Moving onto the next record in this evening’s selection of new vinyl, the ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah‘ album by Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans.
This album has been on HRH‘s “To Get” list for like, ever. I think she came across it while browsing through one of my coffee table books of popular album covers. Obviously, the album’s name intrigued her being 10-years-old at the time and she’s been hunting it out with a passion ever since.
But before you go and dismiss this as some kiddie bullshit album based on the album cover, there’s a few things you should know about this album first.
- The album was produced by Phil Spector.
- The funky, modern update of the Disney classic from ‘Song of the South‘ landed the group in the Top 10 in 1962.
- It’s hard as shit to find. Trust me. I know. We’ve been looking. In fact, an original version of this album is inevitably going to cost you some big bucks.
The only reason she even has this now is because Uncle Lance came to our rescue (once again) by finding us a re-released version somewhere online. The band was comprised of Robert Sheen ( a legend in West Coast R&B circles) and two-thirds of the Blossoms, a failed girl group at the time.
The album is a mixture of 12 really cool originals, and some really amazing remakes. Besides a totally funkified version of ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah‘, there’s two other hits co-wrote by Spector himself, ‘Why Do Lovers Break Each Other’s Hearts?‘ and ‘Not Too Young to Get Married‘. And then – just because – there’s the rock & roll instrumental ‘Dr. Kaplan’s Office‘ and an inexplicable cover of Woody Guthrie‘s ‘This Land Is Your Land‘.
Curiously, Sheen (aka Bob B. Soxx) is the nominal head of the group, but is hardly in evidence except on the bluesy ‘Everything’s Gonna Be Alright‘ and ‘Dear (Here Comes My Baby)‘, the latter of which highlights his vocal resemblance to Clyde McPhatter. ‘Baby (I Love You)‘ became a hit for the Ronettes in 1963, and the cover of ‘The White Cliffs of Dover‘ is either album filler, a rehash of the ‘Zip-A-Dee-Doo-Dah‘ formula, or both. Listeners with a pointed interest in girl groups shouldn’t be discouraged by the group’s name, since Sheen/”Soxx” is mostly inaudible and Spector’s production and songwriting definitely dominate the recording.