Monday, October 17, 2011

Out In The Be-Bop Be-Bop 1960s Night-When Diana Nelson “Touched” The North Adamsville Night Away- With Peggy Lee In Mind

Click on the headline to link to a YouTube film clip of Leslie Gore performing her classic teen dream theme That’s The Way Boys Are.

CD Review

The ‘60s: Jukebox Memories, various artists, Time-Life Music, 1992

Scene: Brought to mind by one of the songs in this compilation, Leslie Gore’s 1960s classic teen dream theme (girl division) song, That’s The Way Boys Are.

I, Diana Nelson, am going to be a big singing star just watch out, watch out and don’t blink because then you will miss it. Hey, it is written in the stars, my stars. Proof? I have just this spring won the 1962 edition of the annual Adamsville Female Vocalist Contest. Hands down! There was no way that any of those other girls could match (and one guy who dressed up as a girl, weird right, although he did a good job on Mary Wells’ Two Lovers and I was a little worried until they found out he was a guy and gave him the boot.) Even Emma Johns and her smoky version of old hat Peggy Lee’s Fever got left behind when I went deep, deep down almost to my soul on Brenda Lee’s I’m Sorry. See that is what the judges were looking for, not smoldering sexy stuff but act of contrition stuff. And the girls who filled up the audience seats and gave their thumbs up and down only wanted to hear stuff that they can listen too when they cry on their pillows after their Johnny doesn’t call, goes cheap on some corny date, or cheats on them, cheats on them with their best friend, usually. I’ve got it all figured out.

Sure, like I was telling my good friend, Peter Paul Markin, the other day during class I was glad to get the one thousand scholarship money that was one of the prizes offered. I can use it if I decide to go to college after we graduate next year. But the big thing for me is to get to sing, sing featured, along with the guys from the Rockin’ Ramrods to back me up, at the Falling Leaves Dance held late in September. That dance is always sponsored by the senior class and it will give me a thrill to go out to please that crowd of fellow seniors, especially Peter Paul, who shares my love of music (although he is not a very good singer, sorry if you see this P.P.) and likes to talk about politics and stuff like I do. The big, big thing though, and I haven’t even told Peter Paul about this is that a recording agent, Jerry Rice, yes, that Jerry Rice, from Ducca Records, the one that signed Connie what’s-her name, has promised to be there and if he likes what he hears, well, like I say it in my stars. Don’t blink, okay.

By the way don’t get thrown off by that good friend Peter Paul thing, especially if you know my own true love boy friend Bobby Swann. There’s nothing to it (sorry again, Peter). Bobby couldn’t be at the contest because he was studying for his finals at State University. He is finishing up his freshman year and so he had to study hard. Peter Paul and I met in ninth grade and we have been good friends ever since. Oh, I suppose I can tell you now, now that I have my handsome blue-eyed Bobby, that if he wasn't such a “stup” P.P could have had his chances with me but all he ever did was stare at my ass in class, and in the corridors. If you don’t believe me ask Emma Johns, she’s the one that noticed him doing it first, although I had an idea. Better yet, ask P.P. he’ll tell you, maybe. The thing was that I couldn’t wait forever for him to get up the nerve to ask me out and then Bobby came along and swooped me up in tenth grade and then I didn’t care for younger guys anymore, except as good friends.

I guess I should tell you since I am telling you everything else that I had a dream when I was very young, maybe seven or eight, that I was going to be a singing star. Maybe it was my mother always playing women singers on the family record like that Peggy Lee when she was young and sprightly with Benny Goodman, Teresa Brewer, and Billie Holiday that got me going because I would sing along all day with the radio on. Later ma had me take singing lessons and I have been going strong ever since. Peter Paul said he went crazy when he first heard me do Brenda’s I Want To Be Wanted and Patsy Cline’s Crazy, although she, Patsy, seemed a little to ah, shucks, countrified when I first heard her. She has gotten less so since she has started turning to more a more popular style. I sure wish I could hit her high notes but Miss French, my vocals teacher, says I will get there soon enough and then I will have to, get this word, “husband” my valuable resource. See, I am a cinch.

Did I tell you that I told, no ordered (and I can do that to him, and he jumps like a puppy dog, sorry again P.P.) to be at the Falling Leaves Dance solo, so we can talk between sets. It looks like Bobby won’t be coming. According to him no big time State University sophomore would be caught dead at a high school dance and also his cross-country team is having a big meet in New York City that weekend. You know, and I hope you won’t tell Bobby, if you know him, because I do love him so, every once in a while I wish P. P. would have done more than just look at my ass in ninth grade.

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