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)


Sunday, June 02, 2019

Sunday morning gospel: Where Will I Shelter My Sheep Tonight?

Two questions arise.  1) Why do song titles that take the form of a question so often lack a question mark (as here), and 2) why does the cover say Where Will I Shelter My Sheep Tonight but the label reads, Radio Gospel Favorites No. 3?  I mean, I'm just trying to Sunday-morning-gospel-post here, and Rimrock Records is making it hard for me.

But the tracks are terrific, so I guess none of that matters.  And if only because of its awesome cover, this LP would have to be my Sunday offering, even if it didn't have a host of great tunes and talented people--Carl Story, the Lewis Family, the Blue Ridge Quartet, and the Stanley Brothers.  But it does, and that makes this post all the cooler.  This is a cover that just leaps out at you from the thrift bin.  I almost expected it to do just that--leap out into my arms.  In which case, I would have known it was meant to be the Sunday offering.

Today's sound file is yet another example of how amazingly well VinylStudio does away with clicks and pops.  I used to have to work so much harder on these things.  Do I complain?  Noooo.

Discogs has this to say about Rimrock Records: "Record label in Concord, Arkansas, USA."  Neat.  Saves me the trouble of looking at the lower portion of the label.  No mention of a connection with Starday Records, though these all appear to be, or have been, Starday sides.  So why did Rimrock have them?  Does the STR prefix in the catalog no. refer in any way to Starday?  It can't be an abbreviation for stereo, since this is mono.  I'm leaning toward "STR" being a Starday-related prefix, though that label doesn't appear to have used a "STR" prefix itself.  But why else would Rimrock use STR as its prefix?  Maybe if I obsess over this for a few hours, the answer will come to me.

Truly terrific stuff here, so get on the Heaven Bound Train without delay:

DOWNLOAD:  Where Will I Shelter My Sheep Tonight?

Legend of the Robin's Red Breast--Cowboy Copas
Where Will I Shelter My Sheep--Acorn Sisters
Satisfied Mind--Joe Maphis and Guitar
I Am a Pilgrim--The Lewis Family and Carl Story
Wonderful Beautiful Place--The Masters Family
Dig a Little Deeper--The Sunshine Boys
Zion's Hill--Carl Story
Better Get Ready--Jimmy Murphy
Heaven Bound Train--Carl Story and the Lewis Family
Who at My Door Is Standing--Clyde Moody
Did You Ever Go Sailing--Lulu Belle and Scotty
Radio Saved--The Blue Sky Boys
White Dove--Red Ellis
No Trouble in Heaven--The Lewis Family
I Love to Sing the Story of Jesus--Crossroads Quartet
There's Nothing on Earth--Carl Story

Where Will I Shelter My Sheep Tonight (Rimrock Records STR-3005)