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Friday, January 23, 2009

Tennessee, Tennessee

In a Season 3 full of firsts, the "Something" episode of Theme Time Radio Hour had - as far as I can tell - the first phone-in call from a real person...

Our Host: We're talking about something here on Theme Time Radio Hour, "Something" in particular. I think I'll check Line 1. Oh, it's not working. Line 2 is always good. Hello, caller, you're on the air. What's your name and where you calling from?

TT: My name is Tennessee Thomas, and I'm calling from Brooklyn, where I'm on tour with my band, The Like.

OH: How's the tour going?

TT: The tour is going really well, thanks.

OH: Are you listening to the show today?

TT: Yes, I've been listening to the show, and it's great. And, you asked a question earlier about a guy and I have some information for you.

OH: Oh, great!

TT: Well, um, he did the original version of The Twist, and his band was called The Midnighters.

OH: Oh, Tennessee! You're thinking of Hank Ballard. We were tring to find out about Jimmy Ballard.

TT: Oh, nooo!

OH: Well, that's all right. It was really nice of you to try to help. Have fun in Brooklyn. There's some great places to eat there. Make sure you try the Totonno's pizza on Neptune Avenue.

TT: Maybe I will go there.

OH: Ya can take it on the bus with you. Good luck on the tour.

TT: Thanks a lot!

OH: We'll see you soon.

OH: Nice of her to try to help. Still no closer to learning about Jimmy Ballard though. Perhaps it's lost to the mists of time.


As Tennessee noted, her band is The Like, an improabably young group which includes Elizabeth "Z" Berg (vocals/guitar), Charlotte Froom (bass/vocals) and Tennessee herself (drums/vocals). Now all of 24 years old, Tennessee and the other women formed The Like in 2001 at the tender ages of 16, 16, and 17 respectively. Tennessee is the daughter of Pete Thomas, longtime drummer for Elvis Costello.That may be the connection with Mr. D., or it may be through The Kings of Leon - who The Like opened for during a 2005 tour - or there may be some other mutual acquaintance.

The Like released their first album, Are You Thinking What I'm Thinking?, on the Geffen label in September 2005. If the band is touring now, I can't find any info about it. The last touring info I can find is from 2006, when The Like was in Europe. The band's MySpace blog hasn't been updated since 2007, and information on their web site seems to end at 2006. I'll resist digressing into a rant but note to bands: There are many good reasons why you don't want to do your Web site totally in Flash. Take heed.

End of rant.

Our Host seems to be on a kick of foodie recommendations of late, having giving the nod to The Rojo in Birmingham, Alabama during the "11 On Up" show, and now Totonno's in Brooklyn. Can an "Eating Out With Bob" book be in our future?

And, as he noted, there's a paucity of information about Jimmy (not Hank) Ballard, stumping even the crack Dreamtime team. According to what I discovered, She's Got Something was the B side of a single on the King label. Although hard to believe, the A side featured (I Want A) Bow-legged Woman, also a hit for Ballard, and both songs are cited as two of the earliest cross-over examples from country-western to rock'-n-roll. Ballard's other King singles included Creeks Gone Muddy and Till the End. And the rest, as Mr. D. said, seems to be lost in the mists of history.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...


I was able to come up with a photo of Jimmy Ballard at a radio station party in December of 19 and 50; see here and scroll down