Posts tagged Columbia
Soul Station Feature: Ronnie Self

Instant Man

My everlasting appreciation of Ronnie Self stems largely from knowing a great band from Springfield, MO, variously known as The Symptoms, Morells and Skeletons. They have promoted his works since the mid 1970s. Self was from Tin Town, MO, not too far from Springfield. His early 45s are the kind of rockabilly that legends are made of: tough rocking guitars, slick, inventive language, and sometimes wild, edgy singing. His Bop-A-Lena on Columbia charted in 1958, but no higher that #68. Fortune and fame, though, came as a song writer, as his works were successfully covered by Brenda Lee. He moved from Columbia to Decca but after his first release, the material became less rock and rockabilly and more pop and straight country, though his singing remained very strong even on weak discs. One side I've always liked is Instant Man, as it has great lyrics, wonderful singing, cool r&b horns and an almost cute electric keyboard that reminds me of early Del Shannon. Even the female chorus doesn't lessen the appeal. Self continued to write and occasionally made records after leaving Decca We must be thankful for many great songs he wrote that he did not release commercially, like Home In My Hand and Waiting For My Gin To Hit Me, which in some ways describes his severe drinking problems and early death at age 43.

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