Thursday, August 20, 2009

High Brow Baby

In order to get back on schedule, after not posting a song-poem of the week last week, I'm posting my second set of song-poems for this week!

Today, more from one of my favorite labels, Sterling. The first song is "High Brow Baby", and it features much of what I like about Sterling records - first and foremost, a vocal by Norm Burns, that crisp lead guitar, and a groovy beat.

Like most Sterling records of this vintage, label honcho Lew Tobin took a co-writing credit, which was fairly unusual in the song-poem world. Even though a label staff would, in most cases, write all the music for the poems, usually only the song-poet got the credit. Assuming it was Lew that wrote all of these tunes, I will admit to much admiration for him - songs such as "Darling Don't Put Your Hands On Me", "Whirl Whirl Whirl" and "Stay Where You Are", are great not only for their unique words, but also due to the first rate musical side of the song-writing.

I bring Lew Tobin up both because I think he deserves the recognition, and also because of a response I received to a recent post where I mentioned him in passing. A reader named David contacted me via this blog and told me that Lew Tobin was his grandfather, and went on to ask a question. Unfortunately, the link on his name did not go to an e-mail address, so in writing this post, I'm asking David to write me again, and provide an e-mail address. You can either comment here or write me at

In the meantime, here's Norm Burns with "High Brow Baby":

The flip side is a fairly sappy little thing entitled "Melancholy Me", and it's a bit beat up - I've done my best to minimize the surface noise, but can't do anything about the quality of the song or the performance, which has little of the verve of the flip side, although I do kind of like the ridiculous section where the backing singers sing the title section in harmony:


Stu Shea said...

I think I have this record if you want a better copy.

Sammy Reed said...

"High Brow Baby" isn't working.

Sammy Reed said...

First of all:
Shortly after I wrote that last post a couple of years ago, Bob has made an effort to get all the songs on his blog working. Thanks, Bob, for doing that, and for this site!

Sammy Reed said...

Well, there can't be a "First of all" without a "second of all". Sorry about that error. Anyway...
I got my own copy of this record last week, and I put both songs on the latest episode of my show (7/13/13)! (Click link). There's another online song-poem "hit" that I'm going to get my own copy of hopefully in time for the next show on Saturday, so wish me luck.

Sammy Reed said...

I'm sorry to say, I'm not going to get that "online hit" in time for my next show, but definitely next week's.