Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Better Songs Make a Better World

Like several other song-poets, Gus Kondas submitted his lyrics to multiple companies, then released the resulting recordings on his own label, in his case, the creatively titled Kondas Records label. He would send his records to radio stations, along with a little note, sometimes attached to the 45 sleeve. A different Kondas record in my collection came with a separate note which read: "Compliments from the Kondas Music Pub. Co. If you like them please give them a play, if you don't, just throw them away, Thanks." Today's EP came in a sleeve bearing this sticker:

This EP contains three songs from the Film City label, and one from the Globe Records factory. The first two songs feature Rodd Keith, as Rod Rogers. I particularly enjoyed the leadoff track, "If I Had a Million Dollars", because it contains not only the relatively rare feature of Rodd harmonizing with himself - a nice sound - but it briefly features three Rodds singing together at once, something I've only heard on a few records. And of course, it's got that great Film City Chamberlain sound, one of my favorite musical sounds in the world.

The second Rod Rogers track, "Sometime Tomorrow", actually features quite a bit more three part singing than the previous song, although the song doesn't draw me in nearly as much as the first one does. Still, it's nice to hear what this amazing one man band could do:

The flip side starts off with a samba type song titled "If I Ever Needed You (I Need You Now)". I have little doubt that that's Rodd playing the Chamberlain, but the identity of the singer is eluding me. He sounds familiar enough that I know I've heard him before, but the name he is given here - Gene Acres - sounds like a joking reference to "Green Acres", and to my knowledge this name has never shown up on another documented song-poem record.

It's a bit jarring to hear the more natural sound of the Globe label, on the final number, a Sammy Marshall special, titled "It Was Just Yesterday":

1 comment:

Stu Shea said...

As much as I like Rodd's singing on these, the songs themselves seem pretty grim.

Assuming the 8/25/69 date has some significance (recd. by the DJ?) that's an awfully long incubation period for those Film City records, isn't it?