Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Printing Press Song

Yesterday was a good mail day. It was marked by the arrival of an old recording by George Hamilton IV singing his ballad, If I Possessed a Printing Press. Never a chart-topper, Hamilton released the seven inch vinyl on the ABC Paramount label in 1957 at age twenty. The lyrics recall a boy longing to tell the world of his hunk o' burning love by printing up handbills in many colors. Accompanied by a chorus of crooners, Hamilton wistfully sings:

     And in the middle of each one, in bold face type a line would run. 
     The oldest line it always knew, I'd tell the world that I love you. 

I just hope Mr. Hamiliton IV was a better printer than he was a songwriter. Fortunately, the incomparable ABC-Paramount label with the gothic extended type, along with the infinity logo in its full-color rainbow fidelity, was worth the entire $1.99 I paid for it. If only I possessed a printing press now...
Give it a listen and feel free to hum along.

A nice four color poster from a 1958 "Show of Stars" show in Saskatoon. George Hamilton the IV received top billing along with Sam Cooke, the Everly Brothers and Paul Anka.  
::Thank you for the YouTube post Paco Sanchez.

7 comments:

  1. George did not write the song he recorded. Willey Gale wrote it. I think it may have been a one and done songwriting career too.

    Thanks for the post. Brings back memories when George Hamilton IV was on the charts.

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  2. Thanks for clarifying Bill. Doh! I see Gale's name right on the label now.

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  3. Completely awesome. And to think! He could have performed that song that night in Saskatoon—that hotbed of chart-toppin' music!

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  4. I really enjoyed this song. I never heard it before.

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  5. Love this! My favorite printing song is Legal Tender by the B52s which includes the lyrics "we're in the basement, learning to print." Of course they're printing money, which makes it even better!

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  6. these lines stand out the most for me:
    If I possessed a printing press
    No one would ever have to guess
    I’d tell them all about my plans,
    With pictures, charts, and diagrams.

    but then these two have to follow because of the large amount of nerd love I feel for the first four! Great post!

    And in the middle of each one, in bold face type a line would run.
    The oldest line it always knew, I'd tell the world that I love you.

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    ReplyDelete