Monday, June 21, 2010
That's Very Brosh of You
The Brosh label is a mystery to me. There are only a handful of known releases, almost all of them bearing label numbers ending in "00", and the label's tracks are a mish-mash of songs produced by other song-poem factories, particularly Globe, Halmark and the labels produced by Lee Hudson. There were also some releases that were either legitimate or vanity products.
There are other labels like this - several of them, actually - but in almost every case, by looking at the songwriters of the various releases, you can quickly get the name or names of the person or people behind the label. Not so with Brosh - there are almost as many different songwriters as there are sides to singles.
Aside from a couple of records by Judy Jae, today's offering may be the most notorious Brosh release. It's an EP combining two songs from the Globe song-poem factory with another two songs from the Halmark label.
First up, Sammy Marshall with two fairly nice, peppy, but (in the end) nondescript numbers, first "Edie":
Then its soundalike, the wonderfully named "Fava Beans and Pepperoni":
Now I'm hungry.
The real attraction for me, though, is on the b-side. Both of these songs were also released on a Halmark 45, where they were attributed to the correct singer, the always astonishing Bob Storm. For the Brosh copy, no doubt due to some breakdown in communication, both songs were attributed to "Jerry Dee", whose only other song-poem credit was a listing as the "Musical Director" on many of Halmark's 45's. That would be a dubious credit indeed, since nearly all of Halmark's backing tracks were old tapes purchased, ready-made and already recorded, a system which would rule out the need for a musical director.
I could be wrong, but it appears to me that this side of the EP was mastered directly from a copy of the Halmark 45, such is the low quality of the recording. First up, the plaintive "Her Name is Kathleen":
Finally, the star of our show, a little ditty titled "The Ballad of Johnny Horton", or, as you may notice, looking at the scan of the label, Brosh accidentally re-titled it "The Ballard of Johnny Horton". This song uses the same backing track as did the mind-numbing "Let's Lay It On the Line", a song which could not be less similar, in terms of lyrics. Enjoy!