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Running Scared: Monument Records Story (2CDs): 50 songs with charted hits, rare gems; good sound; great price!
on 16 February 2016
The Monument Record label was launched by experienced record man Fred Foster in 1958 in Washington. The label proudly took its name from the Washington Monument. In 1960, he relocated the label to Nashville, just as Roy Orbison found his hitmaking stride. As one can see from the contents below, Monument label is more than just Roy Orbison. Other big stars included Billy Grammer, Billy Graves, Bob Moore, Boots Randolph, Jerry Byrd and Kathy Linden (after her Goodbye Jimmy Goodbye hit). In the 60s, Monument also signed Dolly Parton, Ray Stevens and Kris Kristofferson. It was sold in 1990 and CBS Records (now Sony Muisc), Monument’s distributor from 1971-76, reactivated the label in 1997 with artists like the Dixie Chicks. Fred Foster, who co-wrote the best-selling Me And Bobby McGee with Kris Kristofferson, remained active with the label until 1983. The label’s slogan was “Monument Is Artistry.”
This 2 CD set has 40 songs. I have compiled a detailed song listing (with chart position, year, and personal comments), which is as follows:
01 Running Scared – Roy Orbison (1/1961)
02 Tobacco Road – Bobby Brinkley (uncharted single, 1962)*rare gem; original version; Nashville Teens took this John D. Loudermilk’s song to 14/1964.
03 Tonight (Could Be The Night) – The Velvets (26/1961)*rare gem
04 I Went A Walkin’ – Curtis & Del (uncharted single, 1961)
05 The Nervous Auctioneer – Robin Wilson (uncharted single, 1960)
06 The Shaq (Is Totally Cool) – Billy Graves (53/1959)*rare gem; country singer; performed with Dick Flood on the Jimmy Dean TV Show.
07 Allentown Jail – Kathy Linden (uncharted single, 1960)*rare gem; after her success on Felsted with Billy & Goodbye Jimmy Goodbye.
08 Gotta Travel On – Billy Grammer (Pop 4/1958; C&W 5/1959)*rare gem; his biggest hit; country singer regularly on the Jimmy Dean TV Show
09 Last Cigarette – Paul Clayton (uncharted single, 1961)
10 Chiricahua – Jack Eubacks (uncharted single, 1961)*should have included his hit Searchin’ and Take A Message To Mary.
11 Dream Baby – Roy Orbison (4/1962)
12 It’s My Way – Dick Flood (uncharted single, 1960)
13 Fancy Dan – Boots Randolph & His Orchestra (uncharted single, 1961)*he charted from 1963 to 1970.
14 Too Many Chicks – Leona Douglas (uncharted single, 1962)
15 Mexico – Bob Moore (Pop 7/1961; AC 1/1961)*great song! He led the band on many Roy Orbison’s sessions on Monument.
16 Ma Baker’s Island – Norris Wilson (uncharted single, 1962)
17 Indian Love Call – Jerry Byrd & His Steel Guitar (b-side to Theme From Adventures In Paradise, 1960)*rare gem.
18 It Takes You – Billy Grammer (uncharted single, 1959)*rare gem
19 N-U-T-H-I-N-G – Stan Robinson (uncharted single, 1959)
20 Crying – Roy Orbison (2/1961)
01 Who’s Gonna Buy You Ribbons – Paul Clayton (uncharted single, 1960)
02 What’d I Say – Jack Eubanks, His Orchestra & Singers (uncharted single, 1961)*rare gem
03 Only The Lonely – Roy Orbison (2/1960)
04 The Three Bells (The Jimmy Brown Story) – Dick Flood (23/1959)*rare gem
05 Double Crossin’ Sweetie Pie – Janice Ward (uncharted single, 1961)
06 For A Little While – Norris Wilson (uncharted single, 1962)*original name.
07 Cherry Berry Lips – Curtis & Del (uncharted single, 1962)
08 Midnight Bus – Billy Graves (uncharted single, 1959)*rare gem
09 So In Love With You – Kathy Linden (uncharted single, 1961)*rare gem
10 That Lucky Old Sun – The Velvets (uncharted single, 1960)
11 Up Town – Roy Orbison (72/1960)
12 (Theme From) My Three Sons – Bob Moore (uncharted single, 1959)*rare gem; great version that rivaled Lawrence’s Welk’s rare gem.
13 Close To Me – Robin Wilson (uncharted single, 1960)
14 Bonaparte’s Retreat – Billy Grammer (50/1959)*rare gem
15 (Theme From) Adventures in Paradise – Jerry Byrd (97/1960)*rare gem
16 (I’m Just) The Guy With The Car – Bobby Brinkley (uncharted single, 1962)
17 Blue Angel – Roy Orbison (9/1960)
18 Hey! Daddy, Daddy – Boots Randolph (uncharted single, 1961)
19 The Thing – Grandpa Jones & His Grandchildren (uncharted single, 1960)
20 Lana – The Velvets (b-side to Laugh, 1961)*rare gem
1 This is a great collection with 50 songs, many being charted hits, e.g., Roy Orbison, Billy Grammer, Jerry Byrd, Bob Moore, Dick Flood and Billy Graves.
2 There are also many uncharted rare gems, like Theme From My Three Sons by Bob Moore, Kathy Linden’s output after her charted success on Felsted label.
3 The sound is good with no hiss.
4 The songs are all original versions. No re-recorded versions.
5 There is a nice essay by Mick St. Michael on the history of Monument label.
6 The price is certainly reasonable (especially from sellers).
1 I would have preferred charted hits instead of uncharted hits (like Jack Eubanks & Norris Wilson).
2 The restriction to year 1959 to 1962 (probably due to Public Domain law).
Monument label is one that I am quite familiar with, mainly due to Roy Orbison. There are many hits in this set with many rare gems. The sound is good. The price is reasonable. This set is recommended, especially for collectors.