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DECCA 28241; JUNE 1952



We’re getting to the point where the reviews of this psuedo-rock vocal group are merely masochistic exercises.

I guess we’re gluttons for punishment because here yet again they only skirt the boundaries of rock ‘n’ roll in their ongoing attempt to provide Decca Records with a viable substitute for the real thing.

Yet even as we cringe at the pop concessions… the entire mindset behind the production in fact… The Blenders were still really good singers who simply had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the right time.


Right On The Tip Of My Heart
Before anyone protests too vociferously over the inclusion of this record, saying (possibly with some merit) that it strains the limits of the genre, let’s look at this another way… at least we’re not covering the flip side!

If we’d done that, then yes, you’d be entirely justified revoking our credentials for daring to consider them crooning their way through Memories Of You as being anything resembling rock ‘n’ roll.

Nobody in their right mind would claim such a thing. Well, nobody that is other than Decca Records most likely, who I’m sure felt that they’d somehow be able to drag the young rock audience towards a more respectable musica presentation than the howling and screaming platters that were all the rage in 1952.

Sadly there’s no howling or screaming to be found on this side either… Never In A Million Years would Decca consider such vulgar displays to be acceptable.

But in spite of steadfastly avoiding anything that could threaten to cause an uprising, The Blenders manage to sneakily add just a hint of soulfulness to this Guy Lombardo tune hauled out of the 1930’s, which of course was the management’s idea of something current and cutting edge.

If you remain skeptical of the transformation we suggest takes place within – and if your life insurance is up to date – I dare you to listen to Lombardo’s record first and claim The Blenders aren’t the devil incarnate by comparison!

Is There Any Greater Thrill?
With an insistent piano, a great tone coming from a guitar and some faint harmonies this record gets off to a halfway decent start, especially when bass lead James DeLoach comes in sounding as if he’s dimming the lights with one hand and unbuttoning his pants with the other.

Granted, once it’s dark in the room the pants will come back on and he’ll likely slip out the window before the girl finishes undressing because he’s not nearly as experienced with these sorts of things as his vocal chords suggest. But while it lasts he at least presents a good image to try and fool the public into thinking this might be a legitimate rocker.

The problem though isn’t DeLoach himself, but rather it’s the other Blenders who sing in the open-throated pop style which doesn’t allow for any emotional investment in what they’re saying. Their voices glides over the notes rather than sink their teeth into them, robbing it of the authenticity it so desperately needs.

This inevitably hampers DeLoach in the process as he’s got to dial down his own urges that would suddenly seem pornographic by nature if he allowed himself to put more distance between their crooning and his lusty come-ons, for we know all too well that Decca Records would Never In A Million Years agree to release something even remotely suggesting indecency like that.

As a result we’re left with a singer with a really good voice trying to straddle the line between harmless and horny throughout this record. If we’re able to focus on just his tone, his sense of melody and his technical ability we might find it modestly appealing.

If on the other hand we want to actually believe what he’s telling us – not that he’s exactly skirting obscenity in this regard – we’re going to wonder what in the world caused a fifth grader to have such a deep voice, because DeLoach is hardly coming across as somebody gotten past first base with the opposite sex yet.

But at least he’s gotten that far because the others are standing at the plate with the bat on their shoulders taking a called third strike, as they still seem as though they’d shield their eyes if a girl walked past for fear of seeing something inappropriate. Even the bridge, which starts off well, quickly reverts back to forced piety before long.

By the end of the record DeLoach himself has thrown in the towel when it comes to winning this girl over, just as you’ve thrown in the towel on getting anything more than a laugh out of this.

Only Once In Any Lifetime
Not surprisingly with such indifferent commercial response to these feeble efforts, Decca dropped The Blenders after this release, surely figuring they were getting out of the rock ‘n’ roll game for good, either because they were still convinced it wasn’t going to last long, or more certain than ever that they’d do just fine without it.

But as we know this wouldn’t last. Despite the universal belief that Never In A Million Years would they be the first major label to score a Pop Number One hit with a rock release, we know now that they’d do exactly that in a few years time.

Of course that would be with a white group, thereby making it easier for the label to justify I’m sure.

By that point The Blenders, having failed to recapture their early promise as a stand-alone group, were shifting to singing backup under a variety of names and proving they could indeed rock AND roll if left to their own devices.

This however was not such a case.


(Visit the Artist page of The Blenders for the complete archive of their records reviewed to date)