Note: Jody is the most intriguing of the many enigmatic vanity/song-poem hybrid labels. Their discography reveals a scattershot label with no clear element that ties together the various entries, except that in each case somebody got snookered. The same, though, could be said for many companies; what makes Jody so interesting is that all their releases are so strange and wild, yet each is strange and wild in a different way than the others.
Only two of Jody records that we've seen -- 2001 and 5005 -- are straightahead song-poem releases. The latter draws special attention not only for the inclusion of a song by Rodd Keith, but also because two of the three songs on this mini-EP also appear on a single on Ann, with whom Jody had some sort of ongoing relationship. The middle track, by Milford Perkins (like Rodd, out of the Preview stable), was added to the two sides of the Ann release to comprise the version on Jody. Note also that the song-poet, Gail Dobrywoda, sings one of the numbers herself, making this 45 a self-contained vanity/song-poem hybrid. The report on Gail's singing, by the way, is that she's not gonna make anyone forget Cara Stewart.
But it was Jody's first release that was its most important. Jody 1000 was Hasil Adkins's primordial "She Said," a recording so elemental that it might well date back to the very Dawn of Man itself. Note, though, that "She Said" was originally the B-side. It's a bit hard to tell in the ad depicted here, from Songwriter's Review, but Hasil's name is printed as "Basil" Adkins. The error is especially mysterious because, as it turns out, Hasil did have a brother named Basil. Was Hasil masquerading as his brother for some reason? Was it a simple typographical error that just happened to play into a far-flung coincidence? Or perhaps it was the work of the legendary "Printer's Devil."
Arthur Braun, an ambitious teen from Queens, released his brilliantly snotty "Almira" on Jody. Although both compositions were credited to Braun, rumors circulating at the time suggested that the songs were actually written by a friend of his, and that Braun simply glommed the credits for himself. Perhaps he was taking shyster lessons from Vincent Vallis, for before long Braun was running his own song-poem/vanity hybrid, Exotic.
There is evidence to suggest that Jody Records and/or its subsidiary B-Atlas still exist, in some weird form or another. But beyond that basic fact their status is unknown, and Vallis himself has crawled back into the woodwork.
-- Singles --
70: Abra Cad Abra -- See Who Plays / Love Gone Away // See Who Plays (instr.) / Hustle, Bustle (instr.) (12", 33rpm; pr. Michael Allan Gaskin; "Sound Of N.Y."; dist. by Queen Constance Records; disco-oriented)
title, number unknown -- number unknown
Discography ©2004 Phil Milstein
650: Gerald "Red" Colwell with Harmonica Band -- You Said You Cared / Tears Fall Like Rain (both wr. Gerald "Red" Colwell) (not a song-poem record)
1000: Hasil Adkins & His Happy Guitar -- Is This The End / She Said (both wr. Hasil Adkins) (1964; not a song-poem record)
2001: Damita -- Love Is So Sweet / Nothing But Love
5005: Gail Dobrywoda -- Love Me Little, Love Me Long // Milford Perkins -- Tell Him So / Rodd Keith -- Country Life (all wr. Gail Dobrywoda)
9000: Poor Richard's Almanac -- Baby Bring A Way / Never Again (both wr. Poor Richard's Almanac) (Vallis-Lepore Production; eng. Joe Cyr; not a song-poem record)
9001: Arthur Braun -- Almira / A Place To Go (both wr. Arthur Braun) (not a song-poem record)
number unknown: The Cellermen -- I Cry At Night / Your Turn To Cry (both wr. Caravello) (group leader Paul Caravello aka Eric Carr, later dr. of Kiss; Caravello on harmonica, tamb. & lead vox; c.1967)
9004: The Cellarmen -- I Found You (The One I Adore) / Then I Made A Wish (both wr. Bob Dorsey & Harry Simon) (group led by Paul Caravello aka Eric Carr, later dr. of Kiss; pr. Vincent Vallis & Henry DeMeo; c.1968)
number unknown: Crystal Collins -- No Matter How You Try / When You Grow Tired (backed by The Cellarmen, lead by Paul Caravello aka Eric Carr, later dr. of Kiss; c.1969)
9008: Charles Chiarello -- Baci Perduti / Carezze Di Mani (both wr. Charles Chiarello) (produced by Charles Chiarello; "not song-poem, but fantastic NY Italian social club music")
9014: Jimmy Jones (Soul Brother No. 2), with Henry DeMeo & Orch. -- You Broke A Blind Boy's Heart / Say, Amen, Brother (both wr. Jimmy Jones) (not a song-poem)
9017: Mark Carvel -- Playboy / I'm Wild (both wr. by Don Jernigan)
9029: Leslie Cole, Al Barr Orch. -- Even If You Lie / Don't Shake Me Up (both wr. Leslie Cole) (not a song-poem record)
9036: Larry London -- Marinella / I Love New York (both wr. Pope Brann) (owner's note: "This is one of the most wonderfully atrocious recordings I've ever heard. The lyrics are definitely on a song poem level. The performances and recording are almost as if The Shaggs decided to go the song poem route. Mr. London has one of those pseudo-operatic voices that just never seems to manage to find the right pitch. The recording engineer also never did seem to find the correct speed, as both sides sound like they are constantly speeding up and slowing down in search of that correct tempo. Whether or not this is an actual song-poem recording, it is truly one of the most bizarre recordings I've yet heard.")
9039: Harry Gino Valenti -- La Paloma / Violetta (both wr. Harry Valenti) (arr. Harry Valenti, "adapted from Violetta Traviata," cond. & orch. by George Malled; not a song-poem record)
9051: The Tony Graye Octet -- Sadness And Sorrow (instrumental) / The Tony Graye Octet, vocal Ray Rivera -- Tokyo Mamma (both wr. Ray Rivera) ("From the album The Tony Graye Octet Goes Lahteeno")
9054: Abracadabra -- Hustle Bustle (Pt. 1) / Hustle Bustle (Pt. 2) (both wr. Michael Allan Gaskin) (disco-oriented)
9060: vocal: Gloria (Rosebud) Black, Mike Allan Gaskin Orch. featuring Mike Allan, Tony Graye, Charley Otis, Sherman and Joe Bianca -- Double Dealing Dude (Gloria Black) / Would You Believe (Elmo Seda) ("Tenox [sic] sax solo by Tony Graye; musical director Mike Allan Gaskin pianist") (handwritten on sleeve: "For more copies & other complimentary promotional records please make requests to Mr. Vincent Vallis A&R Dir of Jody Records")
9070: The Sophisticated Angels -- I Can't Hang (Sheena Gibson) / Soulin' It Out (Noel Gibson) (disco; handwritten on sleeve: "Gibson, Huey 632-0736")
9083: Barry Nystrom -- Life's Been Good To Me / Wind, Snow And Rain (both wr. Barry Nystrom; not a song-poem record)
9117: The Bob Martin & Orch. -- Moonbeams In The Dark / Keena (both wr. H. Randall West) (1983; arr. Bob Martin)
9118: Vocal: Andrew Gieron & Group -- Aren't You Happy With Us? / You And I (both wr. Andrew Gieron) (©1985; produced by Andrew Gieron & Dan Pickering)
9121: Herbert Lacy -- Give Me A Chance (H. Lacy-F. Pilate) / Help Me When I'm Down (H. Lacy-F. Pilate-W. Wallace) (not a song-poem record)
9163: Michael Ekromwenrenren, with Eko Band feat. Maureen Thomas -- Victory Dance / Give It To Me (both wr. M. Ekromwenrenren) (©1988; 12" 33rpm; co-pr. Owen Maxymun; not a song-poem record)
9165: Phil Coley & Band -- Chloe (The Tippy Toe Dancin' Cherokee) / Hootie (The Wise Old Owl) (both wr. Lester Schuman) (1988)
9241: Sal Rainone & The Sal Rainone Orchestra -- My Dear Green Mountain Sweetheart (Dorothy Deane Catchapaw-Joe Sharp) / Diamonds In The Snow (Dorothy Dean Catchapaw) // That Midnight Train (Dorothy Deane Catchapaw-James Bruce) / Dreamin' (Of Losing You) (Dorothy Deane Catchapaw-Walter King) (©1993)
-- Albums --
Hello God (Jessie Burch)
Give God All The Credit (Jessie Burch)
Ann || Exotic || Film City || Globe || Preview
title, number unknown -- number unknown
Discography ©2004 Phil Milstein