Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Vinyl find: 1910 Fruitgum Company / "Indian Giver" b/w "Pow Wow"

(Check out the first post in this series for the back story.)

Artist: 1910 Fruitgum Company
Album: "Indian Giver" b/w "Pow Wow" 45 RPM 7" single
Label: Buddah Records
Released: January 1969


I'm still slowly combing through this massive box of 45s I got from Jerry's, trying to pick out the good stuff. It's tough to do, because I haven't heard of many of these bands and I'm somewhat afraid of passing on a hidden gem, like this one. I'd never heard the name 1910 Fruitgum Company before, but this bubblegum psych-pop band (how apt) was active and popular in the late 1960s, released three separate Top 5 Billboard singles that achieved gold status, and opened for the Beach Boys on a 10-day tour. Crazy. Not only that, the A-side of this single (one of those gold records), "Indian Giver", was covered by The Ramones and included on the compilation Ramones Mania. Finally, and strangely, two of the band's original members have reunited (along with ex-members of bands like The Lovin' Spoonful and The Buckinghams) and have been touring the US for the last four years or so, as well as selling rerecorded versions of past 1960s hits, such as their own originals. Still crazy.



Anyhow, let's examine the music here. I can completely see how "Indian Giver" was a successful single when it was put out in January of 1969. It's upbeat and poppy, channeling the deservedly-popular and enjoyable melodic guitar, keyboard and vocal elements of standard pop songs of the era and sprinkling a touch of psychedelia on top. Never mind the vaguely racist title and lyrics (see bottom of the page here) about a once smitten but now jilted lover, this is an immensely catchy pop song and clocking in at a mere 2:30 with a repeated-chorus fadeout, it was perfect for radio play.



What's crazy is that this record sold over 1 million copies, even with this wacky-as-fuck B-side. It's an "ode to Howdy Doody" recorded backwards!? The 45 itself doesn't even indicate which side is A/B so I actually put this side on first since "Pow Wow" sounds more like the title of a lead single and I was shocked to hear these alienating vocal sounds emanating from my headphones. Embedded above is the original recording and embedded below is the reversed, intelligible version. I don't know anything about Howdy Doody, nor can I vouch for the record-it-backwards technique, so I'll leave you with those and let you draw your own conclusions/confusions. Please comment with any insight you might have; I'm clueless here. (Although I did take the time to transcribe the reversed lyrics below. Maybe that will help.)




"Indian Giver" lyrics:

I can still remember, it wasn't long ago
Things you used to tell me, you said I had to know
You told me that you loved me and that you always would
Then I said "I love you", you said that that was good
Girl you made a promise, said you'd never want me to go
Ohhh no

Indian giver, Indian giver, you took your love away from me
Indian giver, Indian giver, took back the love you gave to me

Baby I was feeling the way I wanna feel
You had me believing the love we had was real
Things we did together, you said they'd never end
Now until forever, oh yeah, that's what you said
Girl when I was down, I knew that you would always be there
Ohhh yeah

Indian giver, Indian giver, you took your love away from me
Indian giver, Indian giver, took back the love you gave to me

*fadeout*


"Pow Wow" lyrics: (*** = I can't tell what the fuck they're saying)

There was a TV show, was on a while ago
I really loved it so, it was my favorite show
Each night at 5 o'clock, the TV set I'd watch
Then I would see the sign, it's Howdy Doody time

Bring back Howdy Doody, oh I would give my very last dime
Bring back Howdy Doody, I got to see it one more time

*** Flub-a-dub and Big Chief Thunderthud
And the Princess King, Summerfall Winterspring
Can't forget Dilly Dally or Mr. Bluster, too
The *** was swell and so was Carabell

Bring back Howdy Doody, oh I would give my very last dime
Bring back Howdy Doody, I got to see it one more time

The on one gloomy day, happiness went away
To everyone's despair, the show went off the air
The world is not the same and it will never be
Until someone will bring back Howdy Doody

Bring back Howdy Doody, oh I would give my very last dime
Yeah, bring back Howdy Doody, I got to see it one more time
Bring it back now
Bring back Howdy Doody, I would give my very last dime (I miss you Flubadub)
Bring back Howdy Doody, I got to see it one more time

2 comments:

  1. *The Cast Had Flub-A-Dub,
    And Big Cheif Thunderthud,
    And The Princess King, Summerfall Winterspring.
    Can't Forget Dilly Dally,Or Mr. Bluster Too,
    Buffalo Bob Was Swell, And So Was Claribell.

    If we had known that it was going to be released in any way, we would have spent more time on it. It was supposed to be a joke & never be released.

    ReplyDelete
  2. From your use of "we", I have to believe that you're one of the band members ... ? If so, wow, thanks for commenting! Never thought that would happen!

    Yes, it seems like the song was a "toss-off" of sorts, something silly and fun. Crazy to think that you never thought it would see the light of day and yet here I am over 40 years later conversing with you about it on the internet. What a world.

    ReplyDelete