Monday, September 26, 2011

The Marathons - "Talkin Trash" - Arvee, 1961

Novelty tunes - what happened to 'em? Today's 45 is a weird number from The Marathons, actually both sides are novelty tunes.  The flip is "Peanut Butter", a song singing the praises of our favorite nut paste, and was the more popular of the two.  I like this side for the naughty edge it has.  It's simply one character trying to seduce a young girl, who does nothing but giggle in response.  By the end of the record, her dismissive laughs anger the suitor, who finally gives up. It's actually pretty annoying, but I suppose that's the point: by the end you are just as annoyed as the suitor.
The Marathons were really a psydonymn for The Vibrations, who were under contract with Checker.  When it was discovered they were recording for another label, a lawsuit resulted, and Checker released their own version of "Peanut Butter".  These same folks charted with "Stranded In The Jungle" earlier under the name The Jayhawks (we covered The Cadets version of that song here).

As far as the Arvee label, here's a blurb from "West Coast Sock Hop", an Arvee compilation I came across:
"Richard Vaughn founded his Arvee Records (his initials formed the label's name) imprint in Los Angeles in 1959, and thanks in part to loose-limbed productions by H.B. Barnum and Marty Cooper, had hits right out of the box with frat party R&B acts like the Olympics and the Marathons, and although party R&B tracks (often with deliberate novelty appeal) remained the label's bread and butter, Arvee also dabbled in rock & roll, doo wop, and instrumental surf music."
I first encountered this tune on the wonderful "Talkin' Trash" compilation, but it was misattributed to The Olympics. Have a listen!

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