Saturday, December 14, 2019

Better Than Paul Anka!

Yes, so much better than Paul Anka. Admittedly, I don't believe that's a hard thing to do - I've only heard two records by the man that I'd want to leave on. Oh, and there's "Johnny's Theme", which is damn good. But he has something approaching a record for near-consistent awfulness. Plus, today's title predates his song of the same title by more than three years. More in a moment. 

But first, I have again updated a previous month's set of busted links. And this month, June, 2014, was a DOOZY, with five posts and FOURTEEN songs shared. 

These include a SIX song Real Pros EP (the details of which I have amended today, with a correction), a nice Rodd Keith record, An MSR release with two very closely related songs, a remarkably tedious Sammy Marshall record, AND - drumroll please! - a record on Tin Pan Alley which has to qualify as one of the most entertainingly horrible 95 seconds ever committed to any form of recordable material. I strongly suggest those who haven't heard "The Proon Doon Walk" to immediately link to that page and have a listen. That's why I've linked the same post four times

And now: 

Yes, it's Tin Pan Alley again, this time featuring Alberta Jordan's performance of "Puppy Love", from some time in 1956, more than three years before Paul Anka's sappy, unctuous song and performance.

And there are certain friends of mine who will know, upon listening to it, that I LOVE this record. It's got a bunch of things that make my ears perk up: what Billboard called the "rock-a-ballad" style, complete with piano triplets, a nice overabundance of reverb on the vocal, and speaking of that vocal, a pleading, emotion-laden teen girl (or, in this case, most likely faux-teen girl) vocal, one which absolutely sells the lyric in a "this really happened" way.

That this happens to have been a song-poem is just icing on the cake - it gives me a chance to share it with the world. But this record, unlike the vast majority of song-poems, is almost indistinguishable from dozens of other actual failed attempts of the day at creating a real hit (and also not, as is so often the case, a record that sounds like attempts at hits from five years earlier. This sounds like 1956).

Download: Alberta Jordan - Puppy Love

The flip side, "Moonlight Among the Willows", has some of the same aspects that make me love "Puppy Love", but no one but Alberta seems to be as invested in this one - the melody is not as indelible, and it's just missing that unidentifiable.... something... which the first side has in spades. I do, however, adore the tone of her voice on the long held notes for the word "willows" near the end of each verse. I could live in those vibrato notes for a week.

Download: Alberta Jordan - Moonlight Among the Willows


Sammy Reed said...

Well, another one of my reposts of songs that used to be here bites the dust, because it's back here! (Bobbi Blake's "The Dancer")
Anyway - I just posted the complete MSR 1975 Christmas Album on my blog!
Did you know that Guygax wrote the words to not one, but two songs on that album?! Or that the lyric-writer of "I Got a Record" also sent in words to a song used on there? And Bob, you may also notice some of that "plagiarism" you talk about, in the song "A Happy Day"!
The whole 16-song extravaganza can be heard here:
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Stu Shea said...

I agree that the a-side has an "oomph" that the b-side doesn't. And that this is TOTALLY a Bob record!
Cheers, and thanks for posting!