BetteBack January 31, 1974: Three New Singles On Music Scene

Chicago Heights Star
January 31, 1974


As regular Beat readers are aware, I don’t usually devote a lot of time and space to singles releases, but there comes a time occasionally when a handful of singles deserve a bit of publicity.

In a nutshell, JE R R Y R EED has put out a timely single, BETTE (Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy) M1DI.ER has released a new super-hit full of nostalgia and ROGER M ILLER, who really hasn’t had a big winner in several years, has tried his luck with a super-nonsensical effort full of noises produced with his mouth!

With the possible exception of Midler’s effort, it seem s unlikely that any will become large scale hits but they are noteworthy.

Take the Jerry Reed single, “ Crude Oil Blues,” for example. Since Jerry wrote it, it is made to order for him.

Any song that has a lot of words in a short span of time is made to order for the lanky Georgian! The song, as the title explains, is about the oil shortage and the problems that accompany it and how it effects our everyday shortage and the problems that accompany it and how it effects our everyday lives. Starting out musically much like typical Jerry Reed effoi ts ( “ Amos M oses,” “ When You’re Hot, You’re Hot,” etc- ), he immediately sets us up for a punch line that, if it were to come off the way we’re set up foi it, would make this an X-rated record.

IT’S A fast, light and lively effort that makes the listener tap toes, snap fingers and thoroughly enjoy. Despite the fact that there are so many words close together, Jerry has the uncanny ability to make them very clear and for that I give him an A plus. It’s even somewhat comical to hear him tell of how there was a little bit of doubt ps to whether this record will ever have come out since there supposedly isn’t even enough oil to keep the presses greased!

As for the Bette Midler disc, she is obviously hung up on the past, re-doing old, old songs and making them winners all over again. Who can blame her either after the astounding success of the “ Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy” taken from tile .songbook of the Andrews Sisters! For her latest release, Bette has put to words the one time Glenn Miller orchestra standard, “ In the Mood”

I suppose she figures if it was a winner during the swing era for Miller, it can be a winner for her. Surprisingly enough, the old-time hit does really come to life done in the Better’ Midler “ mood.” It stiJl swings, it has a touch of the old-time flair to it, but the big difference is that it isn’t as smooth as Miller’s version was.

Hers is a course, rough-edged effort with lyrics that are hard to understand, quite possibly because there are too many in too short a tune span. Better Midler does not have the ability to be clear like Jerry Reed. All in all though, on the basis of her past performances and the swinging effort that “ In the Mood” is, it could be another hit for the last of the tacky ladies.

Roger Miller is a s silly as he’s ever heed on his latest single “ Whistle Stop” a tune taken from the movie “ Robin Hood.

Though it isn’t the sam e kind of lyrical corn we got from Roger on things like “ Dang Me,” “Do-Wacka-Do“ and the like, it is two and one half minutes worth of noises produced by his vocal chords! The melody is rather catchy, and many a listener of it has reported to me that they’ve been afflicted with “ Whistle-itis” in that they find themselves whistling it while going about their daily affairs!

It’s cute, its nonsensical, but yet it does not strike me as being hit material. It seem s to me that the Dang Me” days of Roger Miller’s fame are long gone, and U would take quite a change in events to get Roger back to the peak he was at in the mid-1960s.

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