Before We Was Fab

Every Friday on Popdose, Before We Was Fab explores the world of American pop music before the Beatles and the British Invasion changed it forever. Each post focuses on one pre-1964 song and the artist who released it.

Just Jesse Belvin

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: Jesse Belvin, “Guess Who”

When singer/songwriter Jesse Belvin died in a car accident on February 6, 1960, he became the first artist of the rock ‘n’ roll...

Dale Hawkins

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: Dale Hawkins, “Susie Q”

The story behind one of the great rockabilly/swamp boogie tunes of all-time, Dale Hawkins' "Susie Q."...

Phil Phillips

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: Phil Phillips, “Weeping Willow”

Let's listen to an excellent, previously unreleased song by Phil Phillips called "Weeping Willow."...

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: Frank Sinatra, “Learnin’ the Blues”

Before We Was Fab checks in for the first time with the Chairman of the Board, circa 1955....

The Drifters

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: The Drifters, “I Count the Tears”

What does one of Ben E. King's greatest songs with the Drifters have to do with the '60s Counterculture movement? Let's find out and live...

The Four Freshmen

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: The Four Freshmen, “It’s a Blue World”

A look at the first big hit for The Four Freshmen, 1952's "It's a Blue World."...

The Everly Brothers

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: The Everly Brothers, “Poor Jenny”

This week's spotlight shines on a great 1959 Cadence single by the Everly Brothers, "Poor Jenny."...

The Andrews Sisters

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: The Andrews Sisters, “Hold Tight, Hold Tight (Want Some Sea Food, Mama)”

This week we explore one of the great, early sides from the legendary vocal group the Andrews Sisters, "Hold Tight, Hold Tight (Want Some...

The Stereos, "I Really Love You" vinyl single (Cub Records 1961)

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: The Stereos, “I Really Love You”

In the late summer of 1961, a doo-wop group out of Steubenville, Ohio released one of the unheralded gems of group vocal harmony - "I...

Johnny Cymbal, "Mr. Bass Man"

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: Johnny Cymbal, “Mr. Bass Man”

In early 1963, Johnny Cymbal cracked the Top 20 with "Mr. Bass Man."...

Before We Was Fab: Billy Joe & the Checkmates, "Percolator (Twist)"

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: Billy Joe & the Checkmates, “Percolator (Twist)”

This week's column highlights one of the greatest songs ever inspired by a coffee commercial....

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: Ruth Brown, “5-10-15 Hours”

This week the pre-Beatles spotlight shines on Atlantic's Queen of R&B, the one and only Ruth Brown....

The Flamingos (1959)

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: The Flamingos, “I Only Have Eyes for You”

In the spring of 1959, the Flamingos achieved immortality with one of the most beautiful pop songs ever released....

Bobby Vinton - "There! I've Said It Again"

Before We Was Fab, Music

Before We Was Fab: Bobby Vinton, “There! I’ve Said It Again”

There was musical life before the Beatles, and Before We Was Fab has the proof....