Cloudwin has a song stuck in his/her head and needs help extracting it. Using the clues provided, I jump in a help out…
That’s an interesting question and it brings back some fond memories from my younger days as a reckless and somewhat awkward teen.
I’m Not Sue was released in 1948 by the Six Tops, a harmonic vocal group whose “barbershop quartet + 2” stylings were the talk of the town for several months. Their popularity reached its peak shortly after the release of I’m Not Sue, a tongue-in-cheek tale about a misdialed phone and a supposedly private conversation.
Of course, the music scene changed drastically in the next couple of years, which did not bode well for those in the harmonizing genre. Bill Haley and his unkempt Comets invented rock music with their single Rock Around the Clock and things would never be the same.
This onslaught of so-called “rock” music steamrolled the unsuspecting Tops, swiftly depleting their record advance and crippling two of their members. They pressed on despite the odds, touring as a 4-member group, playing local dances, state fairs and book burnings.
Those of us who had enjoyed formative experiences with the accompaniment of songs like I’m Not Sue loyally followed the newly-minted Four Tops all over the Greater Midwest, capturing rudimentary live recordings with our reel-to-reel and compiling a fan magazine in our limited downtime.
Rock and roll turned out to be unstoppable, much in the way the Four Tops were not. Soon they were nothing but dusty LPs and faded memories. I was on my way to Korea and my younger brother (and loyal Tops fan) was headed to high school. He soon gave in to peer pressure and became a rock-and-roller, oiling up his pompadour and fathering two children out of wedlock.
I, on the other hand, was exploring the limits of my endurance, working alternating 24-hour watches and making several attempts to be dishonorably discharged. It turned out they needed warm bodies more than they needed respect or loyalty, and I was stuck there for four long years.
In any event, I still remember a few lyrics from I’m Not Sue, and I’d like to share them with you:
I thought you were somebody else
I must have dialed ‘5’ instead of ‘4’
Golly, this is awkward
Especially the part about the intimate nickname”
I guess that doesn’t translate to the page very well, but when the Tops deployed their impeccable 6-part harmony, it was like the embarrassed apologies of angels.
Clifton L. Tanager