Monday, April 22, 2024

Norm and Joe

In the early days of the Sterling label, when they were creating a sound I truly love, one of the first singers hired was someone named Joe Hall. I've featured him here once before, and he was really not a very impressive singer. I have a few other Joe Hall records, but they're just not very good. Shortly after his name starts appearing on Sterling labels, the name of Norm Burns shows up, and very quickly, Norm became the standard bearer, which he would remain until his death in 1974. And shortly after Norm showed up, Joe made his last record for the label, which is no surprise. Today's record may be the only one on the label which features Norm on one side and Joe on the other. 

As I would have predicted, the Norm side is the much better of the two. It's called "Ain't A-Kiddin' You", and it's just 110 seconds long. And what a cute little record it is, with a bouncy beat, a swinging band and a memorable melody. Norm provides a first rate vocal, too. 

I love Norm. 

Download: Norman Burns, Lew Tobin's Orchestra - Ain't A-Kiddin' You

Joe Hall, of course, takes the lead on the flip side, "Honey, Honey Do". If a midtempo record can be described as "turgid", this might be that record. The band seems to be a room away from the microphones and are playing in a truly uninspired manner - hard to believe this is the same band. Joe Hall hits all the notes, but shows no style and doesn't do anything interesting. This record is only 17 seconds longer than it's flip, but seems twice as long. 


1 comment:

Stu Shea said...

I'm with you on this. Norm's terrific as usual, Joe's dull and also sort of affected. And then there's this thing in song-poems where something that seems like nice 'normal people' speech (for example, the phrase "ain't a-kiddin' you") sounds really dumb when repeated constantly as part of a song.

Thanks for posting these!