Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Singles Going Steady 18-The Best Record Finds Ever

When I first started doing the Singles Going Steady Series, it was to document some of the finds of that time.  50 years onward, I never get tired of searching for 45s, in this day and age they're a bit more scratchy and harder to find if you're looking for VG+ or better.  It helps when they have the record sleeve on, but even some records with sleeves on have looked like they been played to death.  Which is the intent don't you think?  I know my mom in her days would spend plenty of money for certain singles and perhaps that rubbed off on me.  One day I remember playing Medicine Man over and over and my mom said isn't there something else you want to listen to, you got all these records, won't you play something other than that song.  Which set the wheels in motion for me; I can't do hearing the same song twice or three times if I'm forced to listen to shit Corporate radio at work.  And I continue to find the obscure.

Most of the bargain hunts are hit and miss.  Sometimes I'll get lucky and find a batch of 45s, without sleeves but still in fairly good shape so I'll pick them up.  I'll listen to just about anything, and it shows, Tie Me Kangaroo Down Sport by Pedophile Rolf Harris,  old folk singers and folk bands of the 60s, at that moment teen idols such as the good (Johnny Tillotson, Brian Hyland) and some not so great (Paul Anka, Ronnie Dove)  But I always like finding the obscure folks of the 60s and sometimes it pays off.  And I do hope to find a decent copy of Pinocchio And The Puppets' obscure Mercury single Fusion sometime soon.  That's Mercury single 72659 BTW.

This week I've been taking time off from work, so I thought a trip to Davenport would be nice to get away from it all.  Big cities seem to have better selections; I know Ragged Records have a quaint little 45 section, and I was drooling at the bit to get Frijid Pink-God Gave Me You/Drivin' Blues (Parrot 45-340) but I know Bob would quote at least 6 dollars for it, it's a mint DJ copy.  But since I bought a couple of albums there, I decided to keep the finances in check and see what the As Is store had in store.  The Salvation Army in Davenport/Moline has always had some choice 45s over the years and when I saw about a couple storage boxes full of records, I had some hope of finding something of value.  The clerk there, a nice middle age guy said he'd give me a good deal  ten cents a record.   And by golly he did.  Most of these 45s are from the 1964-1966 time period.

The 45s found this time out may just well be the best finds in a long time, maybe all time.  Although the records were sleeveless, the majority of them looked to be in very good shape, not perfect mind you since there were some surface scratches and fingerprints but none of the craters scratches that most records I've seen elsewhere.    Some of the scratches are wider than the Mississippi River itself, to which I had to pass on such scratched up chestnuts like Eight Days On The Road by Aretha Franklin or Born To Be Wild by Wilson Pickett.   And there some colored 45 vinyl by certain Columbia Records artists, there was a couple from Tony Bennett, Andy Williams had two or three and there was a Bob Dylan 45 red vinyl.....

Really!  I heard the rumors out there that Bob had a couple of them on red vinyl but never seen anything up till I laid my eyes on Subterranean Homesick Blues red vinyl promo (Columbia 4-43242). Worth 250 dollars, maybe more in mint condition, this copy I consider to be VG plus and even those sell for at least 100 dollars on EBAY on a good day.  Perhaps the donator didn't know what he had in the collection or maybe somebody was cleaning out a box of unwanted records but never in my life and time would I find something like this for ten cents at an As Is store.  First thing I did was of course, picked it up and then found a record sleeve to protect it from further scratches.  One time, somebody did have Corinna Corinna on 45 at a junk store but whoever had it didn't take any care of it, since it was cracked and the label faded off, not worthy of a reference copy.  But this 45 of SHB had no viable scratches and it plays nice.  That would be one of a few more finds.

The second newsworthy 45 is Buddy Holly of course.  Even in thrift stores it fairly easy to come across Oh Boy or That'll Be The Day (I found that one a few months back) but the later stuff that came out after Holly passed away is much trickier to acquire.  One record I had in the want list was Slippin And Slidin (Coral 62448) and I bid on a couple of them on EBAY only to get outbidded at the last minute.  I did a double take when I seen a promo copy of this song (B side What To Do) and this record looked nice despite naked without a sleeve.   One of a few things that Buddy recorded alone before he took on a ill fated trip to Iowa, it seems like The Fireballs were the ones that were doing the overdubbing in the studio.  Slippin' is the most blues sounding that Buddy Holly would ever do and there's spare accomplishment from The Fireballs.  Which is fine.  Nevertheless, the song didn't chart although I recall seeing this on a long forgotten 60s compilation.  What To Do (The Fireballs overdub single version) did make it to Buddy Holly Gold.

3.  Shake/A Change Is Gonna Come-Sam Cooke (RCA Victor 47-8486)  Another promo copy of value, I was more familiar with the Otis Redding live version years ago.  Of course radio don't play either Otis or Sam's version of Shake (they rather stick with the usual overplayed You Send Me, Twisting The Night Away).  B side is perhaps Sam's best song ever Change Is Going To Come to which Otis Redding covered as well too.  Shake topped out at number 7, Change went to number 31.  And oldies radio still won't play neither.  Grave injustice. Side note: not every 45 I found was worth taking home.  The CR Salvation Army had a 45 of Pete Klint Quintet's version of Shake (Mercury 72709) but the record had a crack in it.  Unplayable.

4.  Don't Let The Whole World Know/You're My Girl-The Everly Brothers (Warner Bros. 5600)  Phil and Don did write some dark stuff in their career,  Since You Broke My Heart is one of them, but perhaps this is one of my all time favorites from them, although I discovered this, not from the radio but from the 2 CD Anthology that Warner Brothers put out in the early 1990s.  By the mid 60s, the hits dried up, but that didn't mean that the boys weren't trying.  The British Invasion didn't help things either.  The first record with a major scratch, You're My Girl I won't be able to play much without changing the needle but Don't in fine shape.  And a better song.

5.  Love Is All I'm Asking-Sinx Mitchell (Hickory 45-1241)  This is where the lesser known take over.  Read your history and you'll come to find that Mitchell is actually Earl Sinks, the guy who replaced Buddy Holly in The Crickets, Earl is the guy singing on I Fought The Law, but he had a falling out with The Crickets and left.  Recorded for Dot, Warner Brothers and Hickory before changing his name to Earl Richards and having a journeyman career with singles for United Artists and his own Ace Of Hearts label.  Somewhat more pop sounding than The Crickets although Mitchell has the drummer doing the Peggy Sue beat. Not a bad idea but the song isn't that memorable.

6.  Strange I Know-The Marvellettes (Tamla T-54072)  No shortage of Motown singles found although a couple of them were so scratched up, I passed on.  The beloved Marvellettes to me were the best female singers to come from Motown, although none would capture Barry Gordy's fancy than Miss Diana Ross and The Supremes, which they got first class treatment.  One of the things that jump out at you on this 45 mix is how up front Benny Benjamin's snare drum is as he does his trademark rolls on a slower number that only made it up to number 49 on the charts in 1962.  This song would be part of the album The Marvelous Marvellettes which got released on CD in the 90s.  On the infamous circle world label, to which if you watch it spin enough on the record player can hypotise you if you're not careful.

7.  I Want You To Be My Boy-The Exciters (Roulette R-4591)  Arrangements that could have been stolen from Motown this forgotten little gem only managed to squeak in at number 98 before falling off the charts and sometimes that's the greatest injustice.  To have a catchy song not making a bigger impact on chart action.  They are  forever known for Tell Him, done for United Artists but this was a one off single for Roulette and produced by Hugo/Luigi, (Sam Cooke, Mexican Jumping Beans).  This three girl, one guy group has one of the finest power vocalist in Brenda Reid who would later married Herbert Rooney (later separated) and their son Mark, you would know by his producer's name of L A Reid.  The Exciters would move over to Bang  for a number 58 chart placement of Little Bit Of Soap. Further research showed another Roulette single There They Go (R-4632) produced by Bert Berns, that didn't chart either.  They later recorded for RCA (try to find their lost classic Caviar and Chitlins LP), Today Records and 20th Century Fox

8.  (Baby) You Don't Have To Tell Me-The Walker Brothers (Smash S-2068)  Interesting history of this band, they were American but moved over to England and was better received over there in the mid 60s.  Scott Engel (Walker) was a lot like Bill Medley of the Righteous Brothers, a flair of combining Phil Spector production and arrangements into over the top balladry that seemed to work well for the Righteous Brothers. They had their biggest hit with the number 13 The Sun Ain't Gonna Shine Anymore but this followup didn't even dent the top 100.  Somebody in Davenport must have liked this band, this is the second 45 that I have found from them down there, (the first My Ship Is Comin In).  John Walker passed away in 2011. Gary and Scott Walker continue to make albums and tour in their own solo way.

9.  Boys And Girls-Migil 5  (Hickory 45-1292)  If you were from the UK in the 60s and had any songs to sing or play you could get a record contract or have a label sign you up.  Basically from the UK and recorded for Pye over there (Mercury, Cameo  and Hickory licensed a couple of their singles, best known Mockingbird Hill, interesting for a ska beat done by white guys from Britain)  I'm guessing this was the plug side, which was better suited for BBC radio with the Brit pop sound here.  B side is interesting take of Your Cheatin' Heart, done by white guys doing Ray Charles' arrangements and comes up somewhat more blues than country.  A curio from the past.

10.  Shout (Part 1 and 2)-Joey Dee And The Starlighters (Roulette R-4416) The twisting craze did put out some crazy music back then and some of it was first rate butt shaking twist and shouting.  Joe Dee was trying to make money off this too, Peppermint Twist went all the way to number 1, this went to number 6 and usually copies of this and Peppermint Twist have been worn to the nubs. Although members of The Young Rascals would join the band, logical thinking that the lineup was David Brigati (brother to The Rascals' Eddie), Carlton Lattimore on organ, Sam Taylor on Guitar and Willie Davis on drums. Kind of a sloppy version to the Isley Brothers, it's amazing how high this did chart.  For fun and giggles, check out side 2 to which Roulette adds an extra fadeout 30 seconds into the song.  Somebody did a hack job on the editing.

And there we have it.  The best of the stack of 45s found at an as is store.  It was actually a good day for me.  Although the rest of the thrift stores had nothing special or the records were too far gone, the finds here prove to be one of the best bargain hunts ever.   Maybe next week I'll try to convince Bob Herrington to part some of those DJ promo 45 without me taking a second mortgage on the house.  And maybe try to a few more past histories of the forgotten 45s, to something we call Singles Going Steady here at Record World.

And God bless that Salvation Army cashier for giving me a wonderful deal too.  All pictures are from the Davenport finds.  Some pictures had to be replaced due to ongoing Google issues but all are from the R Smith Preservation Forty Five Society. 

BTW I did get Frijid Pink's God Gave Me You   Here tis, (From Ragged Records)

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