Friday, June 22, 2012

Vinyl Obscurities - Capitol

Recently Woodie and ace guitarist John Spencely posted photos of a stack of great Capitol 45s that he owns on Facebook. There's no way I can match that selection, but for my Vinyl Obscurities this time I've selected ten Capitol singles, none of which, as far as I know, were included in John's photo gallery. I have excluded 45s by the bigger name Capitol acts (Gene Vincent, Wanda Jackson, Johnny Otis, Beach Boys for example) and also the Twisters single that I featured recently. So here goes.
1. Les Paul and Mary Ford - Alabamy Bound/ Texas Lady. Mint value £8.
Les Paul's fame as a guitarist, songwriter, inventor of the solid body electric guitar and pioneer of multi-track recording makes him a true originator in the music field of the 20th century. Les died aged 94 in 2009. Here he is with his wife Mary Ford on an early Capitol 45 released in 1956.
2. Faron Young - I Can't Dance/ Rosalie. Mint value £15.
Faron Young was best known for country hits such as Hello Walls and Four In The Morning, but this is a pretty good rockabilly number and showed that he could rock the joint when in the mood. This is one of the few of his 45s that wasn't featured on John's photo gallery. Faron died in 1996.
3. Marie Adams - A Fool In Love/ What Do You Want To Make Those Eyes At Me For? Mint value £40.
Marie is one of the great under-rated R and B singers of the 50s, chiefly because as the singer with Johnny Otis's band she recorded under Otis's name on such records as Ma (He's Making Eyes At Me) and Romance In The Dark. She recorded for Peacock in the 50s and stayed with Otis until well into the 1960s before fading from the scene. Here she is, solo for once, and it's a great record, as is the B side (ask Emile Ford).
4. Jordanaires - Don't Be Cruel/ Don't Worry. Mint value £18.
Neither the song nor the group need any introduction and it's not really surprising that this cover version of a song they helped make famous failed to make it big. The B side is a cover of the Marty Robbins number .
5. Roy Clark - Texas Twist/ In The Mood. Mint value £15.
Roy Clark is probably best known for his later country hit Tips Of My Fingers, but he was also a noted guitarist and here he is on a rather run of the mill instrumental which was featured on his LP The Lightning Fingers of Roy Clark.
6. Dick Dale & the Deltones - Peppermint Man/ Surf Beat. Mint value £20.
Dick Dale is the King of Surf Guitar and something of a legend. I saw him a few years back at the Forum and my ears were bleeding afterwards. (Mr) Peppermint Man is untypical in that it is a garage style vocal, but Surf Beat is more typical of his style. Here are both sides on Youtube.
7. Chantels - Eternally/ Swamp Water. Mint value £40.
The Chantels, discovered by Richard Barrett, were only the second black girl group to make it big (after the Bobbettes) with Maybe and, later, Look In My Eyes. This single was recorded for Ludix, a label set up by Luther Dixon (of Shirelles fame) who was offered the chance of setting up his own label by Capitol. Sadly the label was not a great success.
8. Johnny Burnette - Sweet Suzie/ Walkin' Talkin' Doll. Mint value £30.
Released shortly before his untimely death in 1964, this was something of a return to his rock and roll roots but failed to make the charts. It was produced by David Gates.
9. Jody Miller - Home Of The Brave/ This Is The Life. Mint value £15.
Country singer Jody had considerable success with this, but in my opinion it paled in comparison with the rival version by Bonnie and the Treasures. Rumour had it that Bonnie was in fact Ronnie Spector, as the record was produced by Phil Spector protege Jerry Riopelle, but apparently this was not the case as the the singer was actually Charlotte O'Hara.
10. Outsiders - Respectable/ Lost In My World. Mint value £20.
The Outsiders were a garage band from Cleveland who had considerable US success with Time Won't Let Me, Girl In Love and this lively cover of the Isley Brothers hit. My copy of this particular 45 dates from when I wrote records reviews for the Croydon Advertiser back in the day.


At 11:06 pm , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent choice Nick. the Faron Young you show is, I'm pretty sure, the only one I'm missing. the flip is 'I Can't Dance' ? Faron, Ferlin and Sonny James did some great boppers on Capitol that don't go for huge sums. I've never seen a copy of that 45. good call. The Marie Adams 2 45's are great and I have neither, nor the two Dick Dales. I have texas Twist but didn't post it; like you, I don't consider it as hot as some of his others. Top post mate
John S

At 4:23 am , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nice selection. Interesting to see Jerry Riopelle mentioned, he cut a great western swing number "Red Ball Texas Flyer" for ABC. Notable omissions (although neither are very good) are "Little Chickie Wah Wah" by Ray Stevens and "Sugaree" by The Jordanaires. Keep hunting folks!
Gordon F


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