Tuesday, July 12, 2011
"Play Those Oldies Mr. Dee Jay"
The odd thing about "Play Those Oldies Mr. Dee Jay" is that the songs it salutes weren't especially old when Anthony and the Sophomores released it. I am almost certain I owned this record before The Beatles invaded America, which makes it an early-1960s tune. The person who posted this YouTube video suggests it came out in 1963.
I purchased my copy in a cutout bin, on Mercury Records, probably for a dime. I had never heard the song on the radio, I think I confused the band with Little Anthony and the Imperials, and when I played it at home I asked myself, "Why wasn't this song a hit?" It reminds me very much of the Barry Mann tune, "Mister Bass Man," and perhaps it was written and released to grab a little of the reflected glory of that big hit.
It's almost 50 years since this song came out and failed to chart, and I remain convinced that "Play Those Oldies Mr. Dee Jay" deserved (and deserves) to be recognized. It's pretty much the perfect Doo Wop music anthem. And that note Anthony belts out on "Til Theeeeeeeeeennnnnnnnnn" – Whew!