Ollie Halsall: Rusty Strings

Ollie recorded some instrumentals in 1973 using the alias of Rusty Strings.  For these recordings, Ollie did Les Paul-esque interpretations of songs by recording some of the guitars with the tape slowed down so that when they were played back at normal speed they would be very fast and an octave or two higher.  This is a technique he utilized on Patto's "Roll 'Em Smoke 'Em..." and "Monkey's Bum" sessions; check out the songs "Singing The Blues On Reds" and "I Need You" respectively.

One track that was not released but has circulated among collectors (and included on some bootlegs) is a medley of Platters songs, including "Twilight Time," "Only You," and "The Great Pretender."  He also recorded a medley of Elvis tunes.  Who knows how many Rusty Strings recordings were laid down.  Perhaps an album was planned, but it never materialized.

However, there was a Rusty Strings 45 released on the RCA Victor label on January 6, 1974 (Catalog # LPBO 5028).  The A-side is "Can't Help Lovin' The Man" by Jerome Kern and Oscar Hammerstein.  The B-Side is an original by Ollie called "Medium Twist".  It was produced by Muff Winwood.

Stock 45 labels:  
Demo A-side label:  

Thanks to Michael Clare for informing us of the single and for the stock 45 label images.


[Return to Top of Page]