Friday, June 3, 2016

Singles Going Steady 31-Don't Get Weird On Me Babe

Okay.  Another award winning batch of obscure 45s coming your way from the fine folks at The Salvation Army in Davenport.  Basically, I was down there to find the new Monkees CD, only to get one and tried to get it out of the jewelcase, to which it cracked.  Never seen that happen and hope to hell that never happens again.  Therefore, the new Monkees will have to wait another day to review.

The car needed new brakes and that relieved me of 471 dollars.  Maquoketa sits halfway between either Dubuque or Davenport and Anamosa if I wanted to go home.  In the end I decided Davenport would be the place of destination.  Last time I was there, The Salvation Army didn't have a good selection, most were all scratched to hell or just plain jukebox copies that seen better days.  This time out there was more of a selection although if you look at the songs posted, most are not exactly rock and roll but rather oddball curios and obscure pop artists and once again another polka band figures into this.  I'm sure I'm going to lose my credentials by continuing to review weird stuff like The Parkland Singers or The 20th Century Strings or Tony Roma, who may or may not be related to Tony Roma, the dude behind the steak places, that there's a location in Dubuque that might be worth eating at, pending if I had a 50 dollar bill laying around.  I had some tattooed looking dude saying if I was the record boy (been a while since I heard that).  I glanced up and said, "last of a dying breed dude".  No love life and no woman will do that to you.

The past couple days, between BDW and the Army, I managed to find a lot of obscure stuff, but most of them are not rock and roll but rather oddball stuff that are good for a laugh or curio listen.  And then it's put them back in the donation bins and move on to something more important.  In some ways finding these 45s due connect me to a past of growing up listening to all kinds of music.  Even crap like the Four Coins or Janice Harper served a purpose although all signs point to that I am hoarding music and records that I wouldn't give a second listen years ago.  What the hell happened to me?  Have I gotten even weird for Record World?  Or is it that I looking way past the overplayed classic rock crap that is played at bar gigs in order to find something that heard before.  Is it getting to the point that they might have to do a show about my hoarding habits?  Last time I checked, my brother has his own pile of hoarding crap too.  The only good thing about streaming is that it don't add up to pile upon piles of records and CDs but on the downside, not every single I find is on You Tube or even 45 Cat, to which The 20th Century Strings come into play, just like Rafe Vanhoy.  If it's a worthwhile single then it was worth the quarter paid or 50 cents for that matter, if not, at least the 45 sleeve is in good shape.  Unless it's the Gladstone single, then I keep the sleeve and throw the 45 back to the donation pile.

Granted Davenport remains a hot/cold destination and a crapshoot.  I rarely hit it big, but when I did a couple years ago, I tend to tout the finds and continue to revisit that Salvation Army store.  This time out I rolled the dice and it came up between snake eyes and a five, not enough to call it a classic find but not enough to label it a failure like it was in April.  There are record collectors that go there more than I do, they live closer and some of the greedy fucks will find them and try to sell them for make a profit on Ebay or other sites.   I tend to scan off the best finds and post them here.  Sometimes I get to see those scans on 45 Cat.   Most of the time I'm interested in hearing these forgotten songs sound.  And in the end, dedicate another Singles Going Steady series in such nonsense.   A couple classics here, a couple forgettable ones and the rest are somewhere in the middle.

In other words another weird one.

1.   Bride And Groom-The Parkland Singers (Limelight Y-3023)  1964

Polka music with a slight twisted sense of humor.  Didn't chart in 1964.  Limelight was basically used for either jazz or polka music it seems.   Not much is known about The Parkland Singers and I guess that's the way it's going to be.  I've never seen the Limelight record sleeve and it was in good shape.  Just like the record that was in near mint condition.   Probably gathering dust before it got donated to the Salvation Army.

2.  Recado-The 20th Century Strings  (20th Fox 316)  1962

They call it the bossa nova with strings added.   Zoot Sims did a version on Colpix Records (CP-656) the same year but neither song charted.  B side Ring Around A Rainbow sounds like something Mitch Miller would have thought up.  Not exactly rock and roll.  The single is not even listed on 45 Cat.

3.  The Green Door-Jim Lowe  (Dot 45-15486)  #1  1956

I'm guessing the copy I found was a reissue.  Dot in the late 50s was a red label, but this one is the standard black and multi colored letters.  Lowe was more into pop rather than country rockabilly and I think this song got some sort of resurrection around the early 1970s due to a soft core porn movie of the same name.  I think I had another 45 of Lowe's By You By You By You/I Feel The  Beat, a double sided hit, but I don't think I liked it much.  It got donated back to The Salvation Army.  Lowe also did some mind rockabilly covers of Maybelline and Blue Suede Shoes but they do pale next to the original.

4.  Real True Love-Tony Roma (Capitol 5204)  1964

His second and final single for Capitol.  Roma sounds somewhere along the lines of Steve Lawrence or Jack Jones.  In other words not rock and roll but Vegas pop.  B Side This Is My Prayer has a very oddball guitar lick, somewhat like the guitar lick to Six Days On The Road by Dave Dudley, but this is lush pop.  And not rock and roll.  Somebody remembered Roma's MGM's 1961 single No Power In The Universe and managed to post that one.  Enjoy

5.  Cold Gray Bars-Ned Miller (Capitol 4607)  1961

Had a big hit with From A Jack To A King but this was the first of two failed singles for Capitol, written by Spade Cooley.  My Heart Waits At The Door is the B Side and like the failed hit single, pleasant but kinda blah.  The backing vocals don't help either.

6.  Tonight You Belong To Me-Patience And Prudence (Liberty F-55052) #4  1956

I recall NRBQ doing a cool version of this.  But for teenage girls it's quite all right sounding, this song doesn't last very long, it clocks ten seconds short of two minutes. B side A Smile And A Ribbon is a bit too cutey pie for me.  This record despite not having a sleeve is actually in pretty good shape considering it's just about 60 years old.

7.  Why Baby Why-Red Sovine And Webb Pierce (Decca 9-29755)   1955 #1 country charts

George Jones wrote this a long time ago and Red and Pierce covered it to the top of the charts.  Of course George would have a hit of his own later on.  You rarely hear any of the versions on the country charts.  Red is basically known for his CB songs of Giddy Up Go and Teddy Bear, but look deeper and he was one of the best country singers, making some classic sides for Decca and Starday along the way.  B Side Missing You was covered by a few artists (Ray Peterson one of them).

8.  A Piece Of Paper-Gladstone (ABC-11327)  #45 1972

Soft rock country minor hit.  Mike Rabon used to play in The Five Americans and then formed this country band that made one album for ABC.  It was controversial for the word abortion was added to the lyric, but I don't recall hearing this on the radio station at all.  It may have been banned.  Living In The Country is a bit more uptempo, sounds a bit like Poco.

9.  Only One Woman-Nigel Olsson (Rocket/MCA MCA-40337)  #91  1974

Elton John's drummer is no stranger to recording his own albums.  He had a nice debut on UNI and recorded another album for EJ's Rocket label before getting a surprise hit with Dancing Shoes in 1978.  This song written by the Bee Gees and it sounds like E.J. is backing Nigel up with the rest of the classic band.  Alas, this song is better suited for Steve Perry or a higher pitched vocalist.  B side was written by Davey Johnstone.  But I think Elton John sat out on this one. Produced by Gus Dudgeon

10.  So You Are A Star-The Hudson Brothers (Casablanca NB-801)  #21 1974

There are two variations to this song.  Originally when Warner Brothers distributed Casablanca product it came out as (NES-108), a reissue showed it under 801 when Neil Bogart struck out on his own.    The Hudson Brothers have been kicked around on various labels (Lionel, Playboy, in and out of Rocket Records, Arista and Elektra) but on their highest charting single they add a bit of Badfinger/Beatles type of pop to this song.  Still holds up over the years but B side Ma Ma Ma Ma Baby is their hardest rocking best.   I remember stealing this 45 from my Aunt Cindy's record collection when she lived with us for a year.  Good times.  On a side note, I did find their only Casablanca offering Hollywood Situation for two dollars in the cut out bins and it did have some worthwhile moments, such as failed single Coochie Coochie Coo (Casablanca NB 816). Mark Hudson produced Ringo Starr in the 1990s and 2000s and also has worked with Steven Tyler.


TAD said...

Hi Crabby -- Feel like you've been into my record cabinet. I've got "A Piece of Paper" and "Only One Woman" at home.
"A Piece of Paper" got some airplay on KTAC in Tacoma when I was growing up -- it was around long enough for me to buy a copy. The abortion bit didn't shock me -- I thought the song was just a general protest against lotsa stupid stuff.
Didn't find a copy of "Only One Woman" until after I started blogging. It got some airplay on KFXD in Boise when I was in highschool -- made their Top 25. But when I heard it again many years later it had lost some drama or something -- maybe cos it wasn't coming out of the radio. Really does sound like a Bee Gees song now, though I didn't know that back in the day.
"So You Are a Star" also got airplay on XD, they were pretty open-minded. Didja ever hear the Hudsons' "Rendezvous"? Of course you did -- kind of a '50s throwback, lotsa uptempo vocals, etc. I'm sure you remember. Never heard any of their other stuff. Haven't seen any of their albums in YEARS.
Nice work, as always. Keep rockin'!

R S Crabb said...

Hi Tad,
I posted Rondevous a while ago and it did get some sort of airplay on the radio, Spinning The Wheel With The One You Love might have been the last song heard on the radio, not exactly memorable. Even though KLWW had Piece Of Paper on their top 30 survey, I never heard it on the radio station. Does anybody play So You Are A Star on radio anymore? I don't know. Nigel Olsson had dabbed in a up and down solo career in the 1970s, Dancing Shoes and Little Bit Of Soap, Only One Woman was bypassed down here.

The rest of the singles are novelty stuff, cha cha music, polka, and pop and country. It's nice to have to revisit The Green Door and Why Baby Why but in reality the majority of the rest of the 45s are forgettable. Here's hoping the next Singles Going Steady series will have more rock and roll.


TAD said...

Hi Crabby -- Thanx 4 the plug about me being back in business. I appreciate it.
Seattle also has a nude bicycle race, coming up next week -- so if you enjoy your experience there, you can come out here next. You might wanna bring some longjohns. Supposed to be in the low 60s at best, and possible showers. They reportedly got 450 riders last year. Did Queen start all this stuff? Anyway, if you DO take part, it should be fun to read about afterward.
Holy crap, Chips Moman produced a LOT of people -- the first folks I thought of were The Box Tops. But also Elvis, Merrilee Rush, B.J. Thomas, etc. Lotsa southern talent. And he wrote "Do Right Woman" for Aretha....

R S Crabb said...

We are not going to have to worry about cold weather. It's supposed to be 87 degrees and plenty of sunshine on Saturday, so I loaded up on the sunscreen. I hope to know more about the location where they're meeting, they will not say till a day ahead of the bike race and if I don't catch wind of it before I leave Friday, I may have to guess where's it at. It will be early in the morning, something that I'm not used to doing. I do know St Louis is next month and I know about Portland's WNBR day. I don't think this will become a natural habit, but something different to do outside of wasting time at the thrift stores looking for decent music in a pile of crappy Gospel and Montavani albums. If I survive the bike ride ordeal it should make an interesting read. ;)