Tuesday, November 27, 2007

A Day In The Wild

Last Tuesday was a crisp, late autumn day here in southern Illinois and I had the chance to go out looking for records. My journey even took me across state lines, over the Mississippi River into Missouri. I hit one place that I'd been before and a couple that I hadn't. I came away with quite a few records, with nothing costing more than a couple of bucks.

Today, I thought that I'd share sort of a capsulized review of some of the more interesting finds of that day. I wouldn't say that it was a completely representative day of record digging. Sometimes, I find nothing and I've had the occasional better day. But the mix of scores from last Tuesday makes for some nice variety, an unusual blend.

The Chapins - The Swinging Group My very limited research turned up a 1966 date for this one, though I wouldn't be surprised to find it was from a year or two later. About the only thing I know about the Chapins is that they were led by their namesake and future folk balladeer, Harry Chapin. Here, we have an unusual disc, that had some sort of tie-in with Hullabaloo Magazine and with Esquire Socks, advertised on the back of the picture sleeve seen here. The a-side of this, "Old Time Movies", is a novelty, with lots of impersonations of famous movie folk. Over on the flip, "The Swinging Group" is a a parody of the garage go-go scene of the day. Parody or not, I think it's pretty cool, with lots of rockin' guitar.

Hoctor - Moving World Larry Grogan, of the tremendous Funky 16 Corners blog has written about the Hoctor label on a few occasions. The imprint released instrumental dance records for students of just about any genre imaginable. From time to time, I'll run across these 45's while out looking. Usually, the titles aren't too promising but one of the antique stores that I visited, last Tuesday had a whole bunch of them, including three that I threw on my pile. One of those, a DISCO-FIED version of "La Bamba", wound up being not so hot but the other two are very good. I especially like today's funky "Moving World". The flip is a fine version of Chase's "Get It On". I wish that I knew who played on these.

Joyce Davis - Superman Again, limited research here shows this one as a 1962 release. I haven't been able to dig up anything on Joyce Davis. "Superman" is an upbeat, r&b rocker, with both male and female backing vocals. The thing that really makes the record for me, other than the lead vocal, is the guitar break, almost always a welcome addition.

Billy Randall - Bye-Bye-Teacher The Savoy label is responsible for lots of great records, including this 1959 rocker from Billy Randall. "Bye-Bye-Teacher" is up-tempo, with a pounding beat. There's also the aforementioned guitar break to help the proceedings. It's a short one, clocking in at just over two minutes.


Brian said...

Thanks for posting these, Todd. What little I know is:

Superman was co-written by Rose Marie "It's-tuesday-I-must-write-a-song"McCoy, who has a website here:

She is also the wiseacre second voice of Big Maybelle's record of "Gabbin' Blues", which she wrote, one of her over 800 songs.

The other writer is Johnny "It's-3:46-I-must-write-a-song" Brandon, who has over 900 song credits to his name.

Ms. Davis also recorded "Hello Heartaches, Goodbye Love" for Okeh, or at least A Joyce Davis did this!

As for the Chapins, thanks for the info on the tie-in, which explains the non-LP B-side status of this record. I played this on my show, The Electro-Phonic Sound of Brian Phillips, not only because it's a great song, but also because the record label mentions my home county, Rockland, but the name of my home town, Ramapo which includes my home village, Spring Valley, NY. You'd figure that the Chapins would have visited me, but I was two or three at the time. In any case, the Chapins (Harry, Steve and Tom) record a complete album for this label, which was a subsidiary of Irv Kratka's Music Minus One imprint.

Todd Lucas said...

Brian, thanks a bunch for all of the info. "The Swinging Group" really is a great song.

Dgrador said...

Lotsa cool stuff here.

Anonymous said...

Nice blog. I will keep reading. Please take the time to visit my blog about Guitar Lesson