CARL DOBKINS JR
Carl Dobkins Jr. was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on 1/13/41. His parents
were among the many people that had moved from Appalachia looking for
jobs in the city.
His mother, father and several other family members all
sang and played guitar. When he was nine years old, his parents bought
Carl a ukulele. It had an plastic Arthur Godfrey attachment that played
chords by pushing buttons.
But it wasn't long before he took off the
attachment and with the help of his mom started banging out the chords on
his own. He later applied those chords to his Mom's guitar, singing and
playing early 50's country songs and the old "Hillbilly Songs" that he
learned from his family.
While in high school at the age of 16, he made a demo record of two of
his own compositions. He was introduced to a popular local DJ Gil
Sheppard, by some nieghborhood friends. Gil was impressed with the
recording and became his manager. Gil and his wife Kay started promoting
the young performer, dubbing him "The Teenage Rage". He started singing
at local dance parties and record hops and in a short time landed a
contract with Cincinnati based Fraternity Records. "Take Hold of My Hand"
and "That's Why I'm Asking" was his first and only release on the label.
Carl wrote and recorded two more of his songs at King studios in
Cincinnati. His manager arranged for the sale of the master to Decca
Records ("Love Is Everything" and "If You Don't want my Lov'in"). "If You
Don't want my Lov'in" became a regional hit (#1 for six 6 weeks in
Charleston, West Virginia. Later it was released again, this time hitting
the national charts). This regional exposure lead to recording sessions
for Decca at Owen Bradley's studios in Nashville. It was there that "My
Heart is an Open Book" was recorded, with a Martin Flat Top guitar,
drums, bass and two female back up voices from the Anita Kerr Singers.
"Open Book" was by no means an instant success. In fact, it had been
released for 6 months before it hit the charts. Decca had to re-send
promotional copies to radio stations that previously had tossed the
record out. Carl made the first of 14 appearances on Dick Clark's Band
Stand show the day after graduating from high school. From there he hit
the road, touring the USA, Canada and Hawaii. During this time, he had to
devote 6 months to serve Uncle Sam in the U.S Army as part of his
military reserve obligation. No, he didn't get assigned a singing job; he
was in the infantry!
Over the years Carl has had 18 singles on various recording labels, 1 EP,
1 album and most recently a CD that includes all of his recordings for
Decca. Carl has toured and played with many artists over the years
including, Barbara Lewis, Bobby Freeman, Bobby Rydell, Bobby Vee, Brenda
Lee, Bryan Hyland, Buddy Knox, Fabian, Frankie Avalon, Frankie Ford,
Freddie Cannon, Hollywood Argyles, Jan & Dean, Jerry Lee Lewis, Jimmy
Clanton, Joey Dee & the Starlighters, Johnny & the Hurricanes, Johnny
Tillotson, Lemon Pipers, Lonnie Mack, Peter Noone, Pure Prairie League,
Ray Campi, Ray Peterson, Ronnie Dove, Rusty York, The Bell Hops, The
Casinos, The Chiffons, The Crests, The Crickets, The Del Vikings, The
Drifters, The Fleetwoods, The Skyliners, The Vogues and many other great
performers. Carl also appeared in June of 1959 with the first R & R show
to play the Surf Ballroom after the plane crash that took Buddy Holly,
Big Bopper and Ritchie Valens. More recently Carl played in Vienna
Austria at the largest outdoor festival in Europe, along with Ray Campi,
Buddy Knox and Frankie Ford.
Carl resides in Cincinnati and is still married to his high school sweet
heart, Jan. They have two daughters and five grandchildren. Carl still
keeps his suitcase packed for shows and appreciates his many fans. He's
available recording and for personal appearances - e-mail Carl at firstname.lastname@example.org. We're sure
he'd like to hear from you.
Carl's Recordings Listed in the Billboard Top 100
Title Position Debut Date Weeks Charted
"My Heart Is An Open Book" #3 4/13/59 24
Listed in the top 1000 records in Joel Whitburn's book "Top Pop"(1955-1985) book
based on Billboard's statistics.
"Lucky Devil" #25 12/7/59 17
"Exclusively Yours" #62 5/16/60 8
"If You Don't Want My Lovin'" #67 10/12/59 3
Contact Carl at: email@example.com
Carl would like to thank Bob Timmers and all of the staff at the Internet
Rockabilly Hall of Fame, for recognizing his contribution to Rockabilly
© Rockabilly Hall of Fame®