Saturday, November 15, 2008
Another curious 8-track that's somewhat of a mystery. I purchased this tape at the Salvation Army Thrift Store in Chatham, Ontario. It is a seemingly self-produced album by the legendary rockabilly and country boogie piano pounder Roy Hall. Titled, confusingly, "Thank You Sam", it gives no other information than this strange title, Hall's name, and the address 493 Annex Ave in Nashville with a phone number. The front is not actually singed by Hall, but appears to be reproduced like the rest of the label.
The material ranges from numbers featuring only Hall and some sort of drum machine (Alley Cat, Orange Blossom Special, Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms, Under The Double Eagle, Misty, Vaya Con Dios, Down Yonder, Jambalaya) to songs that seem to be lifted off old 45's or 78's (John Henry, Whole Lotta Shaking Goin' On) with a few sounding like '60's or '70's studio recordings (One Monkey Don't Stop No Show, Slowly, Some Folks).
The drum machine tracks are at the very least amusing, often featuring wry spoken vocals by Hall, and comments on his piano solo of "Orange Blossom Special" like "Eat your heart out, Benny Martin!"
The studio take of "One Monkey Don't Stop No Show" is not the same one as was included on his Barrelhouse LP. At one point during the song he calls guitarist Jimmy Bryant by name. The tracks "Slowly" and "Some Folks" both credit Boots Randolph on the label, apparently for providing backup. "John Henry" may be one of his early record releases, or a demo. The very scratchy transfer of "Whole Lotta Shaking Goin' On" seems to be an example of Hall bootlegging his own '50's release. I like to imagine that this was a copy he had carried around in his suitcase for twenty years without a dust sleeve!
If anyone has anymore information about this odd find, I'd be delighted to hear about it.
Click here for a biography of Roy Hall
1. Alley Cat
2. John Henry
3. One Monkey Don't Stop No Show
4. Orange Blossom Special
5. Rollin In My Sweet Babies Arms
7. Under The Double Eagle
9. Von Yon Con Dios
10. Down Yonder
12. Whole Lotta Shaking Goin On
13. Some Folks