Saturday, May 15, 2010
In real life, my nose isn't quite this large (or bloodshot), but otherwise this is an accurate copy of my likeness, at least face-in-the-lens-wise. I love the way everything merged together in this joining of images. Imagine this in 3-D. No, actually, don't.
So, if the last batch of cover versions didn't make your life complete, then maybe this one will. It's certainly a varied bunch of copies, starting with Mona Grey covering Teresa Brewer covering Johnny Ace. Things zoom into an uncredited copy of The Rip Chord's Three Window Coupe, and suddenly we're hearing The Flashes pretending to be the Coasters with What About Us. Then it's a copy of Ernie Fields' Twist-y version of In the Mood, which doesn't exactly cancel out memories of Glenn Miller. Then the 3 Beavers copy The Nutty Squirrels' Uh Oh, and I've always wanted to type "Then the 3 Beavers copy The Nutty Squirrels' Uh Oh." Eileen Scott, sounding way close to Rosemary Clooney, covers Rosemary's Mambo Italiano, then the Fabulous 4 give us a rendition of When I Fall in Love that doesn't come close to the Lettermen's. The uncredited singers on Love Me with All Your Heart do just as bad a job evoking the Ray Charles Singers, whereas another uncredited group deserves credit for doing a solid, middling job with Do You Love Me.
Those Oldies But Goodies and Will You Love Me Tomorrow are decent copies, too. The Toppers' Ghost Riders in the Sky excellently mimics the Ramrods' 1960 hit.
The Best Copy award, though, has to (in my opinion) go to Mambo Italiano, which could almost pass for an alternate take of the actual, non-fake hit version.
Click here to hear: Life-completing covers, Part Two.zip
PLEDGING MY LOVE--Mona Grey w. the Prom Orch. (Prom 1110)
THREE WINDOW COUPE (Hit Parader 29)
WHAT ABOUT US--The Flashes (Hit Parader)
IN THE MOOD (Song Hits 4)
UH OH--The 3 Beavers (Hit Parader)
MAMBO ITALIANO--Eileen Scott w. The Four Jacks (Gateway)
WHEN I FALL IN LOVE--The Fabulous 4 (Startime 1545)
LOVE ME WITH ALL YOUR HEART (Hit Parader 29)
DO YOU LOVE ME (Hit Parader 29)
THOSE OLDIES BUT GOODIES (Song Hits 16)
WILL YOU LOVE ME TOMORROW (Goffin-King)--Sandy Black, Toppers (Tops S60)
GHOST RIDERS IN THE SKY--The Toppers (Tops S60)
Friday, May 14, 2010
I was about to type, "Look at all those kids having a good time"--then I realized that the Bravo label simply used the same couple four times (same pose, to boot). The sleeve, by the way, says Grand Prix Series, but the label says Bravo. Typical.
Nothing, however, is stranger than the title of this post--"Life-completing covers," which I'm very proud to have come up with. It refers to budget-label copies of pop hits and how, in some instances, they can hold the power to make a life complete. I refer especially to the Hit Parader versions of Baby-Sitting Boogie and Uh Oh (coming up in Part 2)--two tracks which my existence, in its quest to become complete, has been waiting (and waiting) for. Now that these two have shown up and joined my collection, my life completeness is total. And the other titles make my life even more complete in its utter entirety.
That is the story behind "Life-completing covers." To hear the sounds behind the story, all you need do is download the zip file, using the handy link above the playlist. And what a playlist--besides the labels Hit Parader and Bravo, there are Top Tunes and an odd outfit called Family Library of Recorded Tunes. There's also a square dance version (with calls) of Folsom Prison Blues, which isn't exactly a cheap-label cover, but close enough.
Will your life, like mine, become complete after you hear these? There's only one way to find out: Life-completing covers, Part 1
BABY SITTIN' BOOGIE--Hit Parader 13 (Cover of Buzz Clifford)
WHEELS--Hit Parader 13 (Cover of Billy Vaughn)
PURPLE PEOPLE EATER--Dick Ronson (Gateway, 1958) (Cover of Sheb Wooley)
FOLSOM PRISON BLUES--The Country Ramblers, feat. Jack Carter (Calls: Ron Russell) (Cover of Johnny Cash stealing from Gordon Jenkins)
LITTLE DIANE--Tops in Pops (Bravo) (Cover of Dion)
TWIST AND SHOUT--Tops in Pops (Bravo) (Cover of Isley Bros.)
LIBERTY VALANCE (Bacharach-David)--Top Tunes EP (Cover of Gene Pitney)
PALISADES PARK--Top Tunes EP (Cover of Freddy Cannon)
COME SEPTEMBER--Top Tunes EP (From 1961 movie comedy)
STRIPPER (David Rose)--Top Tunes EP (Cover of David Rose)
YOUR CHEATING HEART (Hank Williams)--Lucille Dane (Family Library of Recorded Music) (Cover of Joni James ((?)) covering Hank Williams)
TILL I WALTZ AGAIN WITH YOU--Pat O'Dea (Same) (Cover of Teresa Brewer)
Sunday, May 09, 2010
The Chuck Wagon Gang, 1959.
Don't let the "-athon" fool you--there are only eight versions here, and two of those are medley portions joined into a single file (I've always wanted to type that). And there would only have been five if not for the two versions I found very recently by the Apostolic Bible Institute Brass Ensemble (first featured last week) and Theron Babcock and Doris Ulrich (organ/piano). I had no idea I owned so few versions of Send the Light, the Charles Gabriel smash gospel hit of 1890, and a song that remains famous and popular to this day, though you wouldn't know that by the number of times it hasn't shown up on disc. Two versions I used to have (and probably still have on cassette someplace): J.T. Adams and the Men of Texas, and Dwain Johnson with Jimmy Swaggart. I don't much miss either.
Anyway, eight versions, including a repeat from last week's post. I thon I had the makings of an a-thought, but I was.... I mean, I thought I had the makings of an a-thon, but I was wrong. At least it's a great tune.
To the light: Send the Light-athon
Theron Babcock, organ; Doris Ulrich, piano.
Chuck Wagon Gang,
Fairfield Highlands Baptist Church Choir--Dick Thomassian, Director
Rudy Atwood, piano.
World Action Singers, 1974; The Gospel Lads
The Lewis Family, 1976.