The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Chairman Of The Sandwich Board

Artist: Mike Figlio
Song: How Do I Know? (a-side) (b-side is More Than Anything)
Label: Payson
Number: P-105
Songwriters: Smash - Comfort - Figlio
Time: 2:21
Released: October 1958

Sometimes an artist will come along with talent on both sides of the microphone. Mike Figlio seems to have been such an artist. What little information I could find about him suggests that he started out as a singer and ended up becoming a record producer of some renown.
He burst onto the scene in the late 1950's with songs such as today's tune and the flipside More Than Anything. I couldn't find many more songs attributed to him, but I did see where he began to work in recording studios by the mid-1960's. He gravitated to Nashville, Tennessee, where he produced such groups as R.E.O. Speedwagon, Marty Robbins, Jack Teagarden, Oar, John Hiatt, Joe Wise, David Clayton Thomas, Brothers Of The Southland, Skip Spence and Flatt and Scruggs. Quite an impressive resume.
Today, Mike seems to have retired from the music business and hangs out with friends in an Italian restaurant located in Nashville called Savarino's. Savarino's has the vibe of a Brooklyn social club, where a group of Nashville Italians and Italian food fanatics while away hours gabbing, laughing, reminiscing. The most hallowed regulars have been immortalized with sandwiches named for them, sort of a Nashville Italian Hall of Fame. These include retired recording engineer/restaurateur Mike Figlio, Oh Boy Records head Al Bunetta, musician/producer Nick Pellegrino, rock legend Felix Cavaliere (of The Rascals) and health care executive Doug Shaugnesso. Mike's namesake sandwich is called the Mike Figlio and consists of grilled sausage, lettuce and tomatoes. It sounds pretty tasty to me.
Billboard had this to say about today's release, back in their October 27th, 1958 issue: "Bouncy ballad with beat is given a cheerful warble by the lad with group and plucked string backing. Pleasant side can attract." I can also add that from the first notes, it comes across as an old, forgotten melody that you once knew and immediately recall. It's peppy arrangement is quite nice will leave you humming it's secondary melody by the chorus behind him long after it's stopped playing. It's the kind of song that leaves you with a happy feeling; and those are the best kind! So, don't miss Mike Figlio as he warbles How Do I Know? I do know that you'll be pleasantly surprised and you'll enjoy it "more than anything."

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