This weekend is the grand reopening of the Salvation Army Collector's Corner and I managed to find a box of somewhat playable 45s. Most looked to be in VG shape despite no sleeves. The drawback: not much rock and roll. There were plenty of Dean Martin, Peggy Lee, Patti Page, Percy Faith and so forth. There were some I had to put back, Brenda Lee's Kansas City and These Days from Georgie Fame and The MG's Neckbones had questionable scratches and dammit, Hank Crawford's Blueberry Hill was marred by lipstick on the playing surface. After picking up the better ones I came up with 35 of them and needed to throw a few back into the box. I really didn't need a copy of Slim Whitman's Wind (written by Bob Nolan of Cool Water fame) but maybe I should bought it, if the Martians was coming.
So once again, the rules are simple. Most of the 45 found appealed to me in some strange way and I haven't heard much of these. It's kinda like Tad's Strange Music to which he does a live blog of what he is playing with comment. He's not as extreme as I am when it comes to hoarding music, especially from 45s. If they do suck, they will be donated back to a loving thrift store in a couple months. If they don't they'll be collecting dust here at my record shop called Record Hoarder. If I love them, I'll cram them into one of my 7 record boxes and play them from time to time. Streaming might be more tidy and less taken up space but I like physical product. Most of these didn't chart and if they did, they didn't chart too high.
So here we go. Let's begin the beguine as they say.
1) I Got The Bug-Kenny Owen (Poplar 45-106) 1958
Amazing, this is a rockabilly number that does rock hard. It's finds like these that make record collecting fun, you never know what you will find if you keep an open mind. Owen sounding a bit like Carl Perkins on this track. B side High School Sweater sounds more like Conway Twitty but it's a disposable ballad.
2) Up On The Mountain-The Magnificents (Vee-Jay VJ-183) 1956
A little uptempo doo wop number from a band influenced by The Cadillacs and The Chords just to name a couple, plus their labelmates The Eldorados' Crazy Little Mama B Side Why Did She Go, is a slower number like Earth Angel or The Platters. I'm sure if Frank Zappa would have heard this song he would have covered it under the Ruben And The Jets banner. Connie W. who owned this 45 probably didn't play it as much as Mountain, it doesn't sound as scratched up.
3) Oceans Of Love-Jorgen Ingmann And His Guitar (Atco 45-6502) 1961
Another oddball artist who covered pop songs as guitar speak (Apache), Oceans Of Love really goes for a surf sound, somewhat like Dick Dale, with a production somewhat like Joe Meek. I would love to find a nice copy of Desert March, one of original 45s I grew up listening to but that record has seen better days. Ingmann like Bent Fabric and Acker Bilk was part of the ATCO easy listening recording artists series to which all had one big hit (Alley Cat for Mr. Fabric and Stranger On The Shore for Mr. Acker Bulk). Perhaps Milord was the A Side, I don't know, I heard other versions done by Bobby Darin, Lawrence Welk and Billy Strange. The sound of the times, although nobody would be caught dead trying to play Milord in this day and age.
4) Never Can Say Goodbye-The Sandpipers (A&M 1372) 1971
A bossa nova version of the Jackson Five song?! What in the hell you say?! The Sandpipers must have been A&M records version of The Lettermen, or Harper's Bizarre but I could have swore I may have heard this on the muzak station WMT FM at one time. Produced by Bob Alclvar and Bones Howe, who had better success with The Fifth Dimension's songs at that time. So mellow it puts you to sleep.
5) It's My Time-Frank Ifield (Hickory 45-P- 1550) 1969
For a time Frank was challenging Slim Whitman in the yodeling department before going straight country when he signed up with Hickory Records and had some middling success on the country charts. By 1969 he kinda gave up trying to be Slim Whitman Jr and was the better for it. Written by John Loudermilk, the better version is done by George Hamilton IV and of course our very own Townedgers but this is a nice country romp. B Side I Love You Because, he sounds a lot like David Houston. Probably would have made a better A side than It's My Time.
6) Wishin Well-Hank Jones And Dean Kay (RCA 47-8022) 1962
I'm guessing teen idol pop here. A couple of dudes from California hook up with Neely Plumb and got Jimmie Haskell to arrange this song. Never heard it before. Harmless teen idol pop and Ho hum too. B side Ain't Got A Nickel a teen ballad blues sort of thingy. Somewhat forgettable too.
7) Experiment In Terror-Bob Bain (Radiant 1509) 1962
Another unknown entity in this collection, Bain might have been an arranger of sorts; this is one of two singles he issued on the Radiant label, but then you can't go wrong with a Henry Mancini type of what I call Pulp Fiction music, or is it Bachelor Pad music, of oddball jazz. B side Soft Guitar is Bachelor Pad jazz music. Like....cool man! I dig!
8) The Man From Marseilles-Tony Osborne (Roulette R-4189) 1959
Another British arranger making muzak type instrumentals that usually played before the top of the hour newcast. At that time EMI was unknown in the US with most of that stuff coming from Capitol but sometimes Capitol didn't see fit to issue some of the crappy songs. Such as this one. B side The Windows Of Paris is more muzak and even more crappier.
9) Invitation-Chris Connor (Atlantic 45-2073) 1960
Atlantic Records might have been the best R and B and jazz label of the 50s and 60s but that didn't stop them from signing up pop artists such as Connor and she has a bit of Sarah Vaughn in her pop/jazz style. Richard Weis, better known for his work on That's All with Bobby Darin adds a dark melancholy to this song. Her next two singles, Atlantic would issued under their Atlantic Jazz banner. Patti LaBelle had better luck with I Sold My Heart To The Junkman, the B side.
10) Calypso Blues-Nat King Cole (Capitol F1627) 1951
The odd find of the day is this one sided DJ promo copy (Lost April was the other side on the stock copy) to which I have not heard Nat's version but the version I'm more familiar with was the final cut on the Tribute To Nat King Cole album from Marvin Gaye. It may have been the inspiration for Chuck Berry when he did Havana Moon, after all Chuck Berry did admit that Louis Jordan and Nat King Cole did influenced his music.
11) That's My Desire-Chris Connor (Atlantic 45-2053) 1960
Working with Jerry Lieber and Mike Stoller, this time she gets Stan Applebaum as arranger instead of Richard Reis and the horns clash with Chris' vocals on Desire, a mess of a song. B side the Leiber/Stoller I Only Want Some is slightly better, somewhat in the style of Peggy Lee, but not exactly something I'd listen to. Usually Leiber/Stoller does good things when producing somebody but this time out this didn't work at all..
12) You Better Believe It Baby-Ivory Joe Hunter (Capitol 4648) 1961
Forever known for Since I Met You Baby, Hunter has recorded for many labels and never did have the success that he did with Since I Met You Baby and I Almost Lost My Mind but this song in the style of the former with a bit of Blues In The Night thrown in for good measure, is a fine country blues song, although a bit too polished to be remembered. Not that you would, radio doesn't play it. At least he was spared of Stan Applebaum this time out. Ivory Joe Hunter may have been the first black country artist judging by the b side May The Best Man Win sounds. Strange to hear a tympani drum hook on this song.
13) I'm Learning, Child-Frank Ifield (Hickory P-1525) 1968
The Yodel is back on this uptempo country number, although the reverb twangy guitar overpowers the song. B side Maudie was co written by Don Gant and Mickey Newbury, at that time Hickory artists had access to the Acuff-Rose catalog and some of the best songwriters were part of the Acuff Rose staff. Ifield goes for a Roy Orbinson type of high notes, but the song is a snoozer. Speaking of Roy Orbinson, Joe Melson wrote I'm Learning, Child with his wife Suzie.
14) Walking Down The Road-Jimmy Newman (MGM K-12830) 1959
Had a minor hit on Dot in 1957 but by 1960 he went country and chose this John Loudermilk written song. B Side Angels Crying, had the DJ writing down loud in middle. He calls it OK. I think "meh".
15) Soft Rain-Guy Mitchell (Columbia 4-44231) 1961
Guy's final Columbia single and he once again borrows another song from Ray Price with disappointing results. B Side Big Big Change is just as forgettable. A big disappointment from a usually reliable artist. Mort Garson responsible for the overblown and dated arrangements.
16) Let It Shine, Let It Shine-Guy Mitchell (Columbia 4-41215) 1958
At times Guy got some good songs from Mitch Miller in the late 50s, this time working with Jimmy Carroll, this is a throwback to the days of sing along with Mitch complete call and response from the backing singers. Also pretty silly as well, although not as silly as The Lord Made A Peanut. B Side Butterfly Doll is a terrible Japanese type of a song.
17) Sea Of Love-Dock Of The Bay-Nino Tempo & April Stevens (Bell B-823) 1969
They had the hits for ATCO but once the hits dried up they went elsewhere, this was the second of two singles recorded for Bell and perhaps this medley should have been better promoted. Nino Tempo has always been a good arranger of songs and combining Sea Of Love with Dock Of The Bay works. B side is a uptempo version of Twilight Time.
18) Starlight, Star-bright-Van McCoy (Columbia 4-43495) 1966
Before he was the Disco Kid and guy behind The Hustle, McCoy was MOR arranger, producer such as the case with this Johnny Mathis soundalike song. B side This Is The Way We Fall In Love sounds like Come On Christmas from the Grinch TV show. I doubt if Johnny Mathis would touch this song.
19) What Makes You Do Me Like You Do-Lori Kaye (Columbia 4-43295) 1965
Debbie Lori Kaye was 12 years old when she signed on to Columbia to record a few singles. And Columbia had her billed as the next new Miss Dynamite. She was from Canada and made the bulk of her recordings for Columbia with various producers, then retired at age 18 and made a semi comeback at age 23 with God Bless The Child on Polydor Canada. B side Picking Up My Hat made number 1 on the country charts in 1965 but again nobody hears it. There's bits and pieces about her in internet land but you really have to search long and hard enough to find anything about Debbie Lori Kaye. Sources say she lives in Seattle.
20) Compared To What-Della Reese (Avco Embassy AVE-4515) 1969
And if you read this far, you have come to the final purchase of the 45s found and commented. This is Della taking on the Les McCann/Eddie Harris song written by Gene McDaniels (Tower Of Strength) and done in a funk style from the Hugo/Legni Production team (Sam Cooke, Isley Brothers). Interesting to see her take on a Aretha Franklin preaching/shouting type of singing on the cover of Games People Play. Perhaps Compared To What got some chart action on the R and B and soul charts but it didn't make the pop chart. Still Della can preach it quite well on the Games People Play song. I think it's the perfect song to end this latest edition of Singles Going Steady Part 1 and 2. Remember kiddies, hoarding records can be fun if you find the right ones to get. You won't get that from streaming.