History Repeats Itself by Buddy Starcher, first issued by BES – Starcher’s own label - in 1965, is a truly mad record, a conspiracy theory put to music and issued just as the American public were waking up to the horrors of the Vietnam war. It’s brilliantly nuts, comparing the death of Abraham Lincoln with that of John F Kennedy and suggesting that more than mere mortals were involved in both assassinations.
The disc didn't do much until it was reissued by the Boone Record Company in 1966. Shortly afterwards the far bigger Decca Records heard the potential, picked it up for distribution and took the track to Number 39 on the Billboard pop charts, and Number Two on the magazine’s Country chart. An album, also called History Repeats Itself, made the Country Albums Top 40.
Born in Ripley, West Virginia Oby Edgar “Buddy ”Starcher (16 March 1906 —2 November 2001) was an American country singer who released his first record way a full 20 years before this, his only chart hit. According to Wikipedia, History Repeats Itself was co-written by American country comedian Minnie Pearl, who appeared at the Grand Ole Opry for more than 50 years and will be best remembered for her “How-deeeee!” catchphrase. However, all of the releases credit Starcher, who starred on his own show on WCHS-TV from 1960 to 1966 as either sole arranger or composer.
The flipside, Sniper’s Hill, is equally memorable, a country song that sounds alarmingly like a Halmark song-poem, about the last days of a GI framed as a letter from the young man to his wife, who has just given birth to his first (and, presumably, only) child. As we all know, there was a rash of such songs issued around the time of the Vietnam conflict, and this is a wonderfully maudlin pip accompanied by healthy dollops of Christian guilt and flag-waving humbuggery.
Download History HERE
Download Sniper’s HERE