Saturday, August 24, 2013

Song of the Week: Scotty McKay Quintet - The Train Kept A-Rollin'

Scotty McKay was a Texan who had been trying to make it in the music biz since he was 15. He was even a member of Gene Vincent's Blue Caps in the twilight of the 1950s. He released a gaggle of singles on various labels without much cohesive identity. In 1967, Scotty Mckay served as an opening act for The Yardbirds on some Texas dates. He was inspired by The Yardbirds and was befriended by Jimmy Page. The two cooked up plans to record The Train Kept A-Rollin' together, but Jimmy's train kept a-rollin' on the tour and couldn't make the session. Scotty went ahead with his recording and sent the master tape to Jimmy Page who overdubbed a guitar lead and mailed it back to Scotty. Problem was, Scotty had no record deal. So he released the number on a new label he created himself. Falcon Records. It's a faithful and nice rendition of The Yardbirds version and Jimmy Page adds some very tasty guitar work to lift the number to a higher level. Too bad the song fades out with Jimmy's lead. What's up with that?

Until next time, we'll see you On The Flip-Side! 

13 comments:

  1. Look at the label. He credits The Yardbirds with writing it!

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    1. Hah! Didn't notice that. That's what happens when you hang out with Jimmy Page, you think he wrote every song ever.

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    2. Guitar on the fade sounds like Page. the first solo doesn't.

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  2. The complete version (3:50) is on Youtube and lists Blair Smith as lead guitarist although the second lead does sound like Page.

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    1. Thanks for pointing that out. There are multiple guitar tracks inc. some pretty cool, fast riffs under the fuzz guitar. I gotta assume, because of recording technology, that the McKay Quintet recorded to two tracks and Page laid over the last track (most stuff at this time was two or three tracks.) Thus, all the fuzz guitar at the front has to be done by the same person. Just my thought process.

      Good detective work here, Anon.

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  3. After listening to all 4 versions several times, my fave is for sure the JB Trio version. Even though, Tiny is from my hometown. I'm a sucker for "hillbilly hollerin'" and the wicked guitar! Pretty progressive for 1956.

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    1. I can't argue with that. As I think I mentioned elsewhere, my fave version is whatever one to which I listened last. But push come to shove, and since it's just you and meet chatting here, I think I'll confess that it's my fave too.

      Thanks for your contributions here. Much appreciated.

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  4. FYI - Scotty McKay is backed by The Exotics on this recording. They can be heard here (http://ontheflip-side.blogspot.com/2013/02/album-here-are-chesterfield-kings-side-2.html) under their own name doing their odd little original, Come With Me. It's the second song down.

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  5. It seems like Scotty didn't give a damn 'bout poor ole Tiny :-) All he want was to be like Yardbirds. Interesting connection to the Exotics. Right now, I'm gonna post Acid Visions Lp version. Dig!

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  6. It wasn't that Scotty "didn't give a damn," it's that Scotty didn't know about Tiny Bradshaw. Remember, 1967 was before the internet, Allmusic, and Google. The composer's credit on the Yardbirds disks at the time said "In Manuscript," (whatever that means), so without spending more on composer research than he probably spent recording the song, Scotty had no way to know who actually wrote the song.

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  7. The story of Jimmy Page sending Scotty a lead guitar track is bogus! I played bass and drums on this song and Blair Smith of The Exotics played the lead guitar solos. I have the master tape and the extended version is posted on YouTube. Geoff West

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    1. That's great information, Geoff. I'll update when I get back to the computer later this week. Thank you for your clarification.

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    2. Thanks Geoff. I have been wondering about the truth to that story since 1983 when I read it on the Acid Vissions comp.

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