Tuesday, October 05, 2010
Technical difficulties are part of the reason for the late appearance of this slaylist. I had ripped and carefully edited eight or nine vinyl tracks before realizing I'd left the preamp in the 78-curve setting. Oops. So, I had to re-rip everything--a day's blogging lost. While this was happening, a local graveyard was overrun by zombies, putting the township on Undead Alert. So, of course, we're all stressed to the gills. If that wasn't enough, not only have the yard raccoons suddenly acquired power tools but they've figured out how to use them. This started last night in the a.m. First target: porch door. Distraction City, U.S.A.
Just kidding, of course. I didn't leave the 78 curve switched on.
So, when was Haunted House Polka recorded, you ask? I have no idea. You see, early on, RCA Victor used different prefixes for different styles of 45 rpm--in this case, "53" for international. Which would be no problem if the catalog numbers were constant, despite the prefixes. And you just know they weren't. You're right. The label looks 1955-ish, but that's just a stab in the park. (Cue demonic scream.) Get it? Stab in the park?
A very lively haunting, anyway. Then we have our annual rerun of the late, great Merv Griffin's marvelous House of Horrors, from 1962. Other baddies: a cheap-label knock-off of Surfin' Bird (which ripped off the Rivingtons' Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow and The Bird's the Word in the first place), a much worse knock-off of the Fleetwoods' Tragedy by a group not operating at Fleetwoods level,* and two paeans to romantic love--I've Got a Wife (another polka and cheap knock-off), and Jump When I Say Frog. The latter was written and performed by Bob (Doggie in the Window, Honeycomb) Merrill. Plus four more.
*Oops. Correction courtesy of Buster--this is not a knock-off of the 1961 Fleetwoods version, but rather a knock-off of the 1959 Thomas Wayne original (given that the other fake titles on the Tops EP are 1959 hits, including Venus and Hawaiian Wedding Song--the latter credited to "Andy Baker"!). Thanks, Buster!
Halloween is happening at MY(P)WHAE.
Slaylist No. 3, 2010
HAUNTED HOUSE POLKA--The Cavaliers.
HOUSE OF HORRORS--Merv Griffin, Charles Grean O., 1962.
SWINGING ON A CHANDELIER--Bobby Beck, 1960.
SURFIN' BIRD (Hit Parader 27)
TRAGEDY--Bud Nelson and the Toppers (Tops S17)
I'VE GOT A WIFE--Bob Mitchell (Promenade A-55-5)
JUMP WHEN I SAY FROG (Merrill)--Bob Merrill, 1958.
THE SORCERER'S APPRENTICE AND DANSE MACABRE--Dick Jacobs O., 1958.
A HUNT IN THE BLACK FOREST--Al Goodman and His O.
CRIME DOESN'T PAY!--Durward Kirby w. the Patriots (Davis 999).
Sunday, October 03, 2010
Superb old-fashioned gospel singing--back when tunes like No, Not One were much more an everyday, ordinary part of our popular culture, back when such tunes rated performance by world-class vocalists--in this case, John Charles Thomas, whom I hadn't heard of prior to "thrifting" this LP. That I hadn't heard of him didn't keep him from being extremely popular during the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. The man could sing.
It's kind of hard to imagine a time when hymns and gospel songs were part of the ordinary details of ordinary, everyday life. But they were, at least in the mass-media sense. Boy, was that scheduled to change rather dramatically as the decades passed. But, back in 1949, when these sides were recorded, religion (and its songs) had yet to be relegated to a pop underground. To be niche-ified. To be cast out of the greater mass culture with Lawrence Welk, family variety shows, accordion acts, etc.
Today we have Adult Swim, a network fearlessly dedicated to ridiculing the mass culture of 1962. Consequently, we are hip. Save for smart-alecky everyday-culture apologists like me.
Anyway, I saved these mono tracks from the horrors of re-channeled "stereo" by keeping the left channel by itself (and doubling it), with some treble both added and muted. A tricky balance.
Great stuff from the religion-correct days of yore.
Click here to hear: This I Leave You... with Affection
TRACKLIST--John Charles Thomas with the King's Men Quartet
THE LITTLE BROWN CHURCH IN THE WILDWOOD
LILY OF THE VALLEY
OUR GOD OUR HELP IN AGES PAST
NO, NOT ONE
WHERE HE LEADS ME I WILL FOLLOW
A MIGHTY FORTRESS IS OUR GOD
LET HIM IN
I LOVE TO TELL THE STORY
SHOWERS OF BLESSING
JESUS KEEP ME NEAR THE CROSS
FAITH OF OUR FATHERS
MY FAITH LOOKS UP TO THEE
SOFTLY AND TENDERLY
(Word WST-8153; 1963. Tracks recorded 1949.)