Monday, March 17, 2008


Bobby Marchan, There's Something On Your Mind.
Bobby Hendricks, Psycho.
Hank Locklin, Please Help Me I'm Falling.

"There's Something On Your Mind" opens with the singer realizing that his woman's found someone new--he takes the blow calmly, even with tenderness, quickly accepting that he no longer has a place in her heart. When the band cuts out, Bobby Marchan delivers a succinct, step-by-step instruction in how to leave a broken relationship with (some) dignity.

All seems well, and you expect the fade-out to come at any moment, but the track keeps going. The singer goes to a pawn shop, buys a gun, heads back to his lover's house. And what was once a calm acceptance of fate turns into a double homicide, with an ending so gruesome it's almost farcical.

Marchan was the former lead singer of Huey "Piano" Smith* and the Clowns, and his version of Big Jay McNeely's "Something on Your Mind" was a national R&B hit. Released in two parts as Fire 1022; on There's Something on Your Mind.

Bobby Hendricks' "Psycho" is the story retold, this time by a man muttering on a psychiatrist's couch. Released as Sue 732 c/w "Too Good To Be True"; on Itchy Twitchy Feeling. Released years before "The Name Game", if anyone's keeping track.

Hank Locklin's "Please Help Me I'm Falling" is the other man's perspective--he knows he shouldn't be falling in love, but the more he denies it, the deeper he digs in. Hopefully it won't end with him at the wrong end of a pawn shop revolver.

"Falling" was pure Nashville Sound--written by Don Robertson and Hal Blair, produced by Chet Atkins, and featuring Floyd Cramer's "slip note" piano playing (basically, hitting one note and instantly sliding into the next); it was released as RCA Victor 7692 c/w "My Old Home Town," and was a country #1 for three months; on RCA Country Legends.

Top: Belgians flee the Congo, July 1960.

*see comments for what I stupidly wrote at first.

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