Thursday, August 16, 2007
Some more Merv gems today, including what I consider his very best ballad side, Ginny. In an alternate universe, Merv surely recorded an album or two with the great Percy Faith Orchestra, but not in ours. Which is a tragedy ("...like Macbeth," to quote another Merv classic).
And we have a pre-Freddy-Martin Merv called Love Is on a Holiday, which I'm guessing to be from 1946. I forgot what evidence I based my guess upon, but there you have it.
The riotous We Ain't Goin' Nowhere--which I'm offering in two versions, no less (the second called Who's Got the Suitcase)---is another piece of essential Merv, as are Happy to Know You (with Mike Curb) and Will I Find My Love Today, a track that should have had a place on the charts. What's up with that? Oh, and also, Truly Truly Fair, a Merv side that did hit the charts, and in a big way. It's possibly his very best side with Freddy Martin.
Merv made three versions of I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts, to best of my knowledge. I featured the 1949 original last time; here, we have Merv's 1961 Carlton label version and his 1966 rendition from the Merv/Arthur Treacher LP, 'Alf and 'Alf.
And... at the moment, there's a YouTube video of Griffin singing the song with Martin! Merv's stage presence is perfect. Like he was born to be there. Here's the link: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Td4uqWTDt9w
Other goodies: Merv's 1961 hit The Charanga, with lyrics by Hal David(!), and a Fever-inspired track by Jimmy Wisner and Norma Mendoza called Hey, Pretty Baby. That tricky drum figure would have had me losing my place, but Merv doesn't miss a beat. I read somewhere that Merv, to much regret, had turned down Fever when it was offered to him! I have a feeling this track was his form of repentance.
Anyway, to the Merv....
Click here to reach: Much More Merv!
HOT-CHA-CHA--with Jimmy Carroll and Buddy Weed (harpsichord), 1955.
THE WORLD WE LOVE IN--with Sid Bass Orch. and Chorus, 1961.
WE AIN'T GOIN' NOWHERE--with Rita Farrell and Bob Mersey's Orch., 1956.
HOME COOKIN'--with the Martin Men and Freddy Martin's Orch., 1950.
HAPPY TO KNOW YOU(Arr: Don Costa), with Mike Curb.
A MAN WHO SINGS(Arr: Don Costa), with Mike Curb.
TRULY TRULY FAIR--with The Martin Men and Freddy Martin's Orch., 1951.
WING DING TONIGHT--with The Martin Men and Freddy Martin's Orch., 1952.
AM I IN LOVE?--with the Martin men and Freddy Martin's Orch., 1952.
GINNY--with Percy Faith and His Orch., 1956.
LOVE IS ON A HOLIDAY--with Tom Spinosa Orch.
A GIRL WITH A FIGURE LIKE AN HOUR-GLASS--with Mitch Miller's Orch., 1954.
WITH NO ONE TO LOVE TONIGHT--with Hugo Winterhalter Orch.,, 1952.
THE HEART OF A CLOWN--with Hugo Winterhalter Orch., 1952.
WILL I FIND MY LOVE TODAY--with Anita Kerr Singers and Jack Pleis Orch., 1957.
PORTRAIT OF JENNIE--with Freddy Martin Orch., 1949.
TAKE HER TO JAMAICA--with The Martin Men and Freddy Martin's Orch., 1951.
HEY, PRETTY BABY (J. Wisner-N. Mendoza)--from Cameo label 45, 1963.
ALWAYS (Berlin)--From Cameo label 45, 1963.
HAVE I TOLD YOU LATELY THAT I LOVE YOU--From Cameo label 45, 1963.
THE CHARANGA (David-Rizo)--with the Sid Bass Orch. and Chorus, 1961.
WHEN THE RED, RED ROBIN....--with the Sid Bass Orch. and Chorus, 1961.
TUMBLING TUMBLEWEEDS--with the Sid Bass Orch. and Chorus, 1961.
I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS--with the Sid Bass Orch. and Chorus, 1961.
I'VE GOT A LOVERLY BUNCH OF COCOANUTS--with Mort Lindsey Orch., 1966.
I'M HENRY THE EIGHTH, I AM--with Arthur Treacher and Mort Lindsey's Orch., 1966.
WHO'S GOT THE SUITCASE--with Arthur Treacher and Mort Linsey's Orch., 1966.
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
Well, I was wondering when he was going to answer my "Is want bride" note. About time.
Straight to the Deleted folder it went, though not before I wrote down the title and sender. It's the most memorable Spam title I've gotten for a while.
Abstract Spam titles (and texts) are coming back, it seems, after a long vacation. We missed them.
I did, anyway.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
During the Fifties, Merv recorded for RCA Victor, Columbia, and Decca. His first solo sides--not counting his 1946 Panda label recordings or two other Forties sides this blogger knows off--were made in 1951 for RCA.
Did he have hits, and, if so, what were they? Mervelous you should ask!
With Freddy Martin, he made the Top 20 with I've Got a Lovely Bunch of Coconuts; My Truly, Truly Fair; Music, Music, Music; Third Man Theme (Steven's favorite); and Never Been Kissed. As a solo singer on the same label (RCA), he hit the Top 40 with Morningside of the Mountain and Twenty-three Starlets (both 1951). Much later, on the Carlton label, he hit the Top 100 with The Charanga and Banned in Boston (both 1961). Now you know.
We're going to hear four of these today. Imagine a brief but glorious period in which Merv rubbed chart shoulders with the big pop vocalists. ("Chart shoulders"?) Yes, it looked for a bit as if Merv might join the ranks of Perry, Rosie, and Guy. Unfortunately, he didn't. Fortunately, he kept on making records. Believe me, the man's discography is big. Huge, even. After all these years, I've managed to get maybe 85 percent of his stuff into my collection. When I first decided to collect Merv, I figured I'd have everything in a few months' time.
That was 25 years ago....
Anyway, here's More Merv. Merv with Freddy, Merv with Hugo Winterhalter, Merv with Sy Oliver (in rock and roll mode, no less!), and... more.
Oh, and a demo on the Fulton label that most likely dates back to 1944. When I wrote, a few years back, to "Ask Merv" at Griffin's website, it turned out that Merv himself didn't remember it.
Anyway... Time for More Merv!
THE OTHER SIDE OF THE HILL--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949.
I'VE GOT A LOVELY BUNCH OF COCONUTS--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949.
THERE'S A BLUEBIRD ON YOUR WINDOWSILL--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949.
AT YOUR COMMAND--w. FM.
HEAVENLY SYMPHONY--w. FM.
THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT A HOME TOWN BAND--w. FM, 1949.
LET'S DANCE TONIGHT--w. FM.
TELL ME--w. FM.
KNEES UP, MOTHER BROWN--w. FM, 1950.
WILHELMINA--w. FM, 1950.
MUSIC! MUSIC! MUSIC!--w. FM, 1950.
HULLABALOO--w. FM, 1950.
POETRY--w. FM, 1950.
BEAUTIFUL MADNESS--w. FM, 1951.
YOU'RE THE PRETTIEST THING--w. Sy Oliver Orch., 1958.
INTRODUCE ME TO THE GAL--w. Sy Oliver Orch., 1958.
THE SCREAMIN' MEEMIES FROM PLANET X--w. Sid Bass Orch., 1961.
NEVER BEEN KISSED (Coben-Grean)--w. FM, 1951.
THE SUNSHINE OF YOUR SMILE--w. Hugo Winterhalter Orch., 1951.
THE MORNINGSIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN--w. Hugo Winterhalter Orch., 1951.
JO-ANN--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1951.
Twenty-Three Starlets (Tom Glazer)--w. Hugo Winterhalter Orch., 1951.
I Don't Want a Thing to Remind Me of You--probably 1944.
Anyone have any notion what might be happening? (Hm.... The first Ernie (Not Bert) entry to show up is July 23,
That sucks. I want my money b....
Oh, wait. This is free. Never mind!
In other news, The Weekly World News is now no more. Here's my favorite WWN piece of all:
I'd always planned to make a T-shirt out of it, but I never got around to it.
WWN was born when The National Enquirer decided to publish its paranormal (and otherwise weird) material in a separate publication so that it could devote itself entirely to celebrity cellulite stories, etc. I used to have some old NEs containing WWN-style material.
In fact, Chariots of the Gods first appeared, in serialized form, in the Enquirer. In the U.S., anyway.
My other favorite Weeky World News headline: "Phone Sex Made Me Pregnant." Then there was a story about a ventriloquist whose dummy called 911 after he (the ventriloquist) suffered a heart attack.
Can't say I'll miss WWN, because it lost its edge a long time ago. The writers got bored with it or something. I guess they ran out of made-up news. Or news to make up. Something like that.
Much of the problem, I'm sure, is that TV nowadays is the source for all the, um, reportage on UFOs, people returning from the dead, vampires, ghosts, parrots dialing radio talk shows, etc. Stories like that. We can watch them; we don't need to read them.
Why buy Weekly World News when you can get the same stuff on the Sci-Fi, History, Travel, and Learning channels?
Sunday, August 12, 2007
The epitome of uncool? Actually, it's less campy (in my opinion) than Frank and Nancy Sinatra's Life Is a Trippy Thing (1971), another anti-drug number.
My only problem with anti-drug songs is that they rarely take on alcohol. It's kind of a double standard, no?
My not-very-original observation for this evening.
...........................Merv Griffin (1925-2007).........................
Here are 28 Mervelous sides from my collection, with many more to come. So long, Merv.
Click here to reach folder: Merv, Part One
LET THERE BE LOVE--w. Lyle Bardo Orch., 1946.
FALLING IN LOVE WITH LOVE--w. Lyle Bardo Orch., 1946.
LULLABY OF THE LEAVES--w. Lyle Bardo Orch., 1946.
SAND--w. Lyle Bardo Orch., 1946.
THE LORD'S RIDIN' WITH ME TONIGHT--w. Hugo Winterhalter Orch. and Cho., 1951.
THE SONG IS YOU--w. Freddy Martin and His Orch., 1950.
BE MY LIFE'S COMPANION--w. Mindy Carson, The Rampart Street Boys, 1952.
ABA DABA HONEYMOON--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1951.
LOVE ME, LOVE ME, LOVE ME (S. Allen--B. Carroll)--w. Norman Leyden O. and Cho., 1952.
GOOD HUMOR MAN--Freddy Martin Orch., 1951.
TUH POCKET, TUH POCKET--w. Mindy Carson, The Rampart Street Boys, 1952.
MAMA'S GONE, GOODBYE--w. Norman Leyden's Orch. and Chorus, 1952.
YOUR KISS--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949.
DEEP IN A DREAM--w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1951.
HOUSE OF HORRORS--w. Charles Grean Orch., 1962.
LOVE STORY (Table Porter-Schillaci), 1957.
MUCH TOO YOUNG TO DIE--w. Mitch Miller Orch., 1954.
I KEEP RUNNING AWAY FROM YOU (Irving Berlin)--w. Anita Kerr Singers and Jack Pleis Orch., 1957.
HOMING BIRD--w. the Spellbinders and Sy Oliver Orch., 1957.
PRETTY GIRL--w. Charles Grean Orch., 1962.
BANNED IN BOSTON--w. Sid Bass Orch., 1961.
YOU CAME A LONG WAY FROM ST. LOUIS--w. Sid Bass Orch., 1961.
CHANGING KEYS (Griffin)--Mort Lindsey Orch., 1984.
JEOPARDY THEME (Griffin)--Mort Lindsey Orch., 1984.
MERV'S THEME (Griffin)--Mort Lindsey Orch., 1984.
NIGHT WALK (Griffin)--Mort Lindsey Orch., 1984
THINK OF ALL THE NICE THINGS HE'S DONE--w. the Spellbinders and Sy Oliver Orch., 1957.
WRINGLE WRANGLE--w. Marion Evan Orch. and Chorus, 1956.
Welcome. Today, we hear two more artists rescued from that rain-exposed box of gospel records at the flea market. And I've always wanted to type "that rain-exposed box of gospel records at the flea market."
Connersville, Indiana's Evangelaires (Jack Gilland, Thelma Martin, Vernon McQueen, Judy Combs, Dick Hogan, and Patty Poe) have a very pleasing, professional, and down to earth Southern Gospel sound. Their version of The Lighthouse is one of the best I've heard, and their treatment of Jesus Is Coming Soon may be the most interesting.
Akron, Ohio's Soulseekers are bluegrass gospel, and the backing musicians (provided by a Nashville studio, it looks like) are good as can be. Manufactured by Rite Record Productions, Inc. of Cincinnati, Ohio--a familiar credit around these parts.
And we close things with a cover of Joy to the World (the Three Dog Night hit, vice the Christmas classic) by one Steve Biffle.
Enjoy. I've assembled all fifteen tracks into one folder, and Box.net's zip-file feature is back up and running. Hopefully, for good!
Click here to reach folder: The Soulseekers, The Evangelaires
I'll Sail Away Home--The Soulseekers
We Do Not Die--The Soulseekers
All in the Twinkling--The Soulseekers
One Way Flight--The Soulseekers
Here They Come--The Soulseekers
I'll Take Jesus--The Soulseekers
Jesus Christ, Solid Rock--The Soulseekers
Born Again Children--The Soulseekers
Get All Excited (Gaither)--The Evangelaires
The Lighthours (Hinson)--The Evangelaires
Jesus Is Coming Soon (Winsett)--The Evangelaires
Through It All (Crouch)--The Evangelaires
City of Gold (Cohron)--The Evangelaires
The Coming of the Lord (Jensen)--The Evangelaires
Joy to the World--Steve Biffle
See ya next Sunday!