A vile slice of prime country ham for you today, courtesy of
Canadian singer Jimmy Arthur Ordge.
Born on December 6, 1935 and raised in Donalda, Alberta, Ordge
began his career his teens, after the family moved to Edmonton. He appeared
regularly on local radio and television shows as well as in music reviews such
as Old Dad Taylor's Jubilee Jamboree.
Starting out as a rockabilly guitar player and singer, while playing at a club
in Whitehorse (in the Yukon), he met local rockabilly singer Al Oster: It was a cover of Oster’s
song Irena Cheyene that gave Jimmy
his first hit single.
Other hits followed, including Muk Tuk Annie and the Johnny Cash-inspired Jewish trucking song Hershel's Hemi Half-Ton. He quickly moved from rockabilly to a more
traditional country idiom, part singing, part intoning his vocals in a style reminiscent
of the late Jim Reeves. And it’s here that we find this particular travesty,
the awful Storytime & Prayers.
Recorded in 1979, it’s a record so steeped in the C&W
staples of dead spouses, crying children and religion that I find it impossible
to believe that it has not inspired a suicide or two. Jebus: all it needs is an
empty whisky bottle thrown at it - and perhaps a drunken trucker or two - and
it’s got everything. The song was co-written by fellow country singer R Harlan Smith, who also happened to be
the founder of Royalty Records, the
company that put this rubbish out. Unfortunately my copy is a mono/stereo promo, so I can't give you what would have been the original B-side. Probably for the best. I don't want you all slitting your wrists.
A compilation of his best-known work, The Legend, was released by Royalty Records in 2004.
Unsurprisingly, Storytime & Prayers