Eddie Hodges New Orleans b/w Hard Times for Young Lovers 45 (Aurora, 1965)
From the 1950s on, seems like one of the "natural" trajectories of the child actor is from the movie/TV set to the music stage. From Sean Cassidy to Leif Garrett to Britney Spears to Annette Funicello and so it swirls downward. How many of these kid actor's were successful in their musical transition? And by successful, I do not mean that they sold a lot of records, for if that was the case any of those mentioned above would count and I wouldn't really have anything to rant about. By successful, I mean made some damn good records. Okay, for kitsch factor, Annette, but not as far as memorable and exciting. I can think of only two: Ricky Nelson and if you don't believe me pick up his version of "Milk Cow Blues" - it is nearly as rippin' as the Kinks take on it - and then move on to his other singles on Imperial. It is hit and miss, but the keepers are soooooo good. The other child actor turn rocker that is worth checking out is Eddie Hodges. "Eddie who?" Yeah, I didn't know about him until I started researching this single.
Eddie Hodges had brief film career. In 1959, he made is movie debut in A Hole in the Head, a Frank Capra film starring Frank Sinatra and Edward G. Robinson. He then played the lead role in the 1960 version of The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, a movie I've seen probably a half dozen times but recall nothing of. He appeared in six more films, including C'mon. Let's Live a Little, notable because it also starred the great girl group singer Jackie DeShannon, Bobby Vee, and - drum roll - Kim Carnes! He did some TV work as well, mostly guest spots on I Love Lucy, Gunsmoke, and the Dick Van Dyke Show. In the midst of all this he cut three singles on Cadence (one produced by Phil Everly) and this one on Aurora. Two of the singles charted in the teens, two in the forties. This one peaked at #44.
Initially I was taken by the song "New Orleans," a great R&B style rocker ( you can see him sync it on Hollywood A Go-Go). I spun it about a half dozen times before I flipped it and got knocked out by a really great pop rocker "Hard Times for Young Lovers". That slapback on the snare is genius! Hope these bowl you over, too.