Cristy Lane's first record was "Janie Took My Place" b/w "Stop Foolin' with Me," which was released on the K-Ark label in 1966. K-Ark also released records by Onie Wheeler, Weldon Rogers, Benny Martin, and Eddie Noack, including Noack's oddball 1968 single "Psycho." Lane was spelling her name as "Christy" instead of "Cristy" at this point.
K-Ark started as an aspiring Nashville indie label and released records by legitimate artists, but it didn't have much success and later offered its services as a vanity label for amateur artists and as a production house for song poems, which were amateur poems and song lyrics that staff musicians and vocalists set to music for a fee. (Some good anthologies of song poems are available, such as this one.)
In 1971, K-Ark lost its license to record because of a long list of infractions, many of which involved paying musicians less than union scale and making musicians give some of their session earnings to the label's owner, Johnny Capps.
Cristy Lane's recording debut for K-Ark wasn't a hit, but her 1986 biography, One Day at a Time, says that "Janie Took My Place" went to #1 at a radio station in Muncie, Indiana. As I mentioned in an earlier post about Lane's Capitol/EMI CDs, I'm from Muncie and have never met anyone who remembers this song. I even asked about it on a popular Muncie forum that has a lot of older members, and no one knew anything about it.
I've uploaded 30-second samples of the two sides of Lane's K-Ark single on this page.
Some discographies list "I'm Saving My Kisses b/w "Heart in the Sand" (Little Cowboy Records LC-3001) as Lane's first single, but that record appeared in the July 8, 1967 issue of Billboard in the chart spotlight column as a new record that was predicted to become a country hit. (It didn't.) "Janie Took My Place," from 1966, preceded it by over a year.
Little Cowboy, incidentally, was a subsidiary of Little Darlin' Records, where Johnny Paycheck first came to fame. In April 1967, Billboard ran a short item on Little Cowboy and said that its first artists would be Cris [sic] Lane and Linwood Pryce.
None of Lane's 1960s recordings has been reissued except for the song "Find Out What You Want" from a 1969 single that she cut for the Spar label. It's included on the 2010 CD Beehives & Bumper Bullets: Country Girls of the 1960s and is mastered from vinyl.
Cristy Lane's 1960s discography
- "Janie Took My Place" b/w "Stop Foolin' with Me" (K-Ark 686, 1966)
- "Let's Pretend" b/w "Subtract His Love" (K-Ark 717, 1967)
- "I'm Saving My Kisses" b/w "Heart in the Sand" (Little Cowboy LC-3001, 1967)
- "Find Out What You Want" b/w "Promise Me Anything" (Spar 30007, 1969)
|Cristy on tour in Vietnam, 1969|