Jeff Daniels: Switch Blade Sam (1959)

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Jeff Daniels: Switch Blade Sam (1959)

Rock'n'roll might have celebrated cars, dating, high school, the dance and other teenage concerns, but it also celebrated itself.

Chief among those cheerleaders was Chuck Berry with songs like School Days (“hail hail rock'n'roll, deliver me from the days of old”), Roll Over Beethoven (“and dig these rhythm'n'blues”), Rock and Roll Music (“it's got a backbeat you can lose it”) and Sweet Little Sixteen ('cause they'll be rockin' on Bandstand, Pittsburg PA”) and many more.

You don't have to know too much about Fifties rock'n'roll to hear just how many musical and lyrical references Jeff Daniels out of Mississippi managed to get into Switch Blade Sam on the Big Howdy label.

He'd met and been inspired by Hank Williams early in his career but moved into the more commercially viable rockabilly sound during which time he recorded at Sun in Memphis which ended badly (he expected to be paid for the session) and so he headed off to Big Howdy for a while and recorded this song in Biloxi.

He'd been born Luke McDaniel and his Jeff Daniels career didn't take off he reverted to his original name . . but again not much happened and he died in '92 age 65.

His was a small legacy but this original song – recorded when he was in is early Thirties, unfashionably old for rock'n'roll – at least has the virtue of being fun.

For more oddities, one-offs or songs with an interesting backstory check the massive back-catalogue at From the Vaults.

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