Sunday, October 23, 2011

Phil Dooley and his Orchestra
"Can't Do without His Love"

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Phil Dooley and his Orchestra
Can't Do without His Love
10" single
(Victor, 1932)

In his liner notes to the fun and frisky collection Can't Help Lovin' That Man, (very) openly gay critic Michael Musto wrote:

Listen to this compilation and listen hard honey, because you won't believe your ears. It's not just that it's a bunch of old 20s and 30s love songs directed irrevocably at men; it's that they also happen to be sung by men. The result is a sexually titillating aural felt that staggers the queer imagination.

And why did these musical Don Juans choose to sing such homoerotic odes? Because they felt "that way" with such burning urgency that they just couldn't wait to put their emotions on shellac 78s? No, dear. Because back then, song publishers had such a stranglehold on the popular music industry that you didn't dare tamper with a song lyric—even if you were a guy singing a tune written for a gal. Change the words and they'd cut off your dingaling, and then you could go back to the original words with no problem.

Here's the thing, though: in this instance, the singer wrote the darn song!, so it's not like he was crooning someone else's lascivious lyrics. On top of that, his vocal is quite campy and outrageous, two big hallmarks of gay entertainment. Of course, it's possible that he wrote it for a female singer, but I've not been able to find any evidence that it was ever recorded by anyone else!

I've not been able to turn up much about Phil Dooley other than he wrote and sang this paen to his man. It was originally released under his own name, as you can in the above pic, but was later issued 1n 1977 on a compilation LP on RCA/Bluebird of material by Joe Haymes & His Orchestra. Dooley appears to have been given proper credit there, but when Can't Help Lovin' That Man was released, Haymes somehow became the primary artiste. The Victor release number in the liner notes, 24060, however, matches the image above.

This is another case of me cheating, by the way. I ripped the song from the aforementioned compilation CD. Google turned up precisely one instance of an image for the record, itself: a 10", shellac, 78 rpm disc. That image came from a 2007 eBay auction, where the record sold for $325! Unfortunately, the picture was just the label, so I got super creative and found a full image of another Victor 78 of similar vintage, then pasted the label over the top. I think it looks pretty good.

Important Note for Vegetarian and Vegan Listeners: Shellac is made from the dried excretions of female lac bugs, so do not eat 78s, no matter how tempting they may be!

It should go without saying that Steve Albini is made of meat and also should not be eaten.

2 biased opinions:

Biki Honko said...

but i LIKE eating meat.... but i do have my standards.

ive heard this song someplace else in the recent past, and really liked it. then and now.

thanks for loading this!

verification word? somotize, which sounds like sodomize and soporific.....

Lightning Baltimore said...

The note is for vegetarians and vegans! If you want to eat Steve Albini, well, that'll have to be between him and you. I imagine he might object.