Born in 1941 in Cincinnati, Ohio, and still living there, Carl Dobkins Jr. enjoyed amazing success starting in the late 1950's. He started off working at a local bakery after school for ten bucks a week. He decided to make a record with one of those cheapy dubs that you could do yourself. He gave it to a local DJ in town named Gil Sheppard, Gil liked it, and that was the beginning of a great career and friendship with the local DJ. Gil Sheppard roamed around the city in a VW bus which was used as a radio remote, complete with two turntables. He was very popular with the kids, and had a great local radio career. Carl Dobkins Jr's first record was on the local Cincinnati based Fraternity label, and it made some noise in a few regional markets. His next stop was the Decca label for "If You Don't Want My Lovin." It was also a regional hit, and as Carl explains it, "it was number one in Charleston WV." It sold enough records for Decca, that they decided to give him another shot. He ended up at the Owen Bradley studios in Nashville and recorded his biggest hit, "My Heart Is An Open Book." The record shot up to number three on the charts and parked there for almost 1/2 year total! Realizing they had a huge hit, Decca quickly re-released "If You Don't Want My Lovin" and this time it peaked at number 67. Carl had two more chart hits with "Lucky Devil" and "Exclusively yours." He made many more records for Decca and a few other labels, but was not able to break into the top 100 with them. But don't underestimate the success that Carl had. All you have to do is research a little and you will see just how popular he was in other countries. There were many different pressings of his records in Europe, Canada, and beyond. Carl had and still has a great following. Carl appeared on American Bandstand 14 times, and also appeared on the Beechnut gum show. He continues to perform at shows, and has a CD out of some great material. Listen to my interview with Carl Dobkins Jr. HERE!
Also, take a look at Carl's fine web site at http://www.carldobkinsjr.com