Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Genius marketing

At eBay, which used to be run intelligently, I get this exact same "People who shopped for this item also looked at..." image each time I buy records.  This time, I bought a set of Hit label sound-alikes.  So, naturally, I want to see John and Yoko in the nude.  What a pleasant sight.

And I want an LP by the British "post-punk" band The Slits.  And a 10-incher by a guy who sings with his hand over his mouth--one Max Shrager, who looks, in his publicity photo, like he's sitting on a pile of broken dinner plates.  Brilliant, brilliant marketing.

I've made over 2,000 eBay purchases.  eBay used to generate very useful recommendations based on those purchases.  Now they have "Today's deals," "Trending on eBay," and other useless crap.  Have these folks forgotten that they sell mostly used stuff?  Are they out of their minds?  I'm serious.  Are they?

Monday, July 29, 2019

"For your parties and entertainment": Juke Box Classics (Broadway 1037; 1963?)

Unusual fake-hits collection here--we get everything from the 1953 Ricochet to the 1963 Young Lovers.  I think 1963, in fact, was the year is when this LP was released, though I'm not absolutely positive.  99 percent absolutely.  Of course, in real life there are no degrees of "absolutely," but why get technical, especially when the subject is so silly?  The era-hopping makes this an interesting collection, and some of the tracks are quite good--Stagger Lee (I've added two "bonus" versions), Blue Monday (plus two "bonus" versions, again), and the Fats Domino Country Boy, which, oddly enough, is the Prom label fake we heard recently.  It shouldn't be, but it is.  I've also included the Gilmar EP Country Boy version, which was likely a Broadway reissue, meaning it was the original Broadway version.  And, if you were able to follow that, congratulations!  I'm not sure there's any way to make that make sense.

In other words, Broadway originally issued its own version of Country Boy, one unique to its label, at which time Gilmar did its own issue of the same track, but, by the time of this LP (1963), Broadway decided for some reason to use the Prom (Synthetic Plastics Co.) version.  Instead of its own original version.  The, uh...  Er, I.... Um....  Yeah.

Why do I collect these things, exactly?  I forgot.

One cheap detail I really love on this LP is how the letting doesn't align on Side 2.  Note how "Juke Box Classics" was printed slightly a few degrees to the right of the track titles.  Teresa Brewer is covered again with Jilted, a 1954 hit I'd never heard of before.  Now I can no longer say that--at least, not honestly.  And I kind of like this fake better--Brewer's voice was never my favorite.  The 1955 I Hear You Knocking is the same counterfeit version that showed up on Allegro-Royale, which makes for another weird label group crossover.  Great fake, but what is it doing here?  Funny how my ears immediately picked up where I'd heard it before.  Handy talent, but a bit odd.  My inability to remember significant details is only matched by my ability to remember which fake version is which.  Meanwhile, my foster father, a mathematician, forgot practical things all the time but auto-remembered Broadway lyrics.

I did miracle photo work on the front jacket, removing the signs of the sloppy Scotch taping and the missing piece at the upper top right.  And there was an "R7" written in red felt tip just over the guy's head--it is no more.  It made for a weird effect, because the girl seemed to be looking up at it, as if to say, "Look, someone's written on this jacket."  And dig the huge straws in those soda shop glasses.

The final bonus is the Prom version of Poor Little Fool, credited to one Bob Mitchell.  Makes more sense that crediting it to two or more, I suppose.  The Don Raleigh Stagger Lee is the same as the Prom label version, only pitched up by about a quarter tone.  That, or Prom pitched it down.  You'd think tape recorder capstan size would have been standard in those days, but perhaps not.

The Loren Becker Blue Monday on Waldorf is outstanding--way better than I expected.  Waldorf gets an unfair rap--or, I should say, Enoch Light gets one.  The idea is that Waldorf never quite got the hang of covering rock and roll hits, but that was true only at first.  Many of its earliest attempts at rock and roll are odd big band-r&r hybrids, but before long Waldorf was putting out some of the best r&r fakes on the market.  And its pressings were way better than SPC's.

Nine tracks, plus six extras.  Soon to appear at Amazon....

DOWNLOAD: Juke Box Classics (Broadway 1037; prob. 1963)

Young Lovers
Stagger Lee
Never Be Anyone Else but You
Poor Little Fool
Blue Monday
I Hear You Knocking (At My Front Door)
Country Boy

Juke Box Classics--Vocals and Orch. by Popular Radio and TV Artists (Broadway 1037)

Blue Monday--Big Boy Burns (EP 4 Hits 345--EP Records; 45 rpm)
Blue Monday--Loren Becker w. Enoch Light and His Orch. (8 Top Hits--Waldorf Music-Hall, 78 rpm EP)
Country Boy--No artist credit (Gilmar 243--45 rpm EP)
Stagger Lee--Charles Ellis (Big Buy 4 Hit Tunes 244--45 rpm EP)
Stagger Lee--Don Raleigh and His Orch., v: Jimmy Perry (8 Top Hits--Plymouth P-724; LP)
Poor Little Fool--Bob Mitchell (Promenade A-54-1--45 rpm EP)


Sunday, July 28, 2019

Hymntime Sing-Along w. Jerry Barnes and the Kurt Kaiser Singers (1962)

Some folks would find this 1962  LP cover funny, or even hilarious.  I find it refreshing--it shows ordinary-looking people in an ordinary setting (for the time).  And, to my eyes, the shot is superbly composed.  The liner notes on the reverse don't have much to say--you can read them in the download, which also includes the song sheets for this LP.

Like Mitch Miller's Sing Along Gang, the Kurt Kaiser Singers are an all-male affair--strong, clear voices, with Jerry Barnes providing excellent lead.  Toss in an organ, and you have the perfect sacred LP.  This has been one of my favorites since I thrifted it back in, oh, 1990 or so.  It was one of Bev's favorites, too.  The LP's title may seem to promise something novel or even campy, but this is first-rate choral singing without a gimmick in earshot.

The mono sound is great, and the light scratches were no challenge to VinylStudio--it cleared out nearly all of them.  I manually fixed the four or five remaining light pops.  Light pops?  Wait a minute--now we're talking Arthur Fiedler.  How did we get from Mitch Miller to Arthur?

A better song lineup wouldn't be possible.  In addition to two Fanny Crosby masterpieces (she did the words, of course), we get Charles H. Gabriel's very famous My Savior's Love, the marvelous 3/4 Ira Sankey gem, Faith Is the Victory, and the best version of Lily of the Valley I've ever found on vinyl.  Though the label says "English Melody," a phrase which usually means a folk tune, Valley's music is from 1881, composed by one William Shakespeare Hays.  The title of the tune itself, in case you're interested, is Salvation.  At one time in gospel music, tunes had their own names.

DOWNLOAD: Hymntime Sing-Along, w. Jerry Barnes, Kurt Kaiser Singers

Medley 1: Lily of the Valley--Trust and Obey
Medley 2: Shall We Gather at the River?--Come, Thou Fount--I Will Sing the Wondrous Story
Medley 3: More About Jesus--Wonderful Words of Life
Medley 4: The Great Physician--Faith Is the Victory
Medley 5: My Savior's Love (Gabriel)--Jesus Loves Even Me
Track 6: Near the Cross (Crosby-Doane)
Medley 6: Glory to His Name--When We All Get to Heaven--No, Not One!
Medley 7: He Hideth My Soul (Crosby-Kirkpatrick)--Blessed Assurance (Crosby-Knapp)--Hiding in Thee--refrain

Hymntime Sing-Along with Jerry Barnes and the Kurt Kaiser Singers (Word W-3176; 1962)


Wednesday, July 24, 2019

More early fakes--Tops, Varsity, Top Tunes, and Waldorf Record Corp. 45s and 78s, 1948-1956

Greetings!  This is a follow-up to this 2018 post, whose link I just returned to life: Early fake hits

I'm in the process of reviving earlier links, but it's slow going, of course.  I had a time finding the zip file for the above post, as I had stored it carelessly on my hard drive--it was in a folder within a folder, and the main folder title didn't tell me much.  But I found it, nevertheless.  Yee ha.

Today's tracks--all fake hits of the non-rock and roll type--span the years 1948 to 1956, with an emphasis on the early 1950s.  Let me say for the record (no pun intended), that restoring acoustical 78s is a waltz in the park compared to pulling sound out of these things.  Reasons include the lousy quality of the cheap-label vinyl and shellac, the less than loving care from past owners (folks who bought Tops, Varsity, and Waldorf discs probably didn't own top-of-the-line hi-fi sets), and, in the case of Eli Oberstein's Varsity label, dreadful engineering.  The Varsity 78s, even after the recording curves are tweaked, sound muddy as heck and... well, muddy.  Rescuing the sound on these requires two or three levels of correction.  But it's always a nice feeling to end up with passable Varsity files.  I can't say it's the nicest feeling in the world, but it's better than a boot in the keister.

These sides are great fun, including the misfire that opens the set (an awful cover of Tony Bennett's Until Yesterday), with the performances--other than the first one--ranging from competent to much better than we have any right to expect.  The latter category would have to include the two amazing Les Paul-Mary Ford knockoffs on Tops (I like that phrase), The World Is Waiting for the Sunshine (brilliantly parodied on Capitol by Stan Freberg) and Tiger Rag.  I would have assumed the cheapo labels would have avoided the challenge of trying to copy Paul's multi-layered sound.  And I would have been wrong.

Knockoffs on Tops.  That almost sounds like the name of a cove in Scotland or something.  "I'm writing from the Knockoff on Tops.  How are things in Zanesville, Ohio?"

Anyway, we also have two Leroy Anderson numbers from the era when his ingenious instrumentals were jukebox items--Blue Tango and Syncopated Clock (Varsity omitted the "The").  I ripped the former from an LP but pretended it was from the original 45 issue, so don't tell anyone.  (It's our little secret.)  And we get musically solid imitations of Secret Love, Be My Life's Companion, Wheel of Fortune, and Till We Two Are One.  That last title, amazingly, is as good as the Georgie Shaw original on Decca.  Who was this Wayne Sherwood guy?  Why didn't Tops use him more often?  He was fabulous.  (Hm.  He has seven matches at Discogs.  That's too bad.  He deserves more!)

The possibly less familiar hits of yesteryear include Until, a hit for Tommy Dorsey whose lyrics are much like those of the similarly titled Till of 1957 (but far less moving), and 1948's Love Somebody, a hit for Doris Day with Buddy Clark.  Also, Just Reminiscing, which was recorded (or at released) in 1949 by Ray Noble, Jo Stafford, and Jack Fina.  A Cash Box ads lists our Varsity label version (by Barbara Brown) along with the others, which seems to support my theory that cheap knockoffs, at least in the early days of the practice, were seen as a normal part of the market.  It wasn't until rock and roll--and the notion of a correct or definitive version of a song--that cheap knockoffs started to seem anachronistic.  And hilarious.  But, as I've noted before, I personally believe the evolution of the definitive version concept was more gradual than people think.  Maybe I should have typed "cultural trope" instead of "concept," just to sound learned.  And have people say, "Wow, he must know his stuff."  Terms like "cultural tropes" make conjecture sound like fact. You always want to sound like you know what you're talking about.  Anything else is bad form.

Fake Perry Como, Doris Day, Guy Mitchell, Tony Bennett, Frankie Laine, Mantovani, Kay Starr, and Les and Mary.  Why limit the fun to fake Elvis, Little Richard, Silhouettes, and Frankie Avalon?

To the music....

DOWNLOAD: More early fakes--1948-1956

Until Yesterday--Art Rouse w. Herbie Layne's Orch. (Top Tunes 4-1007; 1954)
Charmaine--The Hal Lomen Orch. (Tops 313--45 rpm)
Jealousy (Jalousie)--Stewart Rose w. the Hal Lomen Orch. (Tops 299--45 rpm)
Belle, Belle, My Liberty Belle (Bob Merrill)--Bud Roman and the Toppers, the Freddy Laine Orch. (Tops 299--45 rpm)
Because of You--Burd Roman w. the Freddy Laine Orch. (Same)
Wringle Wrangle--Dave Burgess and the Toppers (Tops R302--45 rpm; prob. 1956)
Blue Tango (Leroy Anderson)--The Hal Lomen Orch. (Tops 322--45 rpm)
Syncopated Clock (Leroy Anderson)--Elliot Everett and His Orch. (Royale 322--78 rpm)
Tiger Rag--The Toppers w. the Les Morgan Quartet (Tops 318--78 rpm)
Until--Johnny Frank and Barbara Brown (Varsity 125--78 rpm; 1949)
Just Reminiscing--Barbara Brown with Orchestra (Same)
Be My Life's Companion--Mimi Martel w. the Hal Lomen Orch. (Tops 317--45 rpm)
Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly)--Tyler Duo w. Orchestra (Varsity 124--78 rpm; prob. 1949)
Till We Two Are One--Wayne Sherwood w. the Toppers, Lew Raymond Orch. (Tops 392--45 rpm)
Make Love To Me--Gayle Larson w. Lew Raymond and His Orch. (Tops 392--45 rpm)
Secret Love--Gayle Larson w. Lew Raymond and His Orch. (Tops 391--45 rpm)
Wheel of Fortune--Mimi Martel w. the Les Morgan Orch. (Tops 318--78 rpm)
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me--Betty Harris w. Enoch Light and His Orch. (Waldorf Record Corp. A114)
The Roving Kind--Bud Roman w. the Tops Choristers and Hal Lester's Orch. (Tops 272--78 rpm)
The World Is Waiting for the Sunrise--Mimi Martel w. Freddy Laine Orch. (Tops R106--78 rpm)
Maybe You'll Be There (Gallop-Bloom)--The Varsity Orchestra, Vocals by Frank and Chorus (Varsity 102--78 rpm; 1948)
Love Somebody--Barbara and Frank w. Orchestra (Same)
Forever and Ever--Barbara Brown w. Chorus and Orch. (Varsity 135--78 rpm; 1949)
Red Roses for a Blue Lady--Johnny Frank and Orchestra (Same)


Sunday, July 21, 2019

Claiborne Brothers Quartette at the World's Fair (Word W-3191; 1962)

What about that cool cover?  So Sixties.  Sorry about the slight glitch in the stitch (hey, that rhymes!)--because LP covers are larger than my scanner face, I scan in four sections, then I use Scan-n-Stitch Deluxe to join them.  Since there's a slight depression between the frame and the glass (no reason for it--just is), it's just about impossible to keep the jackets perfectly level when scanning.  So we sometimes get stuff like this:

Oh, well.  Still a pretty awesome gospel cover--probably an official painting of the fair--and some very good quartet singing on the vinyl disc within.  When I Googled this LP, two 1962 newspaper (!) references came up, so I knew the year right away.  Furthermore, this is (or was) the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, aka the Century 21 Exposition.  Seven years in planning.

The five guys pictured on the back jacket include the four singers, two of whom--Gifford and Byron Claiborne--make up the "Brothers" portion of the quartette (not sure why they're using the old-fashioned spelling of "quartet").  Ken Martin is the lead, and George Melton is the first tenor, while Roger Kling is the accompanist and arranger.  I was happy to find the link to a Claiborne Brothers Quartette website, but not so happy to click on it and find a pharmacy page selling Wellbutrin SR and other drugs.  Anyway, some gospel mega-standards here: On the Jericho Road (the composer being Donald S. McCrossan, not "Crossan"), Until Then, The Old Rugged Cross, and Oh, How I Love Jesus.  The Roger Kling originals, including The Sunshine of His Love, are all unfamiliar to me, but they fit in just fine stylistically, and the playlist is smooth as butter, just like the expert harmonizing.  I'd have preferred a few more traditional numbers, but no one asked me.  At least there's the one 19th century number--1855's O How I Love Jesus, which uses an anonymous melody from that century.  I won't quibble over the O vs. Oh.  Though it is O How I Love Jesus.  Without a comma.  But I won't quibble.

To Me He Is So Wonderful, which is mixed in, descant-style, with O How I love Jesus in the first medley, was composed in 1955 by Ralph H. Goodpasteur (1923-1996), under the title It's So Wonderful.  I just now found the hymn in my 1975 Baptist Hymnal.  It's a black gospel number, and here's a YouTube video from the First Church of Deliverance in Chicago, where Goodpasteur served as music director.  You'll notice that the first line is actually, "To me, it's so wonderful."  Who changed it, and why, I do not know.

Update: I can see why It's So Wonderful was merged in a medley with O How I Love Jesus--the former's verse is very close to O How....

Anyway, on to the Century 21 gospel....

DOWNLOAD: Claiborne Brothers Quartette at the World's Fair (Word S-3191; 1962)

I Believe in the Old Time Way (J.D. Sumner)
On the Jericho Road (Donald S. McCrossan)
Medley: Oh, How I Love Jesus (Anon.), To Me He Is So Wonderful (Ralph H. Goodpasteur)
Peace Like a River (William Burton Walbert)
In the Still of the Night (Roger Kling)
Medley: My Soul Is Going Higher (Roger Kling), When the Saints Go Marching In (Trad.)
If the Lord Wasn't Walking By My Side (Henry Slaughter)
Heaven, My Home Sweet home (Roger Kling)
Until Then (Stuart Hamblen)
The Old Rugged Cross (George Bennard)
I'll Never Be Lonely (Audrey Mieir)
The Sunshine of His Love (Roger Kling)


Saturday, July 20, 2019

78 City: Prince's Band, Waring's Pennsylvanians, Jean Moeremans, more!

So, I have a new, more powerful PC, but I have to do my CD burns at a slower speed, or else there's trouble.  I guess logic plays no part in any of this....

Sorry--just typing out loud.  Today's post (it'll be tomorrow by the time I'm done) consists of no fewer than 20 shellac sides, starting with the 1915 Columbia 12" Medley of Indian Songs by Prince's Band.  These, of course, are not authentic Indian songs but rather pop songs on Indian themes--Red Wing, Silver Heels, Hiawatha, etc.

We heard a charming 1905 version of Silver Heels in the last 78 rpm post, so if that melody sounds familiar, that may be the reason.  And we have nine dance sides from the 1920s, plus an almost-1920s dance side--the 1919 In Your Arms by Ben Selvins' Orchestra, a medley which "introduces" the number I Know Why.  In the early dance band days, arrangers would often include the chorus of a second song to break up the monotony--hence, "introducing..."

Contrary to what some people insist, evolution is a linear process--linear in the sense of an unbroken line (like a family tree--branching out in all directions but with no gaps).  But of course evolution never happens in a straight line, and so any generalization I make about the evolution of dance band arranging is going to be wrong.  For instance, generally speaking, the earliest (1910s) dance band charts repeated the chorus (aka refrain) of a pop song without any variation in treatment.  Then came Ferde Grofe and his anything but monotonous approach--an approach that bordered on theme and variation--which included trading off the verse and chorus of a song instead of importing the strain of another tune.  And highlighting and/or contrasting sections of the orchestra, a la big band.  But, of course, that's an overgeneralization that borders on vast.  Anyway...

Today's 1920s sides all have that classic Twenties flavor--arrangers striving for variety in their charts, trying for new sounds.  Ironically, all that striving for variety is what makes these sides sound so dated today.  But dated in a fun way.  At best, in a way that has the listener marveling at the arranger's ingenuity.

Then we have 1907's I'd Rather Two-Step Than Waltz, Bill, which, fittingly, is a two-step.  And two paragraphs back, I talked about "the earliest (1910s) dance band charts," so what's up with that?  This disc is certainly dance music--two-step is a dance, of course.  But it's not dance band music in the modern sense.  It's too much like straight ragtime, and the orchestra's stiff handling of the syncopated rhythms doesn't help.  Dance and dance band (or dance orchestra) music has always existed, of course.  Probably as long as music itself.

Not so the saxophone--it's from the early 19th century.  You just know an instrument as complicated as the saxophone couldn't go back to, say, the year 900.  Anyway, the 1904 Carnival of Venice features stunningly virtuosic noodling from Jean Moeremans.  I read an on line piece which refers to Moeremans' tone as flat, and I suppose it is, especially when compared to the goofy sounds extracted from the instrument in the 1920s, when saxophones went from pop novelty to pop staple.  But what stands out as hopelessly out of fashion to my ears are the highly impressive but absurdly over the top arpeggios, plus the fact that the side is the same musical section over and over.  It's like we're eavesdropping on an 1879 parlor music performance, only it's 1904 and the performer is world-class.

To the 78s....

DOWNLOAD:  Indian Songs and more!

Medley of Indian Songs--Prince's Band (Columbia A5716; 1915)
Lovin' Sam (The Sheik of Alabam')--Dixie Daisies (Cameo 291; 1922)
What More Do You Want? (Isham Jones)--Same
In Your Arms (Medley)--(Ben) Selvin's Novelty Orch. (Victor 18650; 1919)
Carnival of Venice--Jean Moeremans, Saxophone Solo (Victor 16244; 1904)
Carolina in the Monring (Walter Donaldson)--(Hazy) Natzy's Biltmore Orch., Dir. Jack Green (Okeh 4713; 1922)
Are You Playing Fair?--Zez Confrey's Orch., with ZC at the piano (Victor 18921; 1922)
Red Hot Chicago--Waring's Pennsylvanians, v: Fred Waring (Victor 22325; 1930)
Wasn't It Beautiful While It Lasted?--Same, w. The Three Girl Friends and Stewart Churchill
Linger Awhile--Bennie Krueger's Orchestra (Brunswick 2526; 1923)
I'm Sittin' Pretty in a Pretty Little City--Gene Rodemich's Orch.--Same
I'd Rather Two-Step Than Waltz, Bill (Medley Two-Step)--(Zonophone) Concert Band (Oxford 837; 1905)
Toot, Toot, Tootsie! (Goo'Bye)--Frank Westphal and His Rainbo Orch. (Columbia A3706; 1922)
Why Should I Cry Over You--Knickerbocker Orch., Dir. Eddie Elkins--Same
There's a Lump of Sugar Down in Dixie (Medley-One-step)--Marimbaphone Band (Red, White and Blue Marimba Band) (Columbia A2550; 1918)
At the Cottonpickers' Ball--Same
Mandy Make up Your Mind--Mike Speciale and His Carlton Terrace Orch. (Perfect 14336; 1924)
Home Again Blues (Berlin-Akst)--Gene Rodemich's Orch. (Brunswick 2060; 1921)
I Can't Make Her Happy--Waring's Pennsylvanians, v: Clare Hanlon (Victor 21810; 1928)
The Song I Love--Same, v: Fred Waring


Monday, July 15, 2019

First, the ten-inch. Now, the twelve-inch: The Monarchs of Melody--All My Love (1958)

This is the complete version, so to speak, of this LP.  Same jacket, only two inches  one inch wider (thanks, Diane) on all four sides.  For reasons that defy logic, we get six additional tracks on this, the twelve-inch version.  Twice the content.  But that only makes sense if the other disc was... well, a six-incher.  Otherwise, why should there be 200 percent more music?  Was Waldorf trying to wean its customers off of the ten-inch format?  Ah, but the great Both Sides Now has the answer--Waldorfs ten-inchers were 99 cents and the twelve-inchers were $1.98. Now I see.  The customer got what he or she paid for.  You want twice the content, cough up another 98 cents.  Life is cruel.

With that mystery solved, let me just say this was one of the coolest thrift finds of recent months.  I think it was a St. Vincent de Paul thrift find, and it would have been a perfect one, save for the last track on Side 2, where someone obviously lost control of the tone arm (the gouge goes in an arc across the label, though I removed all traces when I fixed the image).  So I had to do a lot of precise de-clicking by hand.  If you hear tiny drop-outs on Pardon Me, Pretty Baby, that's why.  Listening to the tiny drop-outs is way better than listening to the loud pops--trust me.  Other than that, an easy rip.

As before, the superb musicians are Richard Lawrence "at the inspiring Hammond organ," accordionists Dominic Cortese and Nick Perito, guitarist Don Arnone (I'm copying the notes), and bassist Sandy Bloch, "...all for the express purpose of creating musical sounds to suit the varied moods of love." In case you wondered why they're doing this.

Today's Worst Sentence in the World award goes to "These are the varied moods that together give us a feeling of tenderness played especially for you with taste and understanding by this talented new group of outstanding musicians."  Maybe some kind of primitive translation software existed in 1958, and Waldorf was trying it on notes written in Icelandic.  That's my best guess.  Anyway, someone back in the day sprung for the extra 98 cents, and they took excellent care of their acquisition (hey, anyone can lose control of the tonearm--I do it all the time, but luckily with a modern machine), and so we have this gem to listen to and love.  To love in all the varied moods of tender feelings of romance brought to us especially for the purpose of bringing together music in a way that ensures the best in, um... er....  Yeah.  To the music....

DOWNLOAD--All My Love--The Monarchs of Melody

I Surrender Dear
I Don't Stand a Ghost of a Chance with You
When My Sugar Walks Down the Street
Don't Worry 'Bout Me
Sweet Lorraine
Hold Me, Thrill Me, Kiss Me
Ill Wind
All My Love
Lonesome and Sorry
Pardon Me, Pretty Baby

All My Love--The Monarchs of Melody (Waldorf Music Hall MHK 33-1241; 1958)


Sunday, July 14, 2019

The Looper Trio--Singing on the Way

A very quick essay for this last-minute post.  From a number of cyber-sources, I learned that the Looper Trio hails (or hailed) from Tennessee.  And we have this info, from today's back jacket: "Coleman Looper {group leader} began singing in a quartet in Indiana in the Fifties.  He later came to Tennessee joining his brother Oral in a quartet known as 'joyful Echoes.' ... In 1964 Brenda Looper, the daughter of Oral, joined Coleman and Oral to form this trio.  With Brenda's high soprano voice, Coleman singing tenor and playing the electric guitar, Oral singing baritone and playing the flat top guitar."  A little further down, we read, "Our sincere thanks to Neal McCormick who played the bass guitar."  Neal was probably performing on a guest basis for this LP.

That's an exact quote, including the sentence fragment.  Not being a grammar Nazi, but just in case you found yourself wondering where it was going.  The last two sentences would have worked nicely with a comma between them, so maybe it was a typo at Gospel Records and Recordings, the Dayton, Ohio outfit listed on the jacket and label.  No actual label name, but you can't have everything.  Discogs says this was pressed by Rite Record Productions, but it doesn't have a year.  This is monaural, so I'm thinking 1965-ish.

Outstanding music here, and I put it up once before, though the original page is one of the many I deleted a few years back.  I would categorize these folks as bluegrass gospel, but people in cyberspace seem to classify them as southern gospel--no big deal.  I sometimes use the label "country gospel" for music that straddles the line between bluegrass and southern gospel, but let's just describe the Loopers as a more Appalachian-sounding Chuck Wagon Gang.  Or I will. You don't have to.  Just download and enjoy.  Can't find composer credit for My Heavenly Home, which is also known as That Heavenly Home--no time to search my songbooks, and on line isn't much help, but I'll see if I can crack the mystery.  I did find the folks behind the modern standard, Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now, which is actually I Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now.  Those folks are Jimmie Davis and Charles F. Goodman.  From 1964, looks like.  When I first heard this song c. 1990, I didn't quite get the vernacular--I thought it was about not taking anything to Heaven with you--no books, photos, etc.  Of course, "take" means "trade," as in "I wouldn't trade anything for...."  Especially anything offered by the Devil.  It had me wondering at first.

In other news, That Old Time Religion, the seventh track in our playlist is not the famous "Give me that..." gospel number.  Just so you know.  And, yes, that third title is Give Up.  What's it doing on an LP of inspirational numbers?  Ah, just listen to the lyrics and see.  Clever irony, whether intentional or not.  Give it up for the author, the late Howard Goodman of the Happy Goodman Family, another terrific singing group.

Update:  Thanks to Bob, who identified this as a Rite Record (Cincinnati OH) pressing from 1973.  This page gives years for Rite matrix numbers.  I had figured this might be a Rite pressing, but there's no "Rite" on the dead wax, and no mention of Rite Records on the back jacket.  In addition, there are two tiny words in the dead wax, both of them next to illegible.  The first could be "Nashville" (????).  The group is from TN.  Could it have made these tracks there?  The recordings are mono, and I have two earlier Looper LPs, both in stereo.  Anyway....

DOWNLOAD: Singing on the Way--The Looper Trio

Never Die, Just Be Promoted
Lord, Hasten That Day
Give Up (Howard Goodman)
He Came a Long Way from Heaven
I Want My Life to Be Pleasing to Him
It Was His Love
That Old Time Religion
Wouldn't Take Nothing for My Journey Now (Davis-Goodman)
Now It's Time to Pray
My Heavenly Home
Like to Talk It Over with Him
Country Baptizing

Singing on the Way--The Looper Trio (Gospel Records and Recordings; Dayton OH.  Pressed by Rite Records, 1973)


Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Somehow, I got fourteen 78 rpm files made....

In the midst of all this chaos and complication, I got fourteen 78 restorations done.  Go figure.  I must have lost half of my work on two or three occasions today, yet I recovered each time and kept going.  I'm amazing.  I can't help it.  I just am.  Lesser MAGIX users would have quit and turned on FETV to watch Gunsmoke.  Or is Gunsmoke on INSP?  I can't remember....

My MAGIX program has only blinked out once since Avast was removed.  That's better than five or six times.  And it appears that my PC has been downloading Windows updates for a while--how long, I don't know.  All day, maybe.  All day would actually be possible--my DSL connection is so outrageously slow that 1) it barely qualifies as DSL and 2) it causes updates, especially big ones, to tie up my PC.  The MAGIX-blinking-out issue could well have been connected with the 1898 Windstream internet connection I'm stuck with--all for the crime of living in the country.  When you've got a borrowed zip code, and you have to explain to people that no, you don't actually live in the village listed as your city, then you're lucky to have anything past dial-up.  Oh, how I remember those days.  How I wish I didn't.

So maybe that was it.  At best Buy, the Geek Squad guy brought up the task manager, and we watched the CPU's workload page as I did outrageous things on MAGIX--piling up filters, splicing and re-splicing, etc.  None of my activity came anywhere close to taxing my PC's resources.  So, technically, my PC is way more than able to handle my MAGIX program.  This suggests something else was confusing my HP.  The updates, I'm betting.

Two--yes, two--Walter Donaldson numbers today, including an unforgettable gem called Out of the Dawn.  And a Berlin side (I Want to Go Back to Michigan) played by the (Fred) Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, and I think we can assume the composer is Irving Berlin and not, say, Gerard Berlin.  Whom I've never heard of.  Of the four fabulous Van Eps sides, one is a "Maxixe," which is a dance, of course.  "Bresilienne" tells us it's Brazilian.  (I have a knack for figuring out these things.)  To decipher what the 78 label said, I had to go on line, because the title was rubbed out somehow.   Someone must have missed the spindle hole a record number of times (no pun intended).

Ten of the sides are acoustical, and the remaining four are electrical.  Microphone recordings, that is.  The date span is impressive--1905-1929--even if the list is fairly short.  The 1905 disc is the Columbia Band performing Neil Moret's incredibly charming Silver Heels, which is obviously one of Neil's Indian songs.  Makes a marvelous instrumental, and the fidelity is awfully good for 114 years ago.  Neil returns as composer in 1929's She's Funny That Way.

I know nothing about The Red Lantern, which must have been a....  No, wait a minute.  Wikipedia to the rescue.  A silent film about a half-Chinese, half-Caucasian woman convinced to impersonate the Goddess of the Red Lantern, and... wow.  Every silent flick about Chinese people ended in tragedy, it seems like.  So why is the music so happy?  All I know is that I've loved the side since I first listened to it.  The Waldorf-Astoria Orchestra, 1919.

Lots of great stuff.  So I had to do some of the work three times over.  Big deal.  I didn't complain once.  Ranted, yes, 

DOWNLOAD: Fourteen 78 files, 1905-1929

Louisville Lou--Arthur Gibbs and His Gang, 1923
Beale Street Mamma--Same
The Red Lantern--Medley--Waldorf-Astoria Orch., Dir. by Joseph Knecht, 1919
Silver Heels (March and Two Step; Moret)--Columbia Band, 1905
Soup to Nuts (One-step)--Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, 1914
I Want to Go Back to Michigan--Medley (Berlin)--Same
Sans Souci (Maxixe Bresilienne)--Van Eps Banjo Orchestra, 1914
Some Baby--Same
On the Mississippi (Turkey-trot)--Prince's Band, 1913
Too Much Mustard (Turkey-trot)--Same
Out of the Dawn (Donaldson)--Nat Shilkret and the Victor Orch., v: Franklyn Baur, 1928.
She's Funny That Way (Whiting-Moret)--Jean Goldkette and His Orch., v; Van Fleming, 1929
Baby Face--Jan Garber and His Orch., v: Benny Davis, 1926
That's Why I Love You (Donaldson-Ash)--Johnny Hamp's Kentucky Serenaders, w. vocal chorus, 1926.


Tuesday, July 09, 2019

It's possible the problem is solved....

I had competing antiviruses on the PC.  I wasn't fully aware of that.  You see, the thing was sabotaged with a McAfee notice--a notice telling me my trial was over and that it was time to pay $40.  No, I'm sorry--$39.95.  That's a long way from $40.  A whole 1/20 of a buck.  I knew it was a scam, since the notice happened two days after I bought this thing, and I would have remembered signing up for a two-day trial.  Ha.  Nice try, McAfee people.

That's just the way Windows 10 is set up, the Geek Squad guy said--those kinds of pop-ups, all trying to sell you something.  He agreed it was annoying.  After Windows 10, I'm done with Windows.  (So I say now.)  When 11 comes, I'll just run out in front of a bus, screaming, "11!  No!  No!  Not 11!!!"  The bus driver, talking to the cops, will say, "Third guy today.  They all yell the same thing.  I think they mean Windows 11."  The cop will say, "I have an Apple.  For this very reason.  That could be me lying there."

Eternal damnation.  Whatever.  Giant radioactive worms coming to eat everyone in the township.  Yawn.  ETs coming to enslave mankind.  Whatever.  Windows 11.  NOOOO!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!

I personally regard customer harassment as a bad sales tactic, and of course I mean Windows, not Best Buy.  They've been highly polite and helpful.  And honest.  I can sort of tell when people are being honest, I think.  I'm 62.  We old folks have that sense.  Or we imagine we do.  Hard to tell the difference when you're 62.  Anyway, the Geek Squad guys are the messengers, not the culprits.  I found it refreshing to have a tech agree with me on the more annoying aspects of W. 10.  I really believe he has no more idea why 10 is the way it is than I do.

With Avast gone, things may go smoothly.  Avast likes to take control of the PC in Outer Limits fashion.  "We will control the vertical; we will control the horizontal...."  It does all kinds of crap with programs, putting some to sleep to maximize your use of another--something like that.  Total pain in the ass.  10 has its own antivirus, so I'm happy to say goodbye to Avast.  "Avast" means stop or cease, and that's what I want it to do.  So, perfect name.  I want it to stop, cease, and leave.

I'd like 10 to leave, too, but that would leave me without an OS.  Not good.  The lesser of two evils (OS/no OS) is Windows 10.  I wish I could think of a vicious pun on Windows 10, but I can't.  "Windows 10" will have to do.  It's vile, evil, sneaky, soul-draining, trouble-making, and it kicks cats and dogs.  It belongs in a detention home.

I must have left my power cord at Best Buy.  I could swear I didn't bring it, but I must have.  And somehow (I could turn this into a miracle narrative), in the downstairs bedroom there was a power cord all folded up.  Must have been from my last PC.  Right there, waiting for me.  Fit this one, so I don't have to drive back.  That's one break today.  Hope more breaks are on the way (as long as they aren't the 78 rpm kind).  And my latest Discogs order was just cancelled.  That happens all the time.  I'm going to stop ordering things from Discogs.  This is the third of fourth occurrence.  Don't put up stuff unless it's available, sellers.  Good grief.  If it's not for sale, don't put it up.  Is that hard to grasp?

I wrote Discogs and told them they've lost a customer, that I don't like such games.  Expressed my annoyance to the "seller," too.  If he or she is offended, too bad.  Don't put something up for sale unless it's for sale.  Reminds me of the bad old days when you had to turn to small-operation hardcopy catalogs for anything that wasn't mainstream--blues, early rock, etc.  They'd put you on back-order for six weeks, then announce they couldn't get the record.  I had one genius pair who lost my special order for something.  I had jumped on something the moment it became available, and they promised a quick response.  Weeks later, I asked what was up.  Oh, they misplaced my order.  Along with their brains, I guess.  45cat won't let me join, and Discogs thinks "marketplace" is another word for "Sorry, we sold that at our store."  I'm not going back to the days when record buyers were expected to endure mountains of bull-hockey to maybe, possibly get a record.  It's not worth it. 


This. Is. Unreal.

I bought a Hewlett-Packard Pavilion for a decent amount of bread at Best Buy.  This will be the second time I'll have to bring it in to the Geek Squad.  I will inform them that, if a third visit is needed, I want the product returned and my money back.  This is beyond human belief.

This thing can't even run my MAGIX software.  Five times the program closed on me, all of my work going with it.  I thought maybe it was a Windows 10 comparability issue, so I downloaded a trial version of  a new MAGIX program--roughly the equivalent of my Cleaning Lab MX.

My PC FROZE.  It froze solid.  Wouldn't move.  Nothing.  Apparently, it's allergic to software.  I overtaxed it by attempting to USE my trial software.

You know--I've looked everywhere on the chassis.  Nowhere do I see the words, "Do not attempt to use this product."  Or "Software not supported."

Is this thing supposed to be a nice addition to the floor?  I had my heart set on the thing working.  Functioning.  Best Buy led me to believe this thing would function.  As a PC.  Was I misinformed?

I don't like being this angry (enraged is more like it).  I hope I don't lose my temper at Best Buy.  I lost it over the phone to the Geek Squad.  I don't like losing my temper.  I also do not like paying good money for a PC that can't even run a piece of freaking software.

Wish me luck.  This thing goes back.  One more problem, it goes back.


Sunday, July 07, 2019

Didn't we just see these two?? Hits are A' Poppin' again.

Another Hits A' Poppin' (SP 206, this time), with the same couple from the last jacket, and in the exact same pose (almost makes you think it's the same photo), the guy still lugging the portable player with the LP resting atop it, and the lady smiling, as if to say, "We weren't able to get the actual hits for the party, but these are just as good."  The kids, not shown in the photo, are heading for the exit.  Meanwhile, in transit, the loose disc has slid off the player three times for added crackle and pop.  To put the "Poppin'" in Hits A' Poppin', no doubt.

This disc, luckily, does not appear to have been bounced or slid around anytime during its life, though, despite its mint look, there were some surface noise issues.  Nothing I could see, but my ears spotted them right off.  Luckily, the defective tracks only numbered three, and they were only defective in spots-- so I was able to patch over many of the bad spots with sections from my 45 rpm EP versions.  For instance, I was able to replace the beginning and ending portions of I've Had It and the first half of (All of a Sudden)...--right up to where the engineer jumped to the closing bars.  I can't say I'm shocked that such a hyper-cheap pressing would have "invisible" surface noise.  Almost to be expected, really.  I mean, when the company can't even come up with a label name for the collection....

Actually, the jacket puts "SP" before the number, and we can assume/presume/whatever that SP is Synthetic Plastics.  Why SPC left off the C, I don't know, but I doubt anyone cares much.  I guess we can consider this the SP label.  As opposed to the (nothing) label of last post.  "Oh, great!  A new release on the (nothing) label!  My favorite!"--Excited buyer, 1959.

Goodbye Baby, credited on the Promenade EP to Dick Stetson (really?), was a hit for Jack Scott, and I have yet to listen to the Scott version.  I'm eager to hear it, just to see which of the two playlist versions it resembles.  For I have Skeets Mooney (really?) performing it on Big Buy 4 Hit Tunes, and it doesn't even sound like the same tune on this LP.  It's like the three chords of the Stetson edition were reduced to one or two.  Children's Marching Song is very, very familiar to me, and I have no idea why.  That is, I don't simply know the tune, I remember the record--but I was only two when it came out.  Maybe it was played as an oldie on Toledo AM radio, though I sort of doubt that.  Maybe it was used as a children's show theme.  Maybe my parents had the record, though they never bought "pop" records (just jazz and Classical), so, if they had a version of this, it was likely a low-budget fake.  Bottom line: I have no idea how or why I'm so familiar with the original.  Maybe a teacher played it in class, but even then I don't think it would be such an ingrained memory.  Like, how often would she have played it?

So many mysteries, so few answers.  Anyway, besides the LP version of "Knick-Knack, Paddywhack," you'll be hearing the Broadway Value version by Vic Corwin.  A thrill a minute at this blog.  The other two alternates are Smoke Gets in Your Eyes and Sixteen Candles, both ripped from my 78 rpm copy on Big Buy 4 Hit Tunes.  I came very, very close to giving the track credits to the Coasters, my aging eyes failing to see the "iers."  Maybe an on-line credit tipped me off, but at some point I said, "Hey, it's the Coastiers!"  And I typed in the credit accordingly.  But I came so close....

Betty Green, credited with I Cried a Tear, sounds suspiciously like the falsetto male R&B voices we hear elsewhere on this disc, but who am I to say?  And one thing about the Leiber-Stoller standard Charlie Brown, which of course had nothing to do with the comic strip--doesn't arson go beyond the realm of mischief?  I mean, just a little?  "Boy, he's such a clown.  Set the auditorium on fire!!  What a hoot.  You should've been there.  Can he come over for supper, ma?"

I've Got a Wife, the Mark IV hit (as I Got a Wife), sounds like every other polka I've ever heard, so I'm not surprised to see on line that Frankie Yankovic recorded it.  And, while I would've bet that the Everly Brothers were the duo being copied on I've Had It, the original group was The Bell Notes.

Back jacket: "Fine records needn't be expensive."  I don't know about fine, but certainly entertaining records needn't be....

My bronchitis is getting better, though I feel exhausted from the ordeal.  Apologies for not having a gospel post ready--it was all I could do to get up and move around this past week.  I'll feel more at peace when my lungs feel less full.  They're clearing, though....

UPDATE: Just discovered on eBay--an alternate version of this LP.  Same number (SP 206) and selections, but different cover image and label (Parade, an SPC label).

DOWNLOAD: Hits A' Poppin' (SP 206)

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Glitters

Children's Marching Song--Promenade Orch. and Choir
16 Candles--The Promineers
Charlie Brown--The Promineers
I Cried a Tear--Betty Green
Goodbye Baby--Dick Stetson
(All of a Sudden) My Heart Sings--Michael Reed
I've Got a Wife--Bob Mitchell
Plain Jane--Jimmy Grant
I've Had It--The Grasshoppers


Goodbye Baby--Skeets Mooney (1958)

The Children's Marching Song--Vic Corwin (Broadway Value 163; 45 rpm EP)
Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Coastiers (1958)
Sixteen Candles--The Coastiers (1958)


Chester (William Billings, 1778)

I wasn't able to put together a patriotic playlist this time--too sick.  But last night I recorded myself playing William Billing's great patriotic anthem, Chester.  Billings, a choral composer and songbook publisher, was a self-taught genius regarded, for a century or so following his death, as some kind of a joke--now, as far as I know, he's considered one of our first major composers.  I concur.

I used two organ patches on my Casio WK-3800 and added a bit of acoustic simulation, though the Casio patches are nice and full by themselves.  I got the public domain music (in standard hymnal SATB form) at the great Cyber Hymnal site.  I did a few modifications to the harmony where things clashed--otherwise, I played as written.  It's astonishing how hard it is to find out-of-copyright stuff on line in anything but paid form, and I deeply appreciate sites like The Cyber Hymnal. More than I can possibly say.

DOWNLOAD: Chester (Billings)

Lee Hartsfeld, Casio WK-3800


Wednesday, July 03, 2019

Hits A' Poppin (SPC 108)--Fine records needn't be expensive, though it can't hurt

This hammered Synthetic Plastics Co. LP showed up last week in a local Goodwill, and I snapped it up without hesitation, despite the lousy condition, because for some unknown reason these things aren't showing up much in the thrifts anymore, and because the track list was new to me (fake-hit-wise).  Unlike the last Hits a Poppin' I featured, this one has the credits on the label--and an apostrophe after the a, so that's why I capitalized the letter this time.  Important detail, that.  The back cover (which I didn't bother to scan) has the famous SPC motto, "Fine records need not be expensive," except it's "needn't be" instead of "need not be."  Most of the SPC LPs I checked in my collection either have no motto at all or the "needn't be" version.  Nothing was standard with these things!  That would have required planning, quality control.  A short session devoted to working things out.  Out of the question.

Not even a label name for this one--I have at least three other SPCs with this generic black label.  These are more or less "LP--one each" labels.  I should check to see if the others also give ten instead of twelve selections.  I was able to substitute my own Promenade EP versions for a few of the extra-scratchy tracks, but of course I have no Promenade EP substitute for the most hammered track--Bobby Sox to Stockings--which has a deep gouge full through and partially into band 2.  Sweet.  I searched my Tops Records EPs, hoping I'd find a Tops version and that it would match this one.  Found one, and it looked hopeful--same title misspelling (Sox).  But totally different version.  Meanwhile, Personality, the track which immediately precedes it on the EP, IS the version on this LP, only longer (unedited).  One matches, the other doesn't.  I give up.

So, as a last-ditch thing, I stepped up the VS declicking settings for Bobby Sox (receiving a warning message about audio loss--which is not an issue on a track this hammered) and got amazingly good results.  I saved the track, an action that sends the "album" and its tracks to the default VS folder.  (I know--things don't literally migrate on PCs, but....)  So I brought the track into MAGIX from the default VS folder--and instead of the fixed audio, I got the "uncorrected" file.  I have no idea why--the VS settings are in order, and VS and MAGIX were getting along just fine on Windows 7.  So it must be another Windows 10 challenge.  I wrote VS for help.  Meanwhile, I burned the "corrected" VS track straight to CD-R, then I ripped it into my MAGIX "project" (this LP).  And then I don't remember anything after that.  Woke up in the woods, clothes torn, head dazed.

I seriously thought I'd have to omit Bobby Sox, but I ended up saving it.  Hooray!  What a lesser world this would have been, otherwise.  Fun stuff here, and there's the longer Personality and alternate Bobby Sox and Lipstick on Your Collar to make for another thirteen-track playlist.   And I didn't even have to look up Lipstick to know it's a Neil Sedaka song--pure Neil.  Except I just looked it up, and it's not Neil--it was written by Edna Lewis (w) and George Goehring (m).  D'oh!

Of the track credits, Eli Whitney and Al Freed stand out, as usual.  You don't suppose "Al Freed" is meant to suggest "Alan Freed" (who, as far as I know, didn't make records, save in the sense of helping make them popular)?  As you can see, I left the jacket half-fixed.  Just to give you an idea of what it really looks like.

UPDATE (7/5): I improved the original zip, removing some loud clicks and pops I'd missed before.  The link below now goes to this improved zip.

DOWNLOAD:  Hits A' Poppin'--Radio and TV Favorites

Sea of Love--Richard Deane
Lipstick on Your Collar--Janet King
Lavender Blue--Michael Reed
A Big Hunk of Love--Eli Whitney
Waterloo--Andrew Jacks
Bobby Sox to Stockings--John Logan
What Is Love--The Promineers
Ciao Ciao Bambina--Al Freed
What a Difference a Day Makes--Betty Green
Personality--Rob Robbins

Hits A' Poppin'--Radio and TV Favorites (SPC 108)


Lipstick on Your Collar--Gloria Kay and the Toppers  (Top Hits--Tops S-28; 45 rpm EP)
Bobby Sox to Stockings--Alex Corey and the Toppers (Top Hits--Tops S-27; 45 rpm EP)
Personality--Leroy Collins and the Toppers (Top Hits--Tops S-27; 45 rpm.  Unedited version of Rob Robbins track, above.)


Monday, July 01, 2019

Update to Blue Ridge Quartet post

Howdy.  I'm recovering from bronchitis, which had been building up for a little over a week when I went to the local urgent care on Saturday.  I'm starting to feel a lot better.  I blame my bronchitis for my goof-up in yesterday's Blue Ridge Quartet playlist, where I left off the last four numbers.  Oops!  Luckily, the numbers are on the file itself.  Many thanks to Josh for alerting me!

I just now filled in the written playlist, tracking down the writer/composer credits (the label gives credit to the arranger or arrangers instead of the writers--common gospel LP tradition with public domain numbers).  An easy task on the two more famous standards--Shall We Gather and Leaning--but not as easy for the other two--Cleanse Me and Lord Lead Me On--though it just took some cross-searching to get to the real folks on these.  Cleanse Me, which uses a Maorian melody (whose tune, appropriately enough, is titled Maori) is usually called Search Me, O God, and its text is from 1936.  (Thanks Cyber Hymnal!)  Lord, Lead Me On is credited all over the place to a Kenneth Tuttle, whose name must have appeared on the Carl Story or Bill Monroe recordings.  Anyway, its real author-composer is Marion W. Easterling.  My thanks to

And now, I'm back to kicking this bronchitis.  Along with the meds, sleep is doing wonders. Rain in the forecast now, with me having slept away three or four dry days.  So it goes sometimes!

Thanks again to Josh.  I thought that playlist looked a little too slim....