Back to CONELRAD.com Back to ATOMIC PLATTERS home
Cold War Music from the Golden Age of Homeland Security

EMAIL THIS PAGE     PRINT THIS PAGE     CATEGORY: SONGS: ATOMIC


Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town): Bill Haley and His Comets [1954]

Thirteen Women is the prototypical atomic fantasy song that features a working stiff dreaming about being the only male to survive an H-Bomb attack. The creeping beat, the plucked electric guitar chord (that signifies the hydrogen explosion) and the risque lyrics make this tune a landmark Bomb tune and the king of its own subgenre -- the Atomic Sex song. Reportedly Dickie Thompson's original lyrics did not reference the Bomb and that it was Bill Haley's producer, Milt Gabler, who 'atomized' the record.

And Gabler must have had high hopes for the tune because at the April 12, 1954 recording session it was the first of two scheduled songs he had Haley and His Comets record, the other being Rock Around The Clock. According to the Haley biography 'Sound and Glory' by John W. Haley and John Von Hoelle, Thirteen Women took six takes and two hours to get right. Thirteen Women was issued in 1954 by Decca as the A-side and Rock Around The Clock consigned to the B-side. Rock Around The Clock's prominent exposure in the 1955 motion picture 'Blackboard Jungle' made the song a cultural phenomenon.

Thirteen Women was recorded as Thirteen Men by Dinah Shore for RCA and by Ann-Margret in a lounge redux. Ann-Margret's version can be heard elsewhere on this set.

Bill Haley, the Neil Armstrong of white rock 'n' roll was born William John Clifton Haley in a small apartment in Highland Park, Michigan outside of Detroit in 1925. Both of Haley's parents were musically inclined with his father playing mandolin and banjo and his mother, an immigrant from England, playing organ and piano.

Haley's first inspiration was to become a singing cowboy like the ones he saw in the local movie theater growing up. In 1938 he received a used green guitar for Christmas and his course towards musical stardom was set. Haley's early career was targeted toward country music and he led a series of bands such as The Four Aces of Western Swing, The Down Homers, and Bill Haley and His Saddlemen.

In 1950 Haley signed with the Essex label of Philadelphia and he began covering R&B hits. Reportedly it was the program director of WPWA, Bob Johnson, who suggested 'Bill Haley and His Comets' as the new name for Haley's ensemble.

Haley signed on with Decca in 1954 and after the belated success of Rock Around The Clock he continued recording and touring in both the United States and Europe for the rest of his life with various changes in line-ups of The Comets. Haley died in Harlingen, Texas in 1981. Remnants of The Comets, now in their seventies, still tour to this day.

LYRICS/TRANSCRIPTION:
Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town): Bill Haley and His Comets [1954]

Last night I was dreamin'
Dreamed about the H-Bomb
Well the bomb-a went off and I was caught
I was the only man on the ground

There was-a 13 women and only one man in town
Thirteen women and only one man in town
And as funny as it may be
The one and only man in town was me
With 13 women and me the only man around

I had 2 gals every morning
Seein' that I was well fed
And believ-a you me, one sweetened my tea
While another one buttered my bread

Two gals gave me my money
Two gals made me my clothes
And another sweet thing bought me a diamond ring
About forty carats I suppose

Well, 13 women and only one man in town
There was-a 13 women and only one man in town
It was something I can't forget
Because I think of those 13 women yet
Well-a 13 women and only one man around

I had 3 gals dancin' the Mambo
Three gals ballin' the jack
And-a all-a the rest really did their best
Boy they sure were a lively pack

I thought I was in Heaven
And all of these angels were mine
But I woke up and I ended the dream
'Cause I had to get to work on time

Well-a 13 women and only one man in town
There was-a 13 women and only one man in town
No I can't tell where I've been
'Cause I kinda think that someday I'll go back again
To those 13 women and me the only man around

Well-a 13 women and me the only man around
Well-a 13 women and me the only man around

Bill Haley and His Comets [1954]
Thirteen Women (And Only One Man In Town)
(Dickie Thompson)
Decca 9-29124

CATEGORY: SONGS: ATOMIC[ 0 | COMMENTS | - ]

TECHNORATI TAGS:

RELATED TITLES:
(My) Fallout Filly (With The Atomic Kiss)
A Bomb Bop
Atom And Evil
Atom Bomb
Atom Bomb Baby
Atom Bomb Baby
Atomic Baby
Atomic Baby
Atomic Bomb Blues
Atomic Cocktail
Atomic Energy
Atomic Love
Atomic Nightmare
Atomic Power
Atomic Sermon




Return to ATOMIC PLATTERS
    Powered by PMachine
    © 1999-2005 CONELRAD.COM