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Saturday, October 8, 2011

Cha Cha Cha In Ping Pong Percussion

Mambo Ranchero
Cha Cha Cha In Ping Pong Percussion
Diplomat RFM 71

A ping-pong album on a budget label with no credit given to an artist usually means pointless "ping-pong" effects tacked onto the lead-in to a stock music track.

However, this album features some decent space age cha cha LP. The "ping-pong" effects still tend to be lead-in effects, but they blend well and seem to have been recorded with the rest of the song. The engineering is not great.

Jose Gonzalez and His Orchestra are credited on the record label. Gonzalez may be lost to history. Or Gonzalez was possibly a made up name for a session band leader.

Let's Get Together - Richard Hayman

Turkey Mambo
Let's Get Together
Richard Hayman His Harmonica And Orchestra
Mercury Wing
WING MGM 12100

The terrific cover design is worth the price of admission. The set plays through as a mix of straight mood numbers in addition to tunes that feature Hayman's harmonica.

From the back cover: New England and bred, Richard Hayman is a self-taught harmonica player and musical arranger. At 18 he joined Borrah Minnevitch's world-famed Harmonica Rascals. At 21 he became a member of the Vaughn Monroe group, doing a specialty novelty harmonica act. After several years, he joined the Horace Heidt group, which eventually brought him to Hollywood. Here he played bit roles in a score of musical films, and gained further experience arranging under the expert tutelage of George Still. Hayman, himself, has composed such outstanding instrumentals as Skipping Along and No Strings Attached. Huckleberry Finn and Carriage Trade which were also composed by Hayman are part of this WING Long Play album.

Alt Wein
Huckleberry Finn
Port Of Spain
Song Of April
Harmonica Joe
Spring Is Here
Never Again
The Perfect Song
A Night Of Stars
Turkey Mambo
Carriage Trade

Percussion Espanol Vol. 2

Dengozo Samba
Percussion Espanol Vol. 2
Time S/2026
Series 2000

Arranged and conducted by Al Caiola. Guitarists include: Al Caiola, Don Arnone, Al Casamenti, Allen Hanlon, Bucky Pizzarelli, Art Ryerson and Mr. "X". Cover design: Murray Stein

Well engineered light pop.

Maria Elena
Vito Paso Doble
Ay, Ay, Ay
Dengozo Samba
La Golondrina

Billy Tipton Plays Hi-Fi On Piano

Billy Tipton Plays Hi-Fi On Piano
Tops L1534

Wow! What a great cover! Looks like little Billy is gonna be in big trouble soon enough!

I wasn't aware of Tipton or his life story until I picked up this record. On the surface and from his wiki page, "his" story is a troubled one.

Having split over differences in opinion with his wife, nightclub dancer and stripper Kitty Kelly (Kitty Oakes) on how to raise their adopted sons, Tipton moved into a mobile home and lived in poverty until his death.

That's sad enough, but not the end of the tale.  Lifted directly from Tipton's wiki page: In 1989, at the age of 74, Tipton had symptoms he attributed to emphysema and refused to call a doctor. Actually he was suffering from a hemorrhaging peptic ulcer, which, untreated, was fatal. It was while paramedics were trying to save Tipton's life, with son William looking on, that William learned that his father was female assigned at birth. Tipton was pronounced dead at Valley General Hospital. The coroner shared this with the rest of the family. In an attempt to keep the secret, Kitty arranged for his body to be cremated, but one of their sons went public with the story. The first newspaper article was published the day after Tipton's funeral and it was quickly picked up by wire services. Stories about Tipton appeared in a variety of papers including tabloids such as National Enquirer and Star, as well as more reputable papers such as New York Magazine and The Seattle Times. Tipton's family even made talk show appearances.

Two wills were left by Tipton: one handwritten and not notarized which left everything to William Jr.; and the second, notarized, leaving everything to Jon Clark.[8] A court upheld the first will, and William inherited almost everything, with John and Scott receiving one dollar each.


This is a great album, one of two that Tipton recorded for Tops that did well for the independent label. As you can tell from the sample the sound is fabulously spacey featuring Tipton's reverb driven piano.

Leroy Anderson Conducts His Own Compositions

Leroy Anderson Conducts His Own Compositions
Decca Gold Label Series - Vol. 2
2 Record EP Set - ED-1401

Friday, October 7, 2011

Rumba De Cuba - Chuy Reves

Blen! Blen! Blen!
Rumba De Cuba
Chuy Reyes And His Hollywood Mocambo Orchestra
Capitol Records Boxed EP Set - 54-514/Album CDF-152

From Wikipedia: The Mocambo opened on January 3, 1941, and became an immediate success. The club's Latin American-themed decor designed by Tony Duquette cost $100,000. Along the walls were glass cages holding live cockatoos, macaws, seagulls, Josh Liebman[citation needed], pigeons, and parrots. With big band music, the club became one of the most popular dance-till-dawn spots in town. On any given night, one might find the room filled with the leading men and women of the motion picture industry.

In 1943, when Frank Sinatra became a solo act, he made his Los Angeles debut at the Mocambo.

Reyes made, what appears to be, two records for Capitol and made at least one "Soundie". A terrific Latin/boogie piano number that you can find on YouTube. Some MP3s are available for purchase/download online.

This was also release as a 78 set.

Reyes Capitol 10 inch pressing of "Sambas" which you can view here.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Million Seller Hits - 101 Strings

Torna Sunda
Million Seller Hits - 101 Strings
Alshire S-5223

This 101 sports an almost indecent cover (by 101 standards). Sorry that my copy is somewhat shelf-worn. This 101 seems a bit more obscure than most. I think that I've heard at least one of the tracks on other 101 album(s). Including a freaking fantastic cover of Spinning Wheel which can be had by purchase/download from your usual online shops.

I add this 101 to my growing pile of 101s that don't suck! The album features a great 60s vibe.

Wide World Hits - The String-A-Longs

Black Is Black
Wide World Hits
The String-A-Longs
Atco SD 33-241

Here's an interesting "synth" album. I'm not a know-it-all when it comes to this type of music. So I couldn't begin to guess at the equipment used to create the sound. The only hint from the back cover is: ...electronic gadgetry and multi-track recorders.

The entire record demonstrates a primitive, almost oddball, electronic vibe.

The String-A-Longs brief wiki page.

It's been brought to my attention that this album is probably some sort of covers album as The String-A-Longs disbanded in 1965. Their wiki page doesn't mention this album.

Thunderball - The Man From U.N.C.L.E & Other Secret Agent Themes

I Spy
Thunderball - The Man From U.N.C.L.E & Other Secret Agent Themes
Design Records

Budget "spy/secret agent" music from Design. The artist credit is only listed on the label as The Jazz All-Stars.

While there are cooler "spy" records out there, this recording has a curious appeal. Some of the more straight "jazz" driven tracks are pretty cool. I've selected, however, a more 60s and campy track for the sample. Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

101 Strings Plus Guitars Galore

Malibu Sun
101 Strings Plus Guitars Galore
Alshire S-5065

The sample was written by Monty Kelly, house arranger for 101 Strings. When Kelly was let loose he wrote and arranged some fun stuff.

Enric Madriguera And His Orchestra

Enric Madriguera
Royal EP 160

Link here for Enric Madriguera's brief wiki bio.

The Best Of The New Film Themes - Frank Chacksfield

The Sounds Of The Night - The Cabinet Of Caligari
The Best Of The New Film Themes
Frank Chacksfield
London ffrr PS 347

This album sports cover art that screams "leave me to die in the discount bin!". Also, work by Chacksfield is hit or miss. That said, this album turns out to be a good space age effort. There is a nice blend of inventive approaches with enough of that 60s vibe to hold your attention.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

It's A Blue World - Sam The Man Taylor

Ebb Tide
It's A Blue World
Sam The Man Taylor
Tenor Sax With Orchestra And Chorus Directed By Bill Sanford
Decca 74417

Here's a fun space age album from Sam Taylor, who was the "most requested" 1950s New York session sax player.

Some tunes feature Taylor's sax backed by 60s easy listening vocals. An approach that dates the songs... but we love that vocal layer up here in The Atomic Attic!

All Night Long
Lover Come Back To Me
Song Lonely Nights
Ebb Tide
It's A Blue World
Go Away Little Girl
Bossa Nova Mas Rolyat
Stormy Weather
Lights Out

Monday, October 3, 2011

Zither Goes Hollywood - Ruth Welcome

Love Letters
Zither Goes Hollywood
Ruth Welcome
Capitol Records ST-1986

Ruth Welcome recorded some of my favorite zither albums. Actually... Welcome recorded the only zither albums I've ever heard. Check out Welcome's Zither Magic.

On this release Welcome's zither is backed by an organ. The zither and organ combo create quirky sounding covers of various movie themes. Some of the tracks on this album approach oddball status.

Song Of The Island - Danny Stewart And His Islanders

Hapa Haole Hula Girl
Song Of The Island
Danny Stewart And His Islanders
Coral Records CRL 57059

From the back cover: When not performing, Danny Stewart is a sportsman. He states that his favorite sports are (in the following order) deep-sea fishing, swimming and golfing. In 1949 he won the Spike Wallace Championship Trophy in the Local #47 Los Angeles Musician golf Club Tournament.

Dick Schory On Tour

Orinoco (Bobby Christian)
Dick Schory On Tour With His Percussion Pops Orchestra
RCA Victor LPM-2806

Recorded live in Chicago's world's famous Orchestra Hall featuring "guest drummer" Joe Morello.

Arrangements and original works by Dick Schory, Mike Simpson, Bobby Christian and Hoyt James.

Approaches include swinging big band, touches of jazz and 60s light pop.

The engineering produced a sound that seems a little "distant" or "flat" to me. But I'm listening to a mono copy. The stereo version of the LP may produce better sound.

The Sound Of Midnight Naked City - Paul Phillips And His Band

The Sound Of Midnight Naked City
Paul Phillips And His Band
Arranged and Conducted by Joe Harnell
Kapp Medallion ML-7517

This is a terrific space age album filled with great song titles including: Tenderly, Harlem Nocturne, Stardust, I Only Have Eyes For You, Naked City Theme, Fever, Theme From Route 66 (very cool), In The Still Of The Night, I Cover The Waterfront, All Through The Night, There's A Small Hotel and Dancing In The Dark.

Joe Harnell wrote the original arrangement of "Fever" for Peggy Lee.

Witchcraft - Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra

Playboy's Theme
Nelson Riddle & His Orchestra
Pickwick PC 3007

Pickwick, a budget label, delivers an unexpectedly fun cheesecake cover backed up by some great big band stuff from Nelson Riddle.

The tunes are just "space age" enough to bewitch your guests at your next Halloween party!

Haunted House

Music From The Fourth Dimension
Haunted House
Haunted House Music Co. HHST 10-31 AB

Happy Budget Halloween! Here's a sample from an album that feature very blurry cover graphics.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Steel Drums

Spear Dance Cha Cha Cha
Steel Drums
HiFi Records R817

Live recording, according to the sparse jacket notes: Most of the performances on the drums come off in the village center in the boiling hot sun of day time." What village, located where.. there is no mention.

Promising song titles include: Zulu Chant, La Paloma, Jungle Cha Cha Cha, Native Mambo, Spur Dance, Fire Down Below, Grass Skirt Cha Cha Cha, Mary Ann, Out Of My Dreams and Spear Dance Cha Cha Cha.

Cool song titles and great cover art can't mask the poor way the recording was done, the sameness of all the songs and lack of decent jacket notes.

Steel Drums (Reissue)
The Native Steel Drum Band
Tradition Everest 2064

Ping Pong Percussion Espanol

Ping Pong Percussion Espanol
Spinorama Records S-54

Fun cover art, but another LP in the long line of albums featuring pointless "ping-pong" effects tacked onto or into pre-record orchestrated numbers in an effort to cash in on a trend started by Enoch Light/Command Records.

International Pop Orchestra - 110 Musicians Play That's Life

My Blue Gown
Impossible Lovers
International Pop Orchestra
110 Musicians Play That's Life
Wyncote SW 9185

How do you top 101 Strings? With 9 more musicians. This would be Wyncote's attempt to cash in on 101 Strings success. Obviously this is an LP featuring an assemblage of music, that at times, sorta kinda of sounds like 101.

The A and B sides are pretty dull, as expected, until the last two tracks when Wyncote threw me a curve ball(s). A few interesting and somewhat unusual tunes.

I Left My Heart In San Francisco

I Left My Heart In San Francisco
Modern Sound MS 553

Nice cheap and cheesy cover of Shangri-La.

Curious copy from the back cover: San Francisco, like all cities, large and small has its poor, its underpriviledged (their typo), its share of shabbiness and its heartaches, but, these things have been with us down through history in cities of all sizes, both large and small. Still, its a city that has dreams for the future mingled with the pleasant memories of the past, and makes a great theme for an album.


The Monterey Brass - Great Songs From Movies

Alla en el Rancho Grande
Living Marimbas
Latin Soul
RCA Camden CAS-2105
Arranged and Conducted by Leo Addeo

50 Guitars In Love - The 50 Guitars Of Tommy Garrett

50 Guitars In Love
The 50 Guitars Of Tommy Garrett
Liberty Premier Series LSS-14037

This album is a release in the Liberty "Premier" series. The "Premier" series featured expensive to produce jackets, in this case, a gate-fold with a die-cut (the area around the title is a cut out). For a time Liberty also boasted about the 120 gram vinyl on the covers.

The LP was produced by Snuff Grarrett and featuring guitar solos by Tom Tedesco. The tunes were arranged by Ernie Freeman and the engineering credit goes to Dave Hassinger.

Don't shy away from this album, which can be found on CD, because the music is totally space age. The sonic impression is full and rich. The engineering is excellent. The sound that binds the tunes together is a foundation of mandolin strumming that is run through a bit of reverb. Cool 60s stuff!