The vast output of Marlin Wallace and his Corillions projects is one of the great unexplored treasure troves of outsider music. According to this article Don Bolles wrote for WFMU, Marlin has had some serious problems in his life with harassment from communist space aliens, but seems to have put all that past him, judging by his prodigious output - I counted at least 22 albums for sale on his website, along with various singles.
His albums are usually themed. Wanna hear a whole collection of songs about bugs and insects? Interested in rivers? Outer space? Jungles? Well, Wallace has written entire albums dedicated to these concepts. Give that boxing fan in your life a copy of "Songs of Pugilism." They're all sung in his endearingly folksy voice (he sings about "skeeters," not "mosquitoes"), accompanied by unexpectedly well-recorded professional sounding music.
The 70-something Wallace was a hobo for many years, a homeless wanderer riding freight trains. This fascinating background informs his music, and gives it depth beyond the strange/novelty aspect. Sure, a lot of his stuff is funny (he has two volumes entitled "Delightful Novelty Songs") but the crusty Springfield, MO native is also one of the last of a dying breed - the bad-ass American who rode the rails, spent time in jail, and drank. Boxers, cowboys, soldiers. He sings of these characters in a matter-of-fact conversational tone, without any romanticizing, which makes them seem all the more real.
Music For Maniacs is proud to present along with The Corillions this
Marlin Wallace Anthology Page
a collection of selected mp3s (some of which are samples, not entire songs) for your downloading pleasure. The Corillions site has never hosted mp3s before - it's a special arrangement they did just for us. If you like what you hear, buy the albums, cuz there's plenty more where they came from. (Album titles in parentheses)
1. Whole Lot of Woman ("Delightful Novelty Songs vol2")
2. Crazy Eddy ("Songs Of Pugilism")
3. I'm A Survivor ("Jungle Songs")
4. Millipede ("Buggy Songs") - "always get you mixed up with the centipede..."
5. Weird, Weird Music ("Halloween Songs") - Complete track; this could be our theme song!
6. Captain Kid ("Historical Songs")
7. The Ghost of Old Railroad Bill ("Train Songs" - tales of hobo life)
8. Empire of the Vampires ("Halloween Songs")
9. Old Cockaroach ("Buggy Songs" - oh, how I love this album.)
10. Sing Sing ("Prison Songs")
11. Thing From Another World ("Outer Space Songs")
12. The Laughin' Ghost ("Halloween Songs") - maniacal laughing makes up much of Marlin's vocals here
13. 99 Years and Life ("Prison Songs")
14. I Got 700 Wives ("Delightful Novelty Songs vol 1")
15. There's A Weasel ("Animal Songs")
16. Polynesian Baby ("Tropical Paradises")
17. That Flying Saucer ("Outer Space Songs")
18. My Sweet Little Baby ("Delightful Novelty Songs vol 1")
19. Alexander The Great ("Historical Songs")
UPDATE 6/2014 - as the above page appears to now be gone, I've put up a few mp3s:
"Thing From Another World."
"Weird Weird Music"
"A Livin' Dead Man"
Thanks to Spacebrother Greg for playing me Marlin's "Abominable Snowcreature" when I was guest dj-ing on his Radio Misterioso show, thus sucking me into the world of Marlin Wallace.