Saturday, July 26, 2008

A Lot of Ulnar Nerve

The Tony Wilde single that made it into three-year-old caithiseach’s collection of cast-off 45s included some decent musical efforts, as well as some real dogs. Opinions on this blog have ranged from a lot of head-shaking over “Quiet!” by the Baby Dolls to very favorable reviews of the Marlin Greene tunes.

Today, I offer you the A side of Gardena 101, “Funny Bone” by Tony Wilde. Gardena released just 39 singles from 1960 to 1963, and the label didn’t even serve as a stepping stone for any of its artists, with the exception being Paul Revere and the Raiders, who gave Gardena its sole Top 40 hit with “Like, Long Hair.”

And yet, the producer of “Funny Bone” is probably a somewhat distinguished TV score composer, Jack Marshall. The writer of “Funny Bone,” Lou Duhig, was connected well enough to co-write a number of songs with Hal Blair (1915-2001), who made a substantial career for himself as a writer of country songs. Blair’s credits include Elvis (Presley) movies and “My Lips Are Sealed,” a #8 Country hit in 1956 for Jim Reeves. Duhig himself became a frequent song-supplier for the Castells, though his compositions showed up as three B sides on their singles.

With an accomplished songwriter and a solid producer on the job, there’s a far greater chance that a recording will have some staying power. “Funny Bone,” which is a far more mournful song than the name suggests, has an understated stark commentary that could have given it a decent chart run if an established label had picked it up. I’m glad I managed to recover the 45, thanks to online vinyl vendors.

No further Tony Wilde revelations have surfaced, so that’s it for today. Enjoy the song.

Last October, when I studied the feasibility of writing a year-long blog about my old 45s, I sketched out a track order and decided it was a task worth doing. I have stuck to the original song order, and I am going to do so next week, even though my songs for July 30 and August 2 coincide with a huge movie phenomenon. I’ll see you Wednesday!

Tony Wilde, Funny Bone

1 comment:

yah shure said...

"Funny Bone" strikes me as equal parts of "Sixteen Tons" and "Fever," with just a dash of "Instanbul (Not Constantinople)" for flavoring. And *those* are the songs that have become instant hummers, not "Funny Bone."

I'll have to give it another listen or two without relapsing into a 16-ton fever.