Georgie Fame: Bullets Laverne b/w St. James Infirmary (CBS 3495; 1968)
Released by CBS in both Germany and Holland, with the same release number, this 45 featured two tracks from the LP The Third Face of Fame. The German version had a picture sleeve.
Side A, Bullets Laverne, was written by Norman Greenbaum (famous for Spirit in the Sky) and B. Kane. Greenbaum's version was released earlier in 1968, under the artist name Dr. West's Medicine Show and Junk Band, on the Gregar label. The charming Tin Pan Alley tone that characterized Fame's rendition is already present on Greenbaum's original. Fame's recording takes it further, though, and with the help of arranger Harry South and his Big Band, turns the tune into a Broadway-style show stopper.
Side B, St. James Infirmary, is a jazz/blues classic, previously recorded by such luminaries as Louis Armstrong, Cab Calloway, and Billie Holiday. Starting out life as a folk song of unknown origin, it became St. James Infirmary in the late 1920s, with the lyrics being attributed to Joe Primrose. Fame's version, arranged by Derek Wadsworth, is haunting and heart-rending. Fame hits every note with a sincerity that is positively devastating.
WHERE TO FIND THESE SONGS
Both Bullets Laverne and St. James Infirmary appear on the following CD:
Georgie Fame: Two Faces of Fame / Third Face of Fame