Monday, June 18, 2012

Gene Cotton: Like A Sunday In Salem

This past weekend, I was looking for some cuts from Gene Cotton’s 1972 album “Gray of the Morning,” but alas, I was not able to find any. Pity – it was a great album that I had the opportunity playing during my first radio gig at WKCC-FM. While searching, a suggestion for his 1978 recording of “Like a Sunday in Salem (The Amos & Andy Song)” appeared on YouTube.

It had been probably 30 years or so since I listened to this cut. I had searched about a year ago for it and no one had posted it yet. Somewhere, I have a copy of the promotional single of this song that peaked right at #40 on the Hot 100. I remember hearing “Like a Sunday in Salem” on WKEE in Huntington, WV in 1978 during my daily commute from Ashland, KY to Huntington everyday.  Due to its poor chart performance, it didn't stick around very long.

“Like a Sunday in Salem” was actually released as a single twice on the Ariola-America label. It was the “B” side to Cotton’s bigger hit from the previous spring, “Before My Heart Finds Out.”

Ariola-America reissued the song as its own “A” side during the fall. Unfortunately, it didn’t do very well. That probably was related to the amount of money this German owned label was willing to pump into the US market. That would change in 1979, when the Ariola bought Arista Records.

Having recorded albums since 1966, “Sunday in Salem” was featured on Gene’s eighth album “Save the Dancer.” Besides “Before My Heart Finds Out” and “Like A Sunday in Salem,” the album also produced a hit with “You’re A Part of Me” – a duet with Kim Carnes that peaked at #36. All three charted within the top forty with “Before My Heart Finds Out” performing the best at 23 on the Hot 100 and at #3 on the Adult Contemporary chart.

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