Thursday, February 23, 2017

Yet Another Singles Going Steady Blog. Number 36.

Yeah I have seen the time line at Twitter and Facebook continuing to document the shortcomings of President 45 FRS and it's pointless to comment about that.  The music news continues to be deaths of musicians that I knew growing up and other news about the rock and roll bands of today bore me.  Only news of note is that Pink Floyd would be Glastonberry if David Gilmour signs off.  Nick Mason and Roger Waters are open to that.  I tend to think it's an alternative fact.

Over the weekend it was to Davenport to watch my friends in the band Past Masters play At Rhythm City Casino.  And they played great.  I have to chuckled at Chad Johnson's observation that I could have played Blue Swede Shoes when Tom Miller sang it but Bart Carfizzi played drums (even fighting back pain he did a good job) instead.  Usually at Casinos, they frown upon special guests jumping on stage, and I wasn't cleared for that. But thanks for the kind thoughts Chad.  I'm open to the idea when you guys take the stage at Rumors later on.

Taking advantage of the warm weather, Davenport seemed to be a good idea.  They had a nice used Ibanez acoustic guitar for 100 dollars at Music Go Round but I put it back, but who knows.  I might get a weak moment and return there to get that guitar.  Maybe a trade in?  However Co Op Records In Davenport didn't survive very long. I was there last year at this time to buy a David Bowie CD but they didn't have much for music.  The Vinyl Revival passed them by, but Reid and the Moline Co Op Records is still open.   Last month I didn't find much except for some 45s and one CD.  But this time out I did find some sort of music from Ragged Records, The Source Bookstore and various Goodwill and Salvation Army stores in town.   Enough to compile another Singles Going Steady Series and like the previous finds, they borderline between rock and country and the obscure and absurd.   I did find a better copy of Do It by Neil Diamond (The one in Dubuque suffered from the previous owner playing it with no needle.   The Salvation Army 45s, some have been there a long time and I thought if giving some of them a good cleaning they might play better.  In essence some did, most didn't.  But then again when you buy them in bulk (usually if you buy 8 of them, the place will give you a discount, just like the Moline Goodwill, 8 records for a quarter a piece.  Technically most of the 45s spent a long time on the shelves and the hope was that they didn't get worse for the wear by collectors and hoarders looking for a quick buck on EBAY or elsewhere.

I don't know, collecting 45s left and right is not exactly cost effective if they suck or too scratched up and if I don't like the song it gets donated right back.  Certainly scratchy 45 if they're rated G or Poor are only good for reference copies or simply art deco art, but I don't expect the rock record collectors to get all giddy for Paul Anka, a schmaltz pop artist at best but some of his ABC Paramount singles are worth hearing (to me that is), and while Diana and Lonely Boy were past good playing condition, the B side to It's Time To Cry, Something Has Changed Me (ABC Paramount single 45-10064) ranks with Lonely Boy as my favorite Paul Anka singles.  Alas, I can't play It's Time To Cry, it's too far gone and even the cleaning didn't help things but Something Has Changed Me is playable.  And Goodwill still had the De Castro Sisters doing Teach Me Tonight Cha Cha (ABC Paramount 45-9988) so I bought that one too and cleaned it up.  Originally done in 1954, The Sisters redid it in 1959 as a cha cha number and it made it up to number 76 on the Billboard charts.  They were modeled after the Andrews Sisters as the B side Things I Tell My Pillow sounds like it. That sort of mellow pop did out of style, so at that time the Cha Cha was a happening thing.  Don Costa's arrangements is a bit over the top even for a cha cha number.  It's certainly not rock and roll but why do I continue to buy such nonsense?  It might be the ABC Paramount banner, I always was mesmerized by that label. Most of the ABC Paramount roster was pop or MOR nonsense but there were a couple exceptions along the way, namely Ray Charles, Tommy Roe and Brian Hyland to name a few. I have lowered my standards to get an Edie Gorme and Jimmy Velvet but I hope to come across a decent copy of My Baby's Gone by Jack Scott or Easy Picking By The Tazman (9812), or Pretty Bad Blues from the legendary Ronnie Self  (9714)

(Photo: 45 Cat)

Now that we got that out of the way,  the selections here are once again varied and all over the map.  Again using the Bullfrog Spring reference of the charted singles,  I place the chart position and year as well.  Plus the usual snide comments of the bad songs and compliments of the good.  Perhaps I should have pawned that on Amanda, whos badmouthing of the crappy songs of 2017 has made the top five all time most read blogs, replacing my tribute to Bruce Stanley.  I'm not amused.

1)    I Think I'm Gonna  Like It-Barnaby Bye  (Atlantic 45-2984)  1973

I find this hard to believe this didn't chart nationally although I think it did on the KCRG top 30 in 1973.  Peppy Castro (ex Blues Magoos) joined forces with the Alessi Brothers and Mike Riccadella from The Illusion to make 3 albums for Atlantic.  I don't think this song was out of line of such music made from the likes of Gunhill Road or Stories. bubblegum flavored rock, it might have been the cheery vocals on the chorus but it's not one of those songs I'd listen all the way through on the radio.  This 45 was in pretty trashed condition and was cleaned up, but still plenty of surface noise on the grooves.

2)    Come Sunday Morning-The Sandpipers (A&M 1185)  #17  1969

Mellow pop number from a vocal group that wasn't much different than say The Lettermen, The Vogues or The Association.  I think it sounds better now than it did back in 1969 among the hippie dippy stuff going around.  Like most of the mellow pop groups, you can find The Sandpipers albums at the junk shop. For this single a nice discovery, fine and mellow.   The 45 was in better than thought shape when I came across it at the Goodwill Moline store.   I think it's been sitting there a while.

3)    Young And In Live-Dick And Dee Dee (Warner Brothers 5342)  #17 1963

Best known for The Mountain's High for Liberty, they moved over to Warners for spotty couple years beginning with this sappy top 20 hit.  And I really have no use for sappy teenage ballads of any era. Unless it's by Rick Nelson or Elvis.

4)    I'm Confessing (That I Love You)-Frank Ifield (Capitol 5032)  #58  1963

This guy was obsessed with Slim Whitman it seems.  That yodel of  I'm Confessing that I love Youuuuuuuuuuuuu.  If you can't find Indian Love Call by Slim on the next mars invasion, you can scare them off with this song or better yet I Remember You  (oooooooOOOOO ack ack ACK ACK). Back in the British Invasion, Vee Jay Records was issuing The Beatles singles that didn't catch on at Capitol till I Wanna Hold You Hand broke big and then EMI Capitol released what a big mistake they made. Like The Beatles, Vee Jay was issuing Ifield's singles and what they had for single they slap together with The Beatles to release albums till EMI put a stop on that and told Vee Jay no more Beatles or Ifield releases, they were to be on Capitol from here on out.  While The Beatles got bigger, Ifield and his futile attempt to recreate the Slim Whitman sound, found his Capitol singles didn't fare as well as The Fab Four.   The follow up single Please struggled to number 74 and later singles didn't chart. He later relocated to Hickory Records and turned his attention to country music with middling success.  There's a perverse charm to I'm Confessing and the B side Waltzing Matilda.  Perhaps I should have picked up that copy of I Remember You a couple years back......nah.

5)   Tra La La-Georgia Gibbs (Mercury 70998X45)  #24  1956

Miss Gibbs was better known for covering R and B songs for the white audiences and Tra La La is Tweedle Dee with different set of words.  I'm sure this was a R and B cover.  Or it could have been a cha cha cha mambo number.  Harmless fun although the rock and roll crowd won't get it.  B side Morning Noon And Night is not the Joe Turner cover but rather some pop infused cha cha cha number.  Pretty pointless to continue talking about something you remember anyway.  Another Salvation Army found that was up there a while.  Give the record a bath and it plays VG I guess.

6)   Early In The Morning-Vanity Fare (Page One 21,027)  #12  1969

A band that scored a couple of top 20 hits, this and the number 5 Hitchin A Ride continue to get played on oldies radio and even hometown favorites The Past Masters have done Hitchin A Ride.  Perhaps they can get around doing Early In The Morning.  They recorded for Larry Page's Page One Records (home also to The Troggs) but not a lot is known about Vanity Fare but Morning was co written by Mike Leander, who produced glam pervert Gary Glitter in the 1970s.  Wasn't a big fan of Early In The Morning at first but it has grown on me.  When you're stuck hearing the same old crap on the radio and new music makes no sense, I tend to look at the lesser known hit singles a lot more fondly.

7)   Welcome To The Pleasuredome-Frankie Goes To Hollywood (ZTT/Island 7-99653)  #48 1985

Single from the album of the same name, FGTH turned out to be a bust of a band, although Island did see fit to issue Relax a couple times, first time made it to number 67 and then it rebounded to number 10 in early 1985.   Don't recall hearing Welcome on radio all that much and honestly it's not that great of a song.  Guess what the B side is?  Another version of Relax.

8)   I'll Be Your Baby Tonight-Leapy Lee (Decca 32808)  1971

One hit wonder with Little Arrows but he did record a few singles for Decca and this song was taken from the Little Arrows album  but not released into 1971.  It turned out to be his final Decca recording.  Lee was part of Gordon Mills MAM roster of artists and between the Decca singles, Cadet issued one recording and MAM another but Lee never did fully capture the audience like he did with Little Arrows.  But then again I think Lee was a very underrated artist. Still it's unsure why Decca/MCA bothered to issue a two year old song in the first place.

9)   Beachcomber-Bobby Darin (Atco 45-6173)  #100 1960

Guess who is back on Singles Going Steady with another find?  This time out, Darin goes for an instrumental and plays cool piano.with Shorty Rogers adding jazzy arrangements too.   I guess it might be considered early surf music before the Beach Boys came along.  This song came between Darin's pop fixtation (Beyond The Sea, Mack The Knife) and anything rock was welcomed. In the age of collecting 45s, it does seem that Darin 45s are still easy to find and I assure you there's more Bobby Darin to come.  In fact I do have an oddball Decca 45 that will be making the next installment of singles going steady.  If and when the time is right.  Which might be in  a couple weeks the way things are going.

!0)  Lean On Me-Bill Withers (Sussex SUX-235)  #1  1972

Probably one of the more simpler songs and Bill had three of his first four singles in the top 5, this being his sole chart topper. But everybody at jams sings Ain't No Sunshine but few seldom do Lean On Me. Club Nouveau  would fatten Bill's royalty checks with a number 1 version too in 1987 but we all know the original still kicks We Be Jammin's ass years later. I tend to like the shorter single version from Bill rather than the long drawn out ending but that's a matter of opinion and tastes.  I suspect this single was one of the new arrivals at the Davenport Salvation Army Store.  It had it's own record sleeve and the record was in like new shape.  Usually that spells trouble for the record hoarder to decided to give it a good home in the process.   To which we'll leave this blog on a high note.  Otherwise I'll be putting up more nonsense like The Hillside Singers, I'd Like To Teach The World To Sing, which I liked better than the New Seekers version. But then again, I had to play it one time before throwing it back into the donation pile.   It's the real thing indeed, too bad the Fortunes didn't come up with there own version.

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