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OKEH 6844; DECEMBER 1951



Progress in life is rarely the smoothest of journeys. It’s not often that everything begins to fall into place without a few more bumps in the road along the way.

But once you get your feet under you and begin to grasp certain key aspects of your development it’s likely that even your slight missteps in the future will become much more manageable.

After being practically inept his first few times out before somehow discovering the secret of singing on the top side of this single, Titus Turner shows that his recent vocal development was no fluke even if the rest of the record is not quite putting him in the best position to succeed.

But while this side may be a definite step back in terms of finding a hit sound, his overall artistic progress on this release is still something to celebrate.


Something About You
Records tend to be judged on two related but separate planes… aesthetic appeal and commercial potential.

Record companies could care less about the former so long as the latter was enough to give them hits, while artists wanted to deliver something that showcased them in their best light but could be persuaded to forsake that acclaim for the increased opportunities a hit brought them.

Audiences though were the ones who determined the commercial returns based mostly on the aesthetic appeal, meaning they were intrinsically tied no matter how you attempted to separate them.

Yet there were times, such as Same Old Feeling, where there’s really nothing wrong with the performance – it’s well sung, well played and well written – but it’s not as commercial as it might otherwise have been with a more modern arrangement.

I guess the way to think of it is that while your old phone, old computer or old vehicle might still function well enough to get by and its familiar quirks bring you a sense of comfort, as time goes on the lack of modernity will be more of a detriment than a benefit.

Maybe someone should’ve told the folks at OKeh Records this so they wouldn’t take the title of the song so literal when coming up with a way to frame it for audiences who were too busy looking forward to have the patience to think back to how things used to be just a few short years earlier.

I Start Feeling Happy Then I Want To Cry
Let’s start with the good, since we’ve spent three reviews criticizing Titus Turner for his vocal shortcomings before finally getting to praise him for overcoming his deficiencies in that department on the stellar Don’t Take Everybody To Be Your Friend.

As on the top side, he is once again the best aspect of this song, delivering his lines with poise and a newfound sense of confidence that is genuinely rewarding.

The song itself isn’t nearly as distinctive as his self-penned A-side, but there’s nothing particularly out of place on Same Old Feeling. It’s a fairly generic ode to a girl wherein Turner is telling her how she makes him feel and if the individual lines aren’t very memorable his passion for her is evident in how he puts them across, roguishly tossing off some lines to convey a certain amount of cockiness in his position with her before bearing down harder on certain lines to leave no doubt in her mind as to his sincerity.

There are other elements of the song which work well enough to make it at least an average record for the day, as we get a fairly decent sax solo with some nice hesitation moves to build anticipation while the drummer is maintaining a steady beat. There may be nothing that stands out – by design rather than due to a lack of talent on anyone’s part – but what’s there is mostly effective right down to some blink and you’ll miss ’em guitar fills after Turner’s two stop time vocal sections.

But where the record steps wrong is in its early construction which gives far too much time to a misplaced trumpet, an unfortunate vestige of the music made by the song’s author, Roy Milton, an excellent artist in his own right and vital pre-rock figure, but one who never made the jump to rock ‘n’ roll (despite some excellent recent work that ironically featured more guitar) due largely to his outdated concept of the horn section.

Here that trumpet drags it back into the past which makes it seem more like a leftover track from 1948 than a forward thinking rock record as 1952 was about to dawn.

It’s not enough to ruin the record by any means, and you may not even notice it much if you don’t think too much of genre distinctions or even of specific years if you choose instead to focus on broader eras when looking back from our current Twenty-First Century perspective, but at the time this came out that outdated arrangement was definitely noticeable by the younger generation who had no time for nods to the past.


Things Begin To Happen That Never Did Before
We shouldn’t make TOO much of this in the end, it’s just a B-side after all and one that thankfully confirms Titus Turner’s remarkable advancements as a singer on a technical basis, so there’s enough to be grateful for that we could recommend it conditionally without too much uneasiness.

But at the same time we can’t overlook its creative flaws if we’re being fair and trying to reflect the changing expectations of rock fans as times goes on.

The generation coming of age in the early 1950’s did not want the Same Old Feeling in their music, they wanted something new, something different, something that belonged to their own distinctive cultural milieu.

After all, that’s the joy of watching music evolve over time… seeing what gets pushed aside to make room for something else and realizing how those changes are reflective of the audience who get to determine a record’s fate for only a brief period before they too are eased out of the picture and replaced by the next generation with their own unique tastes and aesthetic requirements.

To ignore those changes taking place or, worse yet, to push back against them, only ensures you never understand why some music is so vital to a particular era and why other music falls by the wayside.

Just as a song can be aesthetically pleasing and commercially restricted, songs like this one can simply be aesthetically wrong for the day at hand.


(Visit the Artist page of Titus Turner for the complete archive of his records reviewed to date)