A week ago today, I attended a big, semi-annual flea market in a nearby town. I haven't had much luck my two previous trips there but it was a beautiful morning and I enjoyed the drive over. Turns out that even with 100 or more people selling all kinds of junk, there was still next to nada in the record department. It would have been a complete bust except that I decided to stop at a small, weekend flea market down the street from the big one. It was in a little white building and inside I found a couple of stashes of old 45's. There were some stacked up on a shelf to my right as I walked in and, over on the opposite wall, there were a couple of shoe boxes full. I wound up buying 40 records, including several that I already had because they were just a quarter each. Here are a few of my more interesting finds.
Dick Banks - Dirty Dog I found three copies of this one and took home two thinking something called "Dirty Dog" must be worth a listen. I don't find a lot of info on Banks but this record is his only listing at the RCS site. It's from 1958 and is very much in the style of Elvis Presley. More specifically, it sounds like "All Shook Up" down to the same type backing vocals. There's some pretty good guitar and, while I wouldn't call this exceptional, it was certainly worth two bits. It turns out that Dick Banks was originally from southern Illinois which might explain the multiple copies of his record gathering dust here.
Rupert's People - Reflections of Charles Brown/Hold On It was kind of odd finding this alongside a bunch of 50's rock and roll, country and the like. Rural southern Illinois isn't exactly conducive to locating British pop psych. But that's what happened and it's a nice copy too. "Reflections of Charles Brown" is notable for sounding considerably like Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale". I'm not sure which was released first but the similarity is undeniable. Anyway, "Charles Brown" appears on the Nuggets II box, though it's not one of my favorite tracks on the set. However, the flipside, "Hold On" is actually more to my liking. I've seen it described as psych or even mod soul. It is dancable and has a swirling instrumental mid section but I'd call it hard rock, myself, the type of thing that some bands were doing from about 1967 to the early 1970's in the post garage era. The guitars are turned way up and the organ rocks, very cool.
Jimmy Lee & Johnny Mathis - If You Don't Somebody Else Will Johnny Mathis on a Chess record? That's what I thought when I picked this up. What could it sound like? Well, almost anything on Chess is gonna be worth two bits so I decided to take it home with me. It ends up that this Johnny Mathis isn't the pop crooner but rather an old country & western artist. This record goes back to 1954 and is excellent hillbilly country, with fiddles and a piano. I like it a lot and it's the kind of thing that would be totally lost on today's typical country fan. Times change and not always for the better. Here's your proof.
Betty Wright - Sweet Lovin' Daddy Being a big fan of "Clean Up Woman", I enjoy chasing down the occasional Betty Wright single to see what else by her I might enjoy. This one gets a big thumbs-up from yours truly. While her big hit was from 1971, this b-side is from three years earlier. I didn't even realize that she recorded for Alston going back to 1968 but here it is. "Sweet Lovin' Daddy" is up-tempo soul with an outstanding vocal. I think that I might even like it more than "Clean Up Woman", which is pretty high praise. I recommend that you track down a copy for yourself, if you haven't already.