Song Of The Day 12/3/2015: Joel Sebastian – “Angel in Blue”

Song Of The Day Outtakes 2015 – This thoroughly bromidic spoken-word hoo-hah was cut from Alt-Motown Week back in February. Joel Sebastian was a DJ, a close associate of Motown chief Berry Gordy who really wanted to be a recording artist in his own right, just like Wink Martindale. Traditionally it has never been a good idea for DJ's to aspire to recording careers of their own (though it's a subject we'll investigate in a 2016 theme week to fulfill our masochistic tendencies). Gordy agreed to help Sebastian to put out "Angel in Blue" in 1961, either as repayment for his help in getting Motown records played or for "future considerations." The single tanked, Sebastian did some reflecting on the barbed folly of ambition, and went right back to being a successful DJ.

"Angel in Blue" was perhaps a little too David Lynch-ian for pre-Vietnam America. The glorious Motown Junkies website offers a neat sum-up of Sebastian's somewhat confused ghostie love story:  "On the surface, a man and a woman get together, the man points out he’s already engaged to be married to someone else, they both regret their choices; there’s a subtext which implies the woman is the man’s former partner, who’s since died, and the man is struggling to reconcile his love for her with his feelings for his new fiancée. Or maybe it’s just random nonsense, I don’t know. Sebastian, though, reads it so faux-passionately that it lands somewhere between a Sixties anti-drugs public service announcement and a really bad Shakespeare audio book."

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