Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Moving away from the song-poem thing for a moment, here's a record that landed in my collection along with hundreds of others, when a friend of mine bought the remains of what was called the "Dime Bin" from a store in Evanston, Illinois. The store had a plastic garbage can filled to the top with records that the owner felt wouldn't sell for more than a dime. After the current set of dime bin records had been picked over for five or six months, the store owner would sell us the remaining thousand or so records - the ones which didn't even sell for a dime - for perhaps $40 or $50.
The number of gems that I found in my collection via this method is hard to calculate. Of course, most of the stuff was either dull as dirt or in such poor condition as to make it worthless, but there were always a few dozen records that made the purchase more than worthwhile.
Such was the case with today's selection. George Wright was an extremely popular organist in the 1950's, although when we were sorting through dime-bin records in 1985 or so, I'd certainly never heard of him. And I've since found out that the song offered today was one which was recorded many times, by various bands. I've heard some of them, and they don't come close to approaching this version.
From the insanity of the opening bars (and no, it's not at the wrong speed) to the variety of tones and settings Mr. Wright used on his pipe organ, to the perfectly arranged final moments, I consider this to be a perfect record - everything in place, and weird than a pipe organ instrumental has any right to be. And for those of us who don't mind a good pre-rock era pop melody, this is great from that standpoint, too. I adore the record label, too.
There also exists an improvised video, shot by your humble blogger back around 1986 or so, and featuring my two best friends dancing in a way that suggests seizure activity, to the haunting strains of this 45.