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-   -   Rediscovering obscure old songs from your youth (https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=774837)

nearwildheaven 11-10-2015 05:14 PM

Rediscovering obscure old songs from your youth
 
Isn't it fun when you do that?

I'm thinking about that because several days ago, I stumbled onto this wonderful song that I used to hear late at night on the AOR station as a tween in the late 1970s; they would play what we now call "deep tracks", and there were some songs that I never found out who did them or what they were called.

This particular one is "Fountains" by the Midwestern prog band Starcastle. I knew they had released two albums (and owned them at one time or another) but not that they had two others; this one is from their second, and by all accounts best, release.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D2tORbYuWtM

As for what this sextet is doing now, they still do some nostalgia shows. Their first guitarist died about 10 years ago (cancer, I think) and the second guitarist looks like he might be an executive for a refrigeration company, and sure enough, he is. :p I'm mentioning this mainly because the keyboardist, Herb Schildt, is better known for his development and promotion of Java and C++ than he is for this. :cool:

Biffy the Elephant Shrew 11-10-2015 05:27 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 18848935)
Midwestern prog band Starcastle.

Saw these guys live in 1976 around the time of their extremely Yes-influenced first album. They were the opening act at a huge stadium gig where they were followed by Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, and Jethro Tull.

burpo the wonder mutt 11-10-2015 05:31 PM

Neither of these might be "obscure":

Long, Tall Glasses - Leo Sayer ("I think I can DANCE! I think I can DANCE! I CAN DANCE!)

Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) - Reunion (I wish I had a nickel for every kid in school who almost passed out trying to sing that song [production trickery, it was]. When Billy Joel released "We Didn't Start The Fire," we all tried to substitute the words of one for the other. Neither version would work.)

nearwildheaven 11-10-2015 05:36 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Biffy the Elephant Shrew (Post 18848962)
Saw these guys live in 1976 around the time of their extremely Yes-influenced first album. They were the opening act at a huge stadium gig where they were followed by Rory Gallagher, Robin Trower, and Jethro Tull.

I posted on Facebook that if Yes and Styx had a baby, they would have named it Starcastle. :D

Their third album, "Citadel", was composed of short pop songs that were good but they were drifting away from the whole prog thing, at the urging of their record company (and the front cover appears to be festooned with penises, or do I have a dirty mind?) :o The fourth album was called "Real to Reel" and the chatter I heard online said it was crap and they wanted nothing to do with it. The songs I checked out from it were indeed awful, and you can't even download tracks from it on their website.

Dale Sams 11-10-2015 05:37 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt (Post 18848969)
Neither of these might be "obscure":

Long, Tall Glasses - Leo Sayer ("I think I can DANCE! I think I can DANCE! I CAN DANCE!)

Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) - Reunion (I wish I had a nickel for every kid in school who almost passed out trying to sing that song [production trickery, it was]. When Billy Joel released "We Didn't Start The Fire," we all tried to substitute the words of one for the other. Neither version would work.)

Grey Seal

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

Trinopus 11-10-2015 06:18 PM

I may be repeating myself... Apologies...

Back in 1971, I saw the program "Say Goodbye," and the opening theme song really stuck with me. Now, 44 years later, I found the YouTube recording of the song. "Say Goodbye" by Dory Previn.

The show itself was pretty good. Early ecological/conservation material. The song is fairly typical 60's folk-song style. I like it.

nearwildheaven 11-10-2015 09:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 18848935)
the second guitarist looks like he might be an executive for a refrigeration company, and sure enough, he is. :p

His name is Stephen Hagler, and he has a regular gig doing acoustic sets at a wine bar in the St. Louis area, where he lives and works. This bar has a Facebook page, and appears to have a, shall we say, mature ;) clientele.

nearwildheaven 11-10-2015 09:25 PM

So, I decided to pull up their AFAIK best-known song, "Lady of the Lake" and am listening to it right now. :cool: Someone on the message board said it made the "Bubbling Under" section of the Billboard Top 100, stalling at #101. :( It was almost certainly an edited version; I can't imagine a 10 1/2 minute song getting onto Top 40 radio, not even in the mid 1970s.

7 minutes, like "Bohemian Rhapsody"? Maybe. Not 10:28.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fwbZ0m73B3E

Horatio Hellpop 11-10-2015 09:30 PM

I was pretty oblivious to the Allman Brothers and ZZ Top back in the 70s and have a new appreciation for both.

california jobcase 11-10-2015 09:49 PM

I always thought this should have gotten greater exposure: Shoot to Kill, by 1994
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ru0peeaF74

This one gave me the creeps when I was nine, now I find it hilarious.
Timothy, by The Buoys
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii1FGESbxO8

Don Draper 11-10-2015 10:19 PM

Funny, but I was just thinking of starting a thread along these lines after just having rediscovered Throwing Muses, which is a band I listened to a lot in college, but haven't listened to in so long I had completely forgotten they existed.

nearwildheaven 11-10-2015 10:24 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Don Draper (Post 18849574)
Funny, but I was just thinking of starting a thread along these lines after just having rediscovered Throwing Muses, which is a band I listened to a lot in college, but haven't listened to in so long I had completely forgotten they existed.

I liked their album "Hunkpapa", and saw them in 1991. Unfortunately, the show was less than stellar.

Kristen Hersh is still performing, and published a book some years back about her battle with bipolar disorder.

MonkeyMensch 11-10-2015 11:13 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by california jobcase (Post 18849519)
...
This one gave me the creeps when I was nine, now I find it hilarious.
Timothy, by The Buoys
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ii1FGESbxO8

Yeah, makes you wonder where the whole Mine-Disaster-Cannibalism genre went after 1971...

Mean Mr. Mustard 11-11-2015 05:50 AM

Not exactly from my yout, but I recently re-stumbled into Tim Curry's I Do the Rock.


Quote:

I've always liked DiMaggio and Rockne's pretty Knute you know...

mmm

hogarth 11-11-2015 06:58 AM

This probably doesn't count as an obscure song, but as a kid I heard the song Johnny's Cash and Charley's Pride a few times and I thought it was great. Over the past 30 years, I never heard it again and I thought it was called something like "If I had Johnny's Paycheck and I had Johnny's Cash". But now thanks to Google and Youtube I can listen to it all I want now.

CheshireKat 11-11-2015 09:28 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Mean Mr. Mustard (Post 18849997)
Not exactly from my yout, but I recently re-stumbled into Tim Curry's I Do the Rock.

Well, it's stimulating!


This is one of my favorite Tim Curry performances.

Malthus 11-11-2015 09:49 AM

When I was a kid in the early '70s, my dad gave my older brothers an ancient record player, the kind that came in its own carrying case and latched up, and a few old records - including some old 45s (there was a sort of plastic adaptor you needed to play 'em, which was lost, and replaced with a bit of cardboard). One of those 45s (it may even have been the original) had "the Witch Doctor Song" on it, with the "Oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang" chorus. Left a big impression on my six year old self. We played the shit outta it.

Flash forward to yesterday - my kid was singing in the bathroom while washing up - and he was singing the "Oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang" chorus. I have no idea where he heard it.

Dale Sams 11-11-2015 09:52 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by nearwildheaven (Post 18849592)
I liked their album "Hunkpapa", and saw them in 1991. Unfortunately, the show was less than stellar.

Kristen Hersh is still performing, and published a book some years back about her battle with bipolar disorder.

Love me some Kristen Hersh

racer72 11-11-2015 10:18 AM

I went to a club in Seattle back in the late 70's with a cousin of mine. That band that played that night was called Gamma. Didn't recognize the guitar player till later in the show when he said he was going to play some of his early stuff. Suddenly realized it was Ronnie Montrose. I'll bet there wasn't 75 people in there that night. Most excellent show.

cjepson 11-11-2015 10:49 AM

I like to buy old LPs at yard sales and such, and what you describe happens every once in a while (not so often now as it used to)... I've rediscovered songs such as "It Doesn't Matter" by Manassas, "The Legend of the USS Titanic" by Jaime Brockett, "Open My Eyes" by Nazz, "Omaha" by Moby Grape, and "Hey Man" by Rare Bird... all stuff that got FM airplay back in the early 70s.

There is also the occasional tune that got regional AM airplay when I was in high school but never charted nationally. One example I recently excavated is "Mixed Up Guy" by Joey Scarbury, a Jimmy Webb song that is perhaps better known from Dusty Springfield's version, "Mixed Up Girl".

nearwildheaven 11-11-2015 12:06 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by racer72 (Post 18850575)
I went to a club in Seattle back in the late 70's with a cousin of mine. That band that played that night was called Gamma. Didn't recognize the guitar player till later in the show when he said he was going to play some of his early stuff. Suddenly realized it was Ronnie Montrose. I'll bet there wasn't 75 people in there that night. Most excellent show.

Which reminds me of another great old song: Gamma's "Voyager".

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UxPLN4HBJ7Q

casdave 11-11-2015 12:28 PM

I reckon pretty much all of you have heard this, but you can't remember the name or the artist, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0EL7fjfeE8

kenobi 65 11-11-2015 12:38 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casdave (Post 18851036)
I reckon pretty much all of you have heard this, but you can't remember the name or the artist, right?

I can, but I live in Chicago, and the band is still well-known here, having re-formed 25 years ago.

ZipperJJ 11-11-2015 12:42 PM

I liked that song "Flagpole Sitta" by the band Harvey Danger and got their full album Where Have All The Merrymakers Gone? as one of my 10 CDs for a dollar or whatever from Columbia House. I don't think it went in to my main rotation (you know, the 30 CDs you could fit in your CD wallet?) and I didn't give the band much thought after that.

A few years ago I re-discovered the album, as well as the next two albums the band released. They are all great and I love them!

Sadly, I also found that the band had broken up just a few years before I re-discovered them. Bah.

davida03801 11-11-2015 01:58 PM

Back in college in mid 70 time frame one late night DJ played every night a rock and roll version of "In the hall of the mountain king" by greig.

I never heard that song since, wish i could find.

kenobi 65 11-11-2015 03:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by davida03801 (Post 18851286)
Back in college in mid 70 time frame one late night DJ played every night a rock and roll version of "In the hall of the mountain king" by greig.

I never heard that song since, wish i could find.

Electric Light Orchestra did a version of it on their third album (released in 1973), which would fit that time frame. Is this it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMS5h8OXl0Q

NDP 11-11-2015 04:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casdave (Post 18851036)
I reckon pretty much all of you have heard this, but you can't remember the name or the artist, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0EL7fjfeE8

I know the group's name is The Ides of March. However, I think a lot of people initially thought it was Blood, Sweat, & Tears because the two groups sound a lot alike and BS&T was at the height of its popularity when "Vehicle" was released in 1970.

nearwildheaven 11-11-2015 05:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by casdave (Post 18851036)
I reckon pretty much all of you have heard this, but you can't remember the name or the artist, right?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0EL7fjfeE8

That's still played on the local oldies stations; however, I'm not all that far from Chicago either.

RealityChuck 11-11-2015 05:27 PM

I recently ran across Ian Dury's "Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick" again (the video was a bit controversial because Dury was wearing cut-off sleeves).

Smapti 11-11-2015 05:43 PM

When I was around 6 or 7 years old, there was occasionally this song on the radio that I absolutely loved for some indescribable reason. I remember this time I was listening to it and I was utterly entranced, and my little sister ignorantly grabbed the dial on the radio and switched it to another station. I freaked out and begged my mother to get the song back, but she couldn't find the station in time. She asked my father if he had that song in his LP collection, but, alas, he didn't.

I didn't hear that song again for a good 20 years or so. I had no idea who had sung or composed it. I could only vaguely remember the melody.

Then, one day a few years ago I was driving at night, and I had a classic rock station on, and Roy Orbison's "You Got It" came on, and I realized that that was the song I'd loved and never quite been able to remember.

(I went through a slightly less traumatic experience forgetting and remembering the Who's "Bargain" between when I heard it as a kid and rediscovered it as an adult.)

PapSett 11-11-2015 05:56 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CheshireKat (Post 18850413)
Well, it's stimulating!


This is one of my favorite Tim Curry performances.

God I love Tim Curry!

Son of a Rich 11-11-2015 06:54 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malthus (Post 18850475)
When I was a kid in the early '70s, my dad gave my older brothers an ancient record player, the kind that came in its own carrying case and latched up, and a few old records - including some old 45s (there was a sort of plastic adaptor you needed to play 'em, which was lost, and replaced with a bit of cardboard). One of those 45s (it may even have been the original) had "the Witch Doctor Song" on it, with the "Oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang" chorus. Left a big impression on my six year old self. We played the shit outta it.

Flash forward to yesterday - my kid was singing in the bathroom while washing up - and he was singing the "Oo ee oo ah ah ting tang walla walla bing bang" chorus. I have no idea where he heard it.

Does he watch Family Guy? Quagmire does that refrain in response to gay marriage.

Gatopescado 11-11-2015 07:19 PM

I listened to Rush's Caress of Steel album a few weeks ago. That was a blast from the past!

terentii 11-12-2015 07:36 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Malthus (Post 18850475)
When I was a kid in the early '70s, my dad gave my older brothers an ancient record player, the kind that came in its own carrying case and latched up, and a few old records - including some old 45s (there was a sort of plastic adaptor you needed to play 'em, which was lost, and replaced with a bit of cardboard).

An aside: Canadian TV often shows commercials for insurance (I think) for baby boomers that usually start off "If you can identify these [various pictures], you're over 50," or something like that. One of the pictures is the kind of plastic adaptor you speak of. I asked my 20-year-old daughter, who is generally pretty knowledgable about pop culture, if she knew what it was. She had no clue. The best she could come up with was "Some kind of symbol?"

terentii 11-12-2015 07:42 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cjepson (Post 18850666)
"The Legend of the USS Titanic" by Jaime Brockett.

Are you sure that's the title? Not to nitpick, but Titanic was an RMS (Royal Mail Steamer), not a USS.

Is this the song (popular among some folk in 1912) about the black guy who survives the sinking of the ship?

terentii 11-12-2015 07:43 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 18852944)
The best she could come up with was "Some kind of symbol?"

In her defense, the adaptor they show does look sort of like a neon-green triskelion.

cjepson 11-12-2015 08:06 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by terentii (Post 18852953)
Are you sure that's the title? Not to nitpick, but Titanic was an RMS (Royal Mail Steamer), not a USS.

Is this the song (popular among some folk in 1912) about the black guy who survives the sinking of the ship?

That is in fact the title... and it does use the old Leadbelly song "The Titanic" as a jumping-off point, referring to the fighter Jack Johnson, who (according to legend) was refused passage. But it's more along the lines of "Alice's Restaurant", albeit more manic... an extended comic narrative presenting a fanciful explanation for why the ship hit that iceberg.

drad dog 11-12-2015 11:03 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by kenobi 65 (Post 18851476)
Electric Light Orchestra did a version of it on their third album (released in 1973), which would fit that time frame. Is this it?
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NMS5h8OXl0Q

The Who did it but I think it came out as a bonus track later.

RealityChuck 11-12-2015 01:26 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cjepson (Post 18853006)
That is in fact the title... and it does use the old Leadbelly song "The Titanic" as a jumping-off point, referring to the fighter Jack Johnson, who (according to legend) was refused passage. But it's more along the lines of "Alice's Restaurant", albeit more manic... an extended comic narrative presenting a fanciful explanation for why the ship hit that iceberg.

Brockett's version is deliberately ahistorical -- the ship sails from NY to the UK, for instance.

And I doubt you could lift 497 1/2 feet of rope. ;)

Biffy the Elephant Shrew 11-12-2015 02:03 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by RealityChuck (Post 18853967)
And I doubt you could lift 497 1/2 feet of rope. ;)

You ain't Jack Johnson!

Made in Macau 11-12-2015 02:26 PM

Pinball by Brian Protheroe - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jQuCqNVdxTc - it was played earlier this year in the soundtrack of a BBC comedy written by Danny Baker with music by Squeeze, and I hadn't thought of it in 40 years.
Cradle to Grave is the show and i recommend any Anglophiles to watch it when you get a chance.

MiM

Soylent Juicy 11-12-2015 02:29 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt (Post 18848969)
Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) - Reunion

I completely forgot about this song until just a few months ago. I think someone on this board mentioned it and that triggered the memory of a 45 I had when I was really little, most likely purchased at a "rummage sale".

I can't remember what movie or TV show it was - a recent one, I know that - but they played a Cure song in the soundtrack. They were my favourite band in high school and I hadn't heard that song in years.

RealityChuck 11-12-2015 03:03 PM

Just the other day, I was reminded of "Strike a Match and Light Another" by Cat Mother and the All Night Newsboys.

drad dog 11-12-2015 05:57 PM

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xij4BUAhzRs

Anyone remember the Fabulous Rhinestones "What a wonderful thing we have"?

CaptMurdock 11-12-2015 07:51 PM

Pandora gave me the following on a station of classic "album rock" tracks:

Uriah Heep: The Wizard

I vaguely remember my older sister playing something like this back in the Vietnam war days. It's a great tune, but I don't know what those background dancers are dancing to...

---

I had had the rhythm track to this song stuck in my head for years before I learned the name of the song and the artist:

My Little Red Book - Love.

salinqmind 11-12-2015 09:53 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by CaptMurdock (Post 18855049)
Pandora gave me the following on a station of classic "album rock" tracks:





---

I had had the rhythm track to this song stuck in my head for years before I learned the name of the song and the artist:

My Little Red Book - Love.

:D Holy crap, that song takes me directly back to the after school dance in the gym, when I was in 9th grade!!! Haven't heard it in decades - written by Burt Bacharach??

drad dog 11-12-2015 11:02 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by salinqmind (Post 18855326)
:D Holy crap, that song takes me directly back to the after school dance in the gym, when I was in 9th grade!!! Haven't heard it in decades - written by Burt Bacharach??

Check out the original

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=se7Ywa668aw

As much as I love Arthur Lee, this is the best version. Burt said so too.

Sahirrnee 11-13-2015 07:56 AM

Atomic Rooster

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8yO7l6TmIRI

nearwildheaven 12-04-2015 11:11 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by burpo the wonder mutt (Post 18848969)
Life Is A Rock (But The Radio Rolled Me) - Reunion (I wish I had a nickel for every kid in school who almost passed out trying to sing that song [production trickery, it was]. When Billy Joel released "We Didn't Start The Fire," we all tried to substitute the words of one for the other. Neither version would work.)

I'm listening to that now; can't recall ever having heard it before. It also reminds me a lot of R.E.M.'s "It's The End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)", which was not studio trickery.

The death of Scott Weiland has led to a lot of discussion about Songs I Remember From My Youth, and as for the original post, in the meantime I Googled yet another Starcastle alumnus (drummer Stephen Tassler, in this case), and guess what kind of links I got THAT time? The whole first page was for a family practice physician in the Chicago suburbs, and yes, it's him. :eek:

In case you're wondering if they ever performed with Rush, the answer is yes. That must have been one of the more unusual backstage scenes in the history of rock & roll. :o They also did some shows with Boston, and I think there were some Boston/Rush/Starcastle triple bills, per their website.

nearwildheaven 12-04-2015 11:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Horatio Hellpop (Post 18849474)
I was pretty oblivious to the Allman Brothers and ZZ Top back in the 70s and have a new appreciation for both.

ZZ Top performed in my town a few months ago. Didn't see the show, but my favorite moment in "Sharknado 2" was where they were extras. They were running around in a crowd scene on a subway. :p :cool:


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