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!

Friday, October 10, 2008

The Switchblade Kid

Artist: Sal Mineo
Song: Party Time (a-side) (b-side is The Words That I Whisper)
Label: Epic 5-9246
Number: ZSP 42434
Songwriters: J. Sheldon - H. Lane
Time: 2:09
Released: 1957

And now for today's second post featuring Hollywood actors who sing. Sal Mineo also began his formal musical/recording career in 1957, but instead of attempting calypso, he chose (or his managers did) the relatively new genre of rock and roll. It seems to have suited him well, for he had what appears to have been at least three songs that charted.
Everyone knows about his short life and tragic death, (born on January 10th, 1939 – murdered on February 12th, 1976), and his greatest achievements, that of an actor in such memorable films as Rebel Without A Cause (1955), Giant (1956), the Disney adventure Tonka (1958), A Private Affair (1959), The Gene Krupa Story (1959), Exodus (1960), The Longest Day (1962 - also a film in which our other featured artist Robert Mitchum was in), Who Killed Teddy Bear? (1965), Krakatoa, East Of Java (1969), 80 Steps To Jonah (1969), and Escape From The Planet Of The Apes (1971), but what many don't know, he had a short stint as a pop idol, in the late-1950's.
Sal already had a solid acting career when he started putting out records. Before he released his first single, he had appeared in several major productions on Broadway and in films. When he turned to rock roll, his first efforts were equally as successful. In 1957, he released the singles, Start Movin' (In My Direction) and Lasting Love. The former broke into the Top Ten and remained in the Top 40 for more than three months, while the latter hit number 27. He proceeded to release an album through Epic in the U.S. and Philips in Great Britain. His other singles included You Shouldn't Do That, Little Pigeon, Love Affair, and today's song, Party Time.
Now, I'm not saying he had a voice that rivalled Elvis, or the ability to write classic songs such as Buddy Holly, but he did possess a fair amount of likability in his style of singing, and catchy songs seem to have been picked especially for him. You can't help but get into groove of Party Time as he sings about inviting a girlfriend over one night "to play records" at his house while his mother is away. So, if you like early rock and roll and catchy beats, you're sure to enjoy Party Time by Sal Mineo. Start movin' (in the direction) of the handy download link I've provided and make this single part of your lasting collection!

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