Friday, November 16, 2012

Singles Going Steady Plus 8

We could probably do this Singles Going Steady for another 800 times and still come up with interesting stuff from the past.  If you think about it, even in the four decades of 45s there's no shortage of singles and their impact on modern society.  Thanks so much to Bob at Ragged Records for letting me hang in the music room although last week I didn't buy any 45s.  But I did come across some at Half Priced Books.  You'll never guess which ones.

1.  Soul City-Partland Brothers (Manhattan B-50065)  1987  In the era when CDs were a up and coming music storage unit to quote some dude in Classic Rock Chat, The Partland Brothers managed to defy expectations and managed to have this song played on top forty AND KRNA when KRNA introduced a CD only format which kinda blew up in their face.  In 1987 there really wasn't much in terms of CDs out there and there were selected classic rock albums that get released. This was the only hit for the Partland Brothers who stayed north of the border from here on out.  Had their CD Electric Honey once but it wasn't that great outside of Soul City.  Perfect definition of a one hit wonder. Upon a second listen it really has sounded dated and Vini Poncia's production didn't help either. You remember Vini don't ya?  He was the one that made the worst KISS album ever in Unmasked in 1980.

2.  Kind Woman-Buffalo Springfield (Atco 45-6602) 1968  Another single from the Last Time Around album and I might be the only person in town that has both of them. By then Neil Young moved on to a solo career, Steve Stills would join David Crosby and Graham Nash on another and Jim Messina and Richie Furay would start up Poco.  And Bruce Palmer made a strange hippie dippy album that had Rick James screaming on it.

3.  Time Changes Everything-Tommy Duncan (Coral 9-61391)  1954  For swing music you can't beat Bob Wills and the best recording featured Tommy Duncan doing vocals.  Leaving Wills, Duncan did have a somewhat successful career for Coral and later reunited with Wills on various labels. One of many oddball 45s found at Half Priced Books.

4.  Baby Face-Bobby Darin (Atco 45-6236)  1961  One of these days before I retire I would like to make an attempt to do a blog on the life and times of Bobby Darin, who may have been the most hard to figure singers of the rock era.  He also could do finger popping Vegas lounge jazz and then turn around and pay tribute to Ray Charles and then reinvent himself as a folk singer in the late 60s before returning back to the Vegas pop before his heart gave out at age 37 and recorded for Motown.  Jimmie Haskell adds more of a swinging pop beat to the overblown Richard Weis charts that gave him the big hit with Mack The Knife.

5.  Crawling Back-Roy Orbison 1965  He can sing all right but my problem was that Roy got way too melodramatic on his music.  I think there's too much focused on his Monument stuff and not enough on the MGM years to which Rhino did put out a comp of his better known songs for MGM.  This song continues in the vein of Crying or Running Scared and was co written with the late Bill Dees.

6.  Oh Atlanta-Little Feat (Warner Bros WBS 8054)  1974  Heard this on the old G100 radio station before it became KKRQ and later the Cumulus owned FOX to which Little Feat is never played on classic rock radio.  My first introduction to The Feat.

7.  Don't Let Go-Commander Cody (Warner Bros WBS 8073)  1975  Hot Rod Lincoln got the most plays in the radio years but he does a good job on the old Jesse Stone/ Roy Hamilton number.

8.  Your Teenage Dreams-Johnny Mathis (Mercury 72184) 1963  Perhaps the all time best selling mood music artist, you can't escape Mathis albums in the thrift stores or old junkshops to which the old fart that is me is kinda rediscovering over the years.  Another reason why I should stop spending so much time in junkshops eh?  For four years, Mathis did record for Mercury to which this was the first single that he released and I've never heard it and usually singles are scratched up but this one wasn't, despite having no record sleeve to protect it from the elements and more scratches.  It kinda lacks the heavy echo of the Ray Conniff productions of the Columbia albums and I have no idea who Global Productions is, since they tend to pop up on Mercury Recordings.  Don Costa arranged this which sounds somewhat like Ebb Tide, starting nice and mellow before going all bombast at the end.

9.  U Haul Trailer-Cal Cavendish (Westmount WSTM 4508)  1971?  Another oddball find from the local Salvation Army to which I know little about, but Cal seems to be a legend up in Canada. Nicknamed the Mad Manure Bomber, he took to the skies one day and dropped 100 copies of his latest singles and cowpies on downtown Calgary in 1975.  This link describes it much better than I can.

10.  I Met Her In Church-The Box Tops (Mala 12,017) 1969  Alex Chilton was one of these skewed legends that became one of the best alternative artists of his time but back in the late 60's he was the frontman for The Box Tops which was singing songs from Dan Penn and Spooner Oldham and had some of the finest session players to play on their albums.  Mike Leech would go on to do arrangements for Elvis Presley when the King was still alive, but being a youngster, Chilton has a very mature and soulful voice that didn't show his young years.  In fact a lotta promoters thought he was black.  Famous for Spooner doing a very gospel like piano beginning it actually sounds very gospel as Chilton singing about meeting the love interest at church and a nice and call response on the chorus too.  Didn't do very well on the charts though although KCRG did play it from time to time.  The single had a fade out that was longer than the album itself.  B Side remains on of the definite Box Tops numbers with People Gonna Talk a soul like song that goes into total meltdown with a raucous ending of horns and such a feeling that I'm guessing the other Box Tops got into the feel to sing at the end.  One of the best productions Dan Penn ever did.

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