Now that the 12 O'Clock Track
has been a Reader
staple for a couple of years (I'm guessing on the time frame, but it feels about right), I'm sure the various contributors have developed different ways of tackling the weekly responsibility. If you hadn't noticed, my turn comes each Wednesday. Sometimes I come across something during the week that I tag as my next pick, but things don't always work out—I had an amazing song from a new reissue I intended to use today, but this morning I learned it wasn't possible to get permission to do so. I used to scramble nervously for something to post, but now I usually turn to favorites from my past. My wife and I were scrolling through a slew of 70s radio hits the other day—she fell into a trance playing 10cc's "I'm Not in Love
" over and over again—but today's 12 O'Clock Track was the one I got stuck on. It was fresh in my mind, although at the same time it's never really left. "Jackie Blue," by the ersatz southern-fried rock band Ozark Mountain Daredevils
, was a huge hit in 1975, around my heyday of listening to Top 40 radio; I've forever had a big place in my heart for the tune, from the amazing falsetto vocal to the noodly extended guitar solo. I've listened to it several more times preparing this post, with no letdown. I could never defend it on artistic grounds, but when a song is catchy, a song is catchy. They don't make 'em like this anymore.