Thursday, January 30, 2014

A Real Pro in Napoli

Our trip to locations around the world continues today with a delightful trip to Italy with our one-man-band friend who for a time was known as "The Real Pros". I've no doubt that, when this conglomeration is mentioned, most song-poem collectors think of the glory days of the MSR crew, who, on their days off from MSR, took over the anonymous role of Cinema's "Real Pros" by about 1973.

But as I've said before, I'm much partial to the nameless man who's work is featured on the earliest Cinema sides. He sounds a bit like Gene Marshall at times (and, as friends have noted, he sometimes sounds like your humble blogger my own self), and he's usually accompanied solely by one of those all-in-one keyboards which were so common 40 years ago (although not, as you'll hear, on this record, where there is a guitarist present).

This record also has the distinction of having the lowest label number of any Cinema release yet documented, even lower than this truly atrocious release.

All that is sort of besides the point, but I guess I like to type. The real news is that this record, "Fun in Napoli", is a truly enjoyable little ditty, with corny but good natured lyrics, sung in a stereotypical accent which might be obnoxious, were the entire enterprise not so fun and lighthearted. With Lou Monte, I tend to find this sort of thing unlistenable, but the lo-fi and low-tech nature of this record makes it irresistible to me.

Download: The Real Pros - Fun in Napoli

The flip side of this record is called "The Magic of a Song", and while I can heartily agree that there is magic in many, many songs, including the one I just featured before this paragraph, I find none of that magic, or even interest, in this record, behind a minor bit of enjoyment in some of the guitar playing. Ah, well - it's probably asking too much to routinely find two songs to enjoy on one song-poem record.

Actually, one of the more interesting things about this record is the production credit, a rarity in itself on a song-poem record, but especially here, in that each side lists "the author" as a co-producer. A similar credit appears on that other early Cinema release I linked, above. That seems unlikely to begin with, but since the two songs were written by two different song-poets, it seems virtually impossible. I'm also intrigued by the credit to "Action Music" publishers, and wonder if that doesn't indicate a previously unknown link to the Fable/Film City family of labels, which had a subsidiary called "Action Records".

All of that speculation interests me considerably more than does "The Magic of a Song", but here it is, anyway:

Download: The Real Pros - The Magic of a Song

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