Released on one of my favourite song-poem labels, Tin Pan Alley, this track and it’s B-side, Garbage Man Blues, was written by Cecilia Mae Walton – who authored a couple of tracks on Preview (including the magnificently titled Get Your Bibles Out) and who seemingly believed that the only resource a budding songwriter needed was a cheap rhyming dictionary. This is a great bad record, with lyrics of Bolan-esque proportion: who else would have thought of such brilliant rhyming couplets as ‘His customers keep him on the go/And he isn’t very slow’; ‘A lot more lives would get lost/If the fire chief wasn‘t such a good boss’ and, of course, ‘This help the give is fine/They are very-ery fine’.
Poor old Mike Thomas, he really did get the shitty end of the stick. Tin Pan Alley moved to Florida from its original New York base, and it seems as though the company left its quality control department behind as well as all of its singers. Favourites like Phil Celia, “Lance” (for some strange reason his name invariably appeared in quotation marks) and Cathy Mills disappeared; from now on everything on Tin Pan Alley and its associated TPA and Pageant labels would be recorded by Mike until he finally gave up and was replaced by two equally terrible house bands, first The Melodiers and, finally, New Image. I’m assuming he retired from the industry or managed to get himself a proper job as there’s little chance he would have been fired for his inability to do his job, even though he was one of the most inept of all the song-poem singers. New Image, incidentally, recorded a 45 for Tin Pan Alley entitled Joe and Sue Doing the Hop which has exactly the same tune and arrangement as Little Man.
One question though. Who is Gullord Reisland? His name appears as the artist of these tracks on a juk box label which came with the 45 but he doesn’t appear anywhere else on the interwebs: I almost broke Google trying to track him down. Any ideas? My personal theory is that Gullord Reisland is Mike Thomas’s real name; that this particular release came from his own personal stash and was meant for his own home jukebox. I simply can’t imagine that anyone would have gone in to a bar and paid to listen to this crap.