"T.Rexmas! is mainly built around the stomping woulda-been hit “Christmas Bop,” recorded in 1975 for an aborted single that would have been paired with “Telegram Sam” and “Metal Guru.” It’s glammy, with a strong whiff of the disco and soul influence he was picking up from girlfriend Gloria Jones. The rest of the collection is devoted to Bolan esoterica, including a folksy 16-second track from 1971 (recalling the acoustic Tyrannosaurus Rex sound), and a 1972 message produced by Tony Visconti for the Bolan Fan Club (released on flexi-disc), which alternates between good tidings from the band and loose jamming before wrapping up with a blast of “Solid Gold Easy Action,” featuring Jeff Lyne of ELO on guitar." Link via britrockaholic via aquarium drunkard
Following the recent passing away of Mickey Baker, R&B and Rock'n'roll pioneer, author of the first Method book on the electric guitar (: "Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar"), there is still some debate to be found over who actually wrote his biggest and most perenial hit : "Love is Strange" he had in 1956 performing as an R&B duo, Mickey & Sylvia, with Sylvia Vanderpool (who later became Sylvia Robinson, future record label executive founder/CEO of Hip Hop label Sugar Hill Records, instigator behind two landmark singles in the genre : "Rapper's Delight" by Sugarhill Gang, the first rap song by a hip hop act, and Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five's "The Message"!).
At a concert at Howard Theatre in Washington, D.C. Mickey & Sylvia heard Jody Williams play a guitar riff that Williams had played on Billy Stewart's debut single "Billy's Blues". The instrumentation combined Blues with Afro-Cuban stylings. Sylvia Robinson claims that she and Mickey Baker then wrote the lyrics to that guitar riff, while Bo Diddley claims that he wrote them. The first recorded version of "Love is Strange" was performed by Bo
Diddley, who recorded his version on May 24, 1956 with Jody Williams on
lead guitar. This version was not released until its appearance on I'm a Man: The Chess Masters, 1955-1958 in 2007. Mickey & Sylvia's version was recorded several months later on October 17, 1956... while "Billy's Blues" was released as a single June 1956!
... Now, Who do you think actually wrote the song?!
I have a strong feeling myself it was Mickey Baker since he later took credit for one of the French adaptations he co-produced 12 years later with French Swingin' Mademoiselle Actress and singer Françoise Deldick : "Hum! Hum!" (which version one "A. Béréssi" took co-credit... probably the French lyricist!). Had Bo really writen it, under the pseudonym of his wife Ethel Smith, Bo Diddley being also that popular a R'n'R star in France, he would have gone to court to reclaim his rights, don't you think?
Besides, the song is noted for its spoken dialogue section which goes as follows:
"How do you call your Lover Boy?"
"Come here, Lover Boy!"
"And if he doesn't answer?"
"Oh, Lover Boy!"
"And if he still doesn't answer?"
"I simply say..."
... Now would Elias McDaniels have written those lines? I ask you.
Mickey Baker was an in-demand session guitarist working with people like Ray Charles since the late 1940's. After he met with success forming the duo Mickey & Sylvia, authoring the Rock'n'Roll Classic "Love Is Strange" in 1956 (that was later covered by Buddy Holly and also made a hit by The Everly Bros... !), he wrote THEE Method Book on Electric guitar playing : "Mickey Baker's Complete Course in Jazz Guitar: A Modern Method in How-To-Play Jazz and Hot Guitar". But, after one too many racist attack (where he lost one of his eyes and had to wear shades for the rest of his life!), he came to found refuge to France which has traditionally played sanctuary for visiting jazzmen such as Miles Davis and Quincy Jones... where he established himself marrying one of his singers from his French orchestra and later working as a major Music arranger for most of the Yeye records of the mid-sixties French scene (most notably Françoise Hardy, Sylvie Vartan, Chantal Goya ... and French Beat king, Ronnie Bird!). At that time, he was a very common figure on French TV and films (Watch for his cameo in Godard's "Masculin, Féminin" where he directs a shy Chantal Goya playing a lead role facing Nouvelle Vague anti-hero Jean-Pierre Léaud! And his appearances in cult Youth Pop TV program : "Bouton Rouge"). He even co-produced records with B-movie actress Françoise Deldick singing and arranged with her a reworking of his classic "Love is Strange" in an Erotic Pop groove style retitled : "Hm! Hm!"(itself a Swingin' Mademoiselle classic in it's own right!), and this a good full year before Serge Gainsbourg made out an International hit of the genre with Jane Birkin in "Je t'Aime, Moi non plus" !
... After buying a house outside the French South-Western town of Toulouse, he gradually disappeared from the scene with his second French wife (another of his chorus girls!) where he finally passed away just last day (Nov. 27th/ 2012) after a long illness, becoming nearly blind, and from old age : he was 87! Rest in Peace Mickey B. :-(
Here's a live French TV clip, reminding us how he once worked with Ray Charles :
More Great exclusive Rock'n'Roll era footage from Dick Clark's Saturday Night Beech-Nut Show. June 21, 1958 : All Great, however you wanna or like to knock Dick Clark (and that's not talking about the later Fantastic Garage-rock sixties footage from his!)... :-)