- Added Jody 9014, about which it is said, "Sure is weird." We could've told you the same thing without even hearing it.
- Added Songuild 925, the first by Rodd Keith that has appeared on that label.
- We've been distracted by other business for a while, during which time we've received info on a huge amount of new records, all of them 45s. So, let's get right to it: Air 1506 (although we believe the 1000 series is probably from a different Air than the song-poem one), 5043, 5051 ("American Bandstand") and 5056; Fable 519; Film City 2040 ("All You Do Is Scatter News," by Rod Rogers); Tin Pan Alley 116, 167, 221, 236, 300 (B-side co-written by song-poet Missouri France), 71-664, 74-675 and 78-704 ("Patty, Throw Away The Gun"); an unnumbered acetate on Globe; MSR 569, 2207 ("I Got A Record," perhaps self-referential), 2926, 2936 (the hopeful "Let's Keep Christmas Everyday") and 2937 (the hopeful "No More Pain," a possible influence on the lone verbiage heard on Neil Young's Weld album); Preview 1631, 1713, 2578 and 2817; Songuild 902 ("I Wouldn't Hide The Moulding Rock"); Nu-Sound 1402; Sterling 209 (the earliest yet on Sterling), 831 and 916; Roy 16846 (the catalogue number on this one is uncertain, so we also include an additional number found on the label, just in case); Belle Meade 130; Jody 9008 (which, according to its finder, John Fitzpatrick, continues Jody's unbroken streak of great records); Wolf-Tex 105 (see note regarding Wolf-Tex in 9-29-00, below); and Meloclass 1002-B/1004-B ("I Dunno What To Tellya"; this release seems to have been culled from the butt-ends of two previously-separate 45s, and forms the only non-ironic example we know of of a double-B side). Additional info on Allstar 7189, 7196, 7207 and 7303; Star-X 501; and Brosh 1000. Thanks for your patience to all the field reps reporting for this update. We now return you to our regularly-scheduled programming, already in progress.
- Added Preview 1143 and MSR 141. Also, completed information on a Tin Pan Alley single, previously "number unknown," now identified as 116-895.
- Field rep Lindgren reports on the discovery of Preview 1218, tying up another little string of consecutive numbers. We have now documented over 550 singles and 17 albums on Preview, not bad for a label that probably never pressed more than 100 copies of any of its records.
- Added to the Mayhams page a scan of the original sheet music release of "We'll Build A Bungalow." We'd been under the impression that Johnny Long's 1950 version of that song was its first record release, but the copyright date of 1940 on the sheet music suggests there may have been others before it. Our original impression is confirmed, however, by the copyright date of 1949 for a snippet of another song advertised on the last page of the same folio. Thus, it's apparent that Mayhams had the song kicking around for 10 years prior to Long's recorded debut of it.
- A tall stack o' new items. We'll get the one LP, Star-Crest 4600, out of the way, then swing over to introduce the rest of 'em, all 45s: Vandalia 103, 110, 111, 113, 115, 118, 120, 122 and 126 (filling in that label's numbers quite nicely, although a few holes remain); Noval 192 and 207; Odle 135; two on Fable of unknown numbers, both by Anthony Renfro; Tin Pan Alley 24-435, 37-486 and 44-514; Hyperbolic 105, 108, 1003 and 1014; Hit Records International 1005 (and we can now confirm a link, which we'd long suspected, between these latter two Florida-based labels); National Promotions 6090 (adding the latter word to the label's name); Sterling 270; Film City 1043; Songuild 903; Bridge 1 (new label); and P&M NR8426 (also new). Also, changed Sherwood 101 to 1012.
- Johan Löfstedt, a field rep in Sweden, informs us of the inclusion of five Fable sides, takes from catalogue numbers 505, 507, 546, 573 and 584, on vol. 23 of the Collector label CD anthology series Boppin' Hillbillies. Two of these are new to us, and two others provide us with songwriter and more complete artist information, if only for the one side represented per disc. Also added Wolf-Tex 103, by Harold Montgomery, the father of contemporary country star John Michael Montgomery.
- Added three groovy albums and a groovy single. Nashco 646 includes the hits "Sexy Senior Citizen" and "Distrust And Pain"; Sunrise HS-110 offers "These People Called Parents" and "Driving Drunk Ain't The Funk"; and Columbine CRH-138 gives us Lula Murphy's "Acceptance." The single is "Vote McGovern," on Sterling 594.
- Thanks to Ernie Clark for sending us a vastly improved graphic of Tiny Tim's "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" single. Our Vic-Tim page now shows about as much of the fabulous detail on that label as possible.
- Art Issues Press' neo-song-poem album The New Now Sounds Of Today: Songpoems By Twentyone Contemporary Artists is new now available, and may be procured via Art Issues' website. We'll post a review of it to our News page, just as soon as we snag a copy and have a chance to digest it.
- Still sorting out the mess of Film City 1070. We now learn that the version which credits Vivian Mason as the singer does so only on the A-side, "Draft Board." Rod Rogers sings the B-side, "Save A Little Lovin' For Me," and is properly listed as such.
- Strike that Tropical 101 from yesterday -- the songwriter is Clarence Reid, but the label is a different company than the song-poem Tropical.
- Previously listed in our Nervous Norvus discography as "missing," Norvus/Drake's demo recording of his own "The Bully Bully Man," which was later recorded by The Paris Sisters, has not only been discovered, but is now available on-line. Both the discovery and the posting, which is in RealAudio format, come from Red Blanchard himself, Drake's mentor and the subject of the song in question. Even better news: the song is great!
- Today we are launching a new area to our site, the Song-Poem Swap Shop, where collectors can list their duplicate records or others they'd like to unload. The only way this experimental program can succeed is with your participation, so we urge you to check it out and join in.
- Added a nice batch of new goodies. For starters, a couple of LPs: Columbine CRH-62 and Century 21 CTO-9067. The Century 21 album features a song titled after the name of the label! Then, some 45s: Tin Pan Alley 212 and 361; MSR 2625 ("I Love You Just The Way You Are" -- not the Billy Joel song, but a find of new field rep Greg Stumph); Film City 2098, Nu-Sound 1323 and 1502 (the latest release so far from Nu-Sound); Tropical 101 (the earliest on that label; includes "Just The Way You Are" by a C. Reid, who may or may not be Clarence Reid, aka Blowfly); and Preview 2151 ("Johnny Walker Run"), 2153 ("Scat Car Scat"), 2186 ("Ebony," by the immortal James Wilson) and 2246. And finally, songwriter info and fuller artist credits for Air 5018.
- Field rep Dave Brown has located an important album, MSR 208, Future Songs Of Success. MSR seems have to have begun their album numbering at 200 or 201; thus, this is one of their earliest releases. We've already found most of the early 200s in their discography, but 208 had been a glaring hole. Several of the greatest song-poets are represented here, including Barney Rinnert ("Squeaky Shoes"), Phil Carroll ("Watch Johnny Carson," "Yippee Hippee," "I Take A Fancy To Nancy,"), and John Kelly IV ("City Hospital's Patients," "The Saddest Story," "Cloud Nine,").
Also added several new singles: MSR 526 and 3015; Preview 2177 ("Glimpse Of A Devil"); Chapel 31579/31580 and 31989/31990 (our first find on Chapel, a still-active subsidiary of Halmark); and Kondas 108 (found at a record fair in England, by new field rep David Rothon).
- Correction: the Nervous Norvus cover on Cub Koda's Noise Monkeys is "The Fang" (see 8-24-00, below). Thanks to Eric Predoehl for catching the error.
- Added Preview 2010.
- Transcribed a newly-discovered Guygax song, "A Poet," and posted it to the Guygax page.
- Added a new cover version to the Nervous Norvus discography page: the late Cub Koda recorded "Dig" for his final album, Noise Monkeys.
- Added an ad scan for the second edition of TJB Brandes T-101. "A pick for all year 'round!"
- Fleshed out info on Cowtown 802.
- Added Air 5018.
- Added a nice little photoscan of Tex Clark, proprietor of Brite Star. Thanks to Ernie Clark for turning that one up for us. Ernie insists -- protesting perhaps a bit too much, at that -- that he and Tex are not related.
- Some interesting new stuff in today's batch. We add Tin Pan Alley singles 254, 327 and 133-980; Ronnie 2271 ("Strange City"); Film City 1070 (which brings to our attention a labeling error similar to the Dick Martin situation documented last October 19); Columbine EPs HV-21 and HV-54 (including James Wilson, Jr.'s "Lens Cycles Of Gismosologistics," likely the greatest song title yet discovered in the annals of song-poem music); Jody 9118; and an album on Sunrise, HS-102, which seems to have a strong geography theme about it. We welcome new field rep Art Longmire, finder of the Wilson and Film City items.
- Posted a fascinating sidebar from the files of Knickerbocker Harmony Studios, about a new prosecution of the company which took place only two years after the government had seemingly shut it down. Since it would otherwise interfere with the flow of our original text, we have made use of the wonders of hypertext by creating for this new tale a mini-page of its own, clickable from the midst of the main Knickerbocker Harmony story.
- Added MSR 2102.
- Added a new record -- "Natural Homebirth" -- on a new label -- Mr. Midwife -- which are bizarre even when the fact that it's by Norris The Troubadour is taken into account. The songwriter, Norman Casserly, is thought to be the same Norman Casserly as the one who played the male lead in Doris Wishman's 1961 film Diary Of A Nudist.
- Added Tin Pan Alley 43-508. We believe that the two-digit prefix numbers on the later Tin Pan Alley singles refer to a cumulative session number.
- Performed some cosmetic surgery to the home page.
- Added three singles on MSR: 807, 2278 and 2279; plus Kama 780.
- Already revised the John T. Hall article. The introductory text is now in greater depth than in the initial version posted yesterday, but the complications of Hall's story mean it is also a bit less clear. Don't miss the addition detailing the strategy the prosecutors used to convict Hall.
- Added information on a Cowtown single, formerly of number unknown and now identified as Cowtown 835.
- Added MSR 2589, "Israeli, Oh Israeli" b/w "My Heart Belongs To Greece."
- Added an exciting new page to the Shadow World section in which we reprint a cuttingly sarcastic exposé from 1914 of a "come-along" brochure published by "song-poemer" John T. Hall. Also provide evidence that Hall may have invented the song-poem form.
- A whole mess o' new finds, including some very exciting ones. Added two albums, MSR 238 (including two new Guygax songs, "Right For" and "During Evening") and Sunrise HS-121. New singles are Fable 714; Preview1513, 1547, 1549, 1579, 1612 ("Hollywood Town"), 1641 and 1725; MSR 545; Songuild 913; Sherwood 101; Jody 650, 9051 and 9070 ("Soulin' It Out"); an unnumbered acetate ("The Shake") on Five Star; Inner-Glo 110; Boney 208; Brite-Star 2426; and Bang Bang 153 (a song-poemesque version of "Ode To Billy Joe"). Amendments (mostly in the form of writer credits) to Ronnie 2009 ("Big Bomber"); Silver Star 1012; Tropical 17419/17420; Brosh 700; and Jabar 101.
- Added a story to the News page about newborn mice with a fondness for song-poem music. Absurd, but true.
- Added a note to the News page about song-poem entrepreneur Pat DiNizio's bid for a U.S. Senate seat from New Jersey.
- Added two new singles, Preview 1185 and Command Performance 113.
- We have a bit more information on the two forthcoming projects mentioned in the "Skipping Formalities" article on the News page.
- Some new singles: Tin Pan Alley 82-725, Nashco 6844, MSR 2341 ("Ernest") and 2775, Songuild 965, and an unnumbered acetate on Songcrafters, a division of Music City Songcrafters. Corrected errors to some of the song-poets' names on Hollywood Artists HAR-81.
- Launched an addition to the Shadow World section, a new page about a promotional booklet entitled Song Requirements For Talking Pictures, published in 1930 by Walter W. Newcomer & Asso., Inc. The page includes some great illustrations, including an for the original booklet.
- Field rep Bill Nadolny checks in with a healthy list of exciting finds, all from the same family of labels: Preview 1237 (by "Keith Kwire" -- another of Rodd's fanciful spelling tricks), 1244, 1254, 1561, 1573, 1604, 1640, 1692, 1699, 2124, 2143, 2312 and 2866; MSR 107 (our earliest MSR find to date), 173 ("I Love Marge," by the great song-poet Phil Carroll), 198, 319, 407, 408, 413, 415 ("The Old Stoned Church," which is either an interesting take on one of the new psychedelic religions, or simply a misprint), 479, 647, 2256, 2313, 2468, 2678 and 2857; and Songuild 932 ("Ho Chi Minh Trail") and 972.
- The excellent hour-long segment of David Garland's Spinning On Air radio program that focused on the Dion McGregor Dreams Again CD is available on-line. Although the WNYC site lists an airdate of April 7, 2000 for the episode, that was actually a rebroadcast of its original airdate of March 12, 1999.
- Ugh -- heap big discography adds. Abbey 202; Ronnie 2151; Preview 1638 and an unknown number; Hartco 101; unknown numbers on Crescendo, Action ("A Talk With Patsy" b/w "Citizens Band Hammer Happy Mama"), Columbine, George Liberace, Jam-Town (new label), MSR, Nashco and Windy-City ("Nutty Nutty Ball" b/w "Put On That Coffee Pot"). Four on Dolly-O: 1017 ("Happy Birthday Dear Jesus"), 1024 (the latter adding further information), and two of unknown number. Two of unknown number on Wesley, a new label. Three of unknown number on Hyperbolic, a new label and the heir to Air. Three of unknown number on Globe. Jay Bird 1035 (with ad) and 1038 (both formerly of unknown number), plus three of unknown number. A note added to Film City 3044. A writing credit added to Cowtown EP-677, plus a Cowtown unknown number. Mayhams Collegiate OV-669. And an album on Jody -- information is skimpy, but we hadn't known that they'd done any albums at all.
- Added another cover version of "Transfusion" to the Nervous Norvus discography, this one by Commander Cody & His Lost Planet Airmen.
- Added a few graphics, all from ads in Songwriter's Review. First is a small one from 1977, regarding a song by Bright McWhorter included on Preview LP 249. It's a nice example of a song-poet taking the initiative to promote his or her own song, rather than waiting for the company to not do it. Typically, facts and English are mangled most enticingly. Second is a full-pager from 1976 for a single on Jay Bird. And the third one, also from '76, doesn't really fit anywhere else, so we've put it here. Note the misspelling of Hasil's name.
- Added a page detailing radio specials based on the Dion McGregor Dreams Again CD.
- A small item added to the Songwriter's Review page: "Rantings, Spewings & Sputterings."
- Added Safari 103 and Meloclass 1000.
- Added a listing for John Waters' Female Trouble to the Nervous Norvus discography. A verse and a chorus of "Dig" is used in the film. Also added a gratuitous reference on the main Norvus page to blues great Peetie Wheatstraw, who like Norvus (and Tina Turner) spent his early years in Ripley, Tennessee.
- Revised the introductory notes to the H. Kirkus Dugdale page.
- Added Preview 1983, a single, and Hollywood Artists HAR-81, an album. The latter, an estate sale discovery of field rep Mike Haeg, looks like it might be a good one; it includes a previously-undocumented James Wilson, Jr. song, "We Love The Kingdom," and a song allegedly about the clandestine joys of S/M, "Dark Love."
- Learned that Donna Zuker, the 9- or 10-year-old girl (a corruption of "Zukor") who sings "I Think It's Almost Christmas Time" on Fable 603, grew up to become teenage singing sensation Donna Loren, who recorded the amazing "So, Do The Zonk," sang in several AIP beach party movies, and appeared on both Batman and The Monkees.
- Added another to the growing list of barely-substantiated Cowtown titles. It's there at the bottom of the page.
- Further info (songwriting credits) on Tin Pan Alley 145.
- Changed Nashco 14890 to its correct number, 629, and added its liner notes.
- Added two new bits to the Songwriter's Review page, both from a 1947 batch of SRs located by field rep John Fitzpatrick. One of the items is an odd letter to the editor that reads like a message from then to now; the other is about a song-shark episode of the radio drama The Adventures Of Superman.
- Posted a huge batch of 45s gleaned from mid-'70s issues of Songwriter's Review -- 58 new items in all. However, since this information is taken from ads and news articles, most of it is sketchy at best. Very few, for instance, indicate catalogue numbers; those that do we shall list first: Dolly-O 1024 and 1028, plus one "number unknown" (the latter a "true-to-life original country music type number" entitled "Patty Hearst Is A Legend"); Action 1077 plus six "number unknown"s (one of them by Stan Beard with Doc Severinsen's Orchestra doing "Beer Much Too Many," which sounds like it might have been written with Ed McMahon in mind); four on Jay Bird; six on National Songwriters Guild; 27 on Cowtown (including "Iowa's Moose Man"); one each on Sterling; George Liberace; Nashco; TDS (The Flying Discos doing Phil Carroll's "Disco Doll"); MSR; Preview; Cinema; Windy-City; Columbine; Endeavor; and Abbey. Also, added further information to a "number unknown" on Windy-City, appending to the song "It Would Be Heaven" the subtitle "If It Wasn't Sin," making for a much more intriguing title.
- No other song-poem label had so much as one great '60s punk band, but Tropical Records of Deland, Florida had two. Florida discographer and AS/PMA field rep Jeffrey Lemlich informs us that some members of The Offbeets, a song-poem band who made some records for the Tropical label of Deland, Florida, later formed We The People, famous for "You Burn Me Up And Down" and "Mirror Of Your Mind." Tropical also cut some records with the lead singer and other members of The Nightcrawlers, responsible for the death-defying "Little Black Egg."
- New field rep Mike Haeg brings us news of three new albums, Royal Master 4343 and 8020 and Nashco 14890. Judging just by the song titles -- especially Vivian Golder's "Ode To My Kidney Stone," on RM 8020 -- all three look like they might be winners. Also added Command Performance 428, from 1979 -- by two years the latest find for that label.
- Added a healthy haul of new 45s: Vandalia 125 (any new Arpaia discovery is cause for celebration); MSR 154, 865, 2183, 2579, 2618, 2621, 2632, 2634 ("Sagittarian Woman In The Year Of The Horse"), 2645, 2637 and 2642; Tin Pan Alley 130 and 803; Star X 525; Odle 165; Command Performance 108; Brite Star 2459; Inner-Glo 112; Sterling 443 and 449; and Jody 9029 (and any new Jody discovery is cause for celebration, as well). Added further information (mostly in the form of writer credits, where we had none before) to Noveline 201 (plus an address for the label); Hi-Lo 2232; Roxie 305; Inner-Glo 105 and Cowtown 809 (including yet another PO box for this Texas label).
- Added to both the News and Shadow World pages a link to an article posted to Irwin Chusid's Songs In The Key Of Z website in which Jeff Grimshaw, a writer for the Delaware Valley News, describes his experiences running his own short-lived song-poem company in the late '70s. It's a very funny piece, and as you can judge by all of our links to it, we really don't want you to miss it.
- Field rep Michael Greenberg has found an interesting alternate song title for Anton 101/102. The B-side, entitled "You Want To Be Babied, Baby," was also released in a version that read "You Won't Be Babied, Baby." As the lyrics match with the former title, our guess is that the latter version was released first, then recalled at the customer's insistence so that a correct version could be issued instead.
If all the customers demanded that song-poem companies correct their mistakes, they'd have been out of business in a month.
- Added to the Nervous Norvus discography mention of a Tom Waits tribute to Norvus.
- Launched a new page, in development for some weeks, in which we document the business practices of a particularly virulent type of song shark. The typical song-poem entrepreneur is a small-timer, and is quite content to deal in easy, short-money transactions, accumulating his wages by working in volume. But there is another type of shark who is after the big kill, scams that run into dollar amounts of four and five figures.
Hecht is the attributed co-writer of "Walkin' After Midnight," a credit which he has used as his calling card for many years. Our new page, entitled Donn Hecht Organization, reprints a sequence of letters sent by him in 1997 to an amateur songwriter -- a "mark." Also included is a copy of Hecht's absurd contract, and documentation of a series of liens against him for nonpayment of federal income taxes.
The Donn Hecht Organization page will be part of our Shadow World section.
- Completed info on Scatman Crothers' version of "Transfusion," adding the further details and an illustration of the Tops EP to our Nervous Norvus discography. Sharing a side with the Scatman track is a song by Gene Merlino, one of the top song-poem vocalists of all-time.
- Completed a major overhaul of our Nervous Norvus/Singing Jimmy Drake page. Phil Milstein's article, entitled "The Many Mysteries Of Nervous Norvus," accounts for months of exciting research on one of the most interesting song-poem demo artists of them all. Besides reproductions of his 1956 features in Time and Life magazines (which we've had up there for a while), we offer a detailed mini-biography and discography of this legendary artist. The article is designed to complement "The Cotton-Pickin' Convolutions Of Nervous Norvus," Milstein's equally in-depth article in the latest issue (#17) of Cool & Strange Music magazine -- combined, the two pieces are by far the most accurate and detailed versions of of his life and career ever published. Milstein also wished to announce the publication of his article "Ernie T., Superstar," about Ernie Tucker's fascinating exploitation labels of the early 1970s, in the new issue (#18) of Ugly Things.
- Added Century 21 SS-102-S, a 1981 album that includes "Secure," a new discovery from the pen of the legendary Thomas Guygax. This album looks like it might be a great find overall, with titles such as "I'll Never Get Drunk Anymore," "Why Jesus?" (rather than the more Christian "Why, Jesus?"), "Don't Blow Your Smoke On Me," etc., etc. Song-poets besides Guygax include an Esquivel, a Kitchen, and a Shoebottom.
- Added a single, Preview 1603, and an album, Royal Master 7003, featuring "My Mother" by Frugie Warnick.
- A nice batch of good-looking singles go up today: Film City 1096, apparently a vanity project by Bert Lowry; MSR 362, 2283 and 2345 ("Bowling Alley Bowling Alley" b/w "Goosey Lay Down That Golden Egg," an especially inviting discovery for field rep/bowling enthusiast Brian Gordon); Preview 1820 and 2306; and some latter-day Tin Pan Alleys: 13-388, 47-526 ("I'm All Alone On My Homestead"), 47-527 and 48-531. Our best guess on those prefix numbers on TPA is that they refer to recording sessions, logged sequentially.
- Added a single on Mayhams Collegiate, 38711/38812. Although this version of "Grits And Gravy (Miscalculatin Mama)" is identical to the one listed above it (38711), most of Mayhams' multiple releases on the same titles are completely different recordings from each other. Perhaps some day we'll document these distictions, but don't hold your breath. It is time also for us to update some of the factual information in the "Mayhams Mayhem" article, to account for some recently-acquired personal data on Norris The Troubador. This task in fact is on our "To Do" list, and will get done as soon as we wrap up a few other projects.
- Added three albums, courtesy field rep Rich Haupt. New to the discography are Sunrise HS-106 (including contributions from song-poets Thomas J. "Speed" Funari and Saye Z. Gorgor), Rainbow HG-529 (John Edward Ploszkiewicz, Mrs. Rosalinda Adams (Sugar) and Texas T. Trott) and Columbine NST-37 (Bee-Jaye Jones and Dale A. Weed).
- Added a comment to Fable 595 concerning the label's catalogue numbering scheme.
- Four additions from field rep John Fitzpatrick, three singles and an album. The album is Rainbow HG-552, which includes a song with the intriguing title "Flight 007," and another, "I Know You Have A Girlfriend," written by Jewell Showers. John's new singles are Star-Crest 40, Abbey 630 and Kama K-781. The higher catalogue number may have thrown us off in our assessment that the Kama record should appear at the end of that label's discography; indeed, the group name (Danny Bowens & The Avengers) and the fact that the B-side is a cover of "Tossin & Turnin" [sic] indicate that it might have been released well before Kama's OV series. But when in doubt, we prefer to let the numbers fight it out amongst themselves.
- Added Wolf-Tex 10927/10928 and Film-Tone 200 (recorded by Ken Starr, probably paying his way through law school).
- Added two CDs on Magic Key, including four tracks ("Groove Miss Mommy," "Potential To Be The Call Now") contributed by exciting new song-poet Exorcir Magare Missionaries. The Utah-based label doesn't number-code their releases -- today's additions can be found at the bottom of the page, the only ones with '99! in the title.
- Added Film City 2084 (another Dick Martin vanity jobber), Abbey 201 (their earliest Abbey found to date), Sherwood 1292 and Jody 5005. Any new Jody discovery is cause for celebration, and invariably both answers and raises questions about the operations of this fascinating label. This latest, turned up by field rep Don Bolles, is a mini-EP that includes a Rodd Keith track, and is a duplicate of a 45 on Ann but with the addition of a third song. We also revised the Jody intro text to take this odd new find into account.
- Added three 45s: Panorama END-114, Tin Pan Alley 279, and our first 12" disco single, Mayhams Collegiate OVL-161. For a while we've been running an ad on the Mayhams page for this same single, the one with the sleazy photo of The Seaboard Coastliners in which it is reported that their "new DISCO version is HOT with the Youngsters in the Seventies." With the discovery of the actual record by field rep Michael Greenberg, we can finally join the ad to its discographical listing.
- Reported the sad news of the death of jazz great Teri Thornton, aka song-poem great Teri Summers.
- Revised our H. Kirkus Dugdale page by posting an advertisement for the company found in a 1914 almanac. It's a very nice ad, larger and more informative than those for other song-poem companies, plus it's printed on an appealing salmon stock (either that, or the paper faded into that color over the years). The "Beautifully Illustrated Book on Song Writing" sent for free to respondents is likely the same brochure reprinted in full on our Dugdale page. You'll find the almanac ad tacked on at the bottom of that page.
- Added Columbine CRH-235.
- Added Royal Master 4004, another Elvis tribute album. Filled out Fable 577/578 and 609 with more complete information.
- Jon Ward checks in with Columbine NST-30, which includes such intriguing titles as "Only You And I Were There," "Terror's Delight" and "Grandma's Into Rock." And John Fitzpatrick checks in with four singles: Brite Star 2470, Bryte 60708, Preview 1870 ("The Amazing Helicopters") and Belle-Meade 419 ("Binoculars").
- Added a new page to the Shadow World section, describing the Daddy-O Duckcut sequence from the Steve Roper newspaper comic strip. The 1954 series accurately depicts -- with dramatic exaggeration, of course -- the behind-the-scenes goings-on of the song-poem industry. Racket-busting reporter Roper goes undercover, posing as a song-poet, to investigate Duckcut's Hi-Art Publishing and Recording Company. On the eve of his exposé hitting the streets, Roper's cover is blown. Mayhem ensues, and by the end of the sequence two men will have died in a pool of song swindle blood. Our plot synopsis is accompanied by sample panels, but gore-hounds will be disappointed because selections are limited to the song-poem stuff only.
- Fleshed out details to Mayhams 115-120, "We'll Build A Bungalow" b/w "Mint Julep Bloomin' Like A Tulip," including the fact that the full artist credit reads Norris The Troubadour & The Three Blue Chips. This is the first appearance of The Blue Chips -- which was the group name Mayhams used on his apparently legit recordings in the '30s -- in our song-poem discography. Thanks to field rep Michael Greenberg for this new info. Also, replaced the existing photo of bandleader Johnny Long, who had a hit in 1950 with Mayhams' song "We'll Build A Bungalow," with one that is clearer, and in color.
- Added a postscript to the Songs For Sale story -- anecdotes from staff singer Rosemary Clooney's autobiography, including an encounter with Jacqueline Bouvier.
- For the first time, we have added a label to our Discographies index that wasn't actually a label. Nordyke was a song-poem powerhouse in the 1940s and early '50s, but they served the sheet music market almost exclusively. In fact, it was the rise of the recording end of the song-poem industry that, in part, did the company in. But their importance was such that we felt we should document their story, yet we weren't quite sure where else we should situate it. Further indication of our ambivalence on where to place the Nordyke story is the fact that we are also linking to it from the Shadow World page, ordinarily reserved for articles that don't anchor to anything else. Nordyke's is an interesting story of a company that got too big for its britches, and although it appears here in condensed form (the expanded version will be in the book), we urge you to read it.
- Added MSR 2552 ("From An Old Man To A Young Man," an open letter to Freddy Prinze) and Film-Tone 135. Film-Tone (and Star-Crest, too) was related to Nordyke.
- Added Nada 1052.
- Added five singles: Brite Star 7893; Preview 1594 and 1595 ("What Goes On In Lover's Lane"); MSR 321 ("The Alaska Polka"); and Advance 1101.
- New graphics: a great headshot of Royal Master owner Alex Zanetis, with open-necked shirt, gold chains and blow-dryed hair, courtesy of John Fitzpatrick; and a new label graphic for Tiny Tim's Vic-Tim label, in color, courtesy of Ernie Clark.
- Field rep John Fitzpatrick has located an interesting item, a gospel album on Royal Master (19860) that was not a song-poem record, but rather was written and recorded by RM president Alex Zanetis.
- Found a record number, courtesy of Ernie Clark, for Tiny Tim's "The Ballad Of Attica Prison" b/w "The Prisoners Song," on Vic-Tim. This discovery prompted us to revise some of the text on the Vic-Tim page.
- Added a pair of 45s: Preview 2468, and Panorama END-1005. Panorama, affiliated with Endeavor, is new to our discographies.
- Added two photos of Michael Kasberg to the Kay-Em page.
- There are a number of websites intended to promote what is either a true song-poem business, or something very similar. Newcomers that have sprung up in the Internet era have posted relatively worthwhile sites -- passably attractive, and adequately serving the company's needs. But the older song-poem companies that are trying to contemporize themselves via retrofitted websites have been failing miserably at it. Ramsey Kearney and Magic Key have each had peakaboo sites -- now it's working, now it's not -- that even when operational would embarrass anyone else; they really could be used as illustrations of how not to to design a website. To this list we now add Keith Bradford's KMA Records. There may be others.
- Added Preview 2363. Corrected the songwriting credit to the A-side of Preview 1092.
- Added a lot of singles: MSR 2392, 2400, 2401, 2501, 2768, 2894, 2934, 2935, 2941, 3009 and 3010; Preview 1228; Crescendo 131; Tin Pan Alley 354, and two with unknown numbers (at bottom of list; one title reads "I'm Sorry I Put On Charlie's Shoes"); and two singles, including "Volusia," on Harry's Songs, a new label, from Florida. Refined information on Tropical 106, 112 and 116; an unnumbered single on NSG, "Suddenly You Realize" b/w "Emotions." Also, found dates for most of the Kay-Em albums. Added five songs in unknown formats on KMA.
- Posted to the News page information on Get Me Rodd Keith!!, the world's first song-poem musical. It'll run in San Francisco from late April to late May.
- Added Sterling 802, "The Power Of Love" b/w "Speed." Might be a good one!
- Added an article to the Not Quite Song-Poem page about Frank Sinatra's stab at singing amateur material. An album is available.
- Finally received a copy of the Norris The Troubador album first entered on 1-18-00, on Mayhams Collegiate. Some of our preliminary information had been wrong, and today's entry corrects those mistakes. More importantly, though, getting our hands on an actual copy reveals some fascinating new details.
First of all, whereas all we'd previously seen of the cover was a small black-and-white image in a magazine ad, it turns out that the illustration -- of a speeding locomotive, for reasons which we cannot fathom -- is surrounded by a beautifully garish reddish-pink border. Pasted into one of the train's transom windows is the date "1776," with "1976" in the other. We could understand if the title, therefore, referred to the Bicentennial, but in fact it reads Our Centennial Album (emphasis ours). The back cover shows that that the album has an equally puzzling subtitle, Riding Nostalgia And New. Pasted into an area above the cow-catcher in the cover illustration is the acronym "N.T.T.S.C.L.," which, we are left to presume, refers to the nominal artist of this album, Norris The Troubador Seaboard Coastliners. (It is actually a mélange of recordings from different sources, some of them by Norris The Troubador himself and others by various song-poem companies.)
The back cover includes liner notes, which we reproduce in full beneath the entry for Our Centennial Album, and which tell some of Mayhams' life story.
Best news of all is that the album is a double-LP. However, we've been unable to hear it yet, because the holes are too small to fit on our turntable spindle, even with great force. We now have to find some way to file them wider before we'll be able to delight in the sounds of N.T.T.S.C.L.
- The AS/PMA is starting to feel mighty real. Thanks to Rob Coleman of Designstein, Inc., we are as of now operating under our own domain name. Henceforth, the AS/PMA website will be reached via http://www.aspma.com. In fact, Rob has done such a good job of putting this upgrade together that we're equally reachable via the ultra-concise http://aspma.com. Our e-mail address is now fxxm[at]aspma.com.
We are still shaking out a few kinks, but they'll hopefully be quite minor. Let us know if you find any problem spots on the site.
All this is just Phase One of Rob's big plans. Coming up we will be unveiling a major addition to the AS/PMA website. We don't wanna spill the beans just yet, but will say only that before long you'll be able to hear a lot more from the song-poem world.
Rob has asked for nothing in return for his help with this upgrade, so our recommendation of Designstein for all your web hosting and design needs is unsolicited, and unequivocal. Their CEO, by the way, is Steven Greenberg, the creator of the great 1980 disko hit "Funkytown."
- Added Columbine CRH-70.
- Added a scan of one of the Kasberg LP covers to the News page, more for decorative purposes than illustrative. We have been working for some time on introductory notes to the Kasberg / Kay-Em page. So far we've been unable to make sufficient sense of Mr. Kasberg's oeuvre, but the moment we cross an admittedly low threshold of usefulness in that area, we will be sure to post what we've got.
- Added two singles, Preview 1092 (our first discographical add culled from an eBay auction) and Tin Pan Alley 284. Modified information for a single on Igloo; the record that had been listed as #1003 now becomes 125/126, with songwriter credits added (Officer Mactavish!) along with more accurate title information. Thanks to field rep John Fitzpatrick for coming up with this one -- his payoff is that, as he reports, the record is a great one.
- AS/PMA field rep Don Bolles has located and procured a major stash of 45s on the Preview label, as well as LPs and 45s by the amazing Michael Kasberg. Below we list new catalogue numbers from Don's discovery. See the News page for a list of the items that Don has for sale, as well as an e-mail link so you can haggle directly with him.
New singles on Preview are 1269, 1270, 1280, 1286, 1287, 1288 ("Strange Goddess"), 1294, 1297, 1300, 1334, 1358, 1359, 1360, 1377 and 1414, and additional information on 1376. The Kasberg album, on his own Kay-Em label, is 502, An Encore For ... Michael Kasberg. For both labels, today's information completes long strings of consecutive numbers. We have now logged 510 singles on Preview, an amazing total considering the label's utter obscurity.
- Added one album, Royal Master 8080, a discovery of Canadian field rep Brian Linds. There's a great typo in one of the titles: "You're My First And Only Lone."
- Added a healthy batch of newly-discovered 45s, including some very exciting titles: Boney 103; Bryte 909; Chandler 4223 (new label); Command Performance 213; Film-Tone MH-131 (new label); Mayhams 1958-BB (we have just about lost count of how many variations of 1958 there were on Mayhams, as well as how many permutated releases of both "Run Away Heart" and "Blue Am I"); MSR 315, 2630, 2967 ("Disco Turning Point" b/w "The Disco Dancing Train") and 2968 ("Hostage Tango"); Preview 1049, 1572 ("Coffee Pot Song"), 1972, 1990 ("Pale Pink Magic"), 2701 ("Fisherman Fisherma'am"), 2792 and 3165 (the highest-numbered Preview 45 found to date); Silver Star 1012 and 1042 (with these two more "legit" additions to the growing Silver Star discography, we are considering delisting all but their one verifiable song-poem release); Staff 319 (also not a song-poem record); and Sterling 467 ("Our Thanksgiving Blessings Are Great" co-written by Shirley Tobin, aka the great vocalist Shelley Stuart), 666 (found in England! Includes the hits "Oo Wow Oo Wow Oo We" and "Hello There, Johnny Rivers") and 711. Also, added songwriting info for Allstar 7309.
- Added one album and a small batch of singles. The album is Rainbow HG-632. Singles are Columbine HV-51 (an EP); MSR 667; Film City 1009, 1078 and 4032 ("Beer Can Drag," a surprisingly late Patty Stanton entry); and Preview 1065 ("Explosion Love"), 1189, 2551 and 2753.
- Added a brief bit to the Songwriter's Review page flagging the demise of the Twist craze as early as July, 1962.
- Added a cute squib from 1954 about a songwriting flagpole sitter to the Songwriter's Review page.
- Scanned a full-page National Songwriters Guild ad from Songwriter's Review. It's a great ad, featuring four photos that, taken together, offer a staged yet still fascinating look behind the scenes at a song-poem operation. We don't know the issue date, but suspect it was in the late '60s or early '70s, which is interesting because the photos look like they were taken in the '50s or early '60s. The image is fairly large and might take a bit of time to download, but we promise it'll be worth the effort.
- Extended and corrected parts of the listing for Tin Pan Alley 19-412. TPA's numbering system gets weird right around the time of that release, as they added a two-digit prefix to their previously-straightforward sequential numbers. The pattern is that some of the prefix numbers duplicate each other, with releases sharing a common prefix having sequential numbers that are nearby. Our conjective is that the prefix digits are a code for the recording session, while the rest of the number, as before, refers to the release.
- Added two photos to the Tropical page, one of label president Bob Quimby and another of an ad pushing their disco song-poem productions. To make room, we removed the Betty Bond Sings Pop graphic, a terrible scan of a great record cover.
- Added a terrific photo of Patty & Sandy Stanton & The Swinging Strings, performing live in the '50s at the C&W hoedown in the L.A. area, to the Film City page.
- Added a scan of the title page of "Wyoming Song," a music sheet of a 1906 song written by H.N. Babcock and published by Success Music Co. It is notable for the powerful mystery of its photograph of three people standing in an open field, which appears to be farmland during an off-season. The man is dressed in some sort of clown costume but wears no makeup. His brow is furled and he is scratching his forehead. Perhaps he is trying to make sense of the scene himself. Next to him are two primly-dressed young women, who stare unflinchingly at the camera. They all look like they've been up to something, or are about to be up to something.
- Added a very brief history of Success, the first known song-poem company and the dominant one of the early years of the 1900s, under the cover illustration of "Love's Sweet Dawn."
- Replaced illustrations on the Abbey page, taking down the Beverly Aadland pic and putting up in its place an ad for Eleanor Gless' majestic "Snobows," aka "Snow Bows."
- Today we announce the earliest song-poem yet discovered, "Love's Sweet Dawn" by Amelia Baker, entered for copyright January 7, 1901. It displaces "I Vow That You Shall Never Know," from May 25, 1901, as the record-holder. Because of complications in the copyright procedure back then, we had to engage in a bit of deception to create the illustration of the title page. The "LSD" page tells the story.
- Added several short, funny articles about The Beatles to the Songwriter's Review page, spanning January 1964 to January 1965. The section includes a hilarious ad for National Songwriter's Guild, headlined "Write In The Style Of The BEATLES."
- Added three singles, of unknown numbers, to the Windy-City page.
- Delisted Tropical 101, which is apparently from a different Tropical also located, coincidentally, in Florida.
- This is a really good one, a behind-the-scenes account of what it was like to work for a song-poem company (the decrepit Richard Brothers, of Chicago) during the Depression. The article, reprinted from a 1950 issue of Songwriter's Review, is entitled "I Worked For A Hack Writer." Includes shadowy photos.
- Added or revised illustrations on the following pages: Film City ("Take your ditty to Film City!"), George Liberace (photo of George playing violin), Jody (added yellow hiliter over "Basil" Adkins in "She Said" ad), MSR (swapped out the photo we'd been using of Teri Summers for an older one), National Songwriters Guild (screwy "Loving Family" drawing) and Songwriter's ("Any Dance" ad).
- Added four articles to the Songwriter's Review page: "TV Offers A Singer A Greater Chance Than Ever To Sell A Song," from May 1948; Elvin The Pelvin, from January 1956, in which they don't quite have Elvis' name down yet; Jamaica Ska Invading Diskdom, from July 1964, anticipating a ska boom on these shores that wouldn't arrive for another 30 years; and Protest Protesters, an anti-anti-war rant from January 1966.
- We are very pleased to announce the addition of an important new page to the AS/PMA website. Published between 1946 to 1979, Syde Berman's Songwriter's Review was a monthly newsletter for amateur songwriters. Although it covered a variety of topics pertinent to songwriting, by-and-large it was a fanzine about the song-poem industry. We have spent much of the past year locating and photocopying issues of SR from public libraries in New York, Boston and Philadelphia, and have begun the even-longer process of disseminating wads of juicy song-poem data from its pages. Much of this information has been and will continue to be incorporated into appropriate areas of this website, but certain items we find in SR just don't fit easily into this place or that. The Songwriter's Review page will be a repository of those items, and is highly recommended to our readers. Making cameo appearances are Johnny Ray, Napoleon XIV, Bud Abbott, lepers, spastics and Charles Manson. Includes pictures.
- Added "Jet Man," a 1957 single on Big Ben of unknown number, unknown artist and unknown B-side.
- For the first time in a while we have more albums to announce than singles, although not by much. The lone single is Sterling 458, a split Norm Burns/Shelley Stuart release. New albums are Rainbow HG-532, Columbine NST-50, and Hollywood Artists HAR-86. The latter in particular includes some very promising song titles. Funky on the mellow tip, y'all.
- Major revision of the Songs For Sale article on the Not Quite Song-Poem page, revealing new information that the show was a hoax played out by CBS at the expense of amateur songwriters, who just can't seem to win.
- Modified the main Ascot page. Added to the bottom of the page "Ascot Extras" text discovered in an expanded version of the brochure, and revised the introductory text, mainly to incorporate the fact that we've finally been able to date this piece, at c.1962.
- Added a couple of Preview singles, 1304 and 2229. Titles on the latter are "The Great Richard Nixon" b/w "President Richard Nixon," both written by song-poet John Montague. Added a single on Fun, number unknown.
- Delisted three Crescendo titles, discovered to have been products of GNP Crescendo, an L.A. label best remembered as home of The Seeds, rather than the song-poem Crescendo, which was from New York.
- The AS/PMA brain trust has endured months of internal debate on the question of whether to add to the song-poem discographies a label -- Jody Records, of Brooklyn -- with no known song-poem releases. Although we were turning up some great information, the move was hard to justify. Finally, though, a Jody release by Damita, a female singer from the Globe stable, was spotted in a doo-wop record price guide, a discovery that triggered today's addition of Jody. The story, though brief, is a fascinating one, and includes a scan of an ad for "She Said," by "Basil Adkins." Don't miss it.
- Added four singles: Preview 1253, Film City 1024, Tin Pan Alley 119/120 and Dial 2219 ("The Santa Claus Polka").
- Massive upload of new records, mostly 45s. In no particular order, the new singles are: Film City 1004, 1026 ("Pet It"), 2017 and 3021; Crescendo 104 and 111 (listed out of numerical order, because this label appears to have started at the 100s, then a few years later gone back and started at the 100s again); Mayhams 1962-A, plus further info on Mayhams 1960, which we'd already had listed in part; Preview 1926 and 1933; Spade (new label) 1445; Inner-Glo 117; Mama (new label) 1/2; a Novart single with an unknown number; Co-Ed 114-121 and 115-121 (the latter yet another version of Norris The Troubador's "We'll Build A Bungalow"), plus further info on Co-Ed 1960, which we'd already had listed in part; Air 5065; Ann 101 ("She Got His Nose Wide Open"); Colt 620 and 621; Cowtown 801; Dottie 1129 ("Chocolate Covered Ants") and 1130; Kama 501; MSR 2373; Pledge 108; Staff 103, 210, and an unnumbered record, perhaps an acetate; and Sterling 681. One cassette, a demo on Five Star Music Masters, a division of Sterling. This item has caused us to break two acetate demos, which we'd previously had folded into the Sterling discography, out onto a separate Five Star page. An album on MG, a new label. One of the songs on this album was co-written by Murray Wilson, possibly the Beach Boys' father in spite of the different spelling of his first name. De-listed all but one single from the Carib label, leaving just one record. This due to the no-overwhelming evidence that Carib was a legitimate Caribbean record label, commissioned by song-poet U.A. Milligan of the Virgin Islands to release his songs in versions recorded by an American song-poem company. Added graphics to the MG and Cowtown pages. With this upload we welcome two new AS/PMA field reps, Matt Berg and Gretchen Phillips. Gretchen once recorded a cover version of "Jimmy Carter Says Yes," personalizing it as "Gretchen Phillips Says Yes." Yay.
- Added throughout the site a navigational button to the new Search page.
- Made moderate revisions to the Arpaia introductory text.
- Added a photo of song-poet/Billy-O label prexy Billy Owens, of Melbourne, Australia. Owens also had songs of his on MSR and Air.
- Until now, the only photo doing double duty on our website has been a great one of Sandy Stanton, founder and president of the Fable and Film City labels, picking out a guitar chord while standing alongside his self-invented Electronic Harmonica. While that photo remains on the Fable page, our duplicity is now brought to an end with the addition to the Film City page of a newly-discovered photo of Stanton. It's another great shot, this time with almost an evil leer on his face as he plays a double-necked guitar. The Electronic Harmonica makes a return appearance, as well. Accompanying the pic is a promotional blurb taken from the same Songwriter's Review ad as the photo itself.
- The AS/PMA is happy to announce the introduction of a search engine to its website. By going to our Search page, users are now able to type in a word or phrase they hope to find within our site, and be returned with a list of pages containing that text. (Inserting quote marks before and after the search string seems to give more accurate results.) The search is also available from the Label Discographies index page.
Before long we hope to add a navigational button linking to the Search page, but we wanted to get it up and running as soon as possible, so for now use either of the above hyperlinks to get there.
- Revised the intro text to the Tin Pan Alley page, with fascinating new information garnered from an interview with singer Gus Colletti. Mr. Colletti also patiently read us the info from his personal collection of Tin Pan Alley releases, allowing us to now list four additional singles (161/162, 209, 216 ("Santa Is A Superman," by song-poet Omer Rawhouser), and 219) and to provide fuller and more correct info on three more (206, 208 and 213).
- Added an LP, Hollywood Artists HAR-79. Includes "Mmmm, Nice," plus two songs co-written by Nashco staff composer Will Gentry. What gives there?
- Added 23 45s, information for which is sketchy. These are mostly taken from ads and brief news items in the amateur songwriter tipsheet Songwriter's Review. Catalogue numbers are unknown for all of these; thus, they're listed as "number unknown" at the bottom of their respective discography pages. Here we'll just list the labels, and quantities of new items for each: Cowtown (5); Air (2); MSR (1); Billy-O (2); National Songwriters Guild (6); and Film City (7).
- Found an address for Arco Records, and fuller information for Arco 4630. One version of 4630, anyway, as there seem to be two different records with that same number.
- A nice haul of new stuff, mostly from the collection of field rep Michael Greenberg. On the 7-inch side we have Sterling 785, 825, 901, 926, 929, 951, 952, 957, 964 ("A Prayer For John Lennon"), 970 and 974; Halmark 101785; Iris 2003/2004; Dolly-O 1019 (an EP, including "A Bowler's Glee" and "The Nose"); Mickey 112/113 (new label); Tin Pan Alley 62-618; Preview 1968; Endeavor HWD 1-203; and Mayhams Collegiate IRDA 546 and M-213-1-1/M-213-2-2. New albums include Mayhams Collegiate 4904 (with a cover graphic); Rainbow HL-111; and Sunrise X-011 (including the hits "Santa Came On A Nuclear Missile" and "Christmas Wouldn't Be Anything Without You Jesus"). Also, further information on two items already in our discography, Co-Ed 133-27 and Mayhams Collegiate 9999. The latter brings to four the number of different versions of "We'll Build A Bungalow" listed on the Mayhams page.
- Added Preview 2142. Check it out -- it's a doozy.
- Made some interesting revisions to the introductory text of the Mayhams / Mayhams Collegiate page.
- Added a new page to the Songs Without Words section, offering the text of a 1961 magazine article about Capitol Records' contest for amateur lyricists. While I was at it, I made extensive revisions to the introductory text to that section.
- Made further revisions to the introductory notes to the Tin Pan Alley page.
- Revised the introductory text to the Songs For Sale entry, on the Not Quite Song-Poem page.
- Added news of Hasil Adkins' run-ins with Brite Star Promotions to the Brite Star/Bryte page. Also added Brite Star 2267, "I Want Some Of That" b/w "Trashman's Blues," by '60s stompmaster Kai-Ray. The A-side was later covered by The Cramps, while the B-side is likely a reference to The Trashmen of "Surfin' Bird" fame.
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