For every major hit that posed a lover’s question, or had you crying in your beer back in the 60s, there was the reassuring certainty of the ‘answer’song. Answer records were a prevailing American phenomenon. Usually rendered by female artists, they were an expedient way to hitch a ride on the coat tails of an existing hit. Deejays favoured them for their topical value and many answer records from the Golden Age made the charts in their own right.
Here are 28 of the best, all by female performers, save for one tune by ‘guest boy’ Bertelle Dache whose Not Just Tomorrow, But Always, a riposte to the Shirelles’ smash Will You Love Me Tomorrow, is among the sought-after highlights of the set. Others include Gerri Granger’s sinewy Just Tell Him Jane Said Hello, produced by Leiber and Stoller in the wake of Elvis’ Just Tell Her Jim Said Hello, Tracey Dey’s Jerry (I’m Your Sherry), which features a couple of the 4 Seasons on background vocals and Jody Miller’s Grammy award winning Queen Of The House, which became a smash to rival King Of The Road. Even wackier than the original is They Took You Away – I’m Glad, I’m Glad by Josephine, a timely ‘answer’ to They’re Coming To Take Me Away, Ha-Haa by Napoleon XIV. Regarded as the better of the two records, this suffered a radio ban and is extremely rare.
Many of the titles on this extremely potent and novel compilation appear on CD for the first time and all are sourced from the best available sources. It is the only comprehensive answer song compilation on the market and we have given it our best attention. it comes with a gorgeous booklet full to bursting with a reviews, ads and label shots that evoke the phenomenon almost as much as the music itself.
By Rob Finnis