Despite me not picking up any of the cheap 10 cent records at the Zia's in Tucson, I still managed to find a bunch of them at various Half Priced Bookstores location in Phoenix. And a lot of them remained in great shape despite 120 degree temps and 50 years of them stored carefully.
1. A White Sport Coat-Marty Robbins (Columbia 4-40864) Marty Robbins was an Arizonian that managed to get on Columbia Records in the mid 50s and like Bobby Darin was hard to figure if he wanted to be a rockabilly star or a country star or pop star in the Mitch Miller tradition. And for years tried to get Mitch Miller to produce some of his music but Miller pawned Marty off to Ray Conniff for this 1957 chart topper. Mitch Miller was the king of cheese pop but you can't deny his state of the art echo sound that was a part of the late 50s sound for Columbia. Miller did eventually produce a couple of Marty's music but thankfully Robbins came to his senses and hooked up with Frank Law and Don Jones as he went back to a more country sound. Except for a three year liason with Decca/MCA, Robbins was on Columbia's roster up to his passing in 1982. This 45 still had the original Columbia sleeve with it.
2. My Secret-The Platters (Mercury 71538) 1959 It seems like the last couple visits to junkshops that I managed to find some obscure Platters 45 and looking at the chart position it didn't chart. Tony Williams still was the main lead singer and somehow this sounds a lot like My Prayer although it's more uptempo and call and response. Odd fact: Randall's originally sold this 45 for the big price of 19 cents 50 years ago. Still has the original Mercury sleeve as well. Doesn't even look like it wasn't even played till I did.
3. Names, Tags, Numbers & Labels-The Association (Mums 6016) 1973 Their last gasp for a single and the most unlike sounding of all things that is The Association this was written and produced by Albert Hammond (It Never Rains In Southern California) and if you're heard Albert's version of this song The Association plays it just like Albert's song. They made one album for Columbia after leaving Warner Brothers and Waterbeds In Trinidad! didn't do a lot and either CBS dropped them or banished them to the small satellite Mums label (later absorbed by Epic) to which this single was released and limped up to number 91 on the billboard chart, their last charted single till 1981 when the unheard of Dreamer did a remarkable showing of 66 on Elektra. If you can find the Rhino Just The Right Sound Anthology without taking out a second mortage on your home, it's worth hearing (Names, Tags etc that is). It's actually pretty good.
4. Don't Let Love Hang You Up-Jerry Butler (Mercury 72991) 1969 With Gamble Huff producing, Jerry Butler made some of the best soul single of the late 60s which was a brilliant combination of Chicago soul meeting with Philadelphia groove and this was the early indication of the Philadelphia Sound that Gamble Huff would prefect later on with Philadelphia International in the 1970s. One of the most gospel sounding numbers and I've never seen this on 45 and when I did it was on the Red label rather than the Candy Stripe that Mercury was sticking their records on in the late 60s. Thought it was a Canadian version but it's not. Made it to number 44 on the charts.
5. Healing Hands Of Time-Willie Nelson (RCA 47-8594) 1965 Amazing in his 80 years of being a performer that I actually seem to find a lot of his RCA music as enjoyable, more so than his CBS years and although the 1994 SBK/Liberty remakes this song as a lush pop standard, his failed 1965 RCA single is better, striped down to a basic guitar that doesn't have the trademark RCA polished sound that Chet Atkins favored. Still when I hear Willie's 60's stuff, he seems to come across a male version of Patsy Cline in terms of phasing a song. Avoid the 1994 pop bombast and go with the simpler song. On the All Time Greatest Hits Volume 1 CD (RCA 8556 2R) as well as One Day At A Time, the B side which leads that album off.
6. The Power Of Love-10cc (Warner Bros. 7-29973) 1982 Never heard this song on the radio either. 10cc by then was paired down to Eric Stewart, Graham Gouldman and Andrew Gold helped out writing this song and produced it as well. Of course 10cc ruled the charts with I'm Not In Love and The Things We Do For Love but they were just about over since this didn't chart on the radio. However, this four-told the future as Gouldman and Gold would take this sound of Power Of Love and and get a sound a like version called Right Between The Eyes as Wax and recorded it for RCA in 1986. This is the fun of bargain hunting and coming up with the oddity.
7. On The Rebound-Russ Ballard (Epic 9-50883) 1980 A number 58 chartbuster, Ballard is better known as the other songwriting half of Argent and wrote a few hits for other people, Liar for 3 Dog Night, Fire Still Burns for Roger Daultry and Winning Santana took to the charts in 1980 but for the most part Russ's albums sold so so, but just enough to keep recording. His classic album remains Barnet Dogs which is his heaviest sounding album and of course it helps when you have Bob Henrit (Argent) playing drums too. Best song off that album was Beware to which I have no idea why Epic never bothered to issue that on 45. It would have been a classic rock staple and of course KUNI played that song which got me to buy the LP. The single not much so although not bad, not exactly cut out for the radio.
8. World's Famous-Malcolm McLaren (Island 7-99790) 1983 The big shot behind the Sex Pistols was actually a pioneer in the hip hop field. In fact, Duck Rock featuring the catchy Buffalo Girls was an alternative hit smash back then, the video got airplay on the infamous Night Flight TV show on USA, back when USA network was cutting edge. McLaren got into hot water by not crediting some of the South African musicians who helped shaped Duck Rock into what many call the Sgt Pepper of Hip Hop Music. Released on Island on LP, CD was issued via Charisma/EMI elsewhere later on. This single featured the famed NY DJ's known as The World Famous Supreme Team.
9. Canned Ham-Norman Greenbaum (Reprise 919) 1970 Number 46 charted single, I do remember hearing this on the forgotten Sneak Preview show and KCRG played this a few times in 1970. Very silly song from the hippie that gave the world Spirit In The Sky. KCRG also played the B Side Junior Cadillac by mistake one memorable night.
10. The Valley Road-Bruce Hornsby & The Range (RCA 7645-7-R) 1988 Huey Lewis covered Jacob's Letter and got Bruce a big break and he scored a big hit with The Way It Is but I tend to find that The Valley Road is my favorite of Bruce's song and at that time Peter Harris who is the son of Percy Harris an excellent CR doctor now retired played guitar. It's a nice road song for the road although the lyrics suggest otherwise.
To be continued.......