A one-off “group” concocted for a rushed studio session with the express purpose of covering a soon-to-be-released song which showed commercial promise. The results were successful but The X-Rays ceased to exist once their job was over that day.

The record in question was “I’ll Always Be In Love You” which had been recorded by a group called The Ray-O-Vacs for a small Newark label, Coleman Records. When the dominant record company from Newark, Savoy, got hold of the unissued master they sensed its potential and sought to quickly cover it and steal the sales.

Having limited time and no established act deemed suitable for the job they threw together some musicians, including their hot-as-could-be saxophone ace Hal Singer to provide the backing and then enlisted trumpeter Milton “Tippy” Larkin as the vocalist.

To further cut in on their competition’s sales they named this ad hoc group The X-Rays, similar enough to be confused for The Ray-O-Vacs at a glance, and by rush-releasing theirs they hit the streets first and with Savoy’s far greater distribution and promotion this version became the slightly bigger hit.

Oddly enough, despite this commercial success at such chicanery, they didn’t bring them back in an attempt to record any new material and take advantage of the now strong name recognition brought about by their one and only release and so in the annals of rock history The X-Rays go down as one of the more short-lived, mysterious and unlikely hit-makers ever to grace the scene.
THE X-RAYS DISCOGRAPHY (Records Reviewed To Date On Spontaneous Lunacy):

(Savoy 681; December, 1948)
Hastily recorded cover version benefits from a strong band performance led by sax star Hal Singer, but while Milt Larkin’s vocals are an improvement over the many pop renditions of the song over the years, they’re still too simplistic to fully sell this. (6)

(Savoy 681; December, 1948)
As the quickly churned out instrumental B-side to an opportunistic vocal cover record not much could be expected of this, but Hal Singer doesn’t let this become too generic even though he doesn’t do enough to make it transcendent either. (4)

(Regal 3302; November, 1950)
An unwelcome return after two years in the wilderness as Milt Larkin is incapable of singing this with any sensitivity, not to mention not having a clue where the melody is, and despite a good sax solo the content and lead role are totally miscast (1)

(Coral 65069; November, 1951)
An unlikely minor victory for the group who take this stale song and add some vocal urgency courtesy of Milt Larkin and some strong, if subdued, sax work by Hal Singer giving it just enough emotional gravity to pass muster. (4)

(Coral 65083; March, 1952)
Questionable material – a song done recently by Frank Sinatra – which Milt Larkin manages to somehow add a little rhythm to while Hal Singer and the band give it just enough musical merit to pass muster as a rocker… but barely. (3)