Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Jody Reynolds born 3 December 1932

Jody Reynolds (born Ralph Joseph Reynolds on December 3, 1932, Denver, Colorado, died November 7, 2008 in Palm Desert, California, aged 75) was an American singer and guitarist. He was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1999. 

"Jody" moved to Oklahoma with his family as a child and grew up there. He listened to music on the radio from artists such as Eddy Arnold and Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. As a teenager he learned to play the guitar and began to write songs, and in the 50's Reynolds formed a rockabilly band called the Storms. In the mid-50's artists such as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins came along, and Jody Reynolds liked what he heard from them. 

One day in 1956 Jody was performing in Yuma, Arizona with his band and during a break he wrote a song that he titled Endless Sleep. It was a song with a haunting melody and shadowy lyrics. They performed the song later that day and it received a good reception. Reynolds told the Phoenix New Times in 2001 that he wrote "Endless Sleep" right after listening to Elvis Presley's "Heartbreak Hotel" five times in a row on a jukebox. He loved the desolate quality of the story and Presley's vocal, and came up with an even darker tale, about a boy in search of his girlfriend after they had a fight. 
Two years went by and Reynolds had moved on to San Diego, where he became acquainted with a music publisher from Los Angeles named Herb Montei. Reynolds submitted a number of demo records to Montei, who had little interest in them until he heard Endless Sleep. Montei forwarded the demo to Demon Records, and arrangements were made for a recording session. Endless Sleep became a huge hit nationally in the summer of 1958 for Jody Reynolds, and it ascended into the top ten. Writing credits for the song went to Jody Reynolds and Dolores Nance; according to Jody, Nance is a fictitious person created by the record company to make him appear to be part of a song writing duo. 

Reynolds was now a star, if only for the time being, and made appearances in some of the Alan Freed shows in New York as well as those of  Dick Clark. Endless Sleep was on the leading edge of what came to be known as the teenage disaster songs, a wave that included Mark Dinning's Teen Angel, Ray Peterson's Tell Laura I Love Her, and Dickey Lee's Patches, even though a careful listener will hear a happy ending to Endless Sleep. Reynolds followed up later in 1958 with a lesser hit, Fire of Love. They were to be his only two hits in the United States, although Marty Wilde would sell many copies of his own recording of Endless Sleep in England a short time later. In the years to come the song would be recorded by a number of other artists, including Hank Williams, Jr. and John Fogerty. 

Jody Reynolds continued writing songs and performing with the Storms throughout the 60's. He also continued to tour and record into the 1970’s for several labels including Smash, Brent and Pulsar Records. He moved to Palm Springs, California and pursued a variety of interests. His old friend Alan Freed moved to Palm Springs and the two travelled to Phoenix where Freed produced Reynolds' record Raggedy Ann. 

Reynolds retained his interest in song writing and recording. He set up a small recording studio in his home in Palm Springs. He also worked as a real estate agent in La Quinta, as well as occasionally touring the rock oldies circuit. His final appearance was at a benefit show in 2007 for the firemen who fought the Fallbrook and San Diego fires.  
Jody Reynolds suffered from cancer of the liver and a malignant brain tumour and passed away on November 7, 2008 in Palm Desert, California. In the history of pop rock music, Jody will always be remembered as "The King of Teardrop Rock.” (Info edited mainly from Tom Simon)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For Endless ... The Legendary Jody Reynolds go here:

01 Feel So Good
02 Devil Girl
03 Crazy 'Bout My Old Lifestyle
04 Night Girl
05 Runaway Heart
06 Makin' Out - with Plas Johnson
07 Endless Sleep
08 Ode To Love - with Bobbie Gentry
09 Tennessee Woman
10 All Washed Up
11 Sihouettes
12 That's OK Mama
13 Stranger In The Mirror - Bobbie Gentry
14 Two Of A Kind
15 Kisses In The Rain
16 Out Of Nowhere - with Jimmy Bryant & Les Paul
17 Fire Fingers - with Jimmy Bryant & Les Paul
18 Golden Idol
19 Shot Down
20 Thunder - Jody Reynolds & The Storms
21 I Got A Woman
22 I Wanna Be With You Tonight
23 Dark Side Of The Moon
24 Molly Darlin'
25 Tight Capris
26 Tarantula
27 Come On Twist

01 Beula Lee
02 Catapillar Crawl
03 Stranger Called The Blues
04 Rockabilly Man
05 Daisy Mae
06 Robbin' The Cradle
07 Somewhere In Between
08 Can't Help Falling In Love
09 Fire Of Love
10 Don't
11 Baby Come On Home
12 Devil Moon, Angel Eyes
13 Maria Of New Mexico
14 Someday Is Here
15 Blue Russian Nights
16 Boot Heel Drag
17 You're A Heartbreaker
18 My Baby's Eyes
19 If That Old Jukebox Could Talk
20 Bobby Love's Swingtime Band
21 Shake The Bacon
22 No More Mr. Nice Guy
23 My Baby's Got Something
24 Dreamin' My Way Back Home
25 Bayou Boogie
26 Yesterday & Today