Album:The Golden Age of American Rock 'n' Roll Vol. 2
The instrumental Wild Weekend was a top ten hit in 1963. I'm sure it's one of those songs you have heard but know nothing about. The record sure has a convoluted history uncovered by musicologist Cub Koda. It all begins with Buffalo DJ Tom Shannon in 1959. With partner Phil Todaro, Shannon wrote Wild Weekend as a theme song for his radio show. It was never intended to be a record. When Shannon started getting listener requests for Wild Weekend, he thought he had better turn it into a record. He was approached by a local teen band called The Rebels and they offered to record an instrumental version of Wild Weekend. Shannon released it on his own label in 1959. It was a big enough regional hit to get The Rebels an American Bandstand appearance. Dick Clark told Shannon to change the group name to avoid confusion with Duane Eddy's Rebels. So they became The Buffalo Rebels. Then the group split up and Shannon went into the US Army. Meanwhile Syracuse DJ Jimmy O'Brien started using Wild Weekend for his theme song. Swan Records president Bernie Binnick liked the song enough to track down Shannon and lease the master. When Swan released the single in 1963, it reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100. Shannon wanted to follow it up but there was no band. Eventually he hired a local band The Jesters to record as The Rockin' Rebels. They recorded an album but were unsuccessful. You can get Wild Weekend with its great honking sax on this various artists comp from Ace Records. Ace has also released a Rockin' Rebels CD. But I think most fans will only be interested in Wild Weekend. Here's a video for Wild Weekend by The Rockin' Rebels.