Sunday, May 27, 2012

AccuRadio Song Of The Day-Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen

Artist:Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen
Song:Hot Rod Lincoln
Album:Too Much Fun: The Best Of Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen

This 1972 cover of the obscure 50s classic Hot Rod Lincoln was the only top ten hit for Commander Cody & The Lost Planet Airmen. The band was a mix of rock and old school country. They started out as a 60s frat band in Ann Arbor, MI led by keyboard player George Frayne. He took the name Commander Cody from the 50s Republic serial Commando Cody. Frayne moved to San Francisco and brought lead guitarist John Tichy with him and added lead singer Billy C. Farlow, sax player Andy Stein, guitarist Billy Kirchen, bassist Buffalo Bruce Barlow and drummer Lance Dickerson. They signed with Paramount Records and released their debut album Lost In The Ozone in 1971. Hot Rod Lincoln reached #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1972. According to Frayne, the band performed the song in Michigan and it was added to the album as an afterthought. Hot Rod Lincoln was written and originally recorded by Charlie Ryan in 1955. It was an answer song to Arkie Shibley's 1951 hit Hot Rod Race. It was a hit in 1960 by Johnny Bond and Frayne's version was likely based on that recording. The success of the song caused problems in the band as Frayne wasn't supposed to be the lead singer. They continued to record but couldn't seem to find another hit single. And then Paramount closed. Frayne split up the band in 1976. This budget comp is a good sampling of their Paramount recordings. Frayne signed with Warner Bros. and they wanted him to be like The Eagles. Obviously that didn't work out. Frayne continues to perform as Commander Cody. They have always been known as a strong live act. Frayne trained as an artist and sells his paintings on his website. Billy Kirchen has had a significant career as a blues guitarist. Here's Commander Cody & His Lost planet Airmen performing Hot Rod Lincoln 1974.

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