Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Hal David's 101st birthday! (Hal without Burt, 1946 to1962)




As she did last year, Diane reminded me that May 25th is Hal David's birthday--his 101st.  So I'm reposting my 2021 tribute.  The original text follows, plus a new link.

Here are sixteen Hal David goodies, all with composers other than Burt (in particular, Leon Carr and Lee Pockriss) and spanning the years 1946-62.  The best of the images has to be the Top 30 Tunes label for Johnny Get Angry, with its amusing typo, Johnny Gets Angry (I retained it in the listing).  And I was surprised to discover that Hal had penned, not only the lyrics for that 1962 Joannie Sommers hit, but also the words for 1959's My Heart Is an Open Book.  That one also appears here in fake-hit form, courtesy of the Broadway label.

The most unusual (as opposed to the silliest) selection in our list has to be I've Got a Walkie Talkie, a 1946 George Olsen side crooned by Judith Blair;  It's in a Guy Lombardo big band style (George, what happened to you?), badly recorded for the Majestic label (I had to do some artful re-EQing), and the lyrics aren't Hal's best (even with such a promising title; not), but the notion of a walkie talkie functioning, in effect, as a modern cellphone is interesting and weird.  1949's I Wish I Had a Record (Of the Promises You Made) is one of my favorite Perry Como sides, and it's easy to imagine this number doubling as a country novelty.  Mitch Miller's Orchestra accompanies Kitty Kallen on Mother, Mother, Mother (Pin a Rose on Me), and so we know Miller produced the side, too.  I'm not crazy about the tune, but we can hear hints of Hal's brilliance with words--it's a light novelty number, but there are many clever turns, and we have an early example of Hal telling a story in lyrics.  So, Hal was a storyteller even before he met Burt--cool.  Little Crazy Quilt is highly competent but unexceptional (though the superbly versatile Page is always wonderful to hear), and Goo-Goo Doll is... extremely not serious.  And unfortunately (for camp's sake), it's neither technically bad nor in especially bad taste--it's  merely harmless.  As a novelty, a letdown, iow.  But Hal certainly did a good job tailoring the lyrics for Steve Allen's sense of humor, which was never what we could call evolved (or funny).  And did goo-goo dolls actually sound like that?  I recall that the peacocks who used to roam my yard sounded exactly like the sound effects at the close.

Seven Pretty Dreams is Hal back in storytelling mode, with a lovely melody to match, and the text is simply beautiful.  Betty Johnson's elegant vocal and Hugo Winterhalter's accompaniment make this Grade-A 1950s pop.  Eydie Gorme's A Girl Can't Say has tune writer Leon Carr playing Bacharach-style tricks with the phrases, and the result is fascinating.  I didn't know anyone was fiddling with form to quite that extent in pre-Burt days.  Hal's words are expertly clever.  I Came Back to Say I'm Sorry is like an R&B shuffle slowed down to 16 rpm, but after my initial reaction ("Ugh!"), I've come to like this performance.  Phoned-in lyrics, but that'll happen whenever someone's output is as huge as Hal's. The Boy on Page Thirty-Five is clever enough, though it sounds like something Hal could have dashed off while taking a snooze--too ordinary an effort, in this blogger's opinion.  My Heart Is an Open Book, luckily, is a big step up, and here we have a melody as memorable as the lyrics--even this fake hit version scores well.  Also from 1959, maybe my all-time favorite Frankie Laine side, The Valley of a Hundred Hills--a pop masterpiece on all levels, and the perfect marriage of melody and lyrics.  Again, Hal is telling a story, and a memorable one.  This could easily have been throwaway fluff; instead, along with Geisha Girl, it's the best offering in the list, imo.  And the stereo sound is wonderful.  There's nothing quite like a 7" stereo single.

Unloved and Maybe Tomorrow (But Not Today) are not examples of Hal-quality Hal--the latter is especially annoying.  But the closing number, 1962's My Geisha, with its lovely melody by Franz Waxman, mostly atones for the two clunkers--Hal's lyrics can't be called inspired, but they're expertly done and possess a David-Bacharach kind of elegance.  Meanwhile, Jerry Vale's vocal is superb.  The side is too beautifully done to write off as fluff, and I suppose the lack of lyrical depth is inevitable, since it's a title song for a movie. 

A Happy Birthday to a superbly gifted wordsmith, whose best work will hopefully be remembered for decades to come. 


DOWNLOAD: Hal David without Burt, 1946-1962


PLAYLIST 

I've Got a Walkie Talkie (David-Rodney-Block)--Geroge Olsen and His Orch., vocal: Judith Blair, 1946 
I Wish I Had a Record (Goodhart-Altman-David)--Perry Como w. Mitch Ayres and His Orch., 1949 
Mother, Mother, Mother, Pin a Rose on Me (H. David--A. Altman)--Kitty Kallen w. Mitch Miller's Orch., 1950 
Little Crazy Quilt (Hal David-Leon Carr)--Patti Page w. Jack Rael and His Orch., 1955 
Goo-Goo Doll (Jack Wolf-Hal David-Leon Carr)--Steve Allen w. Dick Jacobs Chorus and Orch., 1955 
Don't Throw My Love Away (David-Carr)--Joan Weber, 1955 
A Girl Can't Say (Leon Carr-Hal David)--Eydie Gorme w. Dick Jacobs Cho. and Orchestra, 1955
Seven Pretty Dreams (Leon Carr-Hal David)--Betty Johnson w. Hugo Winterhalter's Orch. and Cho., 1955 
I Came Back to Say I'm Sorry (David-Carr)--The Lancers w. Dick Jacobs Cho. and Orchestra, 1956 
The Boy on Page Thirty-Five (David-Carr)--Cathy Carr w. Dan Belloc Orch. and Chorus, 1956 
My Heart Is an Open Book (H. David-L.Pockriss)--Vocals and Orch. by Popular Radio & TV Artists (Broadway label, 1959?) 
The Valley of a Hundred Hills (H. David--S. Edwards)--Frankie Laine, Orch. c. by Richard Hyman, 1959 
Unloved (H. David, L. Pockriss)--Tommy Edwards, 1960
Maybe Tomorrow (But Not Today) (David-Hampton)--Danny Peppermint w. Orchestra and Cho., 1962 
Johnny Gets (sic) Angry (H. David-S. Edwards)--Unknown (Top 30 Tunes 10; 1962?) 
My Geisha (You Are Sympathy to Me) (David-Waxman)--Jerry Vale, Arr. and Cond. by Glenn Osser, 1962 



 Lee





Sunday, May 22, 2022

Sunday morning gospel: The Branham Family--No One Knows What Jesus Suffered (c. 1962?)

 


I had this LP ready to go last Sunday, but I decided to do a last-minute replacement (The Oak Ridge Boys) because of some defects in this pressing--defects which create occasional distortion.  But because Josh wants to hear this, and because the material is so superior... here it is.  An online discography called Gloryland Jubilee places the year at "1962 or later," based on the presumption that this is a King pressing.  That may very well be the case, as the matrix number seems to follow the King custom-pressing scheme, and the three-digit account number (979-LP-19000) would, in fact, make it 1962.  So, if it's King, it's 1962.

This is fine country gospel, with a strong rockabilly/hillbilly boogie feel to some of the tracks.  We have some real pros backing the delightful vocals, and there's a fine balance between medium-tempo and upbeat numbers.  A good helping of standards--I'll Fly Away, Take My Hand Precious Lord, Glory to His Name, I'm a Pilgrim--and some others which sound awfully familiar.  A superior program of country gospel--and I will eagerly grab any other Branham Family LPs which show up in the thrifts.  This one has put me on the alert.  Enjoy!

Oh, and the back cover is blank, so a scan would have been redundant.


DOWNLOAD: The Branham Family, 1962?


Do You Know My Jesus

King of Kings

Take My Hand Precious Lord

No One Knows What Jesus Suffered

How Can You Refuse Him Now

I'll Fly Away

I'm Moving up Home Some Day

You'd Better Live So

I'm Free From Sin's Heavy Load

I Am a Pilgrim

From the Manger to the Cross

Somebody Loves Me

Glory to His Name



The Branham Family (No label name, martix # 979-LP-1000; 1962, if King custom pressing)


Lee

Thursday, May 19, 2022

Teen Age Dance Party--Bobby Krane and Buddy Lucas. Or, Bravo gets things half-right.

 


So, was there really a "Bobby Krane"?  Well, in this case, Bravo (Pickwick) has juxtaposed big band recreations (source unknown) with hard-rocking numbers, the latter having been traced to a group of Gateway Records singles credited to "Lindsey Powers," who was actually saxophonist/bandleader Buddy Lucas.  Given the casual fashion in which Bravo slapped the "Bobby Krane" credit on the Lucas tracks, I'm inclined to suggest that there was no Bobby Krane.  Also, Krane's name was used by Pickwick as the catch-all orchestra leader for its sound-alikes, even on sides which feature no orchestra.  That, imo, is a red flag.  "Bobby Krane" may ultimately be as useful an appellation as "Vocals and Orchestra by Popular Radio and Television Artists."

Anyway, I truly enjoy this thrift gift from Diane (thanks, Diane!), and it's partly because, and not in spite of, the clash of styles throughout.  Other listeners may find that contrast difficult to deal with--as ever, it's your call.  But, at the very least, this budget release is a classic example of a cheapie label taking a "What the heck?" approach to a playlist, with little thought given to the packaging of big band-era material under the title "Teen Age Favorites."  I mean, Take the "A" Train was a teen age favorite at one time in pop history--just not in the mid to late 1950s.

On the other hand, Bravo could have done worse by, say, combining the rocking Buddy Lucas tracks (which sound like a more hardcore version of Bill Haley and His Comets) with, for example, accordion favorites or sing-along selections, which would have really made things incongruous.  At least big band is related to the rock and roll style of Buddy Lucas--a style which goes back to the late 1940s, if not earlier.

I needed to make the cover a bit darker to match the real thing, and I assure you that the smiling blonde (who also appears on the cover of the Design label's Rock 'N' Roll at the Sugar Bowl--same pic) looks just as harshly lit in both a lighter and darker Photoshop adjustment.  The Sugar Bowl LP is credited to "Big Luke" Sykes and His Orchestra, whom I'm told is also Buddy Lucas, but my copy is too beat-up to even attempt a listen, let alone a rip.  Anyway, Teen Age Dance Party must have confused any and all teenagers who heard it, though to what extent, we can't know.  Its possible that the purchasers of 99-cent LPs had come to expect less than truthful packaging, which is often the price buyers paid for spending less on their vinyl. 

Come, revisit the big band and early rock and roll eras with Bobby Krane, whoever he was, and Buddy Lucas, known as "Lindsey Powers" on Gateway (his sides given the year 1955 at Discogs).  It's amusing that Bobby Krane gets the main billing, even though the Lucas tracks outnumber his by 6 to 4.  Just another waltz in the budget-label park!  A zone in which the goals were to 1. provide entertainment and 2. save money--in the reverse order.

Oh, and I have no idea what Teen Deen could possibly mean.  Any thoughts?  Maybe it was supposed to be Teen Den and someone accidentally added an e?

UPDATE: My thanks to musicman1979 for leading me to the most likely source for the four "Bobby Krane" sides--the Stanley Applewaite Prom Date LP, on Design DLP 23.


DOWNLOAD: Teen Age Dance Party--Bobby Krane/Buddy Lucas (Bravo K 131; year unknown)


PLAYLIST (Gateway Records titles in parenthesis)


Pony Tail (Wailin' Away)--Buddy Lucas and His Combo

Stompin' at the Savoy--Bobby Krane and His Orchestra

Bobby Sox (All Gone)--Buddy Lucas and His Combo

Take the "A" Train--Bobby Krane and His Orchestra

Wiggle Walk--Buddy Lucas and His Combo

One O'Clock Jump--Bobby Krane and His Orchestra

Drag Race (Round Robin)--Buddy Lucas and His Combo

C Jam Blues--Bobby Krane and His Orchestra

Rocks and Rolls (Blazing Home)--Buddy Lucas and His Combo

Teen Deen--Buddy Lucas and His Combo



Lee



Sunday, May 15, 2022

Sunday morning gospel: Oak Ridge Boys--Just for You (Vista R 1230, 1971)

 


This essay is a rush job, since this LP is a last-minute substitute for a terrific LP by the Branham Family.  While editing those tracks, I decided that the sound was simply too distorted (a bad pressing, is my guess), and so I snapped this out of a small row of TBB (to be blogged) gospel albums, and I figured that it's impossible to go wrong with the Oak Ridge Boys, especially when they start things out with Palms of Victory.  So, instead of a terrific Branham Family LP, we have a terrific Oak Ridge Boys effort.  Some essence-of-Southern-quartet material here, including Palms, Sweeter Gets the Journey, and Glory in the Arms.  Also, a few tracks which border on modern praise music, including the final cut, Thanks.  I'm not a praise song fan, to put it mildly, but it's always interesting to hear the "roots" of a particular genre.

So, great singing, fine 1971 stereo (despite a bit too much sibilance in at least one cut), and a cool group shot on the back--almost a rock-band look, there.  Maybe it's the hair?  Anyway, the label, Vista Records, was out of Nashville, and the LP certainly has a Nashville feel.  Gotta wrap this up, so... enjoy!  Download link follows...


DOWNLOAD: Oak Ridge Boys--Just for You (Vista R 1230; 1971)


Palms of Victory

Then I Met Jesus

Don't Scatter the Sheep

Searching

Remind Me, Dear Lord

Sweeter Gets the Journey

Glory in the Arms

He Really Cares About You

Just Like Jesus

Thanks


Lee


Saturday, May 07, 2022

Twenty-five 45s: Guy Mitchell, The Voxpoppers, Jerry Vale, the Rivieras, more!

 







Twenty-five 45s.  Or is that forty-five 25s?  No, I got it right the first time.  Confused myself a little, there.

Projects like this always take longer than I expect, which is odd, since I do a lot of projects like this--you'd think I would catch on.  Anyway, some fun selections, with many examples of "pop" artists covering R&B/rock and roll, with Steve Lawrence's Speedoo and Nick Noble's Lucy Lou my favorites along that line.  In fact, the Jesse Stone-penned Lucy Lou (the melody a borrowing of Frere Jacques!) may not even be a cover--I can't find info on the song.  But it's a pop singer performing a slow-rocking song, and very well, I might add.

Plus, two pop singers covering Chuck Willis numbers--Georgie Shaw delivering an excellent I Can Tell (1955) and Patti Page giving us an adequate Search My Heart.  I was hoping the latter would be on par with Patti's fabulous What a Dream (also penned by Chuck Willis), but it's not quite in that league.  And, from 1954, Johnnie Ray's excellent Drifters cover, Such a Night--though most people probably associate the song with the 1960 Elvis version.  Also, big band rock and roll, with a not-at-all-bad Bip Bam (Charles Calhoun, aka Jesse Stone) by Art Mooney (1954) and a so-so Buddy Morrow cover of William "Bill" Haley's Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie (1955). Morrow did better things in this vein, but it's fun to hear any cover of this one.

In my opinion, Gale Storm does a much better pop version of Why Do Fools Fall in Love than I Hear You Knocking, but she hit the Top Ten with both, so she needn't care what I think.  Then we have the Modernaires, who date back to Paul Whiteman, doing a budget label-style medley of then-current pop tunes in the oddly titled Tops 'N Pops, Pts. I and II.  That is, I don't think the preposition in is typically contracted, unlike and (which is often incorrectly contracted as 'n or n').  Oh, well--none of my business.

Some un-pop-ized doo wop and other instances of rock and roll grace our playlist--The G-Clefs' Darla, My Darlin' (1956); The Voxpoppers' The Last Drag (1958); Bill Haley's 1957 Hook, Line and Sinker (be on guard for thumping triplets); Sonny Sheets' Skippin (sic) Class (1961); Joe Caldwell and the Majestics' How Long Will It Last and its flip, Make Up Your Mind, with Felix Lark singing lead (both 1961); and the more-or-less r&r Wonder, by The Three G's (1958).  Oh, and there's The Wanderers' A Little Too Long (1961), and a rip of The Stroll by Tina Diamond and Hal Gordon entitled The Glide, which is well sung by Don Cherry in an excellent Ray Conniff production.

Two nice Guy Mitchell sides, a charming Jerry Vale number (Around the Clock; 1958), and a swinging 1955 Jill Corey side, That's All I Need.  In fact, Jill's side is an R&B cover, now that I check it out--penned by Lincoln (Such a Night) Chase, LaVerne Baker, and Howard Biggs.  How about that?

Link follows:


DOWNLOAD: Twenty-five 45s


Lucy Lou--Nick Noble, 1957

The Glide--Don Cherry, 1958

A Little Too Long--The Wanderers, 1961

Wonder--The Three G's, 1958

Till We're Engaged--Guy Mitchell, 1958

The Last Drag--The Voxpoppers, 1958

Darla, My Darlin'--The G-Clefs, 1956

Around the Clock--Jerry Vale, 1958

Great Big Eyes--The Rivieras, 1960

Skippin (sic) Class--Sonny Sheets and Tonettes, 1961

Make Up Your Mind--Felix Lark and the Majestics, 1961

How Long Will It Last--Joe Caldwell and the Majestics, 1961

I Can Tell--Georgie Shaw, 1955

Hook, Line and Sinker--Bill Haley and His Comets, 1957

Search My Heart--Patti Page, 1955

Bip Bam--Art Mooney and His Orch., Vocal by Chorus, 1954

Tops 'N Pops--Pts. I and II--The Modernaires, 1955

Why Do Fools Fall in Love--Gale Storm, 1956

Speedoo--Steve Lawrence, 1955

The Chicken and the Hawk (Up Up and Away)--Same

I Hear You Knocking--Gale Storm, 1955

Such a Night--Jonnie Ray, 1954

Two--Guy Mitchell, 1959

That's All I Need--Jill Corey, 1955

Rock-A-Beatin' Boogie--Buddy Morrow and His Orch., Vocal: Jerry Mercer, 1954



Lee

Friday, April 29, 2022

Warning! Highly exciting! Handle With Care! "The Sounds of a Thousand Strings," 1959

 



One of my favorite mood music LPs, budget or otherwise, stereo or mono.  And this happens to be a stereo issue, and Crown Records really played up the stereo aspect: "This album is musical dynamite!  It may explode some of your previous ideas as to what is top stereo sound--and music."  Okay, okay--we get the point.

The label promises "Some of the most vibrant, colorful music you'll ever hear."  And we know this is so, if only because of the presence of such awesome fare as Grandfather's Clock and Little Brown Jug.  But, seriously, these are wonderful arrangements (by conductor de Treville, maybe?), and Journey Into Space (wish they'd given the composer) remains one of my favorite mood music tracks of all time.  (Love Affair is terrific, too.)  This edition was pressed in clear red vinyl, and the engineering is just fine, and there are only the occasional minor pressing imperfections.  Someone certainly got his or her 99 cents' worth back in the day.  I think I paid more than that, since this was likely an eBay acquisition versus a thrift find.  (I rarely remember when or where I come across my sound recordings.)

Because this is a budget product, there's a heapin' helpin' of public-domain material--Chopin, Tchaikovsky, Joseph Eastburn Winner (Jug), Henry Jay Work (Clock), and the very busy Author Unknown (Wayfaring Stranger).  But these are highly entertainingly presented.  In fact, they're graced by "just powerful, dazzling arrangements," and liner notes never lie, so...

Gosh, I wonder what famous light concert work could have inspired A Texan in Paris?  The title, at least.  And Exotic Island leaves no doubt as to which genre is being exploited.  Great stuff--but I caution you to handle the highly exciting zip file with care!  Exclamation mark.  I mean, this sonic dynamite might, um, damage your media player or something.  Leave a hole in it, perhaps?  So be careful...

Link follows:


DOWNLOAD: The Sounds of a Thousand Strings: Orch. Conducted by Antoine de Treville.


La Cucharacha

Love Affair

Journey Into Space

Dance Chinoise

Romance

Wayfaring Stranger

A Texan in Paris

Exotic Island

Minute Waltz

Grandfather's Clock

Dance de Mirlitons

Little Brown Jug


The Sounds of a Thousand Strings--Orch. conducted by Antonine de Treville (Crown CST 148; 1959)


Lee

Friday, April 22, 2022

(Mostly) solid sound-alikes: "Top Tune Time" (SPC SP 106; 1959?)

 




So, this is a mostly very good collection of cheap sound-alikes, save for two tracks which, though the artists may try hard, don't quite make the 99¢ cut.  I refer to the potentially good fake of Lonely Teardrops, a song to which the singer seems well-suited--but he repeatedly botches things, suggesting that his voice was worn out on that particular day.  And that the folks at SPC said, "What the heck--it's a take."  And we can be fairly certain that SPC (Synthetic Plastics Co., though there's no actual SPC credit anywhere on this LP) frowned on multiple takes.  Or (especially) the prospect of rescheduling a session.  What they got was what they pressed.  Whatever I just typed.

The other not-so-good band is She Say (Oom Dooby Doom), a Barry Mann hit for the Diamonds in 1959.  The vocal blend--and, especially, the half-step-climbing falsetto--isn't what it could be, but it should be noted that (at least in my opinion), this SPC version is the least inadequate of the three I've heard (the other two courtesy of Gateway and Broadway).  If "least inadequate" can be considered praise (and maybe it should be when we're talking fake hits), then thumbs up for this track.  But it should have been better.

A number of the other tracks make up for things--in particular, a strong Peter Gunn cover (not, it turns out, the version on that Tiara boxed set, as I had thought), a fine Manhattan Spiritual, an equally fine Stagger Lee, and an All American Boy imitation that captures the lighthearted and sarcastic feel of the original pretty skillfully.  And I find myself confused about the intention of that particular novelty, because it seems pro-r&r in spots and pro-anti-r&r in others.  Maybe it's not a song for deep thought.

Oh, and someone (on the Promenade single, the credit goes to Jimmy Grant and the Promenade Orch. and Chorus) pulls off an able imitation of Andy Williams on Hawaiian Wedding Song.  If only more practice had gone into the performance of She Say, and if only the Lonely Teardrops singer had been allowed to come back after his voice had enjoyed a rest.  But a very fun bunch of top tunes, regardless.  1959 seems the logical year for this.  Download link follows...


DOWNLOAD: Top Tune Time (SPC SP 106; prob. 1959)


Hawaiian Wedding Song

Peter Gunn

All-American (or, All American) Boy

My Happiness

Stagger Lee

Manhattan Spiritual

Lonely Teardrops

The Lonely One

She Say (Oom Dooby Doom)

Donna



Lee


Sunday, April 17, 2022

Happy Easter 2022!! Eddie Brandt, Jerome Hines, Meadowlarks, Cincinnati Baptist College Quartet

 




Twelve Easter selections--six egg-cellent novelties, followed by six outstanding religious numbers.  The novelties commence with Eddie Brandt (see Eddie's Wikipedia page) and His Hollywood Hicks performing Easter Bunny Polka, the vocals by Eddie and his first wife, Ruthie James. Then three more from this cheapest-of-the-cheap budget label, Irene Records (part of the JEB/TunePAC group), including a nicely done sound-alike of Peter Cottontail (as Peter Cotton Tail).  Then it's on to the Peter Pan (Synthetic Plastics Co.) versions of Bunny Hop and the title tune from a 1934 Disney Silly Symphonies short, Funny Little Bunnies.  

I'm not sure how Eddie Brandt and George (Goodnight My Love) Motola got away with writing a song (Easter Bunny Polka) about a certain, um, cartoon wabbit and his inept pursuer, but it appears that they did.  I'd think that Mel Blanc, at least, would have been annoyed.  But this is the Irene label, so in any lawsuit, the litigants might have collected... what?  Thirty bucks?

Jerome Hines, the born-again Metropolitan Opera bass who gave Salvation Army concerts, follows our humorous helpings with superb performances of How Great Thou Art and The Old Rugged Cross, recorded for Word Records in 1965.  The Cincinnati Baptist Quartet (thanks, Diane!) offer up a lively version of Lewis E. Jones' 1899 gem, There Is Power in the Blood, and there are excellent choral renditions of He Lives and Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus.  The concert closes with the Church of the Nazarene Male Quartet (from the Showers of Blessing radio show) singing Victory in Jesus. a very famous gospel song whose melody is quite close to an earlier Charles Gabriel hymn, Pentecostal Power.  However, from approximately 1870 to, oh, the 1940s, gospel songbooks were being produced by the hundreds, and, given that circumstance, melodic overlap between any two songs was well within the realm of probability.  You might even call it inevitable.

Happy Easter!  Link follows:


DOWNLOAD: Easter 2022


Peter Cotton Tail--Meadowlarks

Old Rugged Cross--Mac McFarland

Easter Parade--Eddie Brandy and His Hollywood Hicks, V: Ruthie James

Easter Bunny Polka (Brandt-Motola)--Same, V: Eddie Brandt, Ruthie James

Bunny Hop--Peter Pan Orch. and Singers, Dir. by Vicky Kasen, 1955

Funny Little Bunnies--The Cricketts, Feat. "Hoppy" the Bunny, Peter Pan Orch.

Power in the Blood--The Cincinnati Baptist College Quartet, prob. 1971

How Great Thou Art--Jerome Hines, Arr. and Conducted by Kurt Kaiser, 1965

The Old Rugged Cross--Same

He Lives (Alfred H. Ackley)--Unknown choir, Word Records

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus--The Billy Graham Crusade Choir, Dir. by Cliff Barrows, 1962

Victory in Jesus (Bartlett)--Church of the Nazarene Male Quartet



Lee

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Wednesday afternoon gospel: The Valley Voices--What Will Your Answer Be (Riverside Records 102; 1975?)




I originally posted this wonderful LP by the West Virginia gospel quartet The Valley Voices back in February 2019, and someone just wrote me about it--and... that's when I noticed that the link was long gone (Good ol' Zippyfile--how I don't miss it).  No problem, I thought to myself--I'll just re-upload the zipfile from my hard drive.  Except, no zip file.  So, I did a new rip.  And here it is.

I need to note that there is a big and deep crosscut on Side Two (spanning two bands) which I managed to mask over when with a maximum declicker setting, plus some "manual" sonic surgery. So, when you hear what sound like brief tape drop-outs during the first four tracks on Side Two--2 and 4, especially-- you're actually hearing splice points that I connected with rapid fade-ins and fade-outs.  A lot of work, but the affected tracks sound a lot better.  Whoever previously owned this LP had a heavy home stereo tonearm and accidentally (I'm assuming) knocked it across the disc when setting down the needle.  How well I remember the days when a simple slip with the tonearm meant a partially ruined record!

Lovely a cappella singing in pure straight-from-the-hills fashion, and be prepared for a sameness of sound from track to track--it's a stylistic thing and not at all a flaw in the performances.  I'm just noting this for anyone not used to the "mountain" gospel sound.  Don't let the seeming monotony put you off--there's actually a good deal of variety in the material and vocal arrangements, and be assured that this kind of smooth and professional musicianship is anything but off the cuff or casual--these folks are superbly together in their performances, and the listener knows, from the first measure, that the Valley Voices believe every word they're singing.  Cyber-wise, this is a very obscure LP, its only on line mention being my own post of last week, plus a library listing at the Appalachian State University in Boone, North Carolina.  My blog is earning its title today.

Two more LPs by this quartet are presently at eBay, plus a "Valley Voices" singing fake-hit Bill Joel covers, plus a sacred choir (?) directed by Merrill Staton.  Neither has anything to do with these folks, I'm sure.

Enjoy!  Zipfile link follows...




LINK:  The Valley Voices--What Will Your Answer Be




What Will Your Answer Be
I Am on the Road
Hard Working Pilgrim
I Know I'll Feel at Home
Lord I Want to Go Home
You Can Take My Place
When I Get Home
When We Gather by the River
Sinner You'll Miss Heaven
Who
I want to Hear Little David Play
Let Me Go Down to the River

The Valley Voices--What Will Your Answer Be (Riverside Records 102; recorded in Crum WV)


Lee


Wednesday, April 06, 2022

Twenty-two 45 sides: Mel-O-Dots, Betty Nickell, Paul Hampton, The Four Lads, Tracey Twins, more!

 







Or, "A Mess of 45s, Part 2."  Nineteen 45s from my collection that were crying out to be posted, with at least a few repeats from lost links gone by.  For example, friend-of-the-blog Betty Nickell's marvelous I'm Ready is back, and this time I have the year: 1970.  That's what the ARP (Atwell Record Pressing, Inc. of Lafayette TN) 1160 matrix number tells me, at least.  And 1970 seems like the right year, as I was thinking 1970-1973-ish.  Betty's rockabilly gem is fifth in the list, preceded by two tracks sung in duet by the Tracey Twins of Cleveland, Ohio on a 1958 EastWest 45 (a subsidiary of Atlantic!). The twins, Eudice and Eunice Margolis, sound a little bit outside their stylistic comfort zone on these, but they have marvelous voices, and the sides rock, so who's complaining?  They are followed by the Chargers, a group which likely includes Jesse Belvin, whose name appears, with Jo Ann Belvin, in the song/adaptation credits.  Beautifully smooth 1958 doowop, courtesy of RCA Victor.

Then, the terrific Cathy Johnson is backed up (literally) by the Four Lads, one of my favorite '50s pop quartets (Canadian, natch), as they cover a Maddox Brothers and Rose number called I've Got Four Big Brothers (To Look After Me).  To hear it in country mode, click here.  Then, Ella Mae Morse with a pre-Elvis Money Honey from 1954, which in turn is a cover of the 1953 Drifters hit.  Penned by the great Jesse Stone.  Then a distaff Thirteen Women (as Thirteen Men, in the usual superb and sexy Dinah Shore manner), a tune which was going to be the A-side of Bill Haley's Rock Around the Clock--until Clock had its second, smash chart run in 1955.  Then, the superbly inane Be Bop Grandma, beautifully and soulfully sung by Solomon Burke, with a Twist-style backing and a memorable guitar break (Mickey Baker?).  Sounds a little odd for Atlantic, but I do not complain.

And we have the Marty-Robbins-pretending-to-be-a-teen gem, 1959's Cap and Gown.  The songwriters use a Pachelbel I/vi/ii/V scheme, with some modifications, plus a lovely bridge/interlude, and Marty is great as always.  Oh, That'll Be Joyful is well sung by the Four Lads, and, as I once explained in the now-missing portion of my blog, Joyful was a glee club number (dating back at least as far as the late 1800s) usually titled The Peanut Song, and the melody, including the refrain, can be found (under the title "Joyful") in the 1844 Sacred Harp tunebook.  So there.

One More Time is a rocking 1952 track by the Mel-O-Dots, and I have a fondness for the hunt-and-peck organ solo, though I suspect many listeners will regard it as the ruination of the side.  And the R. Allen-J Stone I Just Don't Know (crooned by the Four Lads) is perfectly titled, since I just don't know whether or not songwriter "J. Stone" is the great Jesse Stone.  A Google search failed to turn up an answer; rather, just a bunch of "J. Stone" listings.  Good, bluesy number, so it could be Jesse.  Meanwhile, don't ask me to explain 1964's Burn Baby Burn, save to note that I don't think any political statement is being made.  You've got to love the label.


Next, Big Maybelle does a soul rendition of the onetime garage-band-oldies champ 96 Tears, and then Paul Hampton provides us with further proof that Mitch Miller was not nearly as unwilling as legend would have it to give rock and roll a go at Columbia--I refer to the rockers Slam Bam Thank You Ma'am and Live a Life of Love, both co-written by Otis (All Shook Up) Blackwell.  Hampton was one of Burt Bacharach's early songwriting partners, by the way.  Then, and not very logically enough, Woody Herman's 1941 recording of Misirlou, as reissued on a 1950 Decca 45--perfect for those who didn't know that, long before Dick Dale did it, Misirlou made the big band rounds.  Then, Jo Stafford (possibly in "Mitch made me record this" mode) ably crooning Ray Charles' I Got a Woman--as I Got a Sweetie.  And then I had to turn around and follow Jo's sublime vocalizing with Dick Stop's Class Cutter, which I'm guessing was intended for humor.  If so, it works.  The final two bars are something to hear.  Or not hear, depending on your tolerance level for terrible falsettos.

From a 1957 London 45, two sides of Winifred Atwell tickling the ivories to the latest rock and roll hits, including (wait a minute)... Singing the Blues?  Hm.  Well, I suppose Singing... could kind of, sort of, maybe fall into that camp.  Winifred thought so.  It works, so why ruin the party?  Go, Boy Go (why the missing second comma?), on the other hand, is definitely rock and roll--at least to the extent that the instrumental backing is straight out of Essex-era Bill Haley, complete with the riff from 1953's Crazy Man, Crazy complete with a riff rhythmically identical to the "Go, go, go, everybody!" portion of Crazy Man, Crazy (another curious instance of punctuation).  Meanwhile, Carl Smith's vocal is unadulterated country.  The side bops ably, and I've always wanted to type "bops ably."  The download link follows...


DOWNLOAD: 22 45s April 2022



Heartbreak Hill--Tracey Twins, 1958

Don't Mean Maybe Baby--Same

Old MacDonald (Adaptation by Jesse and Jo Ann Belvin)--The Chargers With Shorty Rogers' Orch., 1958

Dandilyon (Jesse and Jo Ann Belvin)--Same

I'm Ready--Betty Nickell and the Mystics, 1970?

I've Got Four Big Brothers (To Look After Me)--The Four Lads and Candy Johnson, O. Dir. by Ray Ellis, 1955

Money Honey (Jesse Stone)--Ella Mae Morse With Big Dave and His Orch., 1954

Thirteen Men--Dinah Shore With Harry Zimmerman's Orch. and Chorus, 1958

Be Bop Grandma--Solomon Burke, 1961

Cap and Gown--Marty Robbins, 1959

Oh, That'll Be Joyful--The Four Lads, Orch. Dir. by Jimmy Carroll, 1955

One More Time--Mel-O-Dots, 1952

I Just Don't Know (R. Allen-J. Stone)--The Four Lads With Ray Ellis, 1957

Burn Baby Burn--Rockin' Rebels, 1964

96 Tears--Big Maybelle, 1966

Slam Bam Thank You Ma'am--Paul Hampton, 1958

Live a Life of Love--Same

Misirlou--Woody Herman and His Orchestra, V: Woody Herman, 1941 (1950 45 rpm re.)

I Got a Sweetie (Ray Charles)--Jo Stafford With Paul Weston and His Orch., 1955

Class Cutter--Dicky Stop, 1959

Let's Rock 'n' Roll, Pts. I and II--Winifred Atwell and Her Other Piano, 1957

Go, Boy Go--Carl Smith, 1954



Lee



Saturday, April 02, 2022

25 Prom/Promenade soundalikes--in stereo (!!)

 


The Golden Treasury of the American Hit Parade ("A Rollicking set of 100 Tunes from 1951 to 1960 with Top Ten hits from each year," no less) is a Tiara seven-disc boxed set which, unlike most Tiara releases, offers SPC (Synthetic Plastics Co.) material--specifically, SPC soundalikes (fake hits, that is) which originally showed up on Prom and Promenade EPs (usually in edited-down versions) and in complete form on Prom (or SPC no-name label) LPs.  All in monaural.  But the cool thing about today's tracks: Genuine stereo!  Tiara actually remastered about one-third of these in honest-to-goodness stereo.  And it's the kind of strictly separated stereo (binaural?) best appreciated on headphones.  You may find yourself surprised, as I was, by how good these stereo mixes sound, not only in performance (though there are some shaky vocals, especially the D- Elvis impression on A Fool Such as I), but also in the fidelity department.  Some of the instrumentals are amazingly hi-fi.  Well, on a Synthetic Plastics Co. scale, at least.

There were a number of late-1950s titles which I'd hoped would be in true stereo (Purple People Eater and Where the Boys Are, for instance), but approximately half of these are in lousy fake stereo of the "rechanneled" variety, so I didn't bother with those ("Lousy fake stereo" being an oxymoron, btw.).  But I pulled out 37 good actual-stereo sound-alikes, and then I pared those down to 25, and... we have our playlist.  By the way, speaking of badly-faked Elvis, whoever crooned Conway Twitty's Only Make Believe had the Presley sound down pat--just like Conway Twitty in his early days, come to think of it.  SPC should have used him (Bill King) for A Fool Such as I.

My favorites include the skillful copy of Lawrence Welk's 1960 Calcutta, plus the equally proficient imitations of Percy Faith's 1960 Theme From a Summer Place, Ray Anthony's 1959 Peter Gunn (the Henry Mancini TV theme thereof), Perez Prado's 1958 Patricia, Billy Vaughn's 1958 La Paloma, and the Reg Owen Orch.'s 1959 (rec. in 1958) Manhattan Spiritual.  Other sound-alikes I dig: Perry Como's vocal doppelganger (and resident SPC Christmas LP star) Johnny Kay doing the  fabulous Perry Como soundalikes (logical, no?) Kewpie Doll (1958) and Moon Talk (same year)--plus, Where or When (imitation of Dion and the Belmonts, 1959), To Know Him Is to Love Him (the 1958 Teddy Bears hit), and the infectious Billy T, which seems to be a retitling of Kathy Linden's 1958 Billy (a tune dating back to 1911!).  Plus, passable copies of the Platters, Kingston Trio, Peggy Lee, and the Fleetwoods.  At the same time, SPC/Tiara has treated us to superior impressions of Frank Sinatra (Mr. Success, 1959), Dave "Baby" Cortez (The Happy Organ, 1959), and The Virtues (Guitar Boogie Shuffle, 1959 again).  Who could ask for more?  In the present context, I mean?

All selections by the world-famous The Broadway Pops Orchestra With Featured Vocalists and Chorus.  I found the Prom/Promenade artist credits for all but three titles--A Fool Such as I, Where or When, and Calcutta.  Of the three, I was only able to trace Calcutta to a Synthetic Plastics Co. release.


DOWNLOAD: Prom/Promenade Soundalikes in Stereo!


THE BROADWAY POPS ORCHESTRA WITH FEATURED VOCALISTS AND CHORUS


Peter Gunn--Promenade Orchestra (UPDATE: Not a Prom/Promenade track!  My bad.)

Beyond the Sea--Jim Everett

A Fool Such as I--(Unknown Artist)

Guitar Boogie (Shuffle)--Glitters

Since I Don't Have You--The Grasshoppers

Beep-Beep--The Kays

Smoke Gets in Your Eyes--The Glitters

Moon Talk--Michael Reed (Johnny Kay)

Come Softly to Me--Grasshoppers

Fever--Betty Green

Mr. Success--Al Freed

Harbor Lights--The Promineers

Patricia--Jose Gonzales

Where or When--(Unknown Artist)

Kewpie Doll--Bob Mitchell (Johnny Kay)

Theme From a Summer Place--Donnie Rounds

Calcutta--(Unknown Artist)

(It's) Only Make Believe--Bill King

Billy T--Hildy Tree

La Paloma--John Logan

Twilight Time--The Promineers

Manhattan Spiritual--Bill King

To Know Him Is to Love Him--The Grasshoppers

The Happy Organ--Pat Vale

It's All in the Game--Michael Reed



Lee

Friday, March 25, 2022

Ultraphonic high fidelity! "Tops in Pops--All the Latest Hit Recordings" (Allegro 1670)

 


Such a natural cover pose, no?  And, sorry, these are not "all the latest hit recordings," needless to say.  They're copies of the latest hit recordings, to be precise--but Allegro was purposely avoiding the option of being precise.  These delightful jobber rack relics were, after all, designed to work as con jobs.  Though, I'm not sure who would look at this LP at the supermarket and seriously think it contained the genuine articles.

That said, and lousy engineering aside, this is a fun set, with Whole Lot of Shaking Going On (could they have meant Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On?) the standout track, to my ears--an out of control cover with far too much low end, and a singer who loses the meter about midpoint.  But it's raw and rocking, and in some ways it's even funner than the original.  (I've been listening to these things too long, possibly.)  And, speaking of inflated bass response, I had to re-EQ Chances Are and Fascination just to get those tracks to the point of listenability.  And I'm talking about two levels of EQ'ing.  The engineer must have fallen asleep at the console, knocking one of the knobs to max setting.  However, I kept Shaking as is, since the bad engineering, oddly enough, only helps the track.  It makes a wild take sound even moreso.

Wake up Little Susie is competent by cheap-knockoff standards, while Jailhouse Rock (which I suspect must exist on Broadway, credited to Jack Richards) is quite good.  Meanwhile, its highs are quite broken up--again, the engineer goofed up.  It doesn't help that this collection was pressed on brittle styrene, and I suppose the awfulness of the Jailhouse fidelity could be blamed on that fact--however, it's the only track with "scritchy" highs, so it's likely not the pressing but indifferent mastering.

I like the way these "latest hit" LPs feature all the then-current hits, even the "adult pop" type, which means that we get to hear My Heart Reminds Me and Melodie D'Amour in the same set as Be-Bop Baby and That'll Be the Day.  That's why these albums are such good intros to their particular eras.  And a possibly little-known fact about Honeycomb is that it was penned by none other than Bob (How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?) Merrill.  True.  Personally, I prefer the 1954 Georgie Shaw Honeycomb version to the 1957 Jimmie Rodgers hit, but that's just me.

Mr. Lee--a hit for the R&B girl group, the Bobbettes--is another track I had to unmuffle from its poor EQ'ing, but I got it sounding perfectly fine.  And it's cool to have an R&B number in the mix, and one done in an authentic (i.e., non-"pop cover") fashion.  For all its engineering faults, this is one cool, zero-budget Record Corp. of America offering.  And I wouldn't pay any mind to the 1956 copyright on the back jacket, given the 1957 hits we're hearing here.  (Hearing here?)

Oh, and for once the jacket listing conforms to the label order.  That's odd.  Also, note the "M" suffix which follows the standard Tops in Pops 1670 catalog number, likely designating the edition.  To the fun, guilty or otherwise:


DOWNLOAD: Tops in Pops--All the Latest Hit Recordings (Allegro 1670M)


TRACKS

Wake up Little Susie

Jailhouse Rock

Melodie D'Amour

My Heart Reminds Me

Be-Bop Baby

Hula Love

Chances Are

Fascination

Whole Lot of Shaking Going On

Mr. Lee

That'll Be the Day

Honeycomb


Oh, and here's the Value Hit Parade Tunes (Broadway) co-release, sitting right there in my record rows:



Lee


Thursday, March 24, 2022

Ukraine Rocks the World

I wanted to direct you to an intriguing and inspiring essay by music journalist and critic Wayne Robins: Ukraine Rocks the Free World.  Some fascinating historical analogies in this piece, and the main topic is something I don't think the U.S. news media has given much press to: The use of international radio to make potent protest statements that the world can tune into.  That old standby medium, radio, is more relevant than ever in Ukraine's courageous and creative struggle to thwart Putin's policy of media silence.

A great read, and there's an option to subscribe for free or for a donation.



The Ukrainian band TIK.



Lee

Sunday, March 20, 2022

The Conveyors Quartet--Work for the Night Is Coming


Five members pictured in a quartet portrait?  Heck, that's nothing--try seven.


We can assume we're seeing the four singers plus three musicians.  (I've never understood why "musicians" doesn't include singers.  It should.)  This is expert Southern gospel, and I don't think we have a family group this time, though (going by another Conveyors LP), it seems the group was headed by a husband and wife team--Ardeth and Kenny Dykhoff.  I can't quite pick them out in the above photo, but here they are, from their Just a Little Talk With Jesus LP.  Seated is pianist Marilyn Gallaway:


The group is apparently from Indiana, though Mission Records is/was in Nashville TN.  This post was delayed by allergies--which is to say, I've got the pollen blues big-time today (so much so, I'm afraid to go online and verify the pollen count).  So, let me simply say that this is a very entertaining set, with a beautifully full vocal blend throughout, and some outstanding sacred titles in the mix, including the title classic, the 19th-century oldie Work for the Night Is Coming (text: 1854; tune: 1864).  Bringing in the Sheaves is slightly more contemporary, its tune a mere 140 years old.

Another Diane thrift gift--thanks, Diane!



DOWNLOAD: The Conveyors Quartet: Work for the Night Is Coming (Mission Records MR CQ 139)


I've Been Born Again

Oh, What a Love

Sheltered in His Arms

Old Camp Meeting

Pity the Man

I Don't Need to Understand

If You Believe

I Just Steal Away and Pray

Medley: I'm Bound for That City/Shoutin' on the Hills/What a Day That Will Be

Medley: Work for the Night Is Coming/Bringing in the Sheaves

The Time Is Now



Lee



Thursday, March 10, 2022

Rhythm and Blues in the Night (Hollywood Records LPH 30; 1957)

 


An excellent, if discographically confusing, R&B LP on the Hollywood label, with at least five tracks from the Abbey label, whose dates appear in the playlist below.  The Both Sides Now website talks about this LP, but the most useful one-stop info is at Discogs.

A number of these tracks are rock and roll, really--I've never bought into the conventional notion that R&B and rock and roll were separate genres, at least early on.  Simply put, Blacks were recording r&r before it had an established label.  And, for a while, the two labels were used interchangeably in popular culture, anyway, as in an early Elvis Presley interview (the source of which I can't locate--I think it was in Look magazine).  At any rate, apparently the credits listed on this label are nonsense.  What we have are artist-unknown covers of Dinah Washington's 1954 I Don't Hurt Anymore, and of the Drifters' Honey Love of the same year (info courtesy of Brian McFadden), plus the Abbey label tracks Call Me Darlin' (Bobby Marshall, 1950), Don't Cry Darlin' (The Master Keys, 1950), Steady Roll (Bill Gooden, 1949?), Tell Me Pretty Baby (Ralph Willis and Spider Sam, 1949), and Featherweight Baby (Brother Blues and the Back Room Boys, 1949)--the latter a hard-rocking, super-distorted-lead-guitar number in early Howlin' Wolf mode.  Plus, a number of other so-far artist-unknown numbers.

The Inks Spots-esque Don't Cry Darlin' (The Master Keys, 1950) has a lead singer crooning in Elvis-ballad fashion, only years earlier, of course.  Meanwhile, the track Rain, Rain, Rain is your typical out-of-nowhere budget addition, an uptempo gospel song that doesn't fit very well into the playist scheme, though at least it rocks.

The badly photographed front jacket model is Julie (Catwoman) Newmar, looking like she just woke up.  Surely, they could have come up with a better shot.  Anyway, a famous and "desirable" LP on a label that typically didn't offer such product, and I was pleased with my rip.  The transfers were clearly not that great to begin with, so don't expect A+ fidelity, but I think my stylus did a good job on this classic rocker.  If only I could remember which needle I used--my wide 1.12 mil LP needle or my regular sized conical stylus.  My short-term memory is failing me, as usual...

My favorite track, Featherweight Baby (original title: Feather Weight Mama) might not set a sexual-innuendo record, but it's a contender.  Love the Willie Johnson-style guitar.

I'm using a new storage site--let me know if there are any issues.  Enjoy!

UPDATE: Some of the "Unknown Artist" tracks had previously been released on the Record-O-Mail label, which advertised in Charlton mags: Hit Parader, Song Hits, etc.)


DOWNLOAD: Rhythm and Blues in the Night (Hollywood Records LPH 30; 1957)


TRACKS

Call Me Darlin'--Bobby Marshall (Abbey 3014; 1950)

I'm Gonna Live for Today--Unknown Artist (1949) (UPDATE: Buster has ID'd track as "I'm Going to Live for Today"--Bobby Marshall (Ray Parker Orch.), on Abbey 3018; 1950.

Don't Cry Darlin'--The Master Keys (Abbey 3017; 1950)

Steady Roll--Bill Gooden (Abbey 66; 1949?)

Tell Me Pretty Baby--Ralph Willis and Spider Sam (Abbey 3005; 1949)

Featherweight Baby--Brother Blues & The Back Room Boys (Abbey 3015; 1949)

Rain, Rain, Rain--Unknown Artsit

Mister Blues--Unknown Artist

I Want to Rock Till I Drop--Unknown Artist (1949)

I Don't Hurt Anymore--Unknown Artist

If You Believe--Unknown Artist

Honey Love--Unknown Artist

Come to Me Darlin'--Unknown Artist

When My Heart Beats Like a Hammer--Unknown Artist


Rhythm and Blues in the Night (Hollywood LPH 30; 1957)


Lee

Sunday, March 06, 2022

The Singing Reynolds Family--I'll Be a Friend (Reynolds Records 80725; 1968)

 


I'm always looking for outstanding family-gospel albums, and this one (thrifted from Volunteers of America for 90 cents) looked like a likely suspect: Cool group photo, great stock front-jacket art, and a promising song listing.  And... it turns out to be terrific.  The label is Reynolds Records (wonder how the Reynolds Family came up with that?), and the group's address is given as Route No. 1, Milton WV.  Meanwhile, the back jacket tells us this was recorded in (ominous city name alert) Hurricane WV.  Luckily for us, the album was manufactured by Queen City Albums of Cincinnati OH, which makes it easy to determine the exact date: July 25, 1968.  

And things are a little weird in regard to the catalog number, since, in addition to using the matrix number (80725) as the main number, the label also says "Record No. 6801."  I don't know what to make of this, but maybe I wasn't meant to.

There's a superb balance throughout, with the numbers consistently switching between uptempo "Hallelujah!"-type numbers and slower, soulful ones.  The singing is very competent, and the instrumental blend is excellent.  Whoever engineered this wasn't gifted in the editing department, with many instances of noise (in one case, loud hum) happening seconds before the tracks begin (and, sometimes, after).  However, your friendly blogger/editor fixed these goofs so that you won't have to deal with them.  The liner notes had me slightly confused at first, since they describe both the original and the then-current group line-up, but I think I got it straight: Clyde Reynolds--bass; Louise Reynolds--alto; daughter Betty Jean--lead and piano; daughter Carolyn--organ; Bob Morris--bass guitar and occasional lead; and Earl Higginbotham--tenor.

Great versions of Sweeter as the Days Go By, I Can Almost See the Lights of Home, and Ring the Bells of Heaven (by Albert Brumley and Marion Easterling, 1947--i.e., not the 19th century classic by that title), and just a generally fine program which had me in family-gospel heaven.  

As for the front jacket scan, I have no idea why it turned out like that--I gave it two tries, with the same result (the second time practically in the dark).  Maybe it's time for a new scanner.  Anyway, time to let the Singing Reynolds Family be your friends.  They will not disappoint.


DOWNLOAD: I'll Be a Friend--The Singing Reynolds Family (Reynolds Records 80725; 1968)


When Morning Sweeps the Sky

Closer to Thee

Ring the Bells of Heaven

I Can Almost See the Lights of Home

When Judgement Reaches Home

Glory, Glory, Amen

Sweeters as the Days Go By

Until You've Known

I'll Be a Friend to Jesus

Saviour Gently Take Me Home

Each Step I Take

Hallelujah


The Singing Reynolds Family--I'll Be a Friend (Reynolds Records 80725; 1968)


Lee