"Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea"
Originally from non-LP single "Willow Weep For Me" b/w "Between The Devil And the Deep Blue Sea", Euterpean Records [USA], 1956. Reissued on Here Comes Carole Creveling, Vol. 1 + 2, SSJ Records [Japan], 2007.
Within vocal jazz, there is a large subgenre of vocalists called One-Shot Wonders that recorded one or two LP’s circa 1955-1965 and maybe some singles too, and were never heard from again. A lot of these vocalists were young single girls who went on to live the dream of getting married, having children, and living happily ever after, while collectors and music fans were left wondering what became of them.
Carole Creveling is the most notorious of the One-Shot Wonder stories. Her only LP, Here Comes Carole Creveling, Vol. 1(1955; there is no Vol. 2), became a jazz collectors’ Holy Grail, with copies commanding four-figure sums apiece regardless of condition. Her album features some well-known session players (the most famous being Jimmy Wyble), has a reputation as an excellent album, and few copies are known to exist. To make matters worse, there was a mystery factor at play, as history seemed to be completely silent about who exactly Carole Creveling was.
It was not until after the Japanese label SSJ Records released the album as a mini-LP CD in 2007 that the story began to come together. Apparently a married couple that owned a record store in Long Beach, California were friends with 18-year-old Carole’s parents, were impressed with Carole’s voice, and wanted to help her launch a jazz career. They hired some top-notch session musicians to back her in the studio in 1955, and cut the LP Here Comes Carole Creveling, whose only surviving press is a glowing review in Down Beat magazine. They recorded a follow-up 7” single for her in 1956, and that was it; Carole married in 1957, had babies, and disappeared without a trace. Jazz historian Bill Reed, the producer of the reissue of Here Comes Carole Creveling, was finally able to track Carole Creveling down after months of intensive research. He learned that she is still living in the Los Angeles area and was completely unaware of her status as a jazz legend.
Our song, “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea”, is the B-side of Carole’s 1956 follow-up single, which is included in its entirety on SSJ Records’ mini-LP CD reissue of Here Comes Carole Creveling. SSJ Records has many more intensely fascinating treasures just like this in their catalogue, including the most comprehensive reissue yet of Pinky Winters’ debut album Pinky(1954, another jazz collector’s Holy Grail), three volumes of previously unreleased Beverly Kenney material, and a bunch more classic One-Shot Wonders. You can buy the Japanese mini-LP CD of Here Comes Carole Creveling at Eastwindimport.com or CDBanq.com, or browse SSJ’s vocal jazz catalog at this link (in Japanese with titles in English).
Carole Creveling Discography:
Here Comes Carole Creveling, Vol. 1 (Euterpean Productions, Inc., 1955)
“Willow Weep For Me” b/w “Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea” (Euterpean Records, 1956)
Here Comes Carole Creveling, Vol. 1 + 2 (mini-LP CD reissue of the two releases above) (SSJ Records [Japan], 2007).