Back in College days I hung with another aspiring Disc Jockey, Jim Everts from Buffalo. We spent a lot of time in the college studios practicing the disc jockey arts, including talking records up to the post (beginning of vocal), something many listeners would later hate. Anyway one day Jim told me he had found his DJ Name but it was a secret to keep some other jock from stealing it. He would be called, JIM DANDY. Then he played LaVern Baker's (Delores Evans-Chicago born) record: "Jim Dandy To The Rescue."
There's a recurring chant, "Go Jim Dandy, Go,' that he planned on pulling and using as a personal I.D. jingle. Ms Baker was an R&B singer who crossed over to the Pop Charts several times, including "Tweedle Dee," in 1955, which was covered note by note and made a #1 Pop hit by the White Songstress Georgia Gibbs and, "I Cried A Tear," in 1958; but it was in 1957 that she released, 'Jim Dandy,' which went #1 R&B and #17 Pop, selling over a million copies and going Solid Gold.
Just listening to her you can feel Rock and Roll emerging from the black womb. Jim and I went different directions and lost track for a few years, but we'd see a bit on either one of us in Billboard and remake contact. He ended up at WDGY AM in Minneapolis and became, " Diamond Jim Dandy;" like me an Early Evening Rocker.
Whether he was kept from using Jim Dandy by another Jock using the name, or maybe got a Cease and Desist from the Record Company I don't know, but it was a great name and song. Fun Fact: LaVern Baker married Slappy White in 1959. We're thrilled with what's happening with the old videos, many are being rejuvenated with Jacked Up picture and sound, and this one from the late 50's has been well done. A couple of things to look for: Ms Baker was not used to Lip-Synching and missed the opening, and the kids on the dancing show were all dressed up in Coats, Tie and Dresses. It was a very different time. @therealdonrocks
A version of this post originally appeared on The Don Rocks Facebook page. For more stories like these every day, join us on Facebook and Twitter.