Friday, August 31, 2012

Dick & Dee Dee

In the 50s there Johnnie & Joe, Mickey & Sylvia, The Kalin Twins, male-female duos all. In the 60s there was Sonny & Cher, Peaches & Herb, Nancy Sinatra & Lee Hazelwood, even Johnny Cash & June Carter. They didn’t have much in common, but they all operated within certain musical and aesthetic limits.

That’s where Dick & Dee Dee differed. Their sound is so shrill, so ethereal, so out there, that one can’t help wonder what drugs they were on. Helium would be my first guess.

The duo, who were never married or anything, at least not to each other had 8 hits between 1961 and 1965.

Dick & Dee Dee:

All My Trials – The Minnie Mouse version of a college folk music standard. Typical of what Joan Baez was recording in those days. I don’t who thought this would work. It doesn’t. From the winter of 1964. 
Don’t Think Twice It’s All Right – This is not the strangest version of Dylan’s song; that honour would have to go to The Wonder Who. This may just be the most inappropriate. The song can be done any number of different ways, but some aspect of what’s going on has to come through. Here, it doesn’t. The flip side of All My Trials.
Young And In Love – Not the Ruby & The Romantics hit. I want to know what happens when you’re old and in love. From the spring of 1963.
Thou Shalt Not Steal – The 10 commandments in the service of romantic fidelity, or something. From the winter of ’64 / ‘65
The Mountain’s High – Their big hit, their moment in the sun. It is where the Dick & Dee Dee approach to music making pays off. Hard to say why exactly, the style is so outrĂ© that it does not lend itself to easy analysis. From the fall of 1961.

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