|Jody Reynolds, Everybody's Friend|
Jody Reynolds was born on December 3rd, 1938 in Denver, Colorado. He was already playing guitar pretty well at the age of fourteen, and at the age of sixteen he joined the musicians union. Bands would come around to Pearl Valley and sometimes they would need a guitar player. Since Jody was about the only one around who could play 'be-bop', he was asked quite often. On these occasions he played with Bob Wills, T. Texas Tyler, Tommy Duncan, Joe Maphis, and Sammy Masters.
Around 1954, Jody and a singer named Billie Ray decided they needed a fiddle player and they went to Phoenix, Arizona where they met Al Casey, who played steel guitar. They got along so well, they forgot about the fiddle player and hired him.
When playing in Odessa, Texas, Jody first met Elvis Presley and later on he saw Roy Orbison perform on televison with a strange instrumentation playing 'Ooby Dooby'. A year later, after hearing Elvis sing 'Heartbreak Hotel' in 1956, Jody was so much impressed that he decided he just had to write something like that for himself. He went up to his hotel room in Yuma, Arizona, and in about 30 or 40 minutes he came up with 'Endless Sleep'.
Jody had heard that Hollywood was the place to go if wanted something recorded, so he went to the Goldstar Studios and in 1958 finally recorded 'Endless Sleep'. His band "The Storms" consisted of Al Casey (guitar), Howard Roberts (rhythm guitar) and Noel Stutte (bass). They recorded the song in about 20 minutes and it was released on Demon 1507.
After being banned in the east, because they thought it had a suicide theme, a guy named George Brown finally broke 'Endless Sleep'. George had managed to corner Alan Freed to listen to it and Alan liked it a lot. After Alan started playing the song, it took about a week and then it broke out big in the L.A. area. It made it to the top ten charts nationwide and it sold two million, one hundred and twelve thousand in 1958 alone!
After the first succes Jody and the Storms started touring with "The Summer Dance Party", where they got to play alongside Connie Francis, Chuck Berry and Eddie Fontaine. This is where he also met Don Cole (of "Snake Eyed Mama" fame), Jody and Don became friends and Don joined Jody's band on several recording sessions.
He also played with Buddy Holly in Lubbock and at one event with Gene Vincent. Jody also toured with Eddie Cochran, who became a personal friend of his. Jody remembers: "I met Eddie in 1958. We were all hanging around there when I met Jerry Capehart. He asked me if I was Jody Reynolds, a friend of Al Casey and Lee Hazlewood from Arizona. I said yes, and he wanted to know if I wanted to come into the studio and cut a record. That's when I met Eddie and we got along fine. I had the pleasure of attending some of Eddie's recording sessions and I would just sit there with my mouth wide open."
Another name that pops up when you look at Jody's session details is Plas Johnson. Plas was not only a very good and well known sax player, who made some great records in his own name (Hoppin' Mad, Little Rockin' Deacon) but insiders know him best for his great sax sessions with Gene Vincent & The Blue Caps. Well, since we're throwing names here, Jody was also a regular guest at Elvis' place at Palm Springs and claims that Elvis was his biggest influence for sure..
Jody's Singles Discography (alphabetically):
The BlackCat, 1999