Sunday, August 28, 2022

Norridge Mayhams - The Story Continues!

I have just a couple of near-absolutes here, in putting this site together. But one of those few is that ANY new and previously unshared records connected to Norridge Mayhams (aka Norris the Troubadour) will be shared immediately upon my obtaining of them. 

In this case, that means that today's record is not exactly a song-poem, but it is connected to that world due to the fact that Mayhams used the song-poem companies so often. But not, it would appear, in this case. But still, I like to think of my site as, among many other things, a one-stop-shopping spot for anyone who falls under the sway of the great - if spectacularly weird - Norridge Mayhams. 

In this case, this record, released on his own mouthful of a label, Co-Ed Sorority Fraternity Record Co, and credited to the equally lengthy billing of "Newcomb-Rayner Cannonballers (Eddie-Bill-Mac)", features a song called "Jeanie". Mayhams very likely hoped that inserting the names of then-current country and western hitmakers (along with that of the multi-genre hit machine known as Elvis Presley) might garner some interest, so he loaded up his lyric with references to more than a half dozen of them.

My thought upon hearing this record was "that's got to be from 1956", given the artists mentioned. And whattaya know, Billboard actually reviewed this record, on June 2, 1956. You can see that review here, on page 42. 

Download: Newcomb-Rayner Cannonballers (Eddie-Bill-Mac) - Jeanie


Interestingly, just about two years later, in June of 1958, Cash Box magazine reported that the song was "clicking on the collegiate group circu't (sic)", as seen below: 

Norris B. Mayhams, Prexy & Gen. Mgr. of Co-Ed 
Records infos that the Newcomb-Rayner Cannonball- 
ers, Buddy Rayner, Jerry Newcomb, Eddie Seabody 
and Charlie & Sonny, are currently clicking on the 
collegiate group circu’t with their latest waxing of 
“Run Away Heart” and “Jeannie”, and that they’re 
starting out on a series of engagements, this month, 
made possible thru the Intercollegiate Broadcasting 
System airing of their disks. 

And two years after that, a web search finds that Cash Box again reported on the group, in a May 21st issue. I've been unable to find the actual text in that issue, but maybe someone out there wants to spend more time on it than I did. The issue can be found here. The Google search provided this partial segment of the story: Newcomb-Rayner Cannonballers, Co-Ed recording group, have changed their name to the Collegiate Cannonballers. According to Co-Ed prexy N. B. May-

And that's it. 

For the flip side, we have "Run Away Heart". Billboard, in the review linked above, was even more dismissive of this performance than of its flip, but Mayhams believed in the song, or at the very least had a soft spot for it, as he released it at least seven times during his lifetime, although some of those - including the 1961 release on the Mayhams label - credited to Georgie's C & W Collegians, and also featuring a flip side of "Jeanie" - were probably duplicate versions. 

Perhaps just reading all of this insanity helps explain why I love the Norridge Mayhams story so much. 

Anyway, this may well be the first version of a song that clearly was close to Norris the Troubadour's heart. Here it is: 

Download: Newcomb-Rayner Cannonballers (Eddie-Bill-Mac) - Run Away Heart


More cut-ups in the near future!

Sunday, August 21, 2022

They've Got English Beatle-Itis!!!

Well, what a fascinating little disc I've come across in my collection today. It's one of the earliest releases on the Film City label, and is credited to the otherwise undocumented duo of Pat and Patty. Patty is almost certainly Patty Stanton, a relative of Fable and Film City owner Sandy Stanton, and who turns up on about a half-dozen known releases on the two labels. Is Pat just Patty, overdubbing herself, or is she someone else? 

Regardless, and although it's not given away at all by the rather bland titled, "Young Hearts Can Cry", this track is actually all about the way young women of that day felt about The Beatles. Or at least I think it is. I have listened to this thing five times, and I can't quite make out the basic idea? It seems like maybe they're asking the Beatles to go away - that young women are unhappy in ways they didn't used to be, since the unattainable Beatles showed up. If so, it's sort of the female version of one of my two favorite song-poems ever, "The Beatle Boys" (also on Film City), in which a young man complains that all the girls want to do these days is pine over the Beatles. 

But maybe I have that wrong. I'd love to hear what others thing this sort of contrived lyric is going for. And while I'm not saying that this is the equal to "The Beatle Boys" (precious few records are), but it's a pretty fascinating little song and performance in its own right, with a weirdly meandering melody and those dang lyrics. Have a listen! 

Download: Pat and Patty - Young Hearts Can Cry


The other side of this disc has actually been on YouTube for a few years now, but it's only been viewed twenty-some times, and bizarrely, with "Young Heart Can Cry" available, the poster only chose to feature the flip side, "Blue Heart". 

This is a deep dive into the song-poem world, but the melody that the folks at Film City chose for this song reminds me of nothing so much as the repetitive and sing-songy tunes favored by William Howard Arpaia. I haven't posted enough of his stuff here to indicate what I'm talking about (and there's a reason for that - it's bottom of the barrel stuff without being entertainingly bad), but if you listen to the piano playing the melody while Arpaia himself talks himself into a lather on this track, you might hear what I'm talking about. 

Download: Pat and Patty - Blue Heart


And now, back to cut-ups. Not long ago at all, my best pal Stu suggested that I really needed to do something with the record "Popcorn and a Coke Please", by Acoustifone, which I posted to WFMU's blog ages ago. It is a record meant to go along with a filmstrip, the purpose of which was to assist some population of young people with spelling. You can hear the whole thing, here, and I encourage you to listen to at least part of it to get a sense of what I was working with, when I chopped it up. 

For my re-imagining, which I did while I had some unexpected time off this past spring, I ended up doing two fairly distinct segments. In the first part, I simply created silliness, and at times gibberish, out of the various things the narrator said. Then, at the 1:25 point, I took it in a more, um, carnal direction, where it stays for the last 70 seconds. 

Download: "Coke-Corn" (cut-up)


Monday, August 15, 2022

Rodd Sings Again

Ah, yes, Beatlefest weekend! First time in three years. I will, as a result, be brief. 

But first, I want to thank friend-of-the-site and massive Rodd Keith-head Roaratorio for stopping by and catching up on several posts, leaving interesting comments on about nine of them, chiming in on a few questions, casting doubt on a few tracks I identified as being by Rodd Keith, and even passing along the lucky find, a few years ago, of that Halmark album I posted, for a buck. I'm not going to copy/paste nine comments here, but I appreciate the comments, thoughts and input!

And reviewing those commented-upon posts, I did find that I made a statement, a few months ago, to make a concerted effort to post the remaining Rodd Keith records from my collection, and that, after doing so a few times, I sort of... stopped again. So here is another one which does not previously appear to have been shared anywhere: 

"Evening Shadows" is no great shakes, I suppose. You might even call it Rodd on autopilot, but it's certainly a pleasant enough mid-tempo number. Rodd offers a just-this-side-of-unctuous vocal which is probably what the material called for. 

Oh, and at the one minute mark, I'm I the only one who hears "we've been farted" instead of "we've been parted"? 

Download: Rodd Keith - Evening Shadows


Oddly enough, the flip side of this record contains a backing track that was also featured on the last Rodd Keith record that I shared, albeit without the sax part which is prominent on that version of the track. One thing I really like here - and enjoy any time I hear it on any record - is the sharp intake of breath before the music starts. Here's "We Kissed Goodbye":

Download: Rodd Keith - We Kissed Goodbye


Cut-ups will return soon!

Sunday, August 07, 2022

Phil Is a Beat Off

I have a lovely treat for all of you today. Well, at least, it's a treat for me. It looks like this: 

As frequent readers of this site know, I love Calypso - whether the authentic model from the 1930's in Trinidad or the Americanized version from the mid-1950's - more than just about any genre of music that's ever existed. And Tin Pan Alley was active right in the middle of the Calypso boom of 1956-58. And as one of the few labels who actively sought to make their releases sound like the current trends, TPA released several calypso flavored singles during that time period. 

That includes today's 1957 model, which not only lifts the Calypso feel, but also makes reference to one of the biggest hits of the previous year, "Blue Suede Shoes". The track is "Off Beat Blues", and it features frequent label warbler Phil Celia doing his best (or perhaps worst) Caribbean accent. Please note that the lyricist for this number - I think it's Francis M. Kadolph - inscribed this copy with a signature and gave it to someone named Jack. I hope Jack enjoyed it as much as I do, as I think it's is wholly wonderful. 

Download: Phil Celia - Off Beat Blues. 


The flip side is no slouch, either. In this case, Phil is joined by The Silver Tones, who only turn up on one other documented TPA release (and who are not to be confused with The Silva-Tones). The Silver Tones, presumably, are the chirpy singers who back Phil up here, and who clearly only knew how to sing one wordless phrase. The other TPA release featuring the Silver Tones - titled "Keep On Smiling! Pay Your Taxes!" can be heard here, and as you'll hear, they sing nearly the exact same part on that record! In this case, the guitarist and the pianist play the same chirpy pattern, when the girls aren't singing. Anyway, this is a fun side, as well, even though Phil sometimes seems to be imitating Paul Anka here, something that no one, should ever, ever do. . 

Download: Phil Celia and the Silver Tones - Too Late! 


 Okay, today, I also have what I think is the last of the mash-ups I made in 2005 - at least the last one which will make sense to those of you out there (I also made a few using parts of Star Ads on top of each other, and using other private recordings that I own). 

Anyway, this one was pretty easy. I just took the entirity of The Beatles' "Wild Honey Pie" (well, it's actually Paul McCartney by himself), and added a looping of the drum intro from Adam Ant's "Goody Good Shoes", and labeled it "Two Shoe Pie". 

I'm not claiming any greatness or even anything special for this one, but as long as I was digging into the mash-ups, I thought I'd share what I had left.