Saturday, September 12, 2009

He's Got a Reputation!

Here's one I've loved from the first listen, at least a decade ago, and the only reason I hadn't shared it here is that I thought it had been part of the ASPMA downloads that used to be available. I now see that this wasn't the case.

It's called "I've Got a Reputation", by Jim Kent, on the Allstar label. I find this record both great as a slice of late 1950's rock and roll AND as a downright peculiar piece of vinyl. Really - what exactly is going on here? It sounds like it was recorded with microphones at the other end of the room, or perhaps, given the sonic quality, at the other end of a hallway.

I think maybe that's a very young Sammy Marshall singing (this record is from about 1958), under the name of Jim Kent, and photos of the two of them, from the ASPMA website, show some similarities, but I'm not sure.

The rockabilly tendencies of the guitarist don't exactly gel with the lead singer's smooth, crooning style, and the understated drumming, while fairly wonderful in its own way (I think there's a cymbal in there, but if there is, it's soft enough to get lost in the surface noise!), strikes me as sounding like its part of another record entirely. Then there's the female vocalist, who must have just stood around, after her opening comment, for the point at which the song was almost finished.

Be sure to listen for the last drum hit, after the rest of the song seems to have faded out.

The Allstar label appears to have been almost as fascinating as the Fable label. You can read much more about it, AND see a picture of both the performer and author of this song, here.

The flip side, "You Should Have Stayed With Me", sports the sort of title I'd expect from a Laura Branigan or a Celine Dion, but it turns out to be s fairly bland supper-club type performance. The entire band, except for the guitarist, seems a little too subdued, with the drummer's performance being almost non-existent!


Anonymous said...

Has i was collecting info on the web preparing an issue for a compilation, i had the pleasure to read your lines.Yes your right, i've got a reputation is musicaly very interesting because of his fresh teenage feel...a slice of the 50's society conformity in itself.What would jim kent sing about the sentimental behavior in the begining of our new century?..."i'm in the Jailhouse now!".
Just to let you know that you can incredibly reduce the surface noise your ear on your 45 by using a 78 needle.Why?
Simply because in these days some small label were still using the larges grooves when cutting a side.You will also discover sounds that would hardly been heard, & may be your simbals...
My best regards from Paris France.
Rodolphe Guiheux.

Sammy Reed said...

"I've Got a Reputation" isn't working.

Jim Kent said...

Well, thus is kinda interesting to me because I am that Jim Kent. I did demos for song writers connected with All star Records back then. For a fee to the writer they would put out a record.

Bob Purse said...

Wow, really Jim Kent - I would love to hear more from you. You can write me at