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Saturday, 15 August 2015

Bobby Helms born 15 August 1933


Robert Lee Helms (August 15, 1933 – June 19, 1997), known professionally as Bobby Helms, was an American country music singer who enjoyed his peak success in 1957 with the seasonal hit "Jingle Bell Rock". His other hits include "Fraulein" and "My Special Angel". 

Born on August 15, 1933, in Bloomington, IN, Helms first performed on his father Fred's Monroe County Jamboree, singing while brother Freddie played guitar. The Helms Brothers, as they were billed, became a regional attraction. Bobby later cut a single called "Tennessee Rock and Roll," but then returned to Bloomington to appear on the Hayloft Frolic television show. While on the program, he was encouraged to go to Nashville to sing background vocals on an Ernest Tubb session. 

Tubb recommended him to Decca Records, and the label signed him in 1956. His debut single, "Fraulein," initially flopped in January 1957 but then hit number one on the country chart in April. (The song also hit the pop Top 40 in July of 1957.) In October, Helms released another number one, "My Special Angel," which
also hit No. 1 on the country charts and entered the Top 10 on Billboard's pop music chart, peaking at No. 7. 
 
 



Released in the very late fall of 1957, his song "Jingle Bell Rock" was a big hit and was being played and danced to on Dick Clark's teen dance show "American Bandstand" by Mid-December of that year. It also re-emerged in four out of the next five years, and sold so well that it repeated each time as a top hit, and became a Christmas classic still played to this day. It took five years for the song to become a second million-seller for Helms. It reached No. 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 and spent 21 weeks in the chart. The record gained gold disc status. Accounts that Helms wrote and recorded the song with Hank Garland seem to be apocryphal -ASCAP and Allmusic list the writers of the song as Joseph Beal, Joseph Carlton, James Ross and James Boothe. 
 
Another record by Helms was "Schoolboy Crush", which was a hit in the UK. It was released in the USA on June 23, 1958 on Decca. The same song was then covered by UK teen star Cliff Richard about the same time as the UK release. 

Helms continued touring and recording for the next three decades. He recorded two albums for Kapp in 1966, I'm the Man and Sorry My Name Isn't Fred -- a nod either to brother Freddie or father Fred. Two years later, he released All New Just for You on the Little Darlin' label. Several singles placed modestly on the country charts during 1967-1968, including "He Thought He'd Die Laughing" and "So Long." The 1970 Certron single "Mary Goes 'Round" was his last hit, but Helms recorded Pop-a-Billy for MCA as late as 1983. 

Helms began wearing an eye patch in the 1970s, citing a condition that began with an ulcerated cornea when he was an adolescent. "When I first started performing, the bright lights were terrible,” he told The Indianapolis Star in 1996.

“I should have worn a patch then. Finally, I couldn't see out of it anymore." 

Helms spent most of his later years living just outside of Martinsville, Indiana, until his death from emphysema and asthma at the age of 63 in 1997.

 
His manager, Joe Kleiman, indicated in one article of his passing that in some of Bobby's last performances onstage, he took along his oxygen tank and still 'sang like dynamite'.  His pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame. (Info edited from AMG & Wikipedia)
 

2 comments:

boppinbob said...

For Bobby Helms - Fraulein - The Classic Years (2CD Set) go here:

http://www.speedyshare.com/file/rSYsz/BobHel-FTCY-CD1-1992.rar

http://www.speedyshare.com/file/3CaJu/BobHel-FTCY-CD2-1992.rar

Track List CD1:
01 - Tennessee Rock 'N' Roll (1956)
02 - I Need To Know Now (1983)
03 - I Don't Owe You Nothing (1956)
04 - Sowin' Teardrops (1983)
05 - (Got A) Heartsick Feeling (1957)
06 - Far Away Heart (1957)
07 - Just A Little Lonesome (1957)
08 - Theres A Fool Such As I (1957)
09 - I'm Leaving Now (1957)
10 - Tonight's The Night (1957)
11 - Jingle Bell Rock (1957)
12 - Captain Santa Claus (1957)
13 - No Other Baby (1959)
14 - Standing At The End Of My World (1957)
15 - My Shoes Keep Walking Back To You (1957)
16 - New River Train (1959)
17 - A Hundred Hearts (1958)
18 - Hurry Baby (1959)
19 - Sad Eyed Baby (1961)
20 - Someone Was Already There (1960)
21 - To My Sorrow (1960)
22 - Lonely River Rhine (1960)
23 - Then Came You (1962)
24 - Just Between Old Sweethearts (1992)
25 - I Can't Take It Like You Can (1992)
26 - My Greatest Weakness (1961)
27 - Yesterday's Champagne (1992)
28 - Yesterday's Lovin' (1955)
29 - Hangin' Around (1955)
30 - Freedom Lovin' Guy (1955)
31 - I've Never Seen Anyone (1955)

CD2
01 - Fraulein (1957)
02 - Most Of The Time (1957)
03 - My Special Angel (1957)
04 - Just A Little Lonesome (1958)
05 - The Magic Song (1957)
06 - Sugar Moon (1957)
07 - Schoolboy Crush (1958)
08 - If I Only Knew (1957)
09 - Love My Lady (1958)
10 - Plaything (1957)
11 - Jacqueline (1958)
12 - Living In The Shadows Of The Past (1959)
13 - Forget About Him (1992)
14 - I Guess I'll Miss The Prom (1959)
15 - Miss Memory (1959)
16 - Soon It Can Be Told (1959)
17 - The Fool And The Angel (1958)
18 - Someone For Everyone (1992)
19 - Yesterday's Champagne (1962)
20 - Lonely River Rhine (1992)
21 - How Can You Divide A Little Child (1961)
22 - Borrowed Dreams (1958)
23 - You're The One (1961)
24 - I Want To Be With You (1960)
25 - You're No Longer Mine (1959)
26 - My Lucky Day (1959)
27 - Let Me Be The One (1960)
28 - Guess We Thought The World Would End (1960)
29 - Teach Me (1992)
30 - One Deep Love (1962)
31 - Once In A Lifetime (1962)

A big thank you to TJ’s House of Country Music for links.

boppinbob said...

Artwork here: http://coverlib.com/entry/id366989/bobby-helms-fraulein-the-classic-years