Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New Oldies - Race With The Devil by Johnny David


All I know about Johnny David is that his real name is John McNeill and he's probably from around New York City. I found a solid lead last week and thought I was hot on the trail of tracking him down, but it just lead me to a dead end. So, I've decided to crowd-source the mystery. If you know anyone involved in making this record, or if you're the one who made this record, I'd love to hear from you!


The record was first pressed on the Gil label, but later picked up for national distribution on Dot 16078. The original single is worth around $100, about twice the value of the reissue.

Here's Race With The Devil by Johnny David on Gil 104 from 1959:



For those of you who like to sing along, here are the lyrics:

When I was young, well I was full of life
Dreamed of a home, a family and a wife
But somehow all my dreams fell through
Leaving my heart all feelin' like I do
My life, my life is a race
A race with the devil, a race with the devil

Worked real hard, well just to pay my rent
Worked real hard, and I don't waste a cent
Had many jobs that I didn't like so well
Swept many floors and I drove on many mill
My life, my life is a race
A race with the devil, a race with the devil

That's the reason I drink and gamble
That's the reason I love to ramble
And at last when I leave this Earth
Racing with the devil for all I'm worth
My life is a race
A race with the devil, a race with the devil

I do things when I know I shouldn't do it
May Hell be as happy as the road that leads to it
Why should I try to change my way
I'll outrun the devil on judgement day
My life, my life is a race
A race with the devil, a race with the devil
A race with the devil, a race with the devil
[Fade]


This is the flip side, a nice Teener called I Met A Girl:



There are many more mystery records from the 1950's and 1960's waiting for you on MusicMaster Oldies, and, I'm sure, many more yet to be discovered. Hunting for them is fun!

1 comment:

  1. I don't ever post comments, but this song is a memory of a time and place in my innocent years...1965 at college. I learned the lyrics from a classmate who plated guitar and sang it, never heard the actual recording, always recalled some of the lyrics, and never thought I'd see the words in full. Thanks for giving me the origin. The classmate talked about the song as if she had learned it from the songwriter. Wish I knew more to tell you.

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