SECOND HELPINGS-SEQUELS TO THE SONGS THAT LEFT ‘EM HUNGRY FOR MORE.

SECOND HELPINGS-SEQUELS TO THE SONGS THAT LEFT ‘EM HUNGRY FOR MORE.

Nowadays, people take for granted sequels in the film industry. Most movie goers will remember the sequels to Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring and Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone. However, who remembers the sequels to Carrie, The Birds, The Blair Witch Project, The Rocky Horror Picture Show, 2001: A Space Odyssey or The Sting? Creating these sequels was never going to be easy. 

Many of the original films were classics. They were released to widespread critical acclaim and commercial success. Often, the sequel was an afterthought. Someone, somewhere, in Hollywood hit on the idea of a sequel to The Birds or The Sting. So, a script was commissioned, a multitalented case and a top director and producer hired. The film was shot, and then released in a blaze of publicity. Sadly, lightning didn’t strike twice. Neither the sequel to The Birds nor The Sting matched the commercial success and critical acclaim of the original film. However, it’s not just the film industry where sequels were popular.

Far from it. For a while, sequels were popular within the music industry. Often, after enjoying a hit single, someone within the record company hit upon the idea of a sequel. They decided that the sequel should tell the listener “what happened next.” So, sequels to Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue, The Marvelettes’ Mr Postman, The Shirelles’ Soldier Boy, Paul Anka’s Diana and Booker T. and The MG’s Green Onions were released. They all feature on Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More, which was recently released by Ace Records.

Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More features twenty-four tracks. Some of the tracks will be familiar to most people. This includes Buddy Holly With The Fireballs, The Marvelettes, The Shirelles, Jan and Dean, Marty Robbins, Paul Anka and Booker T. and The MG’s. Then there’s contributions from Wanda Jackson, Jay and The Americans, Jimmy Dean, Claudine Clark, Robin Ward and Robin Ward. While many people will be familiar with many of these artists, they may not be aware of these sequels. So, now is the perfect opportunity to rediscover these tracks, as I choose the highlights from Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More.

Opening Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More, is Buddy Holly With The Fireballs’ followup to Peggy Sue, Peggy Sue Got Married. Buddy Holly had enjoyed a hit with Peggy Sue in 1957. Two years later, after Buddy’s death, his record company Coral released Peggy Sue Got Married. This version was never intended to be released as a single. It was merely a demo, or as Buddy saw it, work-in-progress. However, in 1964, the story takes a twist. 

Producer, Jack Hansen decided to “beef up” Peggy Sue Got Married. He brought onboard backing musicians, while Jack added backing vocals. This was Jack’s way of trying replicate The Crickets. That wasn’t the end of the story,

Later in 1964, Buddy Holly’s original producer Norman Petty also decided to “beef up” Peggy Sue Got Married. He added backing vocals and brought onboard The Fireballs. They’re job was to try and replicate the sound of The Crickets. Their version featured on a posthumously released album released on Coral in 1966. Nearly fifty years later, and Buddy Holly With The Fireballs’ version of Peggy Sue Got Married features on Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More; and shows just what the track might well have become, if Buddy Holly had lived.

It’s a case of from one great to another. George Jones was once regarded as “the greatest living country singer.” During his career, he bravely fought alcoholism. So, it’s somewhat ironic that in 1959, George enjoyed a number one country single with White Lightning, which celebrates moonshine. Three years later, George returned with the followup, Root Beer. It featured on George’s 1962 album for United Artists Records, The New Favourites Of George Jones. George literally vamps his way through the track, adopting the role of The Crown Prince Of Country Music, which was the title of his 1960 album.

Slim Harpo set the bar high when he released his debut single King Bee, in 1957. It was released on Excello, and became on oft-covered blues classic. Nine years later, and Slim released his sophomore album Baby Scratch My Back. One of the tracks on Baby Scratch My Back, was Little Queen Bee (Got A Brand New King). This was Slim’s long-awaited sequel to King Bee.  Little Queen Bee (Got A Brand New King) doesn’t disappoint, and showcases the considerable talents of Slim Harpo, the former “Harmonica Slim.” 

The Crests were formed in the mid-fifties, and in 1959, released their biggest hit was 16 Candles. It reached number two in the US Billboard 100 and number four in the US R&B charts, and in the process, sold over a million copies. For the next five years, they released a string of singles. Apart from a couple of top thirty singles, The Crests never came close to replicating the success of 16 Candles. So in 1964, The Crests decided to release the sequel to 16 Candles, You Blew Out The Candles. Sadly, despite the quality of this slice of soulful doo wop, it wasn’t a commercial success. You Blew Out The Candles failed to chart. That was the end of The Crests. What they didn’t realise that music had changed. Sadly, The Crests had stood still. Despite this, You Blew Out The Candles is a heartfelt, and soulful, reminder of another musical era.

Philly born, Claudine Clark’s biggest hit was Party Lights. It was released in 1962, on the Chancellor label. This just happened to be Claudine’s debut single. Party Lights shown brightly, reaching number five in 1962, and lending its name to Claudine’s debut album. After Claudine’s sophomore single Walkin’ Through A Cemetery failed commercially, it looked as if Claudine was destined to jon the ranks of the one hit wonders. So all thoughts turned to a sequel to Party Lights. Walk Me Home From The Party was released in 1963. Despite Claudine’s enthusiasm and joyousness, Walk Me Home From The Party wasn’t a commercial success. Claudine Clark proved to be a one-hit wonder, and reinvented herself as Joy Dawn.

Most people will remember Marcie Blane for her 1962 hit single, Bobby’s Girl. This was the Brooklyn born teenager’s debut single. It was released on Seville Records. The sequel to Bobby’s Girl was What Does A Girl Do, a Neil Diamond and Carl D’Errico composition. When it was released later in 1962, on Seville Records, history failed to repeat itself. Within three years, Marcie Blane had retired from the music industry. Her legacy includes her hit single, Bobby’s Girl, and the hidden gem that’s What Does A Girl Do.

Luther Dixon was partly responsible for rejuvenating The Shirelles’ career. He penned their first top twenty hit with Tonight’s The Night. That was just the start of a run of hit singles. Soldier Boy, which was released on Scepter Records, reached number one in 1962. Three years later, in 1965, and Luther Dixon was now running his own label Ludix. For The Shirelles, this presented a problem. Who would pen the followup to Soldier Boy?

The answer was Artie Wayne. He penned and produced  (Mama) My Soldier Boy Is Coming Home. It was eleased on Scepter Records in 1965, and reached number twenty-two in the US Billboard 100. (Mama) My Soldier Boy Is Coming Home tells the story of the homecoming of a soldier. From the first ominous drum roll, it’s a captivating song. The Shirelles bring the lyrics to life, breathing emotion and meaning into them.

Before embarking upon a solo career, Robin Ward was a session singer. She released her debut single Wonderful Summer on Dot Records, in 1963. Later in 1963, Robin released the sequel to Wonderful Summer, Winter’s Here. It was penned and produced by Gil Garfield and Perry Botkin, Jr. Despite her tender, elegiac vocal on the wistful sounding Winter’s Here, the single failed to repeat the success of Wonderful Summer. This was the last solo single Robin released. The following year, 1964, Robin collaborated with The Rainbows on In His Car. That was the end of her career. Robin returned to session work, leaving behind two memorable singles.

Jan and Dean were giants of the surf and hot rod scene. They formed in 1959 and for the next seven years, released a string of hit singles. This included The Little Old Lady (From Pasadena), which was released on Liberty, in 1964. The sequel was The Anaheim, Azusa and Cucamonga Sewing Circle, Book Review And Timing Association. It featured on Jan and Dean’s 1964 album The Little Old Lady From Pasadena. Not only does it complete the story, but epitomises Jan and Dean’s trademark sound.

Johnny Burnette released Dreamin’ as a single in 1960. A year later, in 1961, Johnny returned with his I’m Still Dreaming E.P. It was released on London Records and featured a quartet of tracks. The highlight was the title-track I’m Still Dreaming, the sequel to Dreamin.’ It’s a beautiful and hopeful ballad from Johnny Burnette.

Little did Booker T. and The MG’s realise that when they released Green Onions in 1962, that the song would become a musical phenomenon. It’s become a standard of numerous compilations. So much so, that most people have had enough Green Onions. The sequel Mo’ Onions was released as a single in 1964. Since the, Mo’ Onions hasn’t suffered the same overexposure. Compilers have tended to overlook Mo’ Onions, and instead, reach for its big brother. That’s a great shame. Although Mo’ Onions has been heavily influenced by it’s big brother, it has a looser jazz-tinged track. Maybe that’s why I prefer Mo’ Onions?

Closing Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More, is The Safaris Featuring Jimmy Stephens’ My Image Of A Girl (Is You). This was the sequel to The Safaris’ My Image Of A Girl. It was released in 1960, on Eldo Records and reached number six in the US Billboard 100. At last, The Safaris had their first hit single. This had been a long time coming. In the past few years, The Safaris had changed name changes several times, and flitted between labels. Surely, The Safaris would build on the success of My Image Of A Girl?

That wasn’t to be. The Safaris split-up shortly after the release of My Image Of A Girl. Twenty-nine years later, and doo wop was back “on trend.” So The Safaris got back together and released the sequel to My Image Of A Girl. This was My Image Of A Girl (Is You). It was released in 1989, on the Dee Jay label, and is a latter day reminder of the doo wop sound.

For record companies, coming up with a new concept for compilation isn’t easy. Nearly everything seems to have been tried. However, somehow, compiler Sam Szczepanski and Ace Records have managed to come up with something new and intriguing. That’s an album of sequels entitled Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More, which was recently released by Ace Records.

Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More showcases twenty-four sequels. Many of these, were sequels to well known tracks. This includes Buddy Holly’s Peggy Sue, The Marvelettes’ Mr Postman, The Shirelles’ Soldier Boy, Paul Anka’s Diana and Booker T. and The MG’s Green Onions were released. There’s also sequels from Slim Harpo, George Jones and Jan and Dean. However, other tracks aren’t so well known. 

Claudine Clark, Marcie Blane, Robin Ward, The Crests and The Safaris never reached the same heights as Buddy Holly, The Marvelettes, The Shirelles, Paul Anka and Booker T. and The MG’s. However, they play their part in  what’s a gloriously eclectic compilation. There’s everything from blues, country, doo wop, pop, R&B, rock, rock ’n’ roll and soul on Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More. It tells the story of these twenty-four sequels, which are part of a truly eclectic and intriguing compilation, Second Helpings-Sequels To The Songs That Left ‘Em Hungry For More.

SECOND HELPINGS-SEQUELS TO THE SONGS THAT LEFT ‘EM HUNGRY FOR MORE.

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