Thursday, April 16, 2009
First, a moment to acknowledge that today would have been my mother's 86th birthday. Happy Birthday to all who share it.
And now, on with the countdown.
It's back to Tin Pan Alley today. While other Song-Poem lovers concentrate on Preview, MSR and maybe Columbine, I find myself drawn to the likes of Tin Pan Alley, Film City, Halmark and Fable.
One of the early stars of the Tin Pan Alley label was Teacho Wiltshire. Unlike most of his peers in the song-poem world, Wiltshire not only had a really, really cool name, but he also went on to mainstream success, arranging, conducting, producing and/or performing on dozens if not hundreds of hit records in the '60's and perhaps beyond.
But here we have him on one of the early Tin Pan Alley records, from when they were still largely a doo-wop concern. As you can read about here, the label's 1950's output tends to sound a bit more legit than other song-poem factories, but even with that, there's still something a bit "off" about them. I think that's more true regarding the a-side of today's choice more than the b-side, and I also prefer that a-side.
It would appear, based on the sticker from "Danny Engel", of the publishing company Chappell & Co., Inc., that this record was sent to a radio station in the hopes of a few spins (or, more likely, to fulfill a contractual obligation with the song-poet).
There's a lot going on, musically, on this a-side. I love the backing vocal and that guitar noodling, in particular. Please enjoy Teacho Wiltshire and the Tin Pan Alley Trio with "Coffee Break":
And here's the same combo on the flip side with "Shut-Eye":