Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen--Hot Rod Lincoln (1972)

     George Frayne (Commander Cody) celebrates his 67th birthday today....

     There are two things that distinguish Commander Cody and His Lost Planet Airmen. One was George Frayne's distinctive boogie woogie piano, and the other was their brand of straightforward rock and roll, rockabilly, jazz, country and western swing. Many rock groups were forming around country. The Eagles, Poco among others, but Cody and the band has a harder edge to them, which gave them the look and feel of a really hot bar band. It's a title which suited them well and their legendary marathon concerts confirmed. Interestingly enough, Frayne has a Masters in education, and taught part of a year at Wisconsin State University while co-founder John Tichy received his PhD in engineering at Georgia State.  

     "Hot Rod Lincoln" was written by Charlie Ryan in 1955 as an answer song to "Hot Rod Race" which was recorded by Arkie Shibley and this Mountain Dew Boys. Ryan himself recorded the song twice, once in 1955 under the name "Charlie Ryan and the Livingston Brothers, and the better known version in 1959 under, "Charlie Ryan and the Timberline Riders". Of course, Cody's version was the most popular reaching No. 9 on the charts in 1972.


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