Buzz Clifford

More Than Just Babysittin'

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The title More Than Just Baby Sittin' refers to the fact that there is a lot more to Buzz Clifford than "Baby Sittin' Boogie," his novelty hit that registered simultaneously on the pop, country, and R&B charts in 1961. His follow-up single, "Three Little Fishes," barely dented the Cash Box Top 100 and marked the end of Clifford's chart career. His meager chart success notwithstanding, Clifford made many more recordings before and after his pair of hits, as this 28-song German anthology shows. Covering the years 1958-1967 and claiming to compile his complete recordings (in reality, he made a number of other recordings from 1967 onward), More Than Just Baby Sittin' contains the complete 1961 album Baby Sittin' with Buzz and assorted singles on labels such as Roulette, Capitol, Columbia, and others. Surprisingly -- and in keeping with the title -- "Baby Sittin' Boogie" is the only novelty in the bunch. Clifford's other efforts range from the Buddy Knox-style pop/rock he made in the late '50s to the teen idol ballads, traditional pop (including an impressive rendition of "Ebb Tide"), and straight-up rock & roll ("Long Tall Sally") he waxed in the '60s. The exciting "I'll Never Forget" incorporates a Marcels-like doo wop chant that, again, isn't quite like anything else in the collection. Clifford's later efforts find him fishing around for a sellable style, but the early cuts are pretty neat and amply reward listeners inspired by "Baby Sittin' Boogie" to dig deeper into Clifford's career.