Archive for the ‘Hoagy Lands’ Category

A Handful Of Cheek

Thursday, October 6th, 2011

Listen: I’ll Slap Your Face / A Handful Of Cheek

King Of The Hooks, as Jonathan King was known, kept a non-stop flow of pop novelty singles coming from his UK Records imprint during the early 70′s. Initially distributed by Decca and later Polydor, some deservedly became the occasional hit.

Clearly, all these one-off releases were from his own musical pen, when not picking up the occasional left field Reggae (Carl Malcolm), Northern (The Devonnes) or American Soul (Hoagy Lands) master that is.

JK always came up with hysterical synonyms for himself and his hired musicians. In this case, A Handful Of Cheek.

When visiting London in March ’77 with Corinne, we made the rounds of all the labels, blagging records. Howard set us up with Andrew Lauder at United Artists, and folks at Chrysalis, Charisma, etc. No one was about to bother with UK, deemed quite unhip despite 10CC and The Kursaal Flyers. Maybe others looked down their nose at UK, but certainly not me.

Maintaing a small office just near the entrance to Warren Street tube, the very nice receptionist gladly opened the cupboards and pulled out a good fifty singles for me to take back home for my US college station. Bless her. A Handful Of Cheek was among them.

Starting with a glam drum sound, ‘I’ll Slap Your Face’ soon turns into one of my favorite Jonathan King novelties. Dropping in the orchestral backing at the key change is an unexpected and undeniable example of why King Of The Hooks, even if self appointed, is undeniably justified.

Hoagy Lands

Thursday, August 11th, 2011

Listen: Baby Come On Home / Hoagy Lands
Baby Come On Home / Hoagy Lands

Anything associated with Bert Berns gets my radar sky high. A master of New York RnB productions, I grabbed this in a stack somewhere along life’s journey years ago. The not often used black and white, as opposed to red and white, Atlantic promo label giving this obscure single from ’64 even more of an odd one out feel.

There was no way ‘Baby Come Back Home’ was going to disappoint despite the rather un-soulful sound of an artist named Hoagy Lands. Gladly, that first instinct, triggered by the Bert Berns namecheck, was right. The record is a gem.

Through the years I’ve picked up his other titles on Laurie and ABC, yet always found it baffling that, for such an obvious musical fit, ‘Baby Come On Home’, with Cissy Houston, Dee Dee Warwick and Judy Clay on backups, became his only Atlantic release.