The site features the kind of sleazy cuts that would have been heard in the 50s and 60s, totally obscure plates like this one from Mel Smith and Peter Roberts & The Cliff Dwellers, who's tunes have been combined by Rock-A-Bye (you can get copies over at Piccadilly Records) for this reissue.
Very little can be ascertained about the Cliff Dwellers side, other than what you gain from listening to it. It's a wacky novelty tune featuring Roberts weezing and cracking up at the mic while the Cliff Dwellers push some hard sax behind him. I can't imagine an exotic dancer actually dancing to it, but it's demented fun.
Mel Smith has a little bit more flesh to his backstory, and his cut "Yes Love" is the real reason to hear this record. It's a pure organ grinder, with Smith's incredible vocal over the top. Seriously, this is some roaring stuff. Smith, not to be confused with the British comedian, lived in Atlanta, and recorded a number of sides for RCA before fronting the Nite Riders in Philadelphia, who did some great songs as well, including the burning "Little Plaid Skirt."
Details: Mel Smith, "Yes Love," believed to be recorded in 1961 for Cherry Records (Haven't uncovered the b-side "Honkers Dream," yet) and Peter Roberts & The Cliff Dwellers, "The Ho-Ho Laughing Monster" recorded for the Liza label in 1962.
Google Search Reveals: Black Cat Rockabilly has a great bio on Melvin Smith, and Wang Dang Dula has a pretty extensive discography on him. This YouTube video was most helpful in figuring out anything about The Cliff Dwellers.
If you like this story, consider signing up for our email newsletters.
SHOW ME HOW
You have successfully signed up for your selected newsletter(s) - please keep an eye on your mailbox, we're movin' in!
Who Bought This: Hard to say. Original copies of either record are incredibly scarce.
Mel Smith-Yes Love by OBSCURO @PHXMUSICDOTCOM