B is for Big Daddy

There was a music group called Big Daddy. Perhaps more than one group. The one I’m talking about had this particular shtick, which you can read about here and here, which was that, basically, the group allegedly toured Southeast Asia in 1959, got stuck there, and were finally rescued in 1983. They heard the modern music and hated it, and so decided to “fix” it by recording the newer songs in the ways familiar to them.

Charles Hill put together a nice discography. Pop culture writer Mark Evanier has been a booster of the group.

The first album, which I own on vinyl, was BIG DADDY, aka What Really Happened To The Band Of ’59 (1983), which featured:

I Write The Songs, the Barry Manilow song actually written by Bruce Johnston, “Evoking Danny and the Juniors”
Star Wars. “Duane Eddy sits in with the Ventures”
Whip It. The Devo song is “Truly a standing-on-the-corner song for once”
Hotel California. “The stranger in town [in this Eagles’ tune] seems to be Del Shannon.”
Eye Of The Tiger

Album #2 was MEANWHILE…BACK IN THE STATES (1985) and featured:

Dancing In The Dark (Springsteen).
I Just Called To Say I Love You (Wonder)
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun – “The Duchess of Earl gets her say”

CUTTING THEIR OWN GROOVE (1991 CD), which is actually available for MP3 download on Amazon for $10; preview the 15 songs.

But my favorite is SGT. PEPPER’S, a 1992 CD that I own:

Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – Chaz thinks it’s rooted in the Coasters’ Poison Ivy. It’s DEFINITELY the Coasters.
With A Little Help From My Friends – “Billy Shears unmasked as Johnny Mathis,” specifically Chances Are.
Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds – “Goodness, gracious, great tangerine dreams;” Jerry Lee Lewis’ Great Balls of Fire.
Getting Better – “At least as good as cherry pie”.
Fixing A Hole – Dion’s “The Wanderer, updated”.
She’s Leaving Home – “She’s so young, and we’re so old”.
Being For The Benefit Of Mr. Kite – “Last seen stopped at the top of a Ferris wheel” at Palisades Park.
Within You Without You – “On the whole, word jazz is preferable to sitars”; I can practically see the beatnik with his goatee and shades
When I’m Sixty-Four – “And playing dominoes for sixty minutes at a stretch”
Lovely Rita – “The name of his latest flame” (Elvis)
Good Morning, Good Morning – “Instruments? What instruments?”
Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band (Reprise)
A Day In The Life – “That’ll be the day” – or more specifically the Buddy Holly songs Rave On and, on the bridge, Every Day.

Big Daddy – With A Little Help From My Friends
Found at abmp3 search engine

I found the link HERE that goes to some Big Daddy songs, including all of Sgt. Pepper. It’s from that source I was able to create the doohickey above.

ABC Wednesday – Round 9

0 thoughts on “B is for Big Daddy”

  1. I’ve never heard of this group but if the story is true it IS incredible and tragic is so many ways. Their life detoured so strangely would definitely work on the big screen. Of course, one trusts The Enquirer completely. :))


  2. I don’t know about the story, but the way they “cover” songs by singing them to different music is amazing. I’ve got to save this link. I love “Dancing in the Dark” with the music of “Moody River” and I want to check out the rest of them.
    What fun they must have had doing this, and it wouldn’t be the least bit easy.

    —Kay, Alberta, Canada


  3. Interesting post. Enjoyed the musical interlude and would love to hear a lot more. Curious story about the group.

    abcw team (aka “honeybee”) lol


  4. You have a treasure in albums, don’t you! I have enjoyed all the musical posts you have given us…. I was a fifties gal, graduating in 1959 from High School.


  5. Great discography, I’d never heard of them, interesting story. I have heard of Big Daddy the wrestler who appeared on TV here at teatime in the 60s, if he had been able to sing he could have joined them without changing his name:-)


  6. Roger, yours is the first blog I came to visit for ABC’s B posts… but it’s taken me this long to write my comment because I’ve been listening to a bunch of the Big Daddy songs you linked to as I visit other blogs… Brilliant! Honestly has never heard of the band… but this was the BEST B visit! Thanks!


  7. I am so glad you included a way we could hear how one of their songs sounded-yikes! It sounds to me like a parody. Very interesting nonetheless. I agree with Shooting Parrots, it would make a great movie!


  8. One of your more esoteric posts, Roger. The doohickey worked great. Not sure I could listen to a whole album in this style, but the Beatles cover was a trip. I swear the opening chords are to “Chances Are”.


  9. Hi Roger-

    Tom Lee here from Big Daddy.
    I wanted to thank you for your support!

    I wondered if it might be possible to use some of your review post on Ramblin’ With Roger on CD Baby to help give readers the gist of our band.

    We’re at the point of joining the modern times by getting our newer music on line. Would it be ok to use this post on CD Baby “Album Notes” section to help put the word out on “Smashing Songs from Stage & Screen?”
    Please let me know, and again, thank you for your kind words & support!

    Tom Lee/ Founding Member


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