Friday, April 12, 2013

1060 W. Addisong-poem: The Clark and Addison Song-Poem


I know most people are calling it baseball season, but that's just because they're not Cubs fans. What a pity for them. A damn shame, really. And I know that there are 29 other teams, but that's just so that the Cubs have a variety of teams to play. Because IT'S CUBS SEASON!!!

And to honor this wonderful occasion, I have a real rarity - not only is this a song-poem 78, the sort of item which doesn't turn up every day, and a record on the Stylecraft label, of which there are really only a handful documented, it's a song-poem ABOUT THE CHICAGO CUBS! Specifically, it's about Hank Sauer, who played left field for the team from 1949-1955.

The song is performed by label regulars The Stylecrafters, with the lead vocal by Ray Vali. Among the other unusual features of this record is the way it begins, with a mock radio broadcast of a Cubs game!

I actually have some questions about the Stylecraft label, and maybe someone out there knows more about this than I do. Clues as to its status as a song-poem label are almost non-existent - on the AS/PMA website, there are no links to other labels, and there does not appear to be overlap between artists, either. The quality of their productions is considerably higher than that of other labels, and there are few indications from those records themselves that they are song-poems. One of the few clues in that direction here is what I hear as a mispronounciation of "Waveland", one of the streets surrounding Wrigley Field - I can't say I've ever heard it pronounced the way it is here, but that could mean nothing. I would love to know based on what information the label was identified as a song-poem outfit.

But.... I've featured songs from the label before, and may do so in the future, and I'm certainly glad that having them identified as a song-poem label allows me to post a song about my beloved Cubs.

The flip side, "Love Just Won't Keep On Ice", is a pretty standard issue offering for the day and era, performed for us by the same team heard on the A-side.


Rockin' Jeff said...

I'm a White Sox fan, but this is really great. I dig old timey sports records, especially songs about baseball.

Darryl Bullock said...

Hi Bob,

I've got a couple of Stylecraft ads in a 1954 edition of the Songwriter's Review. They seem to suggest that, rather than an out-and-out song poem outfit the company specialised more in custom and vanity pressings: the ads talk about songs cleared for radio play, pressed by Capitol and using name singers from TV and Radio, for example.

Operating out of Brooklyn, Stylecraft offered at least two tiers of service: you could have five finished promos for $49 (per song) with orchestra and singer or, for $250, you could buy 250 copies of your disc to do with as you saw fit.

I'm aware of at least two other releases, along with your 78, that do not appear at the AS/PMA listings: 5099 (Sammy White – Lonely and Blue/Ray Valli – Lonesome Trail) and FB 527 (matrix 5099C - Bill Lawrence Orchestra, vocal Lynne Richards – Christmas in Ireland)

Anonymous said...

I was 11 years old when they traded Sauer and at that time I didn't understand that baseball was a business or the concept of trading. Thanks for the memory

Graham said...

I think is is another one of those I'd love to hear. Hoping you find the time to restore the files.

Stylecraft sounds like an interesting little label. Hopefully one day someone will put the full story together.