Thursday, October 11, 2012

The Inimitable Bob Storm

Virtually every record I have shared on this site has been from my own collection - the exceptions number less than a half dozen, and are among the most remarkable and wonderful of those things shared with me by other collectors. Today, I offer up a guest posting, a pair of songs sent to me a few months ago, which I sadly did not listen to until this week - I say sadly because I can't believe I did without this record for even the two months during which I could have known it intimately.

The lucky owner of this record is Darryl Bulluck, whose tremendous blog about The World's Worst Records should be required reading and listening throughout the English speaking world. That he has allowed me to share this astonishingly bad record here and not on his own site is a gift for which I will long owe him.

And award winningly bad this one is. Darryl and I share a deep love for the awfulness that is found in many, if not most records by Bob Storm. He is most often identified with Halmark Records, and I assume that this performance also came from that song-poem factory, but the results actually turned up on RCI, which appears to be a vanity label - the type set up by a few dedicated songwriters for their own products, which are then taken from whichever song-poem company was employed, each time around. Other records on RCI come from the Globe and Tropical song-poem factories.

I'll start with the b-side here, because I revel a bit more in it's preposterousness than I do the flip side. "Song of Love" displays the typical unctuous qualities that I know and love from Bob Storm. Not only does this sound more like prose set to music than poetry - it sounds like a love letter, and a prosaic one at that - but the real magic comes at the 2:15, when Storm starts narrating his love letter. At this point, I am reminded of the over-the-top bits that David Letterman's announcer, Alan Kalter, will often do, except that I assume that Storm was trying to sound sincere, rather than insanely pompous, which is the actual result. I have to say, those 20 seconds or so are among my favorite song-poem moments that I've heard this year. The dramatic mid-'50's backing sounds just add to the weirdness.

An interesting side note to this record is that although it fairly clearly comes from Halmark, I'm certain I've not heard either of these backing tracks before, on any other Halmark record, even though they were known to recycle their backing tracks, over and over again.

On the flip side, there is "Your Love", four minutes of Bob Storm bleating more obvious love blather, over a track that starts with supper club combo jazz, then devolves into more dramatic string blandness. The magic moment here is that Storm AGAIN narrates part of his performance, with insincerity equal to that on the first side. How I would love to know more about this guy.

Thanks again, Darryl!


Darryl Bullock said...

Great post Bob - you're more than welcome!

Stu Shea said...

Wow. That'

I sort of feel sad that in a few years, nobody will be around who actually remembers that people used to like that kind of stuff.

Sammy Reed said...

Maybe you should put "unctuous" as a keyword. People may want to look for that type of song among these nuggets, who knows? Anyway, doing a search on the word to see how many of your posts it appears in, this makes #6 so far.

Anonymous said...

Oh my goodness!That was something that brought me to tears...Thank you for posting!