dinsdag 1 september 2015

Jackie Barnett Presents The Sound of the Dodgers!

I stumbled upon this record on Ebay, I loved the cover and was curious about Maury Wills and Willie Davis singing. The album was released in 1963, after the second world series win of the L.A. Dodgers. All songs are written by famous composer Jackie Barnett. Below is a short review of the songs and spoken tracks on the album.

Side 1

Dodger Stadium - Maury Wills, Willie Davis & Stubby Kaye
The song starts with an instrumental part that's a Marvin Gaye's 'You're a Wonderful One' rip-off. But it's a happy start to a great song sung by Wills, Davis and Kaye. It's a song from it's time but most of what they sing still is true today. Dodger Stadium: 'It's our answer to the Taj Mahal'.

Somebody's Keeping Score - Maury Wills
A gospel song performed by Maury Wills. Gospel? You better believe it! Keeping score on a whole other level. This song could be sung during a church service, not during a ballgame. It's a swinging tune, sure, but a bit of a weird choice for a baseball themed record.

What is a Dodger? - Vin Scully
Scully, in his velvet voice tells us what a Dodger is. It starts at Vero Beach. Rookies want to become a Doger, veterans want to stay one. They are All Stars, bums and heroes. It gives a real Dodger fan goosebumps. Vin concludes with this: "A Dodger is a grown up with a lot of little boy in him. It's a way of life". I can only concur!

Solilioquoy of a Dodger Fan - Stubby Kaye
Kaye compares the heroics of the Dodgers with all kind of things, a comet, Sierra Madres treasure, Mona Lisa. Followed by a happy 'we've won today' and a 'we've lost today' chorus. Ending on a high note, of course: we've won today! Funny to hear a guy with a New York accent sing this. Somehow it fits. The best song on the album.

Side 2

Dandy Sandy - Jimmy Durante
There is no voice more recognisable than Jimmy Durante's same goes for his face. Dandy Sandy is a great vehicle for Jimmy. It's reminiscent of Inka Dinka Doo melody wise. A peppy, happy ode to one of baseball's best pitchers ever. best line? "they can't hit whatever they can't see, for them a pop up is a moral victory".

That's the Way the Ball Bounces - Willy Davis
Willy Davis has a deep dark voice which does the song justice. But like the Maury Wills song on side 1 of this record, baseball terms are used as a metaphor for something entirely different. In this case a love song. It lingers in your head but again, has nothing to do with baseball. It's just a vehicle for Davis and he delivers.

The Story of the L.A. Dodgers - Vin Scully
Vin returns to us for a second monologue. In a little more than nine minutes, The Franchise recaps the first five years of the ballclub in Los Angeles. The years they played at the 'memorial goat pasture', their first world series win as an L.A. Club. The move to the new stadium and the fact the planners had forgotten to have drinking fountains installed. Koufax ailments and his glorious world series strike out record against the Yankees. It's great to listen to!

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