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We’ve already said goodbye to this notorious singer once along the way and now we’re going to be bidding him adieu a second time before he reappears again a few years down the road.

But this brief meeting is not your usual way to reacquaint yourself with someone you haven’t seen in awhile. In normal circumstances we’d get a chance to catch up on his recent activities and look at the direction his music is currently taking, but not here because this single was actually cut in 1949 and only now is seeing the light of day.

As a result this is one of those dreaded flashbacks your parents warned you about when you contemplated taking hallucinogenic drugs. However no horror story they conjured up could’ve had quite the same power to dissuade you from those illicit activities as running into Crown Prince Waterford acting up again.


I Can’t Even Sleep
The one thing this record deprives us of which would’ve been fascinating to examine is how Crown Prince Waterford was adapting to the changes in rock ‘n’ roll as time went on.

Since this was cut back in 1949 the voice we hear shouting at us out of the speakers is oblivious to everything that has happened since that time, whereas the rock fan of 1952 has been immersed in the music and the way it’s progressed over that period.

Chances are though even if this had been written and recorded the first weeks of 1952 it wouldn’t have sounded much different… at least Waterford’s own contributions that is. He is who he is and nothing can change him, least of all time.

That makes trying to process Love Awhile in today’s context rather difficult. Some of the things we might’ve taken in stride a few years back can’t help but sound outdated today, while other aspects of this which have long since been cast aside by the general rock populace get a chance to be recalled with lingering fondess now that we can no longer hear them every time we play something truly new.

Whether balancing those things out will help this three year old recording beat the odds and get credited as an “average” release for 1952 is still up in the air but considering that Crown Prince was hardly keeping his head consistently above water when it actually was the late 1940’s means you should probably keep your wallet clamped shut at the betting window.


Let’s Forget Your Past
We might as well start with the positives and say that unlike the start-stop, speak-sing delivery found on the unsettling composition on the A-side of this release, we actually DO like the way that Crown Prince Waterford handles the vocal here.

We don’t need to remind you that the fire-breathing “shouters” who were such a staple in the last decade are dwindling rapidly now that we’re well into the Nineteen Fifties and even those, like Wynonie Harris and H-Bomb Ferguson, who are still actively recording are meeting with diminished returns.

Because of that Waterford’s rambunctious vocal approach on Love Awhile is nice to hear in a way. But of course we feel that way today because it’s been so long since we encountered him.

To that end we have to be honest and admit that even in 1949 his shortcomings were just as acute without letting our nostalgia cloud our vision. He always had trouble consistently maintaining the melody, he tended to overemphasize passages where it hardly made thematic sense and, in this case anyway, he ripped off the entire structure of the song anyway so whatever credit we’d be inclined to give him for a decent idea he wouldn’t deserve.

Oh well, it doesn’t matter much because while Waterford gives us more or less what we expect, he’s not getting much help as this might be the weakest Maxwell Davis arrangement we can remember hearing… not just from the perspective of 1952 either, but even in 1949 he was far beyond the weak sauce they hand out here. Only his solo has some spark to it which elevates this a little, but they cut it off right as it’s getting good and so we’re stuck listening to the full horn section bleating responses to Crown Prince’s vocals instead.

Throughout all of this Waterford is trying to make time with a girl, though he better hope his enthusiasm alone will win her over since his generic come-ons are unlikely to make much headway if the girl’s got any options.

As for us, we have plenty of other options now that it’s 1952 and so this is like stumbling across a picture of somebody you knew in school… you recognize them but wonder how they could let themselves go so much.

Then again, since this record has been cryogenically frozen since those days (when you could add just one point at most if it had come out then), it’s time we realize he always looked kinda ragged.

See you in 1956 at the next reunion Crown Prince.


(Visit the Artist page of Crown Prince Waterford for the complete archive of his records reviewed to date)