Monday, July 15, 2019

First, the ten-inch. Now, the twelve-inch: The Monarchs of Melody--All My Love (1958)

This is the complete version, so to speak, of this LP.  Same jacket, only two inches wider on all four sides.  For reasons that defy logic, we get six additional tracks on this, the twelve-inch version.  Twice the content.  But that only makes sense if the other disc was... well, a six-incher.  Otherwise, why should there be 200 percent more music?  Was Waldorf trying to wean its customers off of the ten-inch format?  Ah, but the great Both Sides Now has the answer--Waldorfs ten-inchers were 99 cents and the twelve-inchers were $1.98. Now I see.  The customer got what he or she paid for.  You want twice the content, cough up another 98 cents.  Life is cruel.

With that mystery solved, let me just say this was one of the coolest thrift finds of recent months.  I think it was a St. Vincent de Paul thrift find, and it would have been a perfect one, save for the last track on Side 2, where someone obviously lost control of the tone arm (the gouge goes in an arc across the label, though I removed all traces when I fixed the image).  So I had to do a lot of precise de-clicking by hand.  If you hear tiny drop-outs on Pardon Me, Pretty Baby, that's why.  Listening to the tiny drop-outs is way better than listening to the loud pops--trust me.  Other than that, an easy rip.

As before, the superb musicians are Richard Lawrence "at the inspiring Hammond organ," accordionists Dominic Cortese and Nick Perito, guitarist Don Arnone (I'm copying the notes), and bassist Sandy Bloch, "...all for the express purpose of creating musical sounds to suit the varied moods of love." In case you wondered why they're doing this.

Today's Worst Sentence in the World award goes to "These are the varied moods that together give us a feeling of tenderness played especially for you with taste and understanding by this talented new group of outstanding musicians."  Maybe some kind of primitive translation software existed in 1958, and Waldorf was trying it on notes written in Icelandic.  That's my best guess.  Anyway, someone back in the day sprung for the extra 98 cents, and they took excellent care of their acquisition (hey, anyone can lose control of the tonearm--I do it all the time, but luckily with a modern machine), and so we have this gem to listen to and love.  To love in all the varied moods of tender feelings of romance brought to us especially for the purpose of bringing together music in a way that ensures the best in, um... er....  Yeah.  To the music....

DOWNLOAD--All My Love--The Monarchs of Melody

I Surrender Dear
I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You
When My Sugar Walks Down the Street
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
Sweet Lorraine
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
Ill Wind
All My Love
Lonesome and Sorry
Pardon Me, Pretty Baby

All My Love--The Monarchs of Melody (Waldorf Music Hall MHK 33-1241; 1958)


Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Looper Trio--Singing on the Way

A very quick essay for this last-minute post.  From a number of cyber-sources, I learned that the Looper Trio hails (or hailed) from Tennessee.  And we have this info, from today's back jacket: "Coleman Looper {group leader} began singing in a quartet in Indiana in the Fifties.  He later came to Tennessee joining his brother Oral in a quartet known as 'joyful Echoes.' ... In 1964 Brenda Looper, the daughter of Oral, joined Coleman and Oral to form this trio.  With Brenda's high soprano voice, Coleman singing tenor and playing the electric guitar, Oral singing baritone and playing the flat top guitar."

That's an exact quote, including the sentence fragment.  Not being a grammar Nazi, but just in case you found yourself wondering where it was going.  The last two sentences would have worked nicely with a comma between them, so maybe it was a typo at Gospel Records and Recordings, the Dayton, Ohio outfit listed on the jacket and label.  No actual label name, but you can't have everything.  Discogs says this was pressed by Rite Record Productions, but it doesn't have a year.  This is monaural, so I'm thinking 1965-ish.

Outstanding music here, and I put it up once before, though the original page is one of the many I deleted a few years back.  I would categorize these folks as bluegrass gospel, but people in cyberspace seem to classify them as southern gospel--no big deal.  I sometimes use the label "country gospel" for music that straddles the line between bluegrass and southern gospel, but let's just describe the Loopers as a more Appalachian-sounding Chuck Wagon Gang.  Or I will. You don't have to.  Just download and enjoy.  Can't find composer credit for My Heavenly Home, which is also known as That Heavenly Home--no time to search my songbooks, and on line isn't much help, but I'll see if I can crack the mystery.  I did find the folks behind the modern standard, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, which is actually I Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now.  Those folks are Jimmie Davis and Charles F. Goodman.  From 1964, looks like.  When I first heard this song c. 1990, I didn't quite get the vernacular--I thought it was about not taking anything to Heaven with you--no books, photos, etc.  Of course, "take" means "trade," as in "I wouldn't trade anything for...."  Especially anything offered by the Devil.  It had me wondering at first.

In other news, That Old Time Religion, the seventh track in our playlist is not the famous "Give me that..." gospel number.  Just so you know.  And, yes, that third title is Give Up.  What's it doing on an LP of inspirational numbers?  Ah, just listen to the lyrics and see.  Clever irony, whether intentional or not.  Give it up for the author, the late Howard Goodman of the Happy Goodman Family, another terrific singing group.

Update:  Thanks to Bob, who identified this as a Rite Record (Cincinnati OH) pressing from 1973.  This page gives years for Rite matrix numbers.  I had figured this might be a Rite pressing, but there's no "Rite" on the dead wax, and no mention of Rite Records on the back jacket.  In addition, there are two tiny words in the dead wax, both of them next to illegible.  The first could be "Nashville" (????).  The group is from TN.  Could it have made these tracks there?  The recordings are mono, and I have two earlier Looper LPs, both in stereo.  Anyway....

DOWNLOAD: Singing on the Way--The Looper Trio

Never Die, Just Be Promoted
Lord, Hasten That Day
Give Up (Howard Goodman)
He Came a Long Way from Heaven
I Want My Life to Be Pleasing to Him
It Was His Love
That Old Time Religion
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now (Davis-Goodman)
Now It's Time to Pray
My Heavenly Home
Like to Talk It Over with Him
Country Baptizing

Singing on the Way--The Looper Trio (Gospel Records and Recordings; Dayton OH.  Pressed by Rite Records, 1973)


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Somehow, I got fourteen 78 rpm files made....

In the midst of all this chaos and complication, I got fourteen 78 restorations done.  Go figure.  I must have lost half of my work on two or three occasions today, yet I recovered each time and kept going.  I'm amazing.  I can't help it.  I just am.  Lesser MAGIX users would have quit and turned on FETV to watch Gunsmoke.  Or is Gunsmoke on INSP?  I can't remember....

My MAGIX program has only blinked out once since Avast was removed.  That's better than five or six times.  And it appears that my PC has been downloading Windows updates for a while--how long, I don't know.  All day, maybe.  All day would actually be possible--my DSL connection is so outrageously slow that 1) it barely qualifies as DSL and 2) it causes updates, especially big ones, to tie up my PC.  The MAGIX-blinking-out issue could well have been connected with the 1898 Windstream internet connection I'm stuck with--all for the crime of living in the country.  When you've got a borrowed zip code, and you have to explain to people that no, you don't actually live in the village listed as your city, then you're lucky to have anything past dial-up.  Oh, how I remember those days.  How I wish I didn't.

So maybe that was it.  At best Buy, the Geek Squad guy brought up the task manager, and we watched the CPU's workload page as I did outrageous things on MAGIX--piling up filters, splicing and re-splicing, etc.  None of my activity came anywhere close to taxing my PC's resources.  So, technically, my PC is way more than able to handle my MAGIX program.  This suggests something else was confusing my HP.  The updates, I'm betting.

Two--yes, two--Walter Donaldson numbers today, including an unforgettable gem called Out of the Dawn.  And a Berlin side (I Want to Go Back to Michigan) played by the (Fred) Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, and I think we can assume the composer is Irving Berlin and not, say, Gerard Berlin.  Whom I've never heard of.  Of the four fabulous Van Eps sides, one is a "Maxixe," which is a dance, of course.  "Bresilienne" tells us it's Brazilian.  (I have a knack for figuring out these things.)  To decipher what the 78 label said, I had to go on line, because the title was rubbed out somehow.   Someone must have missed the spindle hole a record number of times (no pun intended).

Ten of the sides are acoustical, and the remaining four are electrical.  Microphone recordings, that is.  The date span is impressive--1905-1929--even if the list is fairly short.  The 1905 disc is the Columbia Band performing Neil Moret's incredibly charming Silver Heels, which is obviously one of Neil's Indian songs.  Makes a marvelous instrumental, and the fidelity is awfully good for 114 years ago.  Neil returns as composer in 1929's She's Funny That Way.

I know nothing about The Red Lantern, which must have been a....  No, wait a minute.  Wikipedia to the rescue.  A silent film about a half-Chinese, half-Caucasian woman convinced to impersonate the Goddess of the Red Lantern, and... wow.  Every silent flick about Chinese people ended in tragedy, it seems like.  So why is the music so happy?  All I know is that I've loved the side since I first listened to it.  The Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra, 1919.

Lots of great stuff.  So I had to do some of the work three times over.  Big deal.  I didn't complain once.  Ranted, yes, 

DOWNLOAD: Fourteen 78 files, 1905-1929

Louisville Lou--Arthur Gibbs and His Gang, 1923
Beale Street Mamma--Same
The Red Lantern--Medley--Waldorf-Astoria Orch., Dir. by Joseph Knecht, 1919
Silver Heels (March and Two Step; Moret)--Columbia Band, 1905
Soup to Nuts (One-step)--Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, 1914
I Want to Go Back to Michigan--Medley (Berlin)--Same
Sans Souci (Maxixe Bresilienne)--Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, 1914
Some Baby--Same
On the Mississippi (Turkey-trot)--Prince's Band, 1913
Too Much Mustard (Turkey-trot)--Same
Out of the Dawn (Donaldson)--Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orch., v: Franklyn Baur, 1928.
She's Funny That Way (Whiting-Moret)--Jean Goldkette and His Orch., v; Van Fleming, 1929
Baby Face--Jan Garber and His Orch., v: Benny Davis, 1926
That's Why I Love You (Donaldson-Ash)--Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders, w. vocal chorus, 1926.


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

It's possible the problem is solved....

I had competing antiviruses on the PC.  I wasn't fully aware of that.  You see, the thing was sabotaged with a McAfee notice--a notice telling me my trial was over and that it was time to pay $40.  No, I'm sorry--$39.95.  That's a long way from $40.  A whole 1/20 of a buck.  I knew it was a scam, since the notice happened two days after I bought this thing, and I would have remembered signing up for a two-day trial.  Ha.  Nice try, McAfee people.

That's just the way Windows 10 is set up, the Geek Squad guy said--those kinds of pop-ups, all trying to sell you something.  He agreed it was annoying.  After Windows 10, I'm done with Windows.  (So I say now.)  When 11 comes, I'll just run out in front of a bus, screaming, "11!  No!  No!  Not 11!!!"  The bus driver, talking to the cops, will say, "Third guy today.  They all yell the same thing.  I think they mean Windows 11."  The cop will say, "I have an Apple.  For this very reason.  That could be me lying there."

Eternal damnation.  Whatever.  Giant radioactive worms coming to eat everyone in the township.  Yawn.  ETs coming to enslave mankind.  Whatever.  Windows 11.  NOOOO!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

I personally regard customer harassment as a bad sales tactic, and of course I mean Windows, not Best Buy.  They've been highly polite and helpful.  And honest.  I can sort of tell when people are being honest, I think.  I'm 62.  We old folks have that sense.  Or we imagine we do.  Hard to tell the difference when you're 62.  Anyway, the Geek Squad guys are the messengers, not the culprits.  I found it refreshing to have a tech agree with me on the more annoying aspects of W. 10.  I really believe he has no more idea why 10 is the way it is than I do.

With Avast gone, things may go smoothly.  Avast likes to take control of the PC in Outer Limits fashion.  "We will control the vertical; we will control the horizontal...."  It does all kinds of crap with programs, putting some to sleep to maximize your use of another--something like that.  Total pain in the ass.  10 has its own antivirus, so I'm happy to say goodbye to Avast.  "Avast" means stop or cease, and that's what I want it to do.  So, perfect name.  I want it to stop, cease, and leave.

I'd like 10 to leave, too, but that would leave me without an OS.  Not good.  The lesser of two evils (OS/no OS) is Windows 10.  I wish I could think of a vicious pun on Windows 10, but I can't.  "Windows 10" will have to do.  It's vile, evil, sneaky, soul-draining, trouble-making, and it kicks cats and dogs.  It belongs in a detention home.

I must have left my power cord at Best Buy.  I could swear I didn't bring it, but I must have.  And somehow (I could turn this into a miracle narrative), in the downstairs bedroom there was a power cord all folded up.  Must have been from my last PC.  Right there, waiting for me.  Fit this one, so I don't have to drive back.  That's one break today.  Hope more breaks are on the way (as long as they aren't the 78 rpm kind).  And my latest Discogs order was just cancelled.  That happens all the time.  I'm going to stop ordering things from Discogs.  This is the third of fourth occurrence.  Don't put up stuff unless it's available, sellers.  Good grief.  If it's not for sale, don't put it up.  Is that hard to grasp?

I wrote Discogs and told them they've lost a customer, that I don't like such games.  Expressed my annoyance to the "seller," too.  If he or she is offended, too bad.  Don't put something up for sale unless it's for sale.  Reminds me of the bad old days when you had to turn to small-operation hardcopy catalogs for anything that wasn't mainstream--blues, early rock, etc.  They'd put you on back-order for six weeks, then announce they couldn't get the record.  I had one genius pair who lost my special order for something.  I had jumped on something the moment it became available, and they promised a quick response.  Weeks later, I asked what was up.  Oh, they misplaced my order.  Along with their brains, I guess.  45cat won't let me join, and Discogs thinks "marketplace" is another word for "Sorry, we sold that at our store."  I'm not going back to the days when record buyers were expected to endure mountains of bull-hockey to maybe, possibly get a record.  It's not worth it. 


This. Is. Unreal.

I bought a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion for a decent amount of bread at Best Buy.  This will be the second time I'll have to bring it in to the Geek Squad.  I will inform them that, if a third visit is needed, I want the product returned and my money back.  This is beyond human belief.

This thing can't even run my MAGIX software.  Five times the program closed on me, all of my work going with it.  I thought maybe it was a Windows 10 comparability issue, so I downloaded a trial version of  a new MAGIX program--roughly the equivalent of my Cleaning Lab MX.

My PC FROZE.  It froze solid.  Wouldn't move.  Nothing.  Apparently, it's allergic to software.  I overtaxed it by attempting to USE my trial software.

You know--I've looked everywhere on the chassis.  Nowhere do I see the words, "Do not attempt to use this product."  Or "Software not supported."

Is this thing supposed to be a nice addition to the floor?  I had my heart set on the thing working.  Functioning.  Best Buy led me to believe this thing would function.  As a PC.  Was I misinformed?

I don't like being this angry (enraged is more like it).  I hope I don't lose my temper at Best Buy.  I lost it over the phone to the Geek Squad.  I don't like losing my temper.  I also do not like paying good money for a PC that can't even run a piece of freaking software.

Wish me luck.  This thing goes back.  One more problem, it goes back.