Vinyl-a-Day 36: Tommy Roe - “12 In A Roe A Collection Of Tommy Roe's Greatest Hits” (ABC Records, 1972)
Tommy Roe’s music is perhaps the quintessence of bubblegum pop. Roe had a steady string of hits, beginning with 1962’s “Sheila” and culminating in the 1969 #1 smash “Dizzy.” Perhaps its not fair to pigeon hole him as a bubblegum artist as his hit records cover a variety of genres from the 50s rock’n’roll throwback style of “Sheila” to the ballad “It’s Now Winter’s Day” to the folk-pop sound of “The Folk Singer.” It is true, though, that from the mid-Sixties through the end of the decade, Roe pretty much stuck to the AM pop formula with “Hooray For Hazel,” “Sweet Pea,” “Heather Honey,” and “Jam Up and Jelly Tight.” But you know what? That’s OK. It’s 2021, I am 33 years old and I’m not a young guy in the Sixties who has to pretend he is somehow able to resist the infectious tones of Tommy Roe. Anyway, all of Tommy Roe’s big hits are on record, and one delightful aspect of this comp is that there are interview snippets with Roe sandwiched between each track. There’s something particularly triumphant about hearing Roe say that his favorite hit “would have to be ‘Dizzy,’ and the interviewer replying, ‘And justifiably so because ‘Dizzy’ sold like $4 million copies, it was #1 in the whole world and has to be one of the biggest records of 1969-“ and BOOM! We hear the opening riff of “Dizzy.” Also the cover art, with 12 Tommy Roes all in a row is undoubtedly huge.