B-Atlas Redux
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
2w ago
First, I want to thank everyone who has been commenting lately. There've been a few folks who have also gone back and listened to things I posted a while ago and sent a bunch of comments back to back. I am much appreciative.   Second, I will point out that I have adjusted the link (at right) to Sammy Reed's site, "Music from the World of the Strange and the Bizarre", which can now be found here.  And now it's time for us all to Be Atlas.  ~~ Nearly ten years ago, I shared a Rodd Keith Record (released under his frequent aka of Rod Rogers) on the B-Atlas ..read more
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Rocket 88??? NO! This is Rocket 99!!
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
2w ago
Perhaps you are familiar with the classic R & B record "Rocket 88". If not, I encourage you to familiarize yourself with it now. This is one of the records that often gets called "The First Rock & Roll Single". It was credited to Jackie Brenston, but should have more accurately been credited to Ike Turner and his Band, as that was the name the group was named at, at the time. Today's record is not "Rocket 88", but does seem to be about a product that came out 11 updates later, and went up in the air, not down the street.  Anyway... I recently found an eBay auction for a record on ..read more
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Come See the Man! After All, Vicki Sees Him!
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
1M ago
 Any time I acquire a song-poem record on a small or tiny label, if at least one of the songs is at all worth sharing, for any reason, I like to do so, in order to give a more full picture of the song-poem world. So it is that today, I have another record on the Vellez label of Lomita, California, where "The Songs They Play Are On Vellez" I've offered up at least one simply marvelous record on Vellez in the past, which is heard here, and two other records, one of which was fairly interesting but bad, and the other which was comically bad. All of the Vellez tracks will pop up, in bac ..read more
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You Get No Love from Gene OR the Squires
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
1M ago
This is a sort of fascinating record. While not every Preview release has been documented yet, and that will probably never happen, there is only one Preview release precisely like this one documented at the AS/PMA Preview page, and now here's a second one.  What this record contains is a standard song-poem vocal rendition of a song, by Gene Marshall in this case (and in the other case, too), and on the flip side, the Preview house band, identified as "The Squires", play an instrumental version of the same song. And it's not just the instrumental track from the Gene Marshall version, it ..read more
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What the HELL is He Singing About?
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
1M ago
When I first decided to share this record, "The Rocking Chair Brand", it was mostly because of Billy Grey's forced, borderline obnoxious fake southern/western cowboy accent. Near the end of that first play, though, my ears perked up. "When did the lyrics move in THAT direction?", I thought.  I've listened several more times, and I'm just befuddled. I guess he's singing about being a cowboy who's just about ready to die. All the lines about payday and helping his pals confused me, but I think he's promising to send them fortunate outcomes from the great beyond. I guess. He wants to apolog ..read more
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When the Rooster Crows...
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
2M ago
A belated Happy Mother's Day to all Mother's who are reading this post, and all those who have or had a Mother.  Today I have an Air label EP, on which just one of the four songs is really and truly worthwhile, and for those of you who want to skip the dross, I encourage you to skip to the last song, after which this post is named, for something fairly entertaining.  Very briefly, the Air label, for whatever reason, seems to have existed to put out singles and EP's containing the works of multiple song-poem factories, often two or three different producers on the same 45. I'd be lyi ..read more
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Cardinal Rodd
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
2M ago
Before I get to today's songs, a bit of a backstory. Nearly four years ago, in this post, I shared an EP of Sammy, er, Sonny Marshall singing four songs by Michael Rose. Within that post, I commented that I'd already shared one of those songs, "A Little Bird", in a post nearly three years before that. I also mentioned that, although Michael Rose was listed as the composer of "A Little Bird" on the Air release, on the earlier Cardinal post, the song was credited to a different person Margaret A. Rosenberger (although I didn't provide either of their names at the time).  Now, I have anothe ..read more
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Norm and Joe
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
2M ago
In the early days of the Sterling label, when they were creating a sound I truly love, one of the first singers hired was someone named Joe Hall. I've featured him here once before, and he was really not a very impressive singer. I have a few other Joe Hall records, but they're just not very good. Shortly after his name starts appearing on Sterling labels, the name of Norm Burns shows up, and very quickly, Norm became the standard bearer, which he would remain until his death in 1974. And shortly after Norm showed up, Joe made his last record for the label, which is no surprise. Today's reco ..read more
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How Charming!
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
3M ago
  Well, I've been super busy, and it's been almost two weeks since I posted. I really don't have much time even now, so I won't say too much about this week's Tin Pan Alley item, featuring Ellen Wayne singing about "The Charm of a Texan's Smile". It's got an appealing, loping beat, and the singer gives quite a winning performance. I find the few things the lyrics actually say about Texans to be somewhere between suspect and flatly untrue, in my experience, anyway - looking at you, Senator Ted Cruz (among many others) - but maybe these things were more true 64 years ago or so, when this wa ..read more
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Halmark: The Label Christian Song-Poets Prefer 10-1
The Wonderful and the Obscure
by Bob Purse
3M ago
This week, we have an overlap of Holy Week, Passover and Ramadan, and so I thought what better time to feature a religion dominated record from that most religious of song-poem labels, Halmark. Now, admittedly, nearly all (if not all) of the religious material released by Halmark was of the Christian variety, but still, the confluence of religious observations of three of the world's major religions is what caused me to seek out tracks for such a posting.  I don't know what it was about Halmark that attracted so many more religious oriented song-poets than utilized the other labels, bu ..read more
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