Ten Favorite Dark Songs: Dark Angel (#9)

@FourWalls (13259)
United States
January 29, 2017 7:14pm CST
While looking through the iPod for songs with the word "dark" in the title I came across this one and thought, hey, I should do an "angels" series. That's forthcoming. For right now, however, here's another song with "dark" in the title, a companion list to the ten favorite "light" songs. #9: Dark Angel - Benny Joy Typing burns 135-155 calories per hour, so let me save you some energy: no, you've never heard of him. If I hadn't won a CD of his in a trivia contest I would probably have never heard of him, either. Born Benjamin Eidson in Georgia, Benny Joy had a few regional rockabilly singles in the southeast in the late 1950s. The best of the lot, according to little ol' me, is "Ittie Bittie Everything." The most peculiar song on that CD I won is this one, where Joy obviously tried to sound like Johnny Cash. (Merle Kilgore did a parody of Johnny Cash with a song called "All Over Again, Again," and even in that he didn't sound this much like Cash!) And if the sound isn't enough, how about the subject matter: a man shoots himself, and after he pulls the trigger he decides he really didn't want to commit suicide. No, this is from the 1950s, so there's a happy ending: he survives and proclaims, "I'll never shoot myself again." Hokey, yep, but you know something? If you listen to some of Cash's "darker" songs you could almost hear him doing something like this. Benny Joy died in 1988, shortly after his 53rd birthday. He had a moment in the spotlight, leaving behind a few deeply buried treasures. Dark Angel Written by Benny Joy Recorded by Benny Joy Released as a single, 1958 (Available on Rockin' and Rollin' With Benny Joy, 1992) I need a little more time:
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5 people like this
4 responses
@JohnRoberts (54081)
• Los Angeles, California
30 Jan 17
Wow, you weren't kidding about the Cash similarity. Do you think that's why he didn't make it? Terry Stafford was an Elvis sound a like with Suspicion and had some success.
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (13259)
• United States
30 Jan 17
The rest of his stuff doesn't sound like Cash. (See the link below) As for why he never "made it," there are a lot of reasons. Back then, people could make a good living as "regional" stars and didn't want to go beyond the "safe" region they were known in. There was also so much focus on Elvis and Buddy that others got thrown by the wayside (such as the aforementioned Robin Luke, who only had "Susie Darlin'" as a big hit.) And, as hard as it is for us to think about this in this day and age, there was a lot of resistance to rock and roll, especially in the "Bible Belt" regions of the deep south. The CD didn't come with an informational book the way the Bear Family compilations do, so there's scant information about Joy's career and his subsequent post-music life. In fact, it's hard to determine what prompted someone to issue a compilation of his music...but I am glad they did. Here's my favorite song from that CD:
1 person likes this
@JohnRoberts (54081)
• Los Angeles, California
30 Jan 17
@FourWalls Yes, this song is better than Dark Angel. Are my ears deceiving or does he sound like Buddy Holly on this?
1 person likes this
@FourWalls (13259)
• United States
30 Jan 17
@JohnRoberts -- not as much as Luke on "Susie Darlin'," but I hear it, too.
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@teamfreak16 (40847)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
30 Jan 17
Sweet! I've been a Benny Joy fan for years! Just kidding. You're right, I've never heard of him. He does have kind of a Johnny Cash thing going on.
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@FourWalls (13259)
• United States
30 Jan 17
So was Elton John, remember "Benny and the Joys"?
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@teamfreak16 (40847)
• Colorado Springs, Colorado
31 Jan 17
@FourWalls - Ah yes, my favorite Elton John song!
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@inertia4 (27599)
• United States
30 Jan 17
Very strange. I listened to this song and yes he had that Johnny Cash sound. I also listened to a few others from Youtube and he basically stole Elvis' sound. I guess there couldn't have been two of them.
1 person likes this
@inertia4 (27599)
• United States
31 Jan 17
@FourWalls I guess so. I do know some bands later on in time had similar sounds to other bands. But that one is way too close. I guess only the real good ones become real famous.
@mawdest (1473)
• Orillia, Ontario
30 Jan 17
Very interesting! Tragic he passed so soon though.
1 person likes this