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Bobby Goldsboro (The Webs), “Dizzy Boy” (1959)
from Today’s Scene!
Pickwick RPM 0102

I suspect a fairly comprehensive history of larceny and the role of organized crime in the music business could be told through no-name compilations like Today’s Scene!: the tilted contracts, the stolen copyrights, the disappearing masters. But then, as some wise person once said, “God invented the music business to make the movie business look ethical.”

This one—“produced for General Electric by PIckwick International,” meaning perhaps that it was a freebie when you purchased a refrigerator or  stereo (or hi fi!)—plays a little fast and loose with the details. “Annabelle” is not, in fact, a song by Simon and Garfunkel but rather “Anna Belle,” a nice doo-woppy tune from 1959 by a solo Paul Simon performing as Jerry Landis. Why lie when it’s a giveaway anyway?

“Dizzy Boy” was the first release of Bobby Goldsboro’s career, but it was recorded for Heart Records in 1961 by his band the Webs and was a local hit in their Alabama stomping grounds. This was before they became Roy Orbison’s backing band and while they still wore all-black outfits and had a spider’s web graphic on the drum. For anyone who thought the naked emotionalism of Goldsboro’s biggest hit, “Honey,” was an anomaly, “Dizzy Boy” proves it was there from the start. Indeed, the low-fi, just-barely-beyond-amateur tenor of the record makes it seem even more vulnerable a performance. It also features the cheapest guitar sound this side of Big Brother and the Holding Company—though to be fair, what the guitar is doing is pretty nifty, especially for 1961.

A hit like “Honey” can make a career, but it can also distort one, can make an artist seem one dimensional. Imagine my surprise, then when, digging through his past, I discovered this latter day Goldsboro hit. It’s no less naked or emotional than “Honey” or “Dizzy Boy,” but it‘s more subtle and all the more effective for it:

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