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Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Greatest Steel Guitar In The World - Pete Drake


Blue Guitar

Pete Drake
The Greatest Steel Guitar In The World!
Hilltop STEREO JS-6052
A Product of Pickwick International
By Arrangement With Mercury Records

From the back cover: In utilizing the steel guitar and the human voice, Pete has combined the two most versatile musical instruments known to man. In the hands of a master performer, such as Pete Drake, the steel guitar is capable of an infinite variety of mood and expression. It is required in any performance, that the should of the artist urge the moods and expression from the soul of the instrument. Pete Drake urges his steel guitar through a gamut of musical expressions. Melodic expressions that rest easy on the listener and to which the listener, no matter what age, can relate. – Hugh Cherry, KFOX Radio, Long Beach, California.

Are You Sincere?
I'm Walking
This Is Our Last Night Together
I'm Sorry
Little Bitty Broken Heart
Blue Guitar
Funny How Time Slips Away
I'm Blue

Fred Astaire


Steppin' Out With My Baby

Fred Astaire
In a collection of memorable performances from the sound-tracks of his films
With the M-G-M Studio Orchestra and Chorus
Lion L70121

From Billboard - August 17, 1959: A smart bit of packaging in which a flock of famous sound track cuttings by Astaire are put together for salable results. A few examples: "I Love Louisa" and "By Myself" from "The Band Wagon"; "Steppin' Out With My Baby," from "Easter Parade," and "They Can't Take that Away From Me," from "The Barkleys Of Broadway." For the many Astaire devotees, this is a solid buy.

They Can't Take That Away From Me - "The Barkleys Of Broadway"
Steppin' Out With My Baby - "Easter Parade"
You'd Be Hard To Replace - "The Barkleys Of Broadway"
I Love Louisa - "The Band Wagon"
Baby Doll - "The Belle Of New York"
I Left My Hat In Haiti - "Royal Wedding"
A Shine On Your Shoes - "The Band Wagon"
It Only Happens When I Dance With You - "Easter Parade"
Seeing's Believing - "The Belle Of New York"
By Myself - "The Band Wagon"
Ev'ry Night At Seven - "Royal Wedding"
Shoes With Wings On - "The Barkleys Of Broadway"

Moods For Moderns - Charles Magnante


In The Still Of The Night

Moods For Moderns
Charles Magnante
World's Most Famous Accordionist and His Orchestra
Charles Magnante uses Excelsior Accordion, exclusively
Originated and Produced by Enoch Light
Recording by Robert Fine
Art Direction by Casper Pinsker, Jr.
Grand Awards Records GA 33-413

From the back cover: It is that extra little something that Charles Magnante has captured in creating these Moods For Moderns. You will hear it time and time again in the flavor of his arraignments, in the subtle and imaginative ways that he sets the scene for each selection in his introductions. You will hear it particularly in the way that Charles Magnante has teamed his accordion with Tony Mottola's guitar to produce a fresh sound that has that bubbling sparkle of fine champagne, propelled by the firm, pulsing rhythm laid down by Moe Wechsler on the piano, Bob Haggart on bass and Terry Snyder, drums.

The Continental 
Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto "Theme"
Begin The Beguine 
"Theme" From Polovetsian Dances
I Know That You Know
Night And Day
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto "Theme"
In The Still Of The Night

Accent On Dixieland - Pee Wee Erwin


Pagan Love Song

Accent On Dixieland
Pee Wee Erwin
Urania Record Corporation UJ 1202


Pee Wee Erwin - Trumpet
Andy Russo - Trombone
Sal Pace - Clarinet
Tony Spargo - Drums, Kazoo and Solo Whistling
Charlie Traeger - Bass
Billy Maxted - Piano

From the back cover: Monday night is 'off' night a Nick's, the jazz and steak emporium in Greenwich Village, and Pee Wee Erwin was sitting on the floor of his apartment listening to the test pressings of this record. When his left ear, (which was no more than 3 inches from the cone of a Hi-Fi speaker) had completely absorbed every sound and audible frequency he was ready to talk – first about the music that he'd heard, then about himself.

"I was born in Falls City, Nebraska, six miles off the Missouri River on May 30, 1913. When my father was discharged from the Army after World War I, he gave me a trumpet and I started to play jazz immediately – at four. My father was a trumpet player, and he played jazz. I can hardly remember when I haven't played the trumpet.

"I had my first professional engagement as a soloist with the radio station of the Kansas City Star on a program called "The Night Hawks" on Station WDAF in 1921. Because I was so young – playing jazz – I was thought a bit of a freak. I played with the Coon-Sanders Band, which was well known in Chicago, in 1922-23. From there a vaudeville act was built around me – I looked five when I was nine. I appeared on the Orpheum circuit."

"Ultimately I went to the West Coast and came East in 1931 with a band led by Joe Haymes, who was then the orchestrator for Ted Weems. This was the nucleus of Tommy Dorsey's Band. I then went with Isham Jones for two years, and then with Freddie Martin. I joined the Benny Goodman Band in 1935 who were playing on the "Let's Dance" program. During this time, Ray Noble arrived here from England, and Glenn Miller organized a band for him which eventually played at the Rainbow Room in New York City. Claude Thornhill, Will Bradley, Charlie Spivak and Glenn Miller were in the brass section and I played with both Benny Goodman and Ray Noble at the same time.

"In 1936 I went to California with Benny Goodman and made a movie called the Big Broadcast of 1937 for Paramount. On our way back East we stopped at the Congress Hotel in Chicago, and I stayed there with Benny until August and then joined Ray Noble in New York. At the beginning of 1937, after the Noble Band dissolved, I joined Tommy Dorsey. Every time Bunny Berrigan left them, both Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey would ask me to work for them; they considered me the closest thing to Berrigan. Bunny had mad "Marie" with Tommy Dorsey, and I made the sequels – "Who", "Yearning," etc. I must have made 50 sides with Tommy Dorsey Clambake Secen which was then Johnny Mintz, Bud Freeman, Carmen Mastren, Dave Tough, Gene Traxler and Howard Smith, (now the conductor of the Gary Moore show) and of course, Tommy. I stayed with Tommy until the Raymond Scott Quintet was organized and remained with Scott for a year."

"In 1940 I formed my own band – which was disbanded because of the war. Then I came back to New York and worked on radio on a freelance basis. At the end of the war I formed another band – a modern band. We had eighteen pieces and six vocalists. Red Rodney played trumpet, Tiny Kahn was on drums, Tony Aless on piano, Frank Sokolow, tenor sax; vocals by Dave Lambert, and orchestrations by George Handy and Mannie Albam. But I couldn't give this band away! Can you imagine that? I then decided to leave the modern field and went to Nick's in the Village. I have been at Nicks' off and on for six years, alternating with Napoleon Bonaparte. Outside of music I paint and am a hobbyist." (Pee Wee has made every piece of furniture in his apartment on 57th Street and Sixth Avenue.) "I have been painting now for about five years with as much vacillation in my painting as there is in my life. For example, I paint seascapes at Central Park. My tastes in jazz? Well, if I were on a desert island and could take only one record along, I would have any one of Louis Armstrong's better records with me – particularly Elder Eatmore's "Sermon On Gratitude."

The horn Pee Wee uses is a 65-year old French Besson and it has 13 patches. He uses it for a variety of musical chores including Dixieland jingles for egg noodle commercials.

According to Tony Spargo (originally Spabaro, who was the drummer with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in New Orleans), he is the only kazoo player in jazz. Red McKenzie has long been credited with the distinction. Tony contends, however, that McKenzie was unorthodox in this choice of instruments and did not use the genuine kazoo. Tony also whistles on the "Pagan Love Song."

Sal Pace: Has been five years at Nick's. A few years ago he had an Italian restaurant in White Plains and gave it up to play with Phil Napoleon.

Billy Maxted: Does all arranging for the band – in the "head arrangement" style. He played with Bob Crosby and Red Nicholas. Was a Navy Fighter Pilot during the war.

Charles Traeger: In his third year at the Columbia School of Engineering. He had played with Wild Bill Davidson.

Andy Russo: Back in the 20's had his own band at the Balconnade Ballroom, New York City, now the St. Nicholas Arena. He once hired Bix Beiderbecke and as a result the band was fired. Andy also played with Jimmy Dorey and with the Ruth Eating radio show along with Red Nichlos.  – Sidney Gross

From Billboard - January 28, 1956: This is the kind of Dixieland that brings the college trade year in, year out to Greenwich Village looking for Nick's and Eddie Condon's. Erwin and his cohorts evince little effort to hold a rigidly "authentic" style. Theirs is primarily designed to give the kids a stomping good time. Bill Maxted (who also did the arrangements) is on piano. Tony Spargo on drums and kazoo, Sal Pace on clarinet or Andy Russo on trombone. For latter day Dixielanders, an enjoyable session.

Washington And Lee Swing
Battle Hymn
Dixieland Shuffle
Pagan Love Song
I'm Confessing
Memphis Blues

George Gershwin - Paul Whiteman


Cuban Overture

Paul Whiteman and His Concert Orchestra
In A Program Of George Gershwin Music
Decca DL 8024

From Billboard - May 6, 1950: The association of Whiteman with Gershwin's writings should lend luster to this collection of four of the composer's serious works. Of course, Whiteman commissioned and initially performed the now famed "Rhapsody In Blue," which marked the first step in Gershwin's development as a major influence on American music, both serious and popular. Tho these recordings date back more than a dozen years and sound it, this disk, which is a recapitulation of a long-standing Decca best-selling shellac set, should attract more than moderate calls. Roy Bargy handles the piano parts on both Rhapsodies and Rosa Linda does the keyboard chore for the "Cuban Overtures."

Rhapsody In Blue - Roy Bargy at the Piano
Cuban Overture - Rosa Linda at the Piano
An American In Paris
Second Rhapsody - Ray Bargy at the Piano

Friday, May 20, 2022

Hillbilly Heaven - Eddie Dean


Impatient Blues

Hillbilly Heaven
Eddie Dean
Crown Records CLP 5258

I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven
Love The Way You Say It
Banks Of The Rio Grande
Impatient Blues
Tangled Lies
Iowa Rose
Walk Beside Me
Make Believe
Seeds Of Doubt
I Called And I Called
I Took The Blues Out Of Tomorrow

Swing Along With Jonah Jones



Swing Along With Jonah Jones
Pickwick / 33 PC 3008

From the back cover: In his long career as a trumpeter, he has played with the best – Fletcher Henderson, Stuff Smith, Lil Armstrong, Jimmy Lunceford, Benny Carter, Cab Calloway and Earl "Fatha" Hines. And now Jonah Jones can take his place in the front ranks of this select group of jazz personalities. – Herman Schoenfeld, Music Editor of Variety

Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White
Lisbon Antiqua
Soft Summer Breeze
Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home
Lonesome Road

Dave Brubeck And Jay & Kai At Newport


Take The "A" Train

Dave Brubeck and Jay & Kai
At Newport
Recorded in performance at the American Jazz Festival at Newport, R.I., on July 6, 1956
Columbia CL 932

From the back cover: Both groups presented material not yet heard by the Newport audience. This was one of the bounties bestowed on the crowd by most of the Columbia artists, who were asked to prepare fresh material because their programs were being recorded. The contrast to the usual practice of repeating the well-known recorded successes was a welcome change and one can only hope that all artists will do this in the future whether or not they are being recorded.

From Billboard - December 29, 1956: To one listener at Newport, the Brubeck set was a highlight, superior to much of the material on his earlier concert disks, mainly due to Paul Desmond's alto and to several interesting new originals. On disks, six months later, it sounds even better. As for the Jay and Kai set, George Avakian's editing has eliminated the goofs, and this too, sounds great. All told, this is a a jazz set that almost any modern collector will want to own. For name value and for musical merit, this one has what it takes.

The Dave Burbeck Quartet featuring Paul Desmond
In Your Own Sweet Way
Two-Part Conversation
Take The "A" Train
I'm In A Dancing Mood

The J.J. Johnson – Kai Winding Quintet
Lover Come Back To Me
True Blue Tromboniums

Precious Moments - The Blue Sky Boys


Precious Moments

Country-Sacred Bluegrass-Western-Old Time
International From Nashville, Tennessee
The Musical Heart Of America
Presents Precious Moments
With The Blue Sky Boys
Bill & Earl Bolick
Starday Records SLP 269

From the back cover: Bill and Earl wanted for many years to make an album of their most requested sacred songs. During August of 1963 they each gave up part of their vacation and came to the Starday Studios in Nashville to pick and sing together again after being out of the entertainment field for over 12 years. This album is the result.

Bill and Earl Bolick, who are brothers, were born and raised in and around Hickory, North Carolina. They started their entertainment careers at a radio station in Nashville, North Carolina in 1935. They later performed over radio stations in Atlanta, Georgia; Raleigh, North Carolina; Shreveport, Louisiana and various other stations throughout the South.

During World War II they both saw plenty of action in the U.S. Armed Forces. Bill saw action in the Philippines and Okinawa. Earl participated in the invasion of Normandy, the jump across the Rhine and the Battle Of The Bulge, as a paratrooper. Both boys needed their faith during these trying times.

In 1951, the boys decided to leave the entertainment field. Earl, who married in 1946, now lives with his wife and 2 children in Tucker, Georgia. Bill, who married in 1957, and his wife, now make their home in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Although they have not performed together for over 12 years, they found when they were together again that they could still make the same wonderful country harmony and music as before. With high fidelity sound equipment it is possible to bring back once again the wonderful music of the Blue Sky Boys on this outstanding collection of sacred songs.

We believe this album will bring a blessing to all who hear it and we invite Country Music fans throughout the world to share a few "Precious Moments" of sacred singing with the Blue Sky Boys. – Don Pierce, Starday Studios

Radio Station S-A-V-E-D
Why Should You Be Troubled And Sad
Precious Moments
My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
Come To The Savior
The Promise Of The Lord
The Last Mile Of The Way
God Is Still On The Throne
The ABC Song
Boat Of Life
Whispering Hope

Together Again! - The Blue Sky Boys


Don't Trade

From Nashville, Tennessee
The Musical Heart Of America
Together Again!
The Blue Sky Boys
Bill and Earl Bolick
Starday SLP 257

From the back cover: After an absence of 12 years from the Country Music scene, Bill and Earl Bolick, internationally famous as the Blue Sky Boys are "Together Again" as they made this great new album of country songs.

The Blue Sky Boys have a vast following resulting from their many hit recordings on the Bluebird and RCA Victor labels. They have a unique style of country harmony singing as they pick the mandolin and guitar together.

It was due to the consistent demand for Blue Sky Boys records that Starday issued an album from some old recordings during 1962, The response from Country Music fans was very enthusiastic and Bill and Earl were prevailed upon to spend part of their vacations in Nashville so that these new recordings could be made, in high fidelity sounds, at the Starday Studios, under the direction of Tommy Hill with "Hoss" Linneman assisting with the engineering.

Many of the most popular old songs that the Blue Sky Boys made famous several years ago are included in this album along with some newer songs that are suited for the Blue Sky Boys type of Country harmony. No effort was made to add any gimmicks to the original and authentic sound of the Blue Sky Boys.

The high fidelity sound equipment brings out the pure country sound in all its glory. Accompanying musicians were Tommy Vaden on fiddle, Pete Drake on steel guitar, Vic Williams on piano and Billy Linneman on Bass. Jerry Shook played electric lead and Harold Weekly played Drums.

Bill and Earl Bolick, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Garland H. Bolick, were reared in and around Hickory, North Carolina. They started their entertainment careers on radio station WWNC, at Asheville, North Carolina, back in 1935. Later they moved on to radio stations in Atlanta, Georgia; Raleigh, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina. When World War II came along Bill Bolick saw action in the Philippines and Okinawa. Earl Bolick participated in the invasion of Normandy, the jump across the Rhine, and The Battle of The Bulge, as a paratrooper.

After the war, the Blue Sky Boys continued their entertainment career in Atlanta, Georgia, Raleigh, N.C., Bristol, Virginia, and on the Louisiana Hayride at Shriveport, Louisiana.

In 1951 the boys left the field of entertainment. Earl now lives with his wife and two children in Tucker, Georgia, while Bill and his wife live in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Are You From Dixie
In The Pines
Don't Trade
The Little Paper Boy
Why Not Confess
The Wednesday Night Waltz
Just Because
Your Brand Will Remain On My Heart
Mommie, Will My Doggie Understand?
Sweetheart Mountain Rose
A Satisfied Mind