Reiterating what I wrote last year, I first discovered the Fable label through my collecting of Song-Poem records. But I quickly realized two things: First, as indicated by the song-poem archives wesbite'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. Some of the records shared today may be song-poem records, but most of them probably are not, although it’s a bit difficult to determine, at times.
First up is certainly the most manic of these records, featuring Danny Wheeler doing two of his own songs (with music by Sandy Stanton). First, Danny offers up his take on the craze for men-from-outer-space records, “Teenie Weenie Man”, then a more down to earth number, “Knee Deep in Alligators”:
For a long time, I thought the lead male singer on the next 45 was someone named Larry Drake. That was until I recently read the label more closely and realized that the most prominent credit on the label (for Drake) is actually a reference to the band providing the music, not the singers. The singers on the B-side are clumsily identified as the “The Spotlighters & Plus One”, with this info printed to the right of the hole, across from the timing and publishing info. The A-side, “Tears”, has a similar billing, but in this case, the vocals are by Jesse Hodges and the The Spotlighters. But the real action here is on the B-side (“Boppin’ Baby”), which has been a favorite of my younger daughter, since the first time she heard it. I’ll put that one first:
Another much beloved Fable record around our house is by a group from the Pacific Northwest, The Eligibles. Again, the B-side, written in this case by a member of the group, far outshines the A-side. The song in question, “Shakespeare Rock”, strikes me as being either a work of inspired genius or inspired idiocy, perhaps both. It’s clever and funny and even a pretty fair piece of upbeat doo-wop. The flip side is titled “Little Fire Eyes”, but is subtitled “Mr. Fire Eyes”, and it’s apparently a reverse gender re-write of a hit song of the latter title, from 1957.
Label head Sandy Stanton made a vocal record of his own here and there, and on at least a few records, teamed up with Carolyn Waits. Here they are together with a more mainstream release, highlighted by Sandy’s Les Paul-influenced guitar trickery:
Finally, a record which, although it is more than likely a song-poem, is a fairly decent, and more mainstream release from the label than most of the others I've featured. It's by Randie Nissen, with, of course, the Sandy Stanton Combo: