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Those puritans who rail against sin are always fighting an uphill battle – one not worth fighting, but that’s another matter altogether.

The reason why their campaigns are so futile is because “sin sells” and the reason it sells is because it’s enjoyable whereas the repression, guilt and shame the preachers shove down your throat is rather unenjoyable.

Rock ‘n’ roll was called the Devil’s Music by its detractors who felt by slandering it in this manner they’d convince the masses to forsake it and embrace their version of morality, whatever that may be.

Instead it only acted as free advertising for the pleasures of the music and encouraged those not yet convinced of its appeal to give it a try and see for themselves what all the fuss was about. Come to think of it, we really ought to thank them for their hysterical opposition… you couldn’t buy that kind of publicity!

Here is a group who might serve as the messengers for delivering that thank you to the holier than thou brigade, because these guys were once poster boys for that righteous way of thinking and were saved from a life of tedious boredom only after becoming thoroughly corrupted by rock ‘n’ roll.


I Found Out Baby That You Love Somebody Else
Years ago on these pages we reviewed a couple of records by a group called The Dixieaires… the first one was pretty good too, even if they did come from an unlikely source.

The Dixieaires were basically a gospel outfit who cut a few rock sides in the late 1940’s thus becoming among the first, but hardly the last, to see the benefits of combining the two disparate genres.

They were led by J.C. Ginyard, who like most gospel stars was very good singer, especially in a group setting. Maybe The Dixieaires would’ve made it big in our style of music if they had devoted more time to it but vocal groups were far less prevalent in 1940’s rock and so they sort of disappeared without their absence really being noteworthy.

But by 1952 rock vocal groups were all the rage and since The Dixieaires broke up in 1950 that meant Ginyard had a lot of time on his hands – no doubt far too much time according to the disapproving Bible thumpers he used to break bread with – and as a result he decided to start a rock ‘n’ roll outfit to give himself something to do in his advancing years.

Ginyard was already in his forties, but while Can’t Do Sixty No More references his concessions to age, it would appear that he and the other Du-Droppers, all of whom had some gospel training, were hoping to get a shot of Vitamin B-12, which in music circles is just another word for being rejuvenated by rock ‘n’ roll.

Unlike The Dixieaires whose occasional forays outside of gospel was achieved by merely adapting their style to more earthly topics, judging by the title of this song The Du-Droppers it seems are ready and willing to dive headlong into sex and sin… salvation be damned.

If that’s the case we couldn’t be more proud of them!


He’s Got It Bad And That Ain’t Good
If this were their only record rather than just their debut for what would become a three year descent into debauchery that surely got them kicked out of their local prayer groups, we might just say this was a rather crass and obvious attempt to get a little action as a belated follow-up to The Dominoes huge smash from last year, Sixty Minute Man.

Since that song had been the biggest selling hit of 1951 and had been led by a bass singer, and J.C. Ginyard was a bass himself, what harm could it do – other than losing possession of your immortal soul I suppose – to write and sing one no-holds barred rock song under a new group name? Maybe they’d even get a hit and earn themselves a few bucks… all of which I’m sure he was planning on dropping into the collection plate anyway.

So The Du-Droppers were born, signed with a small New York label and probably entered the studio in disguise, only taking off their glasses, fake nose and mustache kit to start singing.

Unfortunately they didn’t start playing the instruments too, because the musicians are the ones who get this off to an underwhelming start. They’re the horns of… well, I’m not sure what they’re the horns of exactly. They’re not hopelessly old fashioned, not exactly jazz, not simply a case of taking the wrong instruments out of the toolkit… it’s just that they’re just played badly. Weak, ineffectual tooting rather than deep, lusty honking.

When the group comes in they, rather incredulously, are mimicking that underpowered sound. They have good voices but they’re not projecting them with any genuine emotion, but rather they’re merely providing a soft bed for Ginyard to sing on top of.

Okay, so that’s where Can’t Do Sixty No More is going to make its case for us to take them seriously. How can it not? After all, he’s taking the most notorious rock song about enjoying an hour’s worth of raunchy sex and now essentially saying, what, that all that screwing wore him out! Sign us up!

But he too is treating this like a quaint sing-along even if at least some of what he’s singing probably still would get him cast into the seventh circle of hell for daring to voice these sentiments aloud… for profit no less! The sad thing is Ginyard sounds really good. His voice has a great tone and such natural resonance that you’d almost be willing to listen to him sing The Lord’s Prayer – let’s not encourage him though.

As it goes along however, the sly delivery of Ginyard begins to have its effect and the rest of them do start getting into it with reasonable proficiency. Their backing vocals become a little more inspired, the vocal bridge delivered by one of the others actually approaches genuine enthusiasm and while the horns now seem to have inexplicably wandered in from a Dixieland band, the saxophonist taking the solo at least is aware of rock ‘n’ roll, if not altogether committed to it.

Though the song wastes far too much time singing about the romance that led to hour-long sex marathons and then has the audacity to complain that she’s boinking someone else on the side (I thought that’s what threesomes are for), the main theme here is the one saving grace, as he’s admitting that a half hour of boisterous sex is all he can handle these days. Frankly though, considering how spent they sound for much of this I’d have bet they’d last about eight minutes tops, but maybe he’s on his back in bed and just letting the girl do all the work for him.

In other words in spite of the action presumably going on behind closed doors, nobody is going to be pounding on their walls in the apartment next door telling them to knockitoff! midway through their tryst, just as nobody is going to be telling their kids to “turn that gawdawful racket down!” when they heard this somewhat half-hearted ode to debauchery on the record player.


Get Your Hat, Get Your Coat
Maybe our first sign this was going to let us down is they used the most notoriously raunchy rock song we’ve encountered as their inspiration but then they took out most of the raunch in the story and dialed down everything about the delivery – from the singing and the music to the attitude and the suggestiveness – almost neutering it in the process.

Where I think we can say we’re most disappointed though is in the fact they themselves were the protagonists for this enterprise. It’s not like they were an existing gospel act masquerading as rockers under an assumed name because their record label talked them into it.

No, The Du-Droppers were their idea and Can’t Do Sixty No More was their own song… and presumably their own arrangement as well. Yet they soft-peddled it, probably thinking that the obvious allusion to a huge hit in the title, which itself promised not just sex but humor, would be enough to satisfy the curious rock fan.

It was not.

At least it was obvious by the way the record picked up steam as it went on that better results were within their grasp, but as we’ve learned, even if they haven’t yet, it’s not only the ability to rock out that you need, it’s the desire.

Here they couldn’t last the full sixty minutes because they wouldn’t put the work in. The concept itself was fine, at least some of what they were hinting at came across at times, and it’s clear their voices have what it takes to make it in this field, all of which still has us hopeful moving forward. But they need to hit the gym and be in much better shape next time around because it takes a lot of endurance to last long, both in the sack and in rock ‘n’ roll.


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