And The Answer Is - Country & Rock and Roll CD-Album Series by Bear Family
... And The Answer Is
Country, Rock & Roll, and Pop, from the 50s and 60s
- plus the corresponding tunes, recorded by popular artists and great unknowns. You will hear the Sherry Sisters with "Stay Away From Bobby", replying to Marcie Blane's "Bobby's Girl." Kitty Wells recorded "Paying For That Back Street Affair" as a response to Webb Pierce's "Back Street Affair." Shirley Ray did "Why Don't Cha Come Home" to benefit from Bobby Bare's super hit "Detroit City!" Great entertainment all the way! There's not enough silliness in the world today, and the music business has certainly got much too serious since the lawyers and the bean-counters took over. There used to be lots of silly records once.
There used to be 45s, LPs that looked sharp stacked on the floor, and real disc-jockeys as well. And there used to be answer-discs. Almost any record big enough to stay a few months in the charts was virtually assured of attracting an answer-disc. Here are some of the ...err ...best. Let's start with Jack Scott's Burning Bridges. Jack was born in Windsor, Ontario, Canada ó just across the river from Detroit, and Detroit was where he grew up.
In 1958,'59, and '60, he made some of the coolest records around. In 1959 he signed with the shortlived American division of the British Top Rank label, and his second record for them was Burning Bridges. It was a gorgeous song, classic pop but just country enough to telegraph the fact that Jack had been deeply into country music at one time.
SUN studios in Memphis
The sad fact was that the answer disc came from the Sun studios in Memphis. Sad because three or four years earlier, the music world was trying to come to terms with what was coming from the Sun studio and now the tables had decisively turned. Bobbie Jean was Bobbie Jean Barton (nee Farrabee), an attorney at law from Little Rock, Arkansas (that's right, another lawyer in the music business). She was married to Sun producer and recording artist Ernie Barton.
There's a letter in the Sun files in which Bobbie Jean is demanding that Sun issue an LP by Ernie. She obviously didn't know that Sun didn't issue LPs by anyone whose first name wasn't Johnny and whose last name wasn't Cash. Ernie was last heard of somewhere in Texas, and Bobbie Jean was last heard from when this record ended. Marcie Blanc was the archetypal one-hit-wonder. To all intents and purposes, she came and went with BobbyS Girl. She was from Brooklyn and was eighteen at the time. Her father was a high school teacher who taught music, and Marcie was proficient on several instruments.
She had been signed to Seville Records after singing some demos for a friend. Bobby's Girl got all the way to number three. Very quickly, Marcie recognized that showbiz was not for her. She pursued a career in education, ending up as the director of an arts theater in Westchester Co., New York. She heard an appeal on the radio for her to resurface, and turned up at a party for WCBS dee-jay Bob Shannon. There she lip-synced Bobby:s Girl and promptly returned to the anonymity she craved. The Sherry Sisters, by comparison, make Marcie look well-researched. As far as we can tell, absolutely nothing is known about them.
Diana from Paul Anka
Diana was the first the world heard from Paul Anka, unless you count an obscure record that he cut when he was fifteen for RPM. Anka was from Ottawa, where there is now a Paul Anka Drive. He was the grandson of Syrian immigrants, and his father ran a sandwich shop opposite the Canadian Parliament buildings.
Diana, for those who don't know, was Paul's babysitter. He'd had a crush on her. He said she came to see him later and tried to come on to him, but he had lost interest in her by then. Anka was smarter than the average kid in the music business. He took control of his own music publishing and his own contracts, so it was only natural that he would produce his own answer disc -or, given the time lag, his own sequel. Remember Diana came out in 1963, and it got up to number 38. On her first go-round, Diana had got to number one, so maybe it was time to forget Diana.
is one of the names that leaps to mind when you think of the 'Bobby' era in the early '60s. Unlike some of the manufactured teen idols, though, Bobby Vinton could really play. His family came from Perry Como's home town, Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, and his father was a big band leader. Vinton himself was an accomplished performer on clarinet, trumpet, sax and piano. He led the band behind Dick Clark's 1960 Caravan of Stars as well as on television shows before going out on his own.
The story goes that he was signed to Epic as a bandleader, cut two stiff little albums, and then - just as he was about to be dropped - he persuaded the A&R man to let him sing on one record. He picked Roses Are Red out of a pile of publishing demos, and you know the rest. Roses Are Red hit number one in July 1962, and hung around for months. The writers were Paul Evans (who also wrote When as well as his own hit Seven Little Girls Sitting In The Back Seat), and Al Byron. They also wrote the ï answer song which was entrusted to Florraine Darlin (real name Florraine Panza), an eighteen-year-old from Pittsburgh.
She had mailed out demo tapes everywhere, but there were no takers until she took one to Bobby Vinton. He took it to Epic, and A&R man Bob Morgan gave her Long As the Rose Is Red. It charted briefly, peaking at number 62. Where are you tonight, Florraine?