Tuesday, June 10, 2014

West Virginia: Rockin' Roll Baby

Day Three of our look at songs about West Virginia takes us back to the fall of 1973 with The Stylistics’ “Rockin’ Roll Baby.” I was a college freshman when I first heard this recording. It was just after we had a guest speaker on campus from Bluefield, West Virginia.

When I heard this song, I pointed it out to a friend of mine that this new song mentioned Bluefield, but he discounted it thinking that I had mistaken what was said due to our recent guest. He was wrong, as the lyrics declare that the “Rockin’ Roll Baby” was “born in a theater in Bluefield, West Virginia.”

This example of the Philadelphia soul sound was penned by producer Thom Bell and his writing partner “Linda Creed.” “Rockin’ Roll Baby” was a triple chart hit, but its performance on the adult contemporary chart didn’t do as well, as it only charted at #44. On the Hot 100, it peaked at #14, but its best performance was on the R&B charts where it finished at #3.

No comments:

Post a Comment