Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Singles Going Steady 30-This Month's BDW Record Finds

Every month at the Marion Antique Mall, the folks behind BDW Records bring up a batch of 45s of varying degree the first of the month.  And I have great luck in finding some of the more obscure 45s the past couple months.   It's not easy finding decent copies of 50 year old 45s without paying an arm and a leg off EBAY or record stores with the unmarked 45's selection.  Buyer beware on the unmarked 45 selection.   It's one thing to spend 10 dollars or more on stuff I've grew up listening to in my childhood and trying to recapture them buy spending 10 dollars or more.   It's another to find reasonable priced 45s at 3 for a dollar.  Hell, not even Goodwill Industries does that.  Ever since the vinyl revival, they raised the price to 88 cents and even 1,88 or 3.88 or more on Elvis or Wilson Pickett regardless of shape or condition of record.   At least with BDW Records, they are priced to move.

There are arguments to the CD vs Vinyl, as vinyl has been growing back in popularity, although they're nowhere near what CD sales were back say, 10, 15 years ago, before the major label industry got too greedy with copy protect CDs, loud recordings and that FBI logo and then the internet took over.  As for me, CDs do the trick, you can tote them in your car and play them since radio sucks.  But at home or at the junk store it is the 45s that have my attention.  55 years of living, and I've never grown out of buying 45s at some point as you can tell from previous S.G.S blogs on this page.  And when I'm dead and gone, they're all be back up on the block for buyers to buy but while I'm still living, I enjoy looking through moldy boxes of old 45s of forgotten songs, and once in a while making a unique find, such as Davenport a couple years ago.  I don't think I could ever top a Buddy Holly or a Sam Cooke or a Bob Dylan red vinyl 45 ever, but I do get surprised of what I still find, if I know where to look and know when to frequent the junk shops or Goodwills and Salvation Army/St Vincent De Paul Stores.  Collectors are out and about too but it is the element of being at the right place right time.   And I suspect that this month's finds might have been the best since the August 2014 Davenport bargain hunts.   It's not often that I find a Atco promo of a Troggs song that is rarely heard on the radio.

1.  Woman Is The N Word Of The World-John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band  Apple 1848  #57 1972
Due to the PC nature of the world, this song is no longer heard on the radio or for that matter satellite radio.  Certainly our AM radio stations did not play it, it was banned due to the offending N word.  But I always to find a copy of this 45 somewhere without taking out a second mortgage on the house. While Lennon is loved for his music and lyrical vision, I admired him from a far.  He got to be too preachy at times and while Give Peace A Chance was fun back in 1969 or 1970, it gets tedious after awhile. But he did nail it, Instant Karma!, Power To The People, Imagine are the classics.  This song did appeared on Shaved Fish, the Apple Lennon best of, but each ensuring best ofs, it was forgotten and left off.  But the old lyric publishing magazine Song Hits did print the lyrics a few times.   Come to think of it, in this day and age, Lennon's lyrics to this song still rein true.  And sometimes the world cannot handle the truth.

2.  I Can't Control Myself-The Troggs  Atco 45-6444  #43 1966

The second of two Atco releases before Fontana won out (this was on Fontana F-1557) in the bidding to release The Troggs songs and this was the poorest showing of the songs that made the top 50 for this band although Fontana did put out 8 more singles, only Love Is All Around made top ten.  Never seen a promo copy of this song on Atco till today. Of course I had to have it.

3.   Can't Get Used To Losing You-Fred X. Brown  Hit Record Number 60  1964

The Pickwick Records of the 1960s and I think we talked about the significance of Hit Records in a blog a few years ago.  Back when rock and roll was marketed for the kids without lawyers and copyright control freaks getting in the way and basically the major labels did their best to promote hit singles in various ways.  Hit Records was based in Nashville and for the most part used some of the finest session players available and sometimes the stars themselves, Skeeter Davis was under a alias.  This song was based upon the hit done by Andy Williams and those who couldn't afford the 98 cents to buy Andy's version could get this one for 39 cents (or even less).   B side is Baby Workout done by Leroy Jones who took on the soul and R and B sides.  I have a copy of him covering Major Lance's Um Um Um Um Um Um almost note for note.  Strangely, the Hit Records version sounded more polished than Lance's.  Which may or may not have been a good thing.

4.  The Lady Came From Baltimore-Bobby Darin Atlantic 45-2395  #62  1967

In the past few years of Singles Going Steady, Bobby Darin has made quite a few appearances here.  And really there's no shortage of his 45s out there available.  One time, up in Madison there was no fewer than about 10 Atco releases I thought about picking up.  Mostly his Sinatra attempts in the pop vein, but I come to find his folk period to be the most interesting of all.   This was his second attempt to cover a Tim Hardin song and it didn't do as well as If I Was A Carpenter.  Darin managed on his second stint with Atlantic to hold on to his record masters, and while the Bobby Darin Trust Company has issued the latter day Atlantic releases, I come to find them in need of better remastering. The original albums that I did have on vinyl sounded scratched up, despite the vinyl being in pristine shape.   Varese Sandabunde did a good job on Songs From Big Sur and If I Was A Carpenter best of.

5.  Where Did That Naughty Little Girl Go-Gary US Bonds; Legrand 1025   1962

Another interesting find was the promo 45 of this obscure Bonds classic.  Bonds was the quintessential party star of the early 60s, Quarter To Three with that bizarre outer space sound which got cleaned up in later reissues, and who could not forget Gene (Daddy G) Barge on saxophone.  Alas, this didn't chart at all, although it did on the regional stations.

6. Right String But The Wrong Yo Yo-Dr. Feelgood And The Interns  Okeh 4-7156  #84 1962

No relation to the UK band of Wilko Johnson and Lee Brilleaux but rather a more obscure country R&B band that was produced by Frank Law and Don Jones (Johnny Cash, Marty Robbins).

7. Be Careful Of The Stones You Throw-Dion  Columbia 4-42810  #31 1963

A bit more of a country side to Dion, which managed to hit scrape outside the top 30.  Even though it's still in teen idol mode, Dion was beginning to think outside by adding a bit more blues to this song.  Not full blown but the times were changing a bit.

8.   To Love You-Country Store  TA-189  #103  1970

Kind of a cult classic, this song was still considered to be part of the hippy dippy movement, but with an eye toward pop too.   Certain record labels I tend to look for, TA had a roster that included Seals And Croft but perhaps the best known song from that label was Do What You Wanna Do from Five Flights Up.  This song was written and produced by Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, who would later find their mark with working with The Four Tops, The Grassroots and Glen Campbell.

9.  I Can Hear Music-The Beach Boys  Capitol 2432  #24  1969

Something changed big time after singing songs about surfing, hot rods and hot girls.  Critics always have said that Pet Sounds was their best overall album but in the late 60s The Beach Boys had to come up with their own music after Brian Wilson took himself out of the band, cracking under pressure, still they did come through even after the failure of the Smile project, which came out in variations on other albums. 20/20 might be considered a hodgepodge of an album, it's no Pet Sounds but it does hold its own as one of the underrated albums of The Beach Boys. The final single from 20/20 shows Carl Wilson producing and singing this song and it's one of the more sweeter Beach Boys numbers without Brian Wilson around.  B Side is the hardest rocking thing they ever did All I Want To Do, produced by Dennis Wilson in all of its 2 minutes glory.  Including the infamous outro where Dennis is making whoopie with somebody, while Mike Love is screaming away at lead vocal.

10.  You Got To Me-Neil Diamond Bang B-540  #18  1967

It's simple.  While Neil started to get serious when he went to UNI/MCA and then became a big pop star for Columbia, his best music remains with Bang Records and Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich producing and helping out, certainly Ellie's background vocals made the songs stand out even more. Neil only made two proper albums for Bang, but his songs have been repackaged time and time again, even in 1973 when Neil was having a number 22 live remake of Cherry Cherry, Bang issued The Long Way Home which topped around number 91.  The power of his 1966-1967 output with Jeff and Ellie remains timeless and classic such as this song and I always the call and response of the chorus between Neil and Jeff and Ellie.  It's what made AM radio such a treat to listen to with songs like You Got To Me.

The rest of the finds.

Stillness Of The Night-Art Pettibone   Stop Records ST-1653  1971 (photo:discogs)
Surf City-Jan And Dean   Liberty 55580  1963  #1
Cab Driver-The Mills Brothers  Dot  DOH-250  1968  #23
Where Were You When I Needed You-The Grassroots  Dunhill D-4029 1966 #28
The Shape Of Things To Come-Max Frost And The Troopers  Tower 419  1968  #22
Take A Letter Maria-R.B.Graves  Atco 45-6716  1969 #2
I Can Take Or Leave Your Loving-Herman's Hermits  MGM K-13885 1968 #22
Too Many Fish In The Sea-Mitch Ryder  New Voice 822  1967 #24

The interesting one out of the bunch is Art Pettibone's Stillness Of The Night.  Like with most artists that recorded for Stop Records, the sound is honky tonk, but Pettibone has a yodel when he sings the word Night, in the way of Bill Monroe that it comes across more like an Americana song.  There is nothing about Art Pettibone anywhere on the internet except on this blog.   Produced by Tommy Hill. B side Take A Little Chance is a bit repetitive on Art repeating his lyrics twice and feels twice as long as the 2:22 timing indicates.  I don't believe Stop Records ever made any stock copies.

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