Lost Treasures: Bobby Fuller Four – “I Fought The Law”

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Our Lost Treasure this week was released on Mustang Records in late 1965.  Bobby Fuller Four’s version of “I Fought The Law” was the hit, but the song was actually a cover of an old Buddy Holly record & was written by Crickets member Sonny Curtis.  The group formed in El Paso Texas in 1960 & had a couple of minor, regional hits that didn’t go anywhere, but did bring them to the attention of  Bob Keane owner of Del-Fi Records in L.A.  The Bobby Fuller Four headed out & auditioned but Keane didn’t feel the band’s material was strong enough for hit potential.  The band returned to El Paso, but Bobby & his brother Randy, who was bassist were determined to impress Del-Fi to the point of getting signed. 

The group had cut “I Fought The Law” in El Paso professionally done at Norman Petty Studios & again submitted the record to Bob Keane in hopes of a record deal.  That recording did the trick & Keane created the Mustang label just for release of the BF4’s singles.  They released a couple more singles on the label but these failed to gain chart entry as their one big hit had done.  Bobby Fuller died under mysterious circumstances on July 18, 1966. His body was found beaten inside his car parked just outside of his Hollywood home. Evidence suggests that he had ingested gasoline. Initially, these details were not released to the public. Although, many of his friends suspected he might have been murdered by mobsters, Fuller’s death was officially ruled a suicide by police.  The group abruptly disbanded afterwards, but Del-Fi/Mustang owner Bob Keane put the band back together as the Randy Fuller Four in an attempt to recreate a hit recording from their successful past.  The BF4 disbanded for good in 1967 after failed attempts at another hit single.  Have a great weekend & thanks for pointing your browser to Puget Sound Media for more flashbacks, the latest news & exploration of technology, broadcasting stories of interest.

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Mike Cherry

Author: Mike Cherry

retired broadcaster: on-air, MD, PD, asst PD, Prod Mgr, IT, station technician/engineer, pioneer Internet webcaster, station installation/maintenance; 12 years in commercial radio, 17 years volunteer in campus/community radio in B.C., Alberta & Wash. Amateur radio operator & "DXer" specializing in AM night-time DX, short-wave DX/listening & remote SDR DXing/listening

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