Friday, April 12, 2024

How Charming!


Well, I've been super busy, and it's been almost two weeks since I posted. I really don't have much time even now, so I won't say too much about this week's Tin Pan Alley item, featuring Ellen Wayne singing about "The Charm of a Texan's Smile". It's got an appealing, loping beat, and the singer gives quite a winning performance. I find the few things the lyrics actually say about Texans to be somewhere between suspect and flatly untrue, in my experience, anyway - looking at you, Senator Ted Cruz (among many others) - but maybe these things were more true 64 years ago or so, when this was recorded. 

(Oh, one line rings true: I'm sure Texans still learn all about The Alamo, but somehow, I have my doubts that schoolchildren in Texas learn that the battle was about whether Texas would be allowed to have slavery, an that "we" weren't on the right side of that argument.)

Note the references to Hawaii and Alaska - since this record came out around 1960 or so, those are extremely topical, given that both states were new to the union the previous year. 


The flip side is what Billboard would have probably called a "Rock-a-Ballad" at the time (or at least, a few years earlier). It's called "The Church on the Mountain", and everything is put together reasonably well, to very little effect. 


Stu Shea said...

Hey, thanks for posting this. Both records sound pretty good to me, and I like her singing a lot. The songs are the problem, aren't they? Do churches really vie to be "the best in the land"? They have bands in them?

That said, the introduction of side B, with the tremoloed guitar playing chords that seem to have no connection with each other or with the song, is really beautiful.


Timmy said...

This is a tough one... It's hard to say which of these two speckled gems are the better. One the one hand (Side A), we have a rather normal, average type of song-poem that we have all come to love & admire here at Bob's little corner of the universe, full of off-keyness & outlandish lyrics. In short: A GREAT ONE! But, then, something seems to be going amiss, because as we flip this wonderful 45 over for a listen to the B side, we encounter an unexpected demonic presence... A religious heaping helping of some God-awful sounds that only a captive hostage could find half-way amusing. So, I am stumped for the billionth time in my torturous life, and I have to just sit down & cry aloud: "THANK YOU FER THESE HERE CUTS, SIR! (I think)