documenting the optical sounds of '60s pop, Acid Punk & Psychedelia

Jay & the Americans – You Ain’t As Hip As All That Baby (United Artists)

“You Ain’t As Hip As All That Baby” / “Nature Boy” (United Artists UP 1178) April 1967

I don’t really know much about Jay and the Americans and my collection has just one of their records, this recently purchased 45 on United Artists. Previously to this item, the only other number I’m aware of is “(We’ll Meet In The) Yellow Forest” which was compiled on the CD comp ‘Marshmallow Skies.’

So, I’ve had to do some research on the group and was surprised to find that they were having American hits before the 1964 British Invasion. It has to be said that they were virtually unknown in Britain and didn’t trouble the charts here at any point during their existence.

“You Ain’t As Hip As All That Baby” has an updated folk-rock sound with orchestration. The vocals remind me of those by Roy Orbison and it’s of no surprise to find that Jay and the Americans covered Roy’s songs, including his big hit “Crying.”

On the other side of the disc is a version of “Nature Boy” which is not my scene.

Record reviews from the British music press:

Jay and the Americans always sound like early Roy Orbison to me, which is good. “You Ain’t As Hip As All That Baby” is a nice line in gentle bitterness. (Disc & Music Echo, 08/04/67)

Rather a dreary scene all round and not calculated to boost the group’s chance. (Record Mirror, 08/04/67)

“You Ain’t As Hip As All That Baby” is a big-build dramatic ballad. Sung in throbbing Orbison-like tones, with chanting, strings and tambourine, it’s quite well done – but a wee bit corny. At times, it sounds rather like the Bachelors. (NME, 08/04/67)

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