Jimmy Rabbit and Positively 13 O’Clock

 


Jimmy Rabbit cuts Chuck Dunaway’s call letters off his shirt after winning a boat race between the stations.
Jimmy Rabbit was a major DJ at Dallas station KLIF AM 1190 with a show that mixed British Invasion sounds with Texas acts like Mouse and the Traps, Sir Douglas Quintet and the Five Americans. Having tried his hand at singing as a young rockabilly under his real name, Eddy Payne (Dale Payne), he decided to make another attempt in 1965. With help from friends, Rabbit released three good garage 45s from ’65 to ’67.

“Pushover” is distinguished by a popping rhythm and sharp guitar. It was released with three variations in the name. First as Jimmy Rabbit with Ron and Dea on the yellow Knight label, on a blue Knight label as simply Jimmy Rabbit, and then picked up for national release on Southern Sound as Jimmy Rabbit and the Karats (ha ha). The b-side “Wait and See” is dark and less catchy, but pretty good too. Both of these were written by Lindsey-Kirkland-Rambo, arranged by Bob Rambo and produced by Bob Sanders.

Next came the bluesy “Wishy Washy Woman” from July of 1965, which reached #31 on the KLIF charts thanks to his connection with the station. It’s a somewhat formulaic blues, but gains momentum a little over halfway through as Jimmy sings just over the drums, with the other instruments coming in at the end of each measure. It was written by Ron Price, and backed with “My Girl”, credited as a Price original but really more a version of Willie Dixon’s “My Babe” with some different lyrics.


Jimmy Rabbit: “The picture of Positively 13 O’Clock was taken while we were playing at the world famous Lou Ann’s Teen Club.”
From left: Dave Stanley, Bugs Henderson, Jimmy Rabbit and Jerry Howell
His biggest hit came in 1966, with a buzzy cover of “Psychotic Reaction” under the name Positively Thirteen O’Clock, recorded at Robin Hood Brians studio in Tyler, Texas with members of Mouse and the Traps: “Bugs” Henderson and Ronnie “Mouse” Weiss on guitars, Ken “Nardo” Murray drums, David Stanley bass, and Jerry Howell organ.The solo has a frantic, trebly quality that’s a trademark Texas sound. The band ends the song with a final burst of fuzz rather than coming back into the verse as in the Count Five’s original, itself an imitation of the Yardbirds’ raveups. This abbreviated version clocks at a tidy 1:59!
Mr. Rabbit wrote to me:

The Dallas records ["Pushover" & "Wishy Washy Woman"] were a totally different thing than the Tyler recordings ["Psychotic Reaction"]. When Bobby Rambo and I teamed up in late ’64 we were a part of a new kind of music “thing” in Dallas-Ft. Worth.

We all came out of rockabilly music and we all used to hang out at the Sand-Lin Recording Studio (Bob Sanders and Lewis Lindsey) and played at, among other places: LouAnn’s and The Cellar in Dallas. This was right when the change from American to English music was taking place. We really tried to become/sound English! (like my friends in The Sir Douglas Quintet).

I was a teenager with a Beatle haircut who was the number-one d.j. on KLIF Radio. I had brought the Beatles on stage when they played Dallas [fascinating write up was at http://www.radiodailynews.com/rabbittchapter12.htm but is now defunct] and played in several bands, so we all got record deals at different times. There were several bands that hung out and listened to and recorded music. At any given time, there could be a band called ‘Jimmy Rabbit and the Karats’, ‘Jimmy Rabbitt with Ron (Boston) and Dea’ (Kirkland), ‘The Rowdies’, ‘The Bobby Rambo Rock-Kings’ and on and on.

The songs “Pushover” and “Wait and See” were recorded in 1965 and were featured in the movie, High Yellow. The band included Bobby Rambo, Lewis Lindsey, Dea Kirkland, Rex Ludwick, Ron Boston, and others who have been long forgotten!

Bobby Rambo, Rex Ludwick and I (and others) became Jimmy Rabbitt and Texas (on Atco Records) and later Jimmy Rabbitt and Renegade who recorded an album for Capitol with Waylon Jennings producing in 1977. Of all the records that I have made over the years, the only song that Bobby Rambo didn’t play on was “Psychotic Reaction”.

 

Check out Jimmy Rabbit’s website at www.jimmyrabbitt.com.(defunct)

Top photo of Jimmy Rabbit and Chuck Dunaway from The History of KLIF Radio (http://1650oldiesradio.com/pgone.html – also now defunct).

17 thoughts on “Jimmy Rabbit and Positively 13 O’Clock”

  1. wow! I loved Jimmy Rabbit. I was living in Dallas during his tenure as a dj so I got to hear this stuff straight from the rabbit’s mouth, so to speak. To see the actual 45s, wow! Thanks for posting.

  2. I was looking at an LP cover I had pulled off the shelf at my brother-in-law’s alpaca ranch in Grand Junction, CO. He said the guy living in his guest room recorded it. The album was Jimmy Rabbit and the Renegade.

  3. Yes, it’s the Jimmy Rabbitt mentioned in the David Allen Coe hit song “Longhaired Redneck” He co-wrote the song with Coe back in 1976. Check out Rabbitt’s version on http://www.youtube.com (Jimmy Rabbitt and Renegade “Longhaired Redneck)The website doesn’t mention that Jimmy Rabbitt and Renegade recorded several albums, including one produced by Waylon Jennings on Capitol Records in 1977. He still tours with his band, and does a radio show once a week on KOCI-FM in Newport Beach, CA (streaming at http;//www.kociradio.com)

  4. There was a DJ on KRLA AM in the 60′s, by the name of The Rabbit, or maybe Jimmy Rabbit. Is this the person in this web site? He introduced me to Taj Mahal (Corina), Phil Oakes (Tape from California and Outside Of A Small Circle Of Friends) and The Incredible String Band (The Hedgehog Song), and maybe Tim Hardin (Someone Like You), among other songs.

    Thanks so much for some really great music that still influences my tastes today. No kidding.

  5. I have heard an aircheck of Jimmy Rabbitt on KRLA from Feb 1970. It stands to reason he was there in the late 60s. Jimmy Rabbitt and the rest of the KLIF disc jockeys in Dallas were an inspiration to me in the 60s. I got into radio in 1970 and worked up until recently in the industry. A couple of years ago I emailed Jimmy and thanked him for giving me the inspiration. He even wrote me back. A good guy in my book.

    Mad Joe
    Wichita Falls, Tx

  6. Jimmy Rabbit & I worked together at the late, lamented KMET in Los Angeles…He was, and hopefully still is, a brilliant jock. He also turned me on to a lot of country rock renegades….I hope he’s well and prospering.

  7. As of mid 2009, Jimmy Rabbit’s doing a weekly two-hour show on a little bitty station in Costa Mesa California. He’s still cool!

  8. Let us never forget the laid back amusing ramblings that The rabbitt would concoct over the airwaves on radio station KROQ/AM&FM, emmiting from Pasdaena, California, for several years, during the 1970′s. This was his days between KBBQ/AM & KMET/FM. He was also went back there after KMET/FM lost him. All the while playing gigs with his band Renegade at legendary nightspots like The Palomino, The Sweetwater, The Golden Bear & The Roxy. His cool, synical muses would entertain the elite as well as the down trodden. I, for one, was enlightened, inspired & grateful to have been able to turn on with The rabbitt. Thanx for this groovy posting, here. A truely award-deserving web-site! Peace ~

  9. Oh, what awesome forum posts! I have always wondered myself what became of this marvelous DJ. As a Teenager, I was relocated from Pasadena Texas to LA by good ole Uncle Sam. Imagine finding another Pasadena on the west coast. Anyway, I was blessed to find a real roots rock radio station to help me keep my sanity while in the Navy. I listened faithfully to the weird eminations of KROQ while imagining the babes that he so eloquently described from the groupie pictues mailed in to his “Wall of Flesh”. This was 76-77 time frame and disco was in full pandemic. How refreshing it was to hear real music and to be introduced to other fascinating sounds of a west coast progressive country/rock genre. I was familiar with much of it but learned many new sounds. I did manage to catch him live at The Whisky-a-go-go on Sunset Blvd. His band was playing the first set at a Flying Burrito Brothers show; I believe they were billed as “Jimmy Rabbit and his Cocaine Cowboys”. What an awesome show! I had never heard of his Dallas roots but that does make perfect since now.

  10. On the family farm, 170 miles SW of Dallas, KLIF was my daytime station & KOMA at nite. As I got older & more affluent, I collected the music of my youth. JR’s Pushover was one of the first that I sought. For a long time I just knew there was a 2nd version of Psycotic Reaction but I couldn’t name it, so I couldn’t find it & eventually I gave up- until now & thanks to you I’ve finally found the other version that they played on KLIF in ’66. Thanks a bunch.

  11. I have loved ONLY your rendition of this song and I play it often. I would love a CD. Is it possible to buy one and how can I do that. You should have kept singing. You were great.

    Nancy

  12. i will never forget the days of seeing rabbit and renegade at the sweetwater cafe many years ago [70s] it is good to hear he is still around and still kicking ass play on rabbit

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