Graham Reid | | <1 min read
Texas-born Jim Robertson was one of those who sang about the Second World War and knew what he was talking about. No stay-at-home, when he was rejected by the army he enlisted in the marines and saw action in the Pacific then ended up in Japan after their surrender.
At almost two metres tall, he'd been raised on a ranch, learned guitar and banjo from his father, and in the late Thirties scored a popular slot on radio in North Carolina, so popular he was picked up and taken to New York where he sang and became an actor in radio serials before the war.
Most of his songs were country and western, sacred songs or cowboy ballads, but he had a sharp ear for a lyric as this song on the Bluebird/HMV label -- written by Jack Johnstone and Will Livermarsh -- about filling in the final pages of Hitler's book Mein Kampf (My Struggle) illustrates.
In a weird footnote, there is a story that Robertson committed suicide in November '66 but that shortly after a fellow named Clifford Kent started playing shows in Texas saying he was Robertson, had faked his death to change his identity.
More probably it was someone trying to write the last page of Robertson's life.
For more one-offs, oddities or songs with an interesting backstory see From the Vaults.