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Talent Incorporated, 17 Longwood Rd., Quincy MA 02169
then: East Coast Record Productions, 299 Newport Ave., Wollaston MA 02170; 617-328-5057
currently: New World Publishing, 129 Pleasant St., Weymouth MA 02190; 781-331-8848

The Halmark of Talent
by Phil Milstein

In running his Halmark label as a perverse parody of a legitimate record company, Ted Rosen went beyond the constrained thinking of other song-poem entrepreneurs. Lesser minds in similar positions sought to foster the illusion of legitimacy via the inclusion of, at minimum, the recording artist's name amid the printed information on their labels. But Rosen ignored such trifling conventions, reserving the space instead for the listing of the song-poet's home address, an appeal to vanity one step beyond that of his competitors. You might equally think that a company that operated entirely through the mails[1] might prefer to publish its own postal address on the labels. Bah! There again, Ted Rosen scoffed.

And only the most bourgeois of businesses would ruffle its feathers over such a piffling detail as the consistent, not to mention correct, orthography of its own name. No, it takes a true maverick like Ted Rosen to spell his company's name one way ("Halmark") on most of its releases, and another ("Hallmark") on the rest.

Then again, perhaps it wasn't quite originality of thought that drove the man; perhaps, instead, it was something more basic and less noble, something such as audacity, or inattention, or miserliness. Whatever the operative trait was, Rosen bore it with abundance, and deployed it with obvious gusto.

He founded Halmark in 1967, by which time he'd already been in the song-poem game for some time. Before Halmark he'd had the Grand label and the production companies Talent Incorporated and Chapel Recording, the latter two of which remain active to this day. Even in this early phase of his career Rosen was already using "tracks." Back before even his time, in the days when printed music ruled the song-poem roost, composers were notorious for their use of readymade templates, pouring out melodies that were either tauntingly similar to those of well-known songs or obvious recyclings of the composer's own stock. Rosen helped usher this practice into the recording era. By endlessly reusing tapes of prerecorded instrumental beds, adding only a fresh (to apply the word loosely) lead vocal for each new submission, he found a novel way to outplumb the depths of his industry's infamous meagerness. Halmark wasn't the only company to regularly recycle tracks, but the others that did it at least recycled their own. Halmark instead bought discarded instrumentals on the cheap from other studios.[2]

Rosen's selection of tapes was wholly inappropriate to the times, based as it was on musical idioms -- overwrought parlor ballads, turgid C&W, indecorous light opera, bombastic pseudo-classical -- already decades out of favor by the time he used them. His tracks were full-bodied and anthemic, bloated with portentious choirs and masses of arpeggiated strings. But the mileage on the tapes themselves had greatly compressed the music's impact, so that when the muffled rococo of these settings was finally overlain with the newly-sung but decidedly earthbound lyrics of the typical Halmark customer, the incongruities can be spectacularly disorienting.

Hewing ever so closely to the bottom line, Rosen -- who, despite the absence of any substantiating evidence, would often refer to himself as "Talent" Ted -- maintained an extremely limited selection of tracks, and so the same dozen or so moldy arrangements recur again and again on Halmark's records, sometimes more than once on the same four-song EP. Already intimately familiar with each backing tape, his singers would usually improvise the melody on the spot, making up the tune as they sang it. Vocalist Jack Kimmell told me that by bypassing the need for a pre-written melody line, they could knock out 15 songs in 45 minutes. (Try that, Fleetwood Mac!) Kimmell, who is now a music professor, continued, "It got to the point where if somebody gave me a clipping from the newspaper, or a matchbook, I could immediately improvise a song to it." He recalled a studio prank that illustrates the absurd level of detachment between singer and song this process provoked. "They played a joke on me. They knew I would sing anything that was in front of me, so they handed me this dirty song -- a very dirty song -- and I just picked it up and started to sing it. I hadn't looked at the lyrics. I got a couple lines into it before I realized what it was. I said, 'Wait a minute!' Everybody else was standing there laughing."

In addition to the weirdness of his tracks, Rosen's other ace in the hole was the brilliance of his vocalists, with each ideally matched to a different aspect of the Halmark style. During its prime era spanning the 1970s,[3] Halmark relied on just four singers: Bob Storm, Dodie Frost, and the duet of Jack Kimmell and his wife Mary. Storm was usually assigned the C&W-oriented material. His reading of Joseph Dzurus' "I Lost My Girl To An Argentinian Cowboy" ("A bronco buster / a cow-punchin' gay boy ... Tall, dark and handsome / cavalier plowboy") captures him at peak form, full of pokey insouciance and pampas bravado. "Ballad Of Johnny Horton," a Halmark recording that saw dual release on Brosh, is another top-shelf Storm-er.

The Kimmells, on the other hand, were Halmark's answer to Nelson Eddy and Jeanette McDonald. Jack and Mary's ethereal, double-helixing vocals sounded as if they were serenading one another from across a pristine Canadian glade, or leaning from trellises of ivy. "Some are neat, some are nice, some are furious / Some I would not want to meet at night," they wail in Elzia Allmon's "It's Not The World It's What's In The World," wrenching every ounce of melodrama from a ponderous lyric that supplies little of its own. In the sheer mismatch of the treatment lies its beauty.

With uncanny regularity, the lyrics submitted by Halmark's customers were laboriously sincere (perhaps due to his advertising in the low- to middlebrow Writer's Digest). When set to Rosen's squalid tracks, these songs cling to the skin like underclothing after a drenching rain. The apogee of this style is Coyte F. Brackeen's "My Daddy He Died In 1969," a lyric even more morose than its title suggests. Supported by a wall of strings and a heavily-reverbed choir of angels, Kimmell steels himself, and then aims straight for the song's simpering jugular:

My daddy, he died in 1969
It would have been better
If it would have been me
For my daddy, he had more to live for
He had more to live for than me
He had a wife and children of his own
And I don't have a wife and children of my own
It would have been better if I had passed away
For my daddy, he had more to live for

Not all of Halmark's songs so engagingly miss their mark. The clunkers leave the listener merely damp, or perhaps a bit itchy, but the best of them leave him breathless and depleted. That such song-poem masterpieces as "The Virgin Child Of The Universe" ("Orgasmic explosion of love / enhances the child"), "This World Is In A Hell Of A Fix," Adolph J.G. Babel's "My Feet Start Tapping"[4] and "Silent Soundings Of My Music" could occasionally sneak out of such a rickety laboratory is due, of course, to the inadvertence of the song-poem process in general, but even moreso to the exceptionally distorted nature of that process as it was conceived and executed by Ted Rosen. No other label, song-poem or otherwise, could have taken these same songs and produced from them such transcendent results.

The Halmark sound is worlds removed from Preview's bouncy, melodic pop, Royal Master's lugubrious country or Film City's twisted lounge stylings. "Sound of Excellence," as their label boasts, is more usually the sound of Grandma's knitted mufflers, the bric-a-brac of bedoilied parlors, or waterstained books found in an attic trunk. Were Liberace's piano playing given voice, it would've fit right in singing for Halmark. The "Sound of Excellence" is, in fact, the sound of pure kitsch. Admittedly, Halmark's output is an acquired taste, unsuited to those in search of the more immediate pleasures of, say, a Columbine or a Tin Pan Alley. But for those ready to move on to something a little more challenging, it is just the ticket.

The Rosen family, with Talent Ted's middle-aged son Jeff at the helm and the old man, now semi-retired, handling administrative duties, continues to take its hacks at the lyrics of amateur songwriters. Although the Halmark label died off with the vinyl era, the company has yet to update to CD, still issuing most of their recordings on cassette.[5] Under Jeff's relatively fresh vision, the Rosens' empire now emcompasses a variety of subsidiary companies, including Jeff Roberts Publishing, Chapel Recording (their religious arm, whose logo is a pair of praying hands and whose brochure includes scriptural passages), Song Promotions, East Coast Record Productions (whose promotional mailings include a free ballpoint pen) and, as ever, Talent Incorporated. Two or more of these companies often advertise in the same publication (still primarily Writer's Digest), using different mailing addresses in and around the small working-class city of Quincy, Massachusetts. The ads sometimes appear one on top of the other.

Since none of Halmark's records list its mailing address and none of the Rosens' ads include the name of their label, it took considerable detective work to link the label to the companies in Quincy. I was thrilled when I finally discovered that this great song factory was right under my nose. Posing as the late laureate Ernest Noyes Brookings, in the summer of 1997 I dropped in to discuss a song I wanted to submit, a poem of Brookings' entitled "California." The office was located in a nondescript building in a particularly dreary section of the city. A sign on the front of the building pointed the way to a quickie-print shop operating in the basement, but when I went downstairs and found Halmark's offices there the only printing machine in sight was a broken-down photocopier off in the far corner of the expansive, high-ceilinged room. On the wall nearest the door was a sign that read "Today's Date Is," with the date handwritten below it on a slip of paper. Lining the wall was a succession of index card racks, each holding a single level of cards. It was evident that the entire contents of this enormous array -- which presumably recorded the name and address of every customer who ever submitted a song to Talent Ted -- would fit on a single floppy disk.

But Ted Rosen did not get where he was by investing in modernity. Indeed, the only clue in there that it was 1997 rather than 1971 was a Dunkin' Donuts Coolatta cup sitting on a desk in the center of the room. There was nobody around when I arrived, and I cursed myself for not having thought to bring a camera. Just as I was about to start poking through the index cards, a secretary, who introduced herself as Diane, emerged from a rear office and escorted me back there to meet the braintrust of Talent Incorporated.

Ted Rosen spoke softly but rapidly, sounding much like Vincent Van Gopher on the old Deputy Dawg cartoon. Kimmell had told me that he is an extremely funny man, but if so he was taking pains to hide his vast well of humor from the prospective customer. Jeff Rosen, with his powder blue muscle T-shirt, gold chains and tinted eyeglasses, looked like a used car salesman on his day off. I showed them the lyrics to "California." In his most serious voice, Jeff asked me what style of music I wanted my song recorded in. Trying to throw them off, I said, "Halfway between hard rock and gospel, if there is such a thing." Jeff responded, this time in an assuring, measured tone, "Oh, we can give you anything you want."

Next on the agenda was a discussion of scheduling. Taking the role of bad cop, Ted let me down by announcing, "It'll take about three weeks" for my song to be finished. "I was hoping to get it done today," I lied. "I'm in a real hurry." He lied back, "Oh no, it takes time. We use a full orchestra." I pressed the issue. Hinting that I might bring my song elsewhere, they promised they could get it done in about a week, since their male singer, Georgie Starr, was due in for a session in a few days. Satisfied with this arrangement, I wrapped up my business and bid adieu to the Rosens. As I was leaving I noticed, sticking out of the bottom of a stack of junk, a bogus poetry anthology, of the kind that is song-poem music without the music.

True to their word, the recording of "California" arrived in a week's time, and was every bit as great as they'd promised it would be. I loved the way Georgie handled Brooking's fractured rhymes, and it was indeed set it in the style I'd requested -- it really was halfway between hard rock and gospel. I especially loved the personalized greeting Georgie recited after the fadeout: "Hi Ernie. Ernie, this is Georgie Starr, I'm the vocalist and I really enjoyed bein' that lead vocalist on your song ... 'California.' You did a wonderful job writing it, and I really hope you love your recording. Ernie, I would really enjoy working with you on more of your best material. Anyways, thanks for giving me this chance. I wish you success. Good luck, and god bless."

A few years later I returned to the Rosen's office for an update. Jeff had added the shaving of his dome to his sartorial repertoire, and now looked more preposterously menacing than ever. Ted was stuffing envelopes at a desk in the outer office, unaware of the fact that this visitor was not merely a potential customer, but also a long-time student of his musical activities. Tossing the pitch perhaps more out of habit than desire, he said to me, "You look like a songwriter." Playing along, I wittily snapped back, "You look like a songwriter, too," an observation he proudly affirmed. I then asked if he'd ever had any hits. The question seemed to resonate with a part of him that lay just beyond the veil of our superficial banter. Rosen stopped in his tracks, ruminated for a moment, and then told me of having written three songs that had been successful. One, "Herkimer The Homely Doll," was used on Captain Kangaroo, which had impressed his children.[6] At the mention of this Diane perked up and said she remembered the song, bouncing in her seat to a few silent beats of it. He also recalled a song of his that had been recorded by Rosemary Clooney, though he couldn't quite remember its title. "What's Your Name" was (somewhat ironically) the best he could come up with. He'd made a similar claim during my previous visit, but in researching it I was unable to confirm any Clooney titles written or co-written by Ted Rosen. He never did get around to telling me about his third hit.

Waiting for Jeff to arrive for our appointment, I sat quietly as Talent Ted and Diane went about their business. Eventually I closed my eyes for a bit, afloat in a reverie of all the wondrously bizarre song-poem music that had emerged from that office over the years. Ted thus had no reason to be on his guard as he discussed the morning's mail with Diane. "That last envelope was a disaster," I thought I heard him say. "Twenty songs in it, and every single one of 'em was godawful. I had to reject 'em all." Hearing this shocked me into a reevaluation of all of my snide preconceptions about his business practices. Was I imagining things, or was it possible the old song shark actually had standards? If true, it would be his most novel concept yet.

1. I once called the Halmark office to ask if they were open the next day, a minor holiday, and was informed, "If there's mail delivery, we're open."
2. At the insistence of their bored vocalists, they did eventually record a few from scratch. But virtually all of the Halmark records that've turned up to date were forged from the original stock of musty, second-hand tapes of other studios.
3. With such a dearth of label information, and given the fact that the music sounded so much older than it actually was, it is impossible for a discographer to get a firm grasp on the dates of Halmark's releases.
4. Perhaps the world's first anthologized song-poem record, enshrined in a 1978 K-Tel International collection entitled The Worst Records Of All Time, compiled by the beloved English DJ Kenny Everett.
5. Jim Maxwell, former owner of the Globe song-poem label in Nashville and current owner of Globe Duplication, does Rosen's dupe work. The business relationship of these two song-poem titans goes back to 1982, when Maxwell began handling Halmark's mastering and disc pressing.
6. This song was referenced in the April 1972 issue of the underground tipsheet Songwriter's Review. Quoting a column from the Detroit News, it reads:

Listen to what Ted Rosen told the Better Business Bureau and didn't tell you or the other 7,000 amateur songwriters he does business with. He told the BBB his services appeal to the egos of the would-be Hammersteins and the chances of any amateur receiving royalties or making money are very remote. On the basis of his experience over the years in providing his services, he told the BBB, he knew of no one who received royalties as a result. He also doesn't promote nor sell songs. All you're sure of receiving is one record. As for his own experience, Rosen said only one of his songs entitled "Herkimer The Homely Doll" resulted in royalties. You all remember what a smash hit that was!

-- Singles --

SH-841/842: Bob Storm -- Great Is The Lord (Ronald Dahlheimer-Ted Rosen) / NASA, Texas (Victor Attard-Don Richards) (musical director: Jerry Dee)
SH-1029/1030: Bob Storm -- In My Dream World (Birdette Myles-Ted Rosen) / Mother, Mother, I Love You Very Much (Angel L. Caraballo-Ted Rosen)
SH-1182/1183: Bob Storm -- I Want Our Love To Last (Willie S. McLaurin-Ted Rosen) / Follow Him (Howard E. Smith-Ted Rosen)
SH-1503/1504: Bob Storm -- Valentine's Song (Kiro Obetkovski-Ted Rosen) / The Galveston Rose (Nathan Ricketts-Ted Rosen)
SH-1780/1781: Bob Storm -- Youth Cries (Dorothy Corti-Don Richards) / Sweet Nothings (Arnel Hutchins-Don Richards) (musical director: Jerry Dee)
ARP-3343/3344: no artist named -- Don't Give Up On Love (Aubrey George) / Will You Marry Me (Theodore Henderson) // Vision Of The Lord (Earl Hall) / Green Christmas Blues (Donald J. Nason)
DRP-4019/4020: no artist named -- Babies Of Love (Marion Hudak) / My Christmas Dream (Dian Rosamond) // Victory Through Christ (Alton Harris) / Return (Noma Day)
G-1659: no artist named -- Clergymen (Peggie Brake) / Lonely And Blue (Albert J. Gourrier)
G-1701: no artist named -- I Am Saved Today (Mamie J. Ingram) / My Feelings About You (Marion Hudak) // He Is The Only One (George E. Connor, Jr.) / The Long Sad Walk (Elizabeth Gutta)
G-1754: no artist named -- Mark Of Distinction / The Provider // The Dreamer / From House, To Home, To House Again (all wr. Dee Hadenland)
G-1864: no artist named -- America, This Is Our Heritage (Lillian Folk) /
I Am Going To Where Jesus Is (Addie Cochran) // The Happenings At Christmas (Virginia Ekholm) / Step Over (Mary Anne Wood)
3217/3218: no artist named -- Sing Me My Country Song / Let There Be Light (both wr. Adolph J.G. Babel)
10015/10016: no artist named -- God's Threshold (Minnie Larson) / First Moment (Milan J. Mylan) // Temptations And Desires (Rose Kubistol) / Without Your Love (Herman Daub)
101785: no artist named -- Save Me (Nancy L. Himich) / A Walk With My Girl (Charles Somerville) // Man! Where is Your Heart / Just Ask Me (both wr. Mattie Mae Smith)
Hallmark [sic] 10983/10984: Bob Storm -- Only Because I Love You (R. Poe-Ted Rosen) / A Little Love Can Do So Much (Pearl E. Cudney-T. Rosen)
Hallmark [sic] 15591/15592: Bob Storm -- Terry's Love (George Amerin-Ted Rosen) / Explosion (C. Brunette-Ted Rosen) (musical director: Jerry Dee)
Hallmark [sic] 13641/13642: Bob Storm -- Wishing Well (G. Edwardson-T. Rosen) / Rough And Tough (Elmer Sutton-Ted Rosen)
Hallmark [sic] 15773/15774: Bob Storm -- Michigan Baby (Don Nagucki-Ted Rosen) / Ageless Love (Helen Cromwell-Ted Rosen) // My Fair Lady (Clarence Hawkins-Ted Rosen) / Let's Lay It On The Line (Frank L. Tucker-Ted Rosen)
Hallmark [sic] 18235/18236: Bob Storm -- Has The World Forgotten Korea / Tomorrow In Vietnam (both wr. Franklin Hogston-Ted Rosen) (musical director: Jerry Dee)
Hallmark [sic] 19779/19780: Bob Storm -- Mr. Moon (Beverly Koudelka-Ted Rosen) / I Wish It Were True (Jack Curtis-Ted Rosen) // Eileen (Harold W. Cooper-Ted Rosen) / Make Believe You're Happy (Cassie B. Orton-Ted Rosen)
Hallmark [sic], unnumbered acetate: no artist named -- I Cry (Vocal) / I Cry (Track Only) (both wr. Ted Rosen) (note: Ted Rosen, the writer of this song, was the owner of Hallmark)
20767/20768: Bob Storm -- Sailor Boy's Phone Call (Agnes McCune-Ted Rosen) / Just When You Leave Me (Rhoda Ford-Ted Rosen) // Love Myself (John Kordich-Ted Rosen) / Love Is The Blame (Hilton Wells-Ted Rosen)
20909/20910: Bob Storm -- Our Boys In Viet Nam (Esther Swantko-Ted Rosen) / I Need Thee Always (Laurel Cramer-Ted Rosen)
22977/22978: Bob Storm -- If I Could Be Your Sweetheart (Cassie Orton) / Forever Yours (Jessie Kieser) // Ballad Of Johnny Horton (W.J. Myers) / Her Name Is Kathleen (W.J. Myers)
23357/23358: no artist named -- All You Really Need Is Love (E. J. Schimpf) / Why Not Let God Take Your Hand (Margie M. Johnson) // Forever More And more (Benjamin Padilla) / The L & L Cafe (Elva Kinney) (musical director: Bob Storm)
23625: Bob Storm -- A Word To The Wise (Ardell C. Johnson) / Cruising On Lake St. Clair (Leila Norris) // Your Pretty Rainbow / Somewhere (both wr. Cassie Orton)
24333/24334: Bob Storm -- I'll Stop Loving You / All That You Are (both wr. Onolee Graham-Don Richards) (musical director: Jerry Dee)
25456: Bob Storm -- Uncle Sam's Warriors (Rose Worst-Don Richards) / All I Want For Christmas Is Some Loving (Sylvia Benson-Ted Rosen)
25567/25568: Bob Storm -- Kimberly (Joseph P. Cacossa-Ted Rosen) / If You Ever Say You Love Me (Joseph Petrucci-Ted Rosen)
26515/26516: Bob Storm -- The Ballad Of My Betty Lou / Jesus Loves You (both wr. William R. Harris-Ted Rosen) (musical director: Jerry Dee)
31561/31562: no artist named -- Lost Sights (Miguel A. Ceren) / A New Tomorrow (Hestel Eckel)
750136: no artist named -- Love Song Of '74 (H.D. Simpson) / Yes, The Lord Provides A Way (Nancy Armstrong) // Searching (Margaret Hall) / In The Last Days (Naomi Jean McClain)
750333: no artist named -- I Love You So (Woodrow G. Lee) / He Who Laughs (Herman Crosby) // Two Broken Hearts (Eula Nicholson) / His Second Coming (Claire M. Chiappini)
750417: no artist named -- Let Jesus Guide You (Francis A. Gordon) / Someone (Malitza Figueroa) // Two Timing Gal (Edward Walsh) / I Can't Explain The Way I Feel (Claudine Tillman)
750638: no artist named -- Since You Been Gone (Walter Watkins) / Dream World With You (Clara Nichols) // My Little Girl (Phyllis Schmachtenberger) / My Baby Told Me So (Robert Payne)
750710: no artist named -- You Cheated And Lied (Robert E. Ramsey) / Yours And Mine (Navona Talley) // We'll Be As One Forever (Albert Jokinen) / Do A Good Job (Rev. Robert E. Jones)
750749: no artist named -- Come To Worship (William G. Revine) / December Twenty Fifth (Daniel Staudt) // Pinch Me (Robert Madden) / If My Good Dreams Could Come True (Robert B. Carter)
750781: no artist named -- In Nights Of Starshine (Basil Hodczak) / My Hamburger Baby (Ezra L. Work) // Easy Lovin' You (Jo Ence) / All Because Of You (Catherine Miller)
750786: no artist named -- Make Me A Promise (Ethel M. Hancock) / Treasure Of Treasures (David Burney) // We Need Thy Healing Hand (Ella Hintz) / The Rapture Day (Amelia Wenrich) (sleeve stamped: 9-19-75)
750788: no artist named -- My Fate Lies In Your Hands (Annette Schoch) / Debbie Baby (John P. Gibbons III) // You're My Reason Why (Helen MacDougall) / Hear What Jesus Has To Say (Sid Charles)
750821: no artist named -- My Mountain Home And You (Navona Talley) / Be A Child Of God (Curtis Byrge) // I Thank You Lord (Geneva Palmer) / The Heavens Declare (Franklynn Bodine) (sleeve stamped: 10-8-75)
750852: no artist named -- My Daddy He Died In 1969 (Coyte F. Brackeen) / Tears Of Yesterday (Elizabeth Swift) // Our Father Which Art In Heaven (Dr. Larry B. Patton) / Mary Ann (H.O. Blankenship) (sleeve stamped: 11-24-75)
750874: no artist named -- One Beautiful Rose (Pearl Harger) / Baby Something's Gonna Happen (Earnest J. Barksdale Jr.) // Underneath Hawaiin [sic] Skies (Mrs. Thurza McGaharan) / My Sleeping Seed (Neva I. Reed)
750879: no artist named -- Memories (Eugene Weston) / Daddy Don't You Love Us Anymore (Bobby W. Cook) // The Birth Of Spring (Madelene Johnson) / Jesus The King Of The Jews (Ubert Harding)
750911: no artist named -- Take Up Your Cross And Follow Jesus (Ruth Pearce) / I Dreamed I Kissed An Angel (Josie Butera) // The Church Doors (Gertrude Stein) / Christmas In Vermont (Shirley A. Woods)
750936: no artist named -- My Glory Ladder (Lillian E. Hermann) / Far Far Away (Michael Velotta) // The Beat (Samuel H. Slattery) / Let's Protect The Red, White And Blue (Myrtle Bird)
750949: no artist named -- Count Your Blessings (Gertrude Amidon) / If It Were Not For You (Ethel Thompson) // Just To Say I Love You (William J. Carroll) / Lay Me Down (Linda Sutton) (sleeve stamped: 11-24-75)
750959: no artist named -- I'd Still Have Dreams (Margaret W. Campbell) / You Are Weeping And Crying For My Love (Frederick White) // Letter To A Christian (Alice J. Jackson) / My Karen, My Karen (Harvey D. Pettit)
751109: no artist named -- Harmony Will Be (Cecil Simmons) / If I Could Only Fall In Love (Jorge Colon) // The King (Vincent Lewis, Jr.) / Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Your Blues (Dora Kelly) (sleeve stamped: 1-8-76)
LH-8264/8265: no artist named -- Footprints On The Moon (Walter J. Jordan) / The Rod Rider's Song (Walter J. Jordan) // Look At Me (Edward Butts) / Hurt And Rejected (Victor Attard)
LH-9146/9147: no artist named -- How Lucky We Are (Bacio Lowery) / I Told You We Are Forever (Catherine Charis)
LH-9226/9227: no artist named -- Remembering You (Joseph Salvador) / Memories (Genevieve Leahy)
LH-9323/9324: no artist named -- Let Us Dream Again / Love Making Time (both wr. Winton Hunter)
LH-9603/9604: no artist named -- A King Is Born / Dockin' On The Moon (both wr. Ret. Sgt. Ernest L. Martin)
LH-9618/9619: no artist named -- Father In Heaven Guide Me (Pauline Gioia) / Temptations And Desires (Rose Kubistol) // My Mommy (Helen Crain) / The Glory Of War (Robert Krupa)
LH-9995/9996: no artist named -- Say Pretty Girl Don't Cry (Thomas L. Long) / The Vows (J. Karakostas)
JH-422/423: Bob Storm -- If You Reach For A Rose (John J. Spat-Ted Rosen) / Give Me Something (Angle L. Caraballo-Ted Rosen) (musical director: Jerry Dee)
OV-424: no artist named -- My Little Mollie (Violet Jackson) / Gotta Lotta Go (Eddie Haek) // A West Virginian Thrill (Bona Poth) / The Pale Rider (Clyde L. Hagee)
OV-426: no artist named -- As Softly As The Warm Indian Summer Breeze (Mary V. Riele) / Remember My Child (Mary E. Coe) // But If You Care (Mr. Marion P. Mitchell) / Angel Bands (Laverne P. Talley)
OV-439: no artist named -- Why Do I Love You So Much (Mary A. Probst) / I Got A Sweet Little Woman (Robert Lee White) // Now Is The Time We Need The [sic] (Mrs. Mary Wettlaufer) / Guide, Guard, Direct Us (Melvin Stanton)
OV-445: no artist named -- Lonesome Cowboy (Mrs. G. Bonnin) / Silent Soundings Of My Music (Cheryl Foster) // Married To The Bottle (C.F. Clark) / The Prance (Agustus Jack)
OV-446: no artist named -- We Are On A Long Journey (Alfred E. Green) / This World Is In A Hell Of A Fix (Alma N. Bonds) // Daddy I Love You (Mrs. Aristy Ledford) / Baby (William R. Harris)
OV-456: no artist named -- My Love Of The Sky (Mrs. Mary Helen Epps) / I Give To Thee (Theresa Giunta) // Walk Proud (Emily Dunlap) / Walking In The Light (Leeland Craddock)
OV-465: no artist named -- Life (Mae V. Hornberger) / It's Not The World It's What's In The World (Elzia Allmon) // Lord Save Us From Ourselves (Ruth E. Byrdsol) / In God We Trust (Ida Larson) (sleeve stamped: 4-12-76)
OV-481: no artist named -- This Is My God (Floyd Scott) / I Need You Darling (William Artis) // Muddy River Prayer (Vence Gentry) / Texas Talk (Ethel Manning)
OV-491: no artist named -- Mission Bell, Mission Bell Ringing In Centennial Year 1976 (Mrs. Marie LeBoeuf) / My God Loves Me All Ways (Harry A. Overton, Jr.) // I Dreamed Of A Letter From You To Me (John H. Kennedy) / Are We Ships That Pass In The Night (Roger Bening)
OV-498: no artist named -- Be God's Child (Leonard H. Holder) / The Man Called Jesus (Sgt. Kenneth E. Green) // I See Stardust In Your Eyes (Michael Algoni) /
Life Is A Flame (Barbara E. Trescott)
OV-501: no artist named -- Just Doing Little Chores (Benjamin F. Rhodes) / We've Come Too Long A Road Together (Alister Edgehill) // A Poet (Franklin Schaub) / When I Give You My Wedding Ring (Eric E. Downing)
OV-514: no artist named -- The Virgin Child Of The Universe (Carrie & Bonnie Postell) / That Perfect Touch (Eddie Haek) // The Legend Of Big John (Chester A. Jackson) / Loving Woman (Gladys Zuk)
OV-516: no artist named -- I Need You Near Me (Mrs. Andrew (Ona L) Sulisky) / Prayer Of Blessings (Sant Taylor) // God Is My Savior (Johanna Wyland) / Logical Reason (Marilyn Collins) (sleeve stamped: 4-21-76)
OV-574: no artist named -- I'm Going To Rock My Way To Heaven (Ruth Knickerbocker) / Children Of Our God (Rosalee Madaffri) // Will You Always Be Mine (Rosa Lee Deal) / The Man (Della E. Slinkard) (sleeve stamped: 9-1-76)
OV-666: no artist named -- This Is A Feeling In Everyone's Soul (Josephine Dauntain) / Fear Thou Not (Patricia Roe) // Sweet Jesus, Our Savior (Lillie Ruth Yow) / The Days We Shared Together I Still Remember (Walter Ward)
OV-761: no artist named -- I Lost My Girl To An Argentinian Cowboy / My Sunkist Southern Gal (both wr. Joseph Dzurus) // Life And Purpose (Randy Whitcomb) / My Mother (Dallas L. Woodring)
OV-771: no artist named -- The Second Mile (Jack D. Galbraith) / Must I Walk Alone (William F. Yearwood) // You're The Lucky One (Michael Madison) / I Was Walking Alone (Charlotte Roman)
number unknown: artist unnamed -- Don't Give A Damn, About Vietnam (Glenn D. Evans) (1971; "not a protest song, but about the grunts themselves")
number unknown: no artist named -- My Feet Start Tapping (Adolph Babel) (Note: This song was included on a 1978 novelty anthology album entitled World's Worst Record Show, compiled by popular English DJ Kenny Everett for K-Tel International's Yuk label. Judging by the music and by the fact that Babel was a regular customer, I'm assuming that the song's original release was on Halmark, and thus I include it here. Babel was listed on the anthology as the singer of "My Feet Start Tapping" (which is actually a male-female duet), but since Halmark almost always credited the songwriter and not the recording artist, it's easy to mistake one for the other, and I'm putting him down only as the former here. Everett credits the song's composition to "A. Barbell," but I'm sure that that's just his very funny little gag, and doesn't reflect any information found on the original Halmark release.)

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Discography ©2004 Phil Milstein