Saturday, April 5, 2008

FEATURE SONG - ONE LAST KISS from BYE BYE BIRDIE

Well, as often happens in blogs, one post can springboard into the next. So it is today, after mentioning in the previous post the song “Kids” from the 1960 musical, Bye Bye Birdie (BBB hereafter). The show began life in 1958, as a satire on life in America - especially the blossoming rock and roll frenzy. It was written around the title character, Conrad Birdie, a hip-shaking rocker who drives the young ladies cuckoo, and then gets drafted. He’s kind of an amalgam of real life country crossover Conway Twitty (Conrad Birdie...we get it!) and Elvis. In fact, the musical was written just a few months after Elvis got called up to serve. You may not quite remember the entire show, but a number of BBB songs have endured. Songs like “One Special Girl,” which was recorded as “One Girl” by Bobby Rydell, and then as “One Boy” by Joanie Sommers. Then there’s “Put On A Happy Face” (gray skies are gonna clear up…) and of course “We Love You Conrad” which is probably more famous for its slightly later incarnation as “We Love You Beatles.”

My particular fave from that show is a little number called “One Last Kiss.” I have it on an old LP of the BBB soundtrack sung by Bobby Rydell. And Bobby Vee also gave it a kind of Holly-esque cover, but for my nickel, the best version out there is by the somewhat lesser-known country crossover, Billy “Crash” Craddock. Both the Bobby’s have a charming malt shop quality to their voices that are not without teenage "squeal appeal" - but when “Crash” (as he’s often called) puckers up, it’s definitely more grow'd up.

Billy is another artist who should have been bigger. In my opinion he had the right stuff, but as we know, sometimes that’s not enough. You need good people behind you, good material, and maybe the right timing. Anyway, Billy-Crash (as I like to call him) is on YouTube singing “One Last Kiss.” So is Bobby Vee. I’ll put them both here so you (well, the ladies anyway) can decide for yourselves which one you’d rather lock lips with one last time. You already know who I’m voting for.

Bobby Vee http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YyBn7yKOKBg

Billy Crash http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-zsZlHpOrzo
I just discovered that Billy was quite popular in Australia. I think that's why we are getting this bizarre combination of the song and footage of Tasmanian devils. Brilliantly bizarre, I should clarify. I love this vid! The contrast is so unexpected it totally works. Tarantino couldn't have done any better! And I'm guessing that at about 1:20 the guy is totally wishing he'd brought more meat!! You'll have to view it at least twice - first time the devils will grab your full attention, then go back for Billy's PG 13 voice.

2 comments:

jan said...

WOW "Tarantino" My head will be swollen for weeks ,but it was just a bit of my twisted humor.
Hey you've really got some interesting stuff on this site ,I'll keep my eye on it
Many thanks ,janschro

Deborah Godin said...

And thanks to you, too. The world can never have too much twisted humor!!