Thursday, May 27, 2010

Forgotten Music: The Vocal Stylings of Nick "The Rebel" Adams

What? You didn't know Nick Adams was a singer? Well, maybe he wasn't. But he did release three 45s - a total of six songs - back in the neighborhood of 1959, and I present them here for your consideration. For marketing purposes, no doubt, each disc had one tune with "Rebel" in the title. The flip sides of two were also Civil War related. Surprisingly, the B-side of the third is decidedly un-Rebelish.

Nick's voice aside, these are good well-produced songs. The instrumentation is fine and the background singers first-rate. With today's technology they probably could have made Nick sound as good as Frankie Laine. As it is . . . well, you be the judge.

The label for "Johnny Yuma, The Rebel" credits Andrew J. Fenady, the show's creator and screenwriter, as a co-writer on the song. The lyrics, I presume. I was surprised to see that "Tired and Lonely Rebel" was co-written by Dorsey Burnette. Surprised, because I find it the weakest of the Rebel-related songs. And Burnett took full credit for "It Could Have Been Different", which is a real turkey. Burnette penned some fine tunes back when, including "Tall Oak Tree". Tsk, tsk.

A tip on playing these songs: If you listen to a song all the way to the end, you should have no problem playing another. BUT, if you stop one before the finish, the system can get touchy. It may say "Connecting" and never actually connect. If that happens, just refresh the page and you should be good to go. 

Johnny Yuma, The Rebel (Markowitz-Fenady) by Nick Adams

Born a Rebel (S Ross-J Haskell) by Nick Adams
Born a Rebel - Nick Adams.mp3">
Tired and Lonely Rebel (Dorsey Burnette-Joe Osborn) by Nick Adams
Tired and Lonely Rebel - Nick Adams.mp3">
Bull Run (S Silbert-R Freed) by Nick Adams
The Battle of Bull Run - Nick Adams.mp3">
The Ballad of Scatter Gun Hill (Livingston-Adelson) by Nick Adams
Scattergun Hill - Nick Adams.mp3">
It Could Have Been Different (Dorsey Burnette) by Nick Adams

I wish I could report that The Rebel series is commercially available on DVD. Not so, though you can find some decent homemade efforts on eBay. There is, however, a novel (of sorts) by Andrew J. Fenady. I must advise you it reads like a synopsis of several episodes of the series, but for those needing a Johnny Yuma fix, it should do the trick.

For links to more of this month's Forgotten Music, visit Scott Parker's blog. We'll have more on the last Thursday of next month. Why not join us?


David Cranmer said...

Now, that's forgotten music. And not bad. Kinda, sorta.

I grew up listening to the Johnny Cash song. But to this day, I've never seen an episode of Johnny Yuma, The Rebel. Where does it rank in the hierarchy of western shows?

Evan Lewis said...

When I was a kid The Rebel was one of my favorite westerns, along with Maverick, Cheyenne, Zorro, HGWT, Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterson. I watched a lot of others, too, but those are the ones I remember most fondly. I had the official Rebel cap gun and holster - AND that awesome scattergun.

This show is reportedly Ted Turner's favorite, and I'm surprised he hasn't put the whole series out on DVD.

George said...

Boy, does this bring back a ton of memories! I loved THE REBEL, too.

Deka Black said...

Seeing this, remember me the TV westerns broadcasted here in Spain: Bonanza, ,and... a series starred by James Garner. Not Maverick, another one. Te man of Virginia, or something like that.

Evan Lewis said...

Are you thinking of The Virginian, starring James Drury? I watched that too, though it was never a favorite.

Deka Black said...

Thats it! Yeah. This series was broadcasted before i was old enough to talk (i think... those years here were... difficult, if you know about europea history)ñ

Todd Mason said...

Well, Deka, one of the first running jokes on the US comedy series SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE in 1975 was mocking the Spanish fasciest/Falangist government's terror at having to confirm the death of Franco. So some of us know a little.

James Garner's other (late-period) western series, in the early '70s, was called NICHOLS.

Well, Evan, as one of Warner's idol-"musicians," in a sense Adams and Miriam Makeba, when she signed to Reprise in the mid '60s, were labelmates...

Todd Mason said...

Ted Turner's still sulking because Nobody appreciated his colorization efforts.

Deka Black said...

Really Todd? XDD Man, i must looking on youtube for these videos. My grandad will be veeery pleased!

Todd Mason said...

Chevy Chase as SATURDAY NIGHT's "WEEKEND UPDATE" newscaster would often have among his first fake-news items each week something like, "This just in: Generalissimo Francisco Franco is still dead. He is expected to remain so indefinitely."

Todd Mason said...

Hmm, must learn to type sometime..."fascist" shouldn't be that hard to spell...also, Guillermo Del Toro's films (THE DEVIL'S BACKBONE, EL LABERINTON DEL FAUNO/PAN'S LABYRINTH) have been doing a good job introducing at least some of the younger generation here to some sense of Fascist Spain. (still want to hit that E)

Paul D Brazill said...

Never heard of him or the show but I do quite like the music. i wondrif we got it in the uk?