Saturday, October 08, 2005
So... timeless infinitely. Timeless, endless infinitely, no less. This interesting line appears in the narration of the track we're about to hear--Buddy Morrow's rendition of the Twilight Zone theme, as arranged by Ray Martin in 1960. The Holst-style, up-down chords are all that I recognize from the show's original theme, which was written by Bernard Herrmann--I don't think the rest found its way into the title music. And I sure don't know the closing narration, which I doubt was written by Serling. But, who knows? Neatest of all are the psychedelic, Sergeant-Pepper-style tape effects, and in 1960!
Twilight Zone (Bernard Herrmann, arr. Ray Martin), Buddy Morrow and His Orch., 1960.
"Have you ever been there?" I suspect that the narrator was Ray Martin himself, but I can't prove it.
The next selection is brought you by Wolfie, a spider photographed for this blog by Adeline (thanks!). As you can see, Adeline managed to get quite close to Wolfie, who was hanging around her computer, possibly trying to get on the Web:
Wolfie would like to hear Man from the Moon by Dean Barlow. He's especially fond of Dean's backup group (The Crickets).
Man from the Moon, Dean Barlow and the Crickets, 1953.
Those are some of the dumbest novelty lyrics I've ever heard. Love 'em!
And here's the closing music from the original Outer Limits TV series. Dominic Frontiere (The Invaders, Hang 'Em High) wrote this fabulous music, which Count Cookula describes as "deathless." A vampire kitten would know.
"Der iss nothink vong wis your tale-ee-vee-shun setttttt!!"--Count Cookula.
The Outer Limits (End Title) (Dominic Frontiere), Soundtrack, 1962.
I'm guessing that 1962 is the year for the title music, as the show's pilot (The Galaxy Being) was completed in that year. The show premiered in 1963. Boy, do I remember that!
We close with some bad jokes from another vampire, one Count Hartsfeldula. This track was edited together from three separate comedy monologues, all equally frightening.
Horrible Halloween Jokes (Lee Hartsfeld), Count Hartsfeldula, 2003.
You know, I just noticed--Count Cookula has a shadow! So he can't be a vampire cat. I wonder how to break this to him? He's gotten all into the Lugosi thing. Maybe I just won't tell him.
More to come....
Friday, October 07, 2005
Allegedly, these are The Munsters singing, but I sure as heck don't hear Fred Gwynne. Or Al Lewis. So, I doubt it's really them.
Just kidding. Of course it isn't the actual cast of the Munsters, though the label does state that The Munsters were "inspired by the T.V. characters 'The Munsters.'" Which means... what? That the group dressed up like The Munsters when they played their gigs? Or simply that the name "The Munsters" was inspired by... "The Munsters"?
These are fascinating questions, and they deserve to be answered, but it's time to hear The Munster Creep. The flip, by the way, has a promising title (Make It Go Away) that it doesn't live up to in the least. Darn, darn, darn.
Munster Creep (Hooven-Carroll-Winn), The Munsters, 1964.
It took three people to write that? Wow. Lots of minor chords--that is, if two of them can be considered "lots of." Im and IVm, with IV thrown in for relief. We're back to our original question: it took three people to write that? Funny how well minimalist rock can work, isn't it?
Annette Funicello's That Crazy Place in Outer Space (titled ...from Outer Space on my copy) is comparatively pretty advanced--it uses all three primary triads AND it switches from minor to major mode. Way to go, Tutti Camarata (cowriter and, most likely, producer of the record). Note that the lyrics mention a "face from outer space" two years before Jeff Barry's The Face from Outer Space!
Click on photo:
I can't believe it! I figured out how to make a "click on photo" link! Took me a bit of experimenting, but I did it. Yee-haaa!
Hooray for me. All right, back to business. Here's another home-made effort which I call The Mansion of Mystery. I remember writing this on the bus after work, years ago. Somehow, I was amused by the idea of a cliched haunted-house introduction repeating throughout a bit--the teaser becoming the story, in effect. It's all very deep, you know. (Where did I put those hiking boots?) Anyway....
The Mansion of Mystery (Lee Hartsfeld), Lee Hartsfeld, 1998.I edited that bit (originally made on cassette) by using MAGIX's track-splitting feature. Keeping the two portions lined up properly is a hassle that can't even be described. Cutting and splicing chunks of sound on a computer screen can lead to insanity. In my case, at least.
But that would be in keeping with the Halloween season....
As I typed that, a wolf spider appeared on the Media Room floor. Those things are all over the place. They must have heard that it's Halloween.
Hm. He or she just hid on me. I was going to take a digital photo. A camera-shy spider?
Monday, October 03, 2005
The earliest skit dates back to 1997; the latest was made on this very Dell last year. You may wonder how on Earth I managed to make voice cassettes, seeing as how cassette recorders long ago stopped featuring mic inputs. Easy--with a circa-1970 thrift store Sony amp, one that boasts L and R mic inputs (of which I use only the left, for mono). I had tried other methods, with zero success, until it finally occurred to me to search for an old amp. Nowadays, the Sony mic input works perfectly for recording into my Dell, since it eliminates level hassles. Old and new technology, working together. Whether they like it or not.
The main thing is, you get to hear my voice. (Woo-hoo!)
We begin with 1999's The Y2K Bugs. Remember when everyone was all excited about the millennium change? Me, neither. But what if giant bugs had taken over the planet? Then people wouldn't have been so la-de-dah about the great three-zero shift.
The Y2K Bugs (Hartsfeld), Lee Hartsfeld, 1999.
And here's my very own break-in novelty, a satire of Buchanan and Goodman's 1956 hit, The Flying Saucer. I call it The Flying Saucers Have Gone! If you haven't heard the original, this won't make any sense. It might not, even if you have. "Noah Motion" is a take-off on a certain NPR announcer. I cut out a brief political portion that's a bit dated, even after a year.
The Flying Saucers Have Gone! (Hartsfeld), Lee Hartsfeld, 2004.
The artists include Perry Como, Don Cornell, Spike Jones, and Carl Perkins.
And here's the true story of a little known 17th-century prognosticator named Johann Inrealmanus (music by Gustav Holst):
Johann Inrealmanus, Predictor of Things Yet to Come (Hartsfeld), Lee Hartsfeld, 1999.
We close with True (that word, again) Tales of Roswell, all loosely based on events that might have actually occurred at some point or another.
True Tales of Roswell (Hartsfeld), Lee Hartsfeld, 1998.
"My ancestors came in pieces!"--Recent Roswell visitor.
Hope you enjoyed,
Sunday, October 02, 2005
And we've sure got some music to scream about, beginning with Bob McFadden and Dor's The Mummy, from 1959. And where the heck did I put my Mummy notes? (Search, search....)
O.K., here we are. The late Bob McFadden, who does the mummy voice on this side, was a very gifted voice actor who worked on the cartoons Cool McCool (one of my favorites as a kid), Milton the Monster, and Linus the Lionhearted, and who appeared on the comedy LPs The First Family and The New First Family. "Dor" was none other than pop poet Rod McKuen, who also penned the song. Here's a great photo of Rod "McEwan" and Bob McFadden at work on The Mummy, from 1959.
A very weird novelty number--one which, I'm betting, is a variation on the traditional ghost story Bloody Fingers, which I have in a paperback collection of folk ghost tales. The story shows up on the Internet in at least three versions. There are probably a bunch of cyber-versions.
But there's only one Bob McFadden-Dor The Mummy.
The Mummy, Bob McFadden and Dor, 1959, from Brunswick 45.
The track ended up on a 1960 McFadden-McKuen LP called Songs Our Mummy Taught Us . Wish I owned it, but I don't. Probably fetches a Pharaoh's ransom.
And here's Jesse Lee Turner's famous novelty The Little Space Girl, released in 1958 on Carlton (the label that gave us Merv Griffin's Screamin' Meemies from Planet X three years later):
The Little Space Girl, Jesse Lee Turner, 1958. From original 45.
And here's the hit version of Quentin's Theme, which we previously heard in song form as Shadows of the Night. This is the recording that hit the charts big in 1969:
Quentin's Theme (Robert Cobert), The Charles Randolph Grean Sounde, 1969. From Ranwood 45.
And, for a change of pace, so to speak, we have (Ghost) Riders in the Sky as performed in 1958 stereo by the (George) Melachrino Strings. Nothing to fear from this easy-listening treatment--it gallops right along in a properly spooky fashion:
Riders in the Sky, Melachrino Strings, 1958, from a various-artists stereo promo LP.
Meanwhile, I have a UFO photo to share with you, taken in this very house. Not outside of the house--in the house. I believe I read someplace that indoor UFO photos are the rarest kind, and I believe it. This strange-looking object showed up on top of my Philips CD/tape player and remained there long enough for me to get a good, clear photo. In fact, it's still sitting there, I just noticed.
It's definitely a spaceship of some sort:
The occupants must be shy--haven't seen a sign of, nor heard a peep from, them. Of course, it's pretty late. They might be asleep. That's what I should be right now. They're wiser than I.
Well, of course. They're aliens. They have to be smart, to have flown all this way. When's the last time we set foot on another planet?
Anyway, more Halloween sounds to come!
Lee, indoor-UFO photographer