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 YOU ASK

YOU ASK - WE ANSWER

Got a question about rock ‘n’ roll?
Ask our new resident expert “Groovy” Big John K.

My partner and I are Jerry lee Lewis fans, but have been arguing about his so-called rivalry with Elvis. Did this really exist? – Karen, Barnsley.

Sure did, Karen. In 1957 and 58 Jerry Lee came out on top in radio phone-in polls more times than The King. But Jerry Lee blew his chances of being top rocker when he married his 13 year-old cousin and caused outrage. The thought of being bigger than Elvis lived on a long time with Jerry Lee, who was arrested outside Graceland carrying a .38 Derringer and demanding an audience. “You all treat Elvis like he was some sort of God and me like I was some kind of white trash, he bawled.
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Hi Big J, I recall a really great Fifties record called All American Boy. Do you know who recorded it? - Maureen, Hull.

I certainly can, Maureen. The record label bore the name Bill Parsons, but it was not his voice you heard. It was in fact that of Bobby Bare who later became a well-known country singer. Parsons was a friend of his.
It all happened in 1958 when Parsons was trying to win approval from record comoany bosses to cut a disc. He had written All American Boy with a drifter called Orville Lunsford and basically it was a satirical piece based around the life of Elvis.
When he eventully got to the studio Parsons decided he preferred to record Rubber Dolly which was taken from a folk song and asked Bare to do the “American Boy” side. The masters were then bought by Fraternity Records who credited both to Bill Parsons. All American Boy reached No 2 in America’s Hot 100.
Bill Parsons did make other records. But the only hit was the one which he did not record.
For you and all those other cats who visit Fabulous Fifties here are the words of that really great disc:

Gather 'round, cats, and I'll tell you a story
About how to become an All American Boy
Buy you a guitar and put it in tune
You'll be rockin' and rollin' soon
Impressin' the girls,
Pickin' hot licks, and all that jazz

I bought me a guitar about a year ago
Learned how to play in a day or so
And all around town it was well understood
That I was knockin' 'em out like Johnny B. Goode
Hot licks, showin' off, ah number one

Well, I 'd practice all day
And up into the night
My papa's hair was turnin' white
'Cause he didn't like rock'n'roll
He said, you can stay, boy
But that's gotta go
He's a square
He just didn't dig me at all

So I took my guitar, picks and all
And bid farewell to my poor ole pa
And I split for Memphis where they say all
Them swingin' cats are havin' a ball
Sessions, hot licks and all
They dig me

I was rockin' and boppin'
And I's a gettin' the breaks
The girls all said that I had what it takes
When up stepped a man with a big cigar
He said "come here cat
I'm gonnna make you a star
I'll put you on Bandstand
Buy ya a Cadillac
Sign here, kid"

I signed my name and became a star
Havin' a ball with my guitar
Driving a big long Cadillac
And fightin' the girls off ma back
They just kept a'comin'
Screamin', yeah-they like it

So I'd pick my guitar
With a great big grin
And the money just kept on pourin' in
But then one day my Uncle Sam
He said (sound of 3 footsteps)
Here I am
Uncle Sam needs you, boy
I'm-a gonna cut your hair
Ah-Take this rifle, kid
Gimme that gittar, yeah

Written by The Editor - 15/05/2005 14:07:29

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