Sunday, February 8, 2015

Singles Going Steady 21-Even More Davenport Finds

On May 4, 2011 I started what would be the first of many Singles Going Steady blogs dedicated to the 45 and things that were found recently, or seen on EBAY or had stashed away in my collection.  And almost four years and 20 plus blogs (I'm sure there's more out there that didn't fall under S.G.S.) I have continued to defy the odds and find some oddball forty fives and this blog is no exception.  It's funny how after dropping another 40 dollars at Ragged Records that Bob Herrington informed me that he had an upstairs full of unsorted 45s with my name calling me, this of course after saying they were closing for the evening at five o clock.  I suppose this means I should consider getting there before 4 PM to which half crocked on BP meds and being in a cloud all day sorting for that GD I Do single by THE MARVELOWS.  I couldn't figure out their name while going through the N boxes at Ragged and getting them confused with The Royaltones who didn't do a version of I DO  (ref: )  That's the problem of getting older, I tend to forget certain bands before driving to Davenport and not jotting them down.

Nevertheless it was a fine day to go bargain hunting, despite snow on the ground, the temps did hit 48 degrees and maybe more.  The traffic sucked as with any Saturday Afternoon and of course I hit every GD long red lights at every intersection.  But in the era of the Vinyl Revival, the CD has been rendered useless and Stuff Etc, in Davenport sold their lot of CDs for 99 cents.  Which meant I found the two CD Richard Thompson You? Me? Us? for a buck as well as South of !-10 by Sonny Landreth and a Ajeandro Escovedo 2 CD 13 Years too.  3 bucks for 5 CDs?  Bargains can be found.  The Salvation Army Bargain Hunters Haven had plenty of 45s but a lot of them were overplayed jukebox records of country artists and some rock bands although So Alive by Love And Rockets was played to bits.  Still with a box of sleeveless scratched up forty fives, I took to the task of finding some that didn't look like they were used for frisbees or looked like they were ran over a few times on Highway 61.  A half year back, I did invade the same place and walked out with discovered gold (ref: ).  And continued to think I would get lucky once again but subsequent returns showed that the August finds were a fluke, or maybe I beat the hardcore collectors for a change.  It's nothing to write home about if the only thing you found worth mentioning was Pat Boone's Good Rockin Tonight.

The difference of finding 45s at say, Ragged Records or Co Op Records to Salvation Army is that the record stores have owners who know their records and priced them accordingly. Something to the effort of what Rich Rosen does at Wax Trax, he knows the artists, he knows the songs and he knows the label, therefore he can dictate a fair price that to which the buyer decides if he wants to pay 10 dollars for Rocky Top by Dillard And Clark  or let go a cheaper price for a country or pop artists. Which is probably why I got It's My Time by George Hamilton IV for a dollar.  Supply and demand and the idea of owning a scratchy forty five.  Plus I'm always on the lookout for 45s that my mom had in her collection years ago and me trying to score a better copy or replace a copy that got broken years ago or donated away.  If I would have kept all my forty fives in good shape, I could open up my own record store and live off the proceeds for a while. I'm not sure if Bob Herrington is that interested to see what I buy half the time, he's trying to stay in business as well and with the vinyl revival happening, he's doing a lot better than years past.  For how long nobody knows, just as long as people continue to shop.

For myself, I am never satisfied with just one type of music, I grew up in a era of lots of music and promo 45s and was spoiled beyond belief in the records that came in my procession in my child hood years. 51 years of sorting through boxes upon boxes of 45s, or stacks of them is something that I never ever got tired of.  The more obscure the artist, the better.  With the help of the internet or 45 Cat, it's easy to solve the mystery of the 45 rather than read countless record collecting magazines and getting nowhere.  So in seconds I actually found out who Crip Guerney really was when he made a one off single for Hi Records Messing With The Man  (Hi 2163), he was actually Rick Yancey who later became involved in some country bands (namely The Remingtons).  Or the 1964 Warner Brothers recording of The Demonstrators Sweet Violets (WB 5428) was actually one of the earliest productions of one Sylvester Stewart aka Sly Stone.  To which on Ultra Violet is Sly Stone wailing away on organ.  Since I have little use of new music anymore, I have to turn my attention to the lesser known or what is out there on 45s.  And even 51 years into collecting, I still come to find out that there's much much more that I have yet to discover.  And as long as they make needles and turntables, I'll still be out there discovering what is missing.  Which is the intention of Singles Going Steady, a play of words of 45s but also a wink at The Buzzcocks' 1979 IRS compilation of A and B sides of their singles.  Unless, you Dear Reader came upon this thinking this was the site where single people hook up; I don't need to remind you, you're at the wrong place.  Unless you're a single female with a huge record collection looking for companionship, but I'm not holding my breath on ever finding any woman with a remote collection such as yours' truly.

Like the others, the finds this week I managed to find some highly sought after stuff as well as the unusual and the laughable.  I did pass on So Alone and of course Bad Medicine by Bon Jovi.  A trashed jukebox 45 is no different than a Dave Clark 5 45 with the grooves worn off from overplaying.  I cannot blame the owner of their 45s, I played mine to death as well.  I just learn to take better care of them after I turned 13.  Or so I think.

1.  It Takes Minutes-Alan Rush And The Stonehouse (Mega 615-0002)  1970  Somebody actually put some thought into the 45 picture sleeve, probably getting in tune with the peace and love hippie dippy that started with Haight/Ashbury get together movement and ended with Altamont.  That didn't last too long.  Not much is known about Alan Rush or The Stonehouse outside they recorded this forgotten pop bubblegum type of number for the upstart Mega label in Nashville..  Further diggings found a promo ad calling this song "bubble gum at its commercial best in the now sound of Oklahoma City's top group.  Billboard gave it a thumbs up and called the song "catchy with a chance to make it big".  Alas, the rest of the world was uninterested since this song didn't chart at all.  Mega Records would struggle on after Alan and Stonehouse went back to Oklahoma City, although their best known artist Sammi Smith gave us Help Me Make Through The Night and Apollo 100 that had a freak hit with Joy.

2.  Boogie Bear-Boyd Bennett (Mercury 71479)  1959  Another missing piece of my mom's record collection found at Ragged Records.  It reached number 79 on the charts although locally it was higher.  Bennett, a rockabilly country star of his own had some luck recording Bill Haley/Comets inspired rock for King in the mid 50s.  This two minute novelty of Yogi Bear is more a curio and period piece rather than a classic rock track. If you care, Boyd does do a fairly decent Yogi vocal. A very silly number.  Right Boo Boo?

3.  Blue Moon-The Sh-Booms (Atlantic 2074)  Recorded May 26, 1960, released Aug 1960 A very late entry to the fading doo wop craze, Blue Moon didn't chart but it is interesting how this song's arrangement mirrors that to The Chords original version of Sh Boom more than The Crew Cuts.  Further research reveals that The Chords actually did become The Sh-Booms and this was their return to  Atlantic.  In fact Carl Feaster also sang on the 1954 version of Sh Boom.  Blue Moon didn't chart and The Sh-Booms said goodbye to Atlantic one last time.  Side note:  Sh Boom, the 1954 hit was reissued on Atco 6213 in late 1961.  Ref:

4.  After The Lights Go Down Low-Al Hibbler  (Decca 9-29982)  1956  It's hard to categorize Hibbler, is he a jazz singer, a blues singer or straight pop singer, the questions have never been answered.  Best way to describe him as in the same league as Billy Eckstein or even Ray Charles to which like Ray, Al was blind. But he was a radical that got him in trouble and the major labels wanted nothing to do with him after being arrested in 59 till Frank Sinatra signed him to Reprise.  Originally a vocalist for Duke Ellington for many years, Al struck out on his own and perhaps his classic years was with Decca where he had a big hit with Unchained Melody (#3) and He (#4) both in 1955.  After The Lights Go Down Low was his last top ten charting, reaching number 10 in 1956.

5.  It's My Time-George Hamilton IV (RCA 47-9519)  1968  Once upon a time, George was marketed as a teen idol singer for ABC Paramount but in his heart he more of a folk country singer, to which he would explore at arm's length at RCA for a decade and a half.  George had a bit of rebel in him, for he recorded songs from the likes of Gordon Lightfoot, Joni Mitchell and Leonard Cohen even before rock contemporaries started doing that.  His classic years he had production and songwriting help from John Loudermilk, which he scored a top six  hit with Break My Mind.  It's My Time has the same type of music like Break My Mind although the song is more darker and simpler.  Which may have put off the country music buyers, it only reached number 50 in 1968 but to me it has been one of those songs I can identify with. B side was Canadian Railroad Trilogy all 4:55 minutes of it, written by Gordon Lightfoot.

6.  Powerful Stuff-The Fabulous Thunderbirds (Elektra 7-69384)  1988  From the Cocktail soundtrack this surprises me that it only reached up to number 65 on the charts.  I thought radio played it a lot more than the poor showing on the chart but it would turned out to be the last chart showing from this band which featured Jimmie Vaughn on guitar.  Kim Wilson has continued to keep the Fab Birds going, including Duke Robillard for a year but the band with Vaughn and Fran Christna on drums remains the classic version of the band.

7.  Love Song-Lesley Duncan (Columbia 4-45354)  1971  Elton John covered this on Tumbleweed Connection and Here And There and like Lesley's version didn't chart (or maybe was an album track).  Fine arrangement is done by Richard Hewson who worked with The Beatles and Cliff Richard to name a few.

8.  Love Me-The Rascals (Columbia 4-45400)  1971  After years on being on Atlantic, The Rascals packed up and moved to CBS for two albums of varying degree and the only charted single was this number 95 offering in the summer of 71.  Our local radio station never played it and only ones that I heard this song from was either Peoria's WIRL or Chicago's WLS.  Perhaps the gospel type of feeling that Felix Cavarlaire wrote and sang about Jesus Son Of Man may have destined this song to the gospel stations around the area but I know I never heard this song locally.   Took years to find a decent 45 of this song.

9.  You Better Go-Raul Danks & Jon Taylor (LHI 17002)  1967  The term impossibility hard to find gets cropped up when you check Ebay or Collector's Frenzy.  But name association does spike the price up from time to time.  This single came from Lee Hazlewood's LHI imprint that he had going up in the late 60s, Light In The Attic actually put out a good chuck (although not all of the LHI singles made it to the boxset) of them a couple years ago.  You Better Go does have the Lee Hazlewood arrangements that are synonymous with Nancy Sinatra's  classic stuff.  But as a mystery duo Raul Danks and Jon Taylor is just that.  A mystery.  Like all of the LHI artists, this single didn't chart.

10.  Time Has Come Today (4:45  version)-The Chamber Brothers (Columbia 4-44414)  1968  There are three version of this song, one is the much rarer 1966 version that didn't chart and is much more rougher in quality and in sound.  The second version I somehow managed to find for 29 cents and much to my disappointment was the 3:05 edit that fades before the long jam part.  The third version is the four and half minute edit that radio did play in the late 60s and early 70s. Despite the scratchy record, I do noticed that the overlapping cowbell leading into the final verse is that the sound is a bit more muddy.  Later on when I got the Greatest Hits, Columbia ended up putting the whole 11 minute thing on which for the first time I heard the whole thing. And there are a few more edited versions out there, the quick ending that you hear on Little Steven's Underground Garage which makes you want to punch the person responsible in the nuts for that.  The old purists like myself much prefer the version I grew up listening to the radio with.  I suppose in the end, that this 45 was the find of the Davenport hunts, despite it being fairly scratched up, but not totality trashed like other versions that I have seen at various thrift stores.

I suppose when baseball season starts up again, I'll return back to Davenport and take up on Bob's suggestion of looking upstairs in the unsorted 45s to see what I can find.  Thanks to what he had downstairs, I managed to make a do and found some interesting things as well.  Thanks also to Co Op Records as well.

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