JIMMY OSMOND: Give Me A Good Old Mammy Song; I’m Gonna Knock On Your Door (MGM K 14687 – that’s in America only, so far).
“Hey mums and dads, kids and grads, gather roun’ – ‘cos Jimmy’s BACK . . . in YO’ town!” Yeah, what all those frantic American dee-jays would have been shouting in the good old days: trouble is, they’re all long gone, as is the vulgar kind of music that fitted their format. Hence the Osmonds, Cassidy, Cooper, and all our home-grown noisy Popsters do better here, where Boss Radio reigns, than in the cooled-out States. Admittedly, Little Jimmy O’s “Long Haired Lover From Liverpool” was a medium-sized hitlet in America a great many months before it broke through here, but since then he’s done nothing here. In fact, his Neil Reid-covering “Mother Of Mine” B-side was the original plug-side then, and right now his newie (due out here soon) is the other way up in America, where it is obviously hoped that the Levine & Brown-penned “Mammy Song” will echo that team’s success with Dawn (who, as it certainly sounds, possibly have already recorded this). Just as I dug “Liverpool” originally, I must confess to enjoying this frantic banjo-jangling romp, complete with an Al Jolson-aping sincere recitation insert! Anyway, the British A-side is going to be Jimmy’s similar to the original version of little (at that time) Eddie Hodges’ 1961 US hit, penned by leading Presley hit-mongers of the era, publisher Aaron Schroeder & Sid Wayne, who used that same “I’m gonna knock on your door, ring on your bell, tap on your window too” set of words that have taken Aretha Franklin into our Chart right now. The song’s a gimmicky chugger (less power-packed and noisy than the consequently still stronger Hodges cut) which doubtless will be gracing our airwaves for months to come. Over and out!
SISTER JANET MEAD (SISTER OF MERCY): The Lord’s Prayer (A&M 1491, due out here imminently on A&M AMS 7103).
Gawd strewth . . . following in the footsteps of those other great Australian songbirds, Helen Reddy and Olivia Newton John (let alone – and very applicable here – Judith Durham), and in the noble tradition of such overnight classics as “The Americans”, “Ballad Of The Green Berets” and “My Old Man’s A Dustman”, here’s – hold it, quit shovin’! – an Aussie nun – get in line there! – singing ever so sweetly to a buzzing and rumbling jog-beat Rock backing a generation-bridging – hey, let that cripple through there! – version of “The Lord’s Prayer (Our Father)” – have money ready! – which has already sold over two million copies in the last ten minutes. Say, did you ever know that it was penned by one Arnold Strals? And published by Rondor Music? Oh well, maybe they’re gonna give their royalties to the Australian flood victims, or somethin’ like that.
GLADYS KNIGHT AND THE PIPS: Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me (Buddah BDA 403).
Briefly back to sanity! Also hitting for Soul Vocal Group the Persuaders, this Jim Weatherly-penned slowie is the number that I was exhorting easy-listening readers to buy when out here by Country crooner Ray Price a few months back. Our Glad does it lovely, too, in a cryingly Soulful voice over thumping and twanging backing and subdued sing-along Pips. Continue reading “February 23, 1974: Jimmy Osmond, Sister Janet Mead, Gladys Knight & The Pips, Inez Foxx, The Staple Singers.”