Saturday, April 24, 2010
You came in search of fake hits--fake Elvis, fake Perry, fake Ferrante and Teicher, fake Don Cornell, and fake Eddie Fisher. And you're in luck, for this is your one true stop for all the hit-facade classics, or at least the fifteen we've dug up for today. Sincerely fake sound-alikes to love and cherish in all their derivative glory--and, best of all, each track has been authenticated as not real by a panel of pretend experts.
Send your counterfeit cash, check, or money order to: Hit-Facade Greats You Remember In Their Actual Versions, Volume One. Or... click here to reach today's zip file: Fake Elvis, Perry, F&T, Don Cornell, Eddie Fisher
Anyone with any information on the Ultraphonic LP pictured above (the source for the first three fake-Elvis tracks) please share what you know. I'm guessing that I Forgot to Remember to Forget is from 1955, the year Elvis recorded it, which (if so) would make this the earliest Elvis cover I've yet found (my two fake versions of That's All Right being covers of Marty Robbins vice Presley). Meanwhile, tracks 4-6 come from this wonderful cheapie, whose cover says Promenade but whose label says Diplomat. And can that title possibly be improved upon (Jerry King and His Orchestra Play the Gold Record)?
Update: No Other Love is Loren Becker backed by Enoch Light, originally issued on Light's Prom label. The same master was used on 18 Top Hits. At some point, Prom became someone else's label--it also became interchangeable with Promenade (and was connected with/to Peter Pan). As if life wasn't confusing enough already!
Actually, the Ultraphonic Blue Suede Shoes takes after Carl Perkins instead of Elvis, so I'll have to add "fake Carl" to the post title. (Type, type, type.) I left out Eddie and Don, but only to keep things fashionably short.
Blue Suede Shoes (Fake Carl Perkins)--Country and Western Hits (Ultraphonic 1664)
Heartbreak Hotel (Fake Elvis)--Same LP.
I Forgot to Remember to Forget (Fake Elvis)--Same LP.
How Do You Speak to an Angel (Fake Eddie Fisher)--The Gold Record (Diplomat 2225)
I'm Yours (Fake Don Cornell)--Same.
No Other Love (Fake Perry Como--Same.
Theme from the Apartment (Fake F&T)--The Toppers (Tops S-54)
A Fool Such as I (Fake Elvis)--Broadway Pops Orch. (Tiara TST-105)
Kissin' Cousins (Fake Elvis)--Nelson Riddle, 1964 (Reprise RS-6120)
Hound Dog (Fake Elvis)--J. Lawrence Cook, piano, 1959 (Mercury SR-60083)
Ko Ko Mo (Fake Perry Como)--Loren Becker w. Enoch Light O. (18 Top Hits 148)
Wanted (Fake Perry Como)--Same (18 Top Hits 123)
Juke Box Baby (Fake P.C.)--Artie Malvin, Zig Zags (18 Top Hits 175)
Papa Loves Mambo (Fake P.C.)--Loren Becker, w. E. Light (18 Top Hits 134)
Tina Marie (Fake P.C.)--Artie Malvin, w. Vincent Lopez (18 Top Hits 15)
Friday, April 23, 2010
I've owned about ten copies of this over the years--this is my most recent, and it's the Alshire label reissue (Alshire S-5100) of the 1958 Somerset original (Somerset SF-7900), featuring Wilhelm Schuechter and the 101 Strings. The best-quality pressing, this is not, but I was able to fix most of the issues. The suite is skillfully performed, and the stereo sound is terrific for the period, especially on Cloudburst.
I loved every minute of this version. I can hear Grand Canyon Suite forever and keep on loving it. And I've probably heard it close to that often by now.
To the suite: Grand Canyon Suite-- Wilhelm Schuechter and the 101 Strings (1958)
The Painted Desert
On the Trail
(Alshire S-5001; reissue of Somerset SF-7900, 1958)
Monday, April 19, 2010
This replaces my original essay, in which I panned this 1977 Stanley Black soundtrack as campy and "fake Twenties." I was going by my memory of it, having owned the LP around 1978 and not liking it. But listening to it again (my new, still-sealed copy just in from eBay), I've changed my mind completely--Black's arrangements of Grofe are marvelous, and his feel for the era (1921-1926--Valentino's brief period of fame prior to his early death) is just fine. The Grofe selections are temporally incongruent, since they cover the years 1931-1964, but all are made to sound of the period, so what the heck. Besides, the 1942 pop standard Daybreak, as we've learned, took its melody from 1926's Mississippi Suite. And Grofe got his big start in the Twenties, anyway. The music sounds authentic, which puts this worlds ahead of most Hollywood movies and PBS documentaries, where pop styles are routinely mismatched to the tune of a decade or greater.
"To the tune of"! I like that. I'm a card.
Valentino stars Rudolph Nureyev and Michelle Phillips and was directed by Ken Russell. Or, name three reasons I've never had a yen to see this. Every review I've read describes this as a camp milestone, but it doesn't sound like the kind of camp I like to tune in. Besides, now that I've come to love the soundtrack, it would be heck to hear it in the company of bad film-making. Maybe if it happens to be on, and I happen to be tuned in. Maybe.
Listen to the clever transformation of On the Trail in the Legend of Meselope, etc. track (I missed spotting it the first time), and the use of Painted Desert in Seance (which, oddly, is credited to Black alone). First-rate film scoring, not-so-first-rate film. If it were bad in a Larry Buchanan kind of way, I'd own the video. But it's Ken Russell, and the stars are yucky. (I can be a brutal critic, no?)
As we savor that last paragraph, here's the link to click: Valentino (1972); music by Ferde Grofe and Stanley Black.
Daybreak (Tango) (F. Grofe)
On the Trail (F. Grofe)
Deep Nocturne (F. Grofe)
Fatty's One Step/The World's Fair Suite (S. Black/F. Grofe)
Daybreak (Prelude) (F. Grofe)
Requiem/Camille Tango/On the Trail (S. Black-F. Grofe)
Legend of Meselope/Desert Rhapsody/The Painted Desert (S. Black/F. Grofe)
June's Fantasy ("Sunset" from Grand Canyon Suite) (F. Grofe)
Seance (S. Black)
Daybreak (Finale) (F. Grofe)
Arranged and Conducted by Stanley Black, 1977. (United Artists UA-LA-810H)
Sunday, April 18, 2010
This morning, we'll be hearing the remaining nine tracks from this excellent two-LP set, which combines older and newer (1971) Blackwood Bros. material. The fake stereo on the older tracks is bearable, and the music is great, and so I'm glad I finally got around to ripping this. Today's material comes from discs 1 and 4, and they're numbered 10-18. So please do not be alarmed. ("Aieeeeee!!!!") All right, who got alarmed?
The Brothers' Amazing Grace is especially good, and so of course it turned out to be the problem track of the bunch--Boom! Crack! Boom! Which is to say, surface pops turned to 11. Examining the surface, all I could see were barely visible pressing glitches, but I really suspect some kind of gunk in the grooves (GIG). A careful cleaning with alcohol lessened the noise, and I was able to splice out the rest from the sound file. You'll hear a few pops, but do not pa.... ("Aieeeeee!!!!!"). No, no. I said, do not panic.
I've got to get to church, so enough of this silliness. To the Blackwoods: Blackwood Bros.--Put Your Hand in the Hand, Part 2
Put Your Hand in the Hand
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
In the Sweet By and By
Led By the Master's Hand
The Keys to the Kingdom
O Rock of Ages
God is Just a Prayer Away