Saturday, September 17, 2016

SHG: Jimmy Jones: "Handy Man"

Jimmy Jones: “Handy Man”
Entered the chart on: 1/18/1960
Peaked on: 2/29/1960
Weeks at #2: 1
Song at #1: “Theme From A Summer Place” by Percy Faith

And so, we make a clean break from the 50s. The first song to peak at #2 also entered the chart that year (It was not, however, the first #2 hit to enter the chart in 1960. For that, wait for the next entry).

Jimmy Jones, who might just have the most generic name in pop music history, is one of those rare beasts: the two-hit wonder. This song and its #3 follow-up “Good Timin’” (You know, “TOCK-a TOCK-a TOCK-a TOCK-a!”?) comprise the entirety of his pop chart legacy. And he shares something in common with the Impalas, as he was likewise on the Cub label. Let’s check out Cub’s other #2 hit artist:

Well, there’s a falsetto that could peel paint off the walls! And how did I never notice the background whistling before? Very unusual, certainly not something you hear often. Actually, back on the subject of his voice, he’s actually really in control of that falsetto. It’s not shrill, the register change doesn’t seem jarring, it’s all really smooth. I’m actually impressed! And there’s a nice guitar solo in the middle eight to boot.

After years of being subjected to James Taylor’s bland, lobotomized version it’s a bit of a revelation just how superior the original is. There’s quite a lot of spark and excitement to this. I really like it!

Rating: 4

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