Monday, July 15, 2019

First, the ten-inch. Now, the twelve-inch: The Monarchs of Melody--All My Love (1958)

This is the complete version, so to speak, of this LP.  Same jacket, only two inches wider on all four sides.  For reasons that defy logic, we get six additional tracks on this, the twelve-inch version.  Twice the content.  But that only makes sense if the other disc was... well, a six-incher.  Otherwise, why should there be 200 percent more music?  Was Waldorf trying to wean its customers off of the ten-inch format?  Ah, but the great Both Sides Now has the answer--Waldorfs ten-inchers were 99 cents and the twelve-inchers were $1.98. Now I see.  The customer got what he or she paid for.  You want twice the content, cough up another 98 cents.  Life is cruel.

With that mystery solved, let me just say this was one of the coolest thrift finds of recent months.  I think it was a St. Vincent de Paul thrift find, and it would have been a perfect one, save for the last track on Side 2, where someone obviously lost control of the tone arm (the gouge goes in an arc across the label, though I removed all traces when I fixed the image).  So I had to do a lot of precise de-clicking by hand.  If you hear tiny drop-outs on Pardon Me, Pretty Baby, that's why.  Listening to the tiny drop-outs is way better than listening to the loud pops--trust me.  Other than that, an easy rip.

As before, the superb musicians are Richard Lawrence "at the inspiring Hammond organ," accordionists Dominic Cortese and Nick Perito, guitarist Don Arnone (I'm copying the notes), and bassist Sandy Bloch, "...all for the express purpose of creating musical sounds to suit the varied moods of love." In case you wondered why they're doing this.

Today's Worst Sentence in the World award goes to "These are the varied moods that together give us a feeling of tenderness played especially for you with taste and understanding by this talented new group of outstanding musicians."  Maybe some kind of primitive translation software existed in 1958, and Waldorf was trying it on notes written in Icelandic.  That's my best guess.  Anyway, someone back in the day sprung for the extra 98 cents, and they took excellent care of their acquisition (hey, anyone can lose control of the tonearm--I do it all the time, but luckily with a modern machine), and so we have this gem to listen to and love.  To love in all the varied moods of tender feelings of romance brought to us especially for the purpose of bringing together music in a way that ensures the best in, um... er....  Yeah.  To the music....

DOWNLOAD--All My Love--The Monarchs of Melody

I Surrender Dear
I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You
When My Sugar Walks Down the Street
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
Sweet Lorraine
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
Ill Wind
All My Love
Lonesome and Sorry
Pardon Me, Pretty Baby

All My Love--The Monarchs of Melody (Waldorf Music Hall MHK 33-1241; 1958)


Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Looper Trio--Singing on the Way

A very quick essay for this last-minute post.  From a number of cyber-sources, I learned that the Looper Trio hails (or hailed) from Tennessee.  And we have this info, from today's back jacket: "Coleman Looper {group leader} began singing in a quartet in Indiana in the Fifties.  He later came to Tennessee joining his brother Oral in a quartet known as 'joyful Echoes.' ... In 1964 Brenda Looper, the daughter of Oral, joined Coleman and Oral to form this trio.  With Brenda's high soprano voice, Coleman singing tenor and playing the electric guitar, Oral singing baritone and playing the flat top guitar."

That's an exact quote, including the sentence fragment.  Not being a grammar Nazi, but just in case you found yourself wondering where it was going.  The last two sentences would have worked nicely with a comma between them, so maybe it was a typo at Gospel Records and Recordings, the Dayton, Ohio outfit listed on the jacket and label.  No actual label name, but you can't have everything.  Discogs says this was pressed by Rite Record Productions, but it doesn't have a year.  This is monaural, so I'm thinking 1965-ish.

Outstanding music here, and I put it up once before, though the original page is one of the many I deleted a few years back.  I would categorize these folks as bluegrass gospel, but people in cyberspace seem to classify them as southern gospel--no big deal.  I sometimes use the label "country gospel" for music that straddles the line between bluegrass and southern gospel, but let's just describe the Loopers as a more Appalachian-sounding Chuck Wagon Gang.  Or I will. You don't have to.  Just download and enjoy.  Can't find composer credit for My Heavenly Home, which is also known as That Heavenly Home--no time to search my songbooks, and on line isn't much help, but I'll see if I can crack the mystery.  I did find the folks behind the modern standard, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, which is actually I Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now.  Those folks are Jimmie Davis and Charles F. Goodman.  From 1964, looks like.  When I first heard this song c. 1990, I didn't quite get the vernacular--I thought it was about not taking anything to Heaven with you--no books, photos, etc.  Of course, "take" means "trade," as in "I wouldn't trade anything for...."  Especially anything offered by the Devil.  It had me wondering at first.

In other news, That Old Time Religion, the seventh track in our playlist is not the famous "Give me that..." gospel number.  Just so you know.  And, yes, that third title is Give Up.  What's it doing on an LP of inspirational numbers?  Ah, just listen to the lyrics and see.  Clever irony, whether intentional or not.  Give it up for the author, the late Howard Goodman of the Happy Goodman Family, another terrific singing group.

Update:  Thanks to Bob, who identified this as a Rite Record (Cincinnati OH) pressing from 1973.  This page gives years for Rite matrix numbers.  I had figured this might be a Rite pressing, but there's no "Rite" on the dead wax, and no mention of Rite Records on the back jacket.  In addition, there are two tiny words in the dead wax, both of them next to illegible.  The first could be "Nashville" (????).  The group is from TN.  Could it have made these tracks there?  The recordings are mono, and I have two earlier Looper LPs, both in stereo.  Anyway....

DOWNLOAD: Singing on the Way--The Looper Trio

Never Die, Just Be Promoted
Lord, Hasten That Day
Give Up (Howard Goodman)
He Came a Long Way from Heaven
I Want My Life to Be Pleasing to Him
It Was His Love
That Old Time Religion
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now (Davis-Goodman)
Now It's Time to Pray
My Heavenly Home
Like to Talk It Over with Him
Country Baptizing

Singing on the Way--The Looper Trio (Gospel Records and Recordings; Dayton OH.  Pressed by Rite Records, 1973)


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Somehow, I got fourteen 78 rpm files made....

In the midst of all this chaos and complication, I got fourteen 78 restorations done.  Go figure.  I must have lost half of my work on two or three occasions today, yet I recovered each time and kept going.  I'm amazing.  I can't help it.  I just am.  Lesser MAGIX users would have quit and turned on FETV to watch Gunsmoke.  Or is Gunsmoke on INSP?  I can't remember....

My MAGIX program has only blinked out once since Avast was removed.  That's better than five or six times.  And it appears that my PC has been downloading Windows updates for a while--how long, I don't know.  All day, maybe.  All day would actually be possible--my DSL connection is so outrageously slow that 1) it barely qualifies as DSL and 2) it causes updates, especially big ones, to tie up my PC.  The MAGIX-blinking-out issue could well have been connected with the 1898 Windstream internet connection I'm stuck with--all for the crime of living in the country.  When you've got a borrowed zip code, and you have to explain to people that no, you don't actually live in the village listed as your city, then you're lucky to have anything past dial-up.  Oh, how I remember those days.  How I wish I didn't.

So maybe that was it.  At best Buy, the Geek Squad guy brought up the task manager, and we watched the CPU's workload page as I did outrageous things on MAGIX--piling up filters, splicing and re-splicing, etc.  None of my activity came anywhere close to taxing my PC's resources.  So, technically, my PC is way more than able to handle my MAGIX program.  This suggests something else was confusing my HP.  The updates, I'm betting.

Two--yes, two--Walter Donaldson numbers today, including an unforgettable gem called Out of the Dawn.  And a Berlin side (I Want to Go Back to Michigan) played by the (Fred) Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, and I think we can assume the composer is Irving Berlin and not, say, Gerard Berlin.  Whom I've never heard of.  Of the four fabulous Van Eps sides, one is a "Maxixe," which is a dance, of course.  "Bresilienne" tells us it's Brazilian.  (I have a knack for figuring out these things.)  To decipher what the 78 label said, I had to go on line, because the title was rubbed out somehow.   Someone must have missed the spindle hole a record number of times (no pun intended).

Ten of the sides are acoustical, and the remaining four are electrical.  Microphone recordings, that is.  The date span is impressive--1905-1929--even if the list is fairly short.  The 1905 disc is the Columbia Band performing Neil Moret's incredibly charming Silver Heels, which is obviously one of Neil's Indian songs.  Makes a marvelous instrumental, and the fidelity is awfully good for 114 years ago.  Neil returns as composer in 1929's She's Funny That Way.

I know nothing about The Red Lantern, which must have been a....  No, wait a minute.  Wikipedia to the rescue.  A silent film about a half-Chinese, half-Caucasian woman convinced to impersonate the Goddess of the Red Lantern, and... wow.  Every silent flick about Chinese people ended in tragedy, it seems like.  So why is the music so happy?  All I know is that I've loved the side since I first listened to it.  The Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra, 1919.

Lots of great stuff.  So I had to do some of the work three times over.  Big deal.  I didn't complain once.  Ranted, yes, 

DOWNLOAD: Fourteen 78 files, 1905-1929

Louisville Lou--Arthur Gibbs and His Gang, 1923
Beale Street Mamma--Same
The Red Lantern--Medley--Waldorf-Astoria Orch., Dir. by Joseph Knecht, 1919
Silver Heels (March and Two Step; Moret)--Columbia Band, 1905
Soup to Nuts (One-step)--Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, 1914
I Want to Go Back to Michigan--Medley (Berlin)--Same
Sans Souci (Maxixe Bresilienne)--Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, 1914
Some Baby--Same
On the Mississippi (Turkey-trot)--Prince's Band, 1913
Too Much Mustard (Turkey-trot)--Same
Out of the Dawn (Donaldson)--Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orch., v: Franklyn Baur, 1928.
She's Funny That Way (Whiting-Moret)--Jean Goldkette and His Orch., v; Van Fleming, 1929
Baby Face--Jan Garber and His Orch., v: Benny Davis, 1926
That's Why I Love You (Donaldson-Ash)--Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders, w. vocal chorus, 1926.


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

It's possible the problem is solved....

I had competing antiviruses on the PC.  I wasn't fully aware of that.  You see, the thing was sabotaged with a McAfee notice--a notice telling me my trial was over and that it was time to pay $40.  No, I'm sorry--$39.95.  That's a long way from $40.  A whole 1/20 of a buck.  I knew it was a scam, since the notice happened two days after I bought this thing, and I would have remembered signing up for a two-day trial.  Ha.  Nice try, McAfee people.

That's just the way Windows 10 is set up, the Geek Squad guy said--those kinds of pop-ups, all trying to sell you something.  He agreed it was annoying.  After Windows 10, I'm done with Windows.  (So I say now.)  When 11 comes, I'll just run out in front of a bus, screaming, "11!  No!  No!  Not 11!!!"  The bus driver, talking to the cops, will say, "Third guy today.  They all yell the same thing.  I think they mean Windows 11."  The cop will say, "I have an Apple.  For this very reason.  That could be me lying there."

Eternal damnation.  Whatever.  Giant radioactive worms coming to eat everyone in the township.  Yawn.  ETs coming to enslave mankind.  Whatever.  Windows 11.  NOOOO!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

I personally regard customer harassment as a bad sales tactic, and of course I mean Windows, not Best Buy.  They've been highly polite and helpful.  And honest.  I can sort of tell when people are being honest, I think.  I'm 62.  We old folks have that sense.  Or we imagine we do.  Hard to tell the difference when you're 62.  Anyway, the Geek Squad guys are the messengers, not the culprits.  I found it refreshing to have a tech agree with me on the more annoying aspects of W. 10.  I really believe he has no more idea why 10 is the way it is than I do.

With Avast gone, things may go smoothly.  Avast likes to take control of the PC in Outer Limits fashion.  "We will control the vertical; we will control the horizontal...."  It does all kinds of crap with programs, putting some to sleep to maximize your use of another--something like that.  Total pain in the ass.  10 has its own antivirus, so I'm happy to say goodbye to Avast.  "Avast" means stop or cease, and that's what I want it to do.  So, perfect name.  I want it to stop, cease, and leave.

I'd like 10 to leave, too, but that would leave me without an OS.  Not good.  The lesser of two evils (OS/no OS) is Windows 10.  I wish I could think of a vicious pun on Windows 10, but I can't.  "Windows 10" will have to do.  It's vile, evil, sneaky, soul-draining, trouble-making, and it kicks cats and dogs.  It belongs in a detention home.

I must have left my power cord at Best Buy.  I could swear I didn't bring it, but I must have.  And somehow (I could turn this into a miracle narrative), in the downstairs bedroom there was a power cord all folded up.  Must have been from my last PC.  Right there, waiting for me.  Fit this one, so I don't have to drive back.  That's one break today.  Hope more breaks are on the way (as long as they aren't the 78 rpm kind).  And my latest Discogs order was just cancelled.  That happens all the time.  I'm going to stop ordering things from Discogs.  This is the third of fourth occurrence.  Don't put up stuff unless it's available, sellers.  Good grief.  If it's not for sale, don't put it up.  Is that hard to grasp?

I wrote Discogs and told them they've lost a customer, that I don't like such games.  Expressed my annoyance to the "seller," too.  If he or she is offended, too bad.  Don't put something up for sale unless it's for sale.  Reminds me of the bad old days when you had to turn to small-operation hardcopy catalogs for anything that wasn't mainstream--blues, early rock, etc.  They'd put you on back-order for six weeks, then announce they couldn't get the record.  I had one genius pair who lost my special order for something.  I had jumped on something the moment it became available, and they promised a quick response.  Weeks later, I asked what was up.  Oh, they misplaced my order.  Along with their brains, I guess.  45cat won't let me join, and Discogs thinks "marketplace" is another word for "Sorry, we sold that at our store."  I'm not going back to the days when record buyers were expected to endure mountains of bull-hockey to maybe, possibly get a record.  It's not worth it. 


This. Is. Unreal.

I bought a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion for a decent amount of bread at Best Buy.  This will be the second time I'll have to bring it in to the Geek Squad.  I will inform them that, if a third visit is needed, I want the product returned and my money back.  This is beyond human belief.

This thing can't even run my MAGIX software.  Five times the program closed on me, all of my work going with it.  I thought maybe it was a Windows 10 comparability issue, so I downloaded a trial version of  a new MAGIX program--roughly the equivalent of my Cleaning Lab MX.

My PC FROZE.  It froze solid.  Wouldn't move.  Nothing.  Apparently, it's allergic to software.  I overtaxed it by attempting to USE my trial software.

You know--I've looked everywhere on the chassis.  Nowhere do I see the words, "Do not attempt to use this product."  Or "Software not supported."

Is this thing supposed to be a nice addition to the floor?  I had my heart set on the thing working.  Functioning.  Best Buy led me to believe this thing would function.  As a PC.  Was I misinformed?

I don't like being this angry (enraged is more like it).  I hope I don't lose my temper at Best Buy.  I lost it over the phone to the Geek Squad.  I don't like losing my temper.  I also do not like paying good money for a PC that can't even run a piece of freaking software.

Wish me luck.  This thing goes back.  One more problem, it goes back.


Sunday, July 07, 2019

Didn't we just see these two?? Hits are A' Poppin' again.

Another Hits A' Poppin' (SP 206, this time), with the same couple from the last jacket, and in the exact same pose (almost makes you think it's the same photo), the guy still lugging the portable player with the LP resting atop it, and the lady smiling, as if to say, "We weren't able to get the actual hits for the party, but these are just as good."  The kids, not shown in the photo, are heading for the exit.  Meanwhile, in transit, the loose disc has slid off the player three times for added crackle and pop.  To put the "Poppin'" in Hits A' Poppin', no doubt.

This disc, luckily, does not appear to have been bounced or slid around anytime during its life, though, despite its mint look, there were some surface noise issues.  Nothing I could see, but my ears spotted them right off.  Luckily, the defective tracks only numbered three, and they were only defective in spots-- so I was able to patch over many of the bad spots with sections from my 45 rpm EP versions.  For instance, I was able to replace the beginning and ending portions of I've Had It and the first half of (All of a Sudden)...--right up to where the engineer jumped to the closing bars.  I can't say I'm shocked that such a hyper-cheap pressing would have "invisible" surface noise.  Almost to be expected, really.  I mean, when the company can't even come up with a label name for the collection....

Actually, the jacket puts "SP" before the number, and we can assume/presume/whatever that SP is Synthetic Plastics.  Why SPC left off the C, I don't know, but I doubt anyone cares much.  I guess we can consider this the SP label.  As opposed to the (nothing) label of last post.  "Oh, great!  A new release on the (nothing) label!  My favorite!"--Excited buyer, 1959.

Goodbye Baby, credited on the Promenade EP to Dick Stetson (really?), was a hit for Jack Scott, and I have yet to listen to the Scott version.  I'm eager to hear it, just to see which of the two playlist versions it resembles.  For I have Skeets Mooney (really?) performing it on Big Buy 4 Hit Tunes, and it doesn't even sound like the same tune on this LP.  It's like the three chords of the Stetson edition were reduced to one or two.  Children's Marching Song is very, very familiar to me, and I have no idea why.  That is, I don't simply know the tune, I remember the record--but I was only two when it came out.  Maybe it was played as an oldie on Toledo AM radio, though I sort of doubt that.  Maybe it was used as a children's show theme.  Maybe my parents had the record, though they never bought "pop" records (just jazz and Classical), so, if they had a version of this, it was likely a low-budget fake.  Bottom line: I have no idea how or why I'm so familiar with the original.  Maybe a teacher played it in class, but even then I don't think it would be such an ingrained memory.  Like, how often would she have played it?

So many mysteries, so few answers.  Anyway, besides the LP version of "Knick-Knack, Paddywhack," you'll be hearing the Broadway Value version by Vic Corwin.  A thrill a minute at this blog.  The other two alternates are Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Sixteen Candles, both ripped from my 78 rpm copy on Big Buy 4 Hit Tunes.  I came very, very close to giving the track credits to the Coasters, my aging eyes failing to see the "iers."  Maybe an on-line credit tipped me off, but at some point I said, "Hey, it's the Coastiers!"  And I typed in the credit accordingly.  But I came so close....

Betty Green, credited with I Cried a Tear, sounds suspiciously like the falsetto male R&B voices we hear elsewhere on this disc, but who am I to say?  And one thing about the Leiber-Stoller standard Charlie Brown, which of course had nothing to do with the comic strip--doesn't arson go beyond the realm of mischief?  I mean, just a little?  "Boy, he's such a clown.  Set the auditorium on fire!!  What a hoot.  You should've been there.  Can he come over for supper, ma?"

I've Got a Wife, the Mark IV hit (as I Got a Wife), sounds like every other polka I've ever heard, so I'm not surprised to see on line that Frankie Yankovic recorded it.  And, while I would've bet that the Everly Brothers were the duo being copied on I've Had It, the original group was The Bell Notes.

Back jacket: "Fine records needn't be expensive."  I don't know about fine, but certainly entertaining records needn't be....

My bronchitis is getting better, though I feel exhausted from the ordeal.  Apologies for not having a gospel post ready--it was all I could do to get up and move around this past week.  I'll feel more at peace when my lungs feel less full.  They're clearing, though....

UPDATE: Just discovered on eBay--an alternate version of this LP.  Same number (SP 206) and selections, but different cover image and label (Parade, an SPC label).

DOWNLOAD: Hits A' Poppin' (SP 206)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Glitters

Children's Marching Song--Promenade Orch. and Choir
16 Candles--The Promineers
Charlie Brown--The Promineers
I Cried a Tear--Betty Green
Goodbye Baby--Dick Stetson
(All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings--Michael Reed
I've Got a Wife--Bob Mitchell
Plain Jane--Jimmy Grant
I've Had It--The Grasshoppers


Goodbye Baby--Skeets Mooney (1958)

The Children's Marching Song--Vic Corwin (Broadway Value 163; 45 rpm EP)
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Coastiers (1958)
Sixteen Candles--The Coastiers (1958)


Chester (William Billings, 1778)

I wasn't able to put together a patriotic playlist this time--too sick.  But last night I recorded myself playing William Billing's great patriotic anthem, Chester.  Billings, a choral composer and songbook publisher, was a self-taught genius regarded, for a century or so following his death, as some kind of a joke--now, as far as I know, he's considered one of our first major composers.  I concur.

I used two organ patches on my Casio WK-3800 and added a bit of acoustic simulation, though the Casio patches are nice and full by themselves.  I got the public domain music (in standard hymnal SATB form) at the great Cyber Hymnal site.  I did a few modifications to the harmony where things clashed--otherwise, I played as written.  It's astonishing how hard it is to find out-of-copyright stuff on line in anything but paid form, and I deeply appreciate sites like The Cyber Hymnal. More than I can possibly say.

DOWNLOAD: Chester (Billings)

Lee Hartsfeld, Casio WK-3800


Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Hits A' Poppin (SPC 108)--Fine records needn't be expensive, though it can't hurt

This hammered Synthetic Plastics Co. LP showed up last week in a local Goodwill, and I snapped it up without hesitation, despite the lousy condition, because for some unknown reason these things aren't showing up much in the thrifts anymore, and because the track list was new to me (fake-hit-wise).  Unlike the last Hits a Poppin' I featured, this one has the credits on the label--and an apostrophe after the a, so that's why I capitalized the letter this time.  Important detail, that.  The back cover (which I didn't bother to scan) has the famous SPC motto, "Fine records need not be expensive," except it's "needn't be" instead of "need not be."  Most of the SPC LPs I checked in my collection either have no motto at all or the "needn't be" version.  Nothing was standard with these things!  That would have required planning, quality control.  A short session devoted to working things out.  Out of the question.

Not even a label name for this one--I have at least three other SPCs with this generic black label.  These are more or less "LP--one each" labels.  I should check to see if the others also give ten instead of twelve selections.  I was able to substitute my own Promenade EP versions for a few of the extra-scratchy tracks, but of course I have no Promenade EP substitute for the most hammered track--Bobby Sox to Stockings--which has a deep gouge full through and partially into band 2.  Sweet.  I searched my Tops Records EPs, hoping I'd find a Tops version and that it would match this one.  Found one, and it looked hopeful--same title misspelling (Sox).  But totally different version.  Meanwhile, Personality, the track which immediately precedes it on the EP, IS the version on this LP, only longer (unedited).  One matches, the other doesn't.  I give up.

So, as a last-ditch thing, I stepped up the VS declicking settings for Bobby Sox (receiving a warning message about audio loss--which is not an issue on a track this hammered) and got amazingly good results.  I saved the track, an action that sends the "album" and its tracks to the default VS folder.  (I know--things don't literally migrate on PCs, but....)  So I brought the track into MAGIX from the default VS folder--and instead of the fixed audio, I got the "uncorrected" file.  I have no idea why--the VS settings are in order, and VS and MAGIX were getting along just fine on Windows 7.  So it must be another Windows 10 challenge.  I wrote VS for help.  Meanwhile, I burned the "corrected" VS track straight to CD-R, then I ripped it into my MAGIX "project" (this LP).  And then I don't remember anything after that.  Woke up in the woods, clothes torn, head dazed.

I seriously thought I'd have to omit Bobby Sox, but I ended up saving it.  Hooray!  What a lesser world this would have been, otherwise.  Fun stuff here, and there's the longer Personality and alternate Bobby Sox and Lipstick on Your Collar to make for another thirteen-track playlist.   And I didn't even have to look up Lipstick to know it's a Neil Sedaka song--pure Neil.  Except I just looked it up, and it's not Neil--it was written by Edna Lewis (w) and George Goehring (m).  D'oh!

Of the track credits, Eli Whitney and Al Freed stand out, as usual.  You don't suppose "Al Freed" is meant to suggest "Alan Freed" (who, as far as I know, didn't make records, save in the sense of helping make them popular)?  As you can see, I left the jacket half-fixed.  Just to give you an idea of what it really looks like.

UPDATE (7/5): I improved the original zip, removing some loud clicks and pops I'd missed before.  The link below now goes to this improved zip.

DOWNLOAD:  Hits A' Poppin'--Radio and TV Favorites

Sea of Love--Richard Deane
Lipstick on Your Collar--Janet King
Lavender Blue--Michael Reed
A Big Hunk of Love--Eli Whitney
Waterloo--Andrew Jacks
Bobby Sox to Stockings--John Logan
What Is Love--The Promineers
Ciao Ciao Bambina--Al Freed
What a Difference a Day Makes--Betty Green
Personality--Rob Robbins

Hits A' Poppin'--Radio and TV Favorites (SPC 108)


Lipstick on Your Collar--Gloria Kay and the Toppers  (Top Hits--Tops S-28; 45 rpm EP)
Bobby Sox to Stockings--Alex Corey and the Toppers (Top Hits--Tops S-27; 45 rpm EP)
Personality--Leroy Collins and the Toppers (Top Hits--Tops S-27; 45 rpm.  Unedited version of Rob Robbins track, above.)


Monday, July 01, 2019

Update to Blue Ridge Quartet post

Howdy.  I'm recovering from bronchitis, which had been building up for a little over a week when I went to the local urgent care on Saturday.  I'm starting to feel a lot better.  I blame my bronchitis for my goof-up in yesterday's Blue Ridge Quartet playlist, where I left off the last four numbers.  Oops!  Luckily, the numbers are on the file itself.  Many thanks to Josh for alerting me!

I just now filled in the written playlist, tracking down the writer/composer credits (the label gives credit to the arranger or arrangers instead of the writers--common gospel LP tradition with public domain numbers).  An easy task on the two more famous standards--Shall We Gather and Leaning--but not as easy for the other two--Cleanse Me and Lord Lead Me On--though it just took some cross-searching to get to the real folks on these.  Cleanse Me, which uses a Maorian melody (whose tune, appropriately enough, is titled Maori) is usually called Search Me, O God, and its text is from 1936.  (Thanks Cyber Hymnal!)  Lord, Lead Me On is credited all over the place to a Kenneth Tuttle, whose name must have appeared on the Carl Story or Bill Monroe recordings.  Anyway, its real author-composer is Marion W. Easterling.  My thanks to

And now, I'm back to kicking this bronchitis.  Along with the meds, sleep is doing wonders. Rain in the forecast now, with me having slept away three or four dry days.  So it goes sometimes!

Thanks again to Josh.  I thought that playlist looked a little too slim....


Sunday, June 30, 2019

The World Famous Blue Ridge Quartet Sing the Old-Time Gospel

Rimrock Records put this out in at least two other editions, both with much cooler covers--I got stuck with the drab one.  But the music is fabulous.  This was one of the first LPs to turn me on to gospel music (around 1990/1991)--Bev had bought it and asked me to put it on cassette for her car player.  I was blown away by it (the LP, not the player, which wasn't bad, either).  I was just starting as a church organist, not counting my time in the Navy playing for the services on the base in Edzell, Scotland.  But I didn't have much of a background in hymns, and the only gospel-style hymns I knew were Rock of Ages, The Old Rugged Cross, Leaning on the Everlasting Arms, and a few others.  My biological family was not exactly a church family.  But Bev had a few gospel songbooks from 1911 or so (bought at antique fairs), and she suggested that, as volunteer organist, I play some of the "old tunes" mentioned by our elderly retired pastor--tunes he felt we should still be singing (Bev and John totally agreed).  Those included Send the Light--which, by now, I can't remember ever not knowing, even though I spent half my life unaware of its existence!  As I sensed right off in my church-organist duties, gospel songs are a type of sacred song, the first examples popping up around 1840, according to scholars, and probably with campmeeting roots.  It's the difference between Revive Us Again and When the Roll is Called Up Yonder and Now Thank We All Our God and O Worship the King.  And there are an amazing number of almost-gospel numbers, like Oliver Holden's Coronation (1793), which was one of the pre-Lowell Mason "fuging tunes" that Mason, Thomas Hastings, and others tried to replace with more "correct" numbers which, ironically, now sound very gospel.

No modern hymnal version of Coronation (All Hail the Power of Jesus' Name) retains the brief "fuging" section, so you'd need an old, old tunebook (or find one on line) to behold the tune as originally penned.  Despite the term, "fuging" tunes are thought to have been inspired by motets.  No fuging tunes in this collection, but they are a part of gospel history, imo.

Today's numbers totally justify the "old-time" in the LP title--older numbers like Power in the Blood, Will the Circle Be Unbroken, No Not One (they skip the punctuation), Angel Band, and 1899's There Is Power in the Blood, which a close evangelical friend from my Navy days considers "okay for a song that sounds like a soap commercial."  I get his point, and I love it anyway!  The bluegrass mega-standard Angel Band came into the world as The Land of Beulah (text: 1860, music: 1862), and, just to be showing it, here's a scan from my copy of P.P. Bliss and Ira Sankey's Gospel Hymns No. 2 (1876):

The LP pulls the usual routine of crediting all of the public-domain numbers to the arranger, so I've looked up all the actual credits and placed them in the playlist.  The E.M. (Eugene Monroe) Bartlett credits are a bit confusing.  Being more recent than the other numbers, they were still in copyright when this LP was made (1968, says one Discogs page), so Bartlett was listed rather than some arranger.  In fact, his numbers (see scans) were credited to "Bartlett-Brumley."  But which Brumley?  Given the age of the numbers, it would have to be Albert E. Brumley, but I've found nothing to support Albert having composed the tunes for the three Bartlett titles.  The "Brumley" could just as easily refer to publishers Albert E. Brumley and Sons.  I'm thinking that's the case.  Anyway, we know for sure Bartlett was there, so I gave him sole credit.  Same with Loy E. Foust.  Jesus Whispers Peace was credited to "Croots-Brumley,"  but Eldridge Murphy is the one credit I could confirm.  Ahhhh, confusion.

As far as I can tell, The Life Boat is one of those unknown-authorship deals where authorship claims have been made but not confirmed.  Will the Circle be Broken is the 1907 Charles Gabriel classic, not the Carter Family variation (?) which starts, "I was standing by the window, On one cold and cloudy day...", which they recorded as Can the Circle be Unbroken?  I've long regarded this number as just another popular gospel title swiped by A.P. Carter and thereafter mistaken for a folk number and/or a Carter composition, like 1899's Keep on the Sunny Side of Life (which A.P. would have had to have written when he was eight!).  But after buying and hearing the 1928 black gospel recording by Rev. J.C. Burnett (a marvelous side), I'm wondering if maybe it did start as a folk number, after all, despite Burnett's recording coming 11 years after the publishing of the Gabriel title.  It could well have been something that was floating around.  So, did Gabriel swipe the number?  Well, tune similarities will happen, and happen often, when tune writers are putting simple tunes over the three primary triads, plus maybe a secondary dominant, and churning them out like crazy.  And, as in country music, stock phrases abound in gospel.  So... who knows.

Update: Though Lord Lead Me On is often attributed to a Kenneth Tuttle (or, as on this disc, to no one at all!), its words and tune are by Marion W. Easterling.  Cleanse Me is much better known as Search Me, O God, its 1936 words by J. Edwin Orr, who used a Maorian melody.  Many thanks to Josh, who alerted me to the fact that my written playlist was four titles short!  I just now filled them in (it is the evening of July 1).  I blame my bronchitis.  I'm currently on meds after a weekend trip to the local urgent care and am feeling much better.

A superb collection, superbly performed.  And it was a milestone in my life, and a favorite of my late foster parents.  An absolute gem.

DOWNLOAD:  The BRQ Sing the Old-Time Gospel

Who Is that (E.M. Bartlett)
Life's Railway to Heaven (M.E. Abbey-Charles D. Tillman)
No Not One (Johnson Oatman, Jr.-George C. Hugg)
Angel Band (Jefferson Hascall-William B. Bradbury)
Near the Cross (Fanny Crosby-William B. Bradbury)
Will the Circle Be Unbroken (Ada R. Habershon-Charles H. Gabriel)
There'll Be Shouting (E.M. Bartlett)
There's Power in the Blood--real title: There Is Power in the Blood (Lewis E. Jones)
The Life Boat (Jno. R. Bryant?)
Over the Silent Sea (Loy E. Foust)
How Beautiful Heaven Must Be (Cornelia Bridgewater-Andy Bland)
Jesus Whispers Peace (Eldridge Murphy)
I'm in Love with Jesus (E.M. Bartlett)
Just a Little While (E.M. Bartlett)
Cleanse Me (aka Search Me, O God) (J. Edwin Orr-Tune: "Maori")
Shall We Gather at the River (Robert Lowry)
Lord Lead Me On (Marion W. Easterling)
Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (Hoffman-Showalter)

The World Famous Blue Ridge Quartet Sing the Old-Time Gospel (Rimrock RLP 1005; 1968?)


Saturday, June 29, 2019

Hits a Poppin' (Prom 212)--Sugar Beat, Pat Vale, Donnie Rounds. (Donnie Rounds??)

And so we have a new batch of fake hits.  A new album of fake hits, to be more precise.  1959 is the year, and the guilty party is the Synthetic Plastics Co., on its Prom label.  Discogs disagrees with me on the "label" part, noting on its Prom page: "Not a label but a company.  Please only use for manufacturing credits etc."  Synthetic Plastics Co. is listed as the parent label of Prom.  Wikipedia, meanwhile, calls SPC a "manufacturing company."  Ohhhh-kay.  Well, I'm going to continue regarding Prom as a label in the SPC stable, and that was an unintentional rhyme (label in the stable)--but a very good one.  Oddly enough, two of these Prom tracks showed up on Broadway Records, though I know of no Broadway/SPC connection.  More on that later.

As you can see by the scans, no artist credits appeared on this album, so I referred to my EP singles on the Promenade label (same as Prom, basically), and now we know who sang and/or played what--according to Prom, at least.  (See playlist.)  And we can be fairly sure some of the names weren't for real.  I mean, "Sugar Beat"?  "Jennie Feathers"also sounds fake, though who can say?  I will say that Jennie doesn't sound like a Jennie.  And we have the named-after-the-label Promineers, and we have Glitters.  Not "The Glitters," but "Glitters."  It's a group, so logically there should have been a "The," but the Promenade EP label credit just says "Glitters."  Logic plays no role in the Cheap Label Zone.

The EP track credit that really has me wondering is "Donnie Rounds."  Donnie Rounds??  That's the person or outfit credited for Theme from A Summer Place, the Max Steiner composition from the hit 1959 film.  A theme featuring clinking triplets--from the man who gave us the King Kong soundtrack!  Anyway, Donnie Rounds?

Donnie Rounds?  Better than Ronnie Dounds, I guess.

To my surprise, this LP's version of El Paso also showed up on Broadway Records.  So did this LP's version of Way Down Yonder...  What kind of shake-up happened in 1959?  What are we witnessing here?

The bonus tracks are all fake versions of Way Down Yonder..., starting with the edited-down version that appeared on Promenade EP A-55-112, and continuing with the versions on Broadway Records and the Evon label--both the same performance, except that the Evon clocks in at about 2:27 and the Broadway at 1:26.  These junk labels did expert track-trimming, something we might not have expected, given their tiny budgets.  And considering the fact that, in those days, editing meant splicing and rejoining magnetic tape.  I'm only now realizing how frequently cheap-label fakes were trimmed down to fit cramped EP groove space.  Makes sense.  I just wouldn't have thought they were so skilled at it.

A thirteen-track playlist.  And it's not even Halloween!

DOWNLOAD: Hits a Poppin' (Prom 212)

Harbor Lights--The Promineers
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans--Pat Vale
Theme from a Summer Place--Donnie Rounds
El Paso--Bill Baron
Handy Man--Michael Reed
Beyond the Sea--Jim Everett
Country Boy--Sugar Beat
Down by the Station--Glitters
Little Bitty Girl--Dottie Grey
You've Got What it Takes--Jennie Feathers
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans--No credit (Broadway 181; 45 rpm EP)
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans--Pat Vale (Promenade A-55-112; 45 rpm EP)
Way Down Yonder in New Orleans--Stumpy Anderson and his Stompers (Let's All Do the Twist--Evon 351)


Wednesday, June 26, 2019

Kipepeo Publishing--Nineteen of my rips, stolen and offered as CDs at Amazon

I have a respiratory infection going, and I'm hoping it doesn't get worse.  I've been too dazed and drained to get a post together.

Anyway, reader Steph Lambert just alerted me to this.  A joint called Kipepeo Publishing ripped off two ninetten of my posts, including my jacket scans, and are selling them at Amazon.  I'm not kidding:

Nineteen of my rips, stolen and placed on Amazon

The release dates the first two are June 26, 2019. The posts were June 18 and June 21.  Just counted seventeen more.  Those creeps have stolen a boatload of my files.

Thanks, Kipepeo Publishing.   Naturally, I did all that work so you could use it to turn a profit.  Discogs gives a page to these folks.

Should I leave reviews at each rip-off, letting buyers know where they came from?

Oh, and more fun.  Windows 10, this time.  Windows Live Mail is no longer supported, so Microsoft has this new, embarrassingly cheap-looking program.  Well, I was wondering why it was taking stuff so long to show up in my inbox, so I found out I had to go into Settings and adjust the "sync."  Or something like that.  Just what I'm "syncing" with, I have no idea.  Email goes out and it comes in.  Do the send and receive rhythms have to align with the moons of Jupiter or something?

 Anyway, the program was defaulted to check for new email... every two hours.  I've reduced that to 15 minutes.  I've synced it.  With Father Time, I guess.


Sunday, June 23, 2019

Sunday post in progress

Hopefully, I'll get a Sunday gospel offering up today.  It's the Blue Ridge Quartet on the Rimrock label--a great LP that I've been loving for 30 years now.  Had you asked me at any point before yesterday for a description of the thing, I'd have called it a fine collection of old-time gospel songs--in fact "the old-time gospel" is part of the title.  So what a surprise, when researching the numbers, to discover that about half were actually written around the same time the LP was released (possibly 1968).  That's maybe "old-time" in the life of an insect with a two-week lifespan, but otherwise it's an epic misuse of the phrase, even by gospel LP standards.  Half of the selections are gospel oldies, which may explain my decades-long confusion.  And I'm just now noticing this.  It shows you how much we can miss if we're not listening or looking closely enough.  Or how much I can miss.  Whatever.

So, the write-up I thought would take me maybe 20 minutes became two hours or more, and I just finally let it wait for today.  I'll probably start from scratch, using the data I've found so far.  The time I spent on the post is part of the reason that, when the alarm went off this morning, it took me about a full minute to realize what that sound was.  Three hours of sleep is better than three minutes, I suppose, but it's still not ideal.  Without caffeine, I wouldn't have been able to function at the church organ.  Save for snoring, my face on the music.  And my hands probably resting on the keys, playing a nonstop, Schoenberg-sounding chord.

Hopefully, I'll get the post done today.  Info on the traditional numbers is a piece of cake; the newer stuff, nothing close.  Twice, where I've encountered more than one song with a given title, I've had to search using the opening lines.  And the credits on the LP label are a mess.

Ahhhh, Sunday....


Saturday, June 22, 2019

Three tracks from last time, in much better (mono) sound

If anyone wants the entire LP pictured above (ripped, not mailed to you), I can probably do that.  But for this post, I've grabbed only Country Boy (a fake version of the Fats Domino hit) from it.  Wings of a Dove and Running Bear were taken from two other Prom LPs (one of which doesn't bother to list its label title!), so now we have these three tracks in much better sound than before.  Which is to say, no fake stereo this time around.

No artist credits, as usual.  The singles would have had (likely fake) artist credits, and I'm about to check at 45cat, except my username and password are not working--that's wonderful.  I just changed the password using their procedure, and they are still refusing to let me log in.  I sent them a message asking why this is happening.  "Do you want members or not?"  You might be able to tell I'm slightly angry.

And 45cat's Prom section is pathetically bare.  I could double or triple it with my own input--though, of course, they'd have to let me in for that to happen.  And then my info probably wouldn't take.  Discogs is less of a mess, but searching for anything there is a nightmare unless it's a straightforward hunt--label, name.  Even then, you might end up with a thousand useless results.  Fine-tune my search, you say?  Yeah, but there's that word--search.  It means you're looking for something.  If I knew the precise, pick-from-500-options search parameters to choose, maybe I wouldn't have to be looking in the first place.  I go there to find information, not confirm it.  It's like having to know the meaning of a word before you can look it up in the dictionary.

Sites of this type need to become organized or call it a day.  The internet is a potentially wonderful network of stored data--too bad we haven't figured out how to manage that data. Computers, alone or connected together, would function better without human ineptitude getting in the way.

DOWNLOAD: Three tracks from last time, in better sound

Country Boy--Hits a Poppin' (Prom 212)
Running Bear--Top Hits (Prom 112)
Wings of a Dove--Top Hits 116 (No label name; probably Prom)


Friday, June 21, 2019

Country & Western Million Record Sellers (But not the actual hits, of course)

That's some good jacket art.  And I'm sure these all sold a million... on their original labels and in the original versions, that is.  Yup, another fake-hits festival, and a fun one, even if the "stereo" promised on the jacket is actually messed-with mono.  Here the Diplomat label resorts to the standard channel-switching game that's supposed to convince people stereo is happening when it isn't.  It also tries to trick us with the different-EQ-in-each-track bit, where one channel is muffled but the other one isn't--as if this somehow simulates stereo.  A real shame, because Synthetic Plastic Co.'s recordings were actually quite good, once you get past the noisy pressings and (in this case) the doctored sound.

However, these fakes are enjoyable and competent, and they'd sound worse in their 45 or 78 rpm EP formats due to wear and/or jammed-together grooves, so we're really not getting a bad deal here.  Speaking of deals, I bought this at Goodwill on Wednesday, so I got the senior discount.  For all I know, I paid about the same tab as the original buyer.  So much for vinyl appreciating in value.

The tender love ballad I'm Gonna Change Everything has possibly the most entertaining lyrics of the bunch, imo.  "I'm gonna start with the walls, take the pictures off the walls and burn 'em, Move the chairs around, take the window curtains down and burn 'em.  Everything I see reminds me you were here.  Yeah, I'm gonna change everything that holds a memory of you."  Also, "Take the carpet off the floor, throw it out the door, it's filled with tears.  Everything I find that brings you to my mind must disappear."  I was half expecting, "Gonna stand back by the well, while I blow the house to hell, oh yeah."  Things seem to be leading up to dynamite and a plunger. The title hardly prepares us for what we're going to hear--maybe the songwriters decided that I'm Gonna Destroy Everything had less commercial potential.  Running Bear, meanwhile, is a great cover of a spectacularly un-P.C. novelty, and it's always nice to hear Heartaches by the Number, though I actually prefer it in its pop version.  Country Boy sounds like Fats Domino, and I just looked it up and discovered why it sounds like Fats Domino... because it was!  The original, I mean.  This version is actually livelier than his, so great to have it.  The usual cheap label carelessness in packaging, but sometimes that pays off.

To the fake country and western million record sellers....

DOWNLOAD: Country & Western Million Record Sellers

This Ole House
Wings of a Dove
I'm Gonna Change Everything
Four Walls
Country Boy
Wolverton Mountain
Young Love
Don't Throw Away Those Teardrops
Running Bear
Heartaches by The Number

Country & Western Million Record Sellers (Diplomat DS 2605; "stereo")


Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Drifting and Dreaming--or, Drifting n' Dreaming: Bennet Roy and His Orch.

A fairly easy rip, for a change.  I first ripped it at 3 grams with my after-market Stanton 500 cartridge stylus, but I needed heavier tracking--too noisy, with the audio breaking up in the loud parts on at least one track.  So I used my 680 cartridge and the superb DJ stylus whose number I don't have handy.  Made all the difference with this VG- LP whose pressing is the usual Synthetic Plastics Co. quality--namely, crap.  With this label group, the recordings were much better than the pressings, so the cleaned-up results are usually a pleasant surprise.  Shame that they'd have such decent masters but such lousy pressings, but I guess they believed in giving people what they didn't pay for.

Then again, we know that many of the phonographs of old didn't track lightly, so maybe the pressings were adequate for the time, unless you had good gear.  SPC probably didn't expect people with good gear to buy their albums.

Whether this LP is titled Drifting n' Dreaming or Drifting and Dreaming depends on which side of the jacket you believe. I'm going with Drifting and Dreaming because I prefer "and" to "n'."  Besides, the proper contraction of "and" is "'n'," with the apostrophes filling in for the missing a and d.

Can you imagine the Diplomat label, of all labels, getting this wrong?

I regard this as a fake-hits LP with filler.  The ratio is half and half.  The six fake hits are Canadian Sunset, Manhattan Spiritual, Fascination (possibly), Lisbon Antigua, Almost Paradise, and Tequila, which is misspelled as Tequilla.  Maybe they'd had too much.

Speaking of misspellings, Ciribiribin, is presented as Ciribibin on the jacket and Chiribiribim on the label.  They should have stayed with the jacket spelling, since its only problem is a missing letter.  The liner notes are classic: "In this age of zooming jets and super-sonic rockets, our prescription for relaxation is a delightful music tonic 'Drifting and Dreaming.'"  Even with a colon before "Drifting and Dreaming," that sentence would still fail grammatically, but what's with "super-sonic rockets"?  "Those super-sonic rockets are driving me nuts.  I'll be in the stereo den, honey."

Speaking of stereo, in addition to the hilarious essay, the back jacket contains a "Stereophonic Recording" blurb which nicely bills the bottom portion but doesn't pertain to the disc, which is mono.  A "delectable pot-pourri," the notes promise us, and I really enjoyed the 31 minutes of music offered here, even if "potpourri" has no hyphen.  I guess I should say that I really en-joyed it.

If you want some fun fake hits and entertaining filler, or if you just want to escape the maddening clamor of super-sonic rockets, here's your best bet.

DOWNLOAD: Drifting and Dreaming--Bennet Roy and His Orch.

Canadian Sunset

Ciribirbin (sic), (or, on the label, Chiribiribim, also sic)
La Paloma
Manhattan Spiritual
Guitars A Swinging (or, on the label, A Swingin')
Lisbon Antigua
Tequilla (sic)
Stars of Love
Samson and Delilah
Almost Paradise
Billy Bailey

Drifting and Dreaming--Bennet Roy and His Orchestra (Promenade/Diplomat 2251)


Saturday, June 15, 2019

Eighteen Top Hits--Curtis Smith, The Hi-Fi's, Artie Malvin, Enoch Light, and the Zig Zags!

I've had these tracks ready for the past week--they were a tough cleaning-up job, but it only took me a couple hours or three.  However, writing this essay has turned out to be a near impossible task, because my findings are complicated and confusing.  In my recent Hurrah! Top Hits post, I presented my theory that Pickwick had already acquired Waldorf by 1961.  This, obviously, was consistent with my theory that Pickwick had bought Waldorf.  Well, the great Both Sides Now website reports that it was Am-Par Records, soon to become ABC-Paramount, which acquired Waldorf in October 1959.  So much for my  Pickwick theory.  Both Sides Now's Hurrah Records page only covers the Pickwick-group LPs that came out, beginning in 1962, under the "Hurrah Records" banner, or whatever you call those things, and I totally believe Both Sides Now--their research is impeccable.  However, BSN only deals with LPs, and it seems that the EPs released under the Hurrah! name preceded the LP line by at least three years.  This label scan from 45cat proves as much:

The giveaway that Hurrah! is Pickwick can be found int the "Bobby Krane" credit, Krane being a real or made-up name used by Pickwick on its fake-hit LPs.  Why the Hurrah! EP labels revealed no company name, I can't begin to guess--it would sure make my work a lot easier.  But the Bobby Krane credit and the fact that the Hurrah! EP labels sported the same design as Pickwick's Discount Disc and Bravo! issues have me convinced Hurrah! was Pickwick all along.  (Discogs lists Hurrah! as a Waldorf sublabel, but I disagree.)  There may even have been, in effect, two Pickwick Hurrah labels: the EPs with the !, and the other ("Hurrah Records") being the LP line.  Except I have a Hurrah! LP, so....

Good grief.  Let's face it.  These labels behaved irrationally, and there's no sense to be found in their actions, and we who collect these things should expect to be confounded at every turn.

The 33-JAN-58 catalog number has me thinking today's LP is from 1958.  Dunno why.  Anyway, it's one of Waldorf's last-gasp issues.  The fakes are mostly decent, meaning that, over time, Waldorf got the hang of copying rock styles (its initial efforts were pretty terrible--fun, but terrible), and if I had any idea why they tacked on six additional, totally unrelated tracks (which I did not rip), I'd offer it.  But I'm stumped.  These additional six tracks bring the 18 Top Hits track total to 24 (cheap-label logic in action), and they forced the shortening of at least two of the Top Hits.  I know this because I have the 78 rpm versions of Till and Liechtensteiner Polka, and they're the same tracks, only longer.  Waldorf cut them for this LP, despite the fact that the LP format gave them much more playing time to work with.  Only in cheap-label land would the 78 rpm versions be the longer, unedited cuts, and the LP tracks the shortened ones.  Such ridiculous details only serve to make this hobby more fun....

And... further weirdness: That 1961 Hurah! Tops Hits LP from before uses this exact 18-hits-plus-six-filler-tracks format.  And it, in turn, the Hurrah! LP appeared in a co-release which looked exactly like a Waldorf issue (stock Waldorf cover art) and which employed a Waldorf series title (America's Favorite Music).  My guess was incorrect regarding who bought up Waldorf, but I was right that Waldorf and Pickwick were working together.  An amazing finding sure to put the average music lover to sleep with excitement.

I forgot to add that Enoch Light does an almost excellent cover of the wonderful Roger Williams hit, Till.  But this arrangement (Light's, we can assume) dispenses with the (music term alert) 4-3 suspension that makes the "...adore you" moment in so awesome in the original.  (In the Roger Williams mono mix, the singer making the half-step down from G# to G natural is just a little unsure, making the performance all the more precious.)  Light blew it.  (Is that a pun?  A blown light?)  Too bad.  This was so close to being a perfect cover.

I found this minus a cover, which is why I have no image to share.  Likely, it was one of their two or three stock images.

DOWNLOAD: 18 Top Hits (Waldorf 33-JAN-58)

I'll Come Running to You--Curtis Smith
The Joker--Curtis Smith
Peggy Sue--Hal Willis
The Object of My Affections--Enoch Light and the Light Brigade
Could This Be Magic--Curtis Smith
Great Balls of Fire--Hall Willis
Till--Enoch Light and Chorus
Liechtensteiner Polka--The Hi-Fi's
The Story of My Life (Bacharach-David)--Jim Richards
Why Don't They Understand--Loren Becker and the Hi-Fi's
Wild Is the Wind--Loren Becker w. Enoch Light, his Orch. and Chorus
At the Hop--Hal Willis and the Woodchuckers
March from the River Kwai (Colonel Bogey)--Enoch Light and his Orch. and Chorus
Sugartime--Dottie Evans and Judy Johnson
Stood Up--Loren Becker and the Zig Zags
Catch a Falling Star--Artie Malvin
Rock and Roll Music--Hollis Harbison
The Stroll--Jack Brown with the Monarchs
Till--Enoch Light Orch. and Chorus (Top Hit Tunes TH-16-2; 78 rpm)
Liechtensteiner Polka--The Hi-Fi's (Top Hit Tunes TH-16-2; 78 rpm)


Saturday, June 08, 2019

More Fakes in a Row: Tequila, Short Shorts, The Stroll, Way Down Yonder..., Charlie Brown

The Stroll, Tequila, Short Shorts, Charlie Brown--ever wanted to hear up to six different fake-hit versions of these rock and roll classics?  No?  Oh.  Well, that's what I have for you today, anyway.  Now, as a general rule, we observe fewer and fewer fake-hit versions as the 1950s progress, with the late '50s the start of the tradition of two--or, at most, three--different fakes per given chart hit.  Two or three at best.  Which means that a couple outfits were leasing their masters. Just my guess.  I'm not counting the Waldorf and Bell labels, which did their own stuff (the other labels did a lot of swapping), though Waldorf was obviously absorbed by someone circa 1959--Pickwick, probably.  You can tell, because instead of Artie Malvin, Enoch Light, and Loren Becker, suddenly these folks were replaced by fake-sounding artist credits.  You never know who owned whom or when with these labels.

So, there was a trend toward fewer fake-hit versions per hit as the '50s went to.  So, naturally, it's an amazing and super-interesting thing to me when I discover glaring exceptions to that trend--such as six versions apiece (!) of Short Shorts and Tequila, and four of The Stroll.  How to explain?  I think the answer lies in the lack of planning and organization which lie (lied? a dictionary gives that as the past tense) at the heart of the cheap operations.  Without checking, I'll assume for the fun of assuming that Tequila was a huge overnight success.  The cheapies wanted to rush out and siphon off some of its sales, but it had to be NOW, so there was no waiting for, say, Prom and Broadway to do their own versions and then lease those masters.  Instead, they bellied up and did their own label-unique fakes.  That's one theory.

OR... it's simply that 1958--the year of the three hits I named--was a period of transition.  Things were moving toward the two-version norm, but they hadn't quite settled into that pattern, and so we get these sudden major fake-hit peaks.  Yes, I actually just typed "sudden major fake-hit peaks."

I find the fact of six versions of Short Shorts more interesting than the six versions themselves, though I do--Go knows why--love listening to multiple rushed-out versions of hit song, all in a row--it's fun and amusing to me.  But that's me.  I don't pretend to be typical--no one would believe me for a second.  Normal, yes.  Normal, contrary to the popular take, covers a very wide range.  You have to be really out there to leave the orbit of normal.  But leaving the orbit of typical is almost child's play.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy this crazy-obsessive playlist.  This is a delayed post, and it follows one heck of a week, which started with two days minus phone service, a fried modem, a fried Network Interface Card in my (fomer) PC, and a UFO in my back yard.  No, just kidding about the fried modem.  Anyway, PC problems, and my Lenovo was at the point where sinking money into it was going to become more trouble and expense than I could possibly justify--so I bought this new HP PC.  It's a gorgeous machine.  That's a fact--a fact which makes its Radio Shack-reject DVD drive a curious and unacceptable thing.  I burn a lot of CD-Rs, and, in the space of only a day, TWO CD-Rs have gotten pushed into the wrong place, necessitating removal of the tower cover to coax out the discs.  There's a cramped opening to the left of the drive, and the slightest misalignment of the CD or DVD disc in the transport thingie can send it there.  I felt foolish for doing it, but then the Best Buy Geek Squad guy did the exact same thing when I took in the tower, so....  But I don't feel like having to pull the tower out, unscrew the side, and fish out lost CDs and DVDs on a regular basis.  I mean, HP could have sunk a couple more bucks into the set-up.  Good grief.  I'm thinking of the analogy of a luxury car with Nerf Ball rubber on the steering wheel.

So this is me back at the blog--and you didn't even know I was gone.  No time to do a Sunday post, I'm sorry to say, but things will be back to, um, normal in no time.  As for Windows 10, I can only conclude that its designers possess brains whose atoms are scattered across the universe.  It's the least linear thing I've ever encountered, outside of baby talk or MSNBC explanations for why Hillary lost.  However, I've gotten all my downloaded programs on here, found the installation disc for my ancient Epson scanner (which means I don't have to buy a new ArcSoft program), have managed to turn off a lot of annoying prompts and Windows 10-style attempts at misdirection, and so things are going okay.  Until the net time I scream at this thing.

Fakes in a row.  Waiting for you below.  (Depending upon how you feel about these tings, "waiting for you below" can have a sinister sound and connotation....)

DOWNLOAD: More Fakes in a Row

Talahassee Lassie--Don Meeks (Gilmar 233; also Broadway)
Talahassee Lassie--8 Top Hits (Allegro Elite 4150)
Hard Headed Woman--Steve Marks (Value Hit Parde Tunes 45-149; also Gilmar 221, and likely Broadway)
Hard Headed Woman--This Week's Pop Hits (Audition; plus other cheapies)
Short Shorts--The Corwins (Gilmar 45-149, and likely Broadway)
Short Shorts--Pops for Tots (Audition)
Short Shorts--The Nation's 12 Big Hit Recordings (Hollywood LPH-139)
Short Shorts--Bobby Vance w. Chorus and Bob Le Monte's Orch. (Gateway 1239, 1958--also Hollywood Records)
Short Shorts--The Promineers (Prom Hit 28--also Hollywood Records)
Short Shorts--The Blazers (Harmony HL 7103, 1958)
The Stroll--The Corwins (Value Hit Parade Tunes 45-149, also likely Broadway)
The Stroll--Jimmy Priddy and the Toppers (Tops 45-R415-49)
The Stroll--Dave Martin and His Group w. the Strollers (RCA Camden, 1958)
The Stroll--The Blazers (Harmony HL 7103, 1958)
Charlie Brown--Steve Marks (Broadway Value 163--also Value Hit Parade Tunes?)
Charlie Brown--Gateway Four (Big Buy--4 Hits Tunes 247--also Bravo)
Charlie Brown--The Promineers (Prom SOS-102--also Tops)
Tequila--Herbie Layne's Orch. (Big 4 Hits 230, 1958)
Tequila--Vic Corwin and His Orch. (Gilmar 218--also VHP Tunes?)
Tequila--Instrumental (Tops 45-R416-49)
Tequila--Al Garry and His Orch. (Rhythm n' Blues in Hi-Fi; Parade SP-201)
Tequila--The Nation's 12 Big Hit Recordings (Universal LPU-6001--Same as Big 4 Hits)
Tequila--Prom Orch. and Chorus (Promenade RR 33)