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Saturday, July 10, 2010

For Children 12 Songs On The Apostels' Creed

The Works Of Mercy
12 Songs On The Apostles' Creed

I didn't have much hope for a 1982 record featuring Catholic religious songs aimed at children. But this record sounds like it was recorded earlier, maybe as early as the early 60s. Some vocals sound like The Andrew Sisters.

What I find amusing and curious with most of these records is that the concepts dished up are so heavy. In this record you have very large words and complicated subject matter that are simply hard for the vocalists to get out. And, of course, the indoctrination is all dressed up in typical light and peppy sing song vocals.

The results, in some cases, are almost Monty Pythonesque parody.

David Carroll - Let's Dance Dance Dance

Uptown Bounce
Let's Dance Dance Dance
David Carroll and his Orchestra
Mercury MG 20649

There are several Carroll "dance" albums on CD. This isn't one of them. I bought it for the lovely cheesecake cover of Cynthia Maddox who graced the cover of Playboy five times in the early 60s. She dated Hefner for a time and apparently left him because he wasn't into marriage. But what I find interesting is that she worked her way from a receptionist position at Playboy to assistant cartoon editor!

This album is split between some very nice space age pop and standard AM radio cheese or easy listening numbers (that's the best way that I can describe it).

Hawaii - Exotic Sounds Of The Surfmen

The Romantic Lure Of Hawaii
Exotic Sounds Of THe Surfmen
Somerset SF-17100

This record was originally released as The Surfmen in Hawaii (both SF-17100). The Surfmen made two records, both on Somerset.

Somerset Record label Chief D. L. Miller gave the musicians the task of doing a Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman exotica styled record.

There is a compilation CD on the market, but I recommend vinyl because you hear the songs in the order as intended by Somerset. Also a number of tracks from this LP have been omitted.

Perhaps this LP isn't as polished as a Martin or a Lyman project, but I think that anyone that collects exotica will add this one to the record rack long before they have completed their collection.

Vogue Picture Record The Minute Samba & So It Goes

The Minute Samba & So It Goes
Enric Madriguera and his Orchestra
Violin Solo By Madeiguera – Dana Choir
Vocals By Patricia Gilmore and Dana Choir
Vogue R-760

Sorry about the sound quality. Picture records hold up to time fairly well, but this one has been played a bit.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Zither Magic! - Ruth Welcome

Golden Earrings
Zither Magic
Ruth Welcome
Capitol RecordsSt 1279

This is a wonderful exotica offering from Columbia. Very magical, subdued and otherworldly.

The women on the cover is not Ruth Welcome, but Dolores Greer. "A ballet dancer, and Michigan's entrant in a recent Miss America beauty contest – (don't let the witch costume fool you!) – she is one of Hollywood's top professional models. Talented as she is, Miss Greer assures us that in real life she practices neither black magic nor the zither."

Curious why Capitol had to go into this long explanation of the cover photo. I mean... who cares? And why the disclaimer? As if we are worried about Miss America practicing the black arts or, heaven forbid... the ZITHER!

Welcome played the Zither on at least 14 Capitol projects in the 50s. This album is apparently her 3rd LP for Capitol.

Everybody Sing Praise

Far Beyond
Everybody Sing Praise!
Life Unlimited II
Milk & Honey 1978

This record sounds more like 60s brand of easy listening. And, of course, that appeals to me. So... here's the deal... I listen to this entire LP full of total AM radio fluff to get to the treasure. Listen to Far Beyond! Far out man!

The Best Of Cugat

The Best Of Cugat
Mercury Records PPS 2015

Terrific cheese cake cover on a "Command" like gatefold album presentation made the purchase worthwhile. This is the first Cugat record I've stumbled across to add to my collection. I've got a good number of "cha-cha" records, buying them mostly for the cover art. This is the first time I've listened to one that I really liked. And that is because the arrangements are more space age/easy listening, even exotica rather then traditional.

Fun stuff!

Far Away Places - Enoch Light

Flying Down To Rio
Enoch Light And His Orchestra
Far Away Places (Featuring Harpischord and Exotic Arrangements) Volume 2
Command 1963 RS 850 SD

Charles E. Murphy created another wonderful cover for this jacket.

I have to call this record the La La La & Doo Doo Doo record. Almost every track has men or women La La Laing or Doo Doo Dooing. They perform some form of vocal hic-ups on every song. These treatments are the gimmick on this record. Total 60s cheese. Yummy!

From Billboard - May 4, 1963: Light does it again with a topnotch instrumental album with bright use of voices. This is the second volume in the "let's take a trip" theme with fine tracks. This is another Light winner.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

How Rich I Am

I Am A Promise (Nicol, age 8)
How Rich I Am
Pinebrook Recording Studio, Alexandria, Indiana PB 1380

Fortunately for me the adults let the kids sing. I think Nicol could have sung commercial jingles or been in a Broadway show.

Vogue Picture Disk - Art Kassel - Let's Get Married & Touch Me Not

Let's Get Married & Touch Me Not
Art Kassel and his Orchestra
Vocals by Gloria Hart & The Kassel Trio
Vogue R780

I added this lovely picture record to my collection today.

I find it curious that the flip side of "Let's Get Married" is a song called Touch Me Not. That's marriage for you...

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A Bright New World

A Bright New World
The Great Commission Company
M/M Recording

This record is pure cotton candy, 70s AM radio easy listening fluff. To me it is a bit awkward to hear Christian lyrics backed up by Gunter Kallmann type arrangements. But no great disasters to be had on the A side.

And then there is the second track on the B side... OMG... what in the heck were the album producers thinking? This tunes sounds like it came from a new ALIEN world.

Never give up on a record. To make this example work, I'll post one easy listening track which is more typical of the fare found on the LP followed by the song which was apparently extracted from a pool of acid found somewhere out there.

Good Feelin's

Hey Jude
Good Feelin's
The Happy Day Choir
Dunhill - ABC Records

Here's an album with a marketing problem. When you look at the cover you think... like 60s TV backup singers for Dean Martin. If you look at the back cover you think "kids" record and or religious record. It doesn't add up.

And you'll note song covers like: California Dreamin', Hey Jude, Let The Sun Shine In and Mrs. Robinson. I was thinking this album would turn out to be another white bread easy listening album. If you read the copy a little more closely you will learn that the creators concept was to blend pop tunes with black gospel.

All these elements thrown together should spell disaster. I could hardly wait to hear the results. But, God help me... it works. The pop songs have powerful strong vocal leads blended with mammoth sweeping gospel chorus and off-beat arrangements. I can't say that I hear a white chick anywhere, unless she is in the choir. Very odd marketing approach.

Some tracks work better then others, but I've never heard pop songs done up this way. Even in the cover of Hey Jude, I thought the song was going astray and then they bring it back. Hey Jude is followed by a cover of Words (Bee Gees) that is so different that you can't believe they could do it that way and make it work. Very quirky and cool. In my opinion, this is killer stuff.

Disco Sorpresa Fundador

Exitos Italianos
I picked up a few of these crazy 45s today that came out of Madrid.

These records are promotions for Fundador (Founder) Brandy.

The side of the record I've chosen for example, I think, is pretty fun!

Los Bravos - La Parada Del Autobus

La Parada Del Autobus
Los Bravos
Columbia ME 254

Another curious find at the thrift today. A 45 by Los Bravos. It took me an online search to rediscover that this group had a big hit with Black Is Black (also released in 1966).

La Parada Del Autobus is sung in Spanish while the flip side is sung in English. You can find an English version of La Parada Del Autobus on YouTube.

The band was based in Madrid, but the lead singer, Mike Kogel was from Germany.

Figure all this out and feel good about it!

Time - Jewel Psych - 45

Ron Baynum
The Islanders
Jewel Records
Rec. No 981

I found a copy of Dave Brubeck's Countdown Time In Outer Space at the thrift today. Unfortunately there was no record in the excellent jacket. Why... for 33¢, would someone take the record out... I don't know. But I noticed when I flexed the jacket that there was a 45 inside. I don't collect 45s but noted the Jewel label. Jewel is a local Cincinnati, Ohio area label that has been making music for a long, long time and is still in business as far as I know. I have many records recorded in Jewel's studios. Most, with the exception of this 45, are southern white gospel.

I try and collect local stuff whenever I see it because, aside from King Records... the pressings that come out of these "lesser" area labels are mostly limited and private and you never know when you will find an long lost artist who made an interesting contribution to music.

There are a couple of very cool songs on this 45. Note that Baynum autographed this copy on the B Side.

Wild Weekend - Jewel Psych - 45

Wild Weekend
Ron Baynum
The Islanders
Jewel Records
Rec. No 981

I found a copy of Dave Brubeck's Countdown Time In Outer Space at the thrift today. Unfortunately there was no record in the excellent jacket. Why... for 33¢, would someone take the record out... I don't know. But I noticed when I flexed the jacket that there was a 45 inside. I don't collect 45s but noted the Jewel label. Jewel is a local Cincinnati, Ohio area label that has been making music for a long, long time and is still in business as far as I know. I have many records recorded in Jewel's studios. Most, with the exception of this 45, are southern white gospel.

I try and collect local stuff whenever I see it because, aside from King Records... the pressings that come out of these "lesser" area labels are mostly limited and private and you never know when you will find an long lost artist who made an interesting contribution to music.

There are a couple of very cool songs on this 45. Note that Baynum autographed this copy.

The Noxzema Rag

The Noxzema Rag
Auravision Columbia Specialty Products
CBS Records CSM-6820

6 x 6 inch cardboard record torn out of a magazine (my best guess). Probably

I want the "Boobie" prize!

Organ Melodies

Beyond The Reef
Organ Melodies
From Hobby-Lesson Course For Wurlitzer Organs
Total Tone Series
Rite Records Cincinnati, Ohio

Interesting promotional item from The Wurlitzer Company, Dekalb, Illinois. A two record set, gatefold jacket with no printing on the inside. There is reams of copy on the back cover pushing the Wurlitzer Organ, but no real hint of how this set is supposed to help you learn to play, as a "hobby lesson course". There is no instructional material on the record(s), just music.

Perhaps this record was meant to entice people to sign up for a "course" or there was additional printed material to be found with this records set that is gone now.

Anyway the set does contain one good tune, a cover of an exotica standard, Beyond The Reef.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Polka Workout

Polka Workout
The Canadian Fiddlestix
World Renowned Sounds, Inc. Cleveland, Ohio

Look at this cover. Do you think you are buying a record featuring some freaky form of "Polkercise"? No! There are no exercises!

That's it. Oh... and this record was sealed in shrink. I had to open it to find out that there are no exercises. Now that it is open, the value of the record has dropped off considerably.

Doyle & Leilani At The Sky Dome

Doyle & Leilani Live At The Sky Dome

Well, it has been a while since I have had the chance to feature a stellar lounge album. This is pure hotel lounge at its best. Maybe one of my best lounge albums, giving the tip of the hat to The Links of course.

This album has it all, an unusual couple in wonderful 70s costumes on the cover. And on the record, we are treated to a live recording. I have to point out that the lounge crowd NEVER applauds on this record. I thought that was the point of doing a live recording.

Leilani, as you can tell from the back cover photo, is from the "islands". She does her best to sing pop tune covers with an accent. And the accent doesn't help even when she attempts to render the folk song, Ke Kali Nei Au.

It's hard to choose a favorite. All the songs are amazing. Fortunately, there is a medley that sums up the album nicely. Fantastic!

This is a Manic Mark Magical Music Moment! Enjoy!

The Mystic Moods Orchestra - Love The One Your With

The Mystic Moods Orchestra
Love The One You Are With
Warner Brothers BS 2577

I added this great Mystic Moods album to my collection to go along with The Mystic Moods Of Love.

This is Brad Miller's first record with Warner Brothers and apparently his 12th album. Miller's approach on this project like many of his works is one of mixing "found" natural sounds he recorded in the field with easy listening. This technique works to blend tracks together to form a "landscape" of sound that allows you to drift off into a Mystic Mood.

It works well and there are some really cool easy listening tracks on this album. Some of the best 60s/70s easy listening in my opinion. I like it not because it is "cheesy", but because the LP is simply well done and holds up musically.

The LP is available for download so no sample track! Sorry!

Monday, July 5, 2010

Stan Bergstein Northside Downs 1953

Race Recordings By Stan Bergstein
Northville Downs
June 29-53
The Explorer
Col. E. D. McQuown
Walt Dispannett

One off, one sided 78 rpm made to record an actual harness race at Northville Downs. Call by the legendary Stan Bergstein.

Soul Groove

Soul Groove!
Creative Products/Capitol SL-6678

Great cover on this 60s(?) promotional record for Charmin. While Charmin may have made a clumsy attempt to open new markets with this low budget cover, they made a good choice to go with originals and not some house band doing cheesy 60s funk (although I would have loved that too!). The music is a fabulous mix that includes Cannonball Adderley's 74 Miles Away. Awesome! And I love Bettye Swan! Don't Touch Me is so in the groove!

Still, Nancy Wilson's Uptight, out of sight, everything is alright... may not have been the best choice of song to push bathroom tissue. I'm kidding of course... can't you see me laughing?

I always wonder how these promotional records were distributed. If they were simply sold through the normal outlets or if they were distributed in a non-traditional fashion, say in this case, in a grocery store display?

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Music To Make You Misty

Jackie Gleason Presents
Music To Make You Misty
Capitol Records W 455

Terrific cover of a red head getting all dewy eyed over something... probably all the hair spray making her tear up.

Another great in the series of romantic albums released by Gleason. This LP charted #11 on Billboard.

I've got a long way to go to collect all of Gleason's work. But what I've heard so far leads me to believe that the man had some kind of genius touch. The LPs I have collected are very consistent musically and deliver the expected mood in a creative fashion, and to me, do not sound dated. Hey! This record is 65 years old and still holds up.

Blooming Hits - Paul Mauriat

Blooming Hits
Paul Mauriat And His Orchestra
Philips PHS 600-248

How was I to resist this great cover with body painting, an "art" form that found fresh life in the 60s.

This is a very popular and therefore common album, because of the tune, Love Is Blue, which charted at #1 for 5 weeks. Sales where brisk and many where pressed.

Love Is Blue is the best tune on the LP. But there are a number of other 60s pop ear candy tracks to keep easy listeners awake!

The album is available on CD.

Hawaiian Paradise

Aloha Oe; Hawaiian Paradise
Hawaiian Paradise
Leo Addeo His Orchestra and Chorus
RCA Camden CAS-853

Leo Addeo was a key RCA house arranger for most of the 50s and 60. This is his 6th RCA album.

The record is a pleasant 60s blend of AM radio easy listening and Hawaiian flavored music.

RCA tries to sell this LP as "authentic" because Addeo uses all of the Hawaiian percussion instruments from steel guitars and tom-toms to native feathered gourds (Although the feathers probably don't actually contribute to the "sound," if you use your imagination you can picture the movements of the colorful instruments and there's a certain authentic flavor that adds to your listening enjoyment.). Really... this is written on the back cover.

Addeo does use an organ on this LP which is cool and adds a bit of interest to the music.

Claudine - The Look Of Love

The Look Of Love
A&M SP 4129

Here's an album I picked up at a thrift for 33¢. I had some memory of the title track and didn't expect much from the rest of the LP. But I loved the 60s cover image. The Look Of Love charted #33 on Billboard.

Much to my surprise, this is a killer album. Longet sings with a soft smoky girlie voice. She was born in Paris, France and you can hear a hint of her accent in the vocal treatments.

I had completely forgotten about her marriage to pop singer Andy Williams and misdemeanor conviction for negligent homicide in connection with the death of former Olympic Skier "Spider" Sabich.

Longet seemed to have quite a career acting and recording during the 60s into the 70s before the shooting. You can read all about this on wikipedia. As you can imagine, whatever the circumstances, the event impacted her and her career to the extend that she never performed again.

Anyway, if you love 60s pop/easy listening or just an interesting voice, this album could be a welcome addition to your collection.

Tahiti Dances

Vahine Anamite
Tahiti Dances
Authentic Tahitian Chants, Drum Rhythms and Songs
Actually Recorded in Papeete, Tahiti
HI-FI Tahiti Records TR-201

On the back jacket: Eddie Lund, in this album, has given the world its first discs of authentic Tahitian music as recorded in the islands themselves. He has studied the music ever since his arrival in Papeete in 1936 and is one of the leading authorities in this field. To insure absolute authenticity in these recordings, Lund traveled to some of the most remote of the Society Islands to assemble talent. Many performers never before had seen a microphone.

Eddie Lund is an interesting character. He formed a band, which is featured on this LP called Eddie Lund and his Native Tahitians. It would seem that he played with the local musicians, although it is not at all apparent what the role of his "band" had in the project. This is his fourth record of Tahitian music. He stayed in Tahiti permanently and became know as the Irving Berlin of Island music and the father of modern Tahitian folk Music. He died in 1973.

The music on this disc is varied. I simply picked, by way of example, the more "oddball" track which suits my tastes.

Raisins & Almonds Cha Cha Cha & Merengues

Sher Cha Cha
Raisins & Almonds Cha Cha Cha & Merengues
Johnny Conquet, His Piano and Orchestra
RCA Vicrtor LSP-1789

Terrific cover. Of course I love many covers that come with Cha Cha records. They are always spicy in some respect. And most of the time I enjoy the music. But I think this record sets the bar higher for me when it comes to vintage Cha Cha. This is a great record. Conquet takes Jewish folk songs and dances and turns them "into mambo, merengue and cha cha cha".

Unusual, peppy and great fun!

I spent some time searching for information on Conquet. I couldn't find any mention online. Some music is available on iTunes and there are one or two compilation CDs out there, so he made some music, but seems to have faded into history otherwise. I can't find Sher Cha Cha online, so I post it here as an example.