Side A: Was Roulette Records tied with the Mob?
You remember that kid?
What was his name?
The one from El Paso?
Cocky, but quiet…Had an air about him.
Not so much a strut but an attitude.
Sounded a lot like Buddy Holly … Yeah!
Pissed Dale off… He did that song… Yeah!
The Bobby Fuller Four!
That song was boss!
Just good old rock and roll.
Mia Farrow used to do the The Jerk to it…Yeah.
They said it was an accident, but nobody believed it… A kid like that huffing gas?
H e was murdered.
Just like Sam Cooke…The roulette records mob got him.
The M-A-F-I-A… I heard it was about copyrights.
Royalties…And he was so young.
Twenty-one, twenty-two… So sad.
He spotted Sam Cooke when the singer was strictly gospel and signed him to roulette records mob own label—Keen Records.
The song You Send Me?
He put that out.
It sold well over a million copies.
So what if they financed the label?
All three of them were partners.
He found the talent; they put up the money.
They had a verbal agreement.
Shook hands on it.
A lot of good that did.
But he rebounded from that.
He found another investor and rounded up some more talent—did pretty good too.
Well enough that he was able to buy out the investor and, once again, financed his own label.
Then lighting struck again and he discovered another talent of a lifetime.
The Chicano rockabilly star and fellow Angeleno Richie Valens.
Keane loved that kid.
Even got him to change his name; it was Valenzuela.
Things were going really well for him and Valens.
Richie went down in a plane with Buddy Holly and The Big Bopper.
Keane was devastated—in fact, he never got over it—but undeterred.
He developed a reputation as a creative producer with an open door policy.
The guy just waltzed in off the street and played him some demos.
Boy could this kid wring the heck out of that Stratocaster.
The band was tight.
Now this could be special, he thought.
And Keane was right.
Bobby Fuller was special.
He was an musical genius, able to read and write music, capable of roulette records mob any instrument from the moment he picked it up.
here produced his own records too, in a studio that he piecemealed together in the basement of his parents home in nowheresville El Paso where he was the biggest thing since sliced bread.
And this, perhaps the most important thing: Bobby Fuller was naive.
Important, because on the surface Keane was a successful recording industry impresario, possessing all the obligatory accouterments: expensive clothes, exotic sports car and money clip stuffed with C roulette records mob />But underneath the facade his personal life and finances were spiraling out of control.
He needed a hit from a gullible, compliant artist.
And he needed it fast.
He was sure of himself.
Some said he was stuck up.
So what if he was a bit of a contrarian?
Take that cross that glinted outside his collared shirts.
They wore the cross for the same reason he did—as a symbol of solidarity among American musicians against the British invasion in general and The Beatles in particular.
They were a sore spot with Bobby.
He waged his own personal war against them—not that it did any good.
By 1966, less than two years from their debut, The Beatles recorded an astonishing seventeen top ten hits—ten of them going all the way to number one.
Turn on the radio in the mid 60s and it was pretty much all you heard.
All Beatles, all of the time.
He got into lots of arguments about it.
As such, he knew better than most just how special The Beatles were.
T he saviors of rock and roll?
And then there was the way that just about every band in the world copied them.
And how all the record labels wanted British invasion stuff and only British invasion stuff.
That really got on his nerves.
So yeah, despite what he said and how he acted, he liked The Beatles.
How could he not?
It was just that he liked Buddy Holly more.
Buddy Holly was his idol.
I Fought the Law was written for Buddy Holly by his long time friend Sonny Curtis, who took over as singer and lead guitar of The Crickets after the superstar was killed.
The Crickets, fronted by Curtis, recorded it in 1960 but the song and album went nowhere.
Bobby loved the album, especially I Fought the Law.
His younger brother, Randy, the bassist of The Bobby Fuller Four, convinced him to record it in his El Paso recording studio.
It took off and became a regional hit, even causing riots in some of the West Texas ballrooms they played in.
When Bob Keane heard the recording he immediately signed them.
At first Bobby was happy with Keane.
After all, he had discovered Richie Valens and The Surfaris.
He also understood that Keane wanted hits.
Shoot, he wanted them too, but not so badly that he would allow novelty song gimmicks in his music.
No siree Bob Keane.
He fanatically rejected any technique that came even remotely close to that.
Case in point, Phil Spector yes, that Phil Spector loved Bobby Fuller.
Spector talked with Bobby about producing him, with or without the BF4 and encouraged him to roulette records mob Del-Fi.
That whole wall of sound stuff went against his grain.
He wanted the BF4 to do Motown sounding stuff.
Bob Keane was having trouble keeping people in the front office and the staff that stayed walked around on eggshells with worried faces.
But nobody said anything.
It was like they were afraid to talk.
Bobby and his brother suspected that had something to do with a record executive from Roulette Records that had been snooping around Del-Fi.
Ron Roessler was his name.
Everybody in the music https://sellingonthenet.info/roulette/people-roulette-com.html knew about Roulette.
It was owned by Morris Levy.
And Morris Levy was a very dangerous man.
He was mobbed up.
Rumor had it that Levy had bodies on him.
Which made it absurd.
Still, on March 12, 1966, I Fought the Law by The Bobby Fuller Four, on Mustang Records, reached number nine on the Top 40 charts.
It roulette records mob just what Bob Keane wanted, what he had to have—a big, glorious top ten hit setting right up there, on the same charts, with Nowhere Man by the The Beatles.
But more importantly—at least to the finicky, ultra-talented purist from El Paso Texas—it was something to be proud of.
Though I Fought the Law would climb no further on the charts, it would sell well over a million records.
Nowhere Man would stall out at number three.
And while The Beatles would chalk up fourteen more top ten hits before they disbanded roulette records mob years later, Bobby Fuller would never hit the top ten again.
Even so, I Fought the Law would become an anthem of rebellion to both rock and punk rock devotees.
It would be covered by many bands, most notably The Clash.
But it would be The Bobby Fuller Four version that would become iconic, ranked as 1 2 pro roulette of the greatest songs ever recorded by the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Tragically Bobby would never know those accolades.
His death was ruled a suicide and then, later, an accidental death—though nobody really believed that.
check this out Fuller was twenty-three at the time.
MOB OF THE DEAD: NO PURCHASE CHALLENGE (NO PERKS NO PACK NO GUNS)
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