Rock and Roll Lullaby (song)
|"Rock and Roll Lullaby"|
|Single by B. J. Thomas|
|from the album Billy Joe Thomas|
|B-side||"Are We Losing Touch"|
|Songwriter(s)||Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil|
The song is sung in a first-person narrative of an adolescent or adult raised by single teenage mother since birth during the early years of rock-and-roll. Despite the bleakness of their situation, whenever the child cries, the mother sings him to sleep with a 'sha-na-na-na-na-na-na, it'll be all right...sha-na-na-na-na-na-na-na-na, just hold on tight,' referring to the non-descript lyrics often found in music during rock-n-roll's formative years.
In the second verse, the narrator calls attention that despite hardships, they'd 'dream of better moments when Mama sang her song', and that while it didn't make sense to try to recall the words, the loving meaning beneath them was all that mattered.
The song was produced by Steve Tyrell. After the recording of a basic rhythm track, Steve Tyrell and B.J. Thomas had the inspiration of blending several unique and recognizable signature sounds associated with early American rock recordings. And, every signature sound blended in the recording would be provided by the original artists. The single's backup vocals begins with early rock vocals performed by The Blossoms and Dave Somerville. Duane Eddy plays the lead guitar in his "twangy" signature style with Al Gorgoni electric guitar distorted and clean. At around three minutes B.J. Thomas sings his final vocals and Rock and Roll Lullaby would ordinarily have all the ingredients and requirements to be another hit record. Instead, this is where a beautiful Beach Boys sound begins from what should be the background fade and coming to the foreground and now carrying the track to well over 4 minutes. "Rock and Roll Lullaby" is a somewhat unusual and special record that if cut at 3 minutes likely would have better chart results. But, in terms of becoming a hit, having this major time flaw, "Rock and Roll Lullaby" still reached number 15 on the Billboard Hot 100 and was Thomas's third number one on the Easy Listening chart, where it spent one week in March 1972.
- Whitburn, Joel (2002). Top Adult Contemporary: 1961–2001. Record Research. p. 242.
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