Friday, 11 October 2013

Bedtime Stories

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 was included.


No comments:

Post a Comment

WWR Most Popular Posts