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Cool 78 of the Month

March 2006

Travis and Bob
Tell Him No
Barrel 78-601 (Canada)
April 1959

Sandy Records of Mobile Alabama was owned by Johnny Bozeman and Paul Dubois, its first release being by Johnny Bozeman himself. It was definately a local label that was about to have a huge hit in it hands.

Word got around that a great rock-a-billy sound recorded in a garage in Gulport Mississippi by two guys named Travis and Bob was a local hit for Sandy. Travis Pritchett and Bob Weaver of Jackson recorded Tell Him No, a record that soon brought them to international attention. To ensure that it would get national distribution a deal was arranged by Sandy with Randy Wood's Dot Records. That's all it took to push Tell Him No to number 8 in the Billboard charts and even inspire a cover version on Atco by The Jackson Brothers. Sandy retained its autonomy, merely adding 'Distributed by Dot Records' to its label text.

In Canada, a deal was arranged with Barrel records of Toronto. Barrel produced both 78s and 45s of this disk and it went to Number 1 in the CHUM charts in Toronto.

Travis and Bob would continue to release records into the 60s, but never again would hit the big time, although according to Cashbox, a competitor to Billboard, their second release Little Bitty Johnny would chart at number 95 in June 1959. As fortunes turned, a recorded Travis and Bob album would never see the light of day.

Wesley Rose, hot for a duo after losing the Everly Brothers, tempted them with cash. But according to the story as told in the Varese Vintage CD The History of Dot Volume 2, Bob Weaver had a deep mistrust of the music industry and would not go along with the plan. He and Travis parted ways, with Travis continuing on as a solo act. Travis Pritchett would later work in insurance for many year, eventually settling into the security business.

Life would fare a bit better for Barrel in the charts with their release of Kansas City by Wilbert Harrison on Barrel 604 (see it here soon).

Not all was lost for Travis and Bob. The impact of Tell Him No would ensure a place for them in the Rock-a-billy Hall of Fame. Tell Him No is an Everly Brothers style rocker with a catchy hook going for it, and tempo that sounds great when coupled with the image of a record spinning at 78. Rarely heard on radio today, especially by those named stations that lie when they claim that they play anything, it is a lost gem that is a rare find on 78.

B Side
Travis and Bob
We're Too Young