Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Marilyn Maye Marilyn...the Most Holly Record Co. 1961
This LP appears to be a demo album for both Marilyn Maye and songwirter, Carl Bolte Jr. It would appear Maye was using Bolte's talent to showcase her own and move onto a major label, while Bolte was using Maye's skills as a performer to help him get into the bigs as a songwriter and a producer.
Of course, that's an assumption. For Maye, if that was the goal, it worked. She went onto a very successful career as a singer, recording a number of albums, appearing in movies and in theater, and making a record number of appearances on Johnny Carson.
Mr. Bolte, not as much, but he remained a succesful musician local to Kansas City. Holly Record Co. featured a number of other releases featuring his originals, running form rock n' roll, to children's music, to jazz. He wrote a Kansas City Royals fight song in 1968, one year prior to the Royals inaugural season. He also, as an alumnus, wrote a Mizzou fight song. So, to that extent, Carl Bolte Jr. was able to carve out an impressive musical career within Kansas City and the surrounding areas.
And, maybe he was just looking to make a buck on his own Holly Record Co. Or perhaps, he saw a super-talented young Kansas City singer in Marilyn Maye and just wanted to move her along to the next stage of her career. However, if that were the case, you'd think there'd be some jazz standards thrown into the mix, not a complete album of originals because NO ONE was doing that in 1961. Whether it was his goal to move to Hollywood on the success of this album or not, it's extremely impressive he was able to craft 10 original pieces for Maye and find backing to release it on his own label.
It's a cool album, Bolte's songs are sharp and center around his keyboards and lyrics he penned. They can seem a bit hokey with a lot of call and response between the vocals and the music, but overall, they swing and the campy attitude of the tunes fit Marilyn Maye perfectly. At this point, it's a bit a collector's item. There's a surprisingly large female jazz-vocal collectors scene, primarily in Japan, that will pay a premium for hyper-obscure albums that are quality. A regional debut album from a fairly well-known singer like Marilyn Maye is a no-brainer for those types.
Marilyn...the Most More of the LP