Monday, February 28, 2011

Skeeter Davis

Skeeter Davis When I was already a young adult my father brought me a small collection of 45s that he’d salvaged from a house he’d listed and sold. Apparently the erstwhile children had outgrown their record collection and I was to be lucky benefactor. What was a bit unsettling was that I knew the family; they had two kids, the oldest of whom was exactly my age.

It’s 30 years later, and I still haven’t outgrown those records.

What was in the pile. Well, I remember Early In The Morning by Vanity Fare. Maybe as I go through my collection more I’ll remember others. But I do remember the oddest one. It was a version of One Tin Soldier. Now, One Tin Soldier had been a hit for The Original Caste in 1969, and for a group called Coven a few years later (though I was unfamiliar with that one), but the record I got my hands on was by neither of those. The record I got my hands on was by Skeeter Davis, a singer whom I’d never heard of.

It eludes me to this day. It doesn’t seem as if Skeeter ever had a hit with that song, not pop nor country. Possibly it was a B side? But I would have noticed, I think.

Not surprising that I’d never heard of her though. She hadn’t had a record on the pop charts since 1964, and she wasn’t exactly popular on the flashback circuit. I found The Best Of Skeeter Davis at Value Village, it was a bit beat up but serviceable, and I paid exactly $1.00 for it. It was an old first-run RCA album, and it had every one of her top 100 hits on it.

Skeeter Davis:

The End Of The World – A totally over-the-top heartbreak ballad, and they don’t come any better. Herman’s Hermits did a version of this that I grew up with; it was on Herman’s Hermits On Tour. From the winter of 1963.
I Can’t Help You (I’m Falling Too) – An answer record of sorts to Please Help Me I’m Falling By Hank Locklin. From the fall of 1960.
I’m Saving My Love – A song of unrequited love, from the summer of 1963.
I Will – Not The Beatles song. Another heartbreak song. All she wants is for him to come back. In real life she’d throw his clothes in the street. This was a hit in 1965 for Dean Martin.
Something Precious – A song of loss, a bit cloying.
Now I Lay Me Down To Weep –A play on the prayer, obviously. She is sad here, no question. Her tale of sleeplessness and wanting to die verges on mood disorder territory.
Gonna Get Along Without You Now – A lot healthier than those weepy ones. From the spring of 1964, her last pop hit. Trini Lopez did this.
He Says The Same Things To Me – You can guess what this is. From the winter of 1964.
I Can’t Stay Mad At You – This song is definitely an underrated girl group classic, not bad for a country singer. From the fall of 1963.
I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know – Singing to her successor in “his” affections. Dylan covered this on Self Portrait, but I like Skeeter better.
My Last Date (With You) – The end of the relationship, not a happy situation. This was a big instrumental hit for Floyd Cramer (called just Last Date).From the winter of 1961.
Am I That Easy To Forget? – A hit for Debbie Reynolds, and later for Engelbert Humperdinck.
One Tin Soldier – A cover of the hit by Original Caste / Coven. A morality tale which never made all that much sense to me.

No comments:

Locations of visitors to this page