Let Her Dance, Let Her Dance, Ket Her Dance All Night Long....
May 7, 2004 8:23 PM   Subscribe

Bobby Fuller was a Texas based rock and roll singer best known for the immortal rebel anthem "I Fought The Law,". Considered by many to be the heir to Buddy Holly as the king of Texas Rock, he built on Holly's style with songs like the aforementioned "...Law," "Jenny Lee," "Love's Made A Fool Of You," and the 2 1/2 minute masterpiece "Let Her Dance." And then it ended, at age 22, in very weird circumstances. Over the years, interest in Fuller and his work has ebbed and flowed, and plenty of archival material surfaced, but the mystery of his death remains unsolved, although many have speculated. Ann odd end for a footnote character in rick history, but who was bound for more
posted by jonmc (16 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
...unfinished sentences?
posted by armage at 9:10 PM on May 7, 2004

. . . rick and roll greatness?
posted by _sirmissalot_ at 9:28 PM on May 7, 2004

Ann it goes onn ann onn....

Actually, Marshal Crenshaw does a nice version of "Let Her Dance"
posted by Eekacat at 10:43 PM on May 7, 2004

We music lovers at MeFi can't afford to lose jonmc. I hope he himself didn't come to ann odd end.
posted by LeLiLo at 11:16 PM on May 7, 2004

Great post, jonmc, thanks. I came across the strange death of Bobby Fuller a few years ago and was fascinated. I'm sad to see there hasn't been much progress since then. It's extremely bizarre that the original finding was suicide, given the circumstances (at very least you'd think the police would be interested in finding out who'd beaten him up).
posted by biscotti at 11:22 PM on May 7, 2004

... pooping in Lake Michigan?
posted by Witty at 11:54 PM on May 7, 2004

Separated at birth?
posted by mischief at 4:56 AM on May 8, 2004

Ack! My last sentence must be pregnant, it missed it's period. Armage's completion is closest to what I meant.

But it's true, biscotti, this story is so strange that I'm kind of surprised there hasn't been more written about it. I think it'd make a great movie or even a documentary. I think it was on Unsolved Mysteries once.
posted by jonmc at 6:06 AM on May 8, 2004

Good stuff. Here are some sort-of related Bob Keane interviews. He avoids talking too much about the mysterious Fuller death. Sounds suspicious to me.
posted by jjray at 7:23 AM on May 8, 2004

thanks jonmc, for this blast from my 6-transistor toting past. i loved that song, the ringing guitar hook (though i have to say, john kaye's definition of "killer power chords" differs somewhat from mine), the soaring melody in the bridge, the total package. i wish i was 13 again. rick and rill forever!!!!
posted by quonsar at 9:09 AM on May 8, 2004

Great post. I knew nothing of this. Thanks, jonmc!

But don't you mean _sirmissalot_'s completion?

With the substitution of "rock and roll" for "rick and roll," that is.
posted by languagehat at 10:35 AM on May 8, 2004

*slaps head*

posted by jonmc at 10:41 AM on May 8, 2004

and do yourself a favor, obtain "Let Her Dance," through completely legal means, pronto. It's the kind of rock and roll nobody knows how to write, (or wants to write) anymore.
posted by jonmc at 10:49 AM on May 8, 2004

Now one of the most important things to remember here is that "I Fought the Law" was written by a guy from Buddy Holly's Crickets (well after Holly's death), and that the Bobby Fuller Four's version is a note-for-note copy of the Crickets version. All Bobby Fuller brings to it is a certain extra energy and echo. Bobby Fuller did a lot of boring junk that has indeed surfaced over the past decade, but his only good songs (which I am going to list below) if put onto a single album, would constitute one of the most awesome records ever made. "Let Her Dance" is not the last word, and he has many songs which are as good, if not better. Here is everything you ever need to know about Bobby Fuller:
1. Let Her Dance
2. Julie
3. A New Shade of Blue
4. Only When I Dream
5. Another Sad and Lonely Night
6. Saturday Night
7. Fool of Love
8. Never to be Forgotten (a pop monument)
9. Take My Word.
You can skip everything else. The magic cloud of genius descended upon Bobby Fuller for a grand total of nine songs, and the mystery that represents is at least as baffling as his death. How does it happen that greatness comes powerfully and goes so quickly with these guys? (By the way, anyone who likes Bobby Fuller would do well to check out the Crickets post-Buddy Holly output, which is available on CD. They got a lot of A-minus and B-plus Brill Building-type pop songs to record in the early to mid-sixties, and they are quite consistently satisfying.)
posted by Faze at 3:32 PM on May 8, 2004

Faze, I'd add The Magic Touch to that list.
posted by The Card Cheat at 8:10 AM on May 10, 2004

Great thread. I always wondered whatever happened to Bobby Fuller. Now I'm wondering how anybody could have believed the suicide explanation, which seems ludicrous.

Based on people's comments, I'm thinking I need to hear more of Fuller's group and the post-Buddy Holly Crickets.
posted by pmurray63 at 10:59 AM on May 10, 2004

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