Monday, April 14, 2014

Cashing In on a Craze

Today, it's back to our road trip, at least...sort of. But it's really a trip inside the fascinating mind of Norridge Mayhams. For today's record is one which appeared on the "Mayhams" Little Shirley Records label (got that?), but which has key differences from the one record on the same label listed at the song-poem database site. On that site, the one record identified, from 1962, has a different label number, the same song on one side, but a different song on the other side. That song is listed as "Zoomba High Kicka Zoomba", which is a familiar Mayhams title, appearing on at least three different Mayhams releases that I know of.

The funny thing is, the song listed on this record, identified with the unwieldy titles of "The Pennsylvania TWIST and the California TWIRL", IS, in fact, "Zoomba High Kicka Zoomba", perhaps the very performance heard on that other "Little Shirley" release. The only difference seems to be that a prelude has been attached to it, telling us to do the dance steps referenced in the new title. Oh, and the singer, Miss J. M. Abreau, offers up a few shouts of encouragement to dance during the song, as well.

Unless I miss my guess - and it's quite possible, of course, because it's only a guess - Mayhams took the original track, and added a brief reference to the suddenly repopularized TWIST, and tried to hop on the bandwagon by making it appear that the same old Zoomba song was really supposed to be a TWIST number. Given the crappy sound quality, it seems at least possible that Miss Abreau added her new intro (and voiceovers), as well as the guitar intro, to a tape into which the existing record was being played, rather than to the master tape. See what you think!

Whatever else that is, it's a ridiculous record. Is there a line in there says "Zoomba Zoomba Commander in Chief"? That's what I hear....

Miss Abreau also shows up (as Julia Abreau) on a exceptionally rare acetate of two Mayhams songs, which I posted a few years ago here.

On the flip side, Miss J. M. Abreau offers up some of Norridge Mayhams hard-won dating and romance tips, in "Play it Smart - Play it Hard". I really wonder who ol' J. M. (or Julia) was, because her vocal stylings are uniquely weird and and somehow both hypnotizing and unappealing at the same time.


Sammy Reed said...

This is obviously the same singer who did the "1949 version" of "Midwifery".

Anonymous said...

Whoah! What a find! Thanks, Bob! I don't have my headphones with me right now (i'm at work)....of all the days to forget my headphones! Well...I'll listen to it later!

I can't weigh in (as of yet) whether or not I think she's just singing over the record....but I do know I have a (horrible) song-poem record where someone is obviously singing (poorly) over a Sammy Marshall record...both sides! So this would be pretty funny if this is a little "sub-phenomenon", a new little back alley of song-poemdom!

Either way, any new Norridge is HIGHLY welcomed!

Thank you for your amazing generosity with this, and everything else you post! It's easy to take for granted all this great rare music you share with us for free (just my price!!!). Thanks, man!

And God bless Norridge Mayhams! We sure won't see the likes of him again soon, that's for sure!!

Bill S. said...

If could have met any person from the "Golden Age" of song-poems, it would be Norridge Mayhams. I bet he would have been able to talk up ANY of his odd releases as if it would be the next big thing...

Anonymous said...

Oh my gosh, I think you may be right! I especially love when she interjects exhortations ("twirl & twist!"), so obviously "above" the rest of the track (sonically)

Also, always great to hear different versions of Mayhams favorites! Each one so different!

Thank you, Uncle Bobby!!!