September 19, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 80: Tommy Roe ~ 12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)

Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box cover detail
detail photo by Styrous©

In addition to my vinyl LP record collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes as well. This is an entry about one of them that is for sale on eBay (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

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Of the many songs Tommy Roe wrote and performed, my favorite was Sweet Pea. Released in 1966, it reached #1 in Canada, #1 in New Zealand, #7 in Australia, and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. The song was produced by Gary S. Paxton.

I know, it was mindless bubble gum but I was 26, still innocent, foolish and dazzled by the promise of a life of endless opportunities that lay ahead of me. I was still a kid (mentally and emotionally), life was good and the living was easy. Anything was possible and I was in a joyous and frivolous state of mind. In other words, I was temporarily insane. I remember 1966 well as it would mark the end of the easy life. Events would jettison me into reality the following year and I would never regain that innocent frame of mind; I would finally grow up. But that's another story.

Anyway, I loved the song and Sweet Pea was the prime reason I bought the Greatest Hits album when it was released in 1972 but there are other good songs on it as well. 

Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box cover 
photo by Styrous©

Sheila is a throw-back to the 50's, Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly, style and I liked it. I like to think it was done as a tribute to Holly.

Everybody is a song with an infectious, train-beat, shuffle that was made to get everybody on their feet and movin' on the dance floor.

Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous©

The song, Party Girl, was a good moderate speed tune in the Madison dance style. The Madison is a line dance that features a regular back-and-forth pattern. Ricki Lake danced to it (with the whole cast) in the 1988 version of the film, Hairspray
  The basic steps for the Madison are:
  1. Step left forward
  2. Place right beside left (no weight) and clap
  3. Step back on right
  4. Move left foot back and across the right
  5. Move left foot to the left
  6. Move left foot back and across the right
Also in the Madison style was Jam Up and Jelly Tight.

Dizzy was a cute song that had some nice orchestral backing. In 1969, it went to number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, number 1 in Canada, as well as number 1 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. This transatlantic chart-topper sold two million copies by mid-April 1969, giving him his third gold disc award.

Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box back
photos by Styrous©

The Folk Singer actually sounds like a folk song of the period. It is a gentle, mellow song with a chorus backup.

Thomas David "Tommy" Roe was born on May 9, 1942, in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from high school, he landed a job at General Electric soldering wires. When Sheila became a hit, ABC-Paramount Records asked him to go on tour to promote the hit. He was reluctant to give up his job at GE until ABC-Paramount advanced him $5,000. According to Allmusic journalist Bill Dahl, Roe was ". . . widely perceived as one of the archetypal bubblegum artists of the late 1960s."

Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous©

In 1986, Roe was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and his pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.

Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape 
photo by Styrous©

Tommy Roe website

Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape label detail 
detail photo by Styrous©


Side A:

1 - Sheila - 2:00
2 - Everybody - 1:50
3 - The Folk Singer - 2:54
4 - Party Girl - 2:33
5 - Carol - 2:34
6 - Sweet Pea - 2:10

Side B:

1 - Hooray For Hazel - 2:29
2 - It's Now Winter's Day - 3:04
3 - Dizzy - 2:58
4 - Heather Honey - 2:52
5 - Jack And Jill - 2:42
6 - Jam Up and Jelly Tight - 2:23


Producer – Felton Jarvis (tracks: A1 to A5,), Steve Barri (tracks: B3 to B6), Steve Clark (8) (tracks: A6 to B2)

Music on YouTube: 
Party Girl 
Ricki Lake and cast dancing the Madison
Jam Up and Jelly Tight 
The Folk Singer 

Tommy Roe ~ 12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits), reel-to-reel tape, is for sale on eBay 

reel-to-reel tapes on eBay

Here's to my dear, Sweet Pea!

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