Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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The Cook Bros. on (indie) Island

I stumbled upon a pretty snappy A-side that is virtually unknown, and what a shame, given the sibling harmonizing and wonderfully oddball percussion sounds during the instrumental section that would be nearly impossible to produce with our current technology.  Song clocks in at 103 seconds — and not a single one wasted:

“Juke Box Play for Me”     The Cook Brothers     195?

I love the redacted song title/author info on the record label above — makes listening to the song almost seem a criminal act.

Released on tiny Cleveland indie Island, the same label that released the 45 featured in the previous piece on Hardrock Gunter, who is or is not the same singer as Buddy DurhamRCS sure seems to indicate so (“SEE:  Gunter, Hardrock”), while PragueFrank identifies Durham as a separate human entity (who once teamed up with Gunter at Wheeling’s WWVA radio station ca. 1962 to record a Starday 45 “Hillbilly Twist” + “As Long As You’re Happy”).

Juke Box Play for Me” is from a rare rockabilly EP that features two tracks each from Hardrock Gunter, Buddy Durham, Bill Browning, and The Cook Brothers and would appear 22 years later on a Dutch compilation of Island’s 1950s recordings.

The Cook BrothersCook Brothers(photo courtesy of ROCKY 52)

The Cook Brothers, judging from this news item in the May 20, 1957 edition of Billboard, had been a featured act for WWVA at one point.  Two years prior in 1955, the brothers, Chuck and Jim (“Accompanied by Their Rocky Ridge Boys”) would record two singles for Wheeling-based Emperor.   Three singles would appear to be their entire recorded output.

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