Oklahoma-born singer-actor Molly Bee (1939-2009) was a teenage star of the "Hometown Jamboree," a country music TV show based in Los Angeles, and later became a regular on Tennessee Ernie Ford's show in the late 'Fifties. As a child, she recorded a popular early version of "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," while her later public image emphasized her all-grown-up sex appeal, particularly the photo shots with her in her all-leather cowgirl suits. Bee had little success in the country charts, but was a significant figure on the showbiz landscape -- she was a popular Las Vegas performer and appeared on a variety of TV shows. Sadly, her career stalled out in the late 1960s, reportedly because of substance abuse issues. Here's a quick look at her work...
Molly Bee "California Country" (Vanilla OMP, 2011)
This ten-song selection is a collection of her "comeback" recordings from the late 1970s and early '80s, including several tracks from the two albums listed below... For '70s-era countrypolitan, this is pretty good stuff! Terrible packaging, but that's how the current crop of fly-by-night reissue labels roll. (At least the music is available, right?)
Molly Bee "California Country" (K-Tel, 2009)
Basically the same material as the California Country collection above, with one extra song -- "I Got A Man" -- which was originally the B-side to one of her singles on the Granite label.
Molly Bee "Young Romance" (Capitol, 1958) (LP)
Molly Bee "It's Great, It's Molly Bee" (MGM, 1965) (LP)
Molly Bee "Swingin' Country" (MGM, 1967) (LP)
(Produced by Paul Tannen)
A former child star who became a fixture on the Las Vegas show scene, Molly Bee had negligible success on the Country charts... This disc was her only entry into the albums charts, and is mainly made up of cover tunes of old hits like "Almost Persuaded," etc. Kind of a footnote in the annals of female country artists, but worth a spin. (By the way, this album cover features a famous photo of Ms. Bee is a skintight leather cowgirl suit -- which was promptly used as her main publicity still for many years to come. Rrowl!)
Molly Bee "Good Golly Ms. Molly" (Granite, 1975) (LP)
Molly Bee "Sounds Fine to Me" (Accord, 1982) (LP)
Hick Music Index