Sea Of Heartbreak – Dickie Loader & The Blue Jeans
‘Sea of Heartbreak’ was written by Paul Hampton and Hal David and first recorded in 1961 by Don Gibson. It would give Gibson a number 21 hit in the US. Since then it has seen a number of other versions including covers by Johnny Cash, The Searchers and The Everly Brothers. As was common in those days, local acts would cover international hits and it was Dickie Loader and his Blue Jeans who picked up this tune in South Africa.
Their version starts off with the sounds of the waves and a few gulls calling before they launch into a simple, slightly rockabilly version of the track. It has a toe-tapping beat and a rock ‘n’ roll ballad vocal. There is a kind of innocence to the track but at the same time there is a slight edge to Loader’s voice, giving the impression that while the ‘Sea Of Heartbreak’ is about lost love, there is a bitterness to his feelings. This gives the version a different slant to the Gibson one which has a far more yearning for the lost love sound to it.
Laoder was one of the leading lights of the early rock ‘n’ roll scene in South Africa and he did justice to this country-tinged ballad. One could say that he was riding on a wave of success. The note on the back of the album of the same name says that Loader appeals to ‘not only the teenagers but the mums and dads as well’.
Where to find it:
Various Artists – The Best of SA Pop Volume 2 (1994) GMP, CDGMPD 40486 (CD)