Jim Dandy (song)

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"Jim Dandy"
Song by LaVern Baker
from the album LaVern Baker
Released 1956
Genre Rhythm and blues
Label Atlantic
Songwriter(s) Lincoln Chase

"Jim Dandy" (sometimes known as "Jim Dandy to the Rescue") is a song written by Lincoln Chase, and was first recorded by American R&B singer LaVern Baker in 1956. It reached the top of the R&B chart[1] and #17 on the pop charts in the United States. It was named one of The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame's 500 Songs that Shaped Rock and Roll and was ranked #352 on Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Songs of All Time.[2]

The song is about a man (Jim Dandy) who rescues women from improbable or impossible predicaments.[1] It proved popular enough that Chase wrote a second song for Baker entitled "Jim Dandy Got Married.".[1]

The American English term jim-dandy for an outstanding person or thing predates the song; first attested in 1844, it may itself come from the title of an old song, "Dandy Jim of Caroline".[3]

The tenor saxophone solo is by Sam "The Man" Taylor[4] The drummer on the session was veteran Panama Francis.[5] The backing vocals are provided by Atlantic's in-house backing group at the time, The Cues (credited here as The Gliders), consisting here of first tenor Abel da Costa, second tenor Ollie Jones (formerly of The Ravens), bass Edward Barnes, and baritone Winfield Scott. [6]

The song is the b-side to James Reyne's 1989 single, "One More River".

Black Oak Arkansas cover[edit]

"Jim Dandy"
Song by Black Oak Arkansas
from the album High on the Hog
Released 1973
Label Atco Records
Songwriter(s) Lincoln Chase

The song was covered by southern rock band Black Oak Arkansas. It hit #25 on the pop chart and featured Jim Mangrum (who had already been using "Jim Dandy" as a stage name before they covered the song) and female vocalist Ruby Starr trading off vocals. It was the first single from their 1973 album High on the Hog, Black Oak's most commercially successful album.

The song has been featured in several movies. The LaVerne Baker version was featured in the 1972 John Waters film Pink Flamingos. The Black Oak Arkansas version was used in the 1993 film Dazed and Confused, while the Wright Brothers Band version was used in the 1987 film Overboard. In the early-to-mid 2000's, a used car lot called J.D. Byrider produced a version replacing "Jim Dandy" with "JD" to advertise that they would "rescue" buyers with bad credit.


  1. ^ a b c Goldberg, Marv. "Lavern Baker". Uncamarvy.com. Retrieved 2010-09-09. 
  2. ^ The RS 500 Greatest Songs of All Time, Rolling Stone, 2004-12-09, archived from the original on 2008-06-21, retrieved 2010-09-09 
  3. ^ Harper, Douglas. "jim-dandy". Online Etymology Dictionary. Retrieved 1 February 2012. 
  4. ^ John Laughter (31 July 2015). "Top 40 Saxophone Solos". Cafe Saxophone. Retrieved 6 November 2015. 
  5. ^ John H. Beck (2013-11-26). "Encyclopedia of Percussion". Books.google.com. p. 330. Retrieved 2016-08-29. 
  6. ^ http://www.uncamarvy.com/Cues/cues.html