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Friday, August 13, 2010

Featuring Jose Melis

Blue Star (Melis) / Destine Me (Napoli)
Featuring Jose Melis
Spinorama Records M-75

Interesting release in that side two features Mike Di Napoli. The only way you know this is the look at the back cover.

Melis served as musical director of The Tonight Show when Jack Paar was host. He wrote Paar's theme song (Jack Paar Theme). Read more about Melis on Wikipedia.

From the back cover: Mike Di Napoli was with the Frank Petty Trio for 13 years. Mike has written many tunes which have been recorded by such famous personalities as the Mills Brothers, Tennessee Ford, Hank Snow etc. etc.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Pearl Bailey

Pearl Bailey & Margie Anderson Singing The Blues
Celebrity Records A Division Of Premier Albums UTS 123X
1960

This is one cool recording. I love to play Hit The Road To Dreamland or Haiti Blues for you as samples but all of the tracks, I believe, can be found on CD or by the download.

Intimate, jazzy and very sexy.

Read about Pearl Bailey on Wilipedia.

Perspectives In Percussion - Volume 2

Tiger Hunt (stereo)

Perspectives In Percussion - Volume 2
Special Release: Sonic Workshop Series Project No. 2
Conducted by Skip Martin
Scored by Joe Kunh and Bob Lowden
Recorded at United Recording Studio in Hollywood under the direction of D. L. Miller
Audio Mix by Bill Puthham
Cover Art by Will Dressler
Liner Photo by Bud Seltzer
Somerset Records SF 13300 (stereo foil jacket) P 13300 (mono 4-color jacket)
1961

Personnel

Saxophones - Paul Horn, Philip Sobel, Ralph Gari, Pete Terry and Dale Isenhuth

Utility Woodwinds: Paul Horn

Solo Piccolo: Jules Kinsler

Trumpets: Conrad Gazzo, Don Fagerquist, Pete Candoli, Jim Salko and Mickey Mangano

Trombones: Joe Howard, Dick Noel and Frank Rosolino

Bass Trombone: Ken Shroyer and George Roberts

Accordion: Pete Jolly

Electric Guitar: Al Henderson, Robert Bain, Tony Rizzi and Rene Hall

Bass: Ralph Pina

Piano: Jim Rowles

Drums: Irv Cottler

3 Percussionists: Dale Anderson, Milt Holland and Larry Bunker

Hammond Organ: Gaylord B. Carter

This album was released about two years after Enoch Light released his Persuasive Percussion album series. This Somerset set of records (apparently two volumes) is based on the Light formula. There are similarities between the light, funky 60s sound, audio play between channels and the cover design.

The cover design is heavy-handed compared to art coming out of the Command production department, but the music, conducted by Skip Martin, is as cool and every bit as good as what Light was producing.

Skip Martin gets a mention on Wikipedia for creating a swing concept album titled Scheherajazz on Somerset with Gus Bivona in the late 50s.

Perdido
How High The Moon
Tiger Hunt
Mambo #5
La Cucaracha
I Got Rhythm
Chinatown
Baubles, Bongos and Brass
Cumana
Git Git Git Guitar
I Get A Kick Out Of You
C'est Si Bon

Perspectives In Percussion - Volume 1

Cuckoo Cha Cha
Perspectives In Percussion - Volume 1
Somerset Records SF 13200
1961

This album was released about two years after Enoch Light released his Persuasive Percussion album series. This Somerset series of records (apparently just two volumes) barrows heavily from the Light formula. There are similarities between the light, funky 60s vibe, the audio play between channels, even the cover design.

Now this cover design may not be as dynamic as what Light's Command Label was doing. However, I must say the music conducted by Skip Martin, is very cool and every bit as good as what Light was producing. The first Light Persuasive Percussion album is more exotica so, for my tastes, I have to give Light the tip of my hat for that effort.

Skip Martin gets a mention on Wikipedia for creating a swing concept album titled Scheherajazz on Somerset with Gus Bivona in the late 50s. I'll have to look for that recording.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Hawaiian Paradise - The Polynesians

Hawaiian Paradise
The Polynesians
Featuring: Harry Baty, Sam Kaapuni and Bob Nichols
Crown Records
1961

A very fine Hawaiian album with touches of exotica.

If I had to pick one standout track it would be the last track on the B side. A percussion piece titled Bora Bora.

Award Hits

Award Hits
Strings Unlimited
Oscar OS-114

Oscar records appears to have been a budget label releasing almost nothing but "hits" albums. Strings Unlimited was a staple feature for Oscar who released 13 of their albums. If you do a search today, you'll find almost nothing online about Stings Unlimited.

Have I finally scraped the bottom of the budget barrel? Golly! I hope not!

Savage!

Nai Vola Ni Nanua Au Cega - Fijian Chant
Savage!
Tihati's South Seas Spectacular
Don Over Records

Album probably sold as a souvenir item at The Waikiki Beachcomber Hotel, in the 1980s(?). The album features folk music from Tahiti, Samoa, Tonga, Rarotonga, The Maoris, Fiji, Kapingamorangi and Tokelay Islands.

Korla Pandit - Photo Collection

I was pleased to acquire this group of Korla Pandit images from a seller who had purchased Pandit items directly from the estate.

The top image is an 8 x 10 matt finish original press photo stamped on the back: Photos By Robert H. Churchill. This photo intrigues me as because of the setting. Pandit is surrounded by items that he may have owed. Note the gas lighting fixtures. If I were to guess, I would say that this photo was probably taken inside of Pandit's living space.

The second photo is an autographed Polaroid photograph.

The third image is also a Polaroid of Pandit caught in a more private moment. I believe, when comparing other Pandit hand writing samples I have on hand, that Pandit has written on the back of the photo: "Mar. 26 - 2: AM Santa Rosa, (Initials?).

The fourth image is an 2 x 3 original photo also stamped on the back: Photos By Robert H. Churchill.

Let The Party Begin - Bravado Brass

Lover
Let The Party Begin
Dance To The Hits
Bravado Brass
Diplomat DS 2445

Apparently this group of musicians may have made at least three records.

This may have been Diplomat's way to cash in on the popularity of The Tijuana Brass.

Marguerite Piazza

Marguerite Piazza
Memorable Moments Of Music
Coral Records CRL 757271
1959

Terrific cover on a terrific album. Piazza's style is to blend opera with pop forms. This approach may account for the Variety quote that she was "an opera star who knows how to please both longhairs and the crew cuts."

Dorothy Loudon

Six Feet Of Papa
Dorothy Loudon at the Blue Angel
With The Norman Paris Trio
Coral Records CRL 757265
1959

Great cover on this vintage Coral album. Loudon style was to mingle song with ad-libbed comedy patter.

Loudon is full of energy, has a great voice and can knows how work a crowd.

Loudon won The 1977 Tony Award for Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance on Annie as the evil orphanage administrator Miss Hannigan.

She married Norman Paris. Paris wrote the theme song for the television game show I've Got A Secret.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Children's Favorites

Bird Counting Song
Children's Favorites
The Jinglehimers
HRB Music

Early 80s TV mail order record! For $4.99 you got a record in a very flimsy jacket with a horrible illustration printed on one side.

Amazingly, the songs are probably some of the better kid tunes I've heard, especially from most children's records produced in the 70s and 80s. The lyrics are quirky and the arrangements are interesting.

Dancing On The Continent - Lester Lanin

Dancing On The Continent
Lester Lanin
Epic LN 3578
1960

Lanin is known for blending songs together to create tunes that help keep the dancers twirling. This LP is like that. The technique helps keep the tracks lively and makes for a fun bachelor pad music.

Read about Lanin on SpaceAge Pop

All I Do Is Dream Of You - Reg Owen And His Orchestra

My Moonlight Madonna
All I Do Is Dream Of You
Reg Owen And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1580
1958

This is a fine mood album that features a terrific space age cover.

The Reg Owen Orchestra was regraded, at the time, as one of England's leading orchestras. He arranged for Ted Heath and Cyril Stapleton. Owen got into writing film scores in the late 50s and, after writing scores for a few "B" movies he progressed to write for feature films, including Very Important Person (1961).

He died in 1978 at the age of 57.

Romantic Rendezvous - Steve Allen

Romantic Rendezvous
Steve Allen
Neal Hefti and His Orchestra
Coral Records CRL 57138

Great space age cover gracing this Allen album.

Easy listening, easily consumed, easily disposed (space age pop).

Monday, August 9, 2010

Shangri-La - Robert Maxwell

Old Devil Moon
Shangri-La
Robert Maxwell
His Harp and Orchestra
Decca DL 74421
1963

From the back cover: Robert Maxwell, known as "America's Foremost Harpist" is credited with introducing the instrumental to the world of popular music. Previously the harp was relegated to the symphonic rule of playing alongside the triangle or cymbal player.

Maxwell composed Shangri-La which was "the Jackie Gleason theme song of many years".

The LP is inventive, cool and covers a number of tunes that are exotica standards.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

The Official Bump Ball Record

Bump Ball
The Official Bump Ball Record
The Bumpers
Pickwick/33 SPC 3112
1968

The Bump Ball was a toy developed and sold by Milton Bradly. Apparently, this album was created to help further market the ball and to help create a "crazy new dancing fad". The fellow in the photos is "Killer" Joe Piro, who according to Wikipedia, was a "dance instructor to high society and popularized steps of the discotheque era of the 1960s and 1970s."

From the back cover: They (a whole new breed of kids) deserted in droves from the flower children to join this new transcedental (misspelled) experience. It was the answer to America's searching youth. It was Anti-Establishment – and a gas at the same time. It keeps you and your partner close. Groovy into this magic land there stepped a sorcerer with dancing feet.

That's pretty heavy and obscure ad copy.

It is interesting to me that aging dancers would be used to market this new "fad" device to the youth market. I'm not sure that parents in the late 60s would buy this album for their kids. And would the 18 and over crowd really be into it?

Also from the back cover: It's time the boys got closer to the girls, and this newest dance craze makes it more fun than any historical fox-trot.

Yeah... more fun than any historical fox-trot!

Organ Moods - Jerry Thomas

Till There Was You
Organ Moods
Jerry Thomas
Strand SLS 1081
1963

Great cover on this budget label, discount bin album from Strand. Strand was originally distributed as a full-priced label by Decca, but quickly became budget, cutting corners anyway they could. In this case they mislead the buying public with this cheesecake cover. The music is very easy listening and may only put your Grand Mother in the mood.

There is a bit of a mystery in that I've seen another cover with the same catalog number (the stereo version) with the model pushed up more into the into the frame and the word "STEREPHONIC" removed at the top to be replaced with "HI FIDELITY" overprinted just below the "cellophane" dress topper.