Monday, June 29, 2009

Warren Smith

Rockabilly is littered with casualties – Carl Perkins and Gene Vincent sidelined by injuries, Johnny Cash sidelined by country music, Jerry Lee Lewis sidelined by bigamy, lechery, tax evasion, substance abuse, reckless abandon, and pianos at the bottom of swimming pools, and Eddie Cochrane sidelined by death. Then there are the also-rans, some of whom, like Warren Smith, seemed pretty big in their day, then ended up in the heap of forgotten would bes.

Smith gets quite a write-up in Wikipedia; makes him sound like a major recording artist. But not too many people remember him, and Billboard only lists one record – So Long I’m Gone, in the summer of 1957.

These tracks come from a cassette; it was an anthology of Sun recordings by also rans like Smith. I found it at the Centennial Library.

Warren Smith:

Miss Froggie – A forerunner of Miss Piggy? Hi stepping rockabilly, about a girl “shaped just like a frog.” What a great love song. It got radio play in Canada, and that was in the summer of 1957. The A side was So Long I’m Gone, his only Billboard pop hit.
Uranium Rock – I guess it was the era of duck and cover. I’m not sure what that has to do with this except for the uranium connection. Not easy to decipher the lyrics.

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