Thursday, September 07, 2006

Reale Wilde Childe

Some songs over their histories paint a real picture of a developed style. Hey Joe, Tip Toe Through the Tulips, White Christmas, My Way, The Train Kept a Rolling .. come to mind. Elements are abstracted; what I mean to say is new portions of the former gain prominence.

Recently heard this to effect in a side-by-side playing of the original Real Wild Child by Johnny O’Keefe, which I’d never heard before – kind of a Eddie Cochrane-like band-orientedpure full-push 50s rocknroll rendition, hard to describe actually – and Jerry Allison AKA Ivan’s version. [There is also Iggy Pop’s ‘80s [?] version, which has a Devo or Ramone’s kind of incessant drone [but power chords and an almost disco beat], and Iggy’s droll delivery. That would fill out the evolution as far as I know.]

So I had to find out when Ivan’s version came from. It seems as if it could be from the Bubble Gum era, which, in my opinion, was a style that harkened back to rocknroll [albeit for youngsters] at a time when ‘rock’ was getting long in the tooth and slow. The Bubble Gum style was re-played ironically by the Velvet Underground during its post amphetamine era. And has some influence on punk. In fact Ivan’s Real Wild Child was recorded in 1958 by the Buddy Holly band!

Buddy Holly’s music never died. Certainly seminal rocknroll. The high degree of fun he could have with the genre is on display in Ivan’s Real Wild Child. [Gee, did Lou Reed do a song called Wild Child? It’s hard to remember..]

Buddy Holly Cricket band member Jerry Allison released two singles as “Ivan.” The first was “Real Wild Child/Oh You Beautiful Doll,” recorded February 19, 1958 at Norman Petty Studios in Clovis, NM, according to People often refer to the song as Wild One. The session included Buddy Holly (guitar), Bo Clarke (drums), Joe B. Mauldin (bass), and The Roses sang backups. It was released as Coral 62017. The song Real Wild Child was doing well at the time for Johnny O’Keefe, who was also known as the Australian Elvis. When buddy and The Crickets toured Australia they heard the song. Upon returning to the US, the group recorded the song ‘as a joke.” It’s said they were parodying young Ricky Nelson [talk about the beautiful and laconic!] Jerry did not want his name on the record, so that is where Ivan came from. But he had looked into the future. An interesting novelty with a persistent rhythm wrote the promo people. And thus is traced a pattern of a musical joke with legs. Apparently Jerry Lee Lewis, Joan Jett and, Josie and the Pussy Cats also did the number. It seems Johnny OKeefe was more than the short-hand Australian Elvis implies. He was a pioneer of Australian rNr.

Im a real wild oneAn I like a wild funIn a world gone crazyEverything seems hazyIm a wild oneOoh yeah Im a wild oneGotta break it looseGonna keep em movin wildGonna keep a swingin babyIm a real wild child.

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It's hard to find this stuff. I suggest listening to WATD from Marshfield Mass. Oldies has gotten a bad name in recent years. In fact, stations that call themselves oldies stations generally work from a fragment of available music, most of which fit the narrowest band. Pop music in the 50s and 60s was full of creativity, surprise, genre hopping, and plenty of it, as most things that we called hits in those days only charted for a couple-three weeks.

Highly recommened Yesterday's Memories with Ed and George, 6pm to Midnight [Eastern Time] Saturday.
Johnny OKeefe on Amazon
Iggy doing Real Wild child on You Tube

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Recently and finaly heard Jerry Lee's version of this song. It is killer! - jv

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