In an effort to help connect record collectors to the dealers who love them, the AS/PMA today announces the launch of a new message board devoted exclusively to notices of current song-poem auctions. The board is off-site, at ezboard, and we are hoping its functionality does turn out to be ez indeed. It should be considered experimental at this point -- a "beta version," if you will -- and users are invited to inform us of any problems they might encounter there. If it works out, we may attempt to expand its use to a more generalized song-poem-oriented chat board.
For starters, however, we'd like to restrict the board to auction postings only. Posters are asked to read the very brief introductory message (labeled "INTRODUCTION"), which lays down the laws of the land. Also, note that ezboard registration is not required.
The board kicks off with an announcement so important that we feel the need to alert your attention to it here. Michael Greenberg, one of the AS/PMA's first and most dedicated field reps, is auctioning some very exciting song-poem 45s, including a majority of the releases of William Howard Arpaia's remarkable Vandalia label. The deadline is fast approaching, so get on it quick.
We're pleased to announce the launch of our first discography page for a a non-existent label, Lee Hudson. You'll have to read the accompanying notes to find out what the hell we're talking about!
Added a quartet of 45s, including Preview 1176, 2822 and 3002 ("The Fruit Of Self-Control"), and Tin Pan Alley 58-570.
Added the B-side title to Canary 6417.
Added a cool photo of song-poet Michael Alongi to the Film City page.
Revised The Monkees segment of the new Pop Culture References page to incorporate information gleaned from a brief but productive interview with Bobby Hart, co-writer of the song used to simulate Mike Nesmith's song-poem submission.
Introduced an important new page that gathers descriptions of a dozen references to song-poem music in popular culture, each one of them illustrated. Ranging chronologically from 1946 to 1998, the outlets for these references include two radio dramas, a newspaper comic strip, a pulp novel, a feature film and several categories of TV shows. (A few of these descriptions have already been running on the AS/PMA site, but are now moved to the new page.) You'll recognize -- perhaps even delight to -- many of the specific titles, but we'll save those surprises for the page itself. The page will be regularly available from the Shadow World page.
Posted a brace of cool photos, all taken from the pages of Songwriter's Review. The first of these, located on the SR page itself, is of John Lennon and Yoko Ono, with the latter unfortunately misnamed. The Cowtown page gets a new illustration, a photo of label honcho John W. Stephenson presenting one of his records to an unnamed chickie (referred to here as "a friend"). The final two new pix get distributed to the Hit Records Int'l. page, enlivening a previously graphicsless discography. These pictures are both in fact quite breathtaking, with one depicting HRI recording artist Frank Bishop presenting one of his 45s to Danny Thomas, who is wearing some kind of kimono-cum-tuxedo ("tuxono"?) get-up, the other an 8x10 promo shot featuring HRI artists Allen "King" Keller and "Harley Davidson," the latter a buxom young brunette percussionist.
Added a half-dozen 45s, to wit: Columbine HV-32; Hollywood Artists Y-35 ("Bass Me") and Y-36 ("Demon Lord"; Michael Kasberg's "From Mess To Success"); Panorama 112; Preview 2902 ("My Love Motions"); and Shevers 211. Also added a an item to our Cover Versions page, British neobilly boys The Polecats doing Officer Mactavish's "Rockin' Little Eskimo" (original on Igloo).
Field rep Howie Pyro checks in with news of Sunrise HS-118, a hep LP featuring such jump-jivers as Major McKenzie, Jr.'s "A Happy Hooker," a "Brahms Lullaby" not, surprisingly, by Brahms but rather by Lydia Regehr, Ralph London singing of a "Contemporary Love," and Henry Arana's everlasting gobstomper, "The Phone Is Ringing."
Added a Tin Pan Alley single, including "Ring Dang Doo Ting A Ling," of unknown number.
Added four more Cowtown "number unknown"s (including "Level With Me, Leona" and "The Murder Of Julius A. Ross"); another "number unknown" on Globe; one more on Halmark ("Don't Give A Damn, About Vietnam"); another on Tin Pan Alley; and Preview 1130 ("See How My Baby Dresses"), 1669 and 2745. Also an album, Columbine CRH-98 (including "High Illusion," "I Am A Black Ghetto Child," and "Haunted Love.")
Added an MP3, courtesy field rep Jim Blanchard, for The Green Mandala, Bruce Bitkoff's tale of smoking pot to the point of hallucination. Stopping just short of nirvana, he reaches mandala. Wanna hit?
Added Film City 2051, and Preview 1230 and 2862.
Added a large batch of singles to the Tropical discography, using information drawn from the packaging of Collectables' Drive-In A GoGo! series, as documented on our Miscellaneous Albums page. Note that due to the paucity of information offered there we've had to make a number of assumptions, in such areas as the joining of two titles together to form the two sides of a 45; whether a respective title appeared on Tropical or on one of the other labels in the National Songwriters Guild empire; or even whether each title had been previously released at all.
Added Columbine EP-168, an all-Kay Weaver affair featuring "Just Rockin'" and "I Love You As Much As If There Was No Tomorrow."
Repositioned "Yo Yo" from the Unissued portion of the Charlotte O'Hara discography to a new category of Backups, and fleshed the listing out with release information.
Added Hollywood Artists HAR-62, an LP that includes "The Green Mandala," "This Kris Kringle," "Wind Chimes In My Mind" and "Polishing Rust."
New field rep Eddie Reardon, an avid R&B collector with a jones for the Tin Pan Alley label, brings us news of a huge stack of new (to us) TPA singles: 111/112, 126, 137, 140, 169/170 ("Zombies Dance In The Night"), 173, 181, 183, 214 ("At The Rock N' Roll Party"), 228, 229, 235, 245, 248, 251, 260, 268, 320 ("Doing The Uggy Bug"), 329, 332, 340, 342, 345, 359, 364, 8-369, 396, 429, 432, 442, 443, 45-516, 45-517, 45-519, 55-557, 98-805, PA 1101, and one of unknown number. Also, additional info on 185/186, 187, 151/152, 211, 219, 305 and 25-437.
TPA 248, cited above, presents the very interesting possibility of an apostolic succession that would connect the early years of the song-poem industry to a company still in existence today, and in just two steps at that. The A-side, "The Irishman," is credited to Graff-Covais. The latter writer was clearly Jack Covais, Tin Pan Alley's founder and owner. Circumstantial evidence suggests that the former was George Graff, Jr., the lyricist of the 1912 hit "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling," who following that success turned to song sharking. If true it directly links the two men, and hints at a tantalizing scenario of the elder Graff mentoring the acolyte Covais in the ropes of the song-poem business. Covais would later pass this esoteric knowledge (whether learned from Graff or elsewhere) to his nephew Sal Covais, who succeeded him as the principal of Tin Pan Alley, a company he now operates as Broadway Music Productions.
Michael Greenberg has made some corrections to our Canary and Canary Yellow Bird discographies. Most significant of these is the assigning of Canary 2 to CYB instead of Canary proper, and the addition of CYB 3. For reasons which remain controversial, we have decided to fold CYB into the Canary discography, eliminating the former's own label page and necessitating the addition of label nametags before each item.
NRBQ has released a live version of Nervous Norvus' "Dig" on their new CD, Music's Been Good To You (Edisun ED-15), an odds-'n'-ends collection of "previously unreleased live and studio recordings, 1975-2001." The "Dig" version is duly noted on our Nervous Norvus discography page.
Canadian field rep Jon Murphy brings us three new MP3s by Royal Master's great Matt Vincent, whose singing style gives new meaning to the term "world-weary":
- Whiskey Friend: Marlin Woods tries to appease his wife's fury over not being taken out on the town by promising to do his drinking at home from now on. Unimpressed, she whacks him about the head with a kitchen utensil. Finally swayed, he bids his beloved bottle adieu.
- Heading Out Of This World: Frank Swan's ditty is a doozy. Sent to Death Row, apparently without a trial, for shooting a guy "because I didn't like the color of his tie," an inmate reflects on his pact with the Devil, made literally for a song. (Upon hearing that song, you might agree that Frank drew the short end of the deal.) The Devil, it turns out, is a real SOB. While in most Faustian tales the mortal exchanges his soul for a dream-come-true, the fantasy is usually enacted in due time, with the Devil's half of the bargain not consummated until the ordinary end of the contractee's life. In Swan's version, however, the Devil takes "a long time" to get the song produced, yet extracts His payment immediately upon completion of the task. It hardly seems fair.
- Bo Derek On My Mind: Nick R. Schroeder's tale of lust for an international sex object -- hell, he even likes her bo-dacious personality -- doubles as a proletariat work-song, and features some slick lead guitar work to boot. Schroeder deftly squeezes in a rare dual internal pun.
Added 16 more Cowtown titles of unknown catalogue numbers, including "Vision Of Christ In Glass," Grace Brainerd's "I'm An All Time Losing Guy," and, apparently in some sort of nominally-compelled response to Mel Tillis' "Ruby Don't Take Your Love To Town," "I Won't Take My Love To Town" by Ruby Ball. These unnumbered items, which by now occupy a huge sector of the label's discography, are in most cases drawn from Cowtown's standard trade magazine ads, in which company president John W. Stephenson itemized a handful of recent productions, including song titles and the song-poets' names and home states (occasionally adding their home towns, as well). While we assume most if not all of these discs to have been one-sided, unnumbered acetates -- a fact which would, according to our discographical format, afford them with cleaner and more assured designations than they presently have -- without verification of that we'll continue to list them as if they were pressed vinyl records, for which we have but limited information. Hell, for all we really know these songs might not even have been recorded at all, with Cowtown's contract calling only for their being mentioned in the ads.
Added a bunch of 45s: Preview 1212 (a Rodd-er, currently up for grabs on eBay) and 1227; Hollywood Artists Y-190 and Y-195; Sterling 363 and 606; Cinema 7308; Jody 9121; Atomic (new label) 100 and 101; Film City 3023; Fable 706; five Cowtowns of "number unknown" (including "The Wreckers"); and Canary 6417 ("Teenage Party Line"), 6421, 6423 and 8410. Also, completed information (with owner commentary) on Air 5053. Finally, added Gold Crown 40/41 to the Charlotte O'Hara discography, and added date estimate for Gold Crown 40.
Added Preview 1127.
Added Songuild 938.
As promised in our recent News story "Bonnie Was a Treasure," copies of PHILately #7 have arrived, and are being made available for the mere price of postage. Contact us directly to arrange for transfer. We don't have many, so the offer is strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. Thanks to Mick Patrick for the thoughtful donation.
Added two items to the Miscellaneous Albums page, one a very brief listing of a British compilation CD that includes a Norris the Troubadour track, the other a more substantial review of a 3-CD series released by Collectables consisting entirely of Tropical and Carellen recordings.
Added two LPs on Century 21, 1277 and 2277 (including Lee Larsen's "Illusive"), with cover art accompanying the latter.
Added an item to the News page about the availability (and for cheap!) of a CD-R containing MP3 files of the 1946 song-poem sequence of the daily radio serial The Adventures Of Superman. To hear the story of Perry White's strange little personal chef Poco, who speaks only in rhyme, his song "Dizzy Lizzie" and his run-in with "the self-styled Professor Blessing," you'll need to get this CD.
Added a page, linked from the Shadow World page, depicting a 1958 ad for a song-poem company owned by "Heartbreak Hotel" co-author Tommy Durden. This is the only reference for Durden's company we've ever encountered, so it may not have lasted very long.
Added a CD mini-album, The Songs Of Tyrone Boyd, on HillTop.
Added Sterling 635 and 832, the latter of which includes an pro-incest reggae entitled "Mother I Love Your Daughter."
Added a stack of 17 singles on Cowtown. The information is taken from magazine ads in which Cowtown would routinely itemize titles and song-poet names (and home states) for a handful of new releases at a time; consequently, the information for these is sketchy. If you must know, these new ones constitute the 1968 through 1970 "number unknown" entries to the Cowtown discography. Also added, at roughly the same location on the page, is a graphic showing an interesting slice of text from one of those ads.
Added a large batch of both 45s and LPs, most of them filed by field rep Michael Greenberg. First off, Michael has discovered that Cape 104, which he recently acquired but which had been in our discography for a while (from information found in Library of Congress records), is the same record as Sterling 184, although with slightly different artist and songwriter credits. For new 45s, we have PMP (new label, and no wisecracks on the name) 779; MSR 743 ("This Potent Love"), 821, 2370 ("Week End Girls"), 2543 and 2886; Safari SR 120; Cinema 7344 ("Bowler's Request"); Film City 4001 ("Antique Hunter's Craze"); Halmark 15591/15592 ("Explosion") and 26515/26516; Preview 1469 (Rodd Keith singing "She's A Naughty, Naughty Baby"), 2708 and 2854 ("13 People Turned Away"); Silver Star 1032; and Mickey 0017. New LPs are Columbine CRH-215 (with "Can Beauty Such As Yours Be Cruel," "Mephisto Disco" and "Disco Rock 'N' Roll") and CRH-243 (with "Dark Cave" and "Pretty Magazine Ladies"); Nashco 643 (with "Bar Hopping," followed immediately by "Christ, My Inspiration"); Rainbow HG-622 (with "Break My Heart, I'll Do The Same"); and Sunrise HS-066 (with "Child Of Dark").
Referring to the Royal Master MP3s added last week, field rep Irwin Chusid, the provider of those tracks, also provided some brief comments on them:
- "Broken Promises": "Drunk commits suicide."
- "Working Chant Of A Woman" [the title possibly mangled by RM, as a more apparently suitable formation would be "Chant Of A Working Woman"]: "Working woman's lament, sung (well, narrated) by a man."
- "Dusk": "Quasi-philosophical/metaphysical lyrics that border on the Guygaxian. The song seems to make little sense, but [song-poet Jeanine Ralstin] is ambitious in her choice of words."
- "Here With My Luna Love" apparently left Irwin speechless.
Posted an MP3 of Preview 1317, "The Pink, Pink, Lady Of Malibu."
Posted an MP3 of Brite Star 7871, "The Ballad Of Patty Hearst (Listen To Tania)." Although not technically a song-poem record, this track, which depicts the bizarre sociopolitical episode as a simple story of love gone asunder, is so revolutionarily brilliant that it can no longer be repressed.
Added writer credits for Ronnie 1011.
Added an important new article to the News page in which a far-fetched sequence of coincidental events and circumstantial deductions finally reveal to us the identity of Preview's great singer Bonnie Graham. Her story, as explained in the article Bonnie Was a Treasure, also manages to connect Phil Spector, Fred Astaire and Rodd Keith with but one degree of separation. In celebration of the launch of this piece we have added four new Bonnie Graham/Bonnie & Nita MP3s, with links provided at the end.
Added six count 'em six new MP3s, including a pair drawn from Preview 45s and four from Royal Master LP 1212, Thoughts ... Feelings. Among the highlights are Waskey Walls' (of "Jimmy Carter Says Yes" fame) "Nurse, Nurse"; Jeanine Ralstin's "Dusk," with its quatrain "Swearing the pearls, I cast you away from me / Behold the lightning passes unto the sea / And over there we see Tony, Chesty, and Lee"; and Christine Campbell's "Here With My Luna Love," with its immortal refrain, "Come flit away with me, flit away with me, flit away with me." Catch 'em at 45s batch #15 and LPs batch #11, respectively. You'll flit away humming.
Added a reprint of a press release, published as a news article in the May 1969 issue of Western News, about a television pilot produced by Canary Records to showcase its roster of artists and songs. For its descriptions of Boyd Wood's size and the nickname he earned for it; the varied careers of Bobby Wyld; Durward Erwin's Nehru jacket; and the camera close-ups of a live canary -- perched on a guitar neck! -- and the things that Linda Rae does to it, this is one press release that mustn't get tossed in the round file. Available as a pop-up from the Canary discography page. Many thanks to field rep Andy Gallagher for providing this entertaining piece.
Added Belle Meade 430 and Sterling 535 ("Oh! The Precious Blood").
Added three singles on Ronnie: 2305, 2309 and 2310. The latter item appears to be the most interesting, with both "My Life" and "The Storm" written by "Screen Angel Gagen." Field rep Mark Seganish passes along a report from his friend who owns this record: "Dave says both sides are pretty screwed up. 'My Life' is about a woman contemplating suicide, with an ambiguous ending: did she or didn't she jump off the bridge? 'The Storm' is about a person whose prayer stops a terrible storm."
Posted an MP3 for "Danny's Return," an excellent trucking tune from Preview. Although the reproduction is a bit on the hollow side, Rodd Keith's melody and vocal and Fredrick Fargnoli, Jr. lyrics ("So he departed, bound for Orlando / To pick up fruit for the northland-o") are all strong enough to warrant the song's inclusion.
Revised the introductory note to the George Liberace Songsmiths / George Liberace Music page, more for the sake of clarity than the addition of new material.
Added a couple of items to the News page, one an update to the pirate radio story about a commentary site that discusses sharpeworld.com's Profile Of A Dead Song-Poem page, another example of the Web eating its young even faster than TV can; the other about a new song-poem contest in which the so-called King of Pop will record some poor schlub's lyric.
Added Royal Master LP 1212, with "Your Love Makes Me Feel So Good," "Here With My Luna Love" and "Working Chant of A Woman."
Added a trio of 45s: Tin Pan Alley 234 ("My Heart's In Your Keeping") and 34-474, and Ronnie 2262.
Added Songuild 947 ("I Saw The Light," with lyric: "Love goes around in circles / takes in all animals and turtles / what time we do have / until we're blue and purple?"), and Aloha 45 (with sleeve addressed to Roy Smeck; new label).
Added Noval 189.
Added five tracks (encompassed in three album titles) of unknown format, all written by "Girl Joey" Manago, on HillTop.
Added MSR 857 and 2145; Cinema 7302 and 7360; Advance 1007; Canary 6435; and Preview 1973, 1975, 3012 (Notlim Nohamcm's "Know Your Banana"), 3022, 3024, 3039, 3040, 3045, 3048 ("The Puppy Love Massacre"), 3052, 3054 ("I'm A Big Mack Jockey"), 3060 ("Clear The Cobwebs From My Mind"), 3063 ("Rock-A-Billy-Santa") and 3064 ("Troubles Double More").
Added Preview 2213.
Added an epigraph to the "What Is This 'Song-Poem'?" page, a comment from Susan Sontag's On Photography which seems to describe the way in which song-poem music describes America.
Added Process 103, Tin Pan Alley 222 ("Under The Red Powder Puff Tree"), Preview 2269 ("Smoke On 66"), Brite Star 2496, and a batch of eight 45s, all of unknown numbers, on Bryte.
Posted a newly-discovered Nervous Norvus acetate, an alternate take of "Sparks" (this one with sound effects) to the Nervous Norvus/Jimmy Drake discography. A label scan accompanies.
Added MSR 2640, 2641 and 2641, and Songuild 957 ("Luxury Of Lies").
Put in a little effort to sort out the mélange of Bobby Boyles that crop up in the artist credits of various song-poem labels. There are Bobby Boyles on Bryte, Nu-Sound and Roy, and a Bobbi Boyle on MSR, all of them with multiple entries respectively. The latter, obviously, is a female singer -- one of the finest in the business, in fact -- but it turns out that the Nu-Sound Bobby Boyle is a woman, as well, yet a different singer than the one on MSR. That leaves two male Bobby Boyles, but close attention to their records has left undecided the question of whether the Bobby Boyle on Bryte is the same singer as the Bobby Boyle on Roy. Thus, the Bobby Boyles of four different labels may wind up being four discreet Bobby Boyles.
Field rep Bob Purse has graciously provided us with two fabulous new MP3s, the rockin' "Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Potassium" and Norm Burns' "Whirl, Whirl, Whirl." Find 'em at batch #13 of the 45s section of the MP3 page.
Added Preview 1580, and an unnumbered acetate on Globe entitled "Sing Me A Country Song." News of the latter comes to us from Marc Chauvette, whose Las Vegas studio was recently hired by song-poet James Jarosz to record a new version of the song.
Button had one of the most attractive labels in song-poemdom. Field rep Bob Purse sends us a scan to demonstrate.
Field rep Phil Drenth alerts us to two new EPs on Kondas, 111/115//118/108 and 114/110//116/113.
An audit of Cowtown 816, generously facilitated by field rep Andy Gallagher, appears to demonstrate that side A is comprised of Sammy Marshall overdubbing to a prerecorded vocal/instrumental track, while on side B a different singer does the same. A note to this effect has been added at the listing for that record, and (as it doesn't take much to earn a label cross-reference from us) Cowtown and Globe have been linked at the "Affiliated labels" area at the foot of each respective discography.
Added a new single on Roy, with either a very screwy number, or no number at all. Whichever, as it tracks parent company Brite Star to its original location of Newbury, Ohio, it is listed first.
Added songwriting credits for Bryte 240.
Finally nailed down the record previously known as "Bryte 228 (but possibly 229)." The latter it is, and we've got details.
New field rep Andy Gallagher adds eight singles to the Canary discography: 6411, 6425, and consecutive numbers from 6429 to 6434 (including "Old Ugly" and "The Christmas Bunny").
Reversed Embee 117 (in Nervous Norvus/Jimmy Drake discography) change of last week. On further investigation, what we'd misread as 117/118 turned out to be simple 117 after all. The confusion was caused by the label's use of two separate yet related numbering schemes, and our temporary misrecognition of the secondary number as primary. Won't never happen again.
Added an item to the News page about the Sharpeworld website's new presentation documenting AS/PMA curator Phil Milstein's 1994-95 tragicomic attempt to get a single usable song-poem recording out of Tin Pan Alley studios. Sharpeworld shopkeep Jennifer Sharpe's piece will be available not only in Web format but on radio as well; information on her Sharpeworld Pirate Radio Broadcast, premiering April 17, are included in the News item.
Added writer credits for Process 107 ("Hydrogen, Nitrogen, Potassium").
Seeing the split number of the alternate edition of Embee 117 entered yesterday caused us to revisit the original version, to check if it too might be a split that we hadn't previously noticed. Sure enuf it was -- in fact, to complicate matters further, it turned out to bear the same 117/118 numbering as the "new" item. It has now been corrected, and so there are two different Embee 117/118s, which share an A-side but have different flips.
Made some crucial revisions to the "What Is This 'Song-Poem'?" overhaul of a few weeks ago. The result is, we hope, a crisper and clearer, if not necessarily shorter, introduction to the song-poem form.
Added a small batch of newly-discovered 45s: Belle Meade 1120; Blu-J (aka Blue-J) 303; Bryte 250 (including a contribution by Doris Knoll, of "Ladies Day At The Ball Game" fame); Cowtown 816; Preview 1097 (Rodd doing "Get Wet"); 1739 (Waskey Walls' "Nurse Nurse") and 1743; Film City 2033 and Kondas 113/117. Also, augmented info on Kondas 108/111 (formerly listed as 108) and Cowtown 813. Finally, and most excitingly, we've added to the Jimmy Drake discography a new Nervous Norvus listing, "The Plaster Song" (Embee 117/118), written by Drake's publisher Paul Barrett.
Added four Jody singles: 9004, 9054 ("Hustle Bustle," pts. 1 & 2), 9083 and 9165 ("Chloe (The Tippy Toe Dancin' Cherokee)" b/w "Hootie (The Wise Old Owl)").
Australian field rep Gregg Turkington informs us of Film City an EP on yellow vinyl located at a liquidation sale of the National Archives in Canberra. John Ashe, the song-poet, was from Australia, and was also author of a Rod Rogers-recorded concept album about the country's majestic outlying islands (2088). Gregg's find also includes the only motto ever seen on a Film City record: "Top Drawer Songs For Top Line Artists!"
New field rep Paul Cortese brings us news of Columbine CRH-237.
Added MSR 2633. Added further info on Jemkl 001, and address info for the label.
Added Royal Master LP 5656, featuring the hits "Bo Derek On My Mind" and "Buxom Lady." Those are two different songs.
Seeing as we've had an MP3 of Thomas Guygax's "During Evening" available on the site for some time now, it seemed only fitting that we include the song in our page of Guygax lyric transcriptions. Thanks to Irwin Chusid for the words, and the initiative.
Old friend Eric Friedl brings us news from Memphis of the discovery of MSR 632, recently unearthed "in a stack of 45s, mixed in with a bunch of pretty decent soul."
Added a set of three singles and six albums, which had been lurking undocumented for years in the renegade corner of a major song-poem collection. The new 45s are Preview 1939, Canary 02 and Jemkl 001 (new label); for LPs we have Columbine X-1 ("X" for XMas-themed) and M-30; Rainbow HG-502; Nashco 622; Hollywood Artists HAR-45 and Star-Crest 7700.
Field rep Andrew Brown supplied further info on Allstar 7100 -- the label's debut release -- thus completing list details for that item.
The "What Is" page, our official introduction for new visitors as well as primer for song-poem novices, was the very first page ever posted to this site. As such, it has grown increasingly shopworn as the years have passed. Today we have finally gotten around to revising it, with a new essay written from scratch by AS/PMA curator Phil Milstein, as well as some new graphics (while retaining the image of Rodd's smiling face). In recognition of the fact that its rather windy 2000-plus word count might prove counterproductive to the page's mission, we've added a condensed version in pop-up format. The new essay is entitled "What Is This 'Song-Poem'?" We hope that even long-time visitors will find it of interest.
Today we make available a sparkling set of 17 new MP3s, courtesy of ace field rep John Fitzpatrick. Highlights include both sides of a brilliant Mayhams Collegiate 45; "Joedy Is A Wise Guy"; Rod [sic] Keith's "Get Down And Wiggle It A Little," a label scan of which we've used to tantalize you with for some time now; W.L. Horning's demented "Rockin & Rollin'"; two more Cara Stewart/Lee Hudson gems; and "I Got A Record," Margaret Flenory's wonderful tribute to the song-poet's thrill. One cut, "An Unpredictable Girl Like Julia," is in LPs batch #10; the rest are in 45s batch #12. Happy listening.
Field rep Narkspud reports the find of three mid-'70s MSR albums, 239, 250 and 252. The latter two are both Christmas-themed, and include between them such guaranteed gems as "Santa And The Seal," "Misery And Money," "Can't Santa Come In The Summer," "A Man Called Santa Claus," "How Do You Do, Miss Christmasstime," "A Thin Santa Claus" and Sgt. Gregory L. Rice's desperate "All I Want For Christmas Is A Friend."
Repaired a glitch at the end of one of the new MP3s, "I Am Going To Where Jesus Is." See 2-13-02 below for location information.
Ace Chicago-area field rep Bob Purse has provided a large and splendid batch of 20 (count 'em) new MP3s, 19 of which are downloadable from 45s batch #11 and one located at LPs batch #10 of the MP3 page. Bob's presentation includes the MP3 debut of the Les Paul and Mary Ford of the song-poem set, Cara Stewart and Lee Hudson; a really screwed-up vocal overdub by Halmark; and Dolly-O Curran's "Lady Off Pedestal At Notre Dame," which is cherished by all who have heard it. And some memorable lyric zingers, such as:
We assume that by "smack" song-poet Russ Kopasz meant "kiss." But whatever he had in mind, we wish you happy listening.
- "Christopher Columbus And The Compass" (by renowned song-poet Chester T. Finley): "Christopher Columbus / He is nobody's dumbus."
- "Keep Those Hopes Up": "Not everybody's against you / Not completely."
- "Free Love For Sale" (in choir-boy voice): "There's no such thing as free love / You must pay through the nose."
- "Let's Lay It On The Line": "I'm a grown-up little girl / I want you to know / Rock and roll is my speed / Jazz is my pastime."
- "Never Seen A Thing" (spoken, by Dick Kent): "You take her to the club / She gives your back a rub / You say 'I want the truth, just where is Duluth?' / She sips some more vermouth."
- "Life Is A Flame": "Someone is tormenting the ashes of my heart."
- "Mini Girl Song": "She has long, long hair to the middle of her back / Pretty girlish figure and a face you'd like to smack."
Also made some minor revisions to the text of the Nordyke page, mostly by way of mentioning "You Just Furnish The Dough," a 1949 submission the title of which recommends it as a possible anthem for song-poets everywhere.
Michel Proost has provided us with a lot of new information on the Bryte / Brite Star label family. Based on this we've added Brite Star 2435 and 2438; Bryte 280, 306, 1206, 1234, 12873, 80080, 2601, 1076, 6162, 800, and one unnumbered 45; modified an unnumbered item on Brite Star and Bryte 7777 and 7778; and deleted Brite Star's entire 700 series, totalling 11 records which Michel believes were released by a different (Indiana-based) company of the same name.
Added one album, Columbine CRH-149, and five singles, Command Performance 156, 162 (a tribute to Dan Blocker, sung by Donnie Brooks) and 176; Brosh 1200 (a Cara Stewart version of a song also recorded on Preview) and MSR 103. The latter is our earliest MSR discovery to date, although only (so far) a partial listing at that.
Made some significant modifications to the H. Kirkus Dugdale section. The bulk of the page remains unchanged, but we've added some fascinating new pop-up pages under the "Bonus materials" section near the top of the page. We're especially pleased with the "1913 fraud inquiries" page, which reproduces letters of inquiry to Dugdale's customers from both the prosecution and defense sides of his mail fraud case, items recently -- and very generously -- provided us by Mrs. Melanie Stephenson. The letters offer a unique behind-the-scenes glimpse of the song-poem industry, which frankly hasn't changed a whole lot since that time.
Nervous Norvus alert: The 12" Nervous Norvus EP containing all six of his amazing 1956 Dot sides is currently available on eBay. Released in England in the mid-1980s by Big Beat, the EP is much harder to locate than the original singles, and while those may hold greater value to collecting purists, this version offers greater listening convenience, a great cover (although inaccurate liner notes; see ours for the true word), and a great way to grab all of his most important sides in one swell foop. In M- condition, it's being offered by Ugly Things editor Mike Stax, as reliable a source as they come, and the bidding is currently at a very affordable $5.99. It ends tomorrow, Feb. 8, at 11:28p Pacific time.
Added three albums and three singles. In the latter category are Abbey 113 (the earliest so far from this label); Cinema 7717 (one of the latest from this); and an unnumbered Music City Songcrafters acetate. For albums, we have a Columbine album of but partial information; likewise, one on Cowtown; and Cinema CRE 2, an all dead-Elvis collection (from 1980, rather late in that game) and our only LP listed for this label.
Added Tin Pan Alley 123/124.
Michel Proost has compiled for us info on a batch of Elvis-related singles listed in Howard F. Banney's book Return To Sender: The First Complete Discography Of Elvis Tribute And Novelty Records (1956-1986). In the song-poem world, of course, most such tributes proceeded from Elvis' death in 1977. New to the site are Command Performance 390 and 404; MSR 2685, 2611, 2744 and 2767; and Cinema 7836 and 8007. Also, the list helps us fill in info on Cinema 7516, "In Love With Elvis," previously identified (with no catalogue number) on the Elvis-related compilation Elvis Mania II. An MP3 of it is also available. Michel's list also included an album, Belle Meade 1002, comprised entirely of covers of Elvis songs.
Made some slight modifications to the info on the three Mello-Harps singles on Tin Pan Alley: 145/146, 157/158 and 159/160. This information comes from an excellent article about the group, which mentions their stint at TPA, by R&B researcher Marv Goldberg. Among the interesting facts uncovered by Goldberg is that their bass singer was the brother of future playground/ABA/NBA legend Connie Hawkins.
Added a batch of nine acetate demos commissioned by the late songwriter Cora Anne Stroud Jenkins, all but one of them either on Globe or National Songwriters Guild. The ninth, though, includes no label information at all, just a plain blank with "Happiness Now" and "By: Cora Ann Jenkins" typed on it. Lacking an outlet in our discographies in which to include any such item, we'll content ourselves with simply listing it here. One of the Globe discs, by the way, joins Norridge Mayhams' disco version of "We'll Build A Bungalow" as the only 12" singles in our discographies.
According to the Special Collections Division of the University of Arkansas Libraries at Fayetteville, where her papers are maintained, Mrs. Jenkins was a prominent Arkansas resident who
was awarded membership in the National Songwriters Guild in 1971. Cora engaged in genealogy research of her maternal and paternal ancestors and compiled an impressive volume of family records in that process. She also wrote poetry, short stories, song lyrics, a number of which have been put to music, published and recorded. She was an ardent collector of food recipes and created several recipe scrapbooks. She wrote an unpublished autobiography of her first 30 years of life and a very detailed biography of her daughter's first twelve years. Cora Anne also ventured into the field of invention and had "Presto Space Age Diaper" registered as a trade mark in 1964.
Thanks to Anne Prichard and Andrea Cantrell of the Special Collections Division, University of Arkansas Libraries, Fayetteville, AR division for their assistance with this project, and to field rep Michel Proost, who first tipped us to it. One further note: Although the UArk website authoritatively lists her name as "Cora Anne," all of the discs have it as "Cora Ann"; we've gone with the latter in our listings of the individual discs.
Added four singles on Tin Pan Alley: 108-852, 110-885 (a double-sided dead singing icon/Christmas tribute: "Bing Has Left Us Before Christmas" b/w "It Won't Seem Like Christmas Without Elvis," both by song-poet Joseph Jordan), 120-914 (also an Elvis tribute) and 131-966 (yet another Elvis tribute).
Added a pop-up sidebar to the Songs For Sale article; click on the text link at "The possibility of it being recorded." Added to the Songwriter's Review page a cute item about ex-Yankees 1B Babe Dahlgren's songwriting strikeout. Most significantly, added an MP3 for Norris The Troubadour's "Yamtang Tamtang Rankytang (No Meat Sweet Potato Swing)," mentioned several times below. The sound file for this hot little ditty about the cooking and eating of sweet potatoes was digitized from a 45, yet its occasional surface pops recur at a tempo much closer to that of a 78. The only logical explanation for this is that Mayhams must have made his master tape by recording an earlier, 78rpm pressing of the same recording. Indeed, a listener noticed the same phenomenon on Co-Ed 4246, posted last week. Both can be found at 45s batch #10 of the MP3 page.
Raided Terry Gordon's great Rockin' Country Style website for some discographical amendments. Added B-side titles for Cowtown 806 and 811, and further info on 832; added Sterling 550; revised the entire Claudra discography, including the consolidation of two separate titles, both previously listed as of unknown number, into Claudra 200; added Fable 676 and revised or added info to Fable 549/550, 555/556, 563/564, 575/576, 597, 607 and 712. There may have been others.
Replaced the illustration that was on the Co-Ed page with one for "Yamtang Tamtang Rankytang (No Meat Sweet Potato Swing)."
Field rep Dave Gardner sends news of Rainbow LP HG-526.
Made two changes to the Co-Ed page, one minor and the other substantial. The former involves amending a song title (it's not "Yamtang Tamtang," it's "Yamtang Yamtang," and glad to get that straight) and the writing credits to Co-Ed 115-120, as well as flipping the order of its two sides. More significantly, we've added MP3s for both sides of Co-Ed 4246. Although a version of its A-side, "The Wall Street Daily Cry," is already included in the MP3 area, and although that one represents the identical take of the song as on this new posting, the 4246 release inscrutably adds an entire other song -- the "(The Seaboard The Southern Or The A.C.L.)" of the side's subtitle -- immediately after "Wall Street. One could, we suppose, argue that there's nothing unusual about putting two songs on one side of a single, but the way Mayhams tucked the second song in under the wing of the first -- with no needle-band between them; with the second title made to seem a mere appendage of the first -- places it in a different category altogether, one which we can't recall ever having seen before. The new song itself is likewise unique in the Mayhams canon in that it verges on minstrel, with exaggerated Negro dialect, a style Mayhams, despite his prolific genre wanderings, employed nowhere else that we know of. The "Blondie" called out to in the spoken interlude is most likely a reference to his daughter, Blondell, although it's not known whether the female voice that responds is that of Blondell herself.
Side two, a different version of "Mary Ann McCarthy" than the one that appears on Mayhams' album and on a Mayhams Collegiate single, is rather noisy, but still worth hearing. Locate both in 45s batch #10 of the MP3 page. Many thanks to field rep Andrew Brown for his contribution of this very exciting single.
Completed information, thanks to new field rep Rick Hamm, on a Tin Pan Alley single that had previously been listed as being of number unknown. Rick informs us that he's found "I'm Sorry I Put On Charlie's Shoes" on Tin Pan Alley 305, and that it's flip is "Tin Cans, Tin Cans, Tin Cans." What more can a discographer ask than that? Also, made a slight amendment to the performer credit of Co-Ed 4246. More on this record later, as we're learning that it is strange even by Mayhams standards.
Posted our first addition to the Not Quite Song-Poem page in quite a while, a solicitation e-mail repping a Swiss rapper who is "not being the Bill Gates of the scene."
There is a great deal of new site activity to report. Before getting to the heap o' new discography listings, we'd like to tip you to a quartet of new MP3s: "Monster Hop," "Dig, Dig, Girl" and "Come On, Baby" can all be found at 45s batch #9, while "The Rocking Disco Santa Claus," previously posted as a Christmas bonus, is now officially added to the MP3 page, at LPs batch #9.
While on the topic of MP3s, we'd like to direct your attention to a couple of Rodd Keith postings, "Let's Share A Prayer" and the extra-brilliant "Double Talk My Buddy," currently available at John Fitzpatrick's Oddball Auditorium.
One last MP3 note, we've posted improved versions of "It's Shindig" and "Beatle Boys" (see 1-16-02, below), to give them a little more oomph.
New 45s are: Advance 1010 (the Simon Templar tribute "If You Were The Sinner (And I Was The Saint)"); Air 5017 ("You're My Keen, Teen, Queen") and 5101 ('Lil Audrey's "I Wanna Marry Santa (When I Grow Up)"); Allstar 7318 ("Monkey Song") and 7327; Belle Meade 1611; Big Plus (new label) 4644 ("Love Me By The Good Book"); Brite Star 2453 and Brite 9306; Cinema 7330, 7410 and 7612; Co-Ed 115-120 (the long-sought "Yamtang Tamtang Rankytang (No Meat Sweet Potato Swing)"); Fable 678; Fanwood (new label) 102; Jay Bird 1032; Keepsake (new label) 1006; Mayhams Collegiate 215 N.B.M./216-A.A. (Blimey-Blighty & The Rattlers doing "Dance The Rattlesnakin Mama," fronted by Rodd Keith); MSR 819, 2160, 2196, 2277, 2841 and 3071 ("My Surfboard And Me"); Neale 719 (the discovery of which has allowed us to consolidate our listing of Neale's numbering system, for clearer presentation); Noval GG 15/16; Nu-Sound 1327 ("The Creation Of Elvis"); Odle 158; Planet Earth 1006 (Stormy Minkle and Gordon Vanderburg's "Mini Skirt" b/w "Topless Bikini"); Preview 1032, 1126, 1182, 1207, 1457, 1460, 2218 and 2222; RCI 2399 (an entry which, although numerically lower than our other listings for this label, appears to be chronologically later); Rocket 2224 ("Wham-Bam Baby"); Ronnie 2049, 2116, 2160 and 2407; Sherwood 1071, 1087 and 1618; Song Artists 5002; Souvenir (new label) 669; Star X 517; Sterling 376, 483, 574 and 779; Sylvan 2; Tin Pan Alley (deep breath here) 220, 247, 261 ("The Love Bug"), 328, 9-374, 18-409, 35-478, 37-484, 46-522, 50-538 ("Stone Soul Sisters"), 56-561, 67-642, 68-647 (Linda Hayes's "Cleanse My Body"), 74-678, 75-681, 76-688, 77-693/694, 79-709A/708B ("Jesus Loves The Politician"), 81-719A/718B (and what's up with these Mayhams-like numbers?), 83-730, 118-902, 150-1062 and 150-1064 (Frank Leeper's "Don't Let Yourself Go To Pot"; now exhale); Top Fifty 110/111; Vandalia 130 ("Ting-A-Ling" b/w "The Disco Stomp," both instrumentals representing William Arpaia's brief-lived dip into disco waters); Windy-City 551 and an unnumbered demo (the original version of the previously-logged Neale 722) on JR (new label).
New LPs are: Columbine M-22 (including Vida Linden's "A Scientific Fact Of Life") and CRH-135; MSR 282 (including the aforementioned "The Rocking Disco Santa Claus"); and Rainbow HG-504 (coupling "Teenage Beauty" with "Teenage Man," and including also "The Electric Girl").
Augmented or amended listings are: Tin Pan Alley 191/192; MSR 307; Bryte 307, 228 and 860; Whirl 1079; Brosh 700; Co-Ed 4246; Film City 2009; the aforementioned Neale 722 (with a graphic added, as well); Inner-Glo 105, 108 and one of unknown number; Allstar 7255, 7283 and 7295; Odle 165 and Spin 934.
Special thanks to field rep Michael Greenberg, who provided the greater share of the above information, and who endured our discographical nitpicking with generosity and patience.
Amended the catalogue number of the lone R-V-B listing, from 2021 to 1067.
Added a pair of MP3 files, covering both sides of an excellent 45 entitled "It's Shindig" and "Beatle Boys," presumably on Film City and credited to Rod Rogers. To guess at such discographical information is the best we can do with it at this juncture, however, as all we know of the record is from a cassette copy provided (via Jim Blanchard) by Chuck Foster of 3V Records in Bellingham, Washington. Still, with lines like "To see how these boys / Do flirt when they play / Makes me feel like using / Beatle spray," we knew we had to find a way to include this item somewhere. Also added is the amazing, super-lofi song-poem/garage screamer "Mama Wears The Pants," already well-documented on these pages. All three tracks are downloadable from 45 batch #9 of our MP3 page.
Upgraded our MP3 file for "Junkies And Monkeys," the original of which had been less than sterling. The new version, engineered by John Fitzpatrick, sounds sterling indeed, and can be located in LP batch #7 of the MP3 page. Thanks to John for his sonic handiwork.
A Tin Pan Alley 45, Jack Verdi's "The Love Bug" b/w "I Can't Sleep A Wink Over You" (TPA #261, not yet in our discography), is up for grabs on eBay, with the auction scheduled to close at 5:46a Pacific Time on Tuesday, January 15. Be warned though: minimum bid is $12.
Added a fabulous new graphic, an ad for Tiny Tim's Vic-Tim release of "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer," to the Vic-Tim page. The ad is located at the bottom of the page, illustrating the discography section. Thanks to ace Tinyhead Ernie Clark for helping us locate it.
Added an introductory note to the article "I Worked For A Hack Writer," offering background information on the article's writer.
Corrected an error that had reversed the sound files to Rock Me Slow and the "anonymous" version of Put A Little Love. The links now reflect the correct songs. Thanks to eagle-eared for John Fitzpatrick for the catch.
Added a graphic for Cowtown song-poet Ockie Malmquist.
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