"Rockin' Radio News" redux
Close, but no cigar. The A side of the Medallions' first recording was "Buick '59," not "Buick 69." Todd Rhodes's "Rocket 69" was never as big a hit as all that, which probably made ripping it off for "Buick '59" all the easier. At the time, Rhodes was considered to be more a jazz musician than an R&B musician. Both sides of the Medallions' recording were popular after its release in 1954. (I was seventeen, then.) And it was not popular just on the West Coast. I grew up in Saint Louis. In the fall of 1958, when the '59 Buicks came out, "Buick '59" was re-released and became an R&B hit all over again, together with "The Letter," at least in Saint Louis.