Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Vinyl obscurities 2

This is the second in my series of vinyl obscurities - again ranging from the sublime to the vaguely ridiculous.
Shirelles: I met him on a Sunday/ I want you to be my boyfriend. Brunswick 05746.
The Shirelles were the premier girl group of the sixties, but here is their first 45 from 1958 when they were just getting started. It's a rare one sided demo and a great record. It was a couple of years before the Shirelles' wonderful run of hits began - with Will You Love Me Tomorrow, Dedicated to the One I Love, Mama Said and so many others. But this, their debut single, shows their budding talent to the full. Eddie 'Buster' Forehand: Young boy blues/You were meant for me. Action ACT 4519.
This was Eddie's sole 45 in the UK, but he is much better known as Little Buster. Blind from childhood, he recorded a number of 45s in the 60s, but then faded from view before being rediscovered in the 1990s. He died in 2006.
Al Tousan: Naomi/ Indinna. London HLU 9291.
Not only did they manage to mis-spell Al's name on the label, but they even mis-spelt the state of Indiana on the B-side. Of course, this is in fact Allen Toussaint, and this was his first release in the UK. It's perhaps not his greatest moment, although it's OK, but he went on to become one of the stars of New Orleans R and B. Interesting that he used the pseudonym Naomi Neville in many of his compositions - no doubt in tribute to this early 45.
Ross McManus: Patsy girl/ I'm the greatest. HMV POP 1279.
This is interesting because of course Ross McManus is in fact Elvis Costello's dad. But the record isn't bad at all. Clearly ska was considered highly commercial because this is a UK version of ska, with backing from Joe Loss's Blue Beats. Joe Loss? I thought all he did was fox trots. Apparently not. This is a pretty good attempt at the ska genre and well worth a listen. Even Bob Dylan thought so apparently, as he played it on one of his radio shows.
Little Tony and his Brothers: Too good/Foxy Little Mama. Decca F 11190.
Britain had its own answer to the out of tune singing of Fabian in Jess Conrad. But this was Italy's answer. Little Tony started off on the Durium label but following promotion on Jack Good's 'Oh Boy' show he moved to Decca and this was his biggest hit with both sides written by Doc Pomus and Mort Shuman. The B side was quite a rocker and it's one of those records that's so bad it's good - out of tune, but strangely attractive. Tony apparently still performs in Italy.


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