Here’s yet another mystery from the rock ‘n’ roll archives, and this time it’s Jim White who performed at the Rockwood Club in Fayetteville in March 1961. Though his backup band was listed in the accompanying ad as the Knights, a 45 rpm record actually has the band as The King’s Men.
Just two years after Buddy Holly perished in a plane crash, White kept his spirit alive, which is evident in this Holly-inspired charmer, shown in the video above, titled “Teenage Doll” — not to be confused with a Ricky Nelson song of the same title recorded a few years earlier. It’s interesting to note that White’s Buddy Holly-style tune predates at least two big hits recorded in tribute to the Holly sound: Tommy Roe’s “Sheila” (1962) and Bobby Fuller’s “I Fought the Law” (1965). The only difference is that White’s song never was a hit. Yet, White’s “Teenage Doll” has appeared on albums of “rare” rockabilly songs, including a compilation by Buffalo Bop Records called “School Day Blues.” Even the reviewer at AllMusic.Com couldn’t help but note that “Jim White and the Kingsmen [sic] sound like the reincarnation of Buddy Holly & the Crickets on ‘Teenage Doll,’ cut in Fort Smith, AR, by UBC Records — one hopes the singer and guitarist made it somewhere, because they had the Crickets‘ sound down about as well as anyone this side of Bobby Fuller.”
Who exactly is/was Jim White? Where was he from? One clue is that he played Fayetteville more than once, which included a performance at the Mhoon 71 Club on North College in 1960. Does anyone remember Jim White?