by Robert Wilkinson
Today we celebrate the tragic life and death of the blazing star from El Paso, Bobby Fuller.
In the mid-1960s, the Bobby Fuller 4 were one of the most exciting bands to blaze out of West Texas since Buddy Holly and the Crickets. They were on a rocket ship to fame when Bobby was mysteriously murdered in a gruesome way. The killer(s) were never found, making it one of the murkiest murder mysteries ever to come down in the annals of rock and roll.
It is said that several movies have cribbed some elements of Bobby's murder as part of the plot of a murdered rock and roll star. He only did one studio album, but it contained some really great tunes. So today we celebrate his awesome talent. You'll see why he was one of the best!
First, his HUGE Top Ten hit written by the great Sonny Curtis of the Crickets! From Hullabaloo in March 1966, a live performance of the Bobby Fuller 4 doing "I Fought The Law." From the same episode of Hullabaloo, the closing number, a live performance of his second hit, Buddy Holly's amazing "You Know Love's Made A Fool Of You."
From Shivaree in August 1965, the Bobby Fuller 4 doing a couple of great ones! These two are among my favorites that Bobby ever did, so check them out. These are worth the price of admission! "Let Her Dance" and "Another Sad and Lonely Night."
From "El Paso Rock Vol 1," Bobby doing the original version of "Keep On Dancin'" which later became "Let Her Dance."
From the album, El Paso Rock Vol 2, set to stills, Bobby live doing Buddy's legendary "Peggy Sue" and "Pamela." From the same album, "You're So Square" and "Saturday Night." We'll close this album with a performance of the great "It's Love, Come What May"
The album version of the early recording "Only For You." (This one has the guitar riff from "Hushabye" put to a generic late 50s chord progression, but those were the times....)
Another early one! Enjoy the rockabilly beat of "Rock House." (The melody bears more than a little resemblance to "Little Sister," but in that era a lot of songs sounded like others.)
Here's the 1961 studio version of "Guess we'll fall in love."
From 1962, "My Heart Jumped."
Here's the studio version of "Pamela." (Yes, it sounds a lot like a Buddy Holly song, but what did you expect from the man who was determined to keep Buddy's style alive?)
From the album "Celebrity Night At PJ's," a live performance set to still photos of Buddy's "Think It Over."
From the album "Shakedown, The Texas Tapes Revisited," "Pledge Of Love."
From 1966, "Don't Ever Let Me Know."
The album version set to stills of "Do You Wanna Dance?"
The studio version of "She's My Girl."
The somewhat raucous "Surf music meets pre-psychedelia" sound of "Baby My Heart."
The mid-60s production sound of drenched reverb and delay (echo) in "Don't Ever Let Me Know."
I couldn't find the original recording by Bobby, but here's a version by Walter Clevenger & The Dairy Kings of Bobby's composition "Only When I Dream."
Here's the original 1959 studio version by Sonny Curtis and the original Crickets doing "I Fought The Law."
To close this birthday tribute, here's an interesting television show titled "Mysteries & Scandals" that explores the mystery of his death. Welcome to "The Strange and Senseless Death of Bobby Fuller."
Sorry you ran afoul of the mob, Bobby. You were one of the best. RIP.
© Copyright 2011 Robert Wilkinson