Tuesday, October 31, 2017

The Cool Cats Are On Star-X

Before I get to this week's offering, I need to share a link that Darryl Bullock sent me, of an astounding Halmark record featuring Bob Storm, which has been shared for the world on youtube. While this might not raise many eyebrows, were it to be released today, it certainly would have been the conversation piece in the early '70's, when it was actually released. I will say no more - I don't think I have any other words for this anyway. 

Have a listen, here. Thanks, Darryl


The AS/PMA website tells us that Star-X was a song-poem label, and of this there seems no doubt, given that it released discs by Sammy Marshall and the great Roger Smith. I have some question as to the actual story behind today's record, but the A-side is so fun I thought I'd share it anyway. The concern for me is that both sides were written by a team, and the same team. Then again, the performances are so ham-fisted they certainly sound like a group that was churning out demo-level renditions. Those with more knowledge than me can chime in with whether they think this is a song-poem, a vanity record or a legit release.

When I saw the credited artist, Dick Mason, I had guessed it would be Dick Kent in disguise. However, this record is from 1958, a bit early for him to have been the singer, I think, and besides that, it sounds nothing at all like him. I have no idea who this singer is.

The stronger of the tracks, by far, as I've indicated, is the A-side, "Cool Cats". These folks don't really understand rock and roll, aside from perhaps the guitarist, but they have a good time approximating it, and the result is infectious, rather ridiculous fun. Plus, the lyrics are certainly song-poem level, if that helps anyone in determining whether this is animal, vegetable or mineral. ,

Download: Dick Mason and Chorus, Music by the High Fives - Cool Cats
Play:

The flip side, "Heavy Heart", has very little to recommend it, to my ears. The ponderous vocal and cookie-cutter, morose lyrics sound a lot like 100 other forgettable song-poem records.

Download: Dick Mason and Chorus, Music by the High Fives - Heavy Heart
Play:


2 comments:

Stu Shea said...

Howzabout that "Cool Cats" tune?! Pretty ginchy stuff there, Maynard! I dig it a lot. The b-side doesn't do so much for me.

That "Tommy" song is amazing. Reminds me of "Let's Lay it on the Line" in subject and, er, orientation.

Thanks for posting!

Darryl Bullock said...

Apparently Ray and Lillian were keen songwriters. In 1942 they copyrighted the song Sure, All's Fine in the Army Now, and in 1953 they wrote the music to a song called Helpless (words by Buckley Maxwell - what a name!) They were both in their dotage when the Star X disc was issued (57/58), as Ray was born in 1887 and Lillian in 1895. Hardly the age for hep young rockers!