Saturday, October 31, 2015

Telling Fables

Of all of the labels I learned about, via my expanding knowledge of song-poems, my favorite long ago became Sandy Stanton's Fable Records. I'm not calling it my favorite song-poem label,.because plenty of its releases, perhaps most of them, were not song-poems. Stanton did go on to start Film City Records and discovered Rodd Keith after winding Fable down, but during the Fable years, it seems to have been a catch-all, with song-poem releases, novelty numbers, vanity records and perhaps some attempts at producing honest-to-goodness hits. 

Because of its multi-hybrid nature, quite a while ago I decided to stop featuring Fable on this site, and instead, put together posts at WFMU featuring multiple Fable tracks. You can find those here and here. Unfortunately, I even stepped away from that project, for a few different reasons. 

Now, with the WFMU blog closed, and no other outlet for these wonderful records, I'm going to throw them into the mix here and there, with the caveat that I know some of them are not song poems, and that I'm not sure about most, if not all of the rest. I hope you enjoy them, regardless of each record's individual provenance.

From the category of "maybe a song-poem record?"... comes a 45 sung by Roberta May, featuring two similarly titled songs by someone named Sidney Whitacker. First up is a bopping, swinging number called "Don't Tell Me That Jive". As do many Fable records of this period (this is from 1957), this features some fairly wonderful rockabilly guitar playing. I've been told a couple of times that the guitarist on these sessions was the highly respected (by a few, and woefully obscure to everyone else) Roy Lanham, who was later a member of the Sons of the Pioneers.


The flip side, with two of the same words as the first song, is "Tell Me", a fairly standard, and fairly bland rock-a-ballad, indistinguishable from a hundred other records from the era, except for some truly awful backup singing near the end...


I got a lot of good feedback from my Fable posts, back in 2010 and 2011, and by all means, please let me know if you'd like to hear more, or not hear more from this label. In fact, please let me know in general what you'd like to hear more and/or less of. I aim to please!



Rocky Lane said...

You asked kind person so here goes. I know you specialize in song-poems so that precludes no instrumentals. But ... sometimes they only had one song and nothing else to go with it and they just take what the musicians were jazzin' around with, give it a title and slap it on the B-Side. I've discovered many instrumentals like this and sometimes the jazzin' around has produced a hit record when some DJ flipped the record over. So if you have anything like this, please load it up when you haven't much else to load up some days. You've loaded up some good stuff over the years and please keep doing what your doing. We like it!


Sammy Reed said...

On an earlier blog, I mentioned a New Image 45 on E-Bay that had a song where everything seemed to work okay musically and lyrically.
Since I wrote that message, the seller lowered the price for it significantly, then I made an offer, which was accepted. And now, I have it!
Well, not only does everything work allright on the one song excerpted on that E-Bay listing, but on both songs! On a New Image 45. And both of them are over 3 minutes long!
I put the songs on YouTube.
Side 1, "Say You Love Me":
Side 2, "The Love I Need":

Kenny said...

I too have a "keep doing what you're doing" comment. I want to hear whatever you've got, that you think is important and should be heard, because it won't be heard anywhere else, ever. However, I do have a fondness for Irwin Chusid-type bad records. That is all.

Apes Ville said...

I'm intrested in th 1950's early 1960's song Poem That are aimed at the teenage Rock 'N'Roll. Yes I like the Fable label and would like more please. Thanks

David Sherr said...

"I've been told a couple of times that the guitarist on these sessions was the highly respected (by a few, and woefully obscure to everyone else) Roy Lanham, who was later a member of the Sons of the Pioneers."

He sure was. I did some sessions at Fable around 1960 and Roy was on most if not all of them. There is a detail or two that I would rather not make public but I don't see a way to contact you without going through Messenger which is a nuisance.