Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Name That Tune! Win Money!

(Versión en español: http://granfusion.blogspot.com/)

You’re going to think this is a really weird blog post, and it is. It will be a lot of fun to write, too. I’ve posted a condensed version of this story on my website (http://www.sdwyer.net/), but here’s everything I can say about the situation with a 45 I own but can’t name.

If you grew up with CDs, you may think of music labels as silkscreened artwork. You probably have seen a lot of 45s, but most 45s have labels that are stuck on with decent glue. The occasional rinky-dink label would go cheap on the glue in order to stay afloat, it seems, as one of my 45s lost not one but both labels.

“Not a problem,” you say under your breath. “You drop the needle on that 45 and listen to the first few seconds of the song, and you know what song it is. caithiseach is overreacting.”

And I retort that your scenario works fine, unless the label came off when you were five years old and couldn’t read all that well yet.

Aha! Just write down the lyrics and Google them.

Both sides of the 45 are instrumentals.

Aha! Post the songs online and let someone tell you their names.

I did that. My friend Whiteray (http://echoesinthewind.blogspot.com/) used his blog to direct some of the best musical minds of this generation to the songs, which have been posted on my site for a year, waiting to be identified. No one made a successful guess. A good attempt came from JB (The Hits Just Keep on Comin', http://jabartlett.wordpress.com/), who suggested Ferrante & Teicher. After I sifted through as much F&T as I could find, I wrote to them. Their personal manager, Scott W. Smith, answered me: “I can confirm that it is NOT Ferrante & Teicher on side B...nor is it Roger Williams, Peter Nero, Liberace, Carmen Cavallaro.”

And he would know.

How did I get into this predicament? Actually, two of my records lost their labels. The other one is a little Golden Records 78 on yellow vinyl whose label peeled off when I was old enough to write the title on the record. I probably wrote the title on that 78 because of my bitter experience with the previous lost label. But the 45 in question today was my first experience with coming unglued. Even if I asked someone the titles before the label fell off, eventually the names faded from my memory, something I didn’t know could happen. Now I know all about Old Timer’s Disease, but I felt completely in command of my memory when I was five.

So, I had a 45 with, as I recall, a pale-blue label. One side (which I now call A) was a bouncy tune with an odd mix of motifs and instrumentation only a music-store owner could love: accordion, piccolo, kettle drums and, I think, a kitchen sink. Since I liked quirky tunes, this one did get a lot of spins on the turntable. In fact, since I obviously can’t look for the song on CD, you get to hear my original 45 for the first time since I started the blog. Today’s cut is partially Ground to Dust, and it may be a tough listen. Hang in there for me, please.

At some point, the edge of the label started to flap in the breeze as the 45 spun on the record player. Soon half of the label flopped over whenever I picked up the record. Eventually, the label had nearly sloughed off, so I finished the job, sort of like pulling a loose baby tooth, and I saved it. The same thing happened to side B, which you will hear on Saturday.

The labels sat in my box of 45s. I haven’t mentioned how big a box has to be to hold 300 45s and maybe 50 LPs, but it was a heck of a box, and things could get lost in it. My guess is that when I downsized the box after the Great Meltdown, I didn’t gather up the labels. I may have lost them long before then, though, because I would have memorized the titles once I learned to read. I can’t dig deeply enough in my memory to recall the details of the situation.

I am left, then, with the opportunity to reach out to the entire world of music blog-readers in a final attempt to reacquire the names of these recordings. Apart from letting you hear the songs, I can tell you that today’s selection has a matrix number of 1009, with the characters 27 R facing sideways. This 45 is evidently from a minor label, though I perhaps should not say that, in case it’s yet another Mercury single. I’m not trying to mislead anyone.

There is a reward for accurately naming the title AND the artist. I will send the first person to do so $50, once I verify the information. Be the first to name one OR the other and receive $25. It’s that simple. I suspect that anyone who can name the artist can name the title, but we'll see.

If no one comes through for me after this post, I’ll be forced to find some pop musicologist or do something equally not as fun as letting my readers have a go at it. So, good luck, and may your diligence pay off! On Saturday, you get the rest of the story. See you on the flip side!

Mystery 45, song A

Label of Mystery 45


Julie Hibbard said...

You have no idea how much I wanted to be able to name this tune for you! I listened a couple of times...and no luck. It almost sounds as if it could be a Disney sound track. Like one of those little records we bought our kids...
This is a mystery! I am surprised you can sleep at night knowing there is a song you are unable to identify! :)
Can't wait to hear that someone is able to come through for you and solve this age-old mystery!

stackja1945 said...

Sounds like a TV show theme.
But not one I know.
But seems a lot like a DeVol http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0006030/
theme for TV show My Three Sons.