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



garrido said...

The song Televison Moon might fit into the "Word Poem" category, perfected by Rodd Keith. One can't get it, simply put. One of my fav word poems is "Goodness Gracious it's Contagious" by Jack Allyn with the Rhythmateers. Mumblings, along with no sheet music or arrangement.

What a clean copy you have of Down by the Ohio! very nice copy! Thanks.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

I undid the RIAA curve and used 0 dB bass and treble rolloff--this made everything clear as a bell.

I'm wondering, too, if "Television Moon" is a word poem (or song poem) effort. It sure sounds like one, but the label and its releases (except for this one) were reviewed in Billboard magazine, which I don't think would happen with a song poem label. Then again....

Thanks for commenting!

Timmy said...

Great bunch! Many thanx................ (Free is outstanding)

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Unless it's a "free trial," in which case it'll cost you!

lafong said...

Not sure if you are being sarcastic/kidding about Billy Briggs and Ray Conniff.

If not....there is no connection.

Briggs (1919-1984) was a pioneering steel guitarist dating back to the late 30s, having recorded many sides with the Hi-Flyers and The Sons Of The West.....much in the style of Bob Dunn with Milton Brown's band.

Alarm Clock Boogie is from 1951 and is one of several dozen recordings he made under his own name for Imperial during that label's extensive foray into country music...over 300 singles in maybe 5 years.

He was based around Amarillo and was widely known across the southwest in his era. Lots of boot heels worn off dancing to his band in live performances.

Lee Hartsfeld said...


Sorry to offend you. I was referring to Conniff's work as a producer at the Columbia label--I was not comparing the artists or drawing a connection between them. Conniff, of course, played with Bunny Berigan and Artie Shaw during the big band era, writing many arrangements for Harry James, Shaw, Berigan, and Glen Gray. He joined Columbia in 1954, which of course was three years after the Briggs recording, but Conniff was known for echo-filled productions which often featured unique percussion effects. As noted in my essay the loud "tick tock" backing in this recording seems Conniff-esque to me. No suggestion that Conniff's later pop-choral recordings are in any way reminiscent of postwar country.

lafong said...

No offense taken at all. I was just confused by your comment.

I like Conniff myself....I think I still have an LP he did on Columbia. "Invisible Tears" I think it was. As well as a lot of his earlier work with bands.

I've long been fond of steel guitar, so I especially like that "Steel Guitar Rock" single he did under the name "Jay Raye".