annette's "all."
Jo Ann Campbell urged gals to get
a "Tall Boy." Bobby Darin wasn't
exactly tall (5' 9") but, as you might
have gathered from watching the
videos in this series, Bobby and
Jo Ann were lovers for a couple
of years before Bobby married
actress Sandra Dee. The vid
you are about to watch contains
more candids of Bobby and Jo
for your edification.

"Tall Boy" 
(Nov./Dec. 1958,
uncharted B side of
"Happy New Year Baby")

With an irresistible rock 'n' roll rhythm,
killer guitar solo and effective use of a
male chorus, Jo Ann's "Beach Comber"
should have made waves on the chart.
Nothing - not even a ripple!

"Beach Comber" 
(July 1959, uncharted)

Stick around. There's more hot

Campbell's to warm your innards

coming up next in Part 3!


  1. Volume 2 is fantastic— starting with the first song Wassa Matter With You. That’s great rock and roll. The band is strong and so is Jo Ann's singing. I also really like the catchy Bossa nova beat on the flip side— You-OO. Another great song is I Really Love You. The band is terrific and the record has a dramatic or dangerous tone to it— like the soundtrack of a crime movie. The ballad Nobody’s Baby is another song that I really enjoyed— and Jo Ann does sound like Connie Francis on it. Happy New Year is just another wonderful song and timely addition to your December song lineup. Beach Comber has a unique sound and I loved that one, too. They're all great— every one of these songs!

    I didn’t know that Jo Ann dated Bobby Darin. That’s an interesting piece of trivia.

    I liked Jo Ann even more this time around— bring on part 3!

    1. Hi, Kathryn!

      Thanks for taking a look and a listen to part 2 of Jo Ann Campbell!

      I'm pleased that you liked this batch of songs even more than the first. Your ears match mine and the ears of many others because Jo Ann's Gone sides are considered her best recordings. Yet, for some reason, they failed to catch on and make the cart.

      Yessum, "I Really Love You" sounds like the soundtrack of a crime drama. It reminds me of Henry Mancini’s “Peter Gunn Theme.” I can't even choose a Pick To Click for this post because they are all so good. "Happy New Year" is certainly one of my top faves as is the unusual sounding "Beach Comber." All of these records coulda been, woulda been and shoulda been hits!

      Yessum, Jo Ann Campbell and Bobby Darin were a couple before Sandra Dee entered the picture. Jo Ann was petite and beautiful and her singing style and image a blend of innocent and sensual. I can see how Bobby or any other man would be smitten by her.

      Thanks again for leading off the discussion, Kathryn, and have a great Sunday!

  2. I have to say I can understand why she wasn't as big as Wanda Jackson, but I do like Wassa Matter With You. A great rock'n'roll track.

    1. Hi, Joey!

      Thanks for coming over, good buddy. I'm pleased to see you!

      I didn't realize that you are a fan of rockabilly and early female rock 'n' roll sounds. I turned into a huge Wanda Jackson fan a few years ago and pubbed a post in her honor:

      I agree that Jo Ann posed no threat to Wanda's title as the Queen of Rockabilly, but I doubt she was trying to steal her crown. Jo Ann didn't fit comfortably into any specific genre and perhaps that prevented her from catching on and selling more records. History has been kind. Today Jo Ann has many new fans thanks to the remastering and re-release of her original recordings, with the Gone sides considered her finest.

      I'm glad you enjoyed "Wassa Matter," Joey. Thanks a lot for your visit and comment!

  3. Bummer she hit a dead spot in her career. Hits were more important back then than they are now.

    1. Hi, Alex!

      Thanks for coming over during the holiday period, good buddy. I really appreciate it!

      Jo Ann Campbell got into the groove during her stint with Gone Records, cranking out what most consider the best recordings of her career. Unfortunately those slabs came and went w/o reaching the chart. Jo Ann's career got a boost when she appeared in a couple of those quickie rock 'n' roll "jukebox movies" but soon after she got married (not to Bobby Darin) and chose to retire from the music business. I'll have details in part 3 coming up on Friday. I hope you can check it out.

      Thanks again for your support, good buddy Alex!

  4. I thought I had seen Bobby Darin in one of the earlier videos you posted! I can see the attraction both ways, she was so pretty! He wasn't bad either, but, I guess he didn't fit the part of the beach comber guy on the beach, (maybe he was one of the guys buried in the sand) lol! By the way, that is a really good song. So, I was going to ask if she and Bobby Darin ever did a duet. I do like most of these songs, especially "Happy New Year Baby". I'm telling you Shady, that one should have been on top! It's one of the better New Year's songs I've ever heard. It kind of made me think of Sinatra, Martin and Minnelli-weird combo, but it is good!

    "I'm Nobody's Baby Now" is one of the best with the good even flow of music and voice. You're right, she did have a sort of "Connie Francis" style. This song was well written and well executed.
    * Don't you just love an amateur critic?

    "Tall Boy" and "Beach Comber" are both very good, and the videos that accompany them tell the stories. She had such good promotion for these songs, with cool record covers and the photos. I just can't believe these songs didn't chart. Like you said last week, they probably didn't play her songs on the pop stations I listened to, because I don't remember her at all. I guess I pushed her aside for the Everly Brothers and Smokey Robinson, lol!

    This is a great post, Shady! I'm with you and, really think this girl should have been able to go further.

    Well, December is counting down. I've had Scootie on board this weekend, and it's been cold and dreary outside. We did get to the park for a little while today, and it was nice.

    Have a great week, Shady. Take care dear friend. ♫

    1. Hi, Suzanne!

      Thanks a gazillion for coming over, dear friend. I'm happy to see you!

      I figured you'd like a tune or two in this batch. These are all solid recordings, in my opinion, and span several different styles from rock 'n' roll to country style ballads. Gone Records, Jo Ann's label during this period, was a respected company that released recordings by name artists like Bill Haley & His Comets, The Four Seasons, Ral Donner and Johnny Rivers. It remains a mystery why Jo Ann's Gone output slipped through the cracks and failed to chart.

      I had to laugh at the pictures of Jo Ann and Bobby Darin in the "Tall Boy" video. Bobby was only 5-9. :) Remember Annette's hit record "Tall Paul"?

      I'm thrilled that your ears match mine on "Happy New Year" and "Beach Comber." Think of all the New Year's Eves that have come and gone since 1958 and how much our world has changed. Makes you shudder.

      I hope Scootie Potter is getting into the spirit of the holidays and looking forward to a visit from Santa. We have enjoyed much cooler weather this past week which makes it seem more like Decembers back home. We welcome this relief while it lasts.

      Thanks again for your kind visit and generous comments, dear friend Suzanne. I'll have the finale of my Campbell's classics series coming up this Friday. I hope to see you then or in the 5 days that follow.

      Take care of yourself and have a wonderful week, Suzanne!

  5. Thank you for introducing me to Jo Anne, friend Shady ... just dug up some Theresa Brewer records of my (12 years older) husband ... Jo Anne reminds me of her ... Love, cat.

    1. Hi, cat!

      How are you, dear feline friend? Thanks for dropping in!

      Teresa Brewer was one of my mother's favorite singers. My mom owned a bunch of Teresa's 45 and I remember her playing them often when I was a boy. I think every one of us - man, woman and child - should be exposed to good, clean, wholesome 50s love songs occasionally. They remind us of the kind of world that existed 60 years ago. They cleanse the palate and nourish the soul.

      Thank you again for coming and for sharing, dear friend cat. Have a wonderful week!

    2. ... ya ... tears ... dry on their own ... then purrs and smiles follow sooner or later ... thank you, friend ... Love, cat,

    3. I wish you a week of purrs and smiles, dear friend cat.

      Thanks again for your kind visits and sweet comments. They are especially welcome during the holidays. :)

  6. Volume 2 is wonderful! I enjoy listening to Joann Campbell. Your selections really bring out the best and I can't wait to YouTube her. I might have to look through record shops to see if I can purchase CDS.

    Have a great week ahead, dear friend.

    1. Hi, Jessica Marie!

      Jo Ann is terrific, and I have my eye on this comprehensive 2014 double disc CD containing her original three albums + bonus tracks, all remastered:

      I am delighted that you are digging these old sounds with me, JM. Thank you again for coming and have a super week!

  7. Oh i really like the New Year song. What a shame she didnt hit it big! Joann had great voice and very versatile with genres. I love those old videos. Have a great day Shady!

    1. Hi, Holli!

      How are you today, dear friend? I am very pleased to see you!

      I was hoping you'd be here to sample these songs waxed by that "real Gone gal" Jo Ann Campbell. I'm glad your ears match mine and fellow Texan Suzanne's on "Happy New Year," a Campbell's classic for sure. It's fun to shift gears during the holidays and remember the kind of music young people listened to in the 50s.

      Thank you again for your visit and kind comment, dear friend Holli, and have a wonderful week!

  8. Another artist I was previously unfamiliar with. I liked You-oo and the New Year Song. I Really Really Love You, for some reason, made me think of a James Bond Movie. Maybe it has a slinky, spy-like quality. Too bad she didn't have more success. She certainly had the talent.

    1. Hi, Sherry!

      Thanks for coming over, dear friend. I'm mighty pleased to see you!

      Everybody seems to be in the mood to hear Jo Ann's "Happy New Year Baby" song. I'm glad your ears match mine and others on that one. I agree that "I Really, Really Love You" sounds like the theme from a spy movie or a private eye TV series. It has that swagger and that element of danger. Jo Ann was versatile but, no matter what style record she made, her career didn't gain traction. Maybe it was because she crossed over several categories instead of concentrating on just one.

      Thank you again for your visit and cheery remarks, dear friend Sherry. Have a wonderful week!

  9. Tom, I think I enjoyed this segment selection of Jo Ann's mewsic the best. The later pieces grabbed me the most. I'm not sure if it's because of the beach vibe sound or what but I liked 'em a lot! It's amazing that none of her songs charted. She was quite young when she got in the biz, too. That just goes to show you there was a mega amount of talent in those days for her to not hit the charts. I'm eager to hear more mewsic by Jo Ann Campbell , my friend. Great closing to your post: "Stick around. There's more hot Campbell's to warm your innards." What a clever boy you are! :)

    1. Howdy, Cathy!

      Thanks so much for making time for a visit today, dear friend!

      Yessum, this is the heart of the batting order, Jo Ann's Gone sides, the ones considered her best. Too bad they weren't heavy hitters. Jo Ann had only one top 40 hit. Two other singles reached the lower half of the Billboard chart. That's all she wrote.

      As I speculated in other replies, Jo Ann might have enjoyed more success if she had picked a specific category and stuck with it. I am also thinking that, in the 50s, female vocalists were expected to be demure and sing innocent pop ballads. Maybe mainstream America wasn't quite ready for another brash and sassy Wanda Jackson type.

      Bruce Eder of the AMG provides interesting artist insight:

      << Her most successful records were clearly in a mainstream pop music vein, anticipating the work of teen girl pop singers such as Shelley Fabares, but she could also rock out like Wanda Jackson. A surprising number of her recordings were rough and tough, their obvious "cute" quotient balanced by Campbell's occasional raspy-throated delivery, which betrayed lust, or at least a healthy female libido in need of stroking. >>

      I too appreciate the beachy vibe of "Beach Comber."

      Thanks again for spreading cheer this morning, dear friend Cathy. I hope DH has lots of great mews to share with you about his first day on the job.

      God bless!

    2. Tom,

      It's been a busy week at my place. DH is enjoying his new job so far. He already knows some of the men from past employment. We're hoping his hourly positions turns into full-time status soon.

      Adjusting to DH's work schedule is a small transition but what's really consuming much of time is Christmas. The one thing I wanted to do this year is make DD#2 and her husband vintage style Christmas stockings as requested last year. Unfortunately, I was unable to find all the supplies in time but I got that taken care of this year back in the fall and I just completed them yesterday. I'm so excited. I can't wait to present these to them. I snapped a few pictures and will share those on my site after the first of the New Year. After this week, I won't be in Blogosphere (actively blogging) as I plan to take a break until after the January 1st. Hopefully, I'll get another chance to pop over to see you before the holiday or year ends, but in case I don't just let me say, MERRY CHRISTMAS! I hope you and Mrs. Shady have a blessed, joyous Christmas and a healthy, happy, prosperous 2017! I'll be looking forward to another year of shared correspondence and blog posts with you, my friend. May God bless you & yours!

    3. Hi again, dear Cathy!

      I'm delighted to learn that DH is enjoying his new job and working with people he knows. You guys are on a roll and I'm sure that helped make your birthday a happier one this year. "Happy birthday, sweet 16." :)

      Mrs. Shady spends almost all of her free time knitting and crocheting - blankets, sweaters, socks, etc. I am eager to see the traditional style Christmas stockings you made for daughter #2 and her hubby.

      Thanks for letting me know about your holiday hiatus. I'll be missing you but very happy knowing that you and I solidified our friendship this year. It brings me great joy to have you as a genuine friend, Cathy. Thank you very much!

      Remember out motto: "Once a friend... always a friend." :)

  10. Hi Shady!

    This was a terrific post! I really liked the song Nobody's Baby. It's a puzzle why 58 was such a bum year for her since they didn't call her the "Blonde Bombshell" for nuthin'.
    Bobby Darin, pfft! I thought the Seals guy was a better (more grounded) catch ;-) Though she and Bobby both had incredible talent and a flair for originality, Jo Ann seemed to strive for a balance while Bobby went all out. Do you suppose she acquired the turned-up collar from him?
    I'm truly enjoying this series, my friend, and I'll be back for more!

    1. Hi, Diedre!

      How are you, dear friend? I am thrilled to see you!

      You make interesting observations and pose an interesting question. I wish I could answer your question, but all I (and you) can do is speculate. I remember my big brother turning up his collar in the mid and late 50s to achieve a punk look that was "in" at the time. I don't know Jo Ann's exact height, but she appeared to be a diminutive thrush, perhaps only 5 feet tall. At 5' 9", Bobby Darin would have towered over her and could have been called (with a straight face) her "Tall Boy." :) I can't help wondering if Darin's 1958 and 1959 hits "Queen of the Hop" and "Dream Lover" were inspired by his relationship with Jo Ann. Bobby met Sandra Dee the following year, 1960, on the set of the film Come September, and they married that same year before the picture was even released.

      I'm delighted to know you are enjoying my Campbell's classics, dear friend Diedre. Thanks again for making time for a visit. Part 3 is coming Friday so stay tuned!

  11. I am so surprised that Beach Comber did not chart! That's a great song! I like it best of all the ones you presented here today.
    I also really liked Happy New Year Baby.
    She does sound a bit like Connie Francis when she sings the ballad style songs.
    I remember hearing a lot of Connie Francis when I was young: She was a favorite of my Mom's and I used to hear her records playing often.
    I bet many were unaware of JoAnn Campbell and that's a shame. She had some decent talent.
    Tough business!

    Have a great week Shady!

    Michele at Angels Bark

    1. Hi, Michele!

      Thank you very much for swinging over for Campbell's classics part 2, dear friend!

      Yessum, "Beach Comber" is a terrific tune and it's a shame it came and went w/o charting. It also seems odd that Jo Ann's fine seasonal recording "Happy New Year" did not receive enough radio play and sales during the holiday period to at least make a dent in the chart. (I see a pattern here and I smell a rat. :)

      Connie Francis released a couple of rousing rock 'n roll numbers early in her career, but they had that innocent "good girl" vibe, a quality that audiences expected of female pop singers in the Eisenhower 50s. Jo Ann's style was different, edgier, a blend of innocence and naughtiness, and that might not have played well in the heartland, although Wanda Jackson built a career on that kind of thing.

      Thank you again for swinging over for a visit and for your kind comment, dear friend Michele. Enjoy the rest of your week!

  12. It is a shame she didn't make it bigger because I think she has more talent than Sandra Dee. She actually looks a little like Sandra Dee which is maybe why Bobby Darin liked that style. I like the brassy one with the pink Panther style of I really Love you and Happy New Year. I have to find out if she is still around.

    1. Hi, Birgit!

      How are you today, dear friend? Thanks for coming down!

      Yessum, Jo Ann Campbell is still with us, but retired from the music business for more than 50 years now. I will have more on that part of the story in the next edition. Jo Ann is now 78 years old. It's interesting to note that there was a British actress named Joanne Campbell who died young at the age of 38.

      I'm delighted to know you recognize Jo Ann's greatness and enjoyed a tune or two in this batch. You are not the first reader to select "I Really, Really Love You" and "Happy New Year" as your Picks To Click. I agree that "Really Love You" sounds like soundtrack music from The Pink Panther or a Bond movie or perhaps Peter Gunn, Perry Mason, M Squad or some other detective/crime TV series.

      Seems Bobby Darin fancied petite blondes. You will see Jo Ann in action (dancing and singing) in my next post.

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

  13. I like part two and it is shame she didn't have more success as she had a great voice

    1. Hi, Jo-Anne!

      Thanks for coming all the way around the world from the east coast of Australia to meet Jo Ann Campbell. Is it possible that you were named after her? :)

      I'm pleased that your ears matched mine and that you enjoyed these part 2 selections, some of Jo Ann's great Gone sides. I invite you back here this Friday for the series finale.

      Thanks again for joining the fun, dear friend Jo-Anne, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  14. She did have a great sining voice. I'm going to have to admit that I never heard of her. However, now, thanks to you, I have!

    1. Hi, Cheryl Lee!

      How are you, dear friend? Thanks for popping in for a look and a listen as I present part 2 of singing sweetheart Miss Jo Ann Campbell.

      My goal here at SDMM is to keep learning new things and presenting new material to friends like you. There is little to be gained from reviewing familiar material. I am happy to introduce you to artists and recordings that are brand new to your ears. Until recently most of these were brand new to my ears as well.

      Thanks again for coming, dear friend C-Lee, and enjoy the rest of your week!

  15. Maybe that should be singing voice?

    1. You weren't too far off with that typo, dearie. :) Jo Ann's voice had a touch of sin mixed with sweet innocence, a curious combination that made her recordings different from most female recording artists of her day and a little more exciting I dare say.

      Thanks again, Cheryl!

  16. Maybe because it's late in the day but for some reason this artist isn't my fav. Her voice is really good but I'm not fond of the songs. To be fair though I will admit I enjoyed "Beach Comber" Maybe because it's cold outside and anything beachy sounds good! Thanks for introducing Miss Campbell today and sorry I didn't like her as much as the other posts...I'll be back though for part 3! Have a good week!

    1. Hi, YaYa!

      Thank you very much for coming over, dear friend. I appreciate it!

      Gosh, I'm sorry your ears didn't like this set of songs from Jo Ann Campbell. These are widely regarded as her career best. As I recall you are more of a classic Motown girl, right? It's a mystery though because last week you seemed to appreciate Jo Ann's singing and even commented that you like her "little southern twang." Don't worry about it, dear friend. My mood shifts back and forth constantly and my taste in music along with it. Many songs that I once liked are now hard for me to listen to. Anyway I'm glad you enjoyed "Beach Comber" same as I and other readers did.

      Thank you again for making time for a visit and for your candid comment, dear friend YaYa. Take care of yourself and Jack and Chubbsie and have a great week!

  17. I cant help but think about the awful song from the 80's shaddup your face when i saw the title Wassa matter you. It immediately brought to mind this song.

    1. Hi again, Holliwood N. Vine!

      Thank you very much for the return visit and the interesting observation. Yessum, I remember that goofy 80s song all too well. I just played it and, to my dismay, it is now stuck in my noggin (probably for the entire day :) (Hey, I made a rhyme!)

      Thanks again for being such a terrific friend to the Shadester, dear Holli. Take care and I hope to see you again soon! :)


You talkin' to me?