Thursday, October 10, 2013

Rant #1,060: Wonder Who?

Every once in a while, I like to go back into my record collection and assess what I have, and today looks like a day that I am going to do that.

Do you remember the Wonder Who?

No, not the Who or the Guess Who ... the Wonder Who?

I didn't think so.

But around this time in 1965, they had one of the most unlikely hits of the decade rising up the charts.

"Don't Think Twice" was one of the best known songs in the Bob Dylan canon at the time, and at that point in rock and folk history, well, Dylan's music was untouchable.

However, as his music became more and more popular, acts that had little or nothing to do with the folk genre were starting to cover his songs, and have pop hits with them.

The pop-leaning Turtles were one, with "It Ain't Me Babe" around the same time as the Wonder Who were moving up the charts with their own version of a Dylan song.

But just who were the Wonder Who, and yes, I keep on forgetting to put the question mark after their name, so it really is the Wonder Who?

A group of performers who had finally broken through to pop stardom a few years earlier were the Wonder Who?

They were fooling around in the studio one day, and the lead singer, who was very well known for his falsetto voice, turned it up a notch when they recorded "Don't Think Twice."

His name is Frankie Valli and the group of performers who were the Wonder Who? was the Four Seasons. They were planning to record an album of Dylan covers, and this one was simply a goof, but it had a good sound, and the record company figured that they could release it and make some money off of it.

And that is just what they did.

Right at the time that they had a massive hit with "Let's Hang On," they also placed "Don't Think Twice" on the charts, and its uniqueness and falsetto whine got it up to #12 on the chart at its highest peak in November 1965.

With this unlikely success, the Wonder Who? actually released a few more records, with their takes on such chestnuts as "On the Good Ship Lollipop" and "You're Nobody Till Somebody Loves You" also hitting the Hot 100 in 1966, but "Don't Think Twice" was by far and away their largest hit.

I have the song with its picture sleeve in my collection, and I listened to it the other day after not hearing it for years and years.

It is simply a fun song, a different reading of a Dylan classic that showed how elastic his music really was back then.

Here it is, and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did back then, and do now.

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