Here’s yet another mystery from the rock ‘n’ roll archives, and this time it’s Jim White who performed at the Rockwood Club in Fayetteville in March 1961. Though his backup band was listed in the accompanying ad as the Knights, a 45 rpm record actually has the band as The King’s Men.
Just two years after Buddy Holly perished in a plane crash, White kept his spirit alive, which is evident in this Holly-inspired charmer, shown in the video above, titled “Teenage Doll” — not to be confused with a Ricky Nelson song of the same title recorded a few years earlier. It’s interesting to note that White’s Buddy Holly-style tune predates at least two big hits recorded in tribute to the Holly sound: Tommy Roe’s “Sheila” (1962) and Bobby Fuller’s “I Fought the Law” (1965). The only difference is that White’s song never was a hit. Yet, White’s “Teenage Doll” has appeared on albums of “rare” rockabilly songs, including a compilation by Buffalo Bop Records called “School Day Blues.” Even the reviewer at AllMusic.Com couldn’t help but note that “Jim White and the Kingsmen [sic] sound like the reincarnation of Buddy Holly & the Crickets on ‘Teenage Doll,’ cut in Fort Smith, AR, by UBC Records — one hopes the singer and guitarist made it somewhere, because they had the Crickets‘ sound down about as well as anyone this side of Bobby Fuller.”
Who exactly is/was Jim White? Where was he from? One clue is that he played Fayetteville more than once, which included a performance at the Mhoon 71 Club on North College in 1960. Does anyone remember Jim White?
4 thoughts on “Rockwood Club in 1961: Jim White Channels the Spirit of Buddy Holly”
Jim White and Larry Morton is the guitarist/co-writer (they spelled his last name wrong on the record). Jim & Larry moved to Nashville and Jim became well-known as a successful country artist and songwriter named Jim Mundy. He played at Roger Miller’s King of the Road for many years. He had a hit with “The Rivers Too Wide”, along with numerous major cuts by big artists as a songwriter. Later, he went in to TV and radio commercials such as Miller Beer, Pizza Hut (Pizza to go), Nestea Iced Tea, the voice of the giant son on Hungry Jack Biscuits, and many, many more. Some of them can be found on YouTube. Larry Morton became the guitarist in 1969 for the 7 time CMA Instrumental Group of the Year, Danny Davis & the Nashville Brass, and had one of his instrumental songs that he wrote featured on one of their albums called “Brassy Bluegrass”. Larry is also a record producer and is still playing great guitar!
Jim White is originally from Muldrow, Oklahoma and the Fort Smith area. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jim_Mundy
Thank you! This is great information.