Wednesday, October 29, 2014

B-Atlas



While working for the Film City label, Rodd Keith found his work released on myriad secondary labels - vanity labels, smaller song-poem labels related to Film City, and others whose providence I can barely guess at. Typically, he shows up as Rod Rogers, but sometimes has a different name. Most of those tiny labels have names which have something to do with the label's primary songwriter (such as Kondas and Lutone), have a catchy name (Action and Planet Earth, for example) or at least interesting and perhaps thought provoking (Inner-Glo is a favorite of mine). 

But what to make of this label, which I've never seen referred to anywhere, and can't find anything about, and which carries the clunky name "B-Atlas". Were they hoping someone would misread it and think it said "Beatles"? I admit that seems unlikely, but it's the best I can come up with. 

Today's Rod Rogers songs are typical of the Rod Rogers, Film City sound. Neither one stands out to my ears - I'm sharing these at least as much because this label seems to be completely unknown to the song-poem world - but as I'm a fan of his mechanical, Chamberlin driven tracks from that era and label, I find these very enjoyable. 

First up is "My Honey Bee", a mid-tempo, yet peppy and danceable number. I do notice that there are some lines which do not scan well with the music Rod(d) chose, and he clearly finds those lines a challenge to sing effectively.  



From the same general sound style comes the flip side, the awkwardly titled "Lou, I'm in Love With You". Note that a typo on the label leads to an indication that the song is only 75 seconds long - 40 seconds under its actual length.



3 comments:

Timmy said...

The lameness abounds with this double sider... Screwball effective swirly dirvey unballanced music, complete with dumber than stupid lyrics, it all equates into absolute perfection! None of this could have ever been planned or even conceived, could it?

Graham Clayton said...

I found a reference to B-Atlas Records in the September 15, 1959 issue of "Billboard" magazine. The label was advertising for "Talent, Material and Masters". Their New Jersey headquarters was located at 49 Harrison Ave, West Orange, NJ. If the company was established in 1959, then I presume that this single would date from the early 1960's. Sometime in the mid 1960's B-Atlas merged with Jody Records.

Roaratorio said...

I know of one other single on the label, also with a Rod vocal : "There's Still Room In My Heart" b/w "L'Amour C'est Si Doux My Darling," both also written by Anne De Grace. I suspect it was a song-poet-run operation a la Lutone or Kondas, with Ms De Grace herself pressing up the tracks she'd paid for.