Here’s another emotive duet from the couple who once sang together as The Lovers. As well as Tarheel Slim and Li’l Ann’s stirring harmonies, I Submit To You features a full backing band including piano, flute and horns. It was released in 1965, so it’s not impossible that Jimmy Oliver’s arrangement was influenced by Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound. Whatever the case, the results are fantastic.
The Teen Queens – Eddie My Love
And now for a slow dance. As their name implies, Betty and Rosie Collins were just 16 and 14 respectively when Eddie My Love was released in 1956. Their elder brother, Aaron — a founding member of West Coast doo-wop group The Cadets — originally wrote the song (for his sisters) as a tribute to Johnny Ace — the R&B singer who tragically, fatally and accidentally, shot himself in the head. There had been a spate of girls singing songs about Johnny, but Aaron eventually decided that the time for Johnny tributes had passed, so the song became an ode to Eddie instead.
Dinah Washington – This Bitter Earth
This Bitter Earth is a seemingly sad song from the Queen of the Blues, Dinah Washington, with just a tiny twist of hope right at the end. Written by songwriter, producer and A&R executive, Clyde Otis, it was released by Washington in 1960 and climbed to the top of the R&B charts. Washington would have been no stranger to the feelings of heartbreak that she became so famous for singing about — she divorced seven times before having a fatal drug overdose in 1963, aged just 39. A couple slow dances to today’s selection in a memorable scene from Charles Burnett’s brilliant 1977 film, Killer of Sheep.
Ron Holden – My Babe
Ron Holden – Love You So
There I was, looking online for versions of Little Walter’s My Babe, when I came across this Ron Holden record, a true double-sider. My Babe is an entirely different song, but really cool, a classic rock’n’roller. I wasn’t expecting much from the flip since it was pretty common, back in the day, to pair an upbeat number with a slightly putrid slow ballad. Love You So is a ballad, but it’s a brilliantly beautiful lilting love song, in an end-of-the-night slow-dance kind of a way. It turns out that Love You So was actually the bigger hit in the US, although the all-important radio DJs did give airtime to both sides. Prior to recording these two tunes in ’59, Holden helped establish Louie Louie as a regional standard in 1950s Seattle. If you would like to find out more about Ron Holden and the story of this record, have a read of this interesting article by Peter Blecha.
The Monkees – Daydream Believer
The Monkees – Daydream Believer 33rpm
The third in this series of singles slowed down a notch was suggested to me through email. It’s the only way that one Diddy Wah visitor listens to this tune. I suspect it’s soon to be the only way that many Diddy Wah visitors listen to this tune. Just as with Gloria and Funnel Of Love, Daydream Believer transforms into a new song when revolving thirty three and a third times per minute. As if by magic, this pop ballad, that we’ve all heard a countless number of times, suddenly carries a whole lot more weight. It does make me wonder though, how common the practice of speeding up the tempo of a recording is. Unfortunately, the vinyl I’ve ripped these mp3s from is a tad crackly, which is especially noticeable when the needle is dragging through the groove with less vigour than the label prescribes. But, have a listen and you’ll understand why I couldn’t wait to score a clean copy before sharing this.
Chico Holiday – Blue Tattoo
Alright, I’m back, and here’s the first of the wares I’m sporting. Chico Holiday, born Ralph Vergolino, was a teen star of the 1950s who turned to gospel later in life. Blue Tattoo is from 1962 and, well, there’s not a lot to tell about this tune except that it’s all about sailor tatts which gives it considerable hipster cache theseadays.
Elvis Presley – Surrender
Elvis released Surrender in 1961, it was a huge hit. The tune is from an old Neapolitan ballad called Torna a Surriento (Come Back to Sorrento). I like how it starts a bit like the theme from James Bond, full of mystery.
August 16th 1977 was the day Elvis finally surrendered and left the building for the last time. To celebrate his life and music I’m putting on a night on the same date exactly 33 years later – that’s this Monday August 16th. It will be great fun and so if you are in the area (London, UK), come on down. The Haggerston is a pub on Kingsland Road in, well, in Haggerston, which is the badlands between trendy Shoreditch and trendy Dalston.
I will be joined behind the decks by Gav from Get Involved, Fritz and Sean from Buzzsaw Joint and Deano from the Strongroom Bar. Also, as an extra special treat, the gals from Lily and Chew will be preparing some Elvis themed snacks. Can’t wait!
Roy Hamilton – Midnight Town-Daybreak City
Now, here’s some more crooning for your listening pleasure. Singing star Roy Hamilton was looked up to by Elvis Presley and Jackie Wilson. His biggest successes were with You’ll Never Walk Alone and an early version of Unchained Melody but for today’s post I’ve ripped his 1963 rendition of Midnight Town-Daybreak City. As well as showcasing Hamilton’s superb baritone it highlights the songwriting mastery of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller, who also produced the record – can’t but love the massive crescendo.
Vince Hill – A Woman Needs Love
British crooner Vince Hill gives us today’s selection, the flipside to his biggest hit which was a cover of Edelweiss. Yes, Edelweiss from The Sound of Music. Released in 1967 it went all the way up to the second spot on the UK charts. However, I reckon A Woman Needs Love stands up better over time. It sounds like a proto power ballad.
Fred Darian – Strong Man
Fred Darian was one of the many young and hopeful folks lured to Hollywood by the promise of stardom. He served as a singer, songwriter, composer and manager, and in 1961 released the flip slide to today’s offering onto the world. It didn’t make much impact but some years later Strong Man became an in-demand spin on the Belgian popcorn scene. The song fits somewhat into the country genre but there’s also plenty of Western style Hollywood drama built in.
An Aquarium Drunkard
Be Bop Wino
The B Side
Carlos Rene's Scene64
Derek's Daily 45
The Devil's Music
Flea Market Funk
Frankie Bundle's Mazzetta78
Home Of The Groove
Jester Wild Show
Kogar's Jungle Juice
La Dimension De Trastos
Liam Large's Rekkids
Mean Mojo Mathias
Night Beat Records
So Many Records, So Little Time
You Got Good Taste