Here’s a swell R&B release that recently arrived at ARC. I found “Mexico/Dee I” by the Rocketones at the recycling Center, the only record that was there that day. Now this is a terrific bit of Doo Wop, only scarce because of the format – It’s on a 10″ shellac 78rpm disc. Looking on DISCOGS there’s one cataloged, but one has never been up for sale. That’s a somewhat rare occurrence. Plenty of 7″ 45 versions, but no 10″.
The Rocketones were a five member vocal group from Brooklyn, NY. They seemed to have released only this one single, but “Mexico” was also on one side of a shared 45 with the Tokens. Of course on plenty of compilations. 1957’s “Mexico” was a bit of a regional hit, but never charted. It opens with an odd blast of Mexican bullfight/military brass (a pasodoble) spliced in. It’s peppy fun with a nice sax break.
The band was called the Avalons when they recorded, but there were quite a few Avalons around, so by the time the record was released they were the Rocketones. To our chagrin the fotos we’ve found of the group has them sharp-dressed in tux’s, not spacesuits. Lead tenor Bill Witt went on to join The Paragons and that was that. The label’s gone too. Melba Records, owned by the Belgian parent Ronnex, faded after about 15 or so singles.
By the way ARC also has the 7″ 45rpm version of “Mexico”.
Speaking of singles ARC has just cataloged it’s 107,692th single. We’re one of the few archive who believes this format is worth preserving. I think only the Bowling Green Archive really cares like we do. So don’t forget to donate singles we’ve never seen before. YOU could be number 107,693!