LEE MARVIN – “Wand’rin Star”Nelson Riddle’s arrangement for “Wand’rin Star” harks back a good twenty or thirty years, to the days of the singing cowboys and particularly acts like Sons Of The Pioneers, whose massed male backing voices this song reminds me of. “Wand’rin Star” has something of the gentle mystery of the Sons’ “Tumblin’ Tumbleweeds” or “Ghost Riders In The Sky”, with Marvin’s puzzled deep voice turning the track into a kind of cowboy lullaby. Marvin is a technically awful singer but this is an effective way for Riddle to use him, at least until the last verse when he sounds like he’s straining too hard for the tune. The singles chart at this point was clearly still wide open, deserted by emergent ‘album acts’ and without much grip on a younger teen audience, and this is yet another oddity at number one. But a very charming oddity, nonetheless.

Score: 5

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