6 December 2020

Rick and Sandy - Half As Much/ Cottonfields


Chipper Beatlesy sixties pop from hopeful duo
Label: Mercury
Year of Release: 1965
If you saw this relatively cheap 45 sitting in your local charity shop box, it would be tempting to pass by, assuming that it was just another folk duo or a pair of scrubbed and preppy light entertainment types. Let's face it, the early to mid sixties was filled with lots of flotsam and jetsam from both sources.

In reality, while this isn't exactly power-packed, it's nonetheless a nice bit of beat pop which punches beyond the duo's small collective weight. The A-side, a high tempo cover of "Half As Much" - originally popularised by Rosemary Clooney - ties the melody tightly to The Beatles "I Should Have Known Better" riff, and builds on it to create some bouyant, Merseybeat flavoured pop which might have charted in a good week or month. Rick and Sandy were clearly drinking from the same Everly Brothers fountain as the Fabs, and the end result is equal parts pleasure and pain; beneath the catchy melodies you can hear the boys keening for a very ungrateful lover.

The B-side is also interesting as an early beat cover of Leadbelly's "Cottonfields" which beat The Beach Boys (and others) to the punch. It sounds very much like a quickie cover on the flip, and indeed that's almost certainly what it was, but it's interesting to hear their take.

Hopes were high for this single, which was the duo's first, and a slot was arranged on "Ready Steady Go" to promote the disc, but it failed to sell well. Their follow-up records "I Lost My Girl", "I Remember Baby" and "Creation" received less publicity and subsequently were more ignored still. The final 45 "Creation" was penned and produced by the (then) rising music industry wunderkind Jonathan King, but this wasn't enough to reverse their fortunes and turned out to be their final release.

Sandy (Robertson) and Rick (Tyekiff) went their separate ways, with Sandy going off to become a highly successful record producer who these days runs his own music production agency. Rick is a much harder man to trace and appears to have disappeared off the face of the planet - if anyone knows more, please do let me know.

If you can't preview the tracks, please go right to the source.

1 comment:

john111257 said...

Brilliant two sider, never heard this before