Friday, October 21, 2016

Singles Going Steady 33 And A Third-Revisiting Some Old Records

A look at the recent finds of note:

1)  Just Dropped In To See What My Condition Was In-The First Edition (Reprise 0655) #5 1968

Well what does Kenny Rogers know about Psychedelia?  Well probably not much but considering the fact that the single came out as The First Edition, coming as a band effort although Rogers was clearly the leader of the band.  B Side Shadow Of Your Mind is Mike Settle pop configuration with sunny background vocals to boot.  Still The A side may have been the heaviest song Kenny ever did, judging from what I heard from his albums and such.    The 45 was fairly good shape despite missing a sleeve.

2)  Six Days On The Road-Woody Martin (Country & Western Hits 210)  1963

Remember Hit Records?  They had a country label named (guess) that had some of the finest Nashville musicians playing behind alias or unknown singer.   Martin recorded a few sides for C&W Hits between 1962 and 1965 and your guess is good as mine who he is.  He turns in a nice version of the Dave Dudley hit.  B side Satisfied Mind takes on the Porter Wagoner song with arrangement somewhat like RCA was putting out including backing vocals by perhaps The Nashville Edition done in 3/4 time.  Even for a budget label it amazes me how Hit Records could duplicate that polished sound that Chet Atkins was famous for (and demonized at the same time).

3)  By The Waters Of The Minnetonka-The Gadabouts  (Mercury 70495X45)  1954

Another pop song that isn't rock and roll, it falls under easy listening.  Or a novelty act.  Their highest charting song was Stranded In the Jungle a few years later.  Why do I keep buying stuff like that.  It was a 10 cent record in so so shape.  The other side is even more forgettable.

4)  I'm Still In Love With You-Al Green (Hi Records HI-2216)  #3 1972

Willie Mitchell producer and arranger, plus the great Al Jackson on drums as well. And soul man Al Green singing those love jams.  What could be better than that?

5)   I Confess-New Colony Six (Centaur 1201)  #80 1966

Another single that came my way many years ago, when my dad bought a bunch of them home from work, Radio didn't play it much if at all here.  In Chicago they did place in the top ten on WLS.  It's interesting for its robotic vocal beginning  before into a some repetitive vocals (You run around, run around baby etc etc) but it does have a certain charm to it.  The pressing plant that did this record did a shitty job and you have to position the record at a slight slant to correct the back and forth sound.  But I think my original copy suffered the same problem.  The replacement copy I found was in better shape, minus the big scratches that rendered my copy useless.  I like the B side Dawn Is Breaking better, very garage rock and utterly nonsensical, but a perfect song about insomniac and staying up way past your bedtime.  Later singles were issued on Sentar due to conflict of interest from a rival label or band. Rhino compiled both songs on a new hard to find best of The New Colony Six CD, worth seeking out.

6)   Mood Indigo-Norman Petty Trio (X-4X-0040)  1954

Before Norman discovered rock and roll and Buddy Holly, he was putting together mellow pop fluff, such as this ho hum cover of Duke Ellington's song, somewhat like Lawrence Welk would have done. B side Petty's Little Polka  is better, but's still  an 1 and half minute polka throwaway.  It doesn't waste your time like Mood Indigo does.

7)  Him Or Me-What's It Gonna Be-Paul Revere And The Raiders (Columbia 4-44094)  #5 1967

I had this on 45 years ago, and then it died during a frisbee toss.  But I found a ten cent replacement this week and I think this one was in better shape the my original copy, just like I Confess mentioned earlier in the blog.   Certainly in the early years when we were mere kids listening to the radio and discovering donated scratchy 45s the music was much more welcoming then the garbage played today.  And with the golden age of garage rock turning 50 moreorless, it still seems that Paul Revere And The Raiders made excellent music that holds up today.  B side Legend Of Paul Revere is just as good.  That side of the 45 needs to be clean up.  For sleeveless forty fives they tend to pack a lot of dirt between those grooves and mold spots.

8)  Born To Be Wild-Steppenwolf   (Dunhill D-4138)  #2  1968

One of the final singles to be issued on Dunhill before ABC tacked on their logo, this song along with Magic Carpet Ride continues to be played on both oldies and classic rock radio.  Perhaps the ultimate biker anthem, including the words heavy metal thunder which might be the first time that term has ever made it into a song.   The 3rd single turned out to be the charm, first song A Girl I Know didn't make much of a chart impression and Sookie Sookie bubbled over on the Billboard top 100.  I remember one time at the old Arlan's store in Fort Dodge, they had a juke box and some hippie kid, probably whacked out on Acid, played that song about 7 times in a row.  But as you know Born To Be Wild has been played in many of bar bands (including mine) and as long as they make Harley's that song will still be around.  However I like the B side Everybody's Next One better, simply of the fact it's not been killed on the radio, and the matrix number seems to suggest to be an A side.  In fact some of the big AM markets did play Everybody's Next One a few times.  Alas, the big chart showings of Born To Be Wild, Magic Carpet Ride and last top ten entry Rock Me (which you never hear on the radio anymore)  Steppenwolf would not make the top ten ever again, and Straight Shooting Woman would peak at number 29 in 1974, another song that you never hear on the radio anymore either.   After Goldy McJohn and Jerry Edmonton left, it would be John Kay's baby all the way.

9)  Teen Angel-Mark Dinning  (MGM K-12845)  #1  1959

I never been a fan of songs of tragedy of the early rock era, in fact stuff like Last Kiss makes me change the channel.  This 45 was part of the original singles that my mom and her sister Aunt Sarge had in their collection.  For better or for worse, those early stack of scratched up classic did influence me in terms of bargain hunting.  In fact the records vary, from Fly Me To The Moon (Tony Bennett) to Sweet Little Sixteen and Rock and Roll Music (Chuck Berry), from Elvis (Big Hunk O Love) to Fabian (You'll Never Tame Me-a fun b Side to the crappy Kissin Time) and of course doo wop from The Rays (Daddy Cool) and The Flamingos (I Only Have Eyes For You).  But there was plenty of teen idol stuff too, Rick Nelson figured and although my mom had the good taste of passing on Last Kiss, she did have Teen Angel.  Time has shown me to actually like it better than I originally did.  I didn't pick the record up in my August trip to the Salvation Army in Davenport, but two months later it was still there and still in the sleeve as well.  For its age and being played a few times by its previous owner, I hardly noticed the scratches or blemishes.  Sometimes records might look worse for the wear but some of them still play like new.  And vice versa.  I had records that looked in great shape but played awful on the player.   Little Man from Sonny And Cher come to mind.

10)  My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys-Willie Nelson  (Columbia 1-11186)  #44 1980

For a country icon, Willie hasn't had much action on the top forty pop and rock charts, he's had 8 of them, the highest on was Always On My Mind.  On the country side he owned the charts.  Of course I've been a big Nelson fan for many many years, actually liking his RCA albums a bit more than the classic Columbia records of the 70s and 80s.  Willie co produced this with Sydney Pollack for the Electric Horseman movie to which I think I watched on HBO and fell asleep both times it came on.  Maybe I'll seek out the DVD if it's available to see if I can stay awake to see it.  The old couch gets mighty comfortable.

These 45s did come from the Salvation Army Resale Store in Davenport and didn't come from the Madison bargain hunts nor the BDW finds early in the month.  I thought the other 45s were either too country or too pop and not enough rock to bother.   I might throw the best of the finds from those before the year is out but for now, I'm too tired to bother with it.

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