Jerry Smith And His Pianos, Truck Stop, ABC S-692, 1969
This is one of those weird cases of a major label release where neither the album or the artist are deemed worthy enough to have a Wikipedia page! Jerry Smith seems to be a Nashville session piano player of some regard, meaning that he played with some of the all time greats of Country and early Rock music. With legendary producer Bill Justis, he wrote Down At Papa Joe’s, a 1963 hit for The Dixiebelles, and if you know and like the bouncy old timey piano on that song, you’re going to love this record.
If you can find it that is! With no apparent appearance on any chart, or a follow-up album on ABC, this record probably didn’t sell as many copies as there are 18 Wheelers on the cover. Perhaps the three Pure Girls on the cover also bought one. They get credit on the cover, but beyond that this doesn’t seem to be a Union Oil co-production. Still, I could see copies of this record sitting in truck stop bargain bins for years.
The music is very outdated for 1969, but with a track called Speakeasy 1929 on it, maybe I shouldn’t be surprised. It might have done better in the 40s or 50s, but even country music had moved past this sound by the Woodstock era. It’s probably one of those cases of someone being “due” to make a record, but has no idea how to go about it, like someone who enjoys cooking opening a restaurant. The result is usually very far off from the original intent.
Cost: $1, $191 Remaining
The Floaters, Floaters, ABC AB-1030, 1977
Yesterday, I wrote about always wanting to have the long album version of the disco classic Funkytown. From the same batch of records comes this surprisingly mint condition record from a group called The Floaters. They only ever had one hit, one cheesy cheesy hit, but their one album features 11:49 of it! It was only poor timing that had the record hit the Hot 100 at the same time as some real disco classics. The poor Floaters peaked at #2 for two weeks behind Andy Gibb (I Just Want To Be Your Everything) and The Emotions (Best Of My Love).
It’s probably a recipe for disaster to either name your group after your hit single or have a hit single titled after your group. After all, The Rolling Stones never sang Like A Rolling Stone. It just feels cheap and desperate and I really don’t know of any major act whose first big hit was named for their group. About the closest I know of is a Jefferson Airplane B-Side called Blues From An Airplane, but B-Sides don’t really count here.
The record is pretty much what you’d expect from a late 70s R&B vocal act. The genre was on it’s way out with disco ruling the airwaves and rap music about to explode onto the scene. The extra 7 1/2 minutes of Float On I’d never heard before today unfortunately don’t introduce other band member’s star signs and the physical attributes they appreciate in women, but it’s on par with a Spinners or Four Tops sound. This is one of those records that I can’t wait to pull out and play with people over. It’s absolutely a record that carries itself like…Miss Universe.
Cost: $2, $829 Remaining