Saturday, 24 September 2016

Death Discs: Endless Sleep



Another of my favourite death discs is the 1958 top ten single ‘Endless Sleep’ by Jody Reynolds and is the feature of this Death Discs post.

Jody Reynolds, a singer, guitarist and song writer is considered one of the pioneers of the rockabilly movement and was inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 1999. Taking up playing the guitar in the mid 1940’s he was later influenced by Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins and started on his path to rockabilly in the mid-fifties.



It was while performing in San Diego that he met Herb Montel. It wasn’t until Montel heard Endless Sleep that he got Reynolds signed to Demon Records. Although a very capable guitarist in his own right, the recording of the song features Al Casey and Howard Roberts. And even though ‘Endless Sleep’ had been written solely by Reynolds, the fictitious Dolores Nance was also credited in a bid to make it look as though it had been written by a professional team of songwriters.


‘Endless Sleep’ tells the story of a young man searching desperately for his girlfriend after an argument and who it transpires, has thrown herself into the ocean. A reluctant Reynolds was persuaded to change the lyrics, thus giving the song a happy ending.


With spooky echo laden vocals, the song reached number five on the US Billboard chart, starting a trend in teenage tragedy songs.


"The night was black, rain fallin' down
Looked for my baby, she's nowhere around
Traced her footsteps down to the shore
‘fraid she's gone forever more


I looked at the sea and it seemed to say
“I took your baby from you away.
I heard a voice cryin' in the deep
“Come join me, baby, in my endless sleep.



Why did we quarrel, why did we fight?
Why did I leave her alone tonight?
That's why her footsteps ran into the sea
That's why my baby has gone from me.

I looked at the sea and it seemed to say
“I took your baby from you away.
I heard a voice cryin' in the deep
“Come join me, baby, in my endless sleep.

Ran in the water, heart full of fear
There in the breakers I saw her near
Reached for my darlin', held her to me
Stole her away from the angry sea

I looked at the sea and it seemed to say
“You took your baby from me away.
My heart cried out “she's mine to keep
I saved my baby from an endless sleep."



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Previous Songs In This Series: