Eddie Carl was a doo wop singer. He seems to have had a few hits in the late 1950s, but they can’t have been that big because I can find out nothing about him. On the other hand, he must have made a bit of an impact, because he recorded in America on the Decca label, and did well enough there that he had a single released in Australia on the Festival label.
Festival is an important part of the history of recorded music in Australia. It started out in 1952 as one of the first labels able to press the then-new “microgroove” discs. It released local recordings, some its own and others in partnership with small local labels, and also bought the Australian distribution rights for overseas artists – Festival had the rights to Bill Haley and the Comets when rock’n’roll arrived in 1956, and from there it became a big player on the local scene.
The distinctive yellow and black Festival label is a familiar sight to record collectors in Australia. This one turned up at a church fete, one of a box of records which had once been part of someone’s collection – you can tell because the owner put little stickers on the label or each record with a hand-written number. This one was number 13.
This record was pressed in 1959, and it can’t have done especially well, as Festival did not issue another of Carl’s records, but the writer of the little stickers must have liked it – it sounds as if it was played a lot – and I like it too. Like a lot of doo wop, the interest here is in the singing rather than what is sung: the lyrics are fairly lightweight love songs. I have decided to go with the B side, I Wonder, I Wonder, which is sadder and stronger than the bouncy A side, The Wonderful Secret Of Love.
I wonder who owned this record, and whether they are still alive? I wonder how many years it had sat in a box, before I bought it and cleaned it and gave it a spin? I wonder what happened to Eddie Carl – he was around for a little while, because he crops up in doo wop anthologies? Perhaps he went by other names – a lot of doo wop artists changed stage names like they changed their undies. If you know a bit about doo wop and can tell me more, please get in touch.
One thing is clear, though: Eddie Carl really can sing, and the backing instrumentation is nicely arranged by Jack Pleis. Great, melodic pop music.
- Artist: Eddie Carl
- Title: I Wonder, I Wonder
- Format: 7” vinyl disc, 45rpm
- Label: Festival FK-3079
- Manufactured in: Australia
- Year: 1959