Boyd Bennett
Fifties Life Songs and Albums 

Home | Biography50's Newsletter | Songs | Testimonial

Early in 1955, Boyd Bennett and the Rockets recorded the rock & roller "Seventeen."

The artists were Boyd Bennett, John Young and Carl Gorman. King Records was unsure of the record's commercial appeal, yet they eventually released it, which proved to be fortunate. "Seventeen" rocketed to number five on the pop charts, eventually becoming one of the best-selling records in the label's history. Not only was the original successful, but the song spawned several cover versions, making Bennett and his co-author John Young several million dollars.

 

A veteran Chicago mainstay of the piano, Young likes modal or mainstream textures. He can play the blues. He evokes favorable comparisons to McCoy Tyner or Kenny Drew.

 

The words of the song Seventeen are:

Seventeen, seventeen

Cool and solid seventeen

Young enough to dance and sing

Old enough to get that swing

Past sixteen, just been kissed

Graduated and got that twist

Kind of love I can't resist

At seventeen

Now, sloppy shirt, old blue-jeans

Dirty shoes by all means

Patch of blonde, peroxide hair

Juke-box baby, ain't no square

Seventeen, hot rod queen

Cutest girl you've ever seen

Tell the world I'm really keen

On my hep-cat doll of seventeen

 

The Rockets' next single, "My Boy Flat-Top," was sung by the group's Big Moe (James Muzey) and it also made it into the pop Top 40. The song was written by Dorothy Collins.

 

The words of the song My Boy-Flat Top are:

Young and strong, his top is flat

Cool haircut, never wears a hat

I don't mean maybe, he's a real hep cat

My boy-flat top

Big broad shoulders, man, they're pips

Dreamy eyes really crazy lips

When he shouts, "Hey baby"

Well the girls they flip

My boy-flat top

I'm tellin you that snazzy guy

Really sends you my oh, my

He's the most, the dreamers goal

You ought to see him rock and roll

Got no dough, but just a nod

Gets the girls, though it may seem odd

He's a real smooth lover in his old hot rod

My boy-flat top.

 

In 1956, the Rockets supported by Moon Mullican on the classic rockabilly single, Seven Nights To Rock." One more Rockets' single -- a 1956 cover of Carl Perkins "Blue Suede Shoes - was a minor pop success, but the Rockets couldn't replicate their success with "Seventeen."

 

 Throughout 1957 and 1958, they recorded "Hit That Jive," and "High School Hop." These songs touched on rockabilly. They were significantly tamer than most of their contemporaries. Boyd's music fell somewhere between the emerging Rockabilly sound in early rock-and-roll. His "cutting edge" sensitivity had correctly interpreted the times and he was able to leave his mark on the 1950s decade.

 

Bennett left King Records in 1959, singing with Mercury Records. Late in 1959, he had one minor hit on his new label, "Boggie Bear." After a series of unsuccessful singles, the current rock-and-roll star decided to retire from performing. With the money he earned from "Seventeen," he went into several businesses and co-owned a television station.

 

A decade after his retirement, he founded "Hard Cast Manufacturing," which primarily manufactured sealants for the heating and air conditioning industry. At the time, Bennett lived in Dallas TX. With the exception of an occasionally charity event with Ray Price, Boyd Bennett never reentered the music business. (Stephen Thomas Erlewine, All Music Guide)

 

Charts

Rock & Roll 1996 KING (not rated)

 

Tennessee Rock 'n' Roll

Seventeen (2:04), Mumbles Blues (2:28), Oo-Oo-Oo (2:28), Most (2:17), Switchie, Witchie, Titchie (2:11), You Upset Me Baby (2:22), Hit That Jive, Jack! (2:36), Groovy Age (2:14), Blue Suede Shoes (2:08), Boogie At Midnight (2:24), Little Ole You All (2:02), Partners For Life (2:20), Banjo Rock & Roll (2:50), Cool Disc Jockey (2:02), High School Hop (1:54), Poison Ivy (2:14), Right Around The Corner (2:30), Tennessee Rock & Roll (2:18), Little Ole You All (2:24), Everlovin' (2:15), Groovy Age (2:30), Waterloo (2:38), Dig Like You Never Dug (2:46), My Boy Flat Top (2:28)

 

Sock Hop (King) 1995

At The Hop, Twist, Rock Around The Clock, Twist And Shout, Rockin' Robin, Stroll, Do You Want To Dance?, Blue Suede Shoes

 

The Complete Original Dixieland Jazz Band

Livery Stable Blues (3:05), Dixie Jass Band One-Step (2:35), At The Jazz Band Ball (2:36), Ostrich Walk (3:09), Skeleton Jangle (2:50), Tiger Rag (3:05), Bluin' The Blues (3:11), Fidgety Feet (War Cloud), Sensation Rag (2:51), Mournin' Blues (2:47), Clarinet Marmalade Blues (2:43), Lazy Daddy (3:12), Margie (3:14), Palesteena (2:43), Bradway Rose (3:10), Sweet Mama (Papa's Getting Mad) (3:15), Home Again Blues (2:46), Crazy Blues (2:38), Jazz Me Blues (3:00), St. Louis Blues (3:12), Royal Garden Blues (2:58), Dangerous Blues (3:03), Bow Wow Blues (My Mama Treats Me Like A Dog) (3:08), Skeleton Jangle, Clarinet Marmalade (2:25), Bluin' The Blues (2:38), Tiger Rag (2:36), Barnyard Blues (2:32), Original Dixieland One-Step (2:31), Bluin' The Blues (2:45), Tiger Rag (2:46), Ostrich Walk (2:35), Original Dixieland One-Step (2:33), Satanic Blues (2:43), Toddlin' Blues (2:45), Who Loves You? (2:32) And Fidgety Feet (2:19)

Lost Treasures II (not rated track listings)

  1. You Can Make It If You Try

  2. Teardrops On Your Letter

  3. Clap Your Hands

  4. Seventeen

  5. Buzz Buzz A-Diddle-It

  6. Later Alligator

  7. Sugar Bee

  8. Henrietta

  9. Here I Stand

  10. Nothin' Shakin'

  11. Dark Moon

  12. You Can Have Her

  13. Darling Lorraine

  14. Life's Too Short

  15. There Is Something On Your Mind

  16. Ballad Of Thunder Road

  17. Dance By The Light Of The Moon

  18. Poor Boy

  19. Alone

  20. Talk That Talk

  21. Sugaree

  22. What's A

 

Original Rock & Roll, Vol. 2 1987 Hollywood (not rated track listing)

  1. Honky Tonk

  2. Finger Poppin' Time

  3. Seventeen

  4. Ivory Tower

  5. Tossin' And Turnin'

  6. Talk To Me

  7. Only You

  8. Dedicated To The One I Love

  9. Love Potion No. 9

 

Greatest Hits 1956-1957

  1. You've Got The Magic Touch

  2. Why Do Fools Fall In Love?

  3. Honky Tonk, Pt. 1

  4. Ivory Tower, Green Door

  5. Ain't Got No Home

  6. Let The Good Times Roll

  7. Ooby Dooby, Boppin' The Blues

  8. What Can I Do?

  9. Seventeen

  10. In The Still Of The Night

  11. Fool

  12. Fever

  13. Short Fat Fannie

  14. Ling-Ting-Tong

  15. Gone

  16. Young Blood

  17. Rip It Up

  18. So Rare

 

Boyd Bennett 1957 (not rated)

Instruments: Drummer, Vocals

Date of Birth: December 7, 1924

Place of Birth: Muscle Shoals, Alabama

Williamson on steel guitar, Johnny Grande on piano, Marshall Lytle on bass and Dick Richards on drums.

 

Original Releases

 

Date & Source, Titles & References to LP/CD List

  1. 1955/Jan. 15,  Waterloo , I've Had Enough

  2. 1955/Feb. You Upset Me Baby, Poison Ivy, Boogie At Midnight, Everlovin'

  3. 1955/May 14, Seventeen , Little Ole You-All

  4. 1955/May 28, Tennessee Rock And Roll, Oo-Oo-Oo

  5. 1955/Sept. 17, My Boy Flat-Top, Banjo Rock And Roll

  6. 1955/Nov. 26, The Most, Desperately

  7. 1956/Jan. 28, Right Around The Corner, Partners For Life

  8. 1956/Mar. 10, Blue Suede Shoes , Mumbles Blues

  9. 1956/Apr. 28, The Groovy Age {b}, Let Me Love You

  10. 1956/Aug. 18, Hit That Jive, Jack, Rabbit-Eye Pink And Charcoal Black

  11. 1956/Oct. 27, Rockin' Up A Storm, A Lock Of Your Hair

  12. 1957/Mar. 16, I'm Moving On, Big Jay Shuffle, [instrumental.]

  13. 1957/May 20, Big Boy, Put The Chain On The Door

  14. 1957/Dec. 16, Boy Meets Girl, Sentimental Journey

  15. 1958/Feb., Her Momma Doesn't Think It's Right, Signed, Sealed, Delivered

  16. 1958/Feb. 17, Move {a,d}, Click Clack {c}

  17. 1959/Feb., Tear It Up , Tight Tights

  18. 1959/July 13, Boogie Bear , A Boy Can Tell

  19. 1959/Nov. 2, High School Hop , Cool Disc Jockey

  20. 1959/Nov. 16, Naughty Rock And Roll, Lover's Night

  21. 1960/Apr. 4, It's Wonderful, Amo, Amas, Amat

  22. 1960/June, Seventeen, Sarasota

  23. 1960/July 18, Seventeen , My Boy Flat Top

  24. 1960/Dec. 5, Big Junior , Hershey Bar

  25. 1961/June 26, Coffee Break, The Brain

  26. 1963/Apr. 27, Teenage Years, Hear Me Talking

 

In 1980, Boyd returned to his musical routes recorded four gospel albums, "It's Gets Sweeter," "Sings My Soul," "Steps Into The Sunshine" and "Boyd Bennett Sings Your Favorite Hymns."

 

In 1996, Boyd made his last public musical appearance in the old city of Jerusalem, Israel. He sang "Amazing Grace" with the worship leader of the Garden Tomb Center where Jesus was buried. He also sang "The Our Father" at the Church Of The Nativity where the natural acoustics are some of the best in the world.

 

In 2002 Boyd Ann-Margaret, his wife of 30 years, moved the national headquarters of their medical supply company., Encore, Inc. to Sarasota, Florida. Boyd's rendition of one of his favorite gospel songs, "Because He Lives" was played at his funeral.

Home | Biography50's Newsletter | Songs | Testimonial

 Copyright 2002 BoydBennett.com * All Rights Reserved 7696 15th St. East * Sarasota * FL * 34243
Office 800-475-3092 * Fax: 941-359-3509  * Email: boyd@boydbennett.com

Webmaster: PolishPower