Listen: Scratchy / Travis Wammack
I’ve never been able to figure out why soul collectors included this single in their world of must-haves. Because ARA Records was distributed by Atlantic? Or maybe it’s the middle bit that has that Screamin’ Jay Hawkins moment. Regardless, in the UK, where the 7″ came out on Atlantic proper, it usually sells for around $100. It’s not the price that irks me but instead the chances of finding one. Well, a yellow labeled demo that is. Meanwhile, my US pressing will have to do.
I recall this one on the the jukebox at Emmy’s, our local small town malt shop. My older, babysitting cousin would drag me round there after school daily. The place was a snapshot right out of AMERICAN GRAFFITI despite being the 60′s. Upstate New York was not current back then. I’d just stand by the Seeburg content to watch records spin round the machine’s turntable for hours, most of the 45′s having a white sheen from repeated plays.
Despite sounding off-centered to this day, ‘Scratchy’ ignited my interest with instrumentals, as did Jack Nitzsche’s ‘The Lonely Surfer’, another well played single at the time.
Wow, did these records ever sound great in that jukebox, and in fact, they still do. all these years later, both are in my Seeburg now, so I know. And yes, I can stand and watch them play for hours, completely content with life.