Friday, 31 May 2013

Behind the Mask

Here’s a nice slice of bad country and western I picked up recently, courtesy of the otherwise unknown Frank And TomPort Griffith, PA.

I know so little about this record it’s embarrassing! I can’t even tell you when it was issued, although the Knox Coal Mine cave-in which is documented on the A-side and in which 12 people died occurred on January 22, 1959, and the Airy Music Company (credited as publishers of this masterpiece) seem to have been most active around 1961-62, so it’s safe to assume that the disc appeared at some time around the beginning of the 1960s.

Put out by Mask Records, with writer credits Frank M – Tom M on the A-side and Frank M on the flip (maybe Frank and Tom Mask?) the B-side is a straightforward piece of Hillbilly Christian inanity - titled I Wish I’d Been on Earth - with little to recommend it apart from the flat vocals, but I particularly like the percussive effect on Port Griffith, PA, which sounds to me exactly like one of those ill-fated miners chipping away at the cave wall with a pick as his life slowly ebbed away.

If anyone out there has any more info on this awful record please do let me know.




  1. is not listed in the kaybank custom press blog

  2. The reason I have not listed it is because it looks like a Capitol Pressing, rather than a Kay Bank. This would date it as early 1960. Kay Banks have the KB-****A or B (same number on both sides), whereas Capitol would be KB-109 and the next or previous number on the flip side. I do have a Kay Bank LP with different numbers each side, but as far as I remember it's the only example I have so far. Great site by the way. I also collect bad / awful records so I appreciate a bit of "No-Talent" every now and then.

    1. Malcolm is right: the B-side is KB-110, which would indeed make this an early 1960 Capitol pressing. Thanks for the extra info!

  3. So much to learn about these custom pressing. so little time. Thanks Malcolm for the correction


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