Saturday, April 29, 2017

Ill-Ustrated Songs #38 - KAY MARTIN, "SWAMP GIRL"

Michael Brown's offbeat classic "Swamp Girl" was a surprise hit in 1950.

You'll find the Frankie Laine version elsewhere on the blog. He owned the song, but let's take a listen to the cover version by Kay Martin, singing AS the Swamp Girl.

Above, early Kay in brunette mode. Later she was a brassy blonde.

She and her ridiculous "body guards" twist the song into a groovy jazz riff (think about dated hipsters like The Hi-Lo's, or the Kirby Stone Four). Kay, who had a minor reputation for singing risque novelty songs on adults only indie labels, actually had a semi-major label release with this. Her album of standards was published by the notorious Roulette Records, run by the nefarious Morris Levy. Other tracks, such as "Sentimental Journey" and "Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man" don't gain anything with Kay's indifferent voice or the cliche background singing. But "Swamp Girl?"

Instead of fearful, lustful Frankie Laine singing about her, here's the girl herself boasting of her prowess, with her admiring male duo trailing behind:

Kay: "Where the crane flies through the marshes and the turtles sun their shells.
Where the water rat goes swimmin'..." Body Guards: "That's where my swamp girl dwells!"

Kay: "Tonight my hair will float in the water, And the gold will no longer shine
It will spread like a fan in the water While I make a mysterious sign."
Body Guards: "We have seen that sign before!!!"

Cool, man. Finger' snappin' wild, Daddy.

The arrangement here includes several cliches of the day, from the sizzling break for cymbals to be constantly tipped like a hissing snake, to the sudden harmonizing on a minor note: "Come to the deep where your sleep is without a...DREAM!"

Yes, THIS version of "Swamp Girl" is the ginchiest. Crazy.

SWAMP GIRL (written by Michael Brown, not The Turtles, Charles Manson, Frankie Laine or whoever the pirate lyric sites are crediting. Most don't credit anyone, but it didn't write itself.) KAY MARTIN, Instant download or listen on line No Zinfart egocentric passwords. No malware or spyware anywhere.

1 comment:

Timmy said...

Snazy. Smacks of cheesecake...