Friday, 30 September 2011

Happy Fourth Birthday

Thank you; thank you from the heart of my bottom. Not just for sticking with me these past four years but also for suggesting, between you, over a dozen pieces of crap I had not heard before. My cup genuinely overfloweth. And thank you too to Charlie Claggett, of Record Finders in Virginia for sending me a wonderful Grace Pauline Chew 78 to add to my collection. I’ve already started a bit of a restoration job on that and I’ll bring you evidence soon.

But back to you, my wonderful WWR followers. Over the last week you’ve lead me towards an embarrassment of riches. A couple of those I’ve yet to track down but believe me I will: The Music Of Guatemala by the San Lucas Band is an absolute must, judging from what I’ve learned over the last few days – but as a copy went for almost $120 on eBay recently it might have to wait until a cheaper route appears. I also need to find a copy of Gary S. Paxton's The Big "A" = The Big "M", which UglyRadio calls “a cheerful anti-abortion song that manages to make Lil' Markie's Diary of an Unborn Child seem tasteful by comparison.” I can’t wait.

But today I’m bringing you two of my new favourites.

 WWR visitor Matthew Gilbert was kind enough to introduce me to the first, (I'm) Football Crazy by Giorgio Chinaglia. Says Matthew: “The Welsh-Italian World Cup 'star' (he sat on the Italy subs bench at least once during the 1974 tournament) launches into a beautiful ditty about how he's the best footballer of them all, and how he looks forward to the occasions when the manager allows him to have sex.

 “Yes, it really does contain the line 'trainer says some love tonight, allll right'. It is just immense on so many levels. Brilliant backing singers as well.”

He’s right of course; this is an immense find. Although born in Italy, Giorgio Chinaglia grew up and played his early football in Cardiff and began his career with Swansea Town in 1964. A year the 19-year old Chinaglia returned to Italy to play, first for Massese, then Internapoli and finally joining Lazio in 1969, scoring 98 goals in 209 league appearances and earning 14 international caps with Italy. In 1974, the same year he played for Italy in the World Cup, he released his one and only single, (I’m) Football Crazy, from the film The Referee.

In 1976, Chinaglia left Lazio to sign with the New York Cosmos, a team in the North American Soccer League. He retired in 1983 as the NASL's all-time leading scorer with 243 goals. In 2000, Chinaglia was inducted into the United States National Soccer Hall of Fame and was named the greatest player in Lazio's history during the club's centenary celebrations. However six years later Italian authorities issued an arrest warrant for Chinaglia and eight others for attempting to influence the price of Lazio shares, and in 2008, he was charged with acting as a front for the Camorra crime organization in its attempt to acquire the club for money laundering.

Don’t you just love it when a god boy goes bad? Thank you Matthew; thank you for introducing me to this horror.

Today’s second track comes courtesy of WWR visitor (and regular poster at the excellent Music for Maniacs) Windbag. I had already picked up the track in question via Music for Maniacs but it had slipped my mind. Thanks to his prompting I happily present it here for you today.

As he says of the brilliantly awful Ray Odom 45 I Can't Help It If I'm Still In Love with You: "The label says 1972, Wooten Recording Company, Memphis. I can't get anything on this label, but Ray Odom can't carry a note nor get the timing.” Kind of says it all really. 

Odom was a hugely important on the nascent Country circuit, but not as a vocalist. He began his career as a DJ in 1946, starting by training at the Cambridge School of Radio Broadcasting in New York whilst still in the Navy. He graduated with honours and went on to work at KSTA in Coleman, Texas as a disc jockey, sports reporter and newscaster, moving to KRBC-TV to report on local football and basketball matches. He moved around a couple of other radio stations before ending up working in radio and TV in Phoenix, Arizona. Over the years he built up an impressive career, doing loads of voice-over work for companies as diverse as Dodge, Coca Cola and Kentucky Fried Chicken.

Ray served as Director of the Country Music Association for two terms and is credited with launching the first Country music station, KMOP in Phoenix, in 1957. Much loved on the country scene, Ray was the regular presenter of Saturday night country gigs, known as the Arizona Hayride, at Phoenix’s own Madison Square Garden.

But dear God, no-one should ever have let him anywhere near a recording studio. But they did; not once, but twice. Ray followed this monstrosity with a second 45, the Cowboy’s Prayer, a horrid, schmaltzy piece of Christmas hokum which I may well bring you at a later date. But for now here’s Ray Odom with the truly terrible I Can’t Help It If I’m Still in Love with You.

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