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DONNY MATSLER at his… Lowrey Organ

A perfect example of a private vanity pressing, this LP was recorded by a young Donny Matsler from Showlow, Arizona — early 70′s vintage I’d presume from the look and the track listing.  Consisting of ten tracks recorded at Soundtech Studios in Phoenix, Donny dedicates the LP to “my wife Dottie and my good friends all over the country who made it possible for me to have the experience of this exciting recording session.”

Four of the tracks are originals (2 instrumentals and 2 vocals), and then a half dozen covers ranging from Telstar to Tennessee Waltz.  The best of the cover songs are a droney minimalist take on 2001 (Also Sprach Zarathustra) and the Godspell nugget Day By Day, which closes the LP.  Of the originals, while the two instrumentals are relatively pleasant melodic excursions, it’s the vocal tracks that stand out as Donny’s unique contribution to American Culture.  Short Fat Sky tells the story of a fellow named Sky who was, well, short and fat, with alternating spoken word verses and sing song choruses.  But the real gem here is I’m Only Seventeen, in which Donny tells a spoken word story over a droning organ & percussion backdrop of how a young man died in a car crash.  Any song in which the first line of lyrics states: “I’m a statistic” and includes the classic plea: “Please! Somebody, wake me up!  I can’t be dead!  I’ve got a lot of living to do!  I’ve got a date tonight!” deserves to be permanently filed in the Classic American Culture section at the Library of Congress.

Online searches at present turn up nothing about this LP, but do tell us that Donny Matsler was most recently in the news being interviewed in the wake of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico of 2010, as one of the Alabama-based fishermen who were brought in to clean up the toxic residue from the spill and quickly began suffering health problems.

5 Comments

  • could you post a clip?

  • click the song titles, genius

  • P. J. Southam

    It sounds like “Short Fat Sky” is a parody of “Big Bad John” the country song by Jimmie Dean who later made sausage.

  • Thanks for the heads up on this one. I just picked it up after reading this. I must have passed over it 7 or 8 times in the past month.

  • I know this article was posted a while back, but I just found a copy of this record at a Salvation Army thrift store in Kentucky with an autograph/Inscription by Donny on it… It states:

    To Mike,
    Keep faith, we’ll make it with a lot of work. Partnerships forever

    -Donnie Matsler

    There’s no sleeve with any info, so I can’t really gather who Mike is. Thought it was kind of interesting/somewhat sad in a way also…

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