The Recession’s Here! Special Edition: Nobody’s Children/The Artwoods: Brace for the Obscure (60s rock)! — July 28, 2022

THE GREATEST SONGS OF THE 1960s THAT NO ONE HAS EVER HEARD

The perfect songs to welcome in the recession!

534) Nobody’s Children — “Good Times”

The A-side of the Children’s only single (’68) is a hilarious garage rock classic from the Irving, Texas band about a hardscrabble life. Or is it? “Well, I work all day from nine to five just grubbing enough to try to stay alive. Five o’clock comes, crawl back in my crummy hole eating wheat cheapies from a cracked plastic bowl.”

Mome Wrath comments “remember hearing this record was so hated when first released, no-one would well it so all copies you find are mint, unlike his cracked plastic bowl. . .” (https://www.45cat.com/record/1944us)

Band member Allen Schram recalls:

My brother Ray and I wrote and produced Good Times in 1968. I played the bass and drums and did the vocal and Ray did the guitar work. I want to thank you for putting it up and calling it great music. It was great fun for us. Thanks, Allen

https://shyc.posthaven.com/nobodys-children-good-times

“Well, I work all day from nine to five just grubbing enough to try to stay alive. Five o’clock comes, crawl back in my crummy hole eating wheat cheapies from a cracked plastic bowl. Good times? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Well, I watch TV till it goes on the blink. Spend all night listening to water dripping in the sink. Rusty old stove leaking gas everywhere. I strike a match, it blasts my face and burns off my hair. Good times? Listen to this! Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Friends all tell me how lucky I am. They say using daddy’s money, driving daddy’s car. But they can’t tell me how bad thins are for them. Axe it Ray! [guitar solo] Well, I love good booze, but I drink cheap wine. I love tough chicks, but man look at mine. Got one good suit, but it’s wearing mighty, mighty thin. Go out for entertainment, I park behind the twin. Things started bad from the day of my birth. Why it looks like I’m destined to be a scum of the earth! I’m going bald and I’m getting fat too. And if you don’t like it here’s something for you! Good times? Listen baby! Ha ha ha ha ha ha . . . .”

Here’s a cool version by Australia’s Beasts of Bourbon (’84, B-side):

58) The Artwoods — “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime” [REPLAY]

The Artwoods were founded by, yes, Art Wood, who was the older brother of future Stones guitarist Ron Wood. They were a top touring R&B band, but their success never translated to record. 

“Brother” was a Depression-era classic made famous by Bing Crosby in 1932. Art Wood explains their ‘67 A-side cover version: Fontana Records “wanted the band to cash in on the ‘Bonnie & Clyde’ movie. . . . They suggested it would be a great idea if we all dressed up as gangsters . . . . [W]e had a press reception . . . where stuntmen fired blanks from real machine guns. . . . It was exactly the same lineup as the Artwoods, but called the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre!” Alas, the 45 was only successful in Denmark.

“Once I built a railroad, I made it run, made it race against time. Once I built a railroad, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime? Once I built a tower up to the sun. Brick and rivet and lime. Once I built a tower, now it’s done. Brother, can you spare a dime? They used to tell me I was building a dream. And so I followed the mob. When their was earth to plow or guns to bear, I was always their right on the job. . . . Once in khaki suits, gee we looked swell. Full of that Yankee-Doodly-dumb. Half a million boots went slogging through hell, and I was the kid with the drum. Say, don’t you remember, they called me “Al”? It was “Al” all the time. Say, don’t you remember, [chorus: I’m your pal. Buddy, can you spare a dime? Buddy, can you spare a dime? Buddy . . . one lousy dime?”

Here is Bing:

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