Sunday, November 17, 2019

The rest of my Goodwill haul--Pathe verticals, Waterford High School Wildcat Marching Band, Billy Joe and His Brothers

A few posts ago, I shared two items from a recent Goodwill haul--two Wallace Reducing Record 78s from a get-thin-to music album of 1922, possibly the first example of its type.  Today, the rest of that haul.

We start with three double-sided, vertically cut 1919-1920 Pathe 78s, one of which bears the all-time priceless title, Tents of Arabs.  Four of the five sides were restorable (the lovely Neil Moret song Peggy was trashed, unfortunately), and, faced for a second time with turning vertical into lateral, I tried a different approach.  Last time (Ja Da, New Orleans Jazz Band), I used MAGIX's "move centered sounds" feature, but with these, I set the stereo separation as wide as possible, and then I saved the results.  Next, I chose a side (left, I think) and doubled it, then saved.  Result: lateral fidelity.  And with fewer weird background noises/artifacts.  I also used my wider (3.2 mil) stylus.  I suspect the best option would be a 4 mil (or larger) needle, but I only have so many styli.

My favorites among the Pathes are the lively Joseph Samuels numbers, the ditty by the Peerless Quartet (my favorite of the great early quartets, pressed a little off-center here), and Arthur Field's 1919 I Might Be Your Once in a While.  The latter number surprised me a lot in two respects: 1) Arthur Fields' lovely voice--I had thought of Arthur as a comedy refrain singer on dance band records--and 2) the superb tune.  I'd known the title, but I'd never heard the melody, and I assumed it was a trifle.  Nothing of the kind--it has a poignant text and superb music, and had I known Victor Herbert was the tunesmith, I'd have expected such excellence.  My repeat-play number of the month.

A word about Dardanella, which was a huge seller for (Ben) Selvin's Novelty Orch. in 1919.  Naturally, other orchestras and singers covered it, and this Joseph Samuels version is a close copy of Selvin's version.  Close enough, it could be deemed a fake hit.  A very early one.  Whether or not it functioned as a cheap knock-off, I can't say, as I don't know how Pathe and Victor compared, price-wise.

And we have two unusual 45s, starting with a private recording--the Waterford (Ohio) High School Wildcat Marching Band performing a medley that consists of Diana; Red River Rock; Hello, Dolly; Rock Around the ClockChattanooga Shoe Shine Boy; and Swinging (aka Swingin') Safari.  No way to guess a year from that line-up, and I was unable to find a discography for the Coronet Recording Company of Columbus, Ohio.  (Update: Bob says this was mastered by RCA Records custom division, with the "S" in S4KM designating 1965.)  I deleted the Fight Song portion, which includes the OSU fight song.  I figured this was wise, since, by now, OSU has probably copyrighted the word "song."  Anyway, the big disappointment here is too little time spent on Rock Around the Clock and too much on the please-make-it-stop Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy.  At any rate, the former can register halfway well as a marching band number, but the latter is simply going to sound clunky in any large setting.  In my opinion.

The second 45, which I figured might not even play, but which cleaned up very nicely, is the 1953 country parody A Guitar Is a Man's Best Friend, written by the three Weidler brothers--George (second husband of Doris Day), Walter and Warner.  Prior to realizing this side is a lark, I honestly thought the singer was drunk.  This strikes me as specifically a send-up of Hank Williams, which, if so, would make this pretty bad timing, as Hank died earlier that year.

The two Kostelanetz sides from 1938 (ripped by me from my Brunswick 78s) are very entertaining, though they're not Kosty as most of us know him--not the EZ Andre.  Closer to a large dance band.  I thank my VinylStudio software for providing a perfect response curve for this 78.

DOWNLOAD: Goodwill Haul, Continued

Fast Asleep in Poppy Land (Byron Gay)--Peerless Quartet, 1919 (Pathe 22214, 1919)
I Might Be Your Once in a While (Smith-Herbert)--Arthur Fields, Same
Tents of Arabs--Medley One Step (Lee-David)--Joseph Samuels' Orch. (Pathe 22267, 1919)
Wonderful Pal (Pinkard)--Joseph Samuels' Orch. (Pathe 22288, 1920)
Dardanella (Bernard-Black)--Joseph Samuel's Orch., Laughing Saxophone by N. Glantz, Same
Diana-Red River Rock-Hello, Dolly--Waterford High School Wildcat Marching Band, Dir. David Kinney, 1965
Rock Around the Clock-Chattanooga Shoe Shine Boy-Swinging Safari--Same
A Guitar Is a Man's Best Friend (Warner, Walter, George Weidler)--Billy Joe and His Brothers, 1953


Monday, November 11, 2019

Veterans Day 2019--Sounds from 1902 to 1941

Save for the mournful anti-war classic The Trumpeter (J. Francis Burton-J. Airlie Dix, 1904), which I present often at this blog (this is my latest and best rip), these tracks are kind of a happy affair.  Or a happy-sounding affair, anyway.  Jaunty, cheery stuff--who knew Gettysburg was such a blast?  (No pun intended.)  But happy-sounding marches about war are part of pop music history, so what can I say?  And Ferde Grofe's March for Americans is a straight-out patriotic salute, so its cheery tone is completely appropriate.  I like it more every time I hear it--Meredith (The Music Man) Willson and his concert orchestra do great work on this 1941 12-incher, part of a Decca set called Modern American MusicJa Da and Good Bye, Dolly Gray were big WWI pop numbers, though the latter was a Boer War number.  In fact, says Wikipedia, "The song was popularized as a Boer War anthem, it was written during the earlier Spanish-American War."  I think they left out a "though" at the start of that sentence.  Ja Da is from a vertically cut 78 on Okeh by the New Orleans Jazz Band, whose pianist was Jimmy Durante.  He eventually took over the group.

Vertically cut 78s are a challenge, because summing the channels eliminates the vertical aspect, and the result is... no sound!  With MAGIX, it takes a two-step process--first, I move the "centered sounds" to the right or left, then I save the results.  Then I place the saved channel on both sides.  Rumble is an issue with non-lateral-cut 78s, since I can't eliminate it by summing the channels, but there is a great DeRumbler filter in the program, which I only now discovered can be used by itself, without having to take a noise sample first.  Very handy.  This way, I can knock out the rumble on the verticals, leaving me free to give acoustics some bass.

Bugle Call Rag is a jazzy kind of parody--"jazzy" in the 1923 sense, which can sound sort of corny to modern ears, but it's gold to fans of "hot" dance music.  Battle of the Nations is a 1915 E.T. Paull march--WWI before my country became involved.  Paull's marches and novelty pieces, many composed by him, were catchy but no classics.  Their covers, on the other hand, were often extraordinary.  I just swiped this image from the Smithsonian Institution's website.  I probably have it in my collection, but finding it would take forever:

All selections ripped by me from my shellac collection.  Have a great 78 rpm Vets Day!  And, on the file, I goofed on the American Army March credit--I typed "Iasselli" instead of "Iassilli."  In case you notice.

DOWNLOAD: Veterans Day 2019

March for Americans (Ferde Grofe)--Meredith Willson and His Concert Orch., 1941
Ja Da (Intro. You'll Find Old Dixieland in France)--New Orleans Jazz Band, 1918
Battle of Gettysburg (Descriptive March--E.T. Paull)--Conway's Band, Dir. Patrick Conway, 1917
Bugle Call Rag (Pettis-Schoebel)--Lyman's California Ambassador Orch., 1923
Battle of the Nations  (Descriptive March--E.T. Paull)--Conway's Band, Dir. Patrick Conway, 1916
American Army March (G. Iassili)--Creatore's Band, 1925
Good Bye, Dolly Gray--Columbia Quartette, 1902
My Dough Boy--One-Step (Hugo Frey)--Joseph C. Smith's Orch., 1918
The Trumpeter (Descriptive Ballad)--Raymond Newell, Baritone, Ion Swinley, Narr. (1929)


Sunday, November 10, 2019

Favorite Gospel Tracks, Part 10--Phipps Family, London Philharmonic Choir, George P. Zinn

Not much time to write about the tracks--maybe tomorrow.  Except to note that Let the Sunshine In is not the Stuart Hamblen song, whose main title is Open Up Your Heart--this Sunshine has an 1895 text by Ada J. Blenkhorn and music by Charles H. Gabriel, possibly from the same year.  Was a very popular number at one time.  And that The Royal Telephone, featured here in a 1972 recording by the Blue Ridge Quartet (Burl Ives did a fine version, too), was penned in 1919.  The all-time great gospel number Hark, Ten Thousand Harps and Voices, which I've only found this one recording of, has an 1840 tune by Lowell Mason and 1806 words by Thomas Kelly.  The London Philharmonic Choir did a quick run-through as part of a medley, so I isolated and doubled it with MAGIX, doing an overlap and fade.

I wish I could have found out who the Burton Sisters are or were.  Many of my older CD-R rips lack tags besides artist and title--this could be a Musicmatch burn.  The LP is no longer in my gospel rows, so I traveled to cyberspace to find mention of it--no success.  Zero info.  But we know they existed.  And that they recorded Herbert E. Buffum's gospel mega-classic of 1904, I'm Going Through, also known as I'm Going Through, Jesus.

Great stuff today--enjoy!  Meanwhile, I need to get a Part 11 ready.  I think I have the required number of tracks--just need to rip them.

DOWNLOAD--Favorite Gospel Tracks, Part 10

When We All Get to Heaven (Hewitt-Wilson)--Ralph Carmichael Chorus
I'm Going Through (Buffum)--Burton Sisters (I ripped this track to CD-R years back; no LP info on line)
Hark, Ten Thousand Harps and Voices (Kelly-Mason)--London Philharmonic Choir, 1981
Banks of Jordan--The Cooke Duet, 1969
Lonesome Valley--Phipps Family (From the SPC label Guest Star)
Stepped in the Water--Traveler's Quartet, 1967 (With two e's this time)
To God Be the Glory (Crosby-Doane)--Old Fashioned Revival Hour Choir, Dir. Dr. H. Leland Green, 1964
Brethren, We Have Met to Worship--Myrtle Baptist Church Choir
My Sins Are Gone (Vandall)--Old Fashioned Revival Hour Quartet, Rudy Atwood, Acc. (From 78 on groups' own label)
Let the Sunshine In (Blenkhorn-Gabriel)--Old Fashioned Revival Hour Quartet (From LP on Christian Faith label)
The Royal Telephone (Frederick M. Lehman)--The Blue Ridge Quartet, 1972
Wonderful Grace of Jesus (Lillenas)--The Musical Biolans (Bible Institute of Los Angeles), Dir. Ralph Carmichael (From LP on Christian Faith label)
My Sins Are Gone (Vandall)--The Haven of Rest Quartet, 1960
Tell Someone About Jesus (Snead-Gabriel)--Blackwood Brothers Quartet, 1959
Just When I Need Him Most (Poole-Gabriel)--George P. Zinn, Lyric Tenor
Saved to the Uttermost (Kirkpatrick)--Same
He Lifted Me (Gabriel)--The Rice Family Singers
Wonderful Grace of Jesus (Lillenas)--Church of the Nazarene, Dr. Ray H. Moore, 1959
Come to the Cross (Ron Hamilton)--Unknown choir (Arr. Frank Garlock)
Over in the Gloryland (J.W. Acuff)--Jack Bishop (From LP on Gloryland label, Columbus OH)
If your Heart Keeps Right (Lizzie De Armond--B.D. Ackley)--Homer Rodeheaver w. Mark Andrews, pipe organ (1927, Victor 78)
How Great Thou Art (Stuart K. Hine)--George Beverly Shea w. the Billy Graham Crusade Choir, 1962
A Rainbow on the Cloud (Hewitt-Gabriel)--Homer Rodeheaver, Orch. Acc., (1923, Vocalion 78)
Jesus Savior, Pilot Me (Gould-Hopper)--Hamilton Quartet, 1950 (Decca)
Love Lifted Me (Rowe-Smith)--Gospel Harmony Boys, 1967


Saturday, November 09, 2019

Wallace Reducing Record, No. 3 and No. 4 (1922)--"One... two! One... two!"

In case anyone wondered when I was going to get around to featuring weight-loss 78s from 1922, today is your lucky day.  At a Goodwill where 78s were the last thing I expected, a nice little stack of them appeared, along with some fun 45s.  The No. 3 and No. 4 Wallace Reducing Record--how could I pass them up?  I figured these must have been sold by mail, and this was confirmed on line by scanned copies of the Womens' Home Journal and The Cosmopolitan (back when it was a literary magazine).  The ad doesn't list the cost, since it's a first-record-free deal.  The one-sided discs came in an album with a booklet, neither of which came with this find.  Here's the ad:

So, exercising to music is anything but a new idea in our pop culture.  Wow.  These two sides are repetitious, of course, but hilarious because of the period music.  Well, hilarious to me, anyway.  You might tire of them quickly, especially if you follow the exercises.

The sound quality goes to heck at the end of No. 4, and I don't know why--there's no visible wear or surface flaws.  It's a mystery.  Anyway, I wonder if anyone ever really lose 100 lbs. with these....

Here's the Wikipedia scoop on Wallace M. Rogerson.  His time-keeping ability is not the best I've ever heard....

Update: Looks like there were six one-sided discs, altogether.  Buster correctly notes that the drastic weight loss allegedly documented in the ad would be deadly, at least over such a short period.

DOWNLOAD: Wallace Reducing Record No. 3 and No. 4

Wallace M. Rogerson, narration with music, 1922

Additional pics.  I'm fine without the booklet, after seeing a sample:


Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Variety Records: The Nation's Top Hits (1956, I'm presuming)

For some reason, I'm always thinking that Variety was a sub-label of Broadway--and then I remember that it wasn't.  Discogs isn't much help.  "Profile: US label," it says.  Um, yeah.  We know.

My more-likely-to-be-true guess would be that Variety's releases correspond to Allegro, Ultraphonic, and other Eli Oberstein labels, except that my Allegro Tops in Pops version of I Walk the Line is not the dreadful one here.  So... there's that problem.  And this dreadful cover of I Walk the Line is actually the reason I bought this set (no sleeve or box, though it probably had one or the other originally).  My only other copy is on a cracked disc from the Variety country and western series.  Split or not split, this is one cracked track.

Because it's so awful, and because I love it so much, I'm giving it its own download in addition to its appearance in the set (EPV-6003, side B).  I Walk the Line's terribleness and inept production values hardly prepare us for the rest of the tracks, which range from adequate to very good.  It's really something to contrast the bigger and/or more sophisticated arrangements here--Canadian Sunset, Lay Down Your Arms, Thee Love, Two Different Worlds, and After the Lights Go Down Low--with the minus production values of Walk.  It only goes to prove you never know what you're going to encounter in the grooves of these cheapies.  Sometimes, maybe, you don't want to know.

The playlist starts out with a very nice fake of the lovely Dimitri Tiomkin number from Friendly Persuasion (Thee I Love), a hit for Pat Boone, of course.  I've never been crazy about True Love, but this is a nice enough cover, and Out of Sight, Out of Mind is also okay, though Variety's unidentified group makes everything sound more like the Platters than the Five Keys.  Love Me Tender is kind of an odd fake--it's not bad, but it doesn't sound very Elvis, and the singer sounds ill at ease, especially when he takes a highly audible breath at the end.  "Whew.  Finally got it down," he seems to be conveying.

The Green Door is very good, with an R&B edge not on the Jim Lowe original.  (Best-ever version of Door, in my opinion, was in 1964 by Bill Haley, but unfortunately that terrific effort went nowhere.)  Even with my high tolerance for non-rock pop of the 1950s, Lay Down Your Arms is about all I can take.  It's stupid, really.  And I've never been a fan of the next number, Just Walking in the Rain, and this singer is no Johnny Ray.  The Bus Stop Song (A Paper of Pins) is a middling Four Lads effort, with these fake Four Lads doing an okay imitation of the real guys.

Hate to annoy any Patience and Prudence fans, but Tonight You Belong to Me, while not as stupid as Lay Down Your Arms, is pretty annoying.  Ditto for the original.  Don't Be Cruel and After the Lights Go Down Low are decent budget covers of, respectively, Elvis Presley and Al Hibbler, and Two Different Worlds was a hit for Don Rondo--I think I actually like this singer better.  The rest of the tracks are solid "fake" efforts.

The discs are not in "beater" condition, which is often the case for Variety platters, but there are distorted spots, the product of either cheap pressings or a stylus in need of replacement.  But nothing extreme, and this is Variety, after all.  An American label.  The performers are all part of a huge outfit called "Top Record Artists with Orchestra and Chorus."  I think I saw them on an Ed Sullivan Show rerun.  It was the budget fake version of the hit program, with a guy who looked sort of like Ed.  Ned Sullenman or Sellavan, I think they called him.

DOWNLOAD:  The Nation's Top Hits  I Walk the Line

Thee I Love (From "Friendly Persuasion")
True Love (From "High Society")
Out of Sight, Out of Mind
Love Me Tender
It Isn't Right
The Green Door
Lay Down Your Arms
Just Walking in the Rain
The Bus Stop Song (A Paper of Pins)
Two Different Worlds
Cindy, Oh Cindy
Blueberry Hill
You Don't Know Me
Tonight You Belong to Me
Don't Be Cruel
After the Lights Go Down Low
I Walk the Line
Canadian Sunset

Top Record Artists With Orchestra and Chorus--The Nation's Top Hits (Variety Records EPV-6001/6002/6003; 1956?)