‘Raise Your Voice . . .’

Originally posted December 21, 2007

Today’s lesson comes from the Book of Onehit, Chapter One:

And in those days when AM Radio ruled the youth of the land of Usa, those young ones heard strange and wondrous sounds come from the speakers. Sundered into small tribes as they were, the youth of Usa listened carefully for their various leaders, waiting to hear what wisdom those leaders sent to them through the little speakers in their plastic appliances.

Messages of music came frequently to those who were members of the greater tribes, the tribes of Beatle and Dylan and Rolling Stone, the tribes of Who and Clapton and Chicago and Beegee, and also the tribes of the place called Motown, the Wonder and the Franklin and the Supreme Temptation. And those who heard these AM messages went to their temples and laid down their offerings, and they came away from the temples with their vinyl. And once they were home with their vinyl, they played it. And lo, it rocked!

There were those in the days of AM Radio who sent messages but once, supposing enough would listen so that later messages would be called for by their tribes. Their tribes were of lesser size, and though the members of those tribes listened intently to the first messages, few would listen again. And no more messages came to those tribes. These were the tribes of Greenbaum and Robin of the McNamaras, of Lemon Pipers and Blue Cheer, the tribes of Smith and Steam and Spiral Starecase, of Flying Machine and Bubble Puppy, of Jaggerz and Edison Lighthouse, of White Plains and Tee Set, the tribes of R. Dean Taylor and Pipkins. And the world at large rejoiced at the silence of the Pipkins.

Some members of those tribes went to their temples and laid down their offerings. They took home with them their vinyl, most of them wiser and carrying smaller pieces of vinyl with the original message, the one that AM Radio had already sent them. And lo, they ignored the flipside.

Others would commit the sin of over-enthusiasm, offering more at the temple for the larger pieces of vinyl, those with the original message set amid the horror. For when they laid those albums on the turning table, lo, they sucked. And no one came to their parties evermore. And tomorrow is a long time, indeed.

Those tribes dwindled, their members becoming more careworn and manic as the numbers around them decreased. They would utter pronouncements that were more and more ignored: “Crabby Appleton matters!” “Mock not the Ides of March!” “All hail Daddy Dewdrop!”

And the vinyl turned, and AM Radio sent them no more messages. Many of them turned from their leaders, who had fallen silent. They sought new leaders, and lo, some of them heard from the Partridge Family. And some heard from Climax. And some from Sailcat. And they learned not from their ways.

When the end of their days came, their boxes of vinyl were filled with album after album of Onehit and much horror, and those boxes were sent into exile at the thrift stores. Some in later days would avidly seek those Onehit messages and would gain them for small offerings. They would place them on their turning tables, and only those who liked irony would come to their parties.

And so would come to notice in those later days the messages and the dross of Mouth & MacNeal and Skylark and Bullet, of Apollo 100 and Coven and Ocean, of Tin Tin and Bloodrock and Cymarron and Christie, and of Teegarden and Van Winkle, whose message of “God, Love and Rock & Roll” had been heard by its adherents in the long-ago autumn of 1970.

And the world at large still rejoiced at the silence of the Pipkins.

Teegarden & Van Winkle – Teegarden & Van Winkle [1970]

God, Love and Rock & Roll
Mona Sweet Mona
Ruth Colleen
Everything Is Going To Be Alright
Going Back Home
Eleanor Rigby
You Do
Okie From Muskokee (sic)

About all I can say is that this is a better album than it has a right to be. The title track, of course, is one of the great radio singles and went to No. 22 in 1970. The duo evidently had high hopes for “Everything Is Going To Be Alright,” as it’s featured on a sticker on the front of the jacket along with “God, Love and Rock & Roll.” “Everything” is a decent track with somewhat the same sound as the hit. That sound went too far – the horns become Vegas-like – on “Going Back Home.”

The cover of “Eleanor Rigby” is interesting and probably worth more than one listen. On the other hand, the live version of Merle Haggard’s “Okie From Muskogee” not only misspells the name of the town but also misses completely. Listening to it once is more than plenty. The other tracks – “Mona,” “Ruth” “You Do” and “Homegrown” – are inoffensive but inconsequential.

There are a few bits of noise here and there, maybe most notably at the beginning of the first track, the hit. But this is thirty-seven year old vinyl, and I figured that the hit would be easily replaced for those who wish to do so. (My CD rip copy of “God, Love and Rock & Roll” is ripped at 128, and I decided not to insert it into an album of rips at 192.)


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