Today’s song is ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’. This song was the title song to the film ‘The Girl Can’t Help It’, with words and music by songwriter Bobby Troup. It was performed by Little Richard and was released in December 1956. In the US, the song peaked at Number 49 on the ‘Billboard Hot 100’ singles chart, and Number 7 on the ‘R&B Best Sellers Chart’. Overseas, ‘The Girl Can't Help It’ peaked at Number 9 in the UK. It was included on the Rolling Stone’s ‘500 Greatest Songs of All Time at Number 413. Originally, Fats Domino was lined up to record the track, which was not written as a rock song.
The song has been covered by many artists including The Animals (1964): The Everly Brothers (1969): Led Zepplin (1970), plus numerous others.
I was 14 years old when ‘The Girl Can’t Help it’ was released, although it was almost a year later until I was able to see the film of the same name, due to a previous accident which had prevented me walking for almost three years.
Which pair of male eyes from teenager upwards could possibly fail to be engaged by the way Jayne Mansfield burst onto the big screen with an accentuated wiggle in her walk that made every prominent part of her stand out a mile? Not since the beautiful Jane Russell in the film ‘Outlaw’ (1943) had seductively lain in that barn of loose straw flashing her ‘come on’ eyes, had the female form dressed in skin-tight garments provided the filmgoer with such delectable viewing.
Indeed, I wasn’t at all surprised after once reading that this Delux-Colour film production was originally intended as a vehicle for the American sex symbol, Jayne Mansfield to strut her stuff across the big screen. However, with a satirical subplot involving teenagers and rock and roll music, the unintended result of the film was to introduce the most potent celebration of rock music ever captured on the big screen (for that period in time).
My dear mother (who was rarely surprised by all the goings-on in the world) would be constantly stumped by my ability to change girlfriends as often as my shirt. It seemed to surprise her by the ease in which I was able to pick up a different girlfriend every week of the year to take dancing and romancing. Like all mothers then (and still today I would imagine), mums didn’t bother too much what their oldest son got up to; it was their daughter’s behaviour they worried about. It was their daughter’s wrongful action which was more likely to shame the family name, while their sons were able to park their sins at the altar of being ‘a bit of a lad’. Mums knew better than anyone else that it is always the female who is left ‘holding the baby’, long after the dance has ended and the coats have been collected from the cloakroom to go home.
I recall being 17 years old and getting dolled up to go dancing one Saturday night at Cleckheaton Town Hall. As I combed my hair to go out (in those days a comb was never far from a young man’s hands and hair), my mother said, “I don’t know how you do it, Billy Forde! How do you get all these young women falling over to go out with you? How do you do it, lad?”
Looking at mum I arrogantly replied, “I suppose the girl can’t help it, Mum”; a phrase I’d stolen from the Jayne Mansfield film.
I dedicate my song today to my great-niece, Darcy Forde of Batley and my Facebook friend, Pascall Poppler, who lives in Monaco; both of whom celebrate their birthday today. Have a smashing birthday, ladies filled with much happiness, love…and…lots of cake. Lots of love, Darcy from Great Uncle Billy and Sheila x.
Love to Pascall. Thank you for being my Facebook friend. Bill x
Love and peace Bill xxx