Today, we're going on a trip to Arkansas. I've been in 42 of the 50 states, by my count, and although I was only in Arkansas for part of a day, the land I saw there may be the most beautiful I've ever seen. Those behind this record, it appears, would heartily agree.
Here's a record on the previously undocumented Patmar records label out of Springdale, Arkansas. Springdale is in the Northwest corner of the state, about 30 miles from Decatur, Arkansas. While Springdale is a good sized city of roughly 70,000, Decatur, on the other hand, has well under 2000 residents.
I think we can reasonably guess that in one of these towns - I'm guessing Decatur, lived a couple named Pat and Marge, who threw their money into song-poem recordings as well as their own nearly eponymous record label, not even bothering to provide their last name on the songwriting credit! And for at least one side of their record, they turned to the Globe company, and stalwart Sammy Marshall, offering up a wish for those who hear him to "Give Me Decatur". Sammy gives it his typical upbeat, enthusiastic performance. By the way, the momentary fades you'll no doubt hear on this track are part of the original record, and not a flaw in the transfer to MP3:
On the flip side is a recording which might be a song-poem offering, or may be a commissioned performance by a local performer, or perhaps even a friend of Pat and Marge, someone named Les Anderson, nicknamed "Carrot Top" (and God help me, I hope this is the only circumstance under which I have to be entertained by someone with that nickname), along with a string band under the direction of Tex Atchison. I honestly don't know that this is a song-poem or some other animal, but I do know this: as mentioned above, I can fully understand the songwriters' point of view and love of their local land in their song "Beautiful Arkansas":