Saturday, October 24, 2015

Mayf Nutter, Environmental Awareness, and Starday Records

After teaching a whole semester of Socially Conscious Songwriting at Indiana University and helping students to write about important social matters in song, I've developed a soft spot for all the Starday artists who tackled important social issues. One of them was Bakersfield artist (via West Virginia), Mayf Nutter, who recorded his anti-pollution number, "Simpson Creek (Won't Ever Run Clear Again)," back in 1970 (Starday 45-910). 

This was after his stint as Del Shannon's lead guitar player, around the same time that he was fronting the New Christy Minstrels on Columbia, and just before his Capitol sessions with Merle Haggard's Strangers and Buck Owens' Buckeroos. Apparently there were two seperate releases of this single and the flipside of Starday 45-9101 is a series of anti-pollution public service announcements (among the earliest environmental awareness recordings--I'm looking at you Joni Mitchell). 


But just recently I discovered that the promo came with the PSAs for radio use, but that the stock copy actually had a little stand-up joke-ish bit on the flip called "The Other Side." It's less than a minute, but it's pretty funny stuff to hear on a record. Last week Mayf celebrated a birthday (Oct. 19), so Happy Birthday, Mayf! Thanks for the great tunes and thanks for taking a stand on important social issues! In case y'all want to hear it, I made a YouTube video with "Simpson Creek," "The Other Side," and the three alternate PSAs on environmental awareness. Three Cheers for the environment!