Upon the disappointment of the Madison disaster of last week, it didn't stop me from finding a bunch of oldtime 45s that St Vincent De Paul had in their section. A couple years ago, I cleaned out a bunch of 45s and took them up there; two years later the only single that remained from that batch was Axe and their version of I Can't Help Myself. A surprise given that they'll be remembered for Rock And Roll Party In The Streets but in 1978 they found themselves stuck with Mike Curb and MCA Records and that single was lackluster. Record bargain hunters do tend to overlook the crap, but size I Can't Help Myself up next to, You Light Up My Life, Can't Help Myself is a classic.
When it was time to consider adding a new Blog to Singles Going Steady, I considered putting up the singles from Ragged Records, last month's big buys that ended up costing 80 dollars for the whole bunch, still a bargain considering that I did managed to find Don Hollinger. But the St Vincent De Paul and Half Priced Books finds I brought about 20 singles and paid 5 dollars for the whole lot. Even a 50 plus year old 45 in good shape still sounds good to these ears. But at times, I found myself going too far in the MOR Pop of the 50s that really don't do much for me. Patti Page Old Cape Cod/Wondering (Mercury 71101 1957) comes to mind, another is The Four Coins The Miracle Of St. Marie (co-written by a young Burt Bacharach and Produced by Jerry Lieber/Mike Stoller) (Jubilee 5411 1961). Sometimes I forget that pop is pop but some of that pop is very dated and considered your grandparents music. Not all pop is bad, in fact one of Andy Williams' best singles remains Lonely Street (Cadence 1370 1959) one of more darker and lonelier songs ever recorded. But then again, I listen to just about anything, go from Andy Williams to Dash Rip Rock and then Buck Owens and over to some unknown nobody knows about even on the internet. Which explains recent blogs about Cin Kay Records and the artists on that label.
Nevertheless, this summer's 45 buys have continued to be varied and some were missing pieces in the music of my life. There were a few 45s that I gave to my dad but since he doesn't play the stereo anymore I came over to reclaim some of them and unfortunately my dad didn't take very good care ot them. I could use a better version of the 7 minute White Knight from Cledus Maggard but the one I have will to do. So I basically supported the local record store and the pricey 45s over four dollars, to which I give a term called museum records. A term that was bestowed by an angry record collector that went to Wax Trax and couldn't bargain with the owner and then give him a one star middle finger anti review. Fact of the matter is that chalk it up to Supply And Demand, that if you want it bad enough you'll pay to get acquire it. Another term would be the Ebay Price Museum 45 to which the unpriced 45s, you take up to the owner, and the owner then takes a peek on EBAY and prices it accordingly. Which does piss me off as well. Back in the old days, a box of records tended to be a quarter a piece regardless. And finding something for a quarter or less is helluva lot more fun than paying 4 dollars for a Leapy Lee followup to Little Arrows. Another reason why last years' Davenport bargain hunt was much more fun, finding Bob Dylan and Buddy Holly for 10 cents. And thank our lucky stars that the salesman at the Salvation Army didn't have a computer to look up prices. Otherwise We'd be taking a second mortgage out on our car to pay for those.
Problem of today remains greed and Goodwill Industries in this part of the state tend to overdo it on 45s. To sort through a stack of scratched up, naked 45s for 88 cents is not cost effective. It's a shame that the Doors Running Blue had a few craters in the grooves, it would have been a reference copy at best and something to stick into the cannister of scratchy forty fives in the utility room downstairs. But if there's a copy of Judy Collins Turn Turn Turn in a sleeve and looks VG+ I would pay the 88 cents. So I picked that up alongside The Fireballs Bottle Of Wine (Atco 6491) 1977, which is one ahead of Don Hollinger's Till I Find You (Atco 6492) in the discography of Atco Records. It's a shame to see scratched up 45s that I can't use at the Marion Salvation Army stores either. But what can you do, I have donated scratched up 45s too or things I didn't need anymore. Thankfully somebody did pick them up, or perhaps they were too beat up so they got donated to the landfill.
The original intent of this S.G.S series was to showcase the pricey stuff but I decided to post the singles that were found for a dollar and under instead. Basically the majority of them are 50 cents and below. So this edition, I'm trying to decide on the 10 best finds of the past month, and perhaps next month we'll showcase the museum 45 for comparison. And give a shout out to Sweet Living Antiques in Iowa City, The Madison St. Vincent De Paul and our local Half Priced Bookstore that, even though their 45 section was down to the barebones, I found more here than I did up in Madison.
1. Queen Of Hearts-Dave Edmunds (Swan Song Import SSK 19419) 1979
The US version is SS 71002 and was the B side to Crawling From The Wreckage. The UK had this as the A side paired with The Creature From The Black Lagoon, which that B side was the flip to the single Girls Talk, one of my all time favorite Dave Edmunds songs. Anyway, the album Repeat When Necessary was the best album of 1979 and I played that album just about every hour of every day as I graduated from high school at that time. Teamed up with Nick Lowe, they were called Rockpile and came at the right time in my life. Repeat When Necessary next to Lowe's Labour Of Lust the high point of the Rockpile band era. In a perfect world, radio would have played Dave's version more than Juice Newton's version.
2. Let's Go Smoke Some Pot-Dash Rip Rock (Ichiban 96-359) 1996
I'm thinking whoever had the Queen Of Hearts Import 45 had this obscure classic from the beloved Dash Rip Rock, which is a hilarious send up of At The Hop. Gotta hand it to the folks at Ichiban for pressing it in a smokey gray vinyl.
3. Bad Indication-Off Broadway usa (Atlantic 3668) 1980
The guess work is that Off Broadway was Madison based or from Milwaukee but in 1979 they did offer up one of the great lost classic albums of that time, On. For power pop rock they had a bit more grit than their neighbors to the south Cheap Trick and Cliff Johnson was one of the better vocalists too. Stay In Tune was their one hit wonder, it hit number 51 in early 1980 and this was the followup single, which got no airplay and no chart placement. I tend to like this one better than Stay In Time, it's a bit more hooky and catchy. For some reason Atlantic decided to chop 20 seconds off a 3:42 song but you couldn't tell the difference. Radio didn't play it, at least not the one up here. More likely to be heard at college stations instead.
4. Lady (Put The Light One Me)-Brownsville Station (Private Stock PSR 45-149) #46 1977
One of my favorite bands of the seventies, I had a neighbor that was related to Cub Koda and he was nice enough to autograph an album for me and gave a poster for Night On The Town, their album for Big Tree. While Mike Lutz is considered the leader, the hit singles were sung by Koda and later on Bruce Nazarian signed on as another guitar player and vocalist to which he sings on this song. It did reach higher on the charts than followup and FM classic staple The Martian Boogie. But Brownsville never had any major label support whatsoever, Warner Brothers dropped them after their first and only album for them and Big Tree they made four albums of Midwestern boogie rock. Despite their modest showing, Private Stock went bellyup and Brownsville would make one more album on Epic in 1979 and then retire for a few decades before Mike Lutz reformed them back. Cub Koda passed away in 2000.
5. Hot Nuts (Get them From Yo Peanut Man) Jerry McCain (Merit M45-2508) 1984
McCain is somewhat legendary. He recorded a few sides of Excello way back in the 50s and 60s and various labels (Jewel, Okeh) but by 1984, his type of R&B wasn't the stuff the majors were looking for. This minor classic came from a small label in Texas and one of few singles that I did get in the Madison Disaster trip. McCain later recorded for Ichiban and Jericho/Sire and passed away in 2012.
6. Orinoco Flow (Sail Away)-Enya (Geffen 7-27633) #24 1989
One of those songs that was very different than anything on the charts in the late 80s. New Age dressed as alternative and even 120 Minutes quietly sneaked the video in. At that time, Warner/Reprise didn't think it do much of anything and ended up putting this on Geffen, back when David had a arrangement with Warner, but once Universal acquired Geffen, this came out on Reprise. I'm not ashamed to say that I do like this song, although the lyrics are a bit goofy particularly From Peru To Sabu line. The 45 has come up a few times, mostly worn juke box copies and is slightly edited. Enya became a big smash during the 9/11 attacks with Only Time but you can find copies of her albums in the cheap bins everywhere. Fun fact: Enya appeared on the VH1 late 80s show Just Jazz with Ben Sideran. Fun fact number two: Enya does a lot of overdubbing of her vocals to the point that it takes a few years between albums to get them sound right. A lot of effort just to have things go into the dollar bins. In other words, she's the 80s version to Herb Alpert when it comes to thrift store albums. B side Out Of The Blue is a new age piano recital that didn't make the album cut on neither the Geffen nor Reprise albums.
7. Thinking Of You-Loggins And Messina (Columbia 4-45815) #18 1973
I noticed that oldies radio doesn't play the single version anymore. The album cut leaves off the 15 second guitar introduction to this barely 2 minutes over song. It came on the heels of the successful Your Mama Don't Dance, one of those songs that my jam buddies always seem to play on jam sessions nights. At that time Jimmy Messina was the better known of the two, after being in Buffalo Springfield and Poco before going into production and teaming up with Kenny Loggins. The first two Loggins and Messina albums were very good, but then they started getting bogged down in MOR balladry. While Jim Messina faded from view, Kenny Loggins would have major hits with I'm All Right from Caddyshack, Foot Loose and Don't Fight It. But in the end Loggins was more MOR balladry than rocker. Not one of my favorite artists but as the song sez He's All Right.......
8. Yesterday's Hero-John Paul Young (Ariola America 7607) #42 1975
Mr Love's In The Air. But he had Harry Vanda and George Young as producers and writers of decent music, they were once part of The Easybeats. This is more rock and roll than the disco of Love's Is In The Air, and while Vanda And Young argue that song was one of their better, Yesterday's Hero is more listened to here. This song did chart at number 42 in 1975 but our radio stations didn't play it, at least the ones I tuned into. The Bay City Rollers would do a cover of this song in 1976, which only got up to number 54. Which I did hear on the radio.
9. Midnight-Red Foley (Decca 9-28420) #1 Country 1952
Early country blues, and more toward the blues side rather than country. Written by Boudieax Bryant and Chet Atkins this has been covered by Porter Wagoner somewhere around 1955 thereabouts. Red Foley would be rewarded with a number 1 showing in 1952. The walking blues beat is somewhat akin to Blues Stay Away From Me from The Stanley Brothers. Fun fact: according to the his chauffeur who drove for Hank Williams, Midnight was the last song that Hank Sr ever sang.
10. Riverboat-Faron Young (Capitol 4291) #83 1960
It was one year ago plus a month since the best ever Davenport hunt and while I wanted to compile the best of Davenport a year later, the returns weren't there, nor were the singles. The odd thing about thrift stores is hoping to get there before the other hunters do. But early August the only notables were Leapy Lee Little Arrows, Bette Midler Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy and a couple of Faron Young Capitol 45s, one the number 96 placing of the gospel like The Shrine of St. Cecelia in 1957 and this 1960 song written by Whispering Bill Anderson which found itself at number 83 for three weeks in 1960. I'm more familiar with Faron's Mercury years than the classic Capitol years. Faron could write his own, the B Side Face To The Wall (co-written with Anderson) might have seen country chart action as well. But I also noticed that in the past couple years, I have brought a couple more Faron Capitol singles as well. Riverboat is a great song, complete with catchy sing along chorus. They don't write and sing them like that anymore.