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DOT 1042; MARCH 1951



What on earth is Dot Records doing?

Have they forgotten that there are twelve months in a year, not one?

Are they trying to buck convention by offering a Buy One Griffin Brothers/Margie Day record and Get One Free.

Or are they simply like every single other record company and thus completely stupid and self-defeating?

The betting windows are open folks, step up and lay down your money.


I Let Them Fight It Out For My Charms
This is the second time Dot Records has doubled up on singles by this triumvirate (most resources stick these in April but the release date is confirmed by a Billboard ad the last week of March) but this time around they don’t have even a halfway decent excuse as they did in December when they rush released a cover of Bonaparte’s Retreat to capitalize on its popularity in other versions which truthfully were already starting to fall from the pop listings by the time theirs hit the street.

Though like that side, this is not an original record either, the song itself was already a year and a half old and thus there was absolutely no reason to issue a remake of it right this minute and in the process confuse listeners over competing releases by the same artists and risk drawing their interest away from what was Margie Day’s best release so far, the thrillingly confident Sadie Green.

If they absolutely HAD to do this, why not at least credit the two singles differently, letting Day have her name as the lead artist on “Sadie” while giving this one to The Griffin Brothers here, not that it would make sense for what’s contained since Day sings on them all, but at least it differentiates them a little more.

But even had they done that, or held If You Want Some Lovin’ back another month, it still wouldn’t be enough to give each single, and the artists themselves, the respect they deserve for establishing this company from the woods of Tennessee as a viable business in less than a year’s time.

After all, records aren’t six packs of soda to be stocked on a shelf for shoppers to grab as many as they need, they’re the literal building blocks of an artist’s career and as such they need to be judiciously planned, actively promoted and given time to find an audience.

Dot Records, like so many other record labels, were oblivious to this and not only did their organizational failings hurt the acts recording for the company but it also hurt the company itself.


Looking For A System
Though those decisions were out of the hands of Buddy and Jimmy Griffin and Margie Day, what presumably WAS something they controlled was what material they recorded, especially in this case where the original country record by Doye O’Dell was hardly something so popular that it’d be immediately recognizable by a rock audience, nor frankly was the original record itself anything truly special.

Now O’Dell himself was fairly well known, a prolific recording artist who’d joined Roy Rogers’ acclaimed Sons of The Pioneers and would go on to be an actor who appeared in countless TV shows and some pretty big movies in smaller roles, and he was also the first artist to cut the holiday perennial Blue Christmas, but then again were his Western Swing records with their fiddles and steel guitars natural source material for a rock act?

Well, no they weren’t, but Margie Day proves she was capable of turning water into wine here despite starting off sounding as though she’s angling to move into pop music territory – which for all we know might’ve been Dot Records’ plan all along with this – and that sounds terrible, almost like a joke at her expense. But once she segues into the first chorus she shifts back to her preferred style and proves how much the artist’s intention has to do with where any song ultimately winds up belonging and she makes this fit much better in rock ‘n’ roll.

Of course the composition itself is the same in both renditions, only the gender has been switched, but the attitude Day imparts with her reading of If You Want My Lovin’ is so much more suggestive that it’s like two completely different messages being conveyed.

The same lines about being irresistible to the opposite sex which sounded absolutely farcical in O’Dell’s hands (going strictly by the sound of his voice no woman outside of a convent would find THIS guy with his “aw shucks” demeanor attractive) becomes steamy as can be when Day wraps her vocal chords around it, as she’s using a heavy dose of perky innocence which conflicts with the racy undercurrents of what she’s selling to get you all hot and bothered.

This is STILL not the delivery which best suits her voice per say, but she’s got a definite game plan here which makes the sexual connotations seem harmless on the surface while they remain pretty unambiguous underneath the coy vocals.

Even her periodic squeals and the way she draws out some of the words imparts slightly different interpretations than their dictionary definitions would attest which aids her cause immensely and it doesn’t hurt that there’s plenty of good lyrics here to further accentuate the slutty schoolgirl image this conjures up.

Though hardly the performance that you’d use to define her, it does show that Day had the ability to adapt to different circumstances and still come across as uniquely herself.


Except For Just One Thing That Worries Me
Where you’d expect this do better – or at the very least drive the message home more emphatically – is with the work being put in by The Griffin Brothers who are not just saddling this with a rote arrangement, but also aren’t giving this any muscle in the soloing sections.

The backing music during the bulk of the song does it no favors whatsoever, swinging lightly instead of grinding salaciously making this seem hardly like the same outfit that tore it up on the last release and have been consistently first rate on all of their appearances dating back to working briefly with Roy Brown last year.

But that could be forgiven to a degree if at some point they let loose with a scalding tenor sax solo or some pounding piano and thumping drums, but instead If You Want Some Lovin’ does away with the instrumental breaks altogether, giving just one very brief spot to Jimmy’s trombone which does little here but give Day a chance to catch her breath.

When she comes back she’s vivacious as always and is the one thing here to recommend fairly strongly, if only to hear how much sass and sexual confidence she puts across in lines like…

“I’m a red hot mama
Just a female atom bomb-ah
You should see the fellas flockin’
When I really start a rockin’”

…twisting that last word until it means exactly what you THINK it means.

But while it’s a yeoman’s effort on her part to make it sound this good it’s hardly worth cancelling out her other single released at the same damn time. Seriously fellas, this couldn’t have been pushed back until late May?


(Visit the Artist page of Margie Day as well as The Griffin Brothers for the complete archive of their respective records reviewed to date)