Boyce & Hart
Listen – Where Angels Go Trouble Follows – MP3
All is well here in NJ, where the weekend was spent catching up on sleep, errands and the like. Nothing too stressful, and good for that because it was cold and rainy out, warm and toasty inside and no one felt too much like “activity” anyway.
I took advantage of the spare time – as it were – to catch up on some blog work I had waiting, mainly assembling the Funky16Corners Podcast Archive, which I’ve been threatening to do for months. I only recently recovered the missing files (thanks to a loyal reader) and so the task was undertaken. If you dig funk and soul, and happen to have an MP3 player with that needs some funk and soul in it, then you could do worse things than fall by and download some goodness.
I’ve also been listening to music (I do that sometimes). I’ve been digging on some Smithsonian/Folkways recordings of Elizabeth Cotton. Cotton – much like one of my all-time faves Mississippi John Hurt – was a songster and guitar stylist of the old school and is a real pleasure to listen to. Her guitar playing was wonderful, and I dig hearing the “original” versions of tunes later covered by the likes of the Grateful Dead and Davy Graham among others. The two CDs I’ve found in the last few weeks have been – and will continue to be – in heavy rotation.
While I’m posting today, I’m not sure what else I’ll get up on the blog this week (at least before next weekend). This Thursday is Thanksgiving, and as I work in the production end of the newspaper business, the next few days will be a hell of compressed work. Thursday I’ll be away for the holiday, and Friday night I’ll be spinning rare funk and soul at the latest installment of the Asbury Park 45 Sessions (in Asbury Park, NJ), which, if those sounds are your bag, you should most definitely drop by and soak up the grooves.
Today’s selection is one of my fave pieces of 60’s pop, that I knew of, but was unable to track down for many years.
The tune ‘Where Angles Go Trouble Follows’ is the theme from the 1968 movie of the same name. Not a great film by any standards, the flick is still one of my favorite examples of ‘mainstream’ Hollywood assaults on the youth market of the time. In many ways painfully square – no doubt the product of old school, cigar chomping screen hacks* – the film still managed to tap into the innocent side of the youth culture of the time, and is a suitably glossy artifact.
Starring Rosalind Russell** as the Mother Superior of a Catholic Girls School***, and Stella Stevens (?!?!? Va va va VOOM!) as her socially conscious younger counterpart, the story follows a busload of nuns and schoolgirls (one of whom was played by a young Susan St. James) on their way across country to attend a protest rally. At one point in the film, the girls attend a mixer at a boys school, and an anonymous band performs the theme song.
If memory serves, the version of the song you’re listening to – performed by songwriters Tommy Boyce & Bobby Hart – played over the closing credits (It’s been a while since I last saw the film, so I may be mistaken).
Anyway, for years (pre-interwebs) I looked for a copy of the song, but was never able to turn up a copy. Then, some years ago a local vinyl shop came into a huge collection of vinyl from a radio station, and while digging through it, I just happened upon a Tommy Boyce/Bobby Hart picture sleeve 45, which just happened to have ‘Where Angels Go Trouble Follows’ on it.
Listening to the cut, it’s not hard to imagine how Boyce & Hart had so much success writing for the Monkees (and having a decent amount of pop success on their own), as the song would have fit perfectly in that bands discography. The verse is fairly light and fluffy, but the chorus is a killer but of Sunset Strip, au-go-go pop, conjuring images of frugging, technicolor scenesters.
So, the next time the flick pops up on Turner Classic Movies or somesuch (NOT the first “angels” film, the Hayley Mills vehicle ‘The Trouble With Angels’), check it out.
*The ne plus ultra of which is ‘How To Committ Marriage’, with Jackie Gleason, Bob Hope and Professor Irwin Corey as the ‘Baba Ziba’
** Not to mention Van Johnson and Arthur Godfrey as priests?!?!
*** The building used as the location for the school is right around the block from my parent’s house in Ft. Washington, PA