Friday, August 21, 2009

why we never hired a wedding singer

don gibson and reprobate accomplice, 1972.

Alright. A Don Gibson number recorded, of course, by Faron Young in 1956 and Patsy Cline in 1963.

It was Louisiana born crooner, though, Tommy McLain- one time time member of the Vel-Tones, alongside country singer, Cline West - who scored a #15 hit on the U.S. Billboard charts with this one in 1966 and brought the song to international prominence.
This is the one I remember most fondly. Big cheese and Brilliantine. The cops are on the way... and everything is cool. Nothing ominous.

TOMMY MCLAIN: SWEET DREAMS from "Sweet Dreams b/w I Need You So" 45 (Decca / London) 1966 (US)


Your driver said...

I coulda done the gig on ukulele. It would have been terrible.

I've never heard this version.

ib said...

Back in the days before shock jocks filtered over here from the US, there was 'Dr. Dick's Midnight Surgery'. Dr. Dick was Richard Park - a Kirkcaldy born dj who bore some resemblance to that acquaintance of Don's in the pinstripe - and the Tommy McLain version of "Sweet Dreams" was his radio show's theme. That would have been where I heard this first.

Radio Clyde was an independent station which broadcast from Anderston Cross in the city centre, beginning in 1973, and was immensely popular from the start. The 'Midnight Surgery' was a phone-in show, and Dr. Dick was in turn jocular and mildly abusive, baiting his listeners with insinuations of sexual deviance and inbreeding.

At the time, in my relative innocence, I found it all highly amusing. In truth though, I probably tuned in to the show more often than not just to listen to that McLain number. Elvis Costello covered it in much the same vein, but this has to be be the classic dance hall version.

Park kicked off his radio career as an offshore pirate radio dj - for Radio Scotland - in 1966. He is now Executive Producer of commercial conglomerate, Global Radio, operating out of London.

A ukulele version who have been well received. Believe me. As it was, the music I ripped for our wedding ceremony went down fairly well. 'New Rose' was in there somewhere, as was 'America' from 'West Side Story'. Ham that I am. I also downloaded three hours of painstakingly compiled stuff onto my son's iPod Shuffle to be played at our reception.

And forgot to bring along the connecting jack.