BIRMINGHAM RECORD COLLECTORS
DEDICATED TO THE COLLECTING OF MUSIC, ITS PRESERVATION, AND LASTING FRIENDSHIP
MONTHLY MEETING THIS SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 12th 2017
2:00 PM HOMEWOOD LIBRARY – 1721 OXMOOR ROAD 35209
NEXT MEETING SUNDAY, DECEMBER 10th, 2017 THE SECOND SUNDAY
THIS MONTH’S MEETING
The weather got us last month but fortunately the program planned for October is on for this month. Mike and Gary will be spinning some tunes for us and as I stated last month, these guys have collected a wide variety of tunes, many of which didn’t get the air play they deserved. So be with us this Sunday and enjoy doing what we all enjoy – playing some great tunes.
And don’t miss next month when we once again indulge in gift giving when we play ‘Dirty Santa’. Wrap up that silly, nice, old, new, goofy, spectacular, whatever type gift you want and bring it and participate. You never know what you’ll be talking home. Come and join the fun even as a spectator.
HE DID GROW UP ON TOBACCO ROAD
When you think of the term, ‘tobacco road’, you either think of the state North Carolina, or the recording group, The Nashville Teens who had a hit with the song, ‘Tobacco Road’ in 1964. Since I know nothing about the history of the tobacco industry in North Carolina I think I’ll stick to the song, specifically the composer of ‘Tobacco Road’, John D. Loudermilk.
A few years back I came across a song entitled ‘Midnight Bus’ sung by Australian, Betty McQuade. I did a little research on the song and found that Loudermilk wrote it. That led to more research, this time on Loudermilk. I was amazed at the number of songs he wrote that were recorded by others and how many of them charted. I knew Loudermilk from his ‘Language of Love’ and ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ recordings, both of which charted in the early 60’s, but didn’t know he was mainly a song writer for many others. I think you will be surprised at some of the songs he wrote that did chart. Or maybe it’s just me.
Before getting started let me go back to 1957 and mention that was when Loudermilk had his first charted recording. He released it under the name of Johnny Dee. The song, ‘Sittin’ In The Balcony’ went to # 38 for him and in the same month, Eddie Cochran’s cover version went to # 18. That was Cochran’s first charted record and it would open things up for Loudermilk as a song writer. But before this, in 1956, Loudermilk wrote a poem he would later put to music he entitled ‘A Rose And A Baby Ruth’. George Hamilton IV recorded the song and it went to #6 on the pop chart.
–Now, hold on ’cause here we go. In 1963, Hamilton IV had a # 1 Country hit that was co-written by Loudermilk entitled ‘Abilene’. By the way, when your singing along with that song, don’t picture a setting somewhere in Texas because it is about a town in Kansas. –‘Break My Mind’ was recorded by many including Hamilton IV, The Box Tops, Roy Orbison, Linda Ronstadt, Gram Parsons, and Jerry Lee Lewis.
–Stonewall Jackson has much success with Loudermilk’s, ‘Waterloo’. It topped the charts in 1959. By the way, Marijohn Wilkins co-wrote the song. She is the mother of John Wilkin who was the frontman for Ronny and the Daytonas.
–Connie Francis had a hit with ‘(He’s My) Dreamboat’.
–The Everly’s had a big hit with ‘Ebony Eye’s’.
–The Newbeats had a hit with ‘Everything’s Alright’.
–Don Fardon and Paul Revere and the Raiders both had hit singles with ‘Indian Reservation’. This Loudermilk composition was first recorded in 1959 by Marvin Rainwater but with the title, ‘The Pale Faced Indian’. Later he reshuffled some lyrics and changed the name to ‘The Lament of the Cherokee Reservation Indian’, later to ‘Indian Reservation’.
–‘Norman, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh’, yep, he wrote ‘Norman’ which was a hit for Sue Thompson in 1960. Sue also had a hit with his composition, ‘Paper Tiger’ and she also recorded his ‘Sad Movies (Make Me Cry)’.
–He wrote more hits for the ladies such as “Sun Glasses’ which was a hit in the UK for Tracey Ullman. Skeeter Davis and Sandy Posey did covers of that song as well. Posey also recorded his ‘What A Woman In Love Won’t Do’. Marianne Faithful had a hit with ‘This Little Bird’. Brenda Lee got into the Loudermilk act with her recording of ‘Weep No More’, one of my favorite Brenda Lee songs.
–Johnny Tillotson had a # 7 hit in 1964 with ‘Talk Back Trembling Lips’. The same song was a # 1 hit for Ernie Ashworth a few months earlier.
–Then we have this big surprise. Loudermilk wrote ‘Then You Can Tell Me Goodbye’ which went to # 6 in 1967 for The Casinos. First released in 1962 by Don Cherry it would later go to # 1 for Eddy Arnold on the country charts and on the same chart in 1996 it went to # 5 for Neal McCoy.
–Loudermilk’s own recording of his ‘Thou Shalt Not Steal’ went to # 73 in 1962 and in 1964 Dick and Dee Dee’s cover went to # 13.
–‘Top 40, News, Weather and Sports’ is a fun song that Mark Dinning recorded in 1961. It charted at # 81.
–Originally written for the Everly Brothers, ‘Torture’ was released by Kris Jensen in 1962 and it went to # 20. The Everly’s did record it but after it was a hit for Jensen.
Well, as you can John D. Loudermilk was quite a songwriter who could write about any any genre of music. These aren’t all his well-known songs but quite a list. And now back to ‘Tobacco Road’. A big hit for the British group, The Nashville Teens and I bet some of you remember it well. And those lyrics about being born and growing up on Tobacco Road are true. He was born in Durham, NC in 1934. So he knew of what he spoke, or in the case, wrote. We lost John D on Sept 21, 2016 but boy did he leave a legacy of great songs.
HEY! HAVE YOU HEARD THIS ONE?
Midnight Bus (Loudermilk)
WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU HEARD THIS HIT?
Tobacco Road (Loudermilk)
The Nashville Teens
(1964 – #14 Billboard Hot 100)