Sunday, September 30, 2018

Really? REALLY?????


Today's post is really about one song on a four song EP, one awful song that is aggressively ugly in concept and execution. So I'll briefly mention the first, third and fourth tracks on this Halmark masterpiece, and focus on that one song. And then I'll offer up a palate cleanser, a record so ridiculous that it must be heard.

The entire EP is credited to Bob Storm, and that sounds about right based on the vocals here. The first song is "The Higher You Are", set to one of the typically moldy old-style music beds that Halmark recycled with astounding regularly (as well as contempt for their customers).

Download: Bob Storm - The Higher You Are
Play:

Now about that atrocity. It comes up next, and it's called "Old Sambo". I'm mostly going to let you discover the astonishing nature of this lyric for yourself as it plays on your computer, but first, I'm going to wonder - did the folks at Halmark literally have no shame? Was there no lyric that they would reject? When they read the first line of the recitation (yes, it's one of those), didn't anyone suggest that this was beyond the pale? What on earth did the folks who submitted the other three sets of lyrics think, when they played their song, then listened to the rest of the record?

Please remember (or be advised) that the heyday of this label was the early '70's through the late '70's; even though the music here sounds like the record is from the early to mid '50's, it is actually more likely this record came out during Richard Nixon's second administration, or during Gerald Ford's presidency, and it could not have come out before 1967, in any case.

(Addendum: readers far more clever than I am have determined that this record is from 1969. Please see the comments!)

Again, was nothing off limits? Did every single person - even this lyricist, get the come-on responses from Halmark, telling them how wonderful their writing was? Why didn't "Bob Storm" (whoever he really was, not (Bob) storm his way out of the recording studio?

Okay, I've written far too much, again. Ladies and Gentlemen, I give you... "Old Sambo":

Download: Bob Storm - Old Sambo
Play:

Okay, that's over with. The best thing I can say about "I Can't Think" is that it uses, as it's music bed, my favorite Halmark backing track, the one most memorably used behind "My Hamburger Baby". Not that anything interesting is done with it:

Download: Bob Storm - I Can't Think
Play:

We finish off with another track that features a spoken introduction. The most interesting thing, to me, about "Lisa Maria", is that the title of the song is not featured in the lyrics, as sung - Bob Storm consistently sings about "Lisa Marie", not "Maria":

Download: Bob Storm - Lisa Maria
Play:

Don't miss the bonus track, below the label scan!


As promised, here is a palate cleanser.

I suspect this is actually a vanity recording, but it could be a song-poem, and regardless, there is a lot of overlap here between the two, whichever it is.

It's called "For You". And this is a SPECTACULARLY bad song, with ridiculously simple lyrics, which move quickly into something at least somewhat stalker-esque. I'll assume for the moment that the man credited, Jesse James Hall, is both the writer and the singer here. If not, he's probably the writer, rather than the singer. The label is "Song-makers, Inc. of New York City, and the whole thing smells like a bottom of the barrel production.

Consider these inspired opening lines, the ones that, of course, are meant to catch the listener's ear:

I live for only you, 
Without you I can't live
Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo Hoo
I live for only you. 

A short time later, after expressing that he hopes she loves him too, he becomes more insistent:

I'll go on living
As long as you live for me. 

That's a lot to expect from someone, especially if you're currently only hoping she loves you.

As a piece of songwriting, this is a masterpiece of incompetence. And it gets it all done in just 97 seconds.

Download: Jesse James Hall  - For You
Play:



6 comments:

Bob said...

Hi Bob,

Pressed by Rite Records in 1969

cm said...

OMG! Wow...I'm speechless.

Sammy Reed said...

Bob is referring to the Halmark 45. This info can be looked up on this page:
http://45rpmrecords.com/date_rite.php

KL from NYC said...

A "Rod Rogers" single has been posted by Mr Ed: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=10157011151857642&set=gm.1112315989107205&type=3&theater&ifg=1
Composers: Hardie W Daniel & Rod Rogers; Daniel is the producer.
Endeavor Records in Inkster, Michigan.

Stu Shea said...

Thanks for posting these, Bob. The Halmark is an 0-for-4 for me, but the palate cleanser almost makes "Old Sambo" worth it. Almost!

Kip W [Muffaroo] said...

It says a lot that the writer's belief that "Sambo" and "banjo" rhyme is not even the third worst thing about that track.