"Crap! I wish I hadn't seen Ricky on the sidewalk."

"You will be fine for 31 minutes. You will be dead in 32 minutes."

Sunday, July 21, 2013


Say what you want about Robert Mitchum, but I dig that guy, especially his turn in Charles Laughton's adaptation of The Night of the Hunter (1955). I've seen that thing a million times and I'll see it a million more.

I also like Mitchum in Out of the Past (1947) and his genuinely menacing Max Cady in the original Cape Fear (1962), but I've never embraced The Friends of Eddie Coyle (1973) the way others have. Never oohed, never aahed, never awed.

But I'll tell you something else. I like the fact that Robert Mitchum sings. I picked up his calypso record (Calypso is Like So, 1957) when it was reissued on cd in 1995. That's when all the cool cats were rediscovering lounge music by Esquivel and Les Baxter and Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman. Guilty as charged, officer.  Take me away in chains!

But I never saw any Robert Mitchum on vinyl until today. The purchase set me back a whole $3.50.

That Man, Robert Mitchum . . . Sings (Monument SLP 8086, 1967)

My love of Bobby Hebb's version of "Sunny" has been well documented in these pages. Mitchum's is somewhat less spectacular, but I love it just the same. 


Because it's tough guy Robert Mitchum and he knows the words to "Sunny" and he's singing them into a microphone.

The results are sublime.

This album also contains "Ballad of Thunder Road" and "Little Ole Winedrinker Me," both of which made the pop charts that year. I'd offer a detailed track-by-track review, but my record player is already packed up.

But here's the real reason for this particular post: check out the liner notes from acclaimed songwriter and co-founder of Capitol Records, Johnny Mercer.

Hmmm . . . I guess those comments make Mercer something of a "free palomino" himself, eh? 

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