Friday, November 23, 2018

Rollin' Down & Setting the Pace

Greeting and salutations, and for those who celebrated it, I hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving yesterday. I have a double play for you today, one song-poem offering and one which might be a song-poem, might be a vanity record and might be something else. 

Before getting to any music, I want to thank a couple of folks who let me know that one of the files was corrupted in last week's post. It has been corrected, thanks to "reservatory" and anonymous. 

I also had poster "KL" send a few links, including a youtube posting of a vanity pressing on Preview, a record which went for a whole lot of money last year ($1625!). You can see and hear it here. And for those on Facebook, you can see and hear a Rod Rogers/Frank Perry release here

And speaking of Film City: 

This is the only documented song-poem record to be released under the name "Jad Dees". Mr. Dees - or at least someone with the same odd name - had a career, at least for a time, as a country and western singer, belonged to a group called, of all things "The Beverly Hill Billies", which you can read about here. He also appeared in at least one movie, and had a few records out on legit labels in the 1930's. I imagine there's at least an interesting, if not fascinating story about how he ended up cutting two songs by song-poet Fred Wolf for the Film City outfit.

This very early Film City effort is notable for the herding-related shouting and whistling heard three times during the record. The lyrics themselves are one cowboy cliche after another, and the Chamberlin - despite the appropriate shuffle beat - could hardly fit the genre more poorly. But all in all, it's a fun little record.

Download: Jad Dees with the Swinging Strings - Rollin' Down the Mountain

The flip side "This Old World Just Keeps on Turning", plods along its way. It's barely 20 seconds longer than "Rollin' Down", yet it seems ages longer, due to the ponderous nature of the song, arrangement and vocal performance.

Download: Jad Dees with the Swinging Strings - This Old World Just Keeps on Turning


Now to the more confounding of the two records. We have here a record by Jim Wayne on the Pacer label, written by Opal Scaggs. Opal Scaggs seems to have been the owner of the label, as every record released on Pacer seems to list her as the songwriter. 

On the side of considering this to be a song-poem is the fact that Opal Scaggs wrote lyrics for at least one song-poem on another label, along with Pacer appearing to have been a vanity label. On the other side are multiple sites indicating that Jim Wayne worked, under that name, for multiple labels, some not likely song-poem related all around the same time as this record's release (reportedly, 1968), and one person who stated, without evidence, that the sax player on this record is Boots Randolph. 

It's certainly possible that this was a vanity release, perhaps one even target at actual hit status by Ms. Scaggs, and perhaps she wrote the words and music to the songs. I'm interested to hear what any of you think. 

But I wouldn't be sharing it at all if it wasn't for the fact that one of the sides - with the ultra catchy title "You'll Find Another Sucker If You Try" - makes me smile, due to the peppy arrangement, in combination with (and this is the key factor) Jim Wayne's endearingly ridiculous vocal delivery. 


Flipping the record over, we find another case where a record of the same length - in this case, barely a second of difference - seems to stretch out for way too long. Your mileage, of course, may vary. But on "I Pretended She Was You", aside from Jim Wayne's continued over-the-top, over-enunciating vocal stylings, very little hear stays with me.



Timmy said...

The only one here I think is worthwhile, is "Pretend". That warbling vocal & sad ass sax are gettin' it done. Almost like I'm dreaming of Stan Freeberg headlining a grand ballroom performance on Catalina Island.

Klepsie said...

The Pacer single had a picture sleeve!

Stu Shea said...

I can't say much for any of the four sides, sadly. If I had to pick one, it'd be the uptempo Jim Wayne side. Thanks for posting, though...would Boots Randolph really have played on such a low-profile record? (I suppose he would if he got paid for it...)