Friday, September 11, 2009

Bobby Helms

Figure this guy. He was more than anything a country singer, known best for 3 pop songs, all of which were hits bang bang bang during the last 3 months of 1957. He had 3 chart records in 1958, but none made the top 40 and they are all forgotten.

Bobby Helms:

Fraulein – In the fall of 1957, when this song was a hit, the Second World War was only 12 years over, and there were plenty of people around who’d fought the Germans, who’d been interred, who were Holocaust survivors. So I’m sure that a love song to this foreign miss must have stuck in the craw of a few. But beyond that, the foreign love has always been a favourite theme, bringing a touch of the exotic to an otherwise mundane romantic lyric. Helms’ voice, though, was not mundane. He was the perfect country singer to do rock and roll.
My Special Angel – Helms’ original became a favourite love song for the ages. A hit just about a month after Fraulein, late fall of 1957, and I don’t know why the two songs were released so close together. A hit again for the Vogues 11 years later.
Jingle Bell Rock – The marriage of rock and roll and Christmas starts here. It’s kind of ironic, isn’t it, because Jingle Bells isn’t, as far I can tell from the words, a Christmas song exactly. And neither is Jingle Bell Rock. But the association is cast in cement. Elvis did Blue Christmas a year earlier, but, amazingly, it wasn’t released as a single. From the winter of 1957 / 1958. Redone a few years later by Chubby Checker and Bobby Rydell.

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