Doodle-oo-doo-doo...!! Best known for his naughty 1965 novelty hit, "Girl On The Billboard," singer Del Reeves (1932-2007) knocked around Nashville for over a decade before hitting it big, and then spent the rest of his career trying to match that lone chart-topping single. Although he recorded plenty of heartsongs and countrypolitan ballads, Reeves was mostly thought of as a comedic performer, as well as for his numerous "trucker" songs. Here's a quick look at his career...
Del Reeves "His Greatest Hits" (Razor & Tie, 1994)
This guy sure lucked out when his song "Girl On The Billboard" was a big hit in the mid-'60s... Lucked out because his brand of humor was extremely strained and extremely derivative of the "wacky" style pioneered by Roger Miller several years earlier (right down to the Milleresque doodle-ooo-do-dos...). Still, this disc has its moments -- more than a few of them rather sexist, but hey, goes with the territory, I guess.
Del Reeves "Greatest Hits And More" (Aria, 2001)
Less generously programmed, but still covering a lot of the same material as the Razor & Tie collection listed above...
Del Reeves "...Sings Girl On The Billboard" (United Artists, 1965) (LP)
Del Reeves "Doodle-Oo-Doo-Doo" (United Artists, 1965) (LP)
Del Reeves "...Sings Jim Reeves" (United Artists, 1966) (LP)
Del Reeves "Special DELivery" (United Artists, 1966) (LP)
(Produced by Kelso Herston)
This is a listenable, if pointedly unoriginal album... easy on the ears, for the most part. Reeves rides the Roger Miller-soundalike routine as hard as he can... The material is okay, if you don't mind the nakedly imitative vocal style. Actually the producers seem a little restless, and there are some nutty touches like a tinny, echo-ed piano and other goofball production techniques that probably wouldn't have been used if Reeves wasn't considered a "novelty" artist.
Del Reeves "Gettin' Any Feed For Your Chickens" (United Artists, 1966) (LP)
Del Reeves "Santa's Boy" (United Artists, 1966) (LP)
Del Reeves "Struttin' My Stuff" (United Artists, 1967) (LP)
Del Reeves "Six of One, Half A Dozen Of The Other" (United Artists, 1967) (LP)
Del Reeves "The Little Church In The Dell" (United Artists, 1967) (LP)
Del Reeves & Bobby Goldsboro "Our Way Of Life" (United Artists, 1967) (LP)
Del Reeves "Running Wild" (United Artists, 1968) (LP)
Oh, yeah, man! Look at that bad boy on that bad ol' motorcycle! That is one heavy cat... like, groovy, baby!
Del Reeves "The Best Of Del Reeves" (United Artists, 1968) (LP)
Del Reeves "Looking At The World Through A Windshield" (United Artists, 1968) (LP)
Del Reeves "The Wonderful World Of Country Music" (Sunset, 1969) (LP)
Del Reeves "Down At The Goodtime Charlie's" (United Artists, 1969) (LP)
Del Reeves "Big Daddy Del" (United Artists, 1970) (LP)
Del Reeves "Country Concert" (Sunset, 1970) (LP)
Del Reeves "Friends And Neighbors" (United Artists, 1971) (LP)
Del Reeves "The Best Of Del Reeves, v.2" (United Artists, 1971)
Del Reeves "The Del Reeves Album" (United Artists, 1971) (LP)
Del Reeves "Before Goodbye" (United Artists, 1972) (LP)
(Produced by Scott Turner & Kelso Herston)
Maybe Reeves was mostly shooting blanks at this point, but this is still a fairly good album. Not great, but good... Reeves was nakedly imitatng other artists, notably Jerry Reed ("I'm The Man From Love") and George Jones (particularly on the goofy "Hey, Anyone Here Seen Cupid?" and on the album's title track, which cracked into the Top 50, though the only other single, Gary S. Paxton's "No Rings, No Strings" fell a few notches lower. I don't think anyone had high hopes for this album, but it's worth checking out for 'Seventies country fans. Includes a couple of Sonny Throckmorton songs, and a couple by producer Scott Turner, and several contributions by Gene Crysler, who composed a lot of stuff with Throckmorton at the time. Anyway, Reeves gets into a surprisingly robust -- if not entirely original -- honkytonk mode for this one. Worth a spin!
Del Reeves "Trucker's Paradise" (United Artists, 1973) (LP)
Del Reeves "Live At The Palomino Club" (United Artists, 1974) (LP)
Del Reeves "The Very Best Of Del Reeves" (United Artists, 1974)
Del Reeves "With Strings And Things" (United Artists, 1975) (LP)
Del Reeves & Billie Jo Spears "By Request" (United Artists, 1976) (LP)
Del Reeves "10th Anniversary" (United Artists, 1976) (LP)
Del Reeves "Del Reeves" (Koala, 1979)
Del Reeves "Let's Go To Heaven Tonight" (Koala, 1980)
Del Reeves "Truckin' And Movin' " (Koala, 1980)
Del Reeves "Here's Del Reeves" (Playback, 1986) (LP)
(Produce by Jack Gale & Jim Pierce)
Late vintage Del Reeves - surprisingly vigorous, all things considered, although on a tune or two he overdoes it... Reeves sings in a George Jones mode on a few tracks, a little like Jerry Reed on others... and even like himself on a tune or two! He revisits old hits like "Girl On The Billboard" and updates it with a rueful musing on middle-age called "I Used Up My Doodle De Dos." There's a spin at Kris Kristofferson's "Why Me Lord," and a bunch of novelty songs, performed with sharp though perfunctory backing by an anonymous studio crew. Not bad, and it certainly could have been worse.
Del Reeves "Gospel" (King, 1996)
Del Reeves "I'll Take My Chances" (EMC, 1998)
Del Reeves "I'm Gonna Sing My Songs For Jesus" (King/Gusto, 2007)
Hick Music Index