Monday, 30 April 2018

Bob Jaxon born 30 April 1930

Bob Jaxon (born Robert Jackson 30th April 1930, New York City, New York was a Rock & Roll and Rockabilly singer. Bob Jaxon made some mighty fine teen rock 'n' roll during a recording career that spanned from 1955 through to the mid-sixties but, up to now, has been unjustifiably overlooked.  

Robert Jackson was educated at the P.S. 90 & Taft High School. He joined the US Army and saw active service in the Korean War. Somewhat amusingly, he stated out as a tank gunner but ended up as a cook. It was during this time that he started to entertain his buddies with his singing and this wetted his appetitive for a post army show business career.  

Upon being discharged in 1952, he adopted the stage name of Bob Jaxon and made his national television debut on the Georgia Gibbs NBC Show on 22nd July 1952. It was with contacts developed from this appearance that he managed to secure a recording contract with Archie Bleyer's Cadence Records in 1955.

Jaxon's release for the label was 'Why Does A Woman Cry/Ali Baba' which, in all honesty, is typical sterile fifties pop music. The record must have made some waves as it saw a release in Great Britain on the London American label in August 1955 and was also covered by Kitty White on Mercury Records.

Jaxon was astute enough to ensure that his recording contract stipulated that he could record his own compositions. However, with this record failing to achieve national success, Bob determined that to make the big time, he had to board the rock 'n' roll train that was coming out of the sidings on to the main line of American consciousness. After all, he was still young enough to identify with this new wave of music that was sweeping across the country and thus gain street credibility. As a native New Yorker, it was relatively easier for him to knock at the doors of the big record companies based in the Big Apple. And what better company was there to call upon than that that had the hottest property (namely Elvis Aron Presley) than RCA Victor Records?  

He secured a contract with the label and whilst he never became a second Elvis, never even coming close, it is an indisputable fact that with the three discs issued for RCA, Jaxon laid down some excellent teen fifties rock 'n' roll music. At his first recording session for the company, three tracks were laid down with the musical accompaniment being provided by the Jesse Stone orchestra. From these, 'Beach Party' and 'I'm Hanging Around' were culled for release around June 1957. Also in August 1957, the novelty song '(Gotta Have Something In The) Bank Frank' was issued . The flipside, 'Come On Down' is a very tasty piece of rockin' music.  

For his third RCA release, recorded in late 1957, Jaxon laid down 'Declaration Of Love/I'm Hurtin' Inside'  but again this was a commercial failure as whereas the next singles issued in 1958. Without a hit, RCA declined to renew Jaxon's contract and so he was back on the streets seeking a new deal. These efforts came to fruition in mid 1959 when he signed with the American arm of the British record company Top Rank. However, there was a name change to Bobby Jack with the release 'Tempting Me/Early Morning'. This disc was also issued in the UK.  

From here-on, it was a series of label hops. In late 1959, Bob signed with Sherman Edward's New York based Joy label and reverting back to the name of Bob Jaxon, saw a solitary release with 'The Gift (Of You)/The End Of The World' in February 1960. After this record went nowhere chart wise, there ensued a lull in his
recording career until he signed with ABC Paramount Records in mid 1962. In January 1963, Bob parted with 20th Century Fox Records. Effectively this was the termination of his recording career, apart from a release later in the sixties under the name of The Bob Jaxon Band on the Big Name label. Whilst it bore grandiose nomenclature, this was in fact a small company with limited distribution. 

Whilst pursing a recording career, Bob played dates in and around New York City at bars, clubs, functions and dances. He built up a solid reputation as a good musician and was in constant demand for live appearances. Whilst it has not been possible to establish his current whereabouts, it is beyond doubt that Jaxon's musical legacy, despite being a small imprint in the encyclopaedia of rock 'n' roll, is nevertheless an important (and above all) entertaining chapter of musical history. 

(Info edited from an article by Klaus Kettner & Tony Wilkinson)

1 comment:

boppinbob said...

For “Bob Jaxon - On A Rockin' Beach Party” go here:

1. Beach Party
2. All About Me
3. I'm Hangin' Around
4. I'm Hurtin' Inside
5. Me Please Me
6. For The Love Of You
7. Come On Down
8. Declaration Of Love
9. Gotta Have Something In The Bank Frank
10. Tempting Me
11. Well It's No Lie
12. It's A Cruel Cruel Thing
13. One Way To Love Me
14. Why Does A Woman Cry
15. Ali Baba
16. The Gift
17. The End Of The World
18. Do The People
19. Early Mornin'
20. Weep Mary Weep
21. Cajun Sax Man
22. Haunted Mind

A big thank you to Mijas @ ACM2 blog for original post.