Saturday, December 30, 2006

One Shot Wonders, pt. 14 and the last

see intro below

Another of John Hammond’s sixties discoveries was Gene Stridel. Curiously, the producer’s liner notes for the singer’s 1964 Columbia LP do not cite Stridel’s past as a rhythm and blues vocalist. Instead, mention is only made of his long history as a cocktail lounge singer. But in fact, The Striders, the group Gene once sang with, had an extensive history both in the recording studio and in live performances. The Striders, with Stridel, had recorded as early as 1948 for Capitol, and had also backed singer Savannah Churchill on a number or recordings, including her rhythm and blues classic, “Walking by the River.” One thing seems certain, either that Hammond was not aware of this somewhat less than acceptable---from a jazz purist point-of view--- background. Or else, Stridel withheld the information. Whichever was the case, there is no question that Stridel was equally adept as a r ‘n’ b shouter AND jazz-oriented singer as evidenced by this track from his lone lp, release, “This is Gene Stridel.”

PLAY The Sweetest Sounds

Gene Stridel died in 1973, reportedly in a boating accident. And the truth WAS that public and record industry interest in the kind of music that was made by the likes of John Hammond discoveries Nikki Price and Gene Stridel was also “dead” by the time their recordings hit the market in the early sixties. I have long felt that Japanese listeners have done more than their fair share to keep this classic music alive. People of this country are the TRUE CULTURAL CUSTODIANS TO THE BEST OF THE WEST and that is why it has been such a great honor for me to appear before you this afternoon. Thank you!

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