The Candymen Orchestra, Let’s Twist, Diplomat FM-112, 1962
It’s always a great day for an artist when their first record comes out. Every “jukebox” movie ever made has that moment in it. Strangely though, it’s very hard to find any background information about The Candymen Orchestra online. Not that their record’s jacket has much information to begin with, but Discogs.com’s discography for them has this as their only offering. Welcome to the world of the discount record.
The masterminds at Diplomat Records, a division of the Synthetic Plastics Company of Newark, New Jersey, saw that The Twist was more than a hit record. It had been a famous number one for Chubby Checker in 1960, but it never really went away. In 1962, the original record did the impossible and returned to number one in a twist-mania that lasted until surf-mania took over in 1963. The market was flooded with twist knock off records from serious jazz artists all the way down to something like this.
Diplomat Records were the sort of things that would be sold at drug stores or out of the trunk of some guy’s Studebaker. The company would get a somewhat competent group of musicians, pay them a flat fee to record as many public domain tunes as they could come up with that fit the popular theme of the day, and then sell baby sell. Often times, a hit record would be copied as closely as possible and then the album would come out with a very deceptive cover that would trick enough people into buying it that they would profit from the endeavor. I’ve been very lucky at finding a trove of these records, and while they aren’t much to listen to very often, they are enough to have another theme week featuring!
Cost: $2, $791 Remaining