Many years ago the Roy family ordered one of those compilation hits records from K-Tel. “20 Biggest Hits of 1968” or something like that.
Those of you who were alive in 1968 remember the record album. You may also remember that they didn’t have the storage capacity of the modern CD. You could get roughly 12 songs on a vinyl LP, 14 if they were short songs.
So how did they fit 20 of the biggest hits of the year on one record? Well, they didn’t, to be honest. Each side of the record (records had music on both sides, unlike CDs. You had to turn them over and play them on turntables. Ask your grandparents.) would start off with 2 or 3 songs in full, but then the rest of the album would just play snippets of a song. A couple of verses, then fade out. By the time you got to the 10th song on a side, it would maybe play the chorus.
It was a rip-off. But we were simple country folk and didn’t know about the Better Business Bureau (if it even existed in 1968) or calling the attorney general or any of that sort of thing. So we lived with it and never bought another mail-order album again.
One of the songs on the album that was not truncated was “Honey” by Bobby Goldsboro. My mother was a Bobby Goldsboro fan. Every week for three years in the 1970s we would watch “The Bobby Goldsboro Show.” We always liked it when he made that tree frog sound that many people mistakenly thought was a cricket.
“Honey” was a big hit in 1968. Like many popular songs, people tend to either love it or hate it. It’s about a young man who’s mourning his “kinda dumb and kinda smart” wife’s passing. She planted a tree, wrecked a car and cried while watching the late show until the angels came. But he still has the tree. It’s sad and sentimental and sappy.
Mom liked it but I didn’t much care for it at the time. At age 7, one doesn’t really want to think about people dying. Of course, “Honey” didn’t scar me near as much as the horrible, horrible “D.O.A.” song by Bloodrock that came out two years later. But that’s another story.
Goldsboro is 70 now and five years ago he put down the songwriter’s pen and picked up a paint brush. Many entertainers become painters in their later years; The Wife went to an art show by Grace Slick a few years ago. Lots of paintings with white rabbits in them.
Goldsboro came to town this weekend to put on a show and host the opening reception for a showing of his art. I interviewed him for a story for my new corporate masters at Patch.com. He was very charming. Some people are bad interviews and some are good, whether you’re a celebrity or not. Goldsboro was one of the good ones. I regret that I forgot to ask him to make the tree frog sound, but he was probably grateful.
And so it was that Sunday afternoon The Wife, The Son and I drove out to the J. Scheidegger Center for the Arts in St. Charles to check out the art exhibit. It was an impressive collection of oil paintings.
Bobby also looks pretty good for a septuagenarian.
Bobby Goldsboro’s paintings will be on display through March 13 at the J. Scheidegger Center, http://www.lindenwood.edu/center/
If you can’t make it to St. Charles, you can see the art at his website, www.bobbygoldsboro.com