DEAR JERRY: I would like to know if I am the only person in the world with a 45 rpm of Glenn Campbell singing “Turn Around, Look at Me.”?
This was either recorded before he attained a southern drawl, or he hid his accent very well. No one I've played the record for believes it is really Campbell. I have even won some bets on this recording.
I've checked the books at music stores, etc., and find no listing of “Turn Around, Look at Me” being done by him.
Donna Allen (email@example.com)
DEAR DONNA: Relative to his more popular Capitol hits, “Turn Around, Look at Me” is considered rare. However, since it did make the charts in late 1961, and remained a best-seller for two and one-half months, you are definitely not the only one with a copy. Just the only one you know.
Glen (just one “n”) recorded “Turn Around, Look at Me” at 25 years of age, which probably accounts for his youthful sound, compared to his No. 1 hits, “Rhinestone Cowboy” and “Southern Nights.”
Campbell even performed “Turn Around Look at Me,” which is his very first hit, on the Dick Clark Show, December 15, 1961. This gave the Arkansas lad some potent exposure.
Seven years later (1968), the Vogues scored a Top 10 hit with their fine remake of this tune.
All of our record guides, as well as any book documenting the Top 100 Billboard or Cash Box charts will include “Turn Around, Look at Me.”
It is about the Dixie Cups release of “Iko Iko,” a Top 20 hit in 1965. Does anybody know what the song is about, and what language is sung in the chorus?
Jay Alexander, Lompoc, Calif. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
DEAR JAY: Since it's also from your radio days, you probably recall Dr. John's 1972 remake of “Iko Iko.” Well, in the liner notes for his “Gumbo” album, Dr. John offers this bit of “Iko” insight:
“This song was written and recorded back in the early 1950s by a New Orleans singer named James Crawford, who worked under the name of Sugar Boy & the Cane Cutters. In the original group were Professor Longhair on piano, Jake Myles, Big Boy Myles, Irv Bannister on guitar, and Eugene “Bones” Jones on drums. This group was also known as the Cipaka Shaweez.
“Iko Iko” was originally called “Jockomo” and it has a lot of Creole patois [jargon] in it. Jockomo means jester in the old myth. It is Mardi Gras music, and the Shaweez was one of many Mardi Gras groups who dressed up in far out Indian costumes and came on as Indian tribes. The tribes used to hang out on Claiborne Avenue and used to get juiced up there getting ready to perform in their own special style during Mardi Gras.
“That's dead and gone now because there's a freeway where those grounds used to be. The tribes were like social clubs who lived all year for Mardi Gras. getting their costumes together. Many of them were musicians, gamblers, hustlers and pimps.”
It is possible that a specific translation of such Afro-Creole patois as “jockomo feeno ai nane” does not exist. We do, however, stand ready to be enlightened further on this matter.
IZ ZAT SO? Donna Allen, any anyone else with copies of “Turn Around, Look at Me” (Crest 1087), should check the artist credit carefully.
Some have labels showing Glen's last name properly; however, others spell it CAMBPBELL. These goofy looking and impossible-to-pronounce issues fetch double the price about $40.00 of the correctly printed ones.