Tuesday, August 28, 2018
Today, I have a downright peculiar sets of lyrics from the pen of one Jay Andrews, set to music by the Globe song-poem factory, assigned to Sammy Marshall (identified here as "Sonny Marshall"), and licensed out (or however that worked) to the Air label.
On the better of the two sides we have "In-Law Blues", which contains the phrase I've alluded to above, "My mammy and my mammy-in-law", or parts thereof, several times. Really. Has anyone else ever expressed that relationship in that way...ever? "My mammy-in-law." Plus, it just rolls off the tongue, particularly when set to music.
The story the song tells is prosaic, but the way it's expressed, lyrically and musically (this band should not be in the same state as a record identified as a "blues") make it stand out for me. I think my mouth dropped open while listening to this record for the first time.
And is it just me, or does this 165 second number seem to go on forever.
Download: Sonny Marshall - In-Law Blues
On the flip side is the primarily stultifying "Naughty Lady". Mr. Andrews lyrics suggest that he was going for suave sophistication, and Sammy (er, Sonny) and the band certainly treat it like that was the intent, although they are not remotely successful in doing so.
Lyrics like "can one so blasé feel such a thrill" and "Lady.... please", certainly don't help. I will admit that when he sang "Naughty lady, I'm on to you", I was hoping for the next line to be "Lady.... let's screw". That would have pepped things up. Alas, no.
Download: Sonny Marshall - Naughty Lady
Thursday, August 16, 2018
It's been 41 years since the King of Rock and Roll last saw the inside of an earthly bathroom, and in honor of this death anniversary, I want to offer up a full song-poem album, one on the Royal Master label, featuring three singers - Matt Vincent, Jaye Pauley and Jim Ward - not heard on this site before. In all, nearly 45 minutes of song-poems.
(I hoped to have more to say about the album, the anniversary and the individual tracks, and set aside a couple of hours to do so, but car problems last night (now resolved) ate up that time, and a third hour as well, and in order to get this up today, I'm just going to share the tracks. I haven't even had a chance to make sure there are no glitches in the MP3's. Please let me know if there are any issues.)
So herewith, the front cover of this masterpiece:
And the record label for side one, containing all the song titles and lyricists:
And here are the two sides of the album:
Download: Various Artists - A Tribute to the King, Side One
Download: Various Artists - A Tribute to the King, Side Two
Here is the back cover:
Here is the label for side two:
And a close-up of the back cover, showing the performers of each song:
Monday, August 06, 2018
It's been ages - oddly enough, exactly a year, actually - since I featured a Halmark single here. There's a good reason for that. While there are some fabulous releases on Halmark - virtually all of those being fabulous because of their entertaining level of awfulness - there are many more releases on Halmark which are simply awful, without the benefit of being funny, endearing or otherworldly.
I seem to have nearly exhausted my pre-arranged stack of worthy Halmark releases, so I am only now sharing them when I newly come across which is worth hearing. And I hadn't had that experience in many a month. Until last week.
And actually, I find the first three tracks here to be also unsuitably stultifying. But that last one makes it all worth while. But there may be some of you, who perhaps are particularly fond of that all-too-common item, the dead Elvis song-poem, who may enjoy the first of our four part saga here. It's called "An August Day", it's set to a track we now know to have been originally created to back up the song "By the Time I Get to Phoenix", and is true more often than not on Halmark, the singer is not named.
Download: Halmark Productions - An August Day
The less said about the next two, ponderous, Christian numbers, the better. The first is "In Gratitude", and what appears to be a slightly off center pressing makes me even more woozy than the performance itself.
Download: Halmark Productions - In Gratitude
A favorite, dramatically awful Halmark backing track is the only thing which holds appeal to me in "He's Coming Back to Stay", and it's been used to much greater effect elsewhere. I wonder if the writer minded that the singer speaks, rather than sings, the majority of her lyrics. Then again, with non-musical phrases like "available time" and "people who haven't accepted the Lord", what other choice did they have?
Download: Halmark Productions - He's Coming Back to Stay
But the reason for sharing this record is the track called "Hunting Country". The lyrics here are all over the map, and gloriously stupid. But I'll let you experience the joys of this ridiculous track without spoiling them.
Download: Halmark Productions - Hunting Country