Monday, June 05, 2023

Howden Records, Part Three

Five years ago, and again 2 1/2 years ago, I shared two of four records I had acquired on the previously unknown Howden records label. As I wrote at the time, this appears to have been one of the dozens of vanity labels that Tropical Records set up, in this case for one HOWard DENington. 

The first two items I shared featured the equally previously unknown Ella Howard and Bill Clifford. Today, I'm going to offer up the third of the four items, which starts with this song: 

Betty Bond is not totally unknown. She is documented to have appeared on Tropical and a few of its spin-off vanity labels, and I featured her here once before

Anyway, here she is again with "Face of an Angel". I enjoy the warm band sound here, and both that sound and the chord changes strike me as a bargain basement version of some of the late 1950's and early 1960's country arrangements that I just love. I could do without the chirpy backup singers, but several moments of Betty Bond's aching vocal appeal to me. 

Download: Betty Bond - Face of an Angel


The flip side of this record is Betty Bond's take on "It's the Natural Thing", which was also on the first Howden record I shared, sung there by Ella Howard. I'm quite partial to the Ella Howard version, entirely because the arrangement is better. I think I like Betty's vocal better, but the backing here is tinny, the backing vocalists are chirpier and less appealing here, and the track is not as interesting as  is Ella's version. You're mileage may vary. 

Download: Betty Bond - It's the Natural Thing


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