Search Manic Mark's Blog

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Hawaii Goes A Go-Go - Martin Denny

Hawaii Goes A Go-Go
Martin Denny
Liberty Records LRP-3445
1967

From the back cover: There is no doubt that this is the Go-Go generation. The words Go-Go have become an automatic phrase of this era. There's everything from Go-Go discotheques to Go-Go laundromats and, I am sure, many people have asked themselves "Where does this all come from?" It all started in Paris, France and spread like wild fire to both the east and west.

This is a live recording. I found it odd because the quality reminds me of a boot leg recording, as if someone in the audience had a tape recorder on them. I think this may have been the point (audience interaction) and historically it is interesting to hear Denny perform as though you were sitting in the audience. I don't know how this record went over with the buying public. The sound must have seemed a little rough or cheap to many who were more used to hearing studio recordings.

Come To Hawaii - Harry Hoomele And His Island Orchestra

Pagan Love Song
Come To Hawaii
Harry Hoomele And His Island Orchestra
Grand Award Record Corp.
G.A. 33-405
1959

Another fab Enoch Light disc. The record blends more traditional and pleasant sounding tunes with a few more rocking tunes including Hula Hula Rock. But I couldn't pass up Pagan Love Song as my cherry pick for this post.

I could not find any bio info on Hoomele.

Rhythm In Motion - Johnny Williams

Rhythm In Motion
Johnny Williams And His Orchestra
Columbia CS 8467
1961

Available by MP3 purchase/download but you don't get the fab original cover. Note the "orange" square at the top with the image of the horn. That is one of those "winking" images that you usually see on a vintage postcards. The image moves as you move the card from side to side.

The music is delightful blend of period trends including ping-pong, light pop, percussion, big band swing and jazz. The back cover features a diagram of studio positions of the musicians mentioning that 14 condenser microphones were employed. The engineering is excellent.

An Occasional Man and My Heart Belongs To Daddy are great space age tracks.

Read all about Williams on his wiki page! He wrote scores for many big movies including several Star Wars films.

The Naked City - George Duning

The Naked City
Music By George Dunning
Colpix SCP 505
1958

This is a terrific space age album that blends spoken word (Narrated by John McIntire, Star of The Naked City), vocals, easy listening, light pop and jazz into the story of The Naked City.

The only source for this recording seems to be iTunes/England. You would have to purchase all of the tracks as the album is an original story and not a "soundtrack" from the TV show. Weird that you can't get this LP on CD or by the download in the U.S.

The album is worth searching out. Sorry I can't post a sample.

Electronic Music Vol. V

In Memoriam For My Friend Henry Saia - Peter Glushanok
Electronic Music Vol. V
Music From The Dartmouth International Electronic Music Competitions
1960 and 1970
Turnabout TV-S 34427

From the back cover (concerning the first track which is posted as a sample above): Completed in early 1969, this piece was begun as an experiment in textures from concrete sources, and was developed as an elegy in memory of my friend Henry Saia who died by suicide just a few months before. Henry's transient and restless quality, seen through the eyes of his friends who discuss him interminably; his depressions lightened by a sense of humor, and his life which ended without hope despite the jokes and the friends, broke traumatically into our unawareness.

The entire album is filled with excellent space/SF/dark and moody stuff with titles that include Cambrian Sea, Trip Through The Milky Way – An Electronic Panorama, Divertimento, Ambience and Mutations.

I Love You - The Billy Vaughn Singers

Groovin'
I Love You
The Billy Vaugh Singers
Dot DLP-25813
1967

Living Guitars Flamingo And Other Favorites

Hawaii
Living Guitars Flamingo And Other Favorites
RCA Camden CAS-2123
1967

This is a terrific light jazz pop album. Although not credited on the jacket, this is an Al Caiola project (produced by Ethel Gabriel).

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Big Band Sound Of Sid Ramin

The Syncopated Clock
The Big Band Sound Of Sid Ramin
RCA LSP-2716
1963

Nice bachelor pad big band swing from Academy, Grammy and Emmy award winning composure Sid Ramin.

From the back cover. This record was marketed as Ramin's follow up to his album New Thresholds In Sound. "I wanted a great deal of orchestral weight in this one. Soloists, yes, but with an over-all big-band sound predominating. I wanted to see if the Dynagroove system could handle the ultimate in dynamics. You can hear how we come in a split second from a full-forte orchestral mass to the sound of a single instrument."

The engineering on this record is very good.

Holiday Abroad In Lisbon - Auguste Alguero, Jr. And His Orchestra

Fado Madragoa
Holiday Abroad In Lisbon
Auguste Alguero, Jr. And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1596
1958

One of the series of "Holiday Abroad" albums. This was a series of records with a promotional tie-in with Sabena, Belgian World Airlines.

I can find no information on Auguste Alguero, Jr. online. The music is pleasant mood with few space age touches, but a good step up from the typical "tourist" promotional recording fare.

That Latin Feeling - Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra

The Latin Feeling
Bert Kaempfert And His Orchestra
Decca DL 74490
1964

Available on CD bundled with Blue Midnight. Two Kaempfert records that were apparently released back to back in 1964.

Sweet cover and great now sound light pop album with that latin feeling. Most enjoyable. For exotica lovers there is lovely cover of The Breeze And I on this release.

Read more about Kaempfert and his all too short life (passed away at 56) on his wiki page.

Batman & Hefti In Gotham City - Heal Hefti

Batman Theme
Composed And Conducted By Heal Hefti
RCAVictor LSP-3573
1966

Surely this record has been blogged to death. Of course the album can be found on CD, so I won't be posting a sample. But I had to dust off the cover of the copy I found and display it up here in The Atomic Attic.

What a terrific space age recording! The Batman Theme charted on the Top 40. But there is not a dull track on this LP. A masterwork of cool all the way through and possibly my favorite light pop now sound style album.

Read more about Hefti on his spaceagepop page.

Hefti In Gotham City
Heal Hefti And His Orchestra And Chorus
RCA Victor LSP-3621
1966

Terrific follow-up album in the same style. There are a few songs that are a bit darker.

Some of the tracks off this album are available on the CD release that includes the album posted above.

Great stuff that you have to find the vinyl to enjoy.

Royal Tahitian Dance Company

Royal Tahitian Dance Company
Monitor Records MFS 758
1974

I'm always surprised at what recordings I find online for purchase and those I don't. From the looks of it, this album seemed like it might be obscure, but it isn't. The record is available both, on CD and by the download.

The album is a nice listen. The songs are varied enough to help hold interest and the engineering is excellent.

A little history from the back cover: The Royal Dance Company began as the Tahiti Nui and under that name toured the U.S.A. and Canada. In 1973 the Tahiti Nui was joined by the young Rarotongians of Turepu Turepu from the Cook Islands and the new ensemble was renamed the Royal Tahitian Dance Company.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

A Henry Mancini Tribute - Living Brass

Bye Bye
Living Brass Plays
A Henry Mancini Tribute
Aranged and Conducted by Ray Martin
RCA Camden
CAS-2162
1967

I wasn't expecting much, but to my surprise, this is a great album. I wasn't aware that Ray Martin's "Living Brass" contributions to the Living Brass series were considered among the best Tijuana Brass inspired groups (spaceagepop).

I'd have to agree, this is great space age light pop brass with touches of big band swing. The engineering by Bob Simpson is very good.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Tzena Tzena

I Love You Much Too Much
Tzena Tzena
Jewish Wedding Dances
Audio Fidelity AFSD 6114
1963

Somewhat obscure Audio Fidelity recording. Musicians listed on back cover include: Harry Brown - trumpet, Ray Muskiker - clarinet, Sonny Kippe - accordion, Skippy Sperling - piano, Marvin Kutcher - drums, Charles Karoll - bass and Sam Kutcher - trombone.

Muskrat Love And 24 More Big Hits

More Than A Feeling
Muskrat Love And 24 More Big Hits
T.E.J Records 2004
1977

Sometimes you just get lucky when record hunting. You find a record with great title, lovely vintage cover art, a flimsy jacket holding not just one, but two vinyl treasures. And those records aren't normal records, they are "GIANT RECORDS". They are also, As Seen On T.V.!

What more could you ask for? How about a cover of Boston's More Than A Feeling?

Look no further!

James Bond's Greatest Hits - Franck Pourcel

James Bond's Greatest Hits
Franck Pourcel
Paramount Records
PAS 6064
1973

You can find this LP on CD bundled with Mourir D'Aimer.

There is a website dedicated to Pourcel with a section that features many Pourcel album covers and other information. The site suggests that Pourcel is considered "the inventor of lounge and easy listening music".

I've always considered lounge to be music played in a lounge even though the term seems to have been adopted at some point and applied to a certain "sound".

That said, this is a GREAT record! If I was going to label the sound, I would say late 60s light pop or mood spiced with spy movie flavor.

If you like Pourcel you will also love the music of Paul Mauriat.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Dick Stabile Plays For You

Ballet Bleu
Dick Stabile Plays For You
Bethlehem Records
BCP-5003
1958

There are a number of Stabile resources online including a wiki page and a tribute website.

However, this Stabile recording seems a bit obscure. I did find the album listed on a Bethlehem Discography, but that's about the extent of it.

The album consists of easy mood, light pop and a few sexy gems like the sample posted above.

Also issued as Dancing On The Sunset Strip on King Records - Cincinnati, Ohio (King 623)

Poor Butterfly
We'll Be Together Again
For You
Do I Love You
My Fate Is In Your Hands
Broadway Beat
Oh Baby
Ballet Bleu
Without A Song
I'm Glad There Is You
Man With A Horn
I Lead A Charmed Life

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Big Band Percussion - Ted Heath And His Music

Big Band Percussion
Ted Heath And His Music
London Phase 4 Stereo
SP 44002
1962

You can find this album on CD bundled with Heath's Big Band Bash so I will not be posting a sample.

I've got a few Heath albums on hand and haven't really warmed up to what I've heard. This album, on the other hand, is way cool! All the songs rock in that early 60s "bongo percussion" style. There is a lot of variety in the way the songs are arranged to keep the percussion gimmick fresh throughout the album. And Peanut Vendor, track 3 on the "A" side, is an especially smoking tune featuring some great vocals. The "A" side finishes out with Drum Crazy which is crazy.

The "B" side features a cover of It Ain't Necessarily So that is arranged like a theme from a 50s "private-eye" TV show. That tune is fabulous!

Billy Vaughn - Embraceable You!

Mack The Knife
Billy Vaughn!
Embraceable You!
Pickwick (by Arrangement with DOT Records) SPC-3093
1967

Groovy 60s cover. Is the music as groovy as the cover? No.

Let me just say that I've got a few Vaughn albums in the collection that I really like. However, this one appears to be Pickwick simply throwing together some of Vaughn's earlier, more "Lawrence Welk" sounding stuff.

From the back cover: We are not going to be as presumptous (yes, they misspelled presumptuous) as to say that this is the definitive album of its kind... but we will tell you – and hope that you will agree – that Billy is the master of interpreting popular songs so that they may continue to live.

Honest to God... that copy is from the back cover.

Mac The Knife is by far the best track off the album.

Rhapsody In Blue - Levant Plays Gershwin

Rhapsody In Blue
Levant Plays Gershwin
Columbia CL 700
1960

Available on CD, but you don't get this stellar space age album cover!

The music, to me, isn't as "spicy" as the cover art.

Shall We Dance? - Freddy Martin

Shall We Dance
Freddy Martin And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1160
1956

Terrific cover model looking ever so glamorous.

Taking A Chance On Love
Shall We Dance?
Freddy Martin And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-1160

Alternative, less glamorous, but no less visually interesting cover.

Just One Of Those Things
The Lady Is A Tramp
People Will Say We're In Love
You Do Something To Me
Dancing On The Ceiling
Taking A Chance On Love
The Most Beautiful Girl In The World
Anything Goes
You're Just In Love
It Had To Be You
Cheek To Cheek
From This Moment On

Report: Drug Addiction

Report: Drug Addiction
A View From The Belly
America Records 1
1972

Obscure spoken word record with strange synth breaks.

The sample I've posted is a story told by Packard Johnson.

The record appears to be a promotional tool for an outreach tool for a program or organization called Daytop Village.

Hammond Organ Spectacular

Hindustan
Hammond Organ Spectacular
The Sensational New Instrumentalist... The Spectaculars
Grand Award G.A. 266 S.D.

Grand Awards was an Enoch Light label. Even though the "Hammond" gets top billing on the album, the music is really a "group" effort.

In typical Light fashion, he credits the jacket illustrator: Elmer Wexler.

Studio musicians, however, aren't credited. I bet there are a few recognizable names to be found in The Spectaculars. Maybe Tony Mottola on guitar? Just a guess.

Holiday In Brazil - Nestor Amaral And His Continentals

Porto Alegre
Holiday In Brazil
Nestor Amaral And His Continentals
Mayfair 9587S

This album was also released with a "Golden Tone" sticker brand or logo printed in place of the Mayfair logo on the cover.

This is a great album, especially for a budget label. The music is smooth, jazzy and it was hard to pick a sample for you. There are also mixed language vocal tracks to be enjoyed. What really stands out on this set is the flute work. No credit is given to group members.

Nestor Amaral seems to be best known for his film score work. Amaral does have an IMDB page.

From the back cover: Ameral's motion picture credits are also impressive. He introduced the hit song, It's Magic, sung by Doris Day in Romance On The High Seas, and for the occasion wrote Spanish lyrics to the tune. Senor Amaral also brought to U.S. audiences the beautiful Ary Barroso melodies, BAIA and Brazil, the first in Walt Disney's Three Caballeros, the latter in The Gang's All There. In the soundtrack area of motion picture production, Amaral is well represented as the guitar virtuoso he assuredly is. He played the guitar background in the pictures, Blood And Sand, Duel In The Sun (for Greg Peck) and For Whom The Bells Tolls. In many recent movies Amaral played background on mandolin and, in the spring of 1957, worked with singer Herb Jeffries in Calypso Joe.

Brazil
Pra Que Discutir
Currupaco
Ba Tu Ca Da
Tico Tico
Playtime In Brazil
Baia
Nossa Bayonne
Bamba No Samba

Paul Mauriat

Let The Sun Shine In
Paul Mauriat
Philips PHS-600-337
1970

Mauriat is known for "light pop". He seems to be overlooked as a composer, with the exception of the Japanese who apparently have produced box sets of his work.

His brand of 60s/70s light pop is inventive as he uses interesting instrumental flourishes and timing changes in his compositions to hold your interest.