Thursday, October 18, 2018
Buster, at Big 10-Inch Record, inspired my last Paul Whtieman post, so I guess it's fair to say he inspired this one, too. Logically consistent, anyway. And I need to do something with the 100-plus Whiteman tracks I ripped last year. I can let them sit, unloved and neglected, on 80 min. CD-Rs, or I can release them into the blogosphere. So, here they are. They're happy to be here.
These are all from 78s in my collection, edited and curve-correct by me, and most are in good to very good condition, with two exceptions--Dixie's Favortie Son and Down Around the 'Sip 'Sip 'Sippy Shore. But these were too terrific to exclude simply because they sound like, well, 78s. (78s tend to do that, I've noticed.) And, besides, I coaxed some decent sound out of them by using every MAGIX trick I know.
We're always told that Whitmean's band didn't sound anything like jazz until he inherited all that great talent from the Jean Goldkette Orchestra (e.g., Bix Beiderbecke, Frankie Trumbauer), but I hope these pre-overhaul sides help to correct that notion, because there's a lot of jazz here. You just have to be familiar with how jazz sounded in its very early days--and marvel at the skill with which popular bandleaders like Whiteman, Fred Waring, Vincent Lopez (and, earlier, Earl Fuller and Art Hickman) managed to sneak the sound into their dance numbers. Hence, Whiteman's dance sides, like those of many bandleaders in the 1920-1927 period, run the gamut from 1) nothing remotely like jazz to, 2) "Hey, that sounds like the real thing!" Years ago, a 78 dealer with greater early dance/jazz knowledge than me (at the time, at least) heard Whiteman's Wang Wang Blues and said, "That's King Oliver, isn't it?" I suppose Whiteman and head arranger Grofe were crooks, but very skilled ones.
Seriously, I love the fact that jazz found its way into the mainstream pop of the 1920s. And I deplore the second-class treatment and regard accorded the black founders of the music in those days. But it needs to be said that Whiteman, like Elvis Presley (how's that for a link?), never denied the black origins of his music, even if Paul was obsessed with turning jazz into concert fare. For this he has never been forgiven, yet that was precisely the path taken by jazz, post-Whiteman--think 1938 and Benny Goodman.
Wang Wang Blues is from Whiteman's first Victor session (Aug. 9, 1920), and the 12-inch Best Ever Medley is from his second (Aug.19). The latter side was arranged by Paul himself, and it's easy to hear why he brought Ferde Grofe on board. Whiteman was co-author of the other 1920 side here, I Never Knew (I Could Love Anybody Like I'm Loving You), which apparently is associated with Judy Garland and 1942, but it goes back to at least 1919. It would take me hours to find my sheet music copy, and my Google search isn't getting me anywhere, so let's stick with 1919.
Note the four-selection 12-inch Whiteman 78 shown in the bottom scans--it's the only one of its type I've seen in the Whiteman catalog. I suppose it's an early kind of EP, and I've seen others like it--especially acoustical and early electrical era 78s for children. The two bands on each side are without a connecting groove. The four selections are part of today's playlist.
In some ways, Whiteman is a Bill Haley sort of figure--helping bring in something new while being too old and lacking in good looks. The Victor Whiteman sleeve (above), however, shows him looking very svelte. Not at all like the other Victor sleeve.
Fun sounds--some of them genuinely jazzy--await!
Click here to hear: Paul Whiteman, Part 2
Shaking the Blues Away (Berlin)--1927 (A: Grofe)
Dixie's Favorite Son--1924
Ivy (Cling to Me)--1922
Wang Wang Blues --1920 (A: Grofe)
Down Around the 'Sip 'Sip 'Sippy Shore--Medley (One-step)--1921
San (Oriental Fox Trot)--1924
Shanghai Dream Man, w. vocal chorus--1927 (A: Grofe)
Best Ever Medley (One-step)--1920 (A: Whiteman)
Fallen Leaf, w. vocal chorus (A: Grofe), 1927
Lulu Belle (A: Grofe), 1926
No More Worryin', w. vocal refrain (A: Grofe), 1926
Charleston--1925 (A: Grofe)
Two Little Ruby Rings--1922 (A: Grofe)
Moonlight on the Ganges, w. vocal chorus--1926 (A: Grofe)
There's a Boatman on the Volga, v. Gladys Rice--1926 (A: Grofe)
Where Is That Girl of Mine?/Driftwood--1924 (A: Grofe)
Mandalay/Step Henrietta--1924 (A: Grofe)
Oh Me! Oh My! (Hirsch)--1921
Honey, I'm in Love with You--1925 (A: Grofe)
I Never Knew (I Could Love Anybody Like I'm Loving You)--1920
Precious, w. vocal chorus--1926 (A: Grofe)
I'm Just Wild About Harry--1922
Saturday, October 13, 2018
We start our sixties fake hits series with 34 faux fab four tracks in two zip files. I ripped these from budget labels like Song Hits and Hit Parader (EPs named, naturally, after Charlton Publications' Hit Parader and Song Hits magazines). You may recall the ads for these:
And labels like Hit Records, the U.K. Top 6 EPs and LPs, Arc Records, and the Columbia Record Club. The performances range from outstanding (the unnamed group on the Top Six Beatlemania LP--can't recall who they were) to dreadful (the Hit Records/Modern Sound covers, and some of the Song Hits/Hit Parader efforts).
I inadvertently duplicated some Hits of To-day tracks from last post--oops! But they're worth hearing twice, especially in the company of other fuax fab four performances.
We Love You Beatles was a novelty hit by the Carefrees, Bad to Me was a Lennon-McCartney hit for Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas, and World Without Love was a Lennon-McCartney hit for Peter and Gordon, all 1964. The Hit Parader 39 Michelle is a copy of the 1966 David and Jonathan version.
Click here to hear: Faux Fab Four 1 and Faux Fab Four 2
Faux Fab Four 1
I Feel Fine--Song Hits 32
I Want to Hold Your Hand--Hit Parader 27
She Loves You--Song Hits 28
We Love You Beatles--Song Hits 28
Please Please Me--Song Hits 28
She Loves You Top 6 T6505
Bad To Me--Top 6 T6505
Michelle--Hit Parader 39
I Saw Her Standing There--The Beats (Design 170)
A Hard Day's Night--Columbia Record Club D 63
I'll Cry Instead--Columbia Record Club D 63
I Want to Hold Your Hand--Columbia Record Club D 63
Can't Buy Me Love--Columbia Record Club D 63
Help!--Russ Loader and the Corsairs--Col. Record Club E127
I Wanna Be Your Man--Hits of To-day, Mini 603
Penny Lane--Jalopy Five, Hit 287
World Without Love--Hits of Today, Mini 603
Faux Fab Four 2
Day Tripper--Modern Sound 1020
My Bonnie--Modern Sound 1020
Can't Buy Me Love--Modern Sound 544
Lady Madonna--Hit Records 466
Twist and Shout--The Bugs, Hit 111
She Loves You--The Bugs, Hit 106
A Hard Day's Night--Enoch Light and His Orch., Command 4050 (45 rpm)
Please Please Me--The Boll Weevils--Hit 107
I Want to Hold Your Hand--The Doodles, Hit 104
And I Love Her--The Jalopy Five, Hit 138
I Feel Fine--Top Six 11
Matchbox--The Jalopy Five, Hit 147
Help!--The Jalopy Five, Hit 220
Hello, Goodbye--ARC AS 796
I Wanna Be Your Man--Beatlemania, Top Six TSL 1 (1964)
Money--Beatlemania, Top Six TSL 1 (1964)
Roll Over Beethoven--Beatlemania, Top Six TSL 1 (1964)
Thursday, October 11, 2018
I know nothing about Mini the Little LP, as it's called on the label, but I'm pretty sure it was a U.K. release, since I Wanna Be Your Man is a copy of the Rolling Stones version, which was a hit in the U.K. but not the U.S. Candy Man, by Brian Poole and the Tremeloes, was also a U.K. hit that didn't appear on the U.S. charts, so this copy must be British.
"Mn the Little LP" does look a little odd, because there should at least be a comma or a dash between "Mini" and "the Little LP," but n one asked me. Maybe because I was only seven at that time.
The original artists for the rest:
I Believe--The Bachelors
Anyone Who Had a Heart--Cilla Black
Good Golly Miss Molly--The Swinging Blue Jeans
World Without Love--Peter and Gordon (No. 1 in both U.S. and U.K.)
These are all fakes, of course. Decent ones, but still phony. Bogus. Counterfeit. Mere imitations. But we get six on one single!
Click here to hear: Hits of To-day (Mini the Little LP 603)
I Wanna Be Your Man (Lennon-McCartney)
Anyone Who Had a Heart (Bacharach-David)
Good Golly Miss Molly
World Without Love (Lennon-McCartney)
Hits of Today (Mini the Little LP 603, six-selection EP)
Tuesday, October 09, 2018
If you're looking for high-end audio, you picked the wrong post. This is a very enjoyable LP, but the recording quality is atrocious, at least on Side A, where the vocals and vocal backing take turns fading in and out. I have no idea what was going on, but it's nothing I did while remastering. And Side B, while it sounds considerably better, is hampered by surface noise--the type this label group is famous for. But, personally, I think the low fidelity adds to the fun. Maybe I' m getting too used to budget fidelity!
Excellent singer on the Side A Gershwin material--a mezzo-soprano, I assume? No credit, of course. (Update: the singer is Mona Paulee. See comment by RecordHunter.) The Viennese Symphonic Orchestra is for real, and I can believe it's them on the Cavalleria Rusticana and Tosca opera highlights, but not the three Gershwin tracks. But who knows? Labels like Plymouth (which was part of the Remington, Masterseal, Paris, and Merit family) always gave as little info as possible, if even that much. Heck, it was common for the cheapies to mismatch the titles between label and jacket, and look what we have here: George Gershwin Melodies and Other Popular Favorites on the cover, and George Gershwin Favorites and Favorite Musical Gems on the A and B labels. Told you. For this post, I went with the jacket info, title-wise.
And I love my scanner, but it sometimes fails to reproduce colors with total accuracy. This Plymouth label is more maroon than dark red, but I did what I could, post-scan.
The Gershwin tracks are spirited and the "Highlights" on Side B are expertly rendered, so this LP makes for very pleasant listening. I did what I could as far as tweaking the response curve, but you can't get highs where there aren't any, and the louder portions on Side A sound tinny enough to start with, so I mostly left things alone in that regard.
As noted before, the Remington group of labels, some of which contain highly collectible material (I don't think this is one of them), are known for their surface noise--and, sure enough, this LP has lots of that. I timed the track fade-outs to kill the in-between noise, but side two ends with a pause followed by a crescendo tonic chord, so how to fix that? Easy: I cut out the pause portion, used MAGIX's denoiser on it, then split the mono track into two tracks, placing the filtered portion below, so I could fade into it, thus avoiding a sudden volume drop. You can see the final chord very clearly on this screen capture:
I really enjoyed this LP, so I thought it was worth some extra work.
Click here to hear: George Gershwin Melodies
The Man I Love
Somebody Love Me
Lady Be Good
Cavalleria Rusticana and Tosca Highlights
George Gershwin Melodies and Other Popular Favrorites--Viennese Symphonic Orch. (Plymouth P12-67)
Friday, October 05, 2018
I hear the hits a poppin'--they're rollin' 'round the bend, And I ain't heard the real sides, Since I don't know when. But the blog is stuck on fake hits, the tracks keep pilin' on. But this is not a problem, if you find these things fun. (Guitar solo)
I know--"on" and "fun" don't rhyme, but I was in a hurry. And... sixteen more fake hits today! And, as Gilmarvinyl pointed out, a lot of the same stuff (at least from the same period) has been showing up at MY(P)WHAE. This is sort of inevitable, because not long after rock and roll became a presence in the pop charts, the same fake versions started showing up across label groups. Not just the same titles (as we would expect), but the same versions! Bell stuck to its own versions, and there doesn't seem to have been any "version hopping" between Broadway and Tops/Promenade/Song Hits & Hit Parader. But the probability of putting together several playlists of fake hits from the Elvis/Jerry Lee Lewis/Silhouettes era without a significant degree of duplication is pretty low.
But, following this post, I will be focusing on the 1960s, fake-hit-wise. (Check my past posts for c. 1957 fake hits--tons of them. I checked--they're still up at Zippy.) I personally feel a significant decline in cover quality happened in the 60s, but there were still some amazingly good copycat efforts to be found. So stay tuned.
Back to the sixteen hits (more like thirteen; read on). Fun versions, all, and I followed the order in which the titles appear on the three discs (Hit 25, 26, and 27)--the sleeve listing is way off, even for a budget effort. Three of the sixteen tracks have "filler" written all over them: Humoresque, When the Saints Go Marching In, and Bongo Polka, the latter sounding nothing like the title, save that it's a polka. But the rocking Humoresque could conceivably have been a late 50s hit--unfortunately, my searches bring up nothing. The polka is pure filler, but fun filler, so what the heck. Polka!! Saints is filler, also. Of the three, I'm not sure which is more absurdly out of place--I'd have to go with Saints, because I like the polka track too much to diss it.
As usual, surface noise presented restoration challenges: these things had noisy enough pressings to start with, and some of the previous owners failed to realize that needles were things to be set upon the disc, not pushed across it. (Some of the crosscuts in question were accidents, of course, or malfunctions of a given changer.) But I was able to correct these things. Exception: the extreme needle damage toward the end of Short Shorts. Someone must have forgotten to lift the tonearm, pushing it down instead. Repairing this was hopeless, and this is my only Promenade Short Shorts copy; I figured Tops released the same version, but turns out I don't have it. The Allegro-Elite and Gilmar EP versions are different (I tested them), so I was stuck with this one.
So I resorted to an early fade-out, and it doesn't sound bad at all. Also, right after the massive needle dig occurs, the sax player lost his place in the solo, so you're not missing anything. I probably would have gotten lost, too, this being one of the truly soporific classic r&r tracks of the time. It's in twelve-bar blues form, and slow-tempo blues can work, and work well, but not when the rhythm is essentially clunk-clunk-clunk-clunk.
Oh, and a very good vocalist on All the Way. And Perry Como sound-alike Johnny Kay (credited here as Bob Mitchell) does a superb job on Catch a Falling Star. For Star, I subbed an LP pressing, from Tops Hits (Parade SP-101), and it sounds gorgeous. I did this because all my three or four EP copies of Catch a Falling Star have playback issues. Along with Star, my candidates for the best tracks are the marvelous copies of At the Hop and Get a Job--the former because it beautifully captures the energy of the original.
Fun track credits include Dick Stetson, The Wright Bros. (again), Allan Freed (again, and not to be confused with Alan Freed), The Mac Sisters (have we heard them already?), and the Grasshoppers. Note that the Grasshoppers predate the Beatles. Dunno why that's relevant, but just thought I'd type it.
To the fun sounds:
Click here to hear: Sixteen Hits a Poppin'
Get a Job--Promineers
Stood Up--Dick Stetson
Bongo Polka--Promenade Orch. and Chorus
Catch a Falling Star--Bob Mitchell (Johnny Kay)
Oh Oh I'm Falling in Love Again--Michael Reed
At the Hop--The Wright Bros.
Peggy Sue--Allan Freed
All the Way--Michael Reed
You Send Me--Par Brook
When the Saints Go Marching In--Promenade Orch. and Chorus (Chorus?)
Sugartime--The Mac Sisters
Short Shorts--The Promineers
La Dee Dah--The Grasshoppers
Oh Boy!--The Grasshoppers
Sixteen Hits a Poppin' (Promenade Hit 25, 26, and 27)
Wednesday, October 03, 2018
Buster, at Big 10-Inch Record, just put up ten Paul Whiteman tracks, providing me with an excuse to put up some of the 150 or so Whiteman 78 sides I ripped last year. Here are twenty of them, nearly all arranged by the brilliant Ferde Grofe. This I know because last year the arranger listings were still up at the Williams College Paul Whiteman Collection website--they're since been taken down, unfortunately. The site notes that the PW collection is being "fully processed" next year, but I wish they'd kept up the info they had. Oh, well....
Update: Ernie found the page in question on the Wayback Machine--"a digital archive of the World Wide Web and other information on the internet" (Wikipedia). Link: Whiteman Collection. The Wayback Machine reference is to the "Peabody's Improbable History" segment from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show. I grew up on the show, but I don't know how familiar with it young'uns are or aren't. (Please take "young'uns" in context--I'm 61. And I've probably watched too many Waltons episodes.) So, thank you, Ernie.
This set includes the electrical-era remakes of the huge 1920 Whiteman hits Whispering and The Japanese Sandman, in new (1928) Ferde Grofe arrangements. Both charts are exceptionally well done, imo. And we have Ben Selvin masquerading as Paul Whiteman on the Columbia label (What D'Ya Say?)--I think I knew the story behind that at one time, but if I did, I've forgotten it. Bing Crosby's voice can be heard on a number of these, but he sings lead only on the first--Irving Berlin's Sunshine. Standing out like a sore thumb, stylistically, is 1925's The Kinky Kids Parade, which is every bit as racist as the title suggests. It doesn't sound especially Whiteman--I've heard nearly everything recorded by Paul, and I don't know I'd have identified it as him in a blindfold test. Meanwhile, I've seen the Dancing Shadows arrangement credited to both Grofe and Tom Satterfield, and I tend toward Grofe, though my ears are not positive. (Come on, ears. Get with it.) And I was a major fan of that eccentric soap opera. Yup, ran home every afternoon to catch it. (No, wait--that was Dark Shadows.)
I may or may not be the first music blog (er, blogger) to feature That Saxophone Waltz. I really like it. The superb Whiteman band musicianship probably has a lot to do with that, plus Grofe's ultra-smooth arrangement, plus the lovely vocal chorus (trio? quartet? I'd have to listen closer to discern). Or maybe I just have corny tastes. Nah. That can't be. Anyone who has followed my blog for a while knows I despise corn. (Sound of tin cans crashing.)
Anyway, these were all ripped by me from my Whiteman 78 collection, the response curves chosen on my VinylStudio software, and the declicking performed on both my VS and MAGIX programs. Enjoy!
Click here to hear: Paul Whiteman, 1925-1928
Paul Whiteman and His Orchestra
Sunshine--vocal: Bing Crosby, 1928 (A: Grofe)
Collette --with vocal refrain, 1927 (A: Grofe)
Broken Hearted--with vocal refrain, 1927 (A: Grofe)
Broadway --vocal: Austin Young, 1927 (A: Grofe)
Manhattan Mary--with vocal refrain, 1927 (A: Grofe)
Why Is Love?--1925 (A: Grofe)
Dancing Tambourine--1927 (A: Grofe)
Whispering--1928 (A: Grofe)
The Japanese Sandman--1928 (A: Grofe)
Everything's Made for Love--1927 (A: Grofe)
The Kinky Kids Parade--1925
I'm in Love Again--1927 (A: Grofe)
Like You (Dark Eyes I Dream of)--1927 (A: Grofe)
When I'm in Your Arms--1926 (A: Grofe)
I Always Knew--with vocal chorus, 1926 (A: Grofe)
It All Depends on You--1927 (A: Grofe)
That Saxophone Waltz--1927 (A: Grofe)
What D'Ya Say?--Ben Selvin, recording as PW's Orch.!
Lonely Eyes--1926 (A: Grofe)
Dancing Shadows--1928 (Arr: FG? Tom Satterfield?)
Monday, October 01, 2018
Little Bobby/Boobie's excellent, energetic Keep a Knockin' (fake version of Little Richard's hit) is credited here to Rufus Brown with Billie Driscoll's Orch., and the echo gives it more more energy than the Promenade versions (credited to the two "Little"s). Gateway Top Tune was a Cincinnati OH label owned by Carl Burkhardt, and I read someplace that Ohioans, as a rule, know how to spell Cincinnati, but I keep misspelling it. And I'm a lifetime Ohioan. What can I say? Three n's, one t. Come on, dude, it's not that hard. I'll try it again:
Cincinnati. There, I did it. I had it burned into my brain that there are two t's. Wrong. An important turning point in my life here.
I read something, somewhere (or thought I did), about where Gateway Top Hits were mainly sold. Hm. Discogs doesn't tell me, but the great site otherwise gives us the usual excellent info. Elsewhere, I see that Burkhardt also owned the Hep and Variety labels! I did not know that. Somehow, I thought that Variety was in the Hollywood family of labels. I get confused quickly with the details of cheap label history, because 1) there were umpteen labels in any given group family, typically featuring the same material and 2) by this point in cheap label history (late '50s), tracks were hopping between label groups like crazy. Just like in this case--same side on Promenade and Gateway Top Tune. On which label did it originate? Or... were both labels leasing the same master? In which case, who produced the master?
Label groups were getting bought up, too, to add to the confusion. Cheap labels historians are nuts to even consider getting into these things. Problem is, we're hooked before we know what we're in for. Then it's... too late.
Click here to hear: Keep a Knockin'--Rufus Brown w. Billie Driscoll's Orch., 1957.