Much Love, Dick ‘73

Clark CoverI shudder to think what unspeakable things happened to the previous owner of this album, Jeanette Cannon, and why her coveted, signed copy of Dick Clark’s 20 Years of Rock N’ Roll was simply lumped in with a string of unlistenable drivel on the bookshelf at my corner thrift store.

I hope Jeanette Cannon had an enthusiastic experience upon meeting Mr. Clark and that every time she played this double LP, she’d look upon Dick’s inscription and, like the timely music found within, would find herself carried off into a warm, blissful memory.

Jeanette CannonI had these thoughts, until my investigatory mind began to churn. You see, back in the day, owners of albums used to bring specific selections of their personal music library to social gatherings and what not, and because they’d all want to make sure they left with the music they’d brought, these planners-ahead would all write their names on the albums, as to squash any confusion upon closing time. Makes sense, right? As you can see, this copy of Dick Clark’s 20 Years of Rock N’ Roll is no different. So, Jeanette Cannon wrote her name on a sticker on the bottom right corner of the cover: Clue #1.

Clark SignedOn the back, next to a dashing picture of Dick Clark holding this very album, which is a nice, Inception-like touch, Mr. Clark writes,

To Jeanette & Freddie

Two good friends

Much Love

Dick ‘73

Jeanette & Freddie… hmm: Clue #2. So I do some quick Google search for Jeanette Cannon in Los Angeles and not much comes up. I paid it no mind, put the record in the “to listen to” pile (a rather large pile, by the way), and didn’t think about it again until this morning when scouring the collection for something to write about. This time, however, I Googled Freddie Cannon, and what I found was something of a pleasant surprise.

According to www.freddycannon.com, the man was quiet famous in the music world of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s, and went by a name you may have heard of, Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon. This site also confirms that Freddy’s wife’s name is… you guessed it, Jeanette Cannon. What threw me off was the variation in the spelling of Freddy, as Freddie by Mr. Clark, but a few minutes Googling reveals this to be a common alias for Mr. Boom Boom.

So, this double LP was personally presented, by Dick Clark, to Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon, and his wife Jeanette sometime in 1973. It was loved, cherished, toted around to casual dinner parties, and played with an illuminating fondness for the past… that was until about a month ago when I discovered it at a thrift shop and purchased it for $4: Mystery solved.

It’s not often I find signed Dick Clark records at my local thrift stores, but when I do, it’s comforting to know it was a personal gift to Freddy “Boom Boom” Cannon and his lovely wife, Jeanette.

Pseudo Echo’s Funky Town

Funky TownPseudo Echo’s version of Funky Town was my first favorite song. At 7-years-old, that was a big deal (and since I never really grew up, it’s still a big deal some 26 years later). After watching the video as a child, I was transformed in believing that my purpose in life was to play the Keytar (or keyboard that looks like a guitar). More than that, I was CONVINCED. I was to master this ornament of musical ecstasy in a New Wave band consisting of me and my closest grade school friends (none of whom, like myself, had ever even touched an instrument). Since my elementary school didn’t offer the Keytar in our rural town’s marching band, I decided on the Alto Saxophone instead.

Funky Town was originally recorded by Lipps Inc. in February of 1980. It reached No. 1 on the Billboard charts and blah blah. It is my humble opinion that had it not been for Pseudo Echo’s version, I may very well have never been jettisoned into the vast musical universe. Simply put… I LOVED THIS SONG! There may in fact be an old VHS tape of a 7-year-old me singing this song while miming the Keytar, but that is a story for another time.

Like Lipps Inc., Pseudo Echo’s 1986 incarnation reached No. 1 in Australia (outlasting Lipps’ Inc.’s version by 5 weeks). At the age of 7, charts and prestigious awards didn’t concern me. What concerned me was dialing into the only radio station playing pop music that my little red Sony cassette player/radio combo could pick up in the desperate hopes of hearing Pseudo Echo’s illustrious, Funky Town. Anyone remember Z-104 transmitting out of Madison, Wisconsin? Probably not.

I think it was Dick Clark that said something about music being the soundtrack to our lives. I’ll subscribe to that. Funky Town would then serve as the first “single” in my life’s album of Greatest Hits.