Wednesday, December 05, 2018

Adventures in misleading record jackets--"The Jeri Mann Singers"




Cool--a nice choral LP for kids.  By the Jeri Mann Singers.  Awesome.

That's what our eyes tell us when we see the cover.  Our ears tell a different story when we lay the needle down.  Our ears hear Johnny Kay on Side A--the same tracks I just posted, save for It Came Upon....  And they hear an orchestra on side B.  What happened to the Jeri Mann Singers?  Did they fail to make it to the session, and so Sutton substituted Johnny Kay and an uncredited orchestra?

I typed in "Jeri Mann" at Discogs and all I got was a bunch of "Jeri" matches.  Then I put quotes around the name and chose the Artist category for more specific results--still no Jeri Mann.  If Jeri Mann is reading this, feel feel to comment.

UPDATE: After a nearly 50-year search, Ronald Sauer (see comment section) traced this LP's instrumental tracks to their source: Lester Records L 1002, The Stradivarius String Society and Cologne Symphony Orchestra Conducted by Fritz Munch--Singing Strings Herald Christmas.  Many thanks, Ronald!

The instrumentals are nice, so I ripped them.  I skipped the Kay tracks, of cousre.  Pretty nice sound, considering the label--Sutton.  Click on the link for Discog's lowdown on the label.  The tracks are in true stereo, which is good, because Sutton's fake stereo was some of the worst.  I would have preferred less echo in the mix, but we've heard worse.  These numbers will have you thinking you're shopping at Grant's in 1969.

Once again, I've been taken in by a dollar-bin label.  I believed what I read on the jacket.  D'oh!  On the other hand, the artwork is classic!

The Jeri Mann Singers--not

Christmas Carols and Songs for Children (Sutton SSU 96X, Side B)

Deck the Halls
Joy to the World
First Noel
Good King Wenceslaus
Holy Night
We Three Kings

Unknown orchestra.  LP credited to "Jeri Mann Singers."  Fooled again!


Lee

10 comments:

Buster said...

I bought a lot of records in the cut-out bins of W.T. Grant back in the day.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Me, too! I got the Mission: Impossible soundtrack LP for $1.88, I think. I was annoyed to discover it wasn't straight from the soundtrack.

rev.b said...

I've always been suspicious of the Sutton label. Seems to me that much of the material is "borrowed" from uncredited sources. Apparently in this case, it doesn't evean match the cover, 'cept it is Christmas music. All that said, I am looking forward reliving to the 1969 Grant's shopping experience. Who says you can never go back again? Thanks Lee.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

My pleasure! And maybe Sutton was a tax write-off....

Ernie said...

I can't imagine these label names lasted too long. How many crappy albums would you buy before you caught on to what they were doing? Change a name and print up something new next year, sell those same old recordings again!

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Well, there is a wonderful Leadbelly LP on Sutton. The sound sucks, but the original 78s were on the cheapo Musicraft label. Some of the same Leadbelly tracks showed up on Rondo, so it was stuff that was floating around, with no particular owner, but I loved that LP. It was my introduction to Leadbelly, along with an RCA reissue. And Sutton has some fake hits stuff I hope to encounter someday. Those are probably recycled from some other dollar-bin label!

Ronald Sauer said...

These songs were on albums issued by Parade, Spin-o-rama, Custom, Yuletide, and other budget labels. I first heard them in the late fifties or early sixties on "Al Goodman and his Orchestra play a Christmas Symphony" on Parade Records. In addition, Those same songs were credited on other records to George Jenkins, the Sound of 1000 Strings, and others. I finally tracked them back to what I believe is the original source; The Stradivarius String Society and the Cologne Symphony Orchestra conducted by Fritz Munch "Singing Strings Herald Christmas" on Lester Records L1002. It was one of my favorites as a youth. It only took me about 50 years of searching for the source.
Ron

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I'm always amazed at the crossover between the budget labels. Amazing research--thanks! Do you know anything about the Lester label? Discogs lists only one LP for Lester--the one you mention. "Fritz Munch" yields four different LPs on eBay, three from France!

I collect sound-alike hits on the budgets, and right about 1957, tracks started jumping labels--sometimes Parade, Tops, and Prom featured the same fake hit. Broadway, Bell, and Grand Award seemed to have their own label-specific "hits," though of course Gilmar issued Broadway/Value Hit Parade Tunes material, and maybe this is all a bad dream, and we'll wake up and laugh....

Lee Hartsfeld said...

And I just ordered a copy of the Lester Records LP from Discogs. Thanks again for the info--I'll put it in my post first chance.

I had an idea for a "Night Before Budget Christmas" song. A collector goes to bed with visions of Prom, Tops, Value Hit Parade, Bell, Lester, Allegro, 18 Tops Hits, and Spin-o-Rama dancing in his head....

Kwork said...

Thank you Lee as always!