The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

The Joker (Not Batman)

Artist: Billy Myles
Song: The Joker (That's What They Call Me) (a-side) (b-side is Honey Bee)
Label: Ember Records E-1026
Number: E-2156
Songwriter: B. Myles
Time: 2:33
Released: 1957

This is a first for Music For Every Mood. Today's song is from a "one-hit wonder." Yes, according to what I can find on Billy Myles, he was a noted songwriter of many hits recorded by other artists, but the song The Joker (That's What They Call Me), was the only hit he himself sang. It rose to a respectable #25 on the US pop charts, but to an even higher #13 on the R&B charts.
Born on August 29th, 1924, he sadly passed away on October 9th, 2005. But, in between those dates, he wrote a lot of popular songs for many artists. Have You Ever Loved A Woman for Freddie King and Eric Clapton, If I Ever Fall In Love for Gladys Knight and the Pips, I Won't Cry Anymore for Big Maybelle, Nobody But Me by Lou Rawls, Your Love Alone for Brooke Benton, Your One And Only Love for Jackie Wilson and No Love (But Your Love) for Johnny Mathis. He seems to have had an extreme fondness for song titles with the word "Love" in them! His specialty was "love ballads," so go figure. The success of the song The Joker led to his appearing on the Ed Sullivan show, the very same episode that Buddy Holly and the Crickets were on in 1958.
Billy Myles eventually retired to Greenville, North Carolina, where he managed his music publishing company Selbon Music Publishing. (Nobles spelled backwards.) William Myles Nobles, a.k.a. Billy Myles, died there in 2005.
So, keeping with the Rhythm and Blues kick I've been on for my last two posts, here is that great uptempo recording of The Joker, by Billy Myles. This is not to be confused with the song of the same name by The Steve Miller Band, (another good song!) Listening to it, one wonders just why it was that Billy Myles never became a huge recording star. His voice is pleasant enough, in the same manner as the lead singer for The Platters, but I suppose the record company he worked for, Ember Records, preferred that he keep writing the hit records instead of recording them. That would take too much away from his time with pen and paper.


Sondra said...

On uTube - Billy Myles, The Joker

Anonymous said...

Mr. Harrelson:

I`d like to thank all what you wrote about Mr. Billy Myles, I'm from Chile (South America) and I work at a Radio Station (week-end we play only Oldies), and there are many people who love and require Billy Myles information. I'm very amazing reading all.

Once again, Thanks for valuable information.

Muchas Gracias,
South America