Saturday, March 11, 2023

Dora Foley Has Something to Say

Today, I have one of Rodd Keith's earliest song-poem releases, just the 41st (or so) entry on his first label, Film City (and, of course, not all of those 41 (or so) were even Rodd Keith records. That was what I initial found to be most interesting about this record. But once I listened closer to it, I found something else of even more interest. 

For this record's lyricist, Dora Foley, clearly knew hew way around writing. The lyrics to "Don't Cry Too Loud" are an extremely effective character study AND a put down of a former lover. Now, I will add that I don't necessarily think that the words to "Don't Cry Too Loud" were all that great of a match for a musical backing. Consider this couplet, probably the one really ill conceived line in the piece: 

You're so blasé now 

with all your drinking

There's only so much that even Rodd Keith could do with that. And he did attach it to a pretty durn turgid setting (one thing the "strings" on this track are not doing is "swinging"). But as a piece of poetry and a put down, I quite enjoyed Ms. Foley's composition. 

Download: Rod Rogers with the Swinging Strings - Don't Cry Too Loud


The flip side, also written by Ms. Foley, contains a lyric which is much more suited to a musical backing, at lteast to these ears. And again, I think this is a fairly good little set of lyrics. Fleshed out with a few more verses, I think one would be hard pressed to discern these words as being those of a song-poem submission, as opposed to those from a record meant to be plugged as a potential hit. Note that I'm speaking of the lyrics here, and not the fairly cookie-cutter (and mechanized) supper club backing that Rodd provided for it. 

And hey, here's another one of those records which fades out, but then ends before the fade out is complete!

Download: Rod Rogers with the Swinging Strings - Mine to Forget



Stu Shea said...

I agree with you here--the lyrics are better than the treatments they're given. Melodies are not bad!

(BTW, what's so goofy about that lyric? Whenever I see someone blase, I always assume it's because they're drinking.)

Thanks for posting!

reservatory said...

I dunno, I like 'em both. There are some lovely Chamberlin parts here, especially in Mine To Forget, which would've been a more promising a-side, capable of launching the gifted Ms. Foley into the atmosphere! THANKS!