Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Just a Great Little Record

After I first heard this record a few weeks ago, I thought to myself, "well, that'd be great for the site, but I'm sure a record this good has already been online somewhere", thinking of the various files that used to be at the AS/PMA website and have since been hosted at WFMU.

When the first search turned up nothing, I searched again. And again.

So, I'm now convinced that this absolutely lovely little treat, "Day Dreaming" by Rodd Keith and the Raindrops has not been widely dispersed to the song-poem faithful. And it's time that that changed.

I love this record! Rodd fills the verses with the sort of '60's pop that gets a bad name, with the piano triplets and cheery unison singing, which I typically am indifferent to, but which I can really enjoy, when done right, as it is here. And then he adds a soulful keyboard solo halfway through to increase the likability of the track.

Finally, there's that bridge. It comes in twice, and what's that I hear? Is that Blue Beat flavoring? Would Rodd have known about Blue Beat? There's no way the bridge would have sounded like this if he didn't. Just another surprise from Rodd Keith's gigantic bag of musical tricks!

Download: Rodd Keith and the Raindrops - Day Dreaming

On the flip side, we have The Raindrops, for some reason billed without Rodd Keith, who is clearly singing here just as on "Day Dreaming". While I appreciate the close harmonies Rodd designed here, particularly that final sixth chord at the end, the song is performed in a style that does extremely little for me, and Rodd uses his smarmiest, most ingratiating vocal style here, a style which I rarely find interesting, unless the song/performance sink into self parody, which doesn't happen here.

Download: The Raindrops - Red Grow the Roses


Stu Shea said...

That's terrific. A lot of fun and, yes, a good, catchy, and witty representation of a genre that not always was.

Darryl Bullock said...

I see the A was co-written by Lew Tobin, in which case Lew would have scored the music and possibly written the arrangement himself too, rather than leaving that to Rodd. Who will ever know?

Anonymous said...

One of my all-time favorite song-poem 45s! As good as "Day Tripper/We Can Work It Out"! Love everything about both sides...Rodd's organ playing on both is fantastic (and piano playing). "Day Dreaming" is a joy. "Red Grow The Roses" is beautiful, a fantastic vocal arrangement.

Lew Tobin's name pops up on lots of Preview records. Sterling Records was in Boston, Preview in Los Angeles, so I doubt the two ever met. What probably happened was the tune was plunked out in Boston, and then the song-poet wanted to have a more deluxe version. These early Preview records all have these elaborate arrangements, with multiple horns, and background singers, so I doubt Tobin did the arrangement. But as you say....we'll never know.

Sometimes these "early versions" pop up, sometimes on acetate. "The Saddest Story" case in point: both Sammy Marshall and Dick Kent have recordings of it. "You Bug Me" was later recut in the 70s as something like "Up All Night" on a non-Rodd label).

So happy this fantastic 45 is getting it's due! It is not an unfamilar sight to see it on E-bay and was always shocked that it has never been comped......lots of great song-poems have never been comped!

Anonymous said...

PS: I never noticed the blue beat influence, you're right!

It's such an infectious song! It's one of the songs I always use to demonstrate to people that song-poems were not all just ha-ha funny, that you also could just find yourself a great song like this one! It's like rescuing a puppy from the pound! that's what you did by posting this, Bob!!!!

Anonymous said...

Hey my name is Allen ward and recently I have stumbled across a record that is Northern soul and it cannot be found on the Internet anywhere. It is by Rodd Keith
And the serial number is 1128 on preview Records. When I couldn't find anything online about this particular record I went to preview Records site to look up their different serial numbers. For whatever reason this one cannot be found anywhere on their serial numbers. The 45 has the songs the stars/I love her. If you have any information on this particular record please call me or email me at your earliest convenience. My phone number is 828-261-6482. Thank you for your time.

rock smith said...

Hi Bob,Just found this Rodd Keith discography on Discogs that might be of interest.It's certainly a good place to start in getting some sort of overview of Rodd's Preview output.
cheers Martin (In the UK)