Monday, July 15, 2013

Jerry Savoy

After I wrapped up writing my story on Randy King, I discovered a second single on the Denver-based Enterprise label. This one from Jerry Savoy, and released right before the King 45.

Now pay attention, because it gets kinda random here…

Both sides of the single “All That Really Matters” and “With You” were produced by Gary Paxton.

Ring any bells?

Paxton is best known for his involvement in two novelty hits: “Alley Oop” (1960) by the Hollywood Argyles (Paxton sang lead), and “Monster Mash" (August, 1962) by Bobby Boris Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers. Both of these facts will be important later…

Somewhere along the way, in Paxton’s busy producing career, he ended up in Denver. In December 1961, he was at the helm of the Hollywood Argyles Finer Arts single, “The Morning After”/ “See You in the Morning.” Finer Arts was owned by former Puebloan Morey Bernstein of Bridey Murphy fame. The single didn’t do much. A January 6, 1962 Billboard mention said, “The Morning After” had “moderate sale potential.”

But I digress…

On to Jerry Savoy.

How Gary Paxton and Enterprise got together is a mystery to me, but here’s what I found. Sometime in early 1962, while Paxton was still producing in Denver, he hooked up with Enterprise, and country singer, Jerry Savoy. Jerry recorded “All That Really Matters,” written by Gary Paxton, and – wait for it – Johnny MacRae. Johnny MacRae was a vocalist in – wait for it – Bobby Boris and the Crypt-Kickers.  The b-side is another MacRae composition, “With You.”

Note Garpax on the label. Garpax would go on to be the label Gary Paxton used to release “Monster Mash” in 1962.

Still with me?

 So “All That Really Matters” received favorable reviews. In fact Billboard gave it four stars and deemed that it had “strong sales potential,” on June 16, 1962. No clue what happened to this catchy number, but it didn’t go anywhere. Paxton went on to bigger and better things, and that was that.

Of course it didn't go passed me that the Enterprise and Garpax labels look very similar.

Several years later Savoy would go on to release two records on the Chart label: Chart 1105 – “Make it Hard for Me” / “Where Can a Poor Man Go” Chart 1108 – “Foot in Mouth Disease” / “Falling Apart at the Seams”

NOTE: Chart also released Warren Robbe’s “Pick of the Week” / “I’ve Got Nothing” (1072).

Monday, July 1, 2013

Movin' On To A Better America

Finding a Colorado-based Independence Day record that compares to last year's Dick Bodine post was hard - so I'm not even going to try to top it.

But I think I came close...

I actually found this single in a thrift store in Midland, TX. How I get so lucky finding Colorado records in some of the most unlikely locales, is beyond me.

This ode to America, specifically American chambers of commerce, was appropriately released in 1976, and penned by the prolific Ralph Harrison and Tim Schumacher, over at the Great American Music Machine, in Denver. The company had a knack for writing long-form PSA-style songs (one of these days I'll write an entire blog about them, but every time I think I have every possible GRAMM record out there, I find another - see the Denver Nuggets and the Skiing in the Rockies LP for two recent GRAMM posts).

"The mission of your Chamber of Commerce is to advance human progress through an economic, political, and cultural system based on individual freedom, incentive, opportunity, and responsibility..." - Liner notes on the picture sleeve.

Ralph handles the vocals on "Movin' On to a Better America," and the spoken-word flipside, "The Story of Free Enterprise."

He follows with the spoken word text:

"Yes the American way, it's a good way. A way of life enjoyed by over 200 million proud people who share its many values. A legend of freedom and prosperity, envied by billions the world over, who have only heard of its greatness. An example of humanity worth preserving for the free world to follow in the years that lie ahead. And when you talk about preservation of our preferred American lifestyle, the discussion leads directly to the work of the many dedicated chambers of commerce..."

Margie Bortles

For some reason the name Margie Bortles rings a bell with me, but for the life of me I don't know how.  Maybe she rings a bell with someone else out there...

I did time doing news on Pueblo's KIDN country radio, back in 1980, and it's possible that's where I know the name from.  Local groups and singers would come in and drop off their singles for airplay, so who knows.  My brain only holds so much information nowadays (grin).

This is the first record I've come across on a Pueblo West record label (DJM OV 22).  Unfortunately the label doesn't note a year, or any other clue, on the runoff. The only other name is Bob Sordon, who is listed as the songwriter for "Mississippi Woman."  Margie is accompanied by the similarly named Sordon Sound band. 

Haven't a clue what DJM stands for (not to be confused with Elton John's early label, of course).

The flipside of the single is a cover of the Wanda Jackson hit, "Silver Threads and Golden Needles."

Was able to find Kama Music Publishing, in a 1973 Billboard, as a project of Larry Coryell.  Whether this is the same Larry Coryell as the jazz guitarist, who knows.

As always, drop me a line if you know anything.