Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Duck Walk

Judy Cross

Miller-Rene, Wilco Publ. Co. BMI

MGM 12902


Spotted this one en ebay today described as "hilarious insipid teener".   Auction 
Wanted to know more.  
Searched YouTube.   
Found "Duck Walk" by Youtuber Puddlebacky.
Wanted to know more about Puddlebacky.  
Found out that is a genuine crapdigger (see video of him digging in the woods HERE).
Found out that he is also Puddleboy on Flickr where he exposes some of his finds.

And what about Judy Cross ?

Judy Cross was a morning radio show producer (and assistant-librarian) at WINS in New-York and probably in need of some attention decided to make a career in music.  Joe Rene, owner the tiny Claro label in New-York was glad to help and she recorded her first single (Mrs. Billy Brown b/w Old Enough to Know) for Claro which was issued in mid-1959 (probably in July).  She promoted her single on the Hy Lit show on July 30th and on American Bandtstand on August 20.

"Duck Walk", her second single followed in the latter part of 1959 backed with  "When's He Gonna Kiss Me".   She approched Bruce WendellWINS' chief librarian, attempting to bribe him for pushing her record on air.   That's probably why she had to resign in December 1959 and came back only when WINS program director Mel Leeds left. (Mel Leeds and other staff members were caught up in the web of the Payola scandal hitting the entire radio industry in 1959-1960).  MGM Records re-issued the single in 1960.

And what about Joe Rene ?

Joseph René, born September 4, 1924, Amsterdam, Holland. Father radio violonist. Mother : concert pianist. Studied violin, harmony and orchestration with the famous professor W. Buescher . Trumpet player and arranger with big bands.  Career was interrupted by Mr Adolf Hitler. Went into hiding and remained 3½ years in an attic three doors down from Anne Frank.  Resumed career after Liberation in 1945 and became musical director for United States First Army.   Came to the United States in 1949.  Big bands, radio, T.V. etc arranging and conducting recording dates and went into producing.

Was A&R for Beltone Records, 1960-1961 ("Tossin' and Turnin'," Bobby Lewis, a song co-written by his wife Malou Rene)., for RCA Victor (mid-sixties) and recorded himself with his orchestra a number of albums on Manhattan, Tops, Epic and other labels.

Joe Rene, here with Les Surfs, a sextet from Madagascar (1964)

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