Thanks, Betty

Why Betty Trindal ever wanted to part with today’s selection is beyond me, but I hope to give it a good home and some new life.

This afternoon, after dropping Evan off at my brother’s lake cottage for a sleepover, I headed to one of the finest small-town record stores I know.

They still have angle parking on Main Street in Waupaca, Wisconsin, so I pulled up right in front of the Book Cellar.

Waupaca is a summer resort town, and the fine folks at the Book Cellar feed the Chain O’ Lakes visitors lots of used and new books and CDs. They have a fine selection of both. If you closely read No Depression, you’ll see that the Book Cellar is one of the record stores consulted by the magazine’s editors as they compile the monthly sales chart.

The good stuff is down in the basement at the Book Cellar. That’s where they keep the used vinyl. Working solo, I spent a good hour digging through the modest selection in the crates.

The rock, pop and country is mostly mainstream stuff from the ’70s and ’80s, though there’s a fair amount of older easy listening stuff. There’s a little jazz and blues, but not much in the way of R&B and almost no soul. Of course, this is central Wisconsin we’re talking about.

I found a few things, but most of them will have to wait for another time, when I have a little more disposable income.

There was one album I couldn’t pass up, though.

joesouthlp3.jpg

I saw “Joe South” and “Games People Play” and grabbed it immediately. I’ve been looking for that bit of classic Southern R&B and soul for a while.

Then I looked closer at that cover and saw it was a Pickwick International release, not a major-label release. Hmmm. Those of us who are older than dirt remember Pickwick releases could be cheapies and knockoffs.

But the front of the jacket said “by arrangement with Capitol Records” and the back of the jacket said “previously released on Capitol Records.” So, for $5, how bad could that be?

I’m delighted to report that the vinyl is pristine and the tunes are the original versions.

I was 12 — Evan’s age — when I heard Joe South on WLS radio out of Chicago. “Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home” was No. 39 in the Top 40 in the last week of August 1969.

You know Joe South’s other hits — “Games People Play” and “Walk A Mile In My Shoes.” He wrote and performed “Rose Garden,” which was a huge hit for Lynn Anderson. He wrote “Down In The Boondocks,” a hit for Billy Joe Royal (another of our faves), and “Hush,” a hit for Deep Purple. He was a highly regarded session guitarist, playing for Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Tommy Roe and Simon and Garfunkel.

But Joe South’s work on his own album, the one Betty Trindal let go, is outstanding. Here’s the track listing:

Side One: Games People Play, All My Hard Times, Rose Garden, The Greatest Love, Don’t It Make You Want To Go Home.

Side Two: Walk A Mile In My Shoes, Mirror Of Your Mind, These Are Not My People, Birds Of A Feather.

Here’s the proof.

“Walk A Mile In My Shoes,” Joe South, from “Games People Play,” 1969. It’s out of print.

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1 Comment

Filed under August 2007, Sounds

One response to “Thanks, Betty

  1. Thierry

    I think a few of South’s records have been reissued as twofers by Aussie label Raven, known for its excellent compilations. I’ve picked up most of them on vinyl over the years, and am a big, big fan – he has a fantastic voice, wrote some really great songs (there’s a reason his back catalog has been mined for covers), and anyone with a taste for that Southern country-soul sound (see Dusty in Memphis, Bobbie Gentry, Tina Turner’s Tina Turns the Country On, or Tony Joe White) should check him out immediately.

    Another guy you should check out if you enjoy South is John Hurley, who wrote “Touch’Em With Love”, “Love of the Common People”, “Son of A Preacher Man” but is now entirely forgotten. None of his three early-1970s albums have been reissued on cd, and there’s very little information on him on the web, but I picked up all three on the strength of the musicians, and was not disappointed.

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