Categories
Boppin'

JUKEBOX EXPRESS: An imaginary soundtrack for a film that never existed

Jukebox Express is an imaginary 1958 rock ‘n’ roll movie, something that exists only in my mind. I created Jukebox Express for this blog in 2018, born of a notion to concoct a jukebox flick made entirely by preexisting fictional characters. The made-up individuals who made Jukebox Express–the producer, the director, the writers, the stars, the musical acts, even the guy writing the look back at this movie that never was–are drawn from many different pop culture properties, including Gilligan’s IslandThat Thing You Do!The Marvelous Mrs. MaiselMarvel ComicsHappy DaysSingin’ In The RainRoom ServiceI Love LucyThe MonkeesBatman: The Animated SeriesMy Favorite YearEllery QueenKing CreoleAnimal HouseBack To The FutureThe Girl Can’t Help ItWKRP In CincinnatiBye Bye BirdieThe Andy Griffith ShowKing Kong, and more. You can read the Jukebox Express piece here, and see a guide to its make-believe players here.

But…man! I forgot to do a Jukebox Express album. So I’ve remedied that oversight. Here ’tis:

JUKEBOX EXPRESS Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

Produced by HOWARD STARK with TONY MILLER

Howard Stark Records, 1958

SIDE ONE:

1. LEATHER TUSCADERO: Jukebox Express

2. OTIS DAY AND THE KNIGHTS: Shake And Shout

3. RICKY RICARDO: Babalu

4. KATHY SELDEN AND CHRISTINE MARLOWE: Jukebox Rumba

5. LEATHER TUSCADERO AND CONRAD BIRDIE (with BOBBY FLEET AND HIS BAND WITH A BEAT): Fever

6. DANNY FISHER: Jukebox Rock

7. LEATHER TUSCADERO: Devil Gate Drive 


SIDE TWO:

1. LEATHER TUSCADERO WITH OTIS DAY AND THE KNIGHTS: All Aboard

2. BOBBY FLEET AND HIS BAND WITH A BEAT: The Train Kept A-Rollin’

3. CONRAD BIRDIE: Honestly Sincere

4. GINGER GRANT: Someday He’ll Notice Me

5. LEATHER TUSCADERO WITH OTIS DAY AND THE KNIGHTS: You Could Be My Baby

6. LEATHER TUSCADERO AND GINGER GRANT: More Kisses For You And For Me

7. LEATHER TUSCADERO: Nothing Stops This Train

At fourteen tracks, this is probably a little bit long for a 1950s beat music soundtrack LP, but if we’re suspending disbelief anyway, I say what the hell. I still left out a couple of artists established to have appeared in this imaginary movie, specifically the Cry-Baby Combo and producer-inventor Howard Stark‘s favorites Sven Helmstrom and his Rhythm Kings. One presumes a 21st-century expanded reissue of the album would have added those as bonus tracks, along with more soundtrack delights by the movie’s star Leather Tuscadero and more hot performances by Otis Day and the Knights. Maybe something by Shy Baldwin, too.

While the album is almost entirely fabricated, three of its tracks do exist in our mundane real world. Suzi Quatro, in character as rocker Leather Tuscadero, lip-synced her own 1974 number “Devil Gate Drive” on an episode of Happy Days; that’s the sort of anachronism I’d prefer to avoid in a period-specific fancy like Jukebox Express, but it’s also established canon for the character–i.e., we’ve seen that this character sang this song at Arnold’s Drive-In in 1950s Milwaukee–so it’s fair game. Shag haircut notwithstanding. As Ricky RicardoDesi Arnaz sang “Babalu” on I Love Lucy, and Broadway cast and motion picture soundtrack albums of Bye Bye Birdie give us Conrad Birdie singing “Honestly Sincere.”
Otherwise, this soundtrack album imagines tracks that could have been made for the movie. “Fever” and “The Train Kept A-Rollin'” are covers of real-world ’50s songs, and the rest are my inventions. “All Aboard” is not the Chuck Berry song of the same name, but woulda been if ol’ Chuck had written it in ’58 rather than ’63. Ginger Grant‘s “Someday He’ll Notice Me” shows the film’s heroine Kirby Lee pining for the clueless mail lead Archibald Toby (played by Troy Chesterfield), while the Leather-Otis Day collaboration “You Could Be My Baby” and the Leather-Ginger duet “More Kisses For You And For Me” imply an interracial rendezvous and a girl-girl (or girl-boy-girl) relationship, respectively. 

Again, Jukebox Express does not exist, has never existed, and could never exist. But I wish it did. I want to see this movie. And now, I wanna hear its soundtrack.
But, in the words of Mama Mamammia (played by Sophie Lennon) and Kirby Lee: That’s rock ‘n’ roll. And that’s the end.

TIP THE BLOGGER: CC’s Tip Jar!

You can support this blog by becoming a patron on Patreon: Fund me, baby! 

Hey! If you buy from Amazon, consider making your purchases through links at Pop-A-Looza. A portion of your purchase there will go to support Boppin’ (Like The Hip Folks Do). Thinking Amazon? Think Pop-A-Looza.

This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio with Dana & Carl airs Sunday nights from 9 to Midnight Eastern, on the air in Syracuse at SPARK! WSPJ 103.3 and 93.7 FM, and on the web at http://sparksyracuse.org/ You can read about our history here.

The many fine This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio compilation albums are still available, each full of that rockin’ pop sound you crave. A portion of all sales benefit our perpetually cash-strapped community radio project:

Volume 1: download
Volume 2: CD or download
Volume 3: download
Volume 4: CD or download
Waterloo Sunset–Benefit For This Is Rock ‘n’ Roll Radio:  CD or download

I’m on Twitter @CafarelliCarl.

Leave a Reply