Rocket In My Pocket

Shirley: Tell me more about “I Got A Rocket in My Pocket.”

Terry: OK. I was in the backyard and my dad was washing the car in the front yard, and the sound either came over the roof of the house or around the sides (laughs), but it got to me, and I ran from the backyard up to where Dad had the car radio on, washing the car with the radio on. Back then you could have the car radio on without the ignition key. And he always listened to WTMT, which was country music and all I heard was, “I got a rocket in my pocket and the fuse is lit.”

And I wanted to hear that song again but it never happened. I made the mistake of trying to find it on the rock and roll stations, because it was obviously rock and roll, but I found out later they were only playing it on the country stations because of who it was, which I’ll get to later, but I spent a lot of energy and time trying to track down what that record was. And so that must have been 1958, I’m guessing.

I couldn’t find it. I asked everybody I knew. “You ever heard this record? ‘I got a rocket in my pocket and the fuse is lit…’” And no one knew.

I finally got up to New York City in 1967, and I started going down to Village Oldies and I asked these guys, Bleecker Bob and Broadway Al, two record experts, “Who did that record?” Neither of them knew. Nobody knew what it was and I just kept on looking for it, you know?

So I guess, I’m going to say in 1974, I decided to pick up the search again, when I was visiting Louisville, and I was in a record shop called King’s Records, which was actually run by Pee Wee King’s brother. Pee Wee King is a Louisville musician, on RCA Victor. I talked Tom Staley into singing one of his tunes, “Slowpoke,” on one of our home tapes, as a matter of fact.

Anyway, I decided to ask Gene King because he knew a lot about music. I was spending some time there, and I just asked him. I didn’t know why I had decided to ask him, [inaudible] he’d tell me. He said, “Oh, that was by a guy named Jimmy Lloyd, but his real name is Jimmy Logsdon.” Well, I knew who Jimmy Logsdon was. He was a country singer, musician in Louisville, a local guy.

So now I know who did it, what label it’s on… He didn’t have it, by the way.

So I started searching the auction lists and finally found it in… what at the time, I don’t know what that would be, back in 1974, Goldmine or something. It came up on auction, there it was. “I Got A Rocket in My Pocket” by Jimmy Lloyd.

And I kept track, in my mind, of how much I’d bid and all that, kept going up in increments, 50 cents, $1, because I couldn’t miss it. And I bid $28.53 on it. It doesn’t sound like a lot maybe today but in 1974 that was a lot of money to pay for a 45, to me.

I got it. I won the auction. As soon as I heard it, it was just what I thought it was. I talked Joey into singing it and we recorded it in 1975, and it eventually got released on All Hopped Up.

Now that gets to the thing about this story that I really like. I searched worldwide for something that was in Louisville in the first place, and Jimmy Logsdon lived about a mile and a half from my house the whole time. So how many times was I in town, and I didn’t know it was him. (Terry begins to sing “Back In Your Own Backyard”)

http://www.terryadams.net/nrbq.html

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