Friday, December 4, 2015

Singles Going Steady 27-Moondog Music 45s

As we come to the conclusion of this year, I have to say that this year was a very good year to find 45s of note.  From the Museum Pieces to the Salvation Army Davenport finds, I am still amazed of what can be found of records that are 50 years old or older.

Back around October while compiling the Museum and S.A. finds, I did go up to Dubuque and Moondog Music had a few boxes of used 45s and basically the old hippie said I could check them out.  To which I did and ended up taking home about 10 of them.  My guess is that a collector had them, some have been jukebox 45s thrown in the process.  Nevertheless for a dollar a piece these were the cherry on top, the last of this years 45 finds and whatever next year will bring we worry about that then.

1.  My World Fell Down-Sagittarius (Columbia 4-44163) 1967 (Charted #70)  From the mind of Gary Usher, he put this demo together with Terry Melcher and lead vocals by Glen Campbell.  Originally Usher wanted Chad And Jeremy to do this song but they didn't care much for it.  The guess is that the Wrecking Crew played on it (it does sound like Hal Blaine on drums).  The single sold somewhat enough for Columbia to demand that this band played live but this was a Gary Usher production project but he did get Curt Boettcher to help out in the making of the rest of the album, called Present Tense.  It was sunshine pop as they say, plenty of backing vocals and mellow music to sound like The Association.  Like the majority of people I discovered this track via the Elektra garage rock retrospective called Nuggets and only recently came across a 45 that was in very good shape. 

2.  Night Time-The Strangeloves  (Bang B-514)  1966 (Charted #30)  Another single that found its way on the Nuggets comp was the third single from The Strangeloves, which other bands such as The J. Geils Band and George Thorogood have covered.  I liked this song better than I Want Candy, which charted in 1965 at number 11.  Long time ago, before You Tube made things easier, I recorded songs off the radio and Night Time was one of them, but that night while recording this song, the local radio station beeped in with sirens of a tornado warning at that time, which kind of ruined the mood of the song.  One more song, Hand Jive, which barely made it to number 100 and The Strangeloves never made the charts again.

3.   Get Me To The World On Time-The Electric Prunes  (Reprise 0564) 1967  (Charted #27)  For a record that charted that high in 1967 you don't hear on the radio, that distinction goes to I Had Too Much To Dream (last night) which hit at number 11.  Moreorless, Dave Hassinger's bowling alley sound defined this song like Too Much To Dream, but the Prunes themselves really had a unstable lineup throughout their career and after this song, no more singles would hit the charts and David Axelrod took over a new batch of players and called them The Electric Prunes, with the bizarre Release Of An Oath. The last Prunes album Just Good Old Rock And Roll was by the numbers boogie which was quite boring.  The original Prunes who did the first album did get back together to record an album in 1999.  Mark Tulin died in 2011 and Preston Ritter died in March of 2015.  Original member James Lowe continues to lead them.

4.  Blackland Farmer-Sleepy LaBeef (Plantation PL-74)  1971  His distinctive baritone vocals had make him one of the classic all time best rockabilly country stars and recorded for Columbia, Starday Mercury and other minor labels before hooking up on Shelby Singleton's Plantation/Sun Records.  A cover of the old Starday Single by Frankie Miller (Starday 45-424 issued in 1959 charted #7).

5.  Dynamite Woman-Sir Douglas Quintet (Smash/Mercury S-2233)  1969 (Charted #83)  Another rare and unheard song from the late Doug Sahm and Augie Myers, this would be their final top 100 showing.  It sounds more like a rewrite of Mendocino and a bit longer too. 

6.  The Revolution Kind-Sonny (Bono) (Atco 45-6386) 1965 (Charted #70)  In his mind he wanted to be Phil Spector and with Cher he did managed to get that wall of sound quite well.  At times he did make the rare solo single, he had a number 10 song with Laugh At Me, which Mott The Hoople did a killer cover version.  But for a number 10 showing you don't hear Laugh At Me on oldies radio and not this song either.  Still Sonny Bono knew what musicians to get, and studio to get that Spector sound.  The Wrecking Crew plays on this and it was recorded at Gold Star Studios.

7.   One Good Woman-Gary Lewis (Epic 8-50068)  1975  Although Gary Lewis recorded in the 70s, he never did ventured into the top 100 after 1969.  He made one single for Scepter in 1972 and his final 45 was on Epic in 75.  In all honesty it's not a bad song, arranged by Perry Botkin Jr. and written by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, who got a number 1 hit for Glen Campbell with Rhinestone Cowboy and gave this song to Gary in hopes of a hit single.  Which it flopped and Gary Lewis from then on out became an oldies act.

8.  Bury Me At Wounded Knee-Earle Sutton (Showcase SC 1006) 1973  Not a lot is known about record and even looking through the internet I come up empty.  Sutton's only 45 released, and it's interesting for the jewsharp beginning and use throughout the song.   Produced by Pete Drake who at that time was head of Stop Records and Showcase may have been an offshoot.  This 45 is interesting for the backside "courtesy of Little Richie Johnson, one of the best promoters and former country singer, who produced Jack Blanchard/Misty Morgan's album of Tennessee Bird Walk fame.  As for Earle Sutton, you know as much as I do about him.

9.  The Cowboy And The Lady-Bobby Goldsboro (Epic 8-50413)  1977  (Charted #85 Country) Like Gary Lewis, Bobby had plenty of hits for United Artists/Liberty but after his 1973 number 21 hit Summer (the first time) Bobby started to go more country, and he some chart success.  B side Me And Millie was a bigger hit for Ronnie Sessions that same year.  For the most part The Cowboy And The Lady is bland country.

10.  Gravity-Brenda Russell (A&M 1208)  1988  (#42 R&B)  She had hits with So Good So Right on Horizon in 1979 and the Joe Piscapo duet of Piano In The Dark hit number 6, but this followup single from Get Here, didn't chart at all on the pop 100.  It doesn't sound out of place with what Janet Jackson was doing at that time but for whatever reason it remained on the dance and R&B chart.  I found this single in mint condition when Goodwill opened the Mount Vernon Rd store back in September this year.  Perhaps Brenda was too sophisticated for her own good, too jazzy for the Janet Jackson crowd.  Not exactly rock and roll but it does have a bit of soul to her sound. 

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