Thursday, September 28, 2023

The Twist--Ray Anthony and His Bookends


The twist: A 1958 Hank Ballard song whose chart success happened in 1960 and 1962 (courtesy of Chubby Checker), and whose chief period of popularity (the height of the twist-ploitation craze) occurred in the latter year.  Thus, we have Ray Anthony presenting his 1962 variant.

I thought this would be a less time-consuming jacket photoshopping job and manual click removal task.  That's what I get for predicting.  Turns out that the VG-looking surface had its share of crosscuts.  The type which elude VinylStudio (with its bass protection feature), with some easily removed by MAGIX's wave shape "pencil," but others requiring a track splice (hard to pull off without an audible gap).  

And lots of black area to photoshop-fill on the front and rear jacket: The kind of wear that becomes painfully visible upon scanning.  But, finally, it's ready to go.  And I'm as sane as when I started.  You can read that as you wish.

Should I start with the good features or the not so good ones?  Drawbacks: Monotony of presentation: There seemed to be a lot of repetition in Anthony's arrangements.  However, this impression could be a consequence of the many times I had to halt the file and review two- and three-second sections while deleting audio spikes.  I can't make a fair judgment until I listen to the restored file straight through.

Plus, there's the Capitol stereo, which was no blessing to record buyers.  Luckily, this is for-real stereo, as opposed to that awful "Duophonic" process (a type of fake stereo) too often employed by the label.  But here we've got the all-of-the-instruments/singers-in-the-same-channel kind of unrealistic stereo separation, which may as well be binaural.  But, again, it is stereo.  Or binaural-sounding stereo.

The pluses?  The excellent musicianship we would expect, and in fact do get, from Ray Anthony (albeit, not always in key).  And the delightful "period" sound--in this case, the kind of "canned" Discotheque music so common to TV shows and movies of the early 1960s.  Nice nostalgia trip.  Plus, clever takes on (what else?) The Bunny Hop, Tequila, Peter Gunn, Hound Dog, Night Train, Mexican Hat Dance (oh, well), and Rock Around the Clock.  That last title is the reason I thrifted this LP, oh, about five years back.  Anthony's version is called Twist and Rock Around the Clock, though I don't know for certain that it's possible to do both at the same time.

Why not simply Twist Around the Clock?  Well, there was a movie and single by that name, so I'm guessing this was an instance of copyright-claim avoidance.  And the notes excitedly announce Ray Anthony twist originals ("hard-rocking Anthony originals"), including Twist Around Mister, Let's Twist (very evocative), Bookend Twist, and Twistin' Alice.  All of which became cherished and honored members of the Great Rock and Roll Songbook.  (Wait--they didn't?)  But I love the idea of Ray Anthony twist originals.  It appeals to me, somehow.

Worth a listen, and once more I'm inspired to wonder why the twist was greeted like a new era in popular music.  Like a massively major event.  I mean, eight-to-the-bar boogie-woogie had already been heard in the person of Pete Johnson, Will Bradley, Freddie Stack, Chuck Miller, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis (when not using triplets), and contemporary surf music.  Some have suggested that the twist was an across-the-generations dance craze: nice and clean, with nothing suggestive (a la "rock") about "twist."  Yet, I've read that the twist was criticized for not being close-contact dancing, like "real," respectable dancing.  Of course, in an earlier era, close dancing had been scandalous (e.g., the waltz).  These things go in circles, I guess.  As someone once said, "You can't please anyone."  And it just occurred to me that a bunny hop/twist hybrid is likely not something I'd want to see.

DOWNLOAD: The Twist--Ray Anthony and His Bookends (Capitol St-1668; 1962)

Bunny Hop Twist

Twist Around Mister

Tequila With a Twist

Let's Twist

Peter Gunn Twist

Twistin' Hound Dog

Bookend Twist

Night Train Twist

Twist and Rock Around the Clock

Mexican Hat Dance Twist

The Twist

Twistn' Alice


Thursday, September 21, 2023

And... maybe I'm back

groovylounge kindly suggested a new storage service, and I revived the Today People post via that site.  Hopefully, things will work out.

It's possible that workupload panicked and simply banned my posts willy-nilly, out of fear that someone might claim ownership.  There does not seem to have been an ounce of method to their madness, since I'm pretty sure that Hit Records, Hollywood, Parade, and Tops are no longer in business.  Tops bit the dust in 1962, in fact.

Even YouTube generates "copyright claim" messages in an irrational manner.  For instance, per law, pre-1923 78s are in the public domain.  This hasn't stopped YouTube from declaring select pre-1923 recordings as containing a "copyright claim."  I'm guessing that if, say, Archeophone Records releases recordings covering 1917-1922, some software program is identifying these tracks as content owned by Archeophone.  Far as I know, Archeophone has never made any such claim regarding its "content."  It is fully aware, for instance, that the Victor Talking Machine Co. is no longer in operation.

Does YouTube's software know this?  Actually, that's a trick question, since software can't "know" anything.

As for AI, if ever and whenever AI can answer "Do you want fries with that?" I'll believe in software which can reason.

A scary reality to ponder: Humans have a real-world sense of probability.  For instance, most people would recognize that entering data into an account PRIOR to establishing that account is, in all probability, impossible.  But Facebook's software doesn't know this.  And so it informed a FB friend that he had provided a phone number to his FB account three years before he started one.  Does past, present, and future mean anything to FB's software?  Evidently, no.  And we want to trust everything to programs which have no idea that time flows forward--something most little kids figure out before they can do fractions?

It looks like this blog is finished...

Workupload has banned any number of my posts.  Apparently, Tops material is making money for someone, and when someone makes money from "content," then that entity is presumed to own the content.  Whether it does or doesn't.

As ever, sharing for free is the ultimate crime, whereas some jerk label claims ownership to, say, a pre-1923 78, and copyright law be damned--I'm dealing with a YouTube "copyright claim."  Anyone who wants to make a few pennies from a label which went defunct in 1962, as did Tops--they are protected.  They do it with the blessings of the latest copyright act.  You and I are screwed.

I was afraid workupload might take that idiot route, and it has.  MEGA won't let me use it, and I don't know where else to turn, unless I want to pay a pricey subscription fee (I don't).  If anyone has any helpful suggestions, I'd love to hear them.

I mean, for God's sake, we can't have me potentially robbing some "content manager" or streaming service a buck and a quarter.  And we've seen rogue content managers swiping material from major labels--and in rips made by yours truly.

I'm terrified to look, since at least one of my "fake hits" offerings has been banned.  What a mess.

Want to profit from material you don't own?  No problem.  Want to share it for free?  Sorry.  Can't be allowed.

YouTube allows "copyright claim" material (including PD pre-1923 sides) to be posted at their platform, so maybe I can switch to YT.  I don't know yet what I'm going to do.  I may not have any options.

And Workupload has such a charming "banned" display (see below).  Isn't they precious?  I guess they can afford to find humor in this situation.  Hope I don't get a copyright-violation notice for using their idiot image.

My big error was in not demanding money for my rips.  Then, I'd be fine.  


Monday, September 11, 2023

The Million Sellers by the Today People (Vocalion VL73868, 1969)--1968 Top 40


My thanks to those who have stuck with my blog--My long absence was due to two factors: 1) bad allergies (it's ragweed time), 2 the fact that I had a post all ready to go, only to realize that it was already at the blog.  Oops.  Posted it in 2020.

I may not have even discovered my error had I not found a preexisting Living Guitars Shindig Zip file in my Music folder.  "Don't tell me..." I thought.  But I had.

And today, we have the Now People.  Er, I mean, now we have the Today People.  An outfit which has two credits at Discogs--this LP, and its follow-up, More Million Sellers (also 1969). All tracks having been recorded in England.  And now you know as much about the Today People as I do!

Like most albums of this type, the emphasis is on "pop" instead of rock, though we do get Ob-La-Di..., Fire (ugh!), and Mony, Mony.  And I only barely remember Fire from its Top 40 days.  Maybe my brain mercifully suppressed the memory.  (Having said that, the "You're gonna burn..." part was used very effectively by the late horror movie host The Ghoul.)

These are all 1968 hits, far as I know.  And I vividly remember not caring for the 1968 Top 40 at the time.  But, in retrospect, the 1968 Top 40 wasn't all that bad.  I think the main irritant was Those Were the Days, which was being featured on an every-other-song basis on AM radio.  I despised the song then, and my opinion has not changed with time.  As to why I despise it, who can say?  Any reasons I might offer would be purely subjective.  Opinions, after all, are belief statements.  They're not empirically testable.  Well, save to the extent that you can "observe" that I despise Those Were the Days.

And why did they have to go with This Guy's in Love With You?  It's one of the few Burt songs that does nothing for me, including in this rendition.  However, I'm sure no one decided, "This is a Burt song Lee isn't crazy about, so let's feature it."  Or... did someone?  (Theremin music)

, meanwhile, is a forecast of awful things to come in rock, though for some reason I lack much back-in-the-day memory of it.  Did my brain suppress the experience?

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da, Harper Valley P.T.A., and Little Arrows have their virtues, however, and I recall that I loved the guitar licks on P.T.A.  I remember an outbreak of fellow elementary school boys mimicking it.  So, maybe my memory of disliking the 1968 Top 40 isn't totally accurate.  (Of course, in real life, there are no degrees of "accurate.") 

And I like What a Wonderful World, The Good, the Bad and the Ugly, and Love Is Blue, though I was, at the time, more into youth-oriented pop.  The best thing about this album is the expertise of the covers--the excellence of the musicianship.  

The follow-up, More Million Sellers (also 1969), actually looks like something I'd genuinely dig.  Goodbye, Get Back, Games People Play, Israelites...  But that one has yet to make a thrift showing.

And some of the local Goodwills have stopped putting out vinyl for store display--they've chosen to auction it on line.  And any sensible collector wouldn't hesitate to spend money on ungraded thrift vinyl, especially minus any chance to examine it.  At any rate, once the news got out that vinyl was collectible, this was interpreted by unsophicated minds as "Records are worth a million-billion dollars."  The auto-generated false dichotomy goes something like, "Vinyl has no particular value/Vinyl is worth tons of dough."  No middle choice--just that ridiculous either/or.  It's also a consequence of the human love of overgeneralizing.  All A are B.  "All vinyl is valuable."  Or, all A are not B.  "All vinyl is not valuable."  Antony Flew's solution?  "Not all A are B."  As in, "Not all vinyl is valuable."  True proposition.

Oh, the Today people.  Here they are.  At concerts, were they introduced as, "Tonight, the Today People!"?

DOWNLOAD: The Million Sellers by the Today People (Vocalion VL73868, 1969)

Ob-La-Di Ob-La-Da

This Guy's in Love With You


The Good, The Bad and the Ugly

Those Were the Days

Harper Valley P.T.A.

What a Wonderful World

Love Is Blue (L'Amour Est Bleu)

Little Arrows

Mony, Mony


Monday, August 14, 2023

Twisters in the Night: "The Big Twist Hits"--The Charlie "Hoss" Singleton Combo (1962)


"Twisters in the Night" is not a reference to tornado activity: It's just terrible word play on my part.  For you see, Charlie (Don't Forbid Me) "Hoss" Singleton wrote the words to Frank Sinatra's best-selling single.  It's not every day that I get to present a twist LP by the lyricist of Strangers in the Night.  And I imagine this will be my one and only opportunity.

Be sure to check Discogs, Wikipedia, etc. for Singleton's many other accomplishments in the music biz, but for the purposes of this post, we simply need to know that between Charlie and RCA Camden's Living Stereo, we have one of the very best of the (approximately infinite number of) budget twist-ploitation LPs.  Fantastic sound, terrific performances--though only one Singleton-penned title: Ukie Dukie (The Twistin' Boy).  And, needless to say, Singleton's covers of The Twist, Peppermint Twist, and Let's Twist Again are exemplary.  And does Charlie sing on these tracks?  I wish I knew.  So far, no info on the vocalists.

The other "authentic" twist numbers are Dear Lady Twist (orig. Gary [U.S.] Bonds), Twist-Her (orig. Bill Black's Combo), and The Continental Twist (from the 1961 movie).  But my favorite track is the twist-ified Night Train.  The highlight of the set, in your blogger's opinion.

For this LP, at least, the twist can be defined as marcato 8-to-the-bar boogie, with an accent on each eighth note.  Otherwise, there was nothing new about the twist, which made things very convenient for the rack-jobber labels--they could market plenty of pre-twist material as the real thing.  And who would know?  Just grab a blues instrumental and tack on a new title.

Only ten tracks--RCA's policy for its budget line (and Columbia's, too, I believe)--but one of the finest twist-ploitation efforts of them all--again, with marvelous fidelity.  So, let's twist the night/day/afternoon/morning/late evening away!  Mid-a.m.; whatever.  Guys, get out your jackets and ties and join the young folks on the cover.

DOWNLOAD: The Big Twist Hits--Charlie "Hoss" Singleton (RCA Camden CAS-713; 1962)

Dear Lady Twist
The Continental Twist
The Twist
Peppermint Twist
The Big Twist
Little Brown Jug--Twist (Arr: Singleton)
Let's Twist Again
Night Train
Ukie Dukie (The Twistin' Boy)


Monday, July 31, 2023

Could have been trippier, but not bad: The Galaxy Generation--Aquarius, Good Morning Starshine, Hair (1970)


So, um... Who is "The Galaxy Generation"?  Well, in at least four instances, it's Maurice Montez and his groovy organ.  Specifically, four tracks from this LP:

Namely, Star Fall, No Love But Your Love, Lover's Dream, and We Found Our Paradise.

The rest are by ?.  The opening track, which is quite cool, features a small orchestra, whereas Good Morning Starshine and Hair feature a combo with an organ.  Those two might have made good canned music for a hippie-hangout scene in Mannix or Mission: Impossible.

The Sign of the Zodiac, Sun Quadrant, and Gemini feature an accordion and are obviously repurposed--and, needless to say, would not have made the hippie-hangout-music cut (because accordion).  Even Paramount Television wasn't that out of touch.  ("Wait a minute--do college kids dig accordion sounds?  No, let's go with the organ.")  

As tossed-together hit-exploitation Pickwick albums go, this is a very pleasant, if not all that exciting, product.  That is, no one got ripped off if he or she paid a buck.  $1.99?  Then we're getting into ethical territory.  

I wish that the Aquarius musicians had stuck around long enough to give us the other two actual Hair titles--Good Morning Starshine and Hair--but I guess their contract called for one title only.  Too bad, because Aquarius has such a wonderful period vibe, complete with genuinely decent stereo and musicians who sound like they rehearsed.  It's good enough to have merited a legit release on, say, Columbia Special Products.

As for Maurice Montez's "groovy" organ, maybe it sounded groovy upon release in 1966 (when the bar was lower), but come 2023 it sounds more like, um, hip lounge jazz.  Swinging numbers to dine by, but hardly trippy or hippy.  But at least they make good listening.

And I love the cover photo, even if it says "Cheap" in loud font.  And it's not all that bad--it's rather artistically done.  Some genuine thought went into it.  And it certainly conveys the musical's title, Hair, though the LP's main title is actually Aquarius, despite "HAIR" in huge font on the cover.  You want consistency, then stay away from Pickwick.

Frankly, I'm impressed that an entire three tracks are from the show, leaving only seven dishonestly marketed numbers.  By budget standards, that's "as advertised."  And, you ask, how many clicks did I manually remove on MAGIX, even after a pass through VinylStudio's awesome Declicker?  Gosh, at least thirty.  But something pleases me about putting extra work into a junk artifact.  It demonstrates my devotion to vernacular-culture ephemera.  Yeah, that has to be it.

DOWNLOAD: Aquarius--Good Morning Starshine--Hair, Featuring the Galaxy Generation (Design SDLP-302; 1970)


Good Morning Starshine

The Sing of the Zodiac

Star Fall--Maurice Montez

Sun Quadrant


No Love But Your Love--Maurice Montez

Lover's Dream--Maurice Montez

We Found Our Paradise--Maurice Montez



Thursday, July 13, 2023

This Month's 16 Top Hits--Allied TM-2: Unusually good (likely, Pickwick) fakes!


So, I had a post nearly ready to go, but then I got a request for this LP (This Month's 16 Top Hits) at the Brand "X" Records Facebook page, and that struck me as such a good idea, I switched projects.  The rip turned out mostly okay, with the first side sounding fabulous, and the second side sounding... well, not quite so terrific.  Some needle wear and, therefore, some distortion, but nothing too grave.  (I tried a higher VTF with my Stanton 500 cartridge--3 grams--but in vain.)

And a public reminder that vinyl grooves are much more likely to be damaged by 1) a worn stylus and/or 2) tracking error than high tracking force.  Seriously.  We Boomers were fed the urban legend that tracking force is the main consideration--the lighter, the better.  In fact, if the VTF is too low, the needle bounces around in the groove.  And, obviously, that's not good for the integrity of the groove walls.

At least one of these tracks--Surfin' Safari--appeared on a Top 30 Tunes EP, which was a Pickwick product, and so I'll take a chance and name Pickwick as the source for all of these.  And the performances are well above par, with even Safari perfectly decent.  And the Beach Boys rarely received competent budget covers, so this is a track to be savored.  Things start with the famous bossa nova hit (listen for the Bo Diddley beat!) Desafinado, which is so well performed, it's almost suspect!  And the vocals throughout the LP are competent to outstanding, from James Hold the Ladder Steady (a John D. Loudermilk song employing a melody commonly used for Jacob's Ladder) to Susie Darling to He's a Rebel to the Bacharach-David Only Love Can Break a Heart.  Though the latter is an early Burt/Hal hit, the earliest Bacharach budget fake was probably 1957's The Story of My Life (superbly faked on Top Hit Tunes).

All of these do justice to the originals, and, in addition to the surprisingly good Safari, there are expert imitations of Next Door to an Angel, Limbo Rock, Mr. Lonely, and Popeye.  Hard to believe the same outfit later dumped on us the record-settingly awful fakes of Help Me Rhonda and Good Vibrations, the former appearing on Hurrah! Pops and A.R.C. EPs.  Maybe a "Why bother with quality?" ethic had taken over by that point.

And... Here's where things get weird, as they so often do with rack-jobber material.  Namely, this Canadian "Allied Record Corporation" may very well not be the famous Allied Record Corporation (different address, for one thing).  Furthermore--and this is just my intuition; no proof--this Allied label seems related to the American A.R.C. (Allied Record Company) mentioned above (and shown below).  As in, a different Allied Record Company than the Los Angeles label.  Just a hunch, but I strongly suspect a link between this LP and my A.R.C. EPs.

Further proof (though possibly circumstantial) resides in the Premier 16 Top Hits of the Week albums, which seem to be a continuation of this concept.  And Award AS-16-1 (Premier) includes in its 16-track lineup a stereo version of the dreadful Rhonda fake.  Dual-channel awfulness!  I posted the Award LP in 2019 (see above link).

Allied Record Corporation, Premier, Pickwick, and a possibly alternate Allied Record Corporation--wow.  All swapping tapes.  Could Pickwick have been the chief supplier of fake-hit masters?  No, that would be too easy...

DOWNLOAD: This Month's 16 Tops Hits (Allied TM-2)


James Hold the Ladder Steady

Next Door to an Angel

Limbo Rock

Susie Darling

That Stranger Used to Be My Girl

Workin' for the Man

Mr. Lonely

All Alone Am I

He's a Rebel

I Remember You

Only Love Can Break a Heart


Surfin' Safari

Warmed Over Kisses

Close to Kathy


Wednesday, June 21, 2023

"8 Full Length Hits A' Poppin'" (Parade 5012; 1955) and Top Hits V-20: The fake hits don't get much faker!


Another Parade Records Hits A' Poppin' ten-incher, credited to Bobby Powers and his "hits a 'poppin' orchestra," plus all six tracks from the six-track 78 rpm EP Top Hits V-20.  You have been warned!

As ever, the Parade LP is made up of Prom label singles, and finding the original artist credits was complicated by two epic Prom misattributions--"Bob Hanley" for the female trio performing It May Sound Silly, and a vocal credit for Cherry Pink... in the absence of any vocal.  I thought there was an outside chance that, in this case, maybe Parade had used the 18 top Hits version of Silly, as credited to a "Larsen Sisters," but a side-by-side comparison torpedoed that theory.  Two very different fakes.

Prom/Waldorf crossover would have been cool, of course, and I have in fact discovered some early instances of such crossover--namely, from 1954, when Enoch Light departed SPC (Enoch must have carted some of his sides with him during the transition).  But there's no SPC/Waldorf crossover happening here.  What a great side story that would have made.

The true credit for each Parade track is listed below, and, as for the Top Hits titles, these were also released on Big Buy 4 Hit Tunes (a Gateway label), and the epic-train-wreck version of On Night also showed on the 1959 Crown 12 Top Hits (CLP 5038).  On Gateway, the number is credited (discredited?) to one Al Christi, who sounds exactly like the equally bad vocalist of With the Wind and the Rain..., though Gateway blames that one on a "Paul Boonton."  But, between these two epic misfires, One Night is the more "memorable."  Basically, we have not only a vocalist who can't handle Elvis' part to save his life, we're presented with backing musicians who relentlessly plunk the wrong chords (I and IV instead of I and V).  This understandably throws the singer even further off key.  Thus, what would have been merely a lousy budget cover becomes a for-the-ages-awful counterfeit.

The other Top Hits tracks aren't that great, either, but they're reasonably competent, even if the Louis Prima and Keely Smith surrogates seem to lose the tricky rhythms near the end of That Old Black Magic.   But it could have been a great deal worse.  We might call it not-quite-magic.  But a noble try, with a good band.  Somehow, I had gone my entire 66 years without (to my memory) hearing the Prima/Keely hit.

As for the "Bobby Powers" Parade sides, I did a major audio-save on those, isolating the right channel (the left was beyond hope) and patching over the needle-dig repeat in Ebb Tide.  I bridged the repeat pretty smoothly, though you'll nevertheless hear a gap.  Don't worry--it's not your player.  These Prom reissues are all competently done, as we'd expect, though the trio on It May Sound Silly had at least one consistently too-sharp singer (as in +-#).  But, next to One Night, anything and everything can be forgiven in the way of pitch imprecision.

Pledging My Love is the single blog repeat--I posted the Prom single on Feb. 15, 2019.

I added the Peter Pan (SPC) label seven-inch 78 issue of Where Will the Dimple Be? which credits Lee Adams and the Crickets.  The engineer mixed it with noticeably less bass than the LP cut.  As for the "James Etta and P. Otis" credit on Dance With Me Henry, that's how it appeared on both the Etta James and Georgia Gibbs singles (Wallflower and Dance With...).  And, of course, James Etta and P. Otis are Etta James and Johnny Otis.  For once, we're not looking at a rack-jobber-label error.

I added a composer tag this time, using Mp3tag.  And, in fact, as I type this I'll have to re-tag the Parade numbers, since I had to revise the credits after discovering that It May Sound Silly is, in fact, not the Top 18 Hits version.  And if this essay sounds silly, you're not alone--it reads silly to me, too.  Such is the risk taken when describing fake-hit track offerings.  It's often impossible to chronicle these things in a manner remotely real-world in nature.  They seem to exist in their own zone.

DOWNLOAD: Hits A' Poppin' and Top Hits (Parade 5012 and Top Hits V-20)

Hits A' Poppin' 5012

Unchained Melody--Bob Haley With the Prom Orchestra

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White--Bob Daily (false credit) With the Prom Orch.

It My Sound Silly--Bob Hanley (false credit; unknown female trio) With the Prom Orch.

Ebb Tide--Loren Becker With Enoch Light and His Orchestra (1953)

Dance With Me Henry--Patty Kay With the Prom Orchestra

Pledging My Love--Mona Grey With the Prom Orchestra

Top Hits V-20


One Night

That Old Black Magic

With the Wind and the Rain in Your Hair

The All American Boy

My Happiness


Thursday, June 15, 2023

Sounds of Silence (Modern Sound MS-1020)--A Hit Records classic from 1966!


I've given the date as 1966 (question mark), because there's the slimmest chance that 1965 was the release year.  But I doubt it, since Day Tripper (released in December, 1965) enjoyed its peak Billboard chart position in January of 1966.  This leaves a tiny window for this LP to have happened in 1965.  Maybe I could give the year as "1966-ish."

UPDATE: Hit Records expert Paul W. Urbahns informs me that this was released in January, 1966.  Thanks, Paul!

Bergen White himself was kind enough to identify the clever (and poignant) Another Year as one of his own Hit Records "B" side compositions; Then I found it in Discogs' Country & Western Hits discography, where I grabbed the artist's name (pseudonym?): Bob Adams.  The rest of these (all in excellent compatible stereo, a special type of stereo mastering which allowed play with both stereo and monaural styli) were first released as Hit Records singles, and so I've given the artist credits in the playlist (since, in the usual fashion, they weren't provided on the LP).  And how about that cover design?  Pretty snappy, no?  My scan very nearly captured the pink hue, though I had to doctor things a little.  I also had to clone out bends, wear spots, and a rip, but it's all part of the blogging biz.  I tried to keep the contrast consistent, but scans don't always work as they should.  Scanners have their own mind, sometimes.

Enough behind-the-blog data--What about the music?  Well, a perfectly decent Sounds of Silence fake by Sandy and Theodore (of whom Bergen was a member), and a more than adequately performed and beautifully engineered You're Just My Style copy by (brace yourself) Jason Allen and the Gigolos.  And I'll pause while we all recover from that credit.  Next, Paul and Paula's (Ray Hildebrand and Jill Jackson) Young Lovers, as faked by Bob & Bobbie (aka Bob and Bobby; see comment section), and then the near-excellent Bergen White You're Not the Same Now, which is amazingly effective for a rushed-to-press "B" side.  The song had considerable potential, and ditto for the aforementioned Another Year.  I especially like the payoff tag (how's that for a term?) at the close of the latter--"At least I'll never have to wait another year."  A very distinguished example of build-up-to-the-final-punch lyric writing.

The Sheridan Brothers give us a fine Flowers on the Wall imitation which ranks with the best of Hit Records' output, imo, and then we get to enjoy two Fab Four numbers, included the hauled-out-of-the-back-catalog-during-Beatlemania My Bonnie.  If I had to pick a favorite Hit Records track, Bonnie would be it--this wild and energetic, rock-the-needle cover may be even better than the original (by Tony Sheridan and the Beat Brothers, aka you-know-who, 1962).  This version of Day Tripper has a special place in my fake-hits heart, as well, being a very effective Fab Four counterfeit, almost in spite of itself.  That is to say, the middle-break harmonies don't quite come together as planned, obviously, but it's such a nice try, and I love the way the group almost gets it right.  Someone decided things were close enough, and they were right.  And the track has a lot of punch--perhaps even more than the original.  

The Roamers' 1964 Never Forget Me is quite well-performed, and this Bergen White effort is an ingenious copy of the British Invasion sound--it could pass for the real deal.  Given the epic number of downright awful budget-label attempts to steal said style, Bergen's number is all the more impressive.  Quite the budget exception, we could say.  Then, Connie Dee (Connie Sue Landers) with Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater, a beautifully performed, dead-perfect imitation of the Girl Group sound, and apparently penned by Connie herself.  That is, it's hard to imagine that composer "Connie Sanders" would have been anyone but Connie Sue.  Great side.

This may well be the most fun Hit Records/Modern Sound offering yet to make its appearance here.  And thanks again to Bergen for his composer i.d.

DOWNLOAD: Sounds of Silence (Modern Sound MS-1020; Jan., 1966)

Sounds of Silence--Sandy Sammy and Theodore

She's Just My Style--Jason Allen and the Gigolos

Young Lovers--Bob and Bobbie

You're Not the Same Now (Bergen White)--Fred Hess

Another Year (Bergen White)--Bob Adams

Flowers on the Wall--The Sheridan Brothers

Day Tripper--The Jalopy Five

My Bonnie--The Boll Weevils

Never Forget Me (Bergen White)--The Roamers

Once a Cheater, Always a Cheater (Connie Sanders)--Connie Dee


Wednesday, June 07, 2023

Finally, background music for pouring steel! It's about time. "Music for Pouring Steel" (Rotolok 1464; 1965)


1965: "We have music for ironing, for dating, for babysitting, for fishing, for reading, for changing a tire, for skydiving--but what about music for pouring steel??"--Common complaint from the steel casting industry.  So, it would seem that in 1965 Rotolok, by way of RITE Record Productions, decided to shape its own answer to this burning need with this LP of stylish cocktail-jazz piano medleys by Richard Nussbaumer, for which this LP is his sole Discogs credit.  Richard was a Catholic church organist--in 1975, the associate organist at the Oakland PA St. Paul Cathedral.  This much I have able to discover through a Google search.  Oakland is three miles from Pittsburgh, where the Vesuvius Crucible Company (Rotolok) originated.  Coincidence?

I'm not sure why the Vesuvius Crucible Company went by the name Rotolok, but I've no desire to investigate further--I just know that the back jacket says, "© 1965 Vesuvius Crucible Company."  So, I guess VCC approached Mr. Nussbaumer in 1965 and said, "We need music for pouring steel.  We're thinking a Continental Interlude, 'Love' and 'Young' medleys, a Manhattan Suite, some popular concert favorites, including Warsaw Concerto, and so on."  "This is for pouring steel?"--Richard.  "Why not?"--VCC.  "Well, we could use the piano arrangement of  Ferde Grofe's Symphony in Steel"--Nussbaumer.  "No, too obscure.  And I didn't know Grofe wrote anything beyond the Grand Canyon.  Anyway, we want to stick to familiar pop and Classical stuff.  The kind of music people would associate with the casting of steel."--VCC.  "They would?  Ohhh-kay."--Richard.  

And, true story: For this post, instead of looking at the back cover for the year (duhh), I figured out the date of issue through the RITE matrix number inscribed in the dead wax.  Only afterwards did I notice the year as printed on the back jacket.  Oops.  I've only been collecting vinyl for better than 50 years.

My favorite "band" (old term for LP track) has to be the Manhattan Suite, and maybe because I love Louis Alter's Manhattan Serenade to death.  And note that Chopin's Etude in E Flat is actually his Nocturne in E Flat Major Op. 9 No. 2.  Maybe a nocturne for pouring steel was a bit too out there, even for VCC.   

In sum, an intriguing (to say the least) jacket image (though, how could Richard have directed the molten steel AND tinkled song standards at the same time, especially with his left hand raised from the keyboard?), and standard background-music fare.  A promise of something unusual--say, the sound of a grand piano combined with steelworks racket--but, instead, highly competent and pleasant stereo-den sounds, with no special effects.  Hence, as a novelty item, the LP is a bit of a letdown.  But, as superior "Music for..." sonancy, Nussbaumer and his grand piano are perfect casting.  (Get it?  Casting?  Ha, ha!)

Come to think of it, we do have the outer limits of rubato in the gorgeous middle section of Debussy's Clair de Lune, a passage which is supposed to speed up, yes, but not in a way which suggests a horserace.  In fact, Nussbaumer zips through the entire piece, which takes impressive technique, but... why?  Maybe it was a case of, "We need a little over two minutes of extra sounds.  Can you insert Clair de Lune?"--VCC.  "I'd have to double the tempo."--Richard.  "No problem.  Oh, and can you please play the gorgeous opening thirds forte, instead of pianissimo? Thanks."

From the notes: "'Music for Pouring Steel'" is a selection of songs displayed against the most velvety of musical backgrounds...the magnificent sound of the world's finest piano, Mason & Hamlin, whose soaring, singing tone is the essence of unsurpassed beauty."  How to better suggest the deafening clamor of a steel factory?

Oh, and Windows 10 dumped the handy Groove app (anything handy must be replaced by something which sucks--first rule of tech) and replaced it with "Media Player" (not to be confused with Windows Media Player).  At the moment, I'm able to add the jacket image to the files, such that they show up on Windows Media Player but NOT on "Media Player."  Which, you'll recall, is not the same program as WMP.  Anyway, the album art should show up on the downloads.  Should.

DOWNLOAD--Music for Pouring Steel--Richard Nussbaumer, Pianist, Rotolok 1464; 1965

Continental Interlude--Foggy Day in London Town, The River Seine, Wunderbar, Arrividerci Roma

"Love" Medley--I Wish You Love, When I Fall in Love, Love Is a Simple Thing

"Young" Medley--You Make Me Feel So Young, Young at Heart, When the World Was Young.

Manhattan Suite--Manhattan, Autumn in New York, Manhattan Serenade

Etude in E Flat (Chopin)

Warsaw Concerto

Clair de Lune

Themes From the Masters: Tchaikovsky, Rachmaninoff


Monday, May 29, 2023

Music to Remember You By--Herbie Layne and His Orch. (Hollywood Records LPH-9)


From 1956, Music to Remember You By, aka Music for Everyone--"The Top Favorites of Today and Forever."  Discogs lists a Gateway edition of this LP (called Music for Everyone) which contains Skokian and Blue Indigo in place of Yesterdays and Moonlight Sonata.  Why?  Who knows?  And, despite the absence of Skokian and Blue Indigo, those titles nevertheless appear on this cover.  Another instance of saving on quality control by not having any.

This editing job was epic (a hundred or so surface "pimples"), which necessarily means the music wasn't worth the trouble I put into rescuing it.  But that doesn't equate to a poor album--it's actually quite nice, and I like the patchwork, haul-in-the-filler-tracks quality.  One of my blog goals is to give special attention to the more (most?) ephemeral, transitory, common-today-forgotten-tomorrow popular music items of the past, because even churned-out stuff like all those twist-ploitation LPs can prove to be more interesting and variegated than we think.  We only know by investigating.

Both Sides Now identifies Cherry Blossom Pink and Apple Wine and Lisbon Antigua as previously issued Gateway releases (Gateway Top Tune 1114 and 1154--1955 and 1956), and I recognize the Roy-Cliffs on Autumn Leaves, which was released in 1955 on Gateway Records 157 (extended play) and Gateway Top Tune 1137 (single).  The old sell-the-same-track-three-times bit.

Standout numbers are Lisbon Antigua, Yesterdays (showing up on four Hollywood LPs), You Go to My Head (which would be even nicer with an in-tune brass section), Picnic Theme (likely the same track credited to Michel René & His Orchestra on LPH-14, Strings in the Enchanted Garden), I've Got You Under My Skin, and Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White.  The audio qualify varies in a way which suggests, not only more than one recording session, but more than one musical outfit.  Which we know to be the case on the Roy-Cliffs track.  Also, Just One of Those Things obviously features a combo and not an orchestra.

The back jacket is hopelessly trashed, but here's the first paragraph of the liner notes: "From the first note of musical enchantment 'til the very end of the bright and merry record session, these songs will treat your ear and tingle your musical taste with the finest in all-time favorites along with todays (sic) top-hits."  Was AI already here in 1956?

DOWNLOAD: Music to Remember You By--Herbie Layne and His Orch. (Hollywood Records LP-9; 1956)

Sophisticated Lady

Lisbon Antigua

Just One of Those Things


You Go to My Head

Theme from "Picnic"

Moonlight Serenade

Don't Get Around Much Anymore

Autumn Leaves

In My Solitude

I've Got You Under My Skin

Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White


Saturday, May 20, 2023

Sometimes, we pick the wrong project. Or, Arrrrrrgh!!

Music to Remember You By--or, Music for Everyone (its label subtitle).  "The Top Favorites of Today and Forever" (Good grief!).  A project which, in hindsight, I shouldn't have taken on.  Thus, my post is being delayed by technical issues which require precision editing.  This particular album showed up in a trashed jacket but adequately protected in an inner sleeve.  A stroke of luck, I thought.  The editing shouldn't be too big a task, I thought.  With an emphasis on "I thought."

However, despite the decent condition of the vinyl, the pressing is every bit as bad as we'd expect from Hollywood Records.  And, since this is popular instrumental/easy listening music, every click counts, so to speak.  It would be different if the tracks were loud, but they're meant for relaxation (or for remembering, or whatever), and so they're mostly soft-volume.  Every little glitch comes through--every last pressing imperfection.  I have no one to blame but myself, though I might be able to make a false but logically valid case for blaming society at large.  It's, um, the false narrative of  The American Dream.  Yeah, that narrative is to blame.  I fell for it.  To my eternal regret.  Or for two weeks' worth, anyway.

At this point, I've put too much work into the project to abandon it, and the final zip file may prove worth the time and trouble (I can't know until I'm finished), but the hassle of fixing up these junk-label offerings can be epic.  So, it will be a few days.

This lovely jacket model doesn't register to my eyes as anyone famous or significant, though I could be wrong.  If anyone recognizes this person, please submit your suggestions.  She certainly compelled some past owner to part with $1.49 at J.J. Newberry Company.  I hope the buyer didn't mind the surface pops.  

As for me--"A blogger who understands anew the adage, 'Buy junk vinyl at your own risk.'  Words for now, and for all tomorrows to come, in The Twilight Zone."

UPDATE: And there's a Gateway edition of this LP!  That narrows things down a bit.  And it explains the Music for Everyone subtitle.


Thursday, May 11, 2023

The Biggest Hits of '58--The RCA Camden Rockers (Yeah, sure) and Larry Green and His Orchestra (RCA Camden CAL 435; 1958)


By request, The Biggest Hits of '58, Vol. 2.  And I'm surprised to see that I have yet to post Volume 1.  That's interesting.  Anyway, a thrift gift from Diane (Thanks, Diane!) in glorious monoaural.  And I'm guessing that the source material, as with the 1959 edition of this series, is Synthetic Plastics Co. (SPC).  I suppose that, by now, I've gotten over my shock that RCA would turn to SPC for its fake-hit "RCA Camden Rockers" material--but, then again, why not?  And the RCA Camden pressing quality is superior to the SPC singles and LPs, so...

And, as musicman1979 noted, this LP's fake-hit version of Near You doesn't follow from the 1958 Roger Williams hit, but is actually "the charting version by society pianist Larry Green and his Orchestra that RCA released a decade earlier to compete with Francis Craig's original hit recording on Bullet Records."  Green's version peaked at #3 on the Billboard charts in 1947.  Green's track is identified as such on the label, which was nice of RCA.  The reissue quality is excellent.

Maybe I'll feel motivated to track down the fake names behind the SPC releases at some point, but not right now.  Blame it on the pollen, the current levels of which have me doped out.  My weather app announces high pollen for tomorrow, but my sinuses tell me we're already there. 

These fakes are more than acceptable, except for the hilariously inept copy of the Big Bopper's Chantilly Lace.  It makes J.P. Richardson (the Bopper) sound like Bobby Darin.  

Despite an attractive layout--and, especially, the cool-looking period jukebox--this cover violates the make-the-title-big-and-obvious rule.  Of "The Biggest Hits of '58, Vol. 2," the eye (without close-focusing) only catches the "'58" portion, with "The Biggest Hits of..." in the smallest font RCA could manage.  Meanwhile, the qualifying "Vol. 2" is placed topside in faint font.  Was this some kind of tax dodge which involved hiding most of the main caption?

And, as ever, ten tracks are all we get $1.98 Camden list price.  On the other hand, we do get "Plus Fidelity" (aka, "Plus-Fidelity").  I'm not sure what that means, but I'm sure it's better than "Minus Fidelity."

DOWNLOAD: The Biggest Hits of '58, Vol. 2--The RCA Camden Rockers, Larry Green and His Orchestra, 1958.


Everybody Loves a Lover

Call Me

Tea for Two Cha Cha

Bird Dog

Are You Really Mine

Chantilly Lace

The End

Near You--Larry Green and His Orchestra, 1947



Sunday, May 07, 2023

Sunday morning gospel: Walking up the King's Highway--Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Lacy (Sacred LP 9055; 1959)


Well, this would have been Sunday morning, but in my half-awake state I scheduled it for Monday morning.  Oops... But, to the music:

Deeply-felt, swinging gospel (you can't beat that combination) from Floyd H. Lacy and Lillie S. Lacy.  And don't let the 1959 date of issue fool you--these tracks date back to the late 1940s and early 1950s, though the online Sacred label discographies are very spotty, date-wise.  And this is another thrift gift from Diane (Thanks, Diane!) for which I'm very grateful, though the jacket required some touch-up.  This is the "before" version:

The album is credited to Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Lacy, though the original credits include (the) F.H. Lacy Gospel Singers (on the first six tracks), (the) Lacy Colored Gospel Singers, and possibly (the) Lacy Trio in addition to Floyd and Lillie.  Meanwhile, Georgia Woodson is the lead singer on Something Within, and she assists Floyd and Lillie on Just a Closer Walk. So, the credits are kind of all over the place.  Which only adds to the fun.

The great piano accompaniment on Meeting in the Air (one of my favorite gospel classics) is courtesy of Miss Gladys Jones; otherwise, we can presume (I think) that Lillie is ticking the ivories on these numbers.  Possibly for the sake of confusing things further, the liner notes focus on the Cleveland Colored Quintet, which I featured back in 2020 as the Cleveland Quintet.  Actually, I had called them a "quartet" in the post title, a typo that I just corrected.  So, please forget I mentioned it.  (Typo?  What typo?)

Tempi-wise (plural of tempo), the fast-moving Walking up the King's Highway starts things out, with things slowing down to a mix of mid-tempo and slow, thoughtful tracks--until we reach the race-to-the-finish The Devil's No Relation at All, a fun but not-pro-Darwin ditty ("The monkey's no relation at all").  Well, actually, monkeys and humans are primates--specifically, simians.  We didn't descend from monkeys, but we are relatives.  Just to clarify.  No Relation sets the stage for the final five numbers, which wind things up in the fast lane. Included in this relay is the lively triple-meter Holding My Savior's Hand.

My favorites?  A tie between Meeting in the Air, Walking With the King, and the always-great-to-hear My Sins Are Gone, the latter rendered in a wonderful 1927 style.  Well, actually, an authentic 1927 rendition would be something to hear, since the song was written in 1934.

Anyway, I hope Floyd and Lillie weren't superstitious--thirteen tracks!  Or, a baker's dozen.

DOWNLOAD: Walking up the King's Highway--Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Lacy (Sacred LP 9066; 1959)


Walking up the King's Highway--F.H. Lacy Gospel Singers

My God Is Real--Same

I Am With You--Same

Mansion Over the Hilltop--Same

Still, Still With Thee--Same

Something Within--Same, Solo: Georgia Woodson

You Can Have a Song in Your Heart--Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Lacy

Just a Closer Walk--Lacy Colored Gospel Singers, With Johnny Hope, Guitar; Joey Bochenech, Steel Guitar; 1949

The Devil's No Relation--Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Lacy, 1949

Meeting the Air--Same, With Miss Gladys Jones, Piano, 1948

Walking With the King--Lacy Trio (or F.H. Lacy Gospel Singers?)

Holding My Savior's Hand--Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Lacy

My Sins Are Gone--Mr. and Mrs. F.H. Lacy


Wednesday, April 26, 2023

The Big Hits of 1965--Hugo Winterhalter and His Orchestra (Kapp KS-3429; 1965)


I'd hoped to get this up earlier, but things got in the way, I guess.  Foul, evil things.  Grotesques.  Creatures from another place, another time.  Nasty, loathsome, dreadful beings.

No, wait--that was only a dream.  Never mind.  Anyway, I would have assumed that this 1965 Hugo Winterhalter Kapp LP was worth just about what I paid for it: 75 cents.  But over at eBay, a dealer in India is asking $51.  Fifty-one bucks??  Plus postage.  And I also see it up for $8.40, $10, and $18.  Hmm..  Maybe it is collectible.  Oh, and a still-sealed copy for $39.99.  But, seriously, please.  What is with these crazy Buy It Now prices?  Are they posted in the hope that people will check out eBay and conclude that a pop instrumental LP by Hugo Winterhalter is a goldmine find?  How many people even know who Hugo was nowadays? 

And I want to rate this album as excellent in every way, but it's hard to be objective about this song lineup, because (despite its mere one or two rock and roll numbers) it really brings me back to the time and place.  Well, save for maybe two titles.  Anyway, ever since Mary Poppins (which I watched twice in 1964), I was epically aware of Chim Chim Cheer-ee.  As written, the song has a slightly dark tone, being in C minor, and with a spooky, chromatically descending bassline, but Hugo's arrangement goes full Halloween, sounding in spots like a precursor to Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite. Ingenious scoring, though I think this would have frightened me at age seven or eight.

And, boy, do I remember Red Roses for a Blue Lady, which was on constant AM rotation--and it could have been the same local station which played the Beatles, Beach Boys, and Manfred Mann, because in those days a hit was a hit.  Was a hit.  I don't remember when radio got formatted.  Nor do I remember whose Red Roses version I heard over and over--Vic Dana's?  Wayne Newton's?  Anyway, I recall not knowing what "blue" meant, so maybe I thought the song was about a female Martian.  And I know A Walk in the Black Forest, if not from its initial chart success, then certainly from nonstop oldies play throughout the 1960s, though of course not with the near-Herb-Alpert vibe Hugo gives it here.  An interesting touch.

And of course Petula Clark's marvelous Downtown was, for a while, THE Top 40 hit, at least in our market--and former big band arranger HW expertly gives it a very big-band sound--along with ample strings, of course.  As for Elvis' Crying in the Chapel, I don't have a firsthand memory of it, though I came to know the tune quite well (courtesy of the Orioles?).  Hugo's arrangement has none of the contemplative quality of EP's take--it's brassy, with sharply accented triplets, but not the worse for it.  I'm still deciding what I think of this one.

I remember Goldfinger and King of the Road as constant-rotation hits, and Hugo gives them faithful and outstanding charts.  I remember being enchanted--a little spooked, even--by Goldfinger's main chord progression, which is just the simple tonic-to-minor-sixth-chord cliché that goes back to Chopin.  The trick, in pop, is to go from a tonic triad to a dominant seventh on the bVI.  A feeling of suspension happens because bVI is taking the place of ii in the context of tritone chord substitution.

I don't remember Dream on Little Dreamer from its day, but I've loved the Perry Como record since I first heard it (circa 1982).  Winterhalter goes for a lighter feel, and with a faster tempo, and it works quite well.  As for Who Can I Turn To and Forget Domani, I kind of, sort of remember them from their chart time--Hugo's scoring of the latter is very sprightly, with something of a The Longest Day feel at the start. As for Charlotte, I mainly knew it from the movie (when it aired on TV), though I later thrifted the Al Martino Capitol 45 and liked it.  Winterhalter's treatment very much recalls the Patti Page hit.

And I know Cast Your Fate to the Wind from the days of the Sounds Orchestral hit; Hugo slows it down and gives it a EZ-Mexican feel (you've heard of EZ-Mexican, no?), totally removing any Vince Guaraldi feel.  I don't know that anyone would guess its Guaraldi origin from this treatment.  It drags a bit, but I like it.

Superior charts, and a title list which, for the most part, takes me back to 1965 (or thereabouts), and ten of that year's biggest chart successes.  Minus the two which I only sort of, kind of recall.  The stereo fidelity is great.

DOWNLOAD: The Big Hits of 1965--Hugo Winterhalter and His Orch. (Kapp KS3429; 1965)

Chim Chim Cher-ee

Dream on Little Dreamer

Red Roses for a Blue Lady

Who Can I Turn To

King of the Road

Forget Domani

Cast Your Fate to the Wind


A Walk in the Black Forest

Crying in the Chapel

Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte


(Musical arrangements by Hugo Winterhalter)


Saturday, April 15, 2023

Cocktails for Two--Jacques Darieux and His Orchestra? (Palace PST-623)


You know that feeling when you thrift a Palace LP with an unusually classy cover, and the credits read "JACQUES DARIEUX and his orchestra," and so you're sure you've made a cool find of the obscure-easy-listening variety, and you're especially intrigued by the "Featured on TV's '77 Sunset Strip'" blurb, and then you put the mint-looking vinyl on the turntable and discover that 1) the pressing is packed with imperfections and 2) the tracks contain, not soothing massed strings of the Percy Faith variety, but the sounds of a Latin-style jazz combo?  Don't you hate it when that happens?

At least the actual artists, Frankie Ortega With Rhythm (listed on the labels and mentioned in the liner notes), are at the top of their game, with pianism on an almost-Page Cavanaugh level.  And, in fact, these were the guys who appeared on 77 Sunset Strip, not Darieux (Sorry, Jacques).  So, it's not the music I expected, but it's music I think I will grow to like a lot, once I've recovered from my sense of betrayal.  I'd describe the genre as George-Shearing-Meets-Carmen-Cavallaro. 

And why the deceptive cover art (which nearly smacks of a legit label) and the "Jacques Darieux"?  But, then, there is rarely any "why" in the realm of rack-jobber-LP packaging traditions.  For all we know, it was an honest error.  ("Hey, we just ran 500 jackets with the wrong name."--Palace employee.  "So?  Keep going."--Palace boss.)

And I didn't mention possibly the biggest howler of all: A "list price" of $4.98.  Really?  At the time, $4.98 was the top-end retail tab for legit releases, and this relic likely first experienced its display life in a dollar bin.  But if you're going to lie about the featured artists, why not pretend your product is a top-$$ item?  Once on a fibbing spree, just keep going--even if your trousers combust.

My favorites are the swinging Malaguena and the Rock-a-Bye Mambo, with its ingenious theme variants.  Also, a terrific, beautifully condensed Slaughter on Tenth Avenue--maybe the highlight of the set.  The rest of the numbers are standard standards (the best kind), save for Ortega's own My Summer Mood.  Or, as listed on the back jacket, My Summer Mood and Others.  Apparently, even at $4.98, Palace couldn't fit in all twelve titles.

A number of small "bumps" remain in the rip, since I'd have been another week eliminating each and every one.  Oh, and as a Ferrante and Teicher mega-fan, I greatly appreciate the strummed soundboard strings at the start of Spring Is Here and elsewhere.  "A sense of discovery along with a feeling of freshness," promise the liner notes.  Including the discovery that this LP is not by Jacques Darieux.

DOWNLOAD: Cocktails for Two--Jacques Darieux and His Orch. (Frankie Ortega With Rhythm)

After You've Gone

Slaughter on Tenth Avenue

Summer Mood (Ortega)

Crazy Rhythm

My One and Only Love

I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm


All the Things You Are

Rock-a-Bye Mambo (Ortega)

Summer Is Gone

Spring Is Here

If You Were Only Mine

(Cocktails for Two--Palace PST-623, in "Living Sound" stereo)


Sunday, April 09, 2023

Happy Easter 2023!

A classic viral Godzilla-attacking-Peeps image for our Easter 2023.  Plus, three 78s--The Haydn Quartet's marvelous1908 recording of Robert Lowry's Christ Arose, the Trinity Quartet performing Jesus Lives! (1923), and the 1919 Memories of Easter, with more bang to the kettledrums than in my previous postings.  Parts 1 and 2 of the latter were edited together (in a hopefully seamless fashion).

The remaining five selections feature me, totally live, on pipe organ--or, more accurately, the excellent Chapel Organ patch on my Casio WK-3800--and using the same snyth's Tubular Bells voice for the final selection, Praise God From Whom All Blessings Flow, to the 17th-century tune of Lasst Uns Erfreuen, as memorably harmonized by Ralph Vaughan Williams in 1906.  Not the easiest thing to play without the benefit of foot pedals, but luckily my piano teacher taught me how to finger just about anything.  And my two Jesus Lives tunes are different, with different texts.  And only the second title should have an exclamation mark--my typo.

Happy Easter!

DOWNLOAD: Easter 2023

Christ Arose--Haydn Quartet With Orchestra (Feb. 2, 1908)

Jesus Lives!--Trinity Choir (Jan. 3, 1923)

Memories of Easter--Marie Morrisey and Columbia Stella Quartette (1/3/1919)

Jesus Christ Is Risen Today--Your blogger, Casio WK-3800

Jesus Lives (Andrew L. Skoog, 1921)--Same

Welcome, Happy Morning--Same

Jesus Lives! (Henry John Gauntlett, 1851)--Same

Praise God, From Whom All Blessings Flow (Harm. Ralph Vaughan Williams, 1906)--Same