First up, another update as to "fixed" posts. We're all the way back to April of 2014 now - only five and a half YEARS of song-poem posts until everything is fixed! Today's repairs went to a particularly ridiculous Norridge Mayhams release, a very early MSR release featuring Bobbi Blake (under another name) and Dick Kent, and a pair of linked songs sung by Norm Burns. The other post from April of 2014 was actually repaired in June of this year, because it had a direct tie in to one of my posts at that time.
I found a Rodd Keith record that I really enjoy, and intended to make it today's feature, before I realized that the flip side (also a great performance) had already been released commercially on one of the song-poem re-issues. And I didn't want to end the year by just sharing one song, nor did I want to simply offer up a performance that some percentage of the readers of this site already have.
So I'm still sharing the song I just mentioned, but I'm also going to add a second Rodd Keith single, in order to get at least two (actually three) songs that most of you have never heard, while also including that more easily available song.
The record in question comes from the earliest days of rhe MSR label, the only period at that label that I enjoy with any consistency. And this is a fairly wonderful ballad by Rodd Keith, a soul-pop marvel, with a tasty arrangement, an emotion-laden vocal and some truly otherworldly drumming. I've said this before about certain song-poems, and it applies here, I can get lost into almost a dream state listening to what this drummer is doing. I wish I knew who it was.
This is a compelling record - everything is right where it ought to be - a really warm, inviting sound. I could listen to this record a bunch of times before I needed to hear anything else.
And what better to share on the next to last day of the year, but a song about "looking back"?
Download: Rodd Keith - As I Look Back
The flip side is "Ship For Home" as mentioned, has been comped, and it can be heard on the Rodd Keith release "Saucers in the Sky", which I encouarge any song-poem fan to purchase. It ends the album, which is not surprising, because I'm not sure what could follow up this record, particularly the last 30 seconds or so.
Starting with a big, thick Chamberlin sound, and again, some more killer drumming, and another warm, inviting arrangement, this is another great one. The soulful arrangement is among Rodd's best, too. Both sides of this record make me wish - as so many other have - that Rodd Keith would have, at some point, gotten the chance to make real attempts at hits with a real budget.
Download: Rodd Keith - Ship For Home
As promised, now I have another, much simpler, earlier Rodd Keith offering, from relatively early on in his days at Preview - some time in mid 1966 seems to be about right. "A Wonderful Life" features supper-club Rodd, offering up a rather unctuous vocal style, wrapped around some lyrics which are less than stellar - perhaps even sappy - but certainly heart-felt, and which tell a love story in about 105 seconds.
Download: Rodd Keith - A Wonderful Life
Equally heartfelt, but upping the sappy quotient (not helped at all by the awful alto sax solo) quite a bit is the flip side "The Baby Brother of Mine". I find myself wondering, however, why - if the brother was still a child and found himself without shoes - the narrator didn't get him some damn shoes.
Download: Rodd Keith - That Baby Brother of Mine