Sunday, September 25, 2022

Twist--Bobby Dunn With Les Cooper and His Twisters (Palace M-689)

 



What a front jacket!  How best to describe it?  A child's crayon scribblings?  A movie poster for Attack of the Killer Silly String?  An image from a failed 1960 private eye series?

Pretty minimalist, but I like it.  And this twist LP (aptly called Twist) features something fairly rare to budget label twistploitation albums: Accurate track credits.  The tracks are by the actual R&B artists--Bobby Dunn and Les Cooper--actually credited!  My friend and R&B/budget label expert Brian McFadden kindly confirmed this for me. Save for a few retitled tracks, this release is totally on the level.  And Brian sent me an image of Bobby Dunn's You Are the One (which shows up on Side 2, track 3) in its original 45 rpm issue:


Come the next Palace Twist LP, "Beep Bottomly" was the name on the cover.  I think we can assume that "Beep Bottomly" was totally made up.  Or we can only hope, for Beep's sake.

Some excellent R&B by these two well known artists in that vein, even if at least a couple selections are somewhat derivative.  I refer to the Side 2 opener, Do the Twist! which is basically Money Honey and Fannie Mae, melody- and riff-wise.  I love it, regardless.  And the Side 2 opener, What a Thrill! also uses the Fannie Mae riff.  Interestingly, Buster Brown's Fannie Mae was coupled with the Les Cooper hit Wiggle Wobble on a 1963 Oldies label reissue.  Small world.

Like most twist LPs, real or of the twistploitation variety, this gets a little monotonous, but it rocks solidly throughout.  Come to think of it, my last budget twist offering (by "Tubby Chess") was unusually good for a jobber-rack release, so maybe we're seeing a pattern here.  Or maybe not.

If you're in the mood to twist (and, by the fourth day of fall, who isn't?), this is the twist LP for you!  Or, if you prefer, the Twist LP for you!  Thanks again to Brian for his help.


DOWNLOAD: Twist--Bobby Dunn With Les Cooper and His Twisters (Palace M-689)


Do the Twist!

Twisting With Joyce

The Congo Twist

Les Cooper's Twist

I've Got Love in My Heart for You

Twist With the Twisters

What a Thrill!

Shimmy, Baby

You Are the One (Bobby Dunn)

The Chinese Twist

The Latin Twist

Twisting on the Hill



Lee


Sunday, September 18, 2022

Sunday morning gospel--The Singtime Trio: More About Jesus (Salem 1065; 1969)

 




(Don't forget to check out my previous posting of 25 78 rpm rips!)

This morning (or afternoon, or whenever), some truly excellent gospel by the Singtime Trio of the Church of God in Oak Hill WV.  Not a mediocre selection in the bunch, and the only annoying part of this rip was the online unavailability of author/composer credits for some oft-recorded numbers.  I ran into the usual dumb online title/performer listings--entries which carelessly imply that a given group  or singer penned a given song.  Is it simply that gospel author/composer credit is given low regard, or are there actually people who don't understand the concept of songwriting?

Sorry.  Had to rant.  So, there are four song credits I couldn't locate for the mp3 ID tags, including I've Got It, which I strongly suspect is a black spiritual.  It's only by sheer luck that I traced the credit for I Need Jesus (not the once-famous Charles Gabriel number), and that was courtesy of the following sheet music scan.  I did follow-up searching to confirm the writers.  Along the way, I encountered a bogus attribution, but at least the website in question was trying.


Of course, the great 1836 John Matthias hymn on Side 1, track 3 is not Palmes of Victory, but Palms of Victory (aka, Deliverance Will Come).  I'm just now noticing the jacket typo.  On this number, the Singtime Trio delivers a delightful and lively rendition worthy of the Oak Ridge Boys and the Speer Family.  In fact, "lively" is the key adjective throughout--the Singtime Trio performs with irresistible energy and enthusiasm.  The former, in contrast to my feeling of never quite having woken up today after eight-plus hours of shuteye.  I blame the pollen count.  Anyway, I needed this jolt of high-energy gospel.  Thank you, Singtime Trio and Salem Records.

So, a trio, but five people on the cover?  This sort of thing troubles some folks, I know, but I'm sure the extra three people consist of the guitarist, pianist, and organist.  The "musicians," as the term goes.  Never understood that convention--I mean, singers are musicians, aren't they?

By the way, if any gospel scholars can give me the missing author/composer credits from my mp3 ID tags, please check in.  My thanks to the Gloryland Jubilee website for providing the release year for this LP (1969) and for identifying Precision Record Pressing as the Pressing Plant.  (That explains the "PRP" in the dead wax.)  PRP was located in Nashville TN.  The label, Salem, was based in Salem, Virgina and owned by George McDonald McGraw of the McGraw Music and Publishing Company.  These vintage low-budget gospel vinyls (to use the modern slang) sure followed a complicated path to completion.

When this one showed up at the St. Vincent de Paul thrift, and I saw the group photo, song titles, humble front jacket pic, and "West Virginia" in the notes, I knew I had my Sunday gospel post...


DOWNLOAD: The Singtime Trio: More About Jesus (Salem 1065; 1969)


Born Again

He Touched Me

Palms of Victory

More About Jesus

I've Got It

Thank You for the Valley

Joy in the Camp

Constantly Aware of His Love

I Don't Know Why

I Need Jesus

Thanks to Calvary 

It's in Your Hand



Lee


Thursday, September 15, 2022

Shellac City 78s, Part 2--Arthur Pryor, Ted Lewis, Alfredo Brito, Wilbur Sweatman, Banda Espanola, Peerless Quartet! (1905-1937)

 










Twenty-five 78 rips from my own collection, all made by me (with the help of VinylStudio and MAGIX), and all posted at my YouTube Channel, Shellac City.  As the name suggests, the emphasis is on shellac, though I've cheated two or three times with vinyl posts.  Occasionally, it's hard to remain locked in a format...

And I decided to go the mp3 route this share, since including the YouTube videos in a post gets cumbersome and limits the playlist, despite the aesthetically pleasing look.

Today's selections, which represent about 1/3rd of my YouTube postings, cover the years 1905-1937, though not comprehensively--the two 1937 sides are outliers, really.  A more accurate span description would be 1905-1925-ish.  "1925-ish" was a good year, I've read.

First, my thanks to Steve for his generous gift of a box of 78s--selections 6-12 are Steve gifts, and they came out quite well, I think.  The Pryor sides are excellent, as I expected, though I was mildly surprised by the sheer excellence of the xylophone and cornet solos, both of which are terrific examples of their era (1905 and 1906), recording-wise.  Moral: Never underestimate early 20th century solo sides.  Thanks, Steve!

The rest are from my overflowing shellac stash, which coexists (mainly) in this room with my overflowing vinyl collection.  If I were to pick highlights (and I will), I'd mention the outstanding 1923 Twelfth Street Rag version by Ted Lewis--a blog repeat, but in better sound, I'm sure.  Also, the amazingly vivid 1926 Arthur Pryor William Tell Finale, which everyone knows as the Batman theme.  No, wait--Lone Ranger.  Sorry.  There's the 1918 Wilbur Sweatman "jam tune" (my term), That's Got 'Em, which is another repeat, but in more vivid fidelity.  Plus, from Steve's box of 78s, the wonderful American Beauties March and "His Honor the Mayor" Melodies (Arthur Pryor, 1906 and 1907), the latter title getting a rave review at YT.  And... Alfredo Brito and His Sibony Orchestra, from 1931, with (what else?) Ernesto Lecuona's Siboney.  And please note the Bo Diddley beat on the claves.  And the vivid early-electric-era sound continues with the 1925 The Whistler and His Dog, which has Arthur Pryor's Band (in microphone fidelity, this time) performing Pryor's own novelty number, and on the Columbia X suffix, Banda Espanola and Banda Columbia sides from 1925: Dolores (by Emil The Skaters Waldteufel), and La Nueva Higuerita, which translates to "The New Higuerita," with "higuerita" the diminutive form of "fig tree."  And some pre-hi-fi high fidelity sound, courtesy of the Massed Military Bands (whoever they were) on Parlophone (Entry of the Gladiators, 1937), the flip of which I'll post next time.  The delightful Neil Moret (aka Charles N. Daniels) Silver Heels (Columbia Band, 1905) is making probably its second or third appearance here, but this rip is my best to date.  My goal with all of the early-1900s selections is to bring the sound up front, and not leave it someplace in the back row.  That takes some post-rip tweaking, but it also requires the right bass turnover freq to start with.  Which is a little tricky, since acoustical recordings don't technically have a bass turnover freq--not in the literal sense.  But in the de facto sense, yes.

When Charles A. Prince switched over to a dance band format, he did so brilliantly, as demonstrated by his 1920 Oriental Stars, one of my all-time favorite early dance sides.  And I think I more than adequately captured the percussion effects, of which there are plenty.  Our sole close-harmony side, The Reube Quartet (usually spelled "Rube"), has the Peerless Quartet at its/their 1915 best, though that's a bit redundant--they were always at their best.  The Waring's Pennsylvanians 1924 masterpiece Oh, Baby! Don't Say No, Say Maybe (a typically ingenious Walter Donaldson title) answers the question, "Did popular dance bands of the 1920s ever record 'real' jazz?' quite solidly in the affirmative.  I wouldn't know what else to call it, though the typical approach to early jazz by jazz scholars is to pronounce nearly everything as not-jazz.  Less work, I guess.  ("We'll just toss this in the Not-Jazz pile.")

Sorry for the missing second or two near the close of the Louisiana Five's Slow and Easy (culprit: a deep gouge, the loud sound of which I smoothly edited out), and for Nat Shilkret fans, we have Nat leading the usual expert studio jazz guys in Chloe, from 1927.  Great side, but I'll never be able to listen to any version of Chloe without thinking of Spike Jones' devastating parody.  I keep expecting to hear Red Ingle saying, "Hello?  Oh, you don't say!" Etc.

Oh, and the full title of Paul Lincke's Amina Serenade is Amina: Egyptian Serenade.  I would sworn it was a Spanish dance, as nothing about it suggests "Egyptian."  Not to my 2022 ears.  But a nice number, regardless, and the usual marvelous Pryor performance.

We're going to Shellac City...


DOWNLOAD:  Shellac City, Part 2


12th Street Rag--Ted Lewis and His Band, 1923

Chloe (Song of the Swamp)--All Star Orch. (Dir. Nat Shilkret), V: Franklyn Baur, 1927

That's Got 'Em (Sweatman)--Wilbur Sweatman's Orig. Jazz Band, 1919

William Tell--Overture--"Finale"--Arthur Pryor's Band, 1926

Carioca--Rumba--RKO Studio Orchestra, Dir. Max Steiner, 1934

American Beauties March--Same, 1906

"His Honor the Mayor" Melodies--Same, 1907

Gesundheit Waltz--Same, 1907

Italian Riflemen March--Same, 1908

Long Long Ago--Air and Variations--Peter Lewin, Xylophone with Orchestra, 1905

Pretty Peggy--W.S. Mygrant, Cornet Solo with Orch., 1906

Amina--Serenade--Arthur Pryor's Band, 1912

Siboney--Rumba--Alfredo Brito and His Siboney Orch., 1931

Raftero--Nat Finston and Paramount Studio Orch., RR on piano, 1934

Silver Heels--March and Two-step--Columbia Band, 1905

The Whistler and His Dog (Pryor)--Arhtur Pryor's Band, Whistling: Margaret McKee, Billy Murray (!), 1925

Dolores--Banda Espanola, 1925

La Nueva Higuerita--Band Columbia, 1925

Oh, Baby! (Don't Say No, Say Maybe)--Waring's Pennsylvanians, 1924

Oriental Stars--One-step--Prince's Dance Orch., 1920

The Reube Quarette--Peerless Quartette, 1915

Slow and Easy--Louisiana Five Jazz Orchestra, 1919

Entry of the Gladiators--March--Massed Military Bands, 1937

Hot Time in the Old Town--Medley March--Victor Military Band, 1917

Taxi--One-step--Waldorf-Astoria Dance Orch., Dir. Joseph Knecht, V: Irving Kaufman, 1919



Lee


Saturday, September 10, 2022

Top Hits--Johnny Sullivan and His Orchestra (Parade SP-101; probably 1958), with Shep Wild

 


Top Hits, Parade SP-101.  Or is it Top Tunes?  Top hits, by any other name, are fake hits, and Parade (by the time this was issued--I'm guessing 1958) was SPC in disguise.  We know this because of the back-jacket logo: Fine records needn't be expensive.  I wonder if that was SPC's way of saying, "Don't expect us to put money into these things"?

I won't admit that I tossed this together, but I tossed this together.  I'd planned to feature a twist LP (can't have too many of those) on the amazingly (but lovably) cheap Palace label, and mainly because the tracks genuinely rock.  But I'll have to do comparison listening to figure out the sources and actual titles, since the LP in question uses older material from another label.  Or, the standard older-material-repackaged-as-twist-music-to-cash-in-on-Chubby-Checker ploy.  You've heard of that one.  So, for now it's Top Hits, aka Top Tunes.

This baby has been waiting for some time to see the light of blog, and I've been meaning to post it but somehow haven't, and now it has me feeling all guilty.  And the lady on the front looks SO happy.  Just like she looks on all of the SPC EP sleeves which carry the exact same image.  For a flat-fee photo, SPC sure got its money's worth, even if this redhead did not.

These are all quite decent sound-alikes, even if Witch Doctor (as far as I can tell) uses a soprano in place of the requisite sped-up tape.  Not that "requisite" is a concept which resonated with the jobber-rack labels, though thankfully this version of The Purple People Eater has the expected doubled-speed effect.  And I've always wanted to type, "the expected doubled-speed effect."  I can now scratch that off my Things I Want to Type list.

SPC, posing as Parade, has provided the artists' aliases, which include The Wright Bros., Shep Wild, and the no-relation-to-Alan Al Freed.  (Just checked Discogs to make sure there wasn't an actual Shep Wild, and it appears I was correct.)  The Wright Bros.--wow.  They had to be quite up there (up there--right) by 1958.  In fact, they were no longer with us.  But did such things deter SPC?  Of course not.

And, boy, Do You Wanna Dance sure brings back memories--of the 1965 Beach Boys hit version, that is.  It was a while before I heard the original Bobby Freeman 1958 hit (called Do You Want to Dance).  I guess, in anticipation of the Beach Boys' version to come, SPC opted for "wanna."

And what role does Johnny Sullivan's Orchestra play (no pun intended) in all this?  Was Johnny and his orchestra even for real?  Doubtful--Discogs gives "Johnny Sullivan" two credits, both of them on Parade.  But I love the way the label credits Johnny, only to put other names on the tracks--as if to say, "Just kidding!"  Just in case we weren't clued in by the two deceased aviation pioneers in the performer roster.  However, this is fun stuff, so... to the Top Hits/Tunes!


DOWNLOAD: Top Hits (or, Top Tunes)--Johnny Sullivan and His Orch. (Parade SP-101; prob. 1958)


All I Have to Do Is Dream--The Wright Bros.

Return to Me--Richard Deane

Chanson D'Amour--Al and Betty Wright (any relation to the Bros.?)

Who's Sorry Now--Terry Frank

Witch Doctor--John Logan

Secretly--Bob Mitchell

Do You Wanna Dance--Al Freed

For Your Love--Michael Reed

The Purple People Eater--Shep Wild

Looking Back--Bill King



Lee

Sunday, August 28, 2022

Sunday afternoon gospel: The Prophets Quartet--I Know (Queen City Album 10339; 1971)

 



It would appear that I accidentally moved the LP while scanning the A side.  Kind of a cool effect, actually.  Meanwhile, I had to clone out some upper right hand discoloration that, while only mildly noticeable on the jacket, showed up as an epic blemish on the scan.  I guess my old Epson scanner does a superior job, considering the highly detailed results I get.  Which, on the minus side, means extra work for me on the photoshopping front.  But do I complain?  Not me!

The Prophets Quartet of Knoxville TN (actually, this LP says Nashville) enjoys 30 entries on Discogs, so I guess the group was pretty popular.  And I just today found another one of theirs--like today's LP, it's a Queen City Album, Inc. production with no label name, and no notes, and stock front cover art.  Small world.  Oh, and no author/composer credits for the songs.  And that's why this post didn't go up last night, as planned--being my obsessive self, I just had to find out who wrote these familiar titles, and in all but one instance I was able to, though it was not a quick process.  As ever, I found myself amazed at the lack of online author/composer information when it comes to gospel songs, sometimes for even the most famous titles.  I mean, maybe I can understand a fairly involved search for Lee Roy Abernathy's Miracles Will Happen on That Day, especially since it's billed merely as Miracles, but Prayer Is the Key and What a Happy Day??  I believe I found the author/composer of the latter via a sheet music scan on Amazon, and all I can conclude is that, except for the folks who write the words and tunes for these numbers, few others give a hoot.  It's as if authorship isn't even a thing in gospel music--all that matters is who recorded a given number.  And, often, we're talking twenty different people.  There must be folks who think Johnny Cash or Lester Flatt wrote half the classic gospel titles.  Or Don Gibson, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, Jim Reeves, and so on.

And did you know that Anne Murray was the first person to record Put Your Hand in the Hand?  I didn't, but I do now.  I remember the recording by Ocean, at least.  Now, Hand is an example of a "pop" gospel number that became a standard, like In the Sweet By-and-By, Whispering Hope, The Bible Tells Me So, and another title which I just forgot.  Meanwhile, the Prophets' Will the Circle Be Unbroken is the version associated with A.P. Carter (Can the Circle...), and I have yet to decide whether Circle has a folk source or if the Carter version was a variation on the 1907 Ada R. Habershon/Charles H. Gabriel classic.  With gospel LPs, you never know which one you're going to get.  And, in today's performance, we hear the standard text variation, "There's a better home awaiting...," which was originally "Is a better home awaiting...?"  This makes the song a happier one.

Save for the toe-tapping title waltz, I Know, the only other uptempo numbers are Miracles (Will Happen on That Day) and What a Happy Day, but the pace never seems to drag, possibly because of the highly professional performances and the superior fidelity.  (A great combination.)  

Why Should I Worry? may or may not be the song Why Should I Worry When Jesus Is Near? by Woodie W. Smith, though I'm doubting it, since that song goes back at least as far as 1915, and these words sound very post-1915.  At any rate, to the excellent gospel.  And remember: "A phonograph record is a miracle of modern ingenuity," especially if we "take care to use the proper needle at the correct turntable speed."  I guess QCA felt it was better to share this vital advice than to tell us anything about the group...


DOWNLOAD: The Prophets Quartet--I Know (Queen City Album 10339; 1971)


Put Your Hand in the Hand (Gene MacLellan)

Going Home (Bill and Gloria Gaither)

I Know (Mullican-Rouse-Tripp)

Mansion Over the Hilltop (Ira Stanphill)

Miracles (Lee Roy Abernathy)

What a Happy Day (Jack W. Campbell)

Prayer Is the Key (Samuel T. Scott-Robert L. Sande)

Will the Circle Be Unbroken

How Beautiful Heaven Must Be (A.S. Bridgewater-A.P. Bland)

Why Should I Worry?


Lee