Thursday, 28 October 2010

Gnome Thoughts ... 22 (1954 charts, Goon Rock)

As 1955 approaches this world is not set to last much longer. Johnny Ray, the final artist on this compilation, is not rock'n'roll, exactly, but the OTT delivery is taking us away from that world of politeness and kids listening to the same records as their parents. Beware the 1955 volume ...
Click on any song title for a youtube link.

1. This Ole House - Clooney, Rosemary
2. Mr Sandman - Chordettes
3. Three Coins In A Fountain - Four Aces
4. Secret Love - Day, Doris
5. Oh Mein Papa - Calvert, Eddie
6. That's Amore - Martin, Dean
7. Bell Bottom Blues - Cogan, Alma
8. I See The Moon - Stargazers
9. Happy Wanderer - Obernkirchen Children's Choir
10. My Friend - Laine, Frankie
11. If I Give My Heart To You - Day, Doris
12. My Son My Son - Lynn, Vera
13. Hold My Hand - Cornell, Don
14. Little Things Mean A Lot - Kallen, Kitty
15. Smile - Cole, Nat 'King'
16. Wanted - Como, Perry
17. Don't Laugh At Me - Wisdom, Norman
18. No One But You - Eckstine, Billy
19. Black Hills Of Dakota - Day, Doris
20. Changing Partners - Starr, Kay
21. Finger Of Suspicion - Valentine, Dickie
22. Cara Mia - Whitfield, David
23. Mambo Italiano - Clooney, Rosemary
24. Such A Night - Ray, Johnnie

Further thoughts:

Mostly American but with a few homegrown artists like Dickie Valentine and David Whitfield. The Stargazers' crazed I See the Moon is used to great effect in Dennis Potter's Lipstick on Your Collar.

Whitfield's later (1956) hit, My September Love, not included in this CD series, is typical of the style of the time:

It was later sent up by Spike Milligan (with Eric Sykes in attendance); I heard it on that catchpenny but somehow memorable Dark Side of the Goon album.

The parody is, in its way, a remarkable recording; you could even call it a rock'n'roll response - in spirit, anyway - to the original. Maybe even musically, after a fashion.

 First, we hear a female voice singing the song straight before an intermittent commentary from a lovestruck Milligan-in-Eccles-mode creeps in. He then announces his intention "to serenade her upon my instrument," which turns out to be a bass drum with which he happily thumps the melody into submission, recalling Private Hopper's yearning for "a beat to bust up the old stodge."

There is even the added drama of a love rival (Sykes), and the whole ends with an impromptu belch. Small wonder that the Goons were beloved of so many British rock'n'rollers-in-waiting.

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