I first discovered the 1950’s, Hollywood-based Fable label through my collecting of Song-Poem records. But I quickly realized two things: First, as indicated by the song-poem archives website’s Fable page, most of the label’s output was not of the song-poem variety, although there seem to have been at least some vanity records and hybrids among the releases, and second, many of the non-song-poem records released by Fable are really great and/or fairly (or very) odd, particularly those featuring the guitar and band-leading of label head Sandy Stanton.
Today, the first of at least two posts featuring 45’s from the mid-to-late ‘50’s, all of them from the Fable Record Company. Some of these may be song-poem records, but most, if not all, are not. It’s a bit difficult to determine, at times.
First up is someone named Whalen J. Jones (Music by Sandy Staton’s Panics), with a couple of rock and roll rave-ups. Mr. Jones apparently also released at least one record as “Wailin’ Jones”, which is not surprising, given the sound of this single. What is surprising is the recording effect employed on the B-side.
Next, a two act 45, including Sandy Stanton on the A-side, with J. D. Langford on the B-side (my preferred of the two), both accompanied by the Fable Label Orch, and both sides credited to the wonderfully named Danny Rhythm, who audaciously seems to have been claiming to have written “Oh, Susanna“, based the b-side‘s melody. This record was released on translucent red vinyl.
A particular favorite of mine is the A-side of this Little Donnie Lane 45, “Go Away”. On most other Fable records from this era, the publishing is by “Happy Music”, but someone has carefully blacked out the name of the publishing company on my copy of this record.
Another winner now from Jodie Decker, accompanied on two self-penned tunes, with “Music by Sandy Stanton“. There are some similarities between the two songs on this 45, but I’m partial to “Teenage Blues”, due to some wonderful stereotypical ‘50’s lyrics, as well as Jodie’s food-related cure to the title malady.
Probably my favorite record of this batch turns up on the A-side of the single by the “Honey Sisters”, “Dream of the Teens”, which features some great close harmony, and more great 1950‘s lyrics. The B-side is pretty fun, too. And of course, Sandy Stanton on the guitar.
Finally, a true change of pace. I don’t particularly enjoy this novelty single by the Bobby Roberts Trio ( in fact, I have no clue what they are parodying on the B-side), but it’s worth hearing, just to give a sense of the different styles of records being released by Fable.
Sandy Stanton eventually closed down Fable and went on into the song-poem business, with the marvelously odd Film City label and its offshoots. But that’s a story for another day.