Thursday, December 9, 2010


Side 3 of 4 (Record 2)

Ain't That a Shame: Fats Domino (2:31)
The use of "AIN'T THAT A SHAME" in the film works to comment on the fact that Curt is being shanghaied by a group of gang members called the Pharaohs. As he sits in the backseat of their car he swivels and watches through the window as the girl in the T-bird, whom he's been chasing all night, passes in the opposite direction. Curt shakes his head.  Of all the times to be trapped in a car with the Pharaohs.  Fats (Antoine Domino), who originally recorded this tune, had a string of his own R&B hits in the early 1950s, before finally crossing over into the pop charts with "AIN'T THAT A SHAME."  Fats and manager Dave Batholomew wrote the 1955 hit.  The song reached number 10 while white artist Pat Boone released his own version, which reached number one.  The song established both artists as popular music figures. Like all his records, Domino accompanied his voice with his rockin' piano playing on "AIN'T THAT A SHAME." His popularity continued as he released an unprecedented series of 35 Top 40 singles up until the early 1960s, with tunes such as "I'm Walkin'," "Blue Monday", and "Blueberry Hill."  Strangely, there are two alternating versions of "AIN'T THAT A SHAME" that have appeared on the Graffiti soundtrack throughout the years.  They are exactly the same except one version has back-up singers added onto the recording.
Johnny B. Goode: Chuck Berry (2:38)
John Lennon was once quoted as saying, "If you tried to give rock and roll another name, you might call it Chuck Berry." Epitomizing the very essence of early rock and roll, Berry melded blues, country, and a witty, rebellious teen outlook into songs that influenced virtually every rock musician who followed him. The 1958 tune, "Johnny B. Goode" is a semi-autobiographical tale and contains all the elements of a typical Chuck Berry song: The chugging rhythm guitar over a 12-bar blues form, the exciting intro and his distinctive rowdy soloing style. This song can be heard in the film as Carol (Mackenzie Phillips) and Milner (Paul Lemat) vandalize a car full of screaming girls.  Chuck Berry encourages them wailing, "Go, Go!" as Carol covers all the windows with foamy shaving cream and Milner pulls out the valve stems from the tires, sinking the car.

I Only Have Eyes for You: The Flamingos (3:09)
The Flamingos struck gold when they released their version of Eddy Duchin's 1934 recording, "I Only Have Eyes For You."  The Flamingos' version is a spectacular ballad with Nate Nelson's sweet vocals and Terry Johnson's elegant falsetto floating over a bed of echoing harmonies.  Released in the spring of 1957, by summer the heavenly song had become a national hit.

Get A  Job: The Silhouettes (2:37)
In Graffiti  GET A JOB can be heard as The Pharaohs stop at the miniature golf course to steal money from the pinball machines. If one of the gang members could "get a job" they wouldn't have to steal money to pay for gas.  The Silhouettes who originally recorded this song were a gospel group that was forced to sing secular music in order to make a living.
The Pharaohs hard at work.
When the group sang in church every Sunday they called themselves the Gospel Tornadoes but during the rest of the week when singing in night clubs they were known as the Thunderbirds.    They were discovered by a local Philadelphia disc jockey named Kae Williams who also owned Junior records.  He liked their style and signed them.  Before they recorded their first single they were renamed The Silhouettes.  Released in December 1957, the A side, of their single, "I Am Lonely" was a pop blues ballad that received some local airplay, however when other jocks started flipping it, the wild "Get A Job" spread like wildfire and was soon heard piercing out of radios everywhere.  Within 3 weeks, "Get A Job" had sold a million copies.

The Five Satins
To The Aisle: The Five Satins (2:44)
One of the band's hits, "To the Aisle" was recorded while its founding member; Fred Paris was stationed in Japan. The record company, Ember was anxious to keep the group’s name in the public’s awareness so they hired Billy Baker to sing lead and go on tour with the group.  The new lineup recorded Billy Dawn Smith’s ballad, "To the Aisle." The tune was released in July of 1957 and instantly became another 5 Satins classic.

Do You Wanna Dance: 
Bobby Freeman (2:35)
The San Francisco performer, Bobby Freeman was only seventeen when he scored his first big hit, "Do You Wanna Dance" in 1957.  As on all of his songs, Freeman plays rousing organ/piano mixing bits of soul and rock together to create an upbeat party sound.  A great live performer, he always kept his audience engaged with his energetic dancing and overall charismatic stage presence.  Freeman enjoyed two other hits in 1957 on the Josie label, "Betty Lou Got a New Pair of Shoes" and "Need Your Love." 

Buddy Knox
Party Doll: Buddy Knox (1:54)
A Texas native, Buddy Wayne Knox was one of the first (if not THE first) artists of the rock era to write and play his own number one song. And, it all happened very quickly. Backstage after a show at WTSC with Roy Orbison and the Teen Kings, Knox began talking with the band. Orbison told him about a recording studio in Clovis New Mexico. A few days later Knox, along with his two band mates, known as the Rhythm Orchids, found themselves at Norman Petty's studio in Clovis, New Mexico. For the $60 they had in their pockets, they spent three days recording three songs that would change their lives forever. Knox received two gold records in 1957 from that 3-day session; "Party Doll" written and sung by Knox and "I'm Sticking with You" sung by Jimmy Bowen and co-written with Knox.

 Come Go With Me: The Del-Vikings(2:37)
One of the memorable points in this Del Vikings tune is right after the group sings, "YOU NEVER GIVE ME A CHANCE," the music stops for a beat while one of the singers, cries out, "AHHHHH!"  The cool Doo wop song is played in the film when, as the result of a prank, the rear axle is ripped from the cop car as it bucks up, and then slides into the street.  To learn how this stunt was done check out our page: YANKING YOUR CHAIN. When the members of group recorded this song they had no idea it would be used in a major motion picture 16 years later.  Originally The Del-Vikings were all members of the US Air Force who formed the group in 1955 at their social club in Pittsburgh, Ohio. A year later the group recorded some original songs in a downtown Pittsburgh makeshift studio for Fee Bee records.  Two of the songs were released as the group's first single.  During the second week of 1957," HOW CAN I FIND TRUE" was released with "COME & GO WITH ME" on the flip side. The popularity of the song began to spread. Eventually, there was such a demand for the record that Fee Bee records couldn’t handle the orders and Dot records was hired to distribute the song nationally. Dot released "Come Go With Me" in the first week of February. Strong demand for the record saw it appear on the national charts within a week.
The Del-Vikings were all members of the US Air Force

Johnny Burnette
You're Sixteen-You're Beautiful 
(And You're Mine): Johnny Burnette (1:56)
Johnny and his brother Dorsey were part of a mid-50s rockabilly act before moving to LA where they cowrote several songs for Ricky Nelson and others.  Johnny went solo in 1958 and signed on with Liberty records.  He changed his image by appearing clean cut and making his music a bit softer. He enjoyed teen idol status with self-penned, back to back hits including 'DREAMIN,'" "LITTLE BOY SAD," and "YOUR'E SIXTEEN," which became a hit in November 1961.  The single sold millions and peaked at number eight, becoming the largest selling record of his career.

Love Potion No. 9: The Clovers (1:53)
Hailing from Washington D.C., the Clovers were one of the most successful rhythm and blues vocal groups of the 1950s.  By combining blues and gospel they created blues with a beat.  By mid-1957 the band had 19 hits and was hoping to put a record on the pop listings.  They met that challenge in June 1956 when their song "Love, Love, Love" made it to number 30.  Unfortunately, the significant appearance of  "Love" in the pop charts marked the beginning of The Clover's commercial decline.  Their hit record streak was in a slump in 1959 when Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, wrote a song for the group titled "Love Potion # 9." It was the groups most successful single in the pop charts reaching number 23.  Unfortunately, it was the last major hit for the band and marked the end of their commercial success.


-Bobby Freeman.
-Buddy Knox .com Official website.
-Flash Cadillac Website.
-Geez, Big. Retro Redux. Buddy Knox vs. Buddy Holly.
-George-Warren, Holly (Ed) The Rolling Stone Encyclopedia of Rock & Roll Fireside. New York.  2005
-Warner, Jay American Singing Groups Hal Leonard Corp. Milwaukee. 2006

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