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.
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: