Sunday, May 23, 2010

Johnny & The Hurricanes

Johnny & The HurricanesImmortalized by The Kinks in One Of The Survivors, Johnny & The Hurricanes were an instrumental “combo” that put 9 records into the top 100 over a 3 year period, beginning in 1959.

I got 2 albums, collections. The second was not that exciting, but it was fairly comprehensive. It was called Juke Box Giants, which was a title used for a number of different collections by different groups, and the cover always looked the same. The only other one of the series I remember getting my hands on was by The Shirelles.

The other was just called The Best Of Johnny & The Hurricanes. I picked it up at Pyramid Records, way back when, in their first ever location. It was a budget reissue, on Birchmount, and the cover featured an attractive young woman, on her knees, sort of, holding a saxophone, and clad only in tin foil, and not much tin foil. Those types of budget reissues belong to such a remote era, now, it seems, that it’s difficult even to explain the marketing thinking behind them. So be it.

My collection is a merging of the 2 LPs. I have all their hits.

Johnny & The Hurricanes:

Red River Rock – A rocked up version of Red River Valley, which is where I was born and raised, though there is more than one Red River Valley, and I’m betting that this is about another one. From the fall of 1959, their biggest hit, and the hit for which they are best remembered.
You Are My Sunshine – They don’t take the chirpiness out of this, which is too bad. The song was written, and originally recorded, by Governor Jimmy Davis. A hit for Ray Charles, among others. From the winter of 1960 / 1961.
Ja-Da – This is one of those tunes you recognize, but you don’t know why or where from. Their last hit, from the winter of 1961.
Rockin’ Goose – Just to drive the point home there’s a honking sound throughout. From the fall of 1960
Revival – When The Saint Go Marching In. I don’t know why they changed the title. From the fall of 1960. The B side of Revival
Whatever Happened To Baby Jane – There are vocals on this – a female chorus singing the title over and over.
San Antonio Rose – A rocked up version of the country classic, originally performed by The Sons Of The Pioneers, and a hit later for Floyd Cramer, and recorded by dozens, nay, hundreds.
Like … Rock – Like… cool!
Teensville Tonight
Bye Bye Blackbird – An old standard. My favourite rendition is by Joe Cocker.
Buck Eye Johnny & The Hurricanes
High Voltage – This is Frankie And Johnny. It’s anyone’s guess as to why they changed the title.
Traffic Jam – Not the James Taylor song.
Come On Train
Reveille Rock – Rock and roll, and you can dance to it, based on a military wake-up call. I’d put this closer to Hendrix’s ripping to shreds of The Star Spangled Banner than to The Beach Boys doing Be True To Your School. From the winter of 1959 / 1960.
Down Yonder – From the summer of 1960.
Sheba – Presumably a place. I mean, you’ve heard of the queen of Sheba, right?
Time Bomb
Mr. Lonely – Not the Bobby Vinton song.
The Sheik Of Araby – An old standard. There are a few early recordings of The Beatles doing this.
Crossfire – From the summer of 1959, their first hit.
Beatnik Fly – The Blue Tail Fly, rock and roll. From the winter of 1960.
Storm Warning

1 comment:

"Hurricane Duane" Thomas/ J & The Hurricanes. said...

Thanks for the mention!
"Hurricane" Duane Thomas
Johnny & The Hurricanes, Inc.

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