LaVern Baker

Jim Dandy

Song Review by

One of LaVern Baker's most beloved hits, "Jim Dandy" is also one of the great pure rock and roll records of the '50s. It's kind of quirky in a way that rock and roll songs were still allowed to be in 1955, when this song was recorded. (It was pulled out of the Atlantic vaults in December 1956 as the flipside to "Tra La La," making this one of the first occasions when deejays flipped the disc to make the b-side the smash.) There's no audible bass on the song except for some perky doo-wop-style "bomp-ba-ba" in the male vocal quartet that's backing Baker, and by far the loudest instrument in the entire mix is an in-your-face snare drum kicking the backbeat on every bar, giving the song both an irresistible urgency and an oddly modern sound. Baker's vocals, especially the wild-eyed "Go, Jim Dandy!" that punctuates every verse, are the strongest and most assertive of her career, making "Jim Dandy" her signature song.

Appears On

Year Artist/Album Label Time AllMusic Rating
No Image 1956 K-Tel 2:11
LaVern Baker 1957 Atlantic 2:10
No Image 1963 JCI Associated Labels 2:12
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 3 (1955-1958) 1985
Various Artists
Atlantic 2:11
Soul on Fire: The Best of LaVern Baker 1991 Atlantic 2:11
Rock N Roll 1957 1993
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels 2:11
Baby Boomer Classics: Heart & Soul Fifties 1995
Various Artists
JCI Associated Labels
Pink Flamingos 1997
Original Soundtrack
Hip-O 2:12
Rockfile, Vol. 9 1997
Various Artists
Rockfile 2:10
LaVern/LaVern Baker 1998 Collectables 2:08
The Evolution of Soul 2000
Various Artists
Delta 2:12
The Legend at Her Best 2000 Collectables 2:10
Jerry Williams Väljer Århundradets Rocklåtar, Vol. 1 2000
Various Artists
Stockholm Records 2:13
Great Ladies of Rock & Roll: The '50s 2002
Various Artists
Collectables 2:11
Golden Era of Rock 'n' Roll: 1954-1963 2004
Various Artists
Hip-O 2:12
Rhino Hi-Five: LaVern Baker 2005 Atlantic 2:15
Atlantic Rhythm & Blues 1947-1974, Vol. 3: 1955-1957 2006
Various Artists
WEA International 2:13
Blowing the Fuse: 31 R&B Classics That Rocked the Jukebox in 1957 2006
Various Artists
Bear Family Records 2:12
50 Rock and Roll Originals 2006
Various Artists
Delta 2:12
Jim Dandy 2006 Collectables 2:13
The Blues Had a Baby...They Called It Rock 'N' Roll 2006
Various Artists
Primo Records 2:14
Atlantic R&B Box Set 2006
Various Artists
WEA International 2:13
Soul on Fire: The Best of LaVerne Baker 2007 WEA International 2:13
Roots of Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 2 2007
Various Artists
Hallmark / Hallmark Recordings 2:14
The Rock 'N' Roll Explosion: 120 Hits That Rocked the World 2007
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:12
Bada Bing! Music Heard on the Sopranos 2007
Original Soundtrack
Golden Stars 2:13
Atlantic Records Story 2007
Various Artists
Hallmark Recordings 2:14
The Golden Age of American Rock 'N' Roll, Vol. 11 2007
Various Artists
Ace 2:13
Atlantic Top 60: R&B Grooves 2007
Various Artists
Rhino 2:15
Yesterday's Gold: 60 Golden Oldies of the 50's 2008
Various Artists
Remember Records
Foot Tappin' & Dance at the Screamin' Festival, Vol. 1 2008
Various Artists
El Toro 2:14
101 Rock 'N' Roll Songs 2008
Various Artists
Virgin 2:12
Only the Best of LaVern Baker 2008 Collectables 2:10
Music of My Life: Golden Decade, Vol. 20 (1956) 2008
Various Artists
Golden Decade / Membran 2:11
The Rock 'N' Roll Roadshow 2008
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:13
The Ultimate Oldies But Goodies Collection: Sh-Boom 2008
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:14
Rock 'N' Roll Greats [Delta] 2009
Various Artists
Delta Leisure 2:13
Simply Rock 'n' Roll Love Songs 2009
Various Artists
Simply
Bob Ting a Ling 2009 Snapper / Snapper Music 2:14
Rock 'N' Roll Greats: Heartbeat 2009
Various Artists
Decca 2:13
Rhythm & Blues History 2010
Various Artists
ZYX 2:13
The Ultimate Oldies But Goodies Collection 2010
Various Artists
Time/Life Music 2:14
Absolutely Rock 'n' Roll 2011
Various Artists
Delta Leisure Group / Music Digital 2:13
Juke Box Jive: Essential Rock 'n' Roll 2011
Various Artists
Metro Select 2:11
No Image 2013 Blue Playa Records 2:11
The R&B No. 1s of the '50s 2013
Various Artists
Acrobat / Acrobat Music 2:12
100 Tubes Soul, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Warner Music
101 Hits from the Rock 'N' Roll Hall of Fame
Various Artists
DLG Digital 2:12
50 Original Rhythm and Blues HiFi Hits, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Hifi Hits 2:11
No Image
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:10
A Year in Your Life: 1956
Various Artists
AAO Music 2:15
American Classic Oldies, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Cherished Records 2:12
American Heartbeat: The 50s
Various Artists
One Day Music 2:13
Golden Oldies Hit Series, Vol. 18
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:10
Great #1 R&B Hits of the 1950's
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:17
Great Ladies of R&B
Various Artists
AAO Music / United Audio Entertainment 2:15
I Just Love Rock 'n' Roll
Various Artists
Music Digital 2:16
It's So Fine: Complete Singles A's & B's 1953-59 Jasmine Records
Jukebox Favourites: The Best of Early R&B
Various Artists
AP Music
Oldies Hits A to Z, Vol. 5
Various Artists
Forever Classic Hits 2:10
Real Wild Child: 50 Rockin' Rollin' Favourites for Kids of All Ages
Various Artists
Snapper Music 2:11
Rhythm & Blues
Various Artists
Music & Melody / ZYX Music 2:14
Rock 'n' Roll Cruisin': 60 Essential Rock 'n' Roll Driving Songs
Various Artists
Metro / Metro Tins
Rock 'n' Roll Ladies
Various Artists
ZYX 2:13
Rock'n Roll Fever [Music & Melody]
Various Artists
Music & Melody 2:13
Soda Shop Hits
Various Artists
Green Hill Productions / Spring Hill Music 3:12
Soul Music: The First Generation
Various Artists
Primo / Primo Records 2:12
Still Alive and Rockin'
Various Artists
Fab Four
The  Biggest & Best Rock 'n' Roll Album
Various Artists
Roastin 2:10
The  Most Popular Songs of All Time, Vol. 5
Various Artists
Roastin 2:10
The Complete Singles As & Bs: 1949-1962 Acrobat 2:12
The Greatest R&B Hits of 1956, Vol. 2
Various Artists
Acrobat 2:12
The Platinum Collection Atlantic / Rhino 2:15
blue highlight denotes editor's pick