We have always loved posting privately-pressed albums by 70s show bands — the most popular of these lost li’l gems we’ve shared with you has been the couple albums we’ve found by Dave Major and the Minors (here and here) which led folks to share, through the comment section, the band’s history of triumph, at least on the ballroom circuit, and tragedy.
Today’s selection is a little different from most others we’ve shared because it’s part comedy/part original music. There’s only one cover on The Facts O’ Life’s album (Willie Mitchell’s “Soul Serenade”) and the record has some goofy comedy bits interspersed, making it more like Music is Just A Bunch of Notes by Spider John Koerner and Willie & the Bees.
The originals are all by lead singer J. Terry Kratky, a similar blend of R&B and bar rock as that local album which is one of our personal favorites. Kratky doesn’t have the insight or wit of Koerner, but that’s not really a fair comparison if you ask us. He does have a knack for melody and puts some thoughtful love songs into the album.
The comedy bits aren’t really better or worse than Koerner’s, mostly just a distraction when you’re listening to the album. Seems like the impulse to fit something silly into an album infiltrated nearly every kind of music around that time, even jazz (Roland Kirk’s Case of the Three Side Dream in Audio Color).
The Facts O’ Life LP has a label that looks suspiciously like the United Artists logo, but in fact says UMA, for United Music Artists. We wonder if this clever ruse tricked any record shoppers into thinking this was a big budget, major label release when they saw it on the shelves.
From the liner notes: “This album is our contribution to the salvation of mankind for it contains a smile. A smile, we hope, that will soon be on your face. Try it on, it feels good!”