Song Of The Day 6/21/2016: Rachel & the Revolvers – “Revo-Lution”

The Life of Brian – So, Mr. Aspiring Content Editor over here just noticed he missed another very important reason to cover Brian Wilson this week: Yesterday, June 20, was the man's birthday. I found this out Monday afternoon. It's not like the old days at Zune when I had a Rolodex with every single rock luminary's birthday on it. I'm just not big on celebrity birthdays anymore. They're not that big on my birthday either. Except for that time Lady Gaga sent me a bunch of rib-eye steaks sewn together to make a cape.

Moving on. Rachel & the Revolvers doing "The Revo-Lution," another Brian Wilson/Gary Usher composition, produced by Brian in 1962. This was a one-off single, rather transparently a cop off Little Eva's "The Loco-Motion." The Revolvers were, as you might have expected, Brian, Gary, and Brian's brother Carl. (Or it might have been Dennis. Or both.) A man named Larry played saxophone.

There's an interesting bit of drama attached to who "Rachel" actually is, but nearly all parties agree that her actual name was not Rachel, but Betty. It's the second name nobody can agree on and that's quite significant. Discogs.com, which is just about as official as anybody can get, lists the singer's "uncredited" name as Betty Willis. She was, as the bio goes, a session singer from Watts, California, who released some singles under her own name in the mid-'60s. However, Gary Usher reportedly went on record as saying the singer was Betty Everett, a "singer from L.A." He doesn't say whether this is the same Betty Everett who was best known for "The Shoop Shoop Song (It's In His Kiss)" and the original version of "You're No Good." My guess is that it wasn't because that Betty Everett, I believe, was born in Mississippi and made Chicago her home base during her career. But wait. There's also some distant, completely unfounded rumor that Rachel is actually Betty Wright, who had a big R&B hit single in 1971 with "Clean-Up Woman." This rumor is bunk because Wright was 18 years old when "Clean-Up Woman" made the charts -- meaning she would have been 8 or 9 years old when "Revo-Lution" came out. It's a total mystery. Maybe Betty White could clear this all up.

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