Leroy Pullins

I'm a Nut [Kapp]

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Leroy Pullins designed himself as a Roger Miller disciple -- something that's evident from the moment the giddy gallop of "I'm a Nut" kicks off, but the rest of his debut LP, I'm a Nut, shows that Leroy never departed from that template. Pullins' music is novelty in the purest sense: anything and everything is thrown into the mix with the hope that it'll give them some radio play. Outside of "I'm a Nut," it didn't quite work, as he never had another single scrape the charts, but as '60s country curiosities go, Pullins is among the most fascinating due to his sheer oddity. "I'm a Nut" sounds the strangest, but the I'm a Nut LP had some tunes to rival it, such as the forced frivolity of "The Taterville Women's Auxiliary Sewing Circle" and "The Interstate Is Coming Through My Outhouse," the frog impressions on the chorus of "Knee Deep" and, most disturbingly, the litany of suicide options on "I'm Killing Myself." Pullins is a versatile vocalist, so he can pull off these strange songs -- just like he can pull off the mawkishness of "I Love You Drops," a wholly successful attempt at mimicking Miller's sentimental side -- and he was also a solid songwriter, perhaps best heard on the childhood tale "Billy Roy and Jackson Sam," but also on "I'm a Nut," which really is as good as a country joke can get. Still, the overall impression that the album leaves is one of unabashed strangeness, one that is stronger now that its release is many years in the past.