Jody Reynolds has been writing and recording songs for many years, and managed to hit the big time with a very good record that hit the top ten for him in 1958.
When he was born in Denver in 1932 his name was Ralph Joseph Reynolds. "Jody" moved to Oklahoma with his family as a child and grew up there. He listened to music on the radio from artists such as Eddy Arnold and Bob Wills and His Texas Playboys. As a teenager he learned to play the guitar and began to write songs, and in the 50's Reynolds formed a rockabilly band called the Storms. In the mid-50's artists such as Elvis Presley, Roy Orbison and Carl Perkins came along, and Jody Reynolds liked what he heard from them.
One day in 1956 Jody was performing in Yuma, Arizona with his band and during a break he wrote a song that he titled Endless Sleep. It was a song with a haunting melody and shadowy lyrics. They performed the song later that day and it received a good reception. Two years went by and Reynolds had moved on to San Diego, where he became acquainted with a music publisher from Los Angeles named Herb Montei. Reynolds submitted a number of demo records to Montei, who had little interest in them until he heard Endless Sleep. Montei forwarded the demo to Demon Records, and arrangements were made for a recording session. Endless Sleep became a huge hit nationally in the summer of 1958 for Jody Reynolds, and it ascended into the top ten. Writing credits for the song went to Jody Reynolds and Dolores Nance; according to Jody, Nance is a fictitious person created by the record company to make him appear to be part of a songwriting duo.
Reynolds was now a star, if only for the time being, and made appearances in some of the Alan Freed shows in New York as well as those of Dick Clark. Endless Sleep was on the leading edge of what came to be known as the teenage disaster songs, a wave that included Mark Dinning's Teen Angel, Ray Peterson's Tell Laura I Love Her, and Dickey Lee's Patches, even though a careful listener will hear a happy ending to Endless Sleep. Reynolds followed up later in 1958 with a lesser hit, Fire Of Love. They were to be his only two hits in the United States, although Marty Wilde would sell many copies of his own recording of Endless Sleep in England a short time later. In the years to come the song would be recorded by a number of other artists, including Hank Willams, Jr. and John Fogerty.
Jody Reynolds continued writing songs and performing with the Storms throughout the 60's. He moved to Palm Springs, California and pursued a variety of interests. His old friend Alan Freed moved to Palm Springs and the two traveled to Phoenix where Freed produced Reynolds' record Raggedy Ann.
Reynolds retained his interest in songwriting and recording. He set up a small recording studio in his home in Palm Springs. Jody Reynolds suffered from cancer of the liver and a malignant brain tumor and passed away on November 7, 2008 in Palm Desert, California. His record Endless Sleep is a rock and roll classic from the late 50's.
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