January 24, 2018


All memorabilia courtesy of Jim Coyle.
While Bobby James and his backing band The Dristells’ sole outing may have sounded a few years dated upon release in 1966, we here at The Basement Walls feel it's really never too late to let loose with an unrelenting full-throttle instro. Unfortunately Bobby (a.k.a. Robert J. Coyle) has passed on, but his brother Jim provided pics and info to help flesh out the personality behind the disc. Let's go!

Newburyport, Mass.-based Bobby James had been performing in various capacities since 1959. In the mid-Sixties he hooked up with Springfield-area band The Dristells and recorded two tracks at Universal Recording Studios in West Springfield, Mass.

Whereas the a-side, “True Blue,” showcases Bobby's voice with an early ’60s teen ballad, the flipside storms ahead with a “Stronger Than Dirt” / “You Can't Sit Down” style riff and Bobby's exclamations of “Let's go!” as the only vocals.

According to Jim Coyle, Bob and the band played a free concert on the roof of the clipper ship Flying Cloud while it was docked during Newburyport's annual Homecoming Day celebration. In addition to local gigs, Bobby James also performed in Maine, New Hampshire and New York and New Jersey.

Jim reflects: “There is one thing I can say about Bob; at the time, he was driven to be somebody. He lived his dream, if even for a short time and with limited success. He wasn't afraid to try and that was one of many admirable traits we all saw in Bob. I have never personally known anyone who went as far as he did to chase the dream of becoming a widely known entertainer. Of course, his style of music had limited appeal and along with other not-so-great acts, his just faded into history.”

In the early 1970s, Bobby James shifted gears and went into law enforcement, where he remained for the rest of his career. He passed away in September 2010.

True Blue / Let's Go
Lant Records 
(66009 • 15993/94)
February 1966

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