Archive for the '45 RPM' Category

15
Sep
17

Phil McLean “Small Sad Sam / Chicken”

I guess this is considered a “novelty record”—it’s a humorous, story song, backed with music. It seems like if you just pick up 45’s at random, like at yard sales and thrift-stores, you’re as likely to get novelty records as anything (like with Christmas records, for LP’s). Unfortunately, it doesn’t sound good and is not funny enough for me to have even focused on the story. I’ll try again. Okay. It’s the boring tale of a small guy who didn’t do something heroic. The B-side is called “Chicken”—which would normally be more promising, but it’s corny music with an annoying harmonica, and just going on and on—sounding like a musical interlude in a redneck moonshine and smokey movie—and then it pauses and Phil McLean’s low voice says: “I say you’re chicken.” It’s not funny and not weird enough to be interesting. On the other hand, there are much worse novelty records out there. The internet says it’s from 1961, and Phil McLean was a DJ on WERE radio in Cleveland, and this was put out as a parody of Jimmy Dean’s “Big Bad John.” I suppose if you heard this on the radio when you were little, this might strike you as nostalgic—or it might just bring back annoying memories. If anyone wants this, I’ll fling it in your direction.

Advertisements
13
Sep
17

Randy Barlow “Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa”

I bought this 45 due to the weakness I have for buying records by any artist with the first name “Randy”—which has actually done pretty well by me in the past—Randy is kind of a goofball name, not necessarily someone you’d want to spend your life with, but well-equipped for theatrics, unhealthy deep-fried rings of sweet dough, or odd-ball songs with questionable lyrics. In my fiction writing, I named a character (based on me) Randy, and another (based on me) Barlow—so naturally, the name Randy Barlow intrigued me. I’d never heard of him, but it turns out he was fairly successful in country music, from the Sixties into the Eighties. He’s still out there, maybe still playing. Originally from Detroit, he was born Randall Moore, but I suppose that sounds like a guy who is sipping tea and writing sonnets, so he changed it to Randy Barlow. He’s got a solid singing voice. The label is Gazelle Records, which has a really nice logo where there the two L’s make the horns on a simple drawing of the gazelle. This record came out in 1976.

“Twenty-Four Hours from Tulsa” is a Burt Bacharach/Hal David tune, but I don’t really like it—it sounds like something that would have been on the AM radio when I was in grade school, like “Knock Three Times,”—it’s not terrible, but I picked up this record entirely because of the intriguing title of the B-side: “The Bottle Took His Mother (And My Wife)”— which struck me as kind of insane sounding—a bit of a brain-twister trying to figure out what that means. Offhand, it makes you think it’s going to be a situation like in Chinatown (1974 movie) (“My sister, my daughter… she’s my sister and my daughter!”)—but then when you listen to it and realize the “he” in the title is the singer’s kid… it’s like, oh, okay, my kid’s mother and my wife, right. Kind of boring. Though the bottle still took her. The song pretty much spells it out: The guy took the kid and left his wife, because of her drinking. She didn’t die, though, so I don’t know… it seems like he’s more upset because her drinking is exceeding what he deems Christian-level drinking. In a way, it’s fairly reprehensible—I get the feeling it’s a little selfish. I know that it’s not easy to deal with an alcoholic, but it’s not like she started drinking after you married her. Essentially, this song should he called, “Because the Bottle took My Wife, I took our Kid (and now we’re making the lawyers rich in this extended custody battle).”

09
Sep
17

Donnie Brooks “Mission Bell / Do It For Me”

I decided that I will write about 45s, as well, on this site (DJ Farraginous)—singles, seven inch records—as well as 7 inch 33 RPM records, 12 inch singles, EPs, 10 inch records—anything I can play, as long as it’s vinyl. I have a box of 45s that’s even more random than my LP records… I have no idea where half of them came from. Anyway, I made a random system to chose what I’d write about—and the first one up is this beat to hell, old Donnie Brooks single on Era Records (whose logo is a kind of cool atomic symbol). I’ve never heard this record before, and if you asked me if I had it, I’d have said “I don’t think so.” I really have no idea what’s in this box. It plays pretty well, though, sounds good. Both songs are pretty wimpy, but “Mission Bell” is the better of the two, and I guess it was a hit record in 1960. I can see how it might grow on you—there are backup singers, and bells ringing in the ether—a very poppy love song, with cornball lyrics—kind of Pat Boone sounding, I guess, or Bobby Darin? I don’t know. I have no knowledge or real interest in these 1960-era pop singers.

Anyway, Donnie’s real name was John Dee Abohosh, which is kind of a great name, but he went by several different performing names, including Dick Bush! “Donnybrook” is the name for a fight, or brawl—I’ve heard it most used for those baseball brawls—you know where they all get puffed up and red-faced and everyone comes pouring from the dugout, but no one thinks to use a baseball bat? Also, apparently, he played the role of Jesus in the rock opera, Truth of Truths, in 1971, which I’d love to get a recording of, if it exists. It strikes me as interesting that he was born the same year as my mom (1936—and they both passed away at almost the same time, too), and this record, which I now, somehow, find myself listening to for the first time, came out the same year I was born—when Donnie Brooks and my mom were like 24. Not that young or old to have a kid, or a hit single, I guess, but when I think about people I know having a baby at 24 it kind of freaks me out. I know a lot of people are emotionally equipped for it at that age, but I certainly would not have been, at 24—staying up for days at a time, drinking Night Train Express, waking up in “how did I get here?” vestibules of… was it looking-for-love desperation, or just the out of control sugar/alcohol regions of my brain?




You can type the name of the band you'd like to find in the box below and then hit "GO" and it will magically find all the posts about that band!!!

Blog Stats

  • 10,245 hits

a

Top Clicks

  • None
November 2017
M T W T F S S
« Oct    
 12345
6789101112
13141516171819
20212223242526
27282930