"Tennessee" is by no means "Jennie Lee"

By Bill Ede

In my recent article on songwriter Bobby Russell, I mentioned that Russell and longtime friend Buzz Cason were responsible for penning Jan and Arnie's "Jennie Lee" from 1958, as their first attempt at song collaboration. The title of the song I described should have been "Tennessee," which peaked at No. 69 by Jan and Dean on Liberty in the summer of 1962, Arnie (Ginsburg) having been replaced in 1959 by Dean (Torrence). (Dean is reportedly Jan's singing partner on "Jennie Lee" and other "Jan and Arnie" tracks, as well as the Jan and Dean tracks bearing his name.)

The original demo of Russell and Cason performing "Tennessee" was released as a single on the Todd label in 1962 as by the Todds. Similarly, their demo of "Popsicle," a Russell-Cason song also referred to in my article, was released shortly thereafter as by the Todds on a follow-up record, also on Todd. Both records found their way to producer Lou Adler, resulting in cuts by Jan and Dean. "Tennessee" became a single on Liberty in the spring of 1962, while "Popsicle" first appeared on the Jan and Dean Drag City album (also on Liberty) in early 1964, not to be released as a single until 1966 (Liberty), peaking at No. 21 on the Billboard singles chart.

Apologies to all parties involved for my mixing up of "Jennie Lee" and "Tennessee," including to Jan Berry and Arnie Ginsburg, authors of the former.

Thanks to Brian Templeton of the Pacific Northwest Songwriters Association in Seattle for calling this to my attention and to Buzz Cason for helping set me straight on the facts.