Thursday, November 23, 2023

Fables of the Banana Queen for Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my American readers, and a big THANK YOU to everyone everywhere who reads and listens to my posts. I have something extremely rare and also, quite entertaining for you today. It's a 78 RPM acetate on the Fable label. And it looks like this: 

My best guess is that only a handful of copies of this record were made, or perhaps only one. Certainly, this record wouldn't have been pressed in anywhere near the number of copies that a "released" Fable (or any other label's records, song-poem or otherwise) would have been. 

Happily, both songs are fairly delightful. I am guessing that these are song-poems, although with Fable, that's not a given - the label released plenty of records which were not. I'd be interested to hear what anyone out there thinks. Normally, the odd subject matter of the first side I'm sharing - "Banana Queen" - would be a clear clue that it WAS a song poem. Yet Fable released several songs of an odd nature which were probably not song-poems. So I'm really guessing. 

Anyway, this is a whole lot of fun. It's got a calypso beat, the sort of reverb-laden production that I love, funny and creative lyrics, and I would venture to say that it absolutely deserved to be released. But it does not appear that a release ever occurred. 

Download: Unknown - Banana Queen


No performer is listed on either side. The flip side, "Baby You're the Best" does bear the name "Shirley", but as the song is sung by a male, that clearly refers to someone other than the performer. Maybe Shirley was "The Best". 

"Baby, You're the Best" is a rockabilly flavored number. It features a bass line lifted directly from "Don't Be Cruel", a "wild man" sort of lead vocal, with simple backing by a small combo. It's a bit too understated for me, but things perk up briefly on a couple of slightly more swingin' bridge sections.

Given the Calypso influence on one side, and the "Don't Be Cruel" influence on the other, I would peg this release from very late 1956 or some time in 1957. And since nothing, ever, has sounded as great as late 1956 and all of 1957, these are quite wonderful to hear.  

Download: Unknown - Baby You're the Best



1 comment:

Timmy said...

I think both of these songs are great. Thank you for gifting us with them. Fantastic finds...