Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Buzz Clifford - Baby Sittin' Boogie


Philadelphia area? novelty rockabilly tune from 1961...

Buzz Clifford (born Reese Francis Clifford III, October 8, 1941, Berwyn, Illinois) is an American pop singer and songwriter.

Clifford played guitar as a child and won several talent competitions as a teenager. He signed to Bow Records at age 15, releasing a few singles but finding no success. After signing with Columbia Records, he released the single "Hello Mr. Moonlight", which did not chart. The follow-up, "Baby Sittin' Boogie"/"Driftwood" (though "Driftwood" was technically the B-side the record tends to be regarded as a double-A-side), became a crossover hit in the U.S. in 1961, peaking at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, #27 R&B, and #28 Country. The record went on to sell over one million copies, and as a result of its success, Columbia tried to groom Clifford as a heartthrob pop singer. He appeared on TV with Perry Como and Merv Griffin and on American Bandstand, and toured the United Kingdom with Freddy Cannon and Dion. Clifford's fame was short-lived, however; further singles went nowhere (a remake of Kay Kyser's "Three Little Fishies" hit #102) and Clifford soon found himself without a recording contract.

After serving in the National Guard, Clifford moved to Los Angeles, California, and found work as a songwriter, writing tunes sung by Keith Barbour, Petula Clark, Clyde McPhatter, Lou Rawls, Leon Russell, Freddie King, and Kris Kristofferson. Later in the 1960s, he was involved with a band called Carp (including actor Gary Busey and songwriter Daniel Moore), who released one album on Epic Records in 1969. After a stint as one third of the group Hamilton Streetcar (with John Boylan of "Appletree Theatre" fame, and original group member Ralph Plummer—the group was originally named on behalf of former member John Burge, aka Ian Hamilton) which in 1969 recorded a self-titled album for Dot Records (Dot DLP25939), he also did recording sessions in Tulsa, Oklahoma, with former Beach Boy David Marks, but these were never issued.

Buzz Clifford - Baby Sittin' Boogie

4 comments:

Anonymous said...

I was 6 years old in '61 and I LOVED this record! I also liked the flipside, Driftwood. Any chance of posting that one? Thanks for this, I had not thought of this song in years. I have a big smile right now!

Just Derek said...

I've got this 45 as well.. The baby that does the goo-goo'ing on this track is none other than Curtis Armstrong, who found greater fame in the 80's as "Booger" in the "Revenge of the Nerds" flicks.

Devil Dick said...

i'll try and post up the flip asap!
cheers!
dd

Anonymous said...

Buzz is also a really nice guy and a terrific bluesman now.