Monday, January 21, 2019

Various singles, Part 2--Full of Love, Do You Wanna Ride?, Open the Door Polka







Well, it's not every post in which I get to say, "And included in this playlist is a lovely 1957 number from The Monster That Challenged the World."  So I'm saying it now.  I'll never have another chance.  The performance is credited to Bill Fontaine with Orchestra and Chorus, so Bill must be the harmonica player.  Record collector's logic, in action.  I've seen the flick, and it's much better than the title might suggest, with a couple of excellent shock moments where you know the monster is going to show up, but when and where and from what camera angle, you don't know.  I recall that the giant mollusks in the film are not full of love--quite the reverse--so we can assume this is a love theme for humans.  (Record collector's intuition, again.)  That, plus I found this page.  I'll never again get to type anything like, "Here's a lovely number from The Monster That Challenged the World."  And that's too bad.  I might even do this post over again, just so I can relive the moment.  Damn, this feels good.

And we have a cheap but excellent fake version of Johnny Ray's Cry on the Tops label, and I really made the thing sound a lot better than it does.  Not sure how I manged it, but I gave it a nice bottom and good definition in the treble without any tinny effect.  Mimi Martel does a good job, though next to Ray, she sounds like a singer on benzos.  Sherri Lynn's magnificent Tops label cover of I Want You to Be My Baby is better than the Lillian Briggs hit, and how often did Tops top an original?  It's better in every respect, and the fidelity puts the YouTube posting of Briggs' version to shame.  All of this is only my opinion, but I hold my opinion in high regard.

Then Eileen Scott shows up and sounds more like Rosemary Clooney than Rosemary Clooney on Mambo Italiano.  Was Eileen the real Rosemary?  Then the fabulous Open the Door Polka from 1949, with lyrics (I guess you could call them that) which would never go down today.  This is followed by Artie Malvin doing an okay cover of Tony Bennett's Close Your Eyes--not bad at all.  I'm searching for a pun on the title, but with no luck.  Artie again, with a good High Noon, the singer doing a perfectly decent Frankie Laine.  Sunny Gale's Come Go with Me doesn't do it for me, but it's an interesting oddity.  I think it was Prom, but one of the cheapies did a much better copy.  I just listened to another side by Gale, and Come Go with Me just didn't go with her.

Then it's Mitch Miller, with Stan Freeman on the harpsichord, followed by two sides of a Paulette Sisters single.  The 1952 sound on the Paulette sides is gorgeous, and I don't care that Sui Sin Fa is way un-PC today--I like it.  Not crazy about the flip, Glow-Worm, which copies the Mills Brothers' hit version of the same year, but here it is.  It's so synthetic in its jive element, and it fails to swing.  But the public loved it--the Mills version, anyway--so what do I know.  Just read that Johnny Mercer did the revised lyrics.  Very below par for him.

And for the weirdest offering of the bunch--it's 1954, and famed rock and roll hater Mitch Miller permits a (lousy) cover of Oop Shoop on his label, with a creepy and lewd flip made all the moreso by the fact the Hamilton Sisters are clearly not of age.  My God.  Is this record for real?  And Mitch, of all people, choosing such limited vocalists--the lead on Oop Shoop is pathetic.  Mitch usually went for singers with actual pipes.  Oddly enough, I've seen this record listed for serious money.  I would think Mitch would have paid serious money to bribe discographers not to list it.  Not to be missed.  The lyrics of Do You Wanna Ride? make so little effort to hide what they're about, I'm surprised it isn't Do You Wanna Screw?  It makes Sixty Minute Man sound like I Believe.  Anymore, everything we think we knew about Mitch is shown to be myth.  (Myth Miller?)

I dreamed this record.  I had to.  It doesn't exist.  No--just played it again.  It exists.  An alternate universe is overlapping with ours or something.

Tokyo Boogie Woogie, from 1946, is pretty well known to collectors, I think, but it's a great side, and I got nice sound out of it.  It's a 1953 issue on U.S. Columbia.  And a lively Square Dance Polka by Carson Robison, with me doing a last-minute removal of its flip, Promenade Indian Style, on account of a certain viral video of the moment.  The Robison is actually harmless fun, but 1952-style fun, and this is 2019.   Statler was a dance class record label, and I'm guessing the Statler version of Rock Around the Clock is from the early 1970s, when the tune became famous again in its function as the Happy Days opening theme.  Or whatever I just typed.  I remember that time period pretty vividly--early rock and roll was out, and progressive rock was in, with FM the coolest thing in town (they played entire LP sides!), and this is why I grew up with little knowledge of anything pre-Manfred Mann.  I swear I never heard anything beyond snippets by Elvis until I met John and Bev--there was a greatest hits commercial on TV, but that was it.  I don't remember when malt shop nostalgia started, though I remember when the Beach Boys were suddenly in again, with Endless Summer.  People seem to gloss over the whole period of rock disowning its early days, but I sure remember it.  Anyway, you'll notice that the singer on this dance-class Rock Around the Clock disc clearly doesn't know the melody, meaning that, yes, there was a time when the early classics were as ancient to Boomers as Tommy Dorsey's Song of India.  Real rock was serious; none of this silly early stuff.

Update: Buster reminded me that the Boomer period was pretty broad and that Boomers before me experienced early r&r.  I keep forgetting I was born about the middle of the generation span (1957).  The early-rock blackout happened on my watch.  I didn't properly qualify things....

We close with Pat Patterson doing That's All Right, but he's copying Marty Robbins, not Elvis.  Sorry.  I have no idea what's with the very heavy rumble during the piano solo--probably a poorly placed microphone.




CLICK HERE TO HEAR:  Various Singles, Part 2






Cry--Mimi Martel and the Toppers (Tops 317; 1952)
I Want You to Be My Baby--Sherri Lynn w. Nat Charles and His Orch. (Tops)
Mambo Italiano--Eileen Scott w. the Four Jacks and Herbie Layne's Orch. (Gateway Top Tune 1097; 1954)
Open the Door Polka--Larry Fotine and His Orch. (Decca 24647, 1949)
Close Your Eyes--Artie Malvin w. Vincent Lopez Orch. (18 Top Hits 148)
High Noon--Artie Malvin w, the Enoch Light Orch. and Chorus (Waldorf Record Corp. P 111)
Come Go with Me--Sunny Gale w. Orch. Dir. by Sid Bass (Decca 9-30231; 1957)
Full of Love (From "The Monster That Challenged the World")--Bill Fontaine, 1957
Bolero Gaucho--Mitch Miller and His Orch., w. Stan Freeman, harpsichord (Columbia 4-40655, 1956)
Sui Sin Fa--The Paulette Sisters w. Larry Clinton Orch., 1952
The Glow-Worm--The Paulette Sisters and Dick Style w. Larry Clinton Orch.
Tell Your Tale, Nightingale--Toni Arden w. Percy Faith and his Orch., 1952
Oop Shoop--The Hamilton Sisters (Columbia 4-40319; 1954)
Do You Wanna Ride--The Hamilton Sisters (Columbia 40319; 1954)
Maybellene--Jack Daniels w. Herbie Layne's Orch. (Gateway Top Tune 1135; 1955)
Square Dance Polka (Robison)--Carson Robison and his Pleasant Valley Boys, 1952
Tokyo Boogie Woogie--Shizuko Kasagi w. Columbia Tokyo Orch. (1946)
House of Blue Lights--Artie Malvin w. the Light Brigade (Waldorf, 1955)
Rock Around the Clock--Unknown (Statler 933)
That's All Right--Pat Patterson with the Texas Wranglers (Tops R255; 1954)





Lee

16 comments:

Buster said...

Oh, I dunno - I am a baby boomer and I clearly remember the early years of rock 'n' roll. Baby boomers were born over a relatively long period of time, I believe.

Looking forward to this unusual collection!

Lee Hartsfeld said...

You're right. I keep forgetting I was born in the middle of the cycle. I call myself a baby baby boomer!

Ernie said...

Greetings from Anaheim! Sorry I'm not around much, too much to see and while I'm here, not time for blog surfing.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Yup. I see. You've gone Hollywood, as they say. Actually, you're close to Hollywood, aren't you?

Buster and I will have cool stuff for you to enjoy when you return from your thrifting paradise. I'm not one bit jealous.

Buster said...

Ernie - Are you at Disneyland? I don't want to surprise you, but there's a Disney locale much closer to your home.

Buster said...

I've only listened to a few of these, but it's a heck of a collection. I rather prefer Mimi Martel to Johnnie Ray, but I've never been that strong on Johnnie. Sherri Lynn is incredible - who is she? The Open the Door Polka is a gas. It sounds like a Polish band (actually almost like a klezmer ensemble), but Larry Fotine doesn't sound like a Polish name. Wiki has him as a jazz pianist (!), with a real name of Lawrence Constantine Fotinakis, so apparently he was Greek. And he wrote the music to "You Were Only Fooling (While I Was Falling In Love)," or so they tell me.

Ernie said...

Not sure how I'll carry this huge pile of thrift store vinyl home on the plane, but I'm going to give it the old college try. And Disneyland is tomorrow night. Always wanted to see the original! :)

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I was going to ask on FB if you plan to hire a driver to tote your vinyl home.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Buster--I've never been impressed by Ray, either. Glad you agree about Lynn! I did a quick Google and found nothing. I was hoping she'd taken off as a solo singer. She's much better than Lillian Briggs, at least on this side. Thanks for the Fotine info--that name did seem a bit odd for a polka meister. My copy of "Door" is a well-played vinyl DJ 78--VinylStudio did a good job on the clicks, and I did manual repairs. Helps that the thing is playing forte or louder. Just a terrific side, the extra editing work didn't seem like work. Goodwill gem that came with two sets of polka 78s. I snapped them up, correctly figuring there'd be some winners in the bunch.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I did a quick Google? Er, search. A "quick Google" sounds like drug slang.

PB W said...

I love these compilations and thank you for them. But in this case, the link seems to have died.

Philip

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Hi, Philip. I just re-upped the file. It should be fine now.

PB W said...

Lee
Thanks. I always enjo8y these old small label covers of pop songs. I bought quite a lot of them when I was a kid back in the 1950s. I liked the songs and these were the ones I could afford. I also used to search through the bins at Woolworth's, where used 45 RPM disks (formerly in juke boxes) could be had at the rate of four for a dollar.
Best wishes
Philip

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I didn't know Woolworth's did that! About what time period was that? Were the discs in playable shape? I ask, because my experience with juke box discs has not been good. They tend to look okay, but....

Buster said...

I actually started collecting records by rummaging through the 25 cent bin at Woolworth's (and other places). This was when I was about 6, so 1955. The selections were jukebox remainders and promos. I was playing these gems on a Webcor portable, so high fidelity was not a concern. Mostly what you would find were things that didn't turn over the coin, so wear wasn't really an issue anyway. I couldn't tell you how I chose what I chose but it was heavy on pop singers. Among my favorites at the time were singles by Sarah Vaughan, Vic Damone and the Modernaires, so not much different from my tastes 60 years later.

I believe the last 78 I got was by Patience and Prudence in 1956 - all 45s thereafter. The P&P number may have been a gift, because the song was a hit and I probably wouldn't have found it in the quarter pile.

PB W said...

My Woolworth's shopping was in New York City in the middle 1950's. (There was also a similar chain called Kress's, but I don't know if they existed outside NYC.)

Pretty well all the 45 RPMs I found were in fairly good condition, though admittedly my little portable record player was not what you'd call high fidelity. The pop records found their way from the juke boxes due, I suspect, to shifting fashions. There were some gems, including a lot of Glenn Miller and even one of Gershwin's recordings of Rhapsody in Blue. (This was on two sides of a 45.). Among the people I found were Sammy Davis Jr, Sarah Vaughan, Rosemary Clooney...
Then the budget label LPs on labels like Remington, with fictional performers and "European Symphony Orchestras."

Philip