Friday, November 27, 2015

Music of America! A Full Album from Your Friends at Star-Crest

Howdy, Y'all,

I hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving, at least those who are in the areas which celebrated this holiday yesterday. And for all of you, I give thanks that you continue to read and listen to this site, and that I have continued to have this opportunity to share all of this wonderful, weird music with you.

As promised (or at least hinted at) in my last post, today, for the first time, I am posting an entire song-poem album. Previously, I had limited this level of posting to the WFMU blog, but with that no longer being an option, I've decided to periodically post full albums here.

One thing I'll not be doing, though, is making individual tracks out of all of the songs on an album - there is just too much time needed to separate and post them in this way. Instead, I'll highlight my favorites with two or three best-of tracks, then post both sides of the album in their entireties.

This week, the album in question is one of the many released by the deeply weird folks at Star-Crest, in this case, LP # 8400. It's likely that this was their 84th album (or thereabouts) rather than their 8400th album, given that every one of their album numbers ends with a double zero. And they didn't bother changing their album covers much, choosing instead to just slap on a sticker telling you which release number you were lucky enough to be holding. The front cover looks like this:

And here is the back cover:

The album, on the A-side, is credited to Robert Ravis (who you can also hear on a full album here), Tony Rogers and Linda Collins. They do not sing together, as you will hear. Here is the A-side's record label:

Robert Ravis does not appear on the B-side, so its label is only credited to Tony Rogers and Linda Collins, as you can see below:

Yes, you will be able to hear a full 24 songs below, 22 of them song-poems. For, as you may have noticed, like other song-poem outfits, Star-Crest sometimes made a point of including a few popular songs among the entries of their customers, so that Ms. Meeks, who submitted "Just One More Chance", can say that her song was on an album right alongside the title song to "The Desert Song" and that big hit "Mr. Sandman".

Before the files containing both full sides of the album, here are my three favorite entries. First up, Tony Rogers with "It's a Small World" (no, not that song). I enjoy the march music behind Tony, as well as the trip around the world to be found in the lyrics.

Download: Tony Rogers: It's a Small World

Oh, and did I forget to mention? Except for the aforementioned "The Desert Song", which is a bit longer, nearly all of the songs are within shouting distance of being 90 seconds long.

My two favorites from this album are both sung by Linda Collins. First up, from side one, is "Who Knows?", which starts off being about how she doesn't really understand her man, but by the end, she is making a startling (for the era) cry out for some rather intimate satisfaction. This, for me, is the high point of the album:

Download: Linda Collins: Who Knows?

Moving over to side two, we have one of the few clever lyrics to be found on an album which is otherwise made up of uninspired tales of devotion, and equally uninspired tales of loss. Again, we have Linda Collins, singing "Just One More Chance", the tale of an older person who hopes that life hasn't completely passed her by, complete with some downright weird lyrical choices (find me another song with the line "I wash my feet with any old soap"!) and a goofy bit of playing with words at the end.

Download; Linda Collins: Just One More Chance

And now, if you're still with me, here are the complete album sides. First, the A-side:

Download: Robert Ravis, Tony Rogers and Linda Collins: Music of America (LP 8400), Side One

And here is the B-side:

Download: Tony Rogers and Linda Collins: Music of America (LP 8400), Side One



Timmy said...

This is a very cool offering. Is there any way to narrow down a recording date, or a release date for this?

Bob Purse said...

Hey there,

This is somewhat speculative, based on information on the song-poem database website regarding this label and two related companies, but I gather that Star-Crest existed from perhaps the late '50's through about 1965. The number on this album seems to be among the highest produced, so it's likely to have been from around 1963-64 or in there somewhere.

They certainly were in tune with the times, eh?