Monday, May 13, 2024

When the Rooster Crows...

A belated Happy Mother's Day to all Mother's who are reading this post, and all those who have or had a Mother. 

Today I have an Air label EP, on which just one of the four songs is really and truly worthwhile, and for those of you who want to skip the dross, I encourage you to skip to the last song, after which this post is named, for something fairly entertaining. 

Very briefly, the Air label, for whatever reason, seems to have existed to put out singles and EP's containing the works of multiple song-poem factories, often two or three different producers on the same 45. I'd be lying if I said I understood how this worked or why such an arrangement existed. At least occasionally, songs appearing on an Air release also came out on the home label of the production company, too. 

In the case of today's record, all four songs come from the Globe song-poem factory, with three of them being by that singer most often credited as Sammy Marshall, here cunningly hidden behind another false name, Sonny Marshall. 

The one non-Sammy/Sonny tune leads us off, and it's by one of the lesser-used Globe thrushes, Mary Kaye. "Why Can't You Tell Me" has lyrics which feature that artless quality that I've found myself writing about lately. I was particularly taken with the point at which the word "reason" is rhymed with "treason" although the latter word is meaningless, in the context of that line. It also seems to me that Mary Kaye was not the right person to record in a trio with herself - some of the chords that result are fairly painful. 

Download: Mary Kaye - Why Can't You Tell Me


On to Sonny-land. His first offering here, "Hopeless Love" portrays a painful situation for its protagonist, and Sammy/Sonny has just the right catch in his voice for this material, which he proved again and again and again. It's too bad, because this could have been something moderately okay, what with that voice of his. But the lyrics are pretty cookie-cutter, and have been revisited a million times, and the band offers a level of uninspired support which matches the quality of those unoriginal words. 

Download: Sonny Marshall - Hopeless Love


Flipping the record over, we have the song "Rose Marie My Love", written by Buddy Gay, who I'm sure had no idea that if he just changed one letter in his name and picked up the blues guitar, he could have been world famous. This is nearly as faceless a track, lyric and vocal performance as I can imagine. I really can't work up anything else to say about it. 

Download: Sonny Marshall - Rose Marie My Love


Now for some fun! That title - "Where the Rooster Crows" - suggests something entertaining might be coming, and the quote from "The Chicken Reel" at the start of the track confirms it. What a set of fun, ridiculous lyrics! We're told that it's fun to be on a farm in Arkansas, and the examples of the fun are.... a broken toe, falling in a pond, and being blown 10 miles away in an explosion. Oh, and "all you can hear is Bim Bim Bim", whatever the hell that means. Okay, okay, so this record is aggressively stupid. I know. But I'd rather that something like this exist than to not have it exist, and it makes me laugh.  

Download: Sonny Marshall - Where the Rooster Crows


1 comment:

Stu Shea said...

Thanks for posting these! I agree with what you wrote. Mary Kaye was a fun singer,but it sounds like these harmonies were a one-take-only job, which is a shame; there were nice moments in her tune.
The last one is indeed aggressively ridiculous, but also quite enjoyable. Sort of makes you wonder what they're putting in the water down there in Arkansas. I asked, but all they told me was "bim bim bim."