Dinah Lee: He Can't Do the Blue Beat (1965)

 |   |  1 min read

Dinah Lee: He Can't Do the Blue Beat (1965)

Answer songs or cash-ins were very common in the late Fifties and early Sixties (after success of The Twist it was time for Let's Twist Again etc) and the great and gutsy New Zealand singer Dinah Lee recorded this song -- penned and arranged by Mike Perjanick -- to keep the momentum going after her huge success with the single Do The Blue Beat in '64.

That song had followed her excellent Don't You Know Yockomo and Reet Petite (the flipside of that latter was a Beatlemania tie-in which you can hear here) but it was the one that took her high on the Australian charts. It was also released as a B-side to her single You Don't Talk About Love in the US but neither song did anything, depite her appearing on the television pop show Shindig.

He Can't Do the Blue Beat also appeared on her second album The Sound of Dinah Lee and the tracklisting showed not only what a versatile singer she could be (which was perhaps the point), but also the problem her record company and management had in finding the right material for her.

She covered familiar belters like Twist and Shout, and the Ray Charles song Shout which was in Lulu's repertoire, but then there was the gimmicky He Can't Do The Blue Beat alongside the jazz-blues of Long Way from St Louis, the Lennon-McCartney ballad It's For You which had been sung by Cilla Black and some ordinary pop material (What Kind of Love of This which didn't suit her upbeat style, better represented by the more rocking What Did He Say and Buddy Holly's Oh Boy).

This was an interesting period for pop because the British Invasion of '64 had suddenly changed the co-ordinates . . . but if the artists wanted to follow sometimes their management was more conservative.

Dinah Lee -- like Cilla, Lulu, Tom Jones and others in the UK, and Mr Lee Grant and others on home turf -- steered an uneven course between the pop-rock of their peers and the old-school "all round family entertainer" style of the earlier Sixties. 

For more one-off or unusual songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.

Share It

Your Comments

post a comment

More from this section   From the Vaults articles index

David Peel and the Lower East Side: Up Against The Wall (1968)

David Peel and the Lower East Side: Up Against The Wall (1968)

New York's David Peel was living proof of the adage, "It isn't what you know, it's who you know". And how you could milk that association -- however brief -- for all it's worth. He... > Read more

Bruce Springsteen: You're Missing (2002)

Bruce Springsteen: You're Missing (2002)

On the 10th anniversary of 9/11 there are the inevitable think-pieces and essays on how the world was changed by that astonishing act of terrorism. Do people in the West feel more safe for the... > Read more

Elsewhere at Elsewhere

The Gary Burton Quintet: Dreams So Real (ECM/Ode)

The Gary Burton Quintet: Dreams So Real (ECM/Ode)

Another in the on-going series of mid-price reissue of ECM albums from the vaults, this recording of material by Carla Bley comes from 1976, and vibes player Burton with a band of luminaries who... > Read more

Jack Landy: Lost and Found (independent release)

Jack Landy: Lost and Found (independent release)

If we were allowed to use big words like "peripatetic" here at Elsewhere we'd certainly use it about world traveler, musical itinerant, busker and on-the-road singer-songwriter Landy,... > Read more