Friday, April 21, 2017

Society Favorites that are our favorites (Royale VLP 6042)

More adventures in cheap vinyl.  Today, the Royale label is making another appearance--Royale, you'll recall, belonged to Elliott Everett "Eli" Oberstein, whose labels were probably the cheapest of the cheap, though I hesitate to make a claim that cheap--I mean, that large.  As is not infrequently the case, the music here is quite decent--much better than the second-rate vinyl it was pressed on.  Best of the bunch are the marvelous pre-RCA and Columbia Percy Faith sides, which date from (I believe) 1946.

Vintage easy listening which can't be beat--that is, unless it was more competently mastered, and on better vinyl, but that's why you have me--to restore this stuff.  This ten-inch LP dates from... who knows when?  It has a copyright date of 1952, but I wouldn't trust that.

Society Favorites (That Are Our Favorites).  For the socialites and non-socialites among us.

Click here to hear:  Society Favorites

Body and Soul--Stevens Orchestra
Sweet and Lovely--Nat Brandwynne and Orchestra
Dancing in the Dark--Percy Faith and Orchestra
You and the Night and the Music--The Twilight Three
I Cover the Waterfront--Stevens Orchestra
I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans--Chauncey Gray and Orchestra
That Old Black Magic--Percy Faith and Orchestra
The Continental--Jerry Wald and Orchestra

Society Favorites (That Are Our Favorites)--Royale VLP 6042 (10")


Monday, April 17, 2017

Kostelanetz, to date

While I'm wigging out over my Impala's unreliable AUX function, here are the links to all of my active Andre Kostelanetz posts:

Kosty Speaks! The Voice Behind the BatonKosty Speaks

Ten-inch Kosty: Kostelanetz Strings:  K. Strings

Kosty for Saturday: KFS

Exotic Music (1946): EM

Andre Kostelanetz, 1934-1946: AK, 1934-1946


In 2017, auxiliary jacks are super-duper cutting-edge high-tech ultra-technology of the future

In case you didn't know that.  Some would argue that auxiliary (AUX) jacks are 1930s technology, but we have a 2017 Chevy Impala with a state of the art entertainment console/module/something, and the AUX function doesn't work.  It's that simple.  It doesn't work.

Simple logic tells us that, if an AUX function doesn't work on a state of the art, super-duper, ultra-modern, latest-technology entertainment console, then it must be, at the very least, emergent technology.

At any rate, it was working yesterday.  The console "detected" my AUX device (a Panasonic portable CD player plugged into the AUX jack), and I was able to play CDs and stuff, and everything was great.  Today, no device was detected.  No sound.  Everything was as I had left it, but no detected device, no sound.  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  Nicht.  Zero.

So I plugged, unplugged, turned the car off and on again, tested the Panasonic player in the house (it's working fine), then counted to ten to keep from smashing something in anger.

Worked yesterday but not today.  Who to ask for help?  Well, given the fact that the folks at the dealership, including a tech, are less familiar with the console/module/something menu that I am (picture a tech poking around, with no idea what he's looking for because Chevrolet forgot to inform anyone what they were planning to do with the 2017 Impala command center console thingie), going back to the dealership would likely be an exercise in, "Hm.  We don't know what's happening," only it would take 20 minutes to get to that revelation, and meanwhile everyone would act like they knew what they were doing.  And there's no number to call.

And imagine if there was a help center.  Person on phone (heavy foreign accent): "Do you have the device plugged in?"  Only, of course, it would come out, "Do you haf dee (inaudible) plag een?"

Here I sit, defeated by the auxiliary function.  Back in 1955, Bev, who is going on 83, used an AUX jack to listen to her record player through her radio.  In 2017, I can't use an AUX jack to play my Panasonic through my super-duper, state of the art, emergent-technology entertainment audio console/module/whatever.

1955=plug player into AUX, sit back and enjoy the sound.  2017=No device detected.


UPDATE: Working again.  But... for how long?  (Ominous music, fade)

UPDATE, PART 2: Continuing to work.  It's messing with me!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

More Easter sounds--Make Like a Bunny, Honey; Easter Chimes; He Lives

My bobblehead bunny (from Walgreens, I think) and his two buddies asked me to dig up some more Easter music, so of course I complied.

Here are six more Easter selections, including three extremely silly ones that will always have a home at MY(P)WHAE.  My Stairway to Easter (not one of the silly ones--or is it?) is a takeoff on a little-known Led Zeppelin number--a ditty you may have heard once or twice.  Or a thousand times.  And here's Jimmy Carroll again.  We heard him not too long ago in multi-tracked form, in which he functioned as a clarinet orchestra performing Tiptoe Thru the Tulips.  That really happened--it wasn't a dream.

Beautiful rainbow this morning, perfectly situated for viewing from our church fellowship room window.  Maybe it's a sign the storms will be mild tonight.  (Well, I can hope.)

More Easter music

He Lives (Ackley)--Ralph Carmichael Choir
Funny Little Bunnies--The Cricketts w. the Peter Pan Orch.
Easter Chimes (Hartsfeld)--Lee Hartsfeld, plus echo, 2006
Bunny Hop--Peter Pan Orch. and Singers, 1955
Stairway to Easter (Hartsfeld)--Lee Hartsfeld and Noteworthy Composer, 2009
Make Like a Bunny, Honey--Jill Corey, w. Jimmy Carroll Orch. and Cho., 1957



Happy Easter!  As we did last year, we have the Shannon Quartet, from 1925, singing Robert (Shall We Gather at the River) Lowry's Christ Arose, the Trinity Quartet, from 1922, singing Jesus Lives!, and the 1919 Columbia Stellar Quartette recording of Robert Hood Bowers' Memories of Easter.  The difference is, this year I used VinylStudio, so things should be sounding better (or, at least, more accurate in the response curve department).  Plus, I've added the terrific 1908 Haydn Quartet version of Arose.

Then you get to hear me on the Casio (don't let the Casio reputation throw you) with my very own rendering of Christ Arose, plus Christ the Lord Is Risen Today and Lasst Uns Erfreuen.  You get, among other sounds, organ, banjo, and tubular bells.  All played in real-time by your blogger.

Don't overdo the chocolate.  Just kidding.  Overdo the chocolate.  And, one of these days, I'll learn to type "chocolate" without dropping an o.  By the way, the wind-up hopper on my Casio is supposed to be a bunny, but it looks more like a modified Peep.  Very strange.

To the Easter sounds: Easter 2017

Christ Arose!--Shannon Quartet, 1925
Christ Arose--Haydn Quartet, 1908
Jesus Lives!--Trinity Quartet, 1922
Memories of Easter (Bowers)--Marie Morrisey and Columbia Stellar Quartette, 1919
Christ Arose--Lee Hartsfeld, Casio WK-3800 organ
Christ the Lord Is Risen Today--Lee Harstfeld, Casio organ sounds, banjo
Lasst Uns Erfreuen--Lee Hartsfeld, Casio tubular bells


Thursday, April 13, 2017

16 Complete Full Length All-Time Western Favorites (Tops)

Someone asked me, "Why haven't you posted 16 Complete Full Length All-Time Western Favorites?"  Puzzled, I replied, "Is that one of mine?"  Sure enough, it is.  (I have so many of these things, I lost track ages ago.)  And here it is, ripped from four extended-play 45s containing four tracks each.

Artists are Bob Sandy, both solo and with his Rhythm Rangers, and Rusty Howard.  I Forgot to Remember to Forget is an Elvis cover, of course.  Tops (which, afaik, started about 1948) was possibly the premiere fake-hits budget label of the 1950s, of which only Promenade (later, Pickwick) was second to.  Here's the source for Tops information: Tops/Mayfair Story  .  And their starting year was 1947, not 1948.  (I was close).

Condition--and, therefore, sound quality--varies on these, but all are listenable.  Some sound pretty good, in fact.  Why the wear is uneven on members of the same set, I know not, though the possibilities include some tracks getting more play than others and/or one or two discs falling victim to a worn stylus.

The Top label's engineering, unlike its pressings, was more than adequate, so brace yourself for fidelity that belies the set's low asking price ($2.98?).  There's zero correspondence between the sleeve's track listing and the way the titles show up on the oddly ordered discs (R268, R270, R272, and R277), so don't be surprised when you encounter none.

To the "western series" music: All-Time Western Favorites

Love, Love, Love--Bob Sandy & The Rhythm Rangers
All Right--Same
Yonder Comes a Sucker--Rusty Howard
I Guess I'm Crazy--Bob Sandy & The Rhythm Rangers
Just Call Me Lonesome--Same
Cry, Cry, Cry--Same
I Forgot to Remember to Forget--Bob Sandy
That Do Make It Nice--Rusty Howard and the Rhythm Rangers
You're Free to Go--Bob Sandy & The Rhythm Rangers
Eat, Drink, and Be Merry--Same
Don't Take It Out on Me--Same
Why, Baby, Why?--Same
Bayou Baby--Same
Trouble in Mind--Same
You and Me--Bob Sandy & Pat Manners
I Don't Believe You've Met My Baby--Bob Sandy & The Rhythm Rangers

(Tops R268, R270, R272, and R277)


Thursday, April 06, 2017

Music to perk up your day--"Television Moon," and more

"I'll see your picture, my love, over here in my Television Moon.
I'll dream that you're by my side--a charming, blushing bride.
So make your plans, my love, for a wedding some day in June.
We'll be happy then, my love, underneath our Television Moon."

Television Moon, 1953

I've owned Television Moon for a number of years, and I still can't figure out exactly what it's about.  I mean, if the singer is talking about imagining the face of his fiance in the Moon, why call it a "television" moon?  Some early TV tubes were round like the Moon, but....  Suffice it to say, this one stumps me.  But it perks me up, too!  I have no idea why.  Stump, perk--what's the difference?

And we have three perky sides by Billy Murray, the earliest from 1906.  I deleted Billy from a previous playlist due to zip file space, but I left his name in the post heading, causing a little confusion.  (Don't you like the way "I screwed up" becomes "caused a little confusion"?)  But he's here this time, unless his tracks manage to sneak out of the zip file or something.  Marimba is a favorite from childhood--it was in the first 78 rpm album I ever owned (previously my great-grandmother's).  I reckon I hadn't heard it in nearly 50 years (!) prior to finding this copy, and I'm a little surprised at how risque the lyrics are.  Went over my 9-year-old head.  Probably a good thing.

Other perky picks include the 1951 Alarm Clock Boogie, which I'd bet the farm was produced by Ray Conniff, because of the drowned-in-echo vocal "tick tock" effects and the ringing alarm clock--very restrained and subtle stuff.   (I love Conniff!)  Notice how the overall sound breaks up when the latter effect is added in, as if the mix were being overloaded.  Overall, this side is an interesting experiment that almost didn't come off.

Georgie Shaw's Honeycomb predates Jimmie Rodger's hit version by four years.  (Wikipedia dates the Shaw at 1954, but it's 1953.)  It was written by Bob (How Much Is That Doggie in the Window) Merrill.

And... two 1915 bagpipe records.  Think I'm kidding?  You won't when they start playing.  Amazingly well recorded for the day, and pretty catchy.  Speed them up a little, add some banjos, and you'd have early country.

And after you hear all these, you will feel perked up, or your money back.  Of course, these were free....

DOWNLOAD: Television Moon, and other songs to perk up your day.

Television Moon (Albert H. Monday)--Diane Richards w. Red Reese and His Orch., prob. 1953
Honeycomb (Bob Merrill)--Georgie Shaw w. the Jimmy Leyden Singers, 1953
Alarm Clock Boogie--Billy Briggs with String Band, 1951  (Conniff production?)
Cheyenne (Cowboy Song)--Billy Murray, 1906
Marimba (Sweet Marimba Mine)--Billy Murray, 1920
Down by the O-HI-O--Billy Murray-Victor Roberts, 1920
Scotch Bagpipe Medley--No. 1--Lovat Bagpipe Band of N.Y. (with Harry Lauder Co.), 1915
Scotch Bagpipe Medley--No. 2--Same
Come Take a Trip in My Airship--J.W. Meyers, 1904
Arkansas Traveler--Square Dance--Shorty McCoy and his Southern Playboys, 1941
Dixie's Favorite Son--Paul Whiteman Orch., 1924
My Teardrops Fall on Daddy's Cheek--Diane Richards w. Red Reese and His Orch., prob. 1953


Monday, April 03, 2017

Monday night mood--Percy Faith: Music from Hollywood, Vol. II

The best kind of easy listening--namely, Percy Faith.  The Song from Moulin Rouge isn't the hit single; this is an extended instrumental version, and beautifully done.  The Bad and the Beautiful movie theme is by David Raskin, best known for Laura, a tune I can't listen to without hearing the Spike Jones parody--which is okay, since the Jones record is a comic masterpiece.  ("And you see Laura, On the train that is passing through."  BROMO SELTZER, BROMO SELTZER!)

At any rate, listsen to the gorgeous Raskin harmonies on Bad and the Beautiful and ask yourself if it's possible Burt Bacharach wasn't influenced by this guy.  I don't know about you, but I hear Burt.

My copy of this EP is in excellent-minus condition, so cleaning it up was a breeze.  Easy listening EPs are often not in such fine shape.  Believe me.

Anyway, the perfect EP for our Mondy night mood morsel.  Take it away,

Percy Faith--Music from Hollywood, Pt. II


Sunday, April 02, 2017

Sunday afternoon gospel--A.T. Humphries and Lee College Choir

You want gospel music with energy?  This'll fill the bill, and then some.  Two anthems by the great Charles H. Gabriel, sung by the Lee College Choir, and accompanied by piano and (somewhere in there) an organ.  Do I hear two pianos?

The second--Awakening Chorus--is quite well-known as church anthems go, but I've never heard it played Blackwood Bros. style, and I'd have never imagined it would sound so good that way.  Great singing, great everything.  Gabriel was gospel's most brilliant minimalist.  He may have been its greatest talent, period.

I am not connected in any way with Lee College.  (Rim shot)

Reapers Are Needed (Gabriel)--A.T. Humphries and Lee College Choir

Awakening Chorus (Gabriel)--A.T. Humphries and Lee College Choir

Two "This is why I collect gospel records" gems for you, there.  I'll be on the lookout for more EPs on the Continental Recordings label.  I wonder if these were sold by the church, or...?  I doubt they showed up in record stores.



Saturday, April 01, 2017

Jimmy Carroll, Guy Mitchell, Dick Jurgens, "Chalk-Talk on the Sidewalk"

And the return of Elliot Everett.  What a playlist!  78s all, and all from my collection.

We start with Jimmy Carroll, whose name can be found on the Bell, Golden Records, Columbia, Mercury, Cook, and Decca labels (the man got around), and who may be best known for his arrangements for Mitch Miller, including the ones on Miller's "Sing-Along with Mitch" LPs.  But please don't let that stop you from listening to his amazing multi-tracked clarinets on Tiptoe Thru the Tulips with Me and Clarinet Polka, both from 1953 on Columbia.  1953 was early in the multi-tracking game, and these sound incredibly clean and well balanced, so you've got to wonder what kind of equipment they were working with.  You'd expect more generational loss if they were going from tape machine to tape machine.  Anyway....

Guy Mitchell recorded for King as Al Grant, and these two 1950 King promo sides, while in perfect shape, aren't exactly Columbia quality, sound-wise, but they do the job.  Here are the label scans, both of which include a short bio of Grant (Mitchell, whose real name was Al Cernik):

Since these are radio promos, I was expecting better sound, but life is full of surprises.

"Elliot Everett," performing here on the Royale label, is actually a portion of the label owner's name.  Who knows who this really is?  Fun version, nicely recorded (especially for Royale), and with a slight swing.  Nice.  I used my 3.5 mil stylus on this worn sdie.

Back to Guy, who sings here under his real name, Al Cernik, for Carmen Cavallaro.  He shows up again on the fourteenth selection (Encore, Cherie), my favorite of the trio.  Al's voice is just fabulous.  The perfect band singer, and just as big bands were going out.  But it worked for him, as he got bigger than big on Columbia as a solo singer.  Encore, Cherie, by the way, was composed by J. Fred Coots, who also gave us the slightly more famous Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town.

Chalk-Talk on the Sidewalk I bought for the title--turns out to be a very pleasant side, too.

The family-hour novelty, The Honey-Dripper, really rocks in this 1945 version by Sammy Franklin and His Atomics.  Who were they?  I have no idea--look them up.  Got fine sound using VinylStudio and my wider stylus.

Cousin Joe is nothing but the low-down blues, and I had to laugh at Old Man Blues, but not because I'm getting old and I relate to it or anything like that.  The Al Casey Quartette is fine.

Alabama Jubilee, a worn disc my 3.5 stylus did wonders for, is on the fake-hits label Tops, though I'm not positive who's being copied here.  Red Foley?  Probably.  World Events, presented here in easy-listening fashion, was used as the theme music for Movietone News newreels, which means nothing to us modern, post-newsreel people, unless we frequent weird-music blogs like, oh... hmm.  Can't think of any specific examples, offhand.

Sixty Seconds Got Together has timeless lyrics, and the singer is Eddie Howard.  So who can complain?  The lyricist is Hal David's brother, Mack.

To the music: Jimmy Carroll


Tiptoe Thru the Tulips with Me--Jimmy Carroll x 5, 1953
Clarinet Polka--Same guy
Forget Me Not--Al Grant (Guy Mitchell) w. Orchestra, 1950
You're the Sweetest Thing--Al Grant (Guy Mitchell) w. the Satisfiers Foursome, 1950
Syncopated Clock--Elliot Everett and His Orch.
Ah, But It Happens--Al Cernik (Guy Mitchell), w. Carmen Cavallaro O., 1947
I Go In When the Moon Comes Out--Same
Chalk-Talk on the Sidewalk--Dick Jurgens and His Orch., 1950
The Honeydripper, Pts. 1 & 2 (Joe Liggins)--Sammy Franklin and His Atomics, 1945
Too Tight to Walk Loose--Cousin Joe w. the Al Casey Quartette, 1947
Old Man Blues--Same
Alabama Jubilee--Bob Sandy and the International Cowboys
World Events (Zamecnik)--Warren Baker and the Baker's Dozen, 1953
Encore, Cherie--Al Cernik (Guy Mitchell) w. Carmen Cavallaro O., 1947
Sixty Seconds Got Together--George Olsen and His Music, v: Eddie Howard, 1938