Hoover – S/T (1969)

Beautiful and well-produced chamber/psych folk lp from Nashville. The music is soft and often melancholic, especially when driven by the small string section. The result is less psychedelic than the liner notes and the laconic and direct Hoover talking would suggest at first.
The LP is one of the few produced by Chuck Glaser from the band Tompall Glaser & The Glaser Brothers. Also worth mentioning the album front cover and his photographer, Bill Grine, who took many iconic cover photos for artists such as Johnny Cash, Tammy Wynette, Waylon Jennings…

hoover Tete

“Willis Hoover was born in Jackson County, Missouri and raised in Lamoni, Iowa and Shenandoah, Iowa. After starting out as a coffeehouse folk singer as a teenager, Hoover moved to Nashville in the 1960s and became a songwriter. Later he became a recording artist for Monument Records, Epic Records, and Elektra Records in the late 1960s and early 1970s.”

ORIGINAL LINER NOTES hand-written by Hoover
It was the seventh dead April of black Tuesday. Outside the students were digesting their daily college burgers. Can we not dig them? Five million good little boys and girls eating apple pie and reading t.s. Eliot in the ivy autumn sun. The gentle clicking ticking of baby busy gourds asunder. Nothing like it today. My small band of thieves (3 or 5) and/or disciples were out shooting pool a game of poking and holing doo-doo-balls with long pointed sticks. I was sitting in the corner under my ned brushing up on my dirty word and gesture exercises which I practiced religiously, not because I had to, for I knew there was no chance of being drafted into the navy, but more as a matter if proficiency in ones chosen hobbies, there was a knock at the door.
I managed to free myself from the cobweb I was entangled in (cobwebs are made by the not-so-famous « cob » spider which appears to be invisible when seen because of its tiny size. It gets its name from the fact that this rare vegetarian spider exists almost entirely on corn cobs, which astonishingly enough, the average « cob » spider can consume three or more of daily.)
« hello. »
« Hello, are you Hoover? »
« Yes. »
« We’ve come to be your followers!”
“…uh…, sorry… I’m full up on followers right now…,
I mean, that is to say,… I’m quite a follower my own self…, what I mean is, uh, I really don’t think you want to be my followers… or, to put it another way,… say, —— aren’t you the same two guys who came here yesterday wanting’ to be some sort of followers? »
« nope »
« day before, maybe? »
« No! —— come on man, we want you to play us a couple of your songs. Sing us songs. »
« Okay, come on in »
While they were being ushered to their seats I took my guitar out of my « hip » pocket, and drug my stage from the closet to the center of the room. I sang a magic tune.
« that’s great man! Fantastic! Don’t know where you come up with that stuff! Knocked out!
« thanks. »
« sing us one more. »
« okay. »
I sang another song.
« That’s great man! Fantastic! I just don’t know where you come up with that stuff! Knocked out! »
« Thanks »
« Now, would you do one more thing for us before we go? »
« What is it?
« Welle, uh, … we heard you could walk on water. »
‘I can’t do it. »
« Come on man! Don’t be like that; Now listen, I’ll go in and fill up the bathtub —— it’ll only take a few seconds —— and then you could just sorta walk around on it a couple of times for us, —— and that’s all. I brought along my polaroid, and I’ll just snap off a couple of quickies, —— and then we’ll go, —— away, and won’t bother you anymore, —— today. How ’bout it? »
« Sorry, but it’s like I said, I can’t do it. »
« Ya mean, really? Really you can’t do it? »
« Really and for true! Can’t fly either —- change the course of mighty rivers —- bend steel in my bare hands, —— water into wine, none of that sorta thing. »
« …? …! …!! … But we heard …, I mean, we thought…, Ya mean, You can’t even… —— uh, guess we’d better be movin’ along now. Thanks for singing to us and all. We really —— oh, dug it. »
« See ya fellows. »
I could hear them talking as they went down the hall.
« He wasn’t much. »
« Naw, I figured it. »
« Just trying to be weird, that’s all. »
I never saw them again, again.

Written By, Arranged By, Composed By – Willis Hoover
Arranged By [Strings And Horns] – Bill Pursell
Arranged By, Producer – Chuck Glaser
Engineer – Neil Wilburn
Photography – Bill Grine