Thursday, July 19, 2018

Say hello to TOODLE LOO from Berry Gordy's brother BOB KAYLI

     Here's a pretty silly ballad...a guy mewling "Toodle Loo" to his baby. You might even laugh, especially since it's from Bob Kayli, whose only chart action was in the novelty field. 

    The first thing you might want to know, if you have an inquiring mind, is where the idiotic expression “toodle loo” came from. The answer is…nobody’s quite sure. Some say it’s mis-heard from the French “a tout a lheure” (see you later). If you pronounce it “tootle-lure” and shorten it to “tootle loo,” you’ve got it. Maybe. It might be a mutation on the word "toddle." As in, “I’ll be toddling off to that new Indian restaurant…” “And toddles to you, too…” “Toodle loo…” Toora loora loora and a vindaloo, too. 

     Bob Kayli used a pseudonym rather than be identified as Bob Gordy, brother of Berry Gordy. After all, the song was on the Gordy label, and DJ’s of the day were a bit concerned about payola and nepotism. In the photo above, that's Robert on the left, Mable John, and Berry. Bob celebrated a birthday a few days ago (July 15, 1931) so what better way to celebrate a forgettable artist than to publish a forgettable song on an obscure blog? 
     Though Kayli gave a toodle-loo to his singing career, after only a few singles, he did have an auspicious beginning. His lone scrape at the Top 100 came in 1958 when “Everyone Was There” (written by both of the Gordy brothers) hit #96. Since the song was far from the Gordy label's soul stuff, it ended up being released on Carlton, which was more novelty oriented; they had a hit with “Little Space Girl.” That one featured a white guy with a black-sounding name (Jesse Lee Turner) while “Everyone Was There” had a singer’s name that seemed white (Bob Kayli) and a vocal style that was a bit similar in hiccups to Buddy Holly. 

     Sort of a name-dropping version of “Splish Splash,” Bob sings about a party…that featured all the hip novelty acts of the day:  

    “The Witch Doctor walla-walla’d in the sand while the Purple People Eater ran a hot dog stand. Everyone was there-eh-eh-errre, everyone but you-ha-hoo….then I met the pretty Pe-he-heggy Sue…”  

    Between 1958 and 1962 Kayli tried and tried again to get further into the Top 100. One novelty attempt was a COVER of an ANSWER song. Following “Big Bad John,” Phil McLean recorded the oh-so-clever “Small Sad Sam,” and Bob Kayli covered it. There's more curious-but-who-really-cares trivia for you. 

      “Toodle Loo,” which Kayli wrote by himself (the label credits R. Gordy) was the flip-side to “Hold On Pearl” (1962) which was another Bob and Berry co-write. “Hold on Pearl” is a stupid novelty that somehow mashes together the “Teen Horror” songs of the day (like “Tell Laura I Love her”) and the hapless soul miseries of a guy like Gene McDaniel (“Tower of Strength”). 

    The song didn’t go anywhere with its various stanza anecdotes about Pearl getting into trouble and Bobby having to save her: “She was laggin’ back and caught her size ten foot in a railroad track. The train was coming it was plain to see. She kept laughin’ at the train and screamin’ to me! I cried, “Hold on Pearl! Hold on girl! Hold on Pearl! Your Bobby’s comin’ to you!” Kind of odd that this song about a jerk who can’t get rid of a troublesome twat had the kiss-off “Toodle Loo” for the flip side. 

    Robert Gordy dropped his Kayli and went to work at Jobete Music, which owned the publishing rights to so many Motown hits. He was there from 1961 until his retirement in 1985, when he and the company said TOODLE LOO. your download awaits, TOODLE LOO is not always FOREVER....

Toodle Loo - instant download or listen online - No dopey Passwords or bratty demands for a Paypal tip

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