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.

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:

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.

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.)

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

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.

Grey Seal

Whatever Gets You Through the Night

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.

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 :wink: clientele.

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. :frowning: 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.

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

I always thought this should have gotten greater exposure: Shoot to Kill, by 1994

This one gave me the creeps when I was nine, now I find it hilarious.
Timothy, by The Buoys

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.

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This one gave me the creeps when I was nine, now I find it hilarious.
Timothy, by The Buoys


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

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


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.

Well, it’s stimulating!
This is one of my favorite Tim Curry performances.

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.

Love me some Kristen Hersh

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.

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”.