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Commander Cody: Hot Rod Lincoln

TDR-Novelty Quickie: HOT ROD LINCOLN, Commander Cody and his Lost Planet Airmen. In 1967 in Ann Arbor, MI, like so many bands that were growing out of a Institutions of Higher Learning, a weird dude named George Frayne assembled a band to play, country, rock 'n' roll, western swing, rockabilly, and jump blues with a foundation of boogie-woogie piano, which he played very well. He took the name Commander Cody from a Movie Serial called "The Lost Planet Airmen."

 

He moved the group to San Francisco, which was a musical paradise at the time and scored a recording contract. About a year later, in 1969, the band released their first album LOST IN THE OZONE which threw off the single HOT ROD LINCOLN, perhaps the only hit the band ever had, and a cover of a song by American singer-songwriter Charlie Ryan, first released in 1955.

 

The song which got heavy radio-play climbed to #9 on the Hot 100 in 1972 and earned a Gold Record, but the rest of the band's product, a plethora of cult albums, never had another hit single. The Commander preferred loud, rowdy Club and Concert dates playing his own kind of music that was described as Country Rock on Acid and other bizarre descriptions.

 

They scored a gig as an opening act for the Grateful Dead, and were well received, which gave them a reputation as a band for the cool kids and crazies. Fun Fact: George Frayne, the Commander Cody character, has totally denied that he burned down the Fraternity House at the University of Michigan after they threw him out...no matter what anyone says.

 

But this piece is about the Hot Rod Lincoln, which the Commander himself did the vocal on, a rapid talking story about about a road race that ended up with him in jail. The location of the video is in a parking lot in a rough area, but the musicianship of the Lost Planet Airmen is worth the time, and the video and audio are prime. Rock On! @therealdonrocks
 

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