mardi 8 mai 2012

Dave HELLING "It Ain't Me Babe/If You're Gonna Leave Me" (1965)

Suite à mon post sur Dyon Parker, voici son 1er single sous le nom de Dave Helling :

6 commentaires:

Blop12 a dit…

c'est vraiment très impressionnant le travail que vous faites sur ce site

Anonyme a dit…

A Musician and busker who was well-known on the streets of Bath has died after a battle against lung cancer. Dyon Parker, of Corston, was a recording artist, session musician and composer, who produced his first LP at the age of 13.
During the 1980s and 90s, while he lived in the Larkhall area, he regularly entertained people in the centre of the city with his music.
He was a luthier by trade, making and repairing stringed instruments. A talented craftsman, he also used his woodwork skills repairing furniture. He also enjoyed writing and painting.
Mr Parker was born in Swansea but moved to Louisiana, USA, where his father came from, when he was two years old.
His mother died when he was very young and his father was in the army, and as a result friends said Mr Parker became a very independent and strong-willed man.
He also lived for some years in Carcassonne, France, and while there, he had a child who sadly died of leukaemia at a young age.
Mr Parker moved back to the UK in 1970 and Susan Charles, his next door neighbour in Corston, said: "He was a brilliant and talented man who will be missed by many.
"He was the kindest, most thoughtful person.
"He wouldn't go to the hospice because he said there was no point taking up a bed, given his prognosis.
"He said the bed should be given to someone with a chance of being cured."
Mr Parker died at the Royal United Hospital on March 5 and his funeral will be held at 1pm on Wednesday, March 28, at Haycombe Crematorium.

Those scant biographical details represent virtually all that has been written about this artist (apart from Rod Warner's comments on his busking days at the buskersphotobook site) and they are rather saddening to read. He clearly had to face some devastating losses during his life.

Although it is wrong to assume any clear cut relationship between life and art, I am struck by the fact that he writes and sings like a man who is sensitive to love and beauty but feels, in his bones, that these things are more likely to bring heartache than pleasure. His songs are often songs of separation of one kind or another and his lyrics often have a restless, outsider quality. His voice has sadness and strength in equal measure and there is a raw (often self deprecating) honesty and poignancy to his work that gives it a strong emotional pull.

It Ain't Me Babe is a fine cover, but I think Helling/Parker got better and better as he went on. Tracks like Dark Eyed Lady and If I Ever from “David Parker” (which benefits from some sympathetic backing and production) are unique and compelling music by any standard. His records must always have been rather too stark to fit into the mainstream, but it's a shame that they aren't a bit more widely known and appreciated.

Maybe there is more out there to be discovered?

Apologies for the length of this - and thanks again,


Anonyme a dit…

The comment above is the second half of a long comment that I tried to post - unfortunately the site will only display half of it. Sorry it doesn't make a lot of sense!


Starsailor a dit…

hi David, thanks for your precious comments! I actually have the other part of your comment in my mail box, I'll copy/paste it in the following comment !
I sent an email to Shel Talmy to find out more, hope he will answer...

Starsailor a dit…

Hi Starsailor

This is the first part of my long post that proved too long for the character limit. Unfortunately it now comes second!

Many thanks for making some of Dave Helling/Dyon Parker's music available here and for creating a bit of interest in him on the net. It is only through your various posts and blog that I came to realise the 1971 “David Parker” LP is also his work. My reissue copy of the LP arrived from Korea recently, and it turns out to be a really outstanding album - so thank you for making me aware of it.

I've owned a copy Dave Helling's It Ain't Me Babe since the mid 60's and for me it is the best version of the song and one of a handful of singles from 1965 which epitomise that brief period when contemporary folk and protest music became a playlist and singles chart phenomenon in the UK. It was a phase that came and went within a few months, but left pop music more reflective.

The single came out in April/May 1965 just as the folk/protest genre was starting to have an impact. Bob Dylan had very recently charted with The Times They Are a' Changing and Donovan with Catch The Wind; Subterranean Homesick Blues was in the charts and Colours was soon to be released, so Dave Helling's record fitted in well with the times. Unfortunately, it was released concurrently with Johnny Cash's version of the same song. I remember both versions getting a fair amount of play on UK pirate radio, although play of Helling's version must have been limited to Radio Caroline or one of the lesser stations as there is no mention of it in the listings of Radio London which, by then, was probably the most influential station. Having two rival versions of the same song on the playlists was surprisingly common in those days: This Little Bird (Nashville Teens and Marianne Faithful) and Come Away Melinda (Wendy Huber and Barry St. John) are just two examples. Eventually, it was Cash's version that made it into the pirate radio and national charts.

The two competing interpretations of It Ain't Me Babe were very different. Whilst Dave Helling emphasises the elements of sadness and regret – almost as if the singer is sorry for not being able to meet the expectations put upon him, Johnny Cash's version is characteristically macho, managing somehow to sound both jaunty and weary at the same time. With its thigh slapping chorus and brass, his version is much more dismissive – “don't expect me to bow down to unreasonable demands” seems to be the message. Perhaps it is the mark of a great song that different artists can find different things within it and then make it their own. Within a few months the Turtles had re-imagined it as stomping folk rock and taken it high into the US charts.

That brief run of play in the spring of 1965 was the closest Dave Helling/Parker came to any significant media exposure. I spent the next 30 years or so assuming that he had made just one great single and it wasn't until the internet became available that I found out he had made another 45. It must have received zero airplay as it would certainly have registered with me if I had heard it.

As we now know, he went on to record as Dyon Parker and David Parker with Pye (Marble Arch) and with Polydor. In addition, he also appears to have recorded a session with Giorgio Gomelski, one track from which came close to being released in France in the 1970's. There is a bit about it here:

At about the time I realised that Dave Helling and Dyon Parker were one and the same I did an internet search for information, only to find a notice of his recent death in the city of Bath. That led me to the Bath Chronicle where I found the following short article (published on 22nd March 2007):-

Anonyme a dit…


Thanks for sorting that out! One final thing: if you do a BMI copyright search (repertoire) with Helling David as the artist you will see that he copyrighted over 80 songs under that name (I think the Parker material must be copyrighted differently). That doesn't mean that he actually recorded them, but clearly he was quite a prolific writer.

Best wishes