Saturday, 10 April 2010

Lex, David and Ric

Over at the rather wonderful Music For Maniacs there's been a bit of a debate going on recently about the origins of the disc I present for your enjoyment today, a 45 from Ric King entitled The Return of a Soldier.

To cut a long story short the Capitol Records 45 (catalogue number 5845, fact fans) The Return of a Soldier, was co-written by one Lex De Acevedo a name which, through no fault of Mr De Acevedo (occasionally - as in this instance - spelled Azevedo, one would assume to make it easier to pronounce) himself, was mistakenly believed to be a pseudonym of the writer/producer David Axelrod. This erroneous 'fact' wasn't helped by Capitol when, in 2006 they put out the compilation CD Introducing the Four King Cousins and included the following in the liner notes: "Produced, arranged, and conducted by David Axelrod using the pseudonym Lex De Azevedo." Silly record company!

The simple truth is that Lex De Acevedo and David Axelrod are two different people. Lex is a cousin to America's famous King Family (hence his credit on the Cousins album) and Ric King is his brother, Ric De Acevedo who is now a member of the post-Lettermen vocal act Reunion. David Axelrod and Lex recorded for Capitol at the same time during the mid sixties, so perhaps that's where the mistake came from - apparently, according to Lex's daughter, their offices adjoined too. De Acevedo is a Mormon musician and still active as a composer today, as is Axelrod - active, I mean, not a Mormon (at least not that I know of) - most famous for his work with the Electric Prunes and Lou Rawls.

Now this has little or nothing to do with the record I present today, apart from offering a bit of interesting background and the thought that if record companies cannot credit their artists correctly what chance have we got some 40-odd years later?

If you know Staff Sergeant Barry Sadler's mawkish mid-60s hit Ballad of The Green Berets you'll have some idea of what to expect, although Ric King's addition to the pile of Vietnam-inspired releases is particularly insipid and tasteless, dealing as it does with the post-life experiences of a freshly-deceased young man.

Hey, what's not to like?


  1. Label scan of "Return of a Soldier" now up on the Music For Maniacs "Songs From the Sewer" post - ask and you shall receive! Thanks again to M4M contributor windbag.

  2. Lex De Azevedo/Acevedo also wrote an LDS book with a theme similar to those done by Dan & Steve Peters, Bob Larson, Steve Lawhead, Jacob Aranza, and Jeff Godwin, if one wishes to check out tomes a la "The Evil Rock Music":

    POP MUSIC & MORALITY, Lex De Azevedo with Chris Conkling, ISBN 0-940572-05-2, by Embryo Books, 1986

    You might also check out Jan Howard's C&W hit, "My Son"/"The Tip of My Fingers" Decca 32407 45 rpm single, from November, 1968. I had the track on a period Lp a while back which I passed to a C&W Lp friend.



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