Jody Reynolds 1932-2008

          Jody Reynolds died Nov. 7 of liver cancer, I didn’t know him, but I’ve always loved his records on the Demon label. “Endless Sleep” was a huge hit, it’s the all time greatest teen snuff ballad (it can be heard above along with somebody’s homemade video tribute). Jody Reynolds was born in Denver, Colorado and raised outside of Pheonix , Arizona where “Endless Sleep” was cut. After “Endless Sleep” got to #6 on the Billboard chart in ’58  he relocated to California where he cut a handful of great sides for the Demon label (cool looking label too), here’s my favorite:Fire Of Love. You punk rockers might remember the cover versions by the Gun Club and Panther Burns, neither version can touch the original. Here’s the flipside– “Daisy Mae” His back up band the Storms with the great Al Casey on guitar and/or six string bass are featured on this instrumental– “Thunder” b/w “Tarantula” which came out on the Indigo label. Al Casey   All seven Demon 45’s are Reynolds originals and all of them are good. I’d like to add some of his other tunes like “Tight Capris” (which was on the first tape Quine ever made for me, see Oct. Quine posting), “Beaulah Lee”, “Whipping Post” and “The Storm” but as I’ve mentioned before I don’t have a turntable with USB plugs at the moment and I only have his records on 45’s not CD. Bear Family did a complete Jody Reynolds CD a few years back and it’s well worth buying. Here’s R&B singer Jimmy Witherspoon’s cover of “Endless Sleep“. A rare example of the reverse of the trend at the time of white singers covering black originals. This time it’s the white original that is superior but Witherspoon’s version is still pretty cool. Reynolds last record was a duet wit Bobbie “Ode To Billy Joe” Gentry called “Stranger In The Mirror”. Dying is usually a good career move but in Reynolds case I doubt it’ll do him much good.  

3 thoughts on “Jody Reynolds 1932-2008”

  1. “Tight Capris” has been in steady rotation here at KBOB lately. My first exposure to it came via the Gibson Brothers’ version, from that LP with the funny Olan Mills portrait of the band on the jacket, “Dedicated Fool.” (Weirdly, they didn’t credit Jody Reynolds for it either.) Theirs is good, but can’t touch the great, lazy chuggin rhythm guitar in the original, like watchin’ a girl walk down the street in her tight capris.

  2. Yeah, I agree, I think that sound, which was also the secret of Ritchie Valens genius is a six string bass chuggin’ away and a Fender playin’ lead, in Valens case there’s also a string bass. On the Jody Reynolds records (and on some Sanford Clark sides w/Al Casey) it’s a Tele over the six string, on Valens it was Ritchie’s strat (and Rene Hall on the six string).


Spit it out, partner...

%d bloggers like this: