Johnny Bond

Friday, March 30, 2007

:: The Hills of Kentucky ::

:: Anybody's Baby ::

Johnny Bond, (no relation to Eddie Bond) who made his fame and fortune in Hollywood by way of Oklahoma is unfortunately best known for the comical, drunken album covers he posed for for the Starday label during the 1960s. These easy to find records are not very good representations of what Johnny Bond was capable of and the kind of material he produced in eras gone by. In the early 1940s he accepted an invitation from Gene Autry to move to California and work as a singing cowboy in films, and to perform on Autry's Melody Ranch radio show. He secured a contract with Columbia, and recorded with them for about 15 years. He wrote many classics, including "Cimarron" and "I Wonder Where You Are Tonight", which were covered by countless country and crossover artists. Yet during his time with Columbia, he never recorded an album. Only after his career was considered pretty much over did he start to produce albums rather prolifically. His Starday catalog is filled with humorous drinking songs, including the biggest hit of his career, "Ten Little Bottles".

As far as I can see, these two songs have never been released on CD, and they're good examples of the kind of material Bond was having great success with during the later '40s, and showcase his fine songwriting abilities as well. He continued to record and perform until his death in 1978 in Burbank, CA at age 63.


Clown Alley Revisited

Thursday, March 29, 2007

:: The Lie ::

:: Pet of a Pig ::

Clown Alley might possibly be the lamest band name you’ve ever heard, until you remember there was once an outfit called Limp Bizkit. But put aside the name and the somewhat stale cover art and you’ll find a decent slice of thrash-punk on this, their sole album, from 1986. Formed in San Francisco’s Bay-area, Clown Alley sported Dave Duran, formerly of New Mexico’s Jerryz Kids, on vocals and bassist Lori Black, who is Shirley Temple’s daughter. Go figure. Lori went on to become bassist for The Melvins.

Circus of Chaos was the first release on guitarist/producer Mark Deutrom’s Alchemy Records, which also put out both The Melvins’ and Neurosis’ debut albums, along with releases by Rich Kids on LSD and Poison Idea. Deutrom produced much of The Melvins’ output, and succeeded Lori Black as their bassist after she was given the boot. He’s been touring as bassist for Sun 0))) and recently put out a solo album called Iraq, comprised of layers of recordings of George W. Bush repeatedly saying the word, Iraq. Hmm. That’s available over at Southern Lord, as is, I’ve just learned, a re-mastered reissue of this Clown Alley LP. So if you dig what you hear here, you know, consider a purchase.


Grooving With Chang Siao Ying

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

:: Colored Clouds Float ::

:: Loneliness Of Love ::

:: Unspoken Words In Thousands ::

:: When Will You Come Again? ::

:: How Can I Ever Leave You? ::

:: I Love Tonight ::

:: Unforgettable Dream ::

:: Love In The Midst Of Wind And Rain ::

:: Where To Find My Beloved ::

:: Cannot Forget You ::

:: White Clouds Floating To Who? ::

:: Why Cry? ::

:: I Need To Be Comforted ::

:: Beautiful Wine Added With Coffee ::

Another stab-in-the-dark and hope-it's-great Asian record purchase, except this time I could at least see the artist's name. Luckily I was able to track down someone with a small Chang Siao Ying fansite who gave me some good info, and translations of the track names. So first off I need to thank Peter for his help; couldn't have done it (properly) without him.

This compilation is (most likely) from the late 70's, with our chanteuse backed on most or all of the tracks by The Travellers, a 4-piece in the vein of my personal faves The Stylers. There's a comp of 60's and 70's Asian pop that I'll be wanting to check into at some point called Asian Takeaways, and if anyone out there has heard Chang Siao Ying before, chances are it was on this comp. Anyway, it's groovy Oriental pop sung in Mandarin, and I am sharing it all, but you'll notice the openers from each side have some noise issues. [rumpled muppet face]

Some of these songs are from a movie called Colored Clouds Float; the one titled thusly, and also Unspoken Words In Thousands and How Can I Ever Leave You?, and were originally sung by Teresa Tang. Sit back and get exotic, baby.


Plenty of Songs About Pusser

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

:: 10 Tracks of Pusser Goodness ::

How many songs can anyone be inspired to write about a certain law enforcement official? Quite a few if you're Eddie Bond and the object of your undying affection is Sheriff Buford Pusser. Without going into too much detail about the fabled "Walking Tall" sheriff from Finger, Tennessee, let's just say he kicked ass and barely lived to tell about it. He and Eddie Bond became friends and Pusser even appointed Eddie, one of the original Memphis rockabilly innovators as his chief deputy. A local legend after crooks shot off half his face and killed his wife in 1967, he became a national figure after Eddie sang "Legend of Buford Pusser", which inspired the film, "Walking Tall". Pusser died violently about a year after this album was made, but it wasn't the bad guys who got him, just his own bad driving.

Still, an entire album devoted to the exploits of a cop seems a bit much, unless you really like cops. Personally, I like absurd records like this one.


Cul de Sac

Monday, March 26, 2007

:: Milk Devil ::

:: Rain Moths ::

Strange Attractors Audio House recently reissued a digital remaster of Cul de Sac’s gorgeous debut album from 1992, ECIM, so I thought I’d post one of their long out of print follow up 7-inches, 1993’s Milk Devil, off the New World of Sound label. An instrumental band out of Boston, Cul de Sac drew upon elements of surf guitar, psychedelic rock, middle-eastern folk, and krautrock, and blended it with spacey synthesizer textures to form a groovy sort of trance rock. They were a juicy alternative to the angsty “alternative rock” that was inescapable at the time, and damn fine accompaniment while lying on the couch after a few bong hits.


Join Us!

Friday, March 23, 2007

:: Skills Of Tomorrow ::

:: Be A Nurse ::

:: Jingle ::

:: College ::

:: The Wind ::

:: Winners Circle ::

:: Wings Of America ::

:: Graduation ::

:: Jingle2 ::

:: Reasons ::

:: Life Style ::

:: Jingle3 ::

The other day when I put up the Navy Band post, somebody commented about an Air Force record, which reminded me that I had a radio spot 45 for the Air Force. So here it is: earnest recruiting talk delivered in the smoothest, most reassuring FM-ready voices, atop bad disco-y romps and vaguely futuristic versions of Wild Blue Yonder. I think my favorite is The Wind, where the words Air Force are creepily breathed at you in ominous full stereo. If I were a little kid, I would be afraid that the Air Force was in my closet at night.

One voiceover guy kind of sounds like Ernie Anderson, so I have high hopes that there's expletive-laced outtakes out there somewhere. Please?


Young, Lovely and Marriageable

Thursday, March 22, 2007

:: I'm Marriageable Age ::

:: First Love Waltz ::

Ah, the innocence and charming naivete of the pretty, young Japanese woman. I happened to see this record on eBay, and although I had no way of knowing who the singer was, or even the song titles, the picture of the girl on the label sold me. Turns out, her name is Yukiko Nomura. I don't know much about her, except that she was a successful pop singer in the 1950s. Apparently she retired from singing (perhaps to raise a family?) and passed away in 2000 at age 62. The "A" side, "I'm Marriageable Age" is a swinging, teasing delight. How can you not fall in love? The "B" side, "First Love Waltz" is more along the lines of traditional Japanese pop with Yukiko showcasing another side of her considerable talents. All in all, a great find and I'm proud to own it. Many thanks to my good friend Masahiro for translating and providing much needed information.


(Can Be Fun)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

:: Billy James - Truck Driving (Can Be Fun) ::

Here’s another trucker song for you to add to your trucker song mix-tape. Or not. I couldn’t find squat about our artist, Billy James, but the song is written by Rod Hart, who scored a small hit in 1977 with a gay-themed, pedal-pumpin’ parody song, “C.B. Savage.” Tony introduced me to that one during one of our Robot road trips, and it didn’t take long before effeminate quotes from it started popping up throughout the trip (“Breaker, breaker, any takers?”). We don’t have anything near as ridiculous here on this single, unfortunately, but “Truck Driving (Can Be Fun)” is still a catchy little ode to the diesel driver, or rather, an ode to how fun it is to sing about them.

My only truckin’ experience, besides bad movies like Peckinpah’s Convoy, involved me transporting a crane for a small film production company. The Teamsters Union didn’t take too kindly to me for some reason, and tried to block me from leaving the loading dock of the equipment rental house. I had to drive around them, on a New York City sidewalk, mind you, to get on my way. I then arrived at my destination and proceeded to back the truck into the company’s awning, crushing it, and thus ending my truckin’ employment. Which is fine, ‘cause truck driving ain’t all that fun, anyway.


Come Towards The Light, Cha Cha Cha

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

:: Enjoy Yourself Cha Cha ::

:: I Could Have Danced All Night Cha Cha ::

:: Moon Over Miami Cha Cha ::

:: C'est Magnifique Cha Cha ::

:: Jada Cha Cha ::

:: Night & Day Cha Cha ::

:: Green Eyes Cha Cha ::

:: Volare Cha Cha ::

:: Let's Fall In Love Cha Cha ::

:: Travel Now, Pay Next Year, Pleasure Cruise Cha Cha Cha ::

:: The Night Is Young Cha Cha ::

:: Charleston Cha Cha ::

It's kind of remarkable that we've been doing our thing for nearly two years, and we've never featured one of the most important figures in modern vinyl history. Well, until today. Enoch Light might nowadays be best known for his weird and groovy 1969 Moog album, Spaced Out, but back even further he had a very successful album on his own Command imprint called Persuasive Percussion, which spawned three additional volumes and a handful of similarly alliterlatively titled albums. This is one of those. Expounding on the formula that produced an earlier hit, "I Want To Be Happy Cha Cha," Light created this album consisting entirely of Cha Cha's, mostly old standards and show tunes, all transformed into ultra-percussive Latin dance numbers. There is one original tune, the awesomely titled "Travel Now, Pay Next Year, Pleasure Cruise Cha Cha Cha."

I made reference to Light being an important figure in vinyl history, and he truly was. He invented the gatefold, an innovation he came up with to insure he could fit the entirety of his elaborate liner notes for each album. A younger future generation found the gatefold useful for something else. He also was very interested in the stereo recording process, and as you can tell by listening to any of these tracks' opening seconds, the separation of stereo channels. The effect of starting out everything in just one channel is a bit jarring, especially after the sound information is cobbled down to mp3 form, but once everything kicks into full stereo it's very rich and nice indeed. In addition to the meticulous recording and production techniques (very dutifully covered in the gatefold's extensive liner notes,) Light's strengths as an arranger really show here. I love the way the Hammond organ is utilized; it doesn't dominate the songs or turn the album into the soundtrack from an ancient skating rink. Perhaps more importantly, it doesn't seem at all out of place next to all the cowbell, congas and guira; that couldn't have been an easy task.

There is a sameness to these songs that make a straight-through listen not for everyone, but each song has its own strong points and nuances, whether it be through the instrumentation or the style of song the original was. I'll tell you one thing, when I heard "C'est Magnifique" I instantly pictured Alvin & The Chipmunks in one of those situations where they are happily dancing with their sweeties and somehow ultimately Alvin and Theodore end up with unknowingly dancing with each other.


Ah Love Keely

Monday, March 19, 2007

:: Entire Album Zipped Up ::

So The Beatles have finally gone Vegas. Cirque Du Soleil's "Love" has been running at the Mirage since last summer, and for a couple hundred bucks, you can hear mash-ups of your fave fab songs, while watching a bunch of acro-dancers flitting about on stage, all within the lovely environs of America's most ridiculous city. But in fact, The Beatles went Vegas long before even the King did, by way of this record.

Dot Keely was 15 when she saw Louis Prima perform in her native Norfolk, VA. About a year later, she had joined his band (changing her name to Keely Smith) and a few years after that became his wife. The two of them, along with Sam Butera and The Witnesses became the ultimate Las Vegas lounge act, and to this day remain an icon of that city's early days.

When Prima signed with Capitol in the mid-50s, he insisted Smith be given a solo contract as well. Her records tended to move away from the jump blues and Italian loose cannon bombast favored by Prima, and toward straight pop balladry. In the early 60s, she ditched Prima and signed with Sinatra's Reprise label, and continued to work with arrangers like Nelson Riddle and Billy May. By the time The Beatles had become the flavor of the month, Keely's career was cooling, and she was more interested in spending time with family than spending nights in smokey Vegas lounges. These factors came together and the result was this album.

These days, schmaltzy versions of rock standards are fairly common (Pat Boone/Paul Anka) and always intentionally ironic. These Beatles covers fit right in minus the irony. One thing I can't not mention is Ms. Smith's tendency to pronounce "i" as "ah", perhaps because of her southern roots, or maybe just because she's a 50s hipster. In any case, it sticks out like a sore thumb on songs like "If Ah Fell" and "P.S. Ah Love You". Of course the arrangements serve to point out the huge gulf between the music of the cocktail generation and that of the teenagers who were about to take over the record business and give us a lifetime of "classic rock". I'm sure this record was used countless times by martini wielding 40 somethings in a vain attempt to find some connection with their eye rolling teenaged offspring, who by that time had no doubt moved on to edgier stuff like the Rolling Stones anyway.

I gotta hand it to Keely Smith and her collaborators though for recognizing good songs when they heard them. Whether or not the material is right for a Keely Smith is debatable, but maybe it was her way of passing the torch. Keely Smith still plays Vegas occasionally, by the way.


Music To Make You Jump Off A Cliff

Friday, March 16, 2007

:: Little Rosa ::

:: The Day the Town Cried ::

Cliff Gleaves was a Tennessee DJ with a rockabilly single (“Love is My Business”) under his belt when he met Elvis back in 1957. The two became instant buddies and Cliff was immediately hired on as a full-time friend and Memphis Mafia member. When Elvis was drafted and stationed in Germany, Cliff moved to Germany to be with him. And when Elvis came back to Graceland, Cliff came back and moved in to the estate.

I’ve read a few accounts saying that Cliff was always cracking Elvis up, and that the “Big E” kept him around for his own personal comic relief. So it’s sort of weird that Gleaves, Sage of Comedy, recorded this tear-drenched, sappy single at some point. One side contains his take on Red Sovine and Webb Pierce’s depressing downer “Little Rosa,” concerning a distraught father and his dead little daughter. Flip it over and you get the overly modulated, Gleaves-penned “The Day the Town Cried,” a tragic tale of a heartbroken young man who throws himself into a river and drowns after learning of his lover’s sinful ways. Why, from the sound of things, with this El Hombre of Ha-Ha always around, it’s no wonder Presley was pouring pills down his gullet.


Mommy, What Is Cantopop?

Thursday, March 15, 2007

:: Beautiful Sunday ::

:: El Condor Pasa ::

:: Funky Song I Don't Know The Title Of, But It's Track 11 ::

Sometimes it's fun to pick up albums where you can't understand a damn thing printed on the cover. Sometimes it's not fun to try to write about them, because even if you like the music, you can't really supply much info, or in some cases, song titles. I picked this up, suspecting and hoping that it might be a Connie Chan album. Dave from the Movie Fan Princess website quickly dismissed that suspicion, and through some industrious webtective work discovered that I had an album by Sandra Lang, a Hong Kong pop singer who was one half of the singing duo The Chopsticks. Thanks, Dave. You saved the world an article that went something like this: "This is Chinese music, by some chick."

Sandra Lang was evidently a seminal figure in something called Cantopop, which if you didn't guess, is cutesy shorthand for Cantonese Pop. She still performs, and it looks like she just played Reno last December.

This album from 1974 might be a soundtrack, or it might be a compilation. I really don't know, because I'm not that much of a polyglot. What I can tell you is that the first side of this is very Chinese to these occidental ears, and I didn't get into it much. Too slow, too sad. The flip side is much more entertaining. It kicks off with the sassy title track Sunday, and is followed by a fantastic HK-meets-Tijuana rendition of the oft-crooned El Condor Pasa.

The other song that really caught my ear is one of those songs I can't tell you the name of, but it's the 4th song on side two, and it's danceably delicious. The cymbal work kills me. Maybe some kindly Chinese speaker will let us in on what it's called, and whether it's a rocking send-up of an old song or an original. Even if your iTunes aren't happy with its tag, your dancin' bones won't care.


Too Many Fake Mexicans

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

:: Twenty Thousand Leagues ::

:: Too Much Tequila ::

Hey, have you ever heard that song "Tequila" by The Champs? Probably, as it's one of the best selling and most enduring instrumentals of the rock era. Yes, The Champs were a one hit wonder, but they had an interesting 7 year career none the less, boasting the likes of Seals and Crofts and Glen Campbell among their membership. This single (on Gene Autry's Challenge label) was yet another attempt to cash in on their own good fortune, and I have to say that I think these songs are catchy as heck. But how can you top Tequila? Answer: You can't.

Go Champs, Go!

Miguel del Roboto

So We Have Come Full Circle

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

:: Little Tin Soldier and Little Toy Drum ::

:: Glow Worm ::

:: Alvin's Harmonica ::

:: I've Been Working on the Railroad ::

One of the earliest records I remember owning was Chipmunk Punk, and I’m pretty sure its grooves were destroyed by repeated spins on my Fisher Price record player. My folks bought it for me, and at the same time gave my sister Urban Chipmunk. We competed a lot over whose Chipmunk album got played. I didn’t want to hear them singing Kenny Rogers covers, I wanted to rock my six year old self out to their version of Tom Petty’s “Refugee.” Actually, now that I’m looking at the track-listing for Urban Chipmunk, I’d love to hear it again.

Back in the sixties, Chipmunks rip-off artists, The Grasshoppers, existed on budget labels for parents who were too cheap to buy the real thing for their kids, or were smart enough to know their kids wouldn’t give a shit and be able to tell the difference anyway. Instead of Alvin, Simon, and Theodore, we’ve got Dennis, Archie and Ricky, and they’re just as rascally and mischievous as their furry counterparts. They exist to irritate, as well as sing for, their caretaker/manager, Eddie Maynard, who scolds them an awful lot like David Seville scolded his tree critters. The only real difference, besides species, is their choice of song – old timey, royalty-free standards, instead of the novelty pop songs of the Chipmunk act. Well, for the most part anyway. There are two copyrighted songs on this LP – “Chipmunk Song” and “Alvin’s Harmonica” – originally recorded by the Chipmunks. It’s actually a well-done and pretty fun two sides, though, you know, it ain’t no Chipmunk Punk. But then, what is?


Port Authority Redocks

Monday, March 12, 2007

:: Ride Captain Ride ::

:: Money, Honey ::

:: She's Out Of My Life ::

:: I'm Coming Home ::

:: Twilight Zone ::

:: Wild Turkey ::

:: Reflections ::

I don't have many regrets about stuff here on the Robot. Sure, sometimes the word-makin'-machine in my skull isn't firing on all cylinders, and I churn out a couple of uninspired paragraphs that I later wish I'd spent more time on. And yeah, sometimes I put up some stuff I know almost no one but me finds interesting or amusing. But one thing I truly regret not doing is putting up the entire Port Authority album. Here's my penance.

So screw "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," let your ears set sail on a course they've surely never traversed. Then perhaps ask yourself why people who defend our country with big ships and guns might like, let alone cover, an effete Manhattan Transfer tune. I should mention that I was having some issues recording the final track, Reflections, and I had to listen to it three times in a row. So by the time you read this, I will be dead.


Your Boyfriend Got A What Now?

Friday, March 09, 2007

:: Java Jones ::

:: Roll Over Beethoven ::

:: The Things That I Feel ::

:: I Only Want To Be With You ::

:: Navy Blue ::

:: I Had A Dream That I Was A Beatle ::

:: My Boyfriend Got A Beatle Haircut ::

:: My Bonnie ::

:: Our Day Will Come ::

:: Ronnie ::

:: That Winter Weekend ::

:: That's Me - I'm The Brother ::

I was 7 when I saw The Beatles on Ed Sullivan, and that was it. I discovered my music. 7 is a very impressionable age. JFK was just murdered a couple of months prior, so it was all very heavy, ok?

Therefore, I am still incredulous when it comes to stuff like this. Released in 1964, well after Capitol Records had several bonafide hits on their hands courtesy these impetuous British bastards, the urge to discount their influence was so great, I'm sure it seemed a no-brainer to release this novelty record ("My Boyfriend Got A Beatle Haircut") in order to cash in on this "temporary" phenomenon. But to be fair, how could they have known? The record business today is much the same as it was then. Will there ever be another phenom like it? To me, there have been quite a few worthy bands since, but they didn't catch on with the mainstream to that degree, so probably not. And that's... ok.

Of course, I don't know shit about Donna Lynn other than the "facts" the liner notes provide: She was in a Broadway show with Maureen O'Hara called "Christine", and was then, for some reason chosen to be the face, voice and name behind these novelty songs. All by the age of 14.

"Java Jones" is a rendition of Allen Toussaint's composition, "Java", which as you remember was a huge hit for Al Hirt. This vocalized version takes a few liberties, to say the least. Nothing to do with The Beatles (thank goodness because, the only thing better than having that dream, would be to be a Beatle for real), and even more fucked up. There are lots of straight covers of contemporary hits like "I Only Want To Be With You" and "Our Day Will Come". All well done in a way, but the originals by the team of Jack Wolf and "Bugs" Bower are the big standouts (plus "Ronnie", co-written by Donna Lynn herself). Oh well, screw it. Here's the whole album.


The Fabulous Arab

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

:: La Paloma ::

:: K.L.M. March ::

:: entire album, zipped ::

Ah, the barrel organ. Can you smell the roasted peanuts, feel the sticky fibers of cotton candy under your shoe? The Barrel Organ, or Street Organ, or Band Organ, creates unmistakable sounds, maniacally happy tones of all registers. Just several seconds of listening will take many of you back to your childhood, riding a carousel, or just being at a carnival. The less sunny of dispostion might imagine themselves being chased by cackling clowns with large, shiny knives. Either way, I doubt anyone who listens to this won't have some sort of vivid imagery or nostalgic flashback.

The name of this ornate organ is The Fabulous Arab, and it was crafted by the famous Belgian barrel organ builder Pierre Verbeeck (what, you never heard of him?) in 1926. Despite the pronouncement that this is The World's Most Famous Barrel Organ, I couldn't find any information about it beyond what's on the liner notes on back. This puppy had (has?) 75 keys, capable of mimicking a dizzying array of instruments, from drums to trombones to flutes to actual organ noises. While I agree it's rather fabulous, I don't see what's so Arab about it.

I'm putting up two single mp3's for organ dabblers, and a ZIP of the whole thing for hardcore organ hoarders.


That Fifth Beatle Guy

Monday, March 05, 2007

:: My Soul is a Witness ::

:: Sunday Morning ::

:: You've Got Me for Company ::

:: I'm So Tired ::

:: It's Alright Ma (I'm Only Bleedin) ::

:: That’s the Way God Planned It ::

This might be one of the most inviting album covers of all time. It’s certainly the happiest one in my collection. Gaze upon the visage of Billy Preston’s wide, toothy grin under that prodigious afro, coming at you from inside a jukebox with an upturned thumb, and within moments you’ll be shining a smile right back. That’s the gay experience I had when I came across this 1973 LP a few months ago, and the music inside has had me pilfering the Preston section of record shops since.

It might not be his best release, but it’s one of the more ambitious, with Billy putting together an album containing songs from just about every genre – rock, blues, gospel, funk, soul, country, classical, and even a jazzy show tune – in an attempt to encompass the wide reach of the album’s title. I’m posting some of the highlights, to include: the straight-forward Sunday service gospel of “My Soul is a Witness;” the 70’s soul of both “You’ve Got Me for Company” and “I’m So Tired;” Billy’s reworking of Bob Dylan’s “It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding);” and the country foot-stomper, “Sunday Morning.” I’ll leave the funky instrumental “Space Race” off the list, because it can be found on the numerous Preston “Best Of” compilations. In its place you’re getting a recording of Billy performing “That’s the Way God Planned It” from one of his appearances on the Howard Stern show. That song never fails to give me the chills whenever I hear it.


Ohio Repress

Thursday, March 01, 2007

:: Beg, Borrow And Steal ::

:: Maybe ::

Hard to imagine a band with a more fucked up history than the Ohio Express.

Yes, once again, the Robot revisits the sticky, a.b.c. bubblegum nether regions of Kasenetz-Katz, or Super K, the production team that brought us not only the Express, but the 1910 Fruitgum Co., and of course, The Kasenetz-Katz Singing Orchestral Circus.

Not surprisingly, the Ohio Express were from Ohio. Mansfield, Ohio to be exact. Kasanetz and Katz had already had a hit with another Ohio band, the Music Explosion (Little Bit of Soul), so they were on the lookout for more regional talent. They found their way to Mansfield, where Sir Timothy & The Royals were a popular act opening for touring bands that came through town. Super K were suitably impressed and signed them up. First thing they did was change their name to the more American sounding Ohio Express, then issued this single. Thing is, Beg, Borrow And Steal was actually recorded by another group of hapless victims called Rare Breed, who apparently didn't want to play ball the Super K way. Kasenetz-Katz took their unsuccessful single, originally issued on the Attack label, put Ohio Express' name on it, and issued it on the Cameo-Parkway label (who knows who plays the instrumental, "Maybe" on the B side). Confused? It gets worse.

Super K had a good relationship with Cameo-Parkway's A&R guy, Neil Bogart. Unfortunately, Cameo-Parkway was about to go belly up, so Bogart jumped ship and established himself at the fledgling Buddah label. At Buddah, Kasenetz-Katz thrived and thanks to a stable of songwriters and studio musicians, cranked out a string of dumb-ass hits which were dubbed "Bubblegum". The Ohio Express became synonymous with this term, but the band were not much more than a touring representation of their recorded output. Actually, some of the stuff on the albums were performed by the guys from Ohio, but the hits were mainly done by the studio guys in New York. At points, the touring band didn't even know the material the kids were expecting them to play live.

One of the big guys behind the whole Super K assembly line was a fellow named Joey Levine. Hired with his partner Artie Resnick, they wrote many of the signature bubblegum hits, and Joey sang many of those songs including Yummy, Yummy, Yummy and Quick Joey Small. He cut a demo of Yummy, Yummy, and Bogart insisted it be released as is as an Ohio Express single. The rest is history. His nasal tone became the sound of bubblegum rock, but once again, when the bands hit the road, they sounded nothing like the record. Levine went on to write commercial jingles such as "Sometimes You Feel Like A Nut"(!!!), and "You Asked For It, You Got It, Toyota".

And what of the real Ohio Express guys? Well, they're still out there trying to sound like Joey Levine on Chewy, Chewy, of course.