Bobby Please and the Pleasers
Bobby Please and the Pleasers

Bobby Please and the Pleasers’ “The Monster” is another example of B sides finding a longevity that outlasts the A side, which in this case was “The Switch.” Both sides tried to take advantage of ephemeral phenomena. The A side was chasing the dance craze of the late 1950s in the wake of the great success of public tv dancing on Dick Clark’s American Bandstand. Bobby Plaisted was a West Coast producer and performer whose recording career had already started on Era Records in  1957 with another novelty, “You Driver’s License, Please,” a phrase capable of arousing far more fright than a mere monster, especially when spoken by a menacing cop after pulling a recently licensed teenager over to the side of the road. Bobby Please got to Jamie through George Motola, a prolific West Coast producer who was looking for the magic of getting onto American Bandstand at a time when it represented the fastest and best way to have an instant national hit. The Pleasers consisted of Motola's wife Ricki Page and Becky Louise Page, presumably also a relative. Neither side of the Pleasers’ release had any contemporary success, but monsters had already made their mark with a late 1950s horror-movie resurgence, which spilled over into music when Philadelphia’s Cameo Records put out “Dinner with Drach” and other recordings by John Zacherle, the host of local Philadelphia tv-station WCAU’s late-night horror-movie series. “The Switch” b/w “The Monster” was released as Jamie 1118; its longevity can be traced to the later association of such music with Halloween, though being released in January 1959 shows that the association with Halloween still lay in the future.  In fact, of all things, this one is associated with Valentine’s Day. Bobby Plaiser, according to Rob Finnis in his liner notes to “These Ghoulish Things” on Ace Records, died in the 1970s.



Jamie 1118