Wednesday, March 28, 2007


When an actor, athlete, artist asks for a date, tell him no-oh-oh-oh

Travis and Bob, Tell Him No.

It's the lamest jealous boyfriends on record. Are they even dating this poor girl? After all, while Travis and Bob desperately warn the girl not to fall for the suave guy's charms, not to take his ring, and, basically, not to sleep with him, they don't seem to offer much in return. Nothing like "'cause I'm the guy who really loves you, baby." Not even a ring of their own. Just gentle nagging and the sort of advice you'd get from a maiden aunt.

Did he tell you that he loved you?
And did you thrill to his charms?
And did you feel much more better
When he held you in his arms?

I think the answer might have been a resounding "YES!!!" from the girl in question.

As Everly Brothers knock-offs go, "Tell Him No" is one of the best. Travis Pritchett and Bob Weaver were both from Jackson, Alabama, and "Tell Him No" was their first single and only hit.

They were signed by Sandy Records, a Mobile label so tiny it operated via a PO box. Sandy's founders were a country singer, John Bozeman, and local DJ Paul Du Bose. They considered Sandy to be the equivalent of the local newspaper--featuring only small, hometown acts, who primarily played either rockabilly or country.

Then "Tell Him No" began hitting wide by spring 1959, forcing Sandy to enter a distribution deal with Dot, and then watch as two copycat records immediately were issued, by the Jackson Brothers on Atlantic and by Dean and Marc on Bullseye. While Travis & Bob's original charted the highest (#8 on the national charts), Dean and Marc's outsold it.

Travis & Bob were courted by the Everlys' manager and publisher Wesley Rose, who was looking for a replacement act--the Everlys were dumping him--but Weaver reportedly distrusted the music industry, refused to sign, and the pair broke up soon afterward. (There's allegedly a complete Travis & Bob LP that was never released.) Pritchett kept on as a solo act, but by the late '60s he was selling insurance.

Recorded at Singing River Studio in Biloxi, Miss., and released in March 1959 as Sandy 1017. On Golden Age of American Rock & Roll Vol. 5.

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