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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Muriel Millard - Show Biz

Le Bonheur, C'est Ca
Muriel Millard
Show Biz
Venus Records VL 315
Distributed In Canada By London Records

Here was have a yard sale find. The album jacket cover is in English but the back cover and label are in French with the exception of the last track on the B side, Show Biz (which, oddly enough... is sung in French).

Millard is a club, or cabaret performer. According to an online Canadian Encyclopedia, Millard wrote most of her songs after 1960. So, perhaps she wrote the songs on this LP.

Kaleidoscope - Les Baxter His Orchestra And Chorus

Instrumental Varieties By Les Baxter His Orchestra And Chorus
Capitol Records T594

At first glance, I never suspected this album to be 1955 vintage. The quality of the cover design seems more early "60s" to me.

"Kaleidoscope, Instrumental Varieties" is a nice way to label an album that contains songs that are not "thematically" consistent. There are "easy listening" tracks mixed in with the more atmospheric "exotica" tracks.

The album kicks off with a nice cover of Tropicana. The B side is more "mood" capped off by a fab tune titled Atlantis.

The Enchanted World Of Ferrante & Teicher

The Enchanted World Of Ferrante & Teicher
United Artists UAL 3375

This is an excellent album full of mood atmosphere that appeared in the June 6, 1964 Billboard Pop Spotlight Picks with the following blurb: Messrs, Ferrante & Teicher continue to make beautiful music even more beautiful with their dual pianos. Back by a large orchestra, big arrangements and an impressive list of songs, it all adds up to first-rate entertainment.

Soundblast - Ferrante And Teicher

Ferrante And Teicher
Westminster WP 6041

This is a re-release of Soundproof (1956). According to this is the mono release of the stereo re-release of Soundproof (same songs). I will assume the the stereo version of Soundproof features the same songs as the mono version of Soundproof. Confusing.

Both LPs feature collectible jacket art.

And this is an excellent LP that features experimental sound throughout.

I recently found a full color version of the jacket as seen above. I can only assume that jacket is the original release followed by the monochromatic cover version

Cugat Cavalcade

Cugat Cavalcade
Xavier Cugat And His Orchestra
Columbia CL 1094

This is an excellent space age cover and album by Cugat. Of course, I have yet to run across a Cugat album that I don't like. He has a way of making most songs sound hip.

There are great covers of Brazil and Tico-Tico on this album.

Friday, August 27, 2010

David Rose And His Orchestra

David Rose And His Orchestra
HI FIddles
MGM Records E3481

David Rose was married to Judy Garland for about four years (divorced in 1944).

I don't see this album listed on the several online discographies of Rose's work. There are mentions of the LP here and there and you can find the album in a 1957 MGM Billboard display ad.

This is a nice space age, bachelor pad set that features light, hip and fun music. There may be better songs on the record... but no better title can be had. Satan And The Polar Bear appears as track 3 on the B side!

It's to bad for me that you can buy this song as a download on Amazon. I'd love to share it.

Allen Hanlon Picks Leroy Anderson

Allen Hanlon Picks LeRoy Anderson
Golden Crest CR 3012

From Billboard Magazine May 6, 1957: LeRoy Anderson tunes like Sleigh Ride, Syncopated Clock, etc. are well known enough but they are better suited to bigger and more colorful ork groups than that obtained by multi-track guitar disking. Hanlon's technique is tops but it doesn't add up to much of a commercial LP package. Cover seems to have little connection with the contents.

I was going to say that...

I do love the cover, but there isn't much relation to content. And use of multi-track recording didn't help fatten up the sound. The audio on most tracks sounds thin and restrained. Serenata, track 3 on the B side, features a touch of personality.

African Safari - 101 Strings

The Trek Back
African Safari By Edmund De Luca
The Activity And Excitement Of An Actual Big Game Hunt!
101 Strings
Alshire S-5171

Port Pangani
Bantu Village
Mt. Kilimanjaro
The Trek
The Chase And Kill
The Trek Back
Polovtsian Dances
From "Prince Igor"
Manuel de Falla
Ritual Fire Dance

Dance With Xavier Cugat

Bim Bam Bum

Dance With Xavier Cugat
Xavier Cugat
Columbia CL 537

From the back cover: Born in Spain, Cugat moved with his family to Cuba as a youngster, and studied the violin with great acumen. After several important engagements with local orchestras, he came to the United States and went on tour as an assisting artist with Enrico Caruso. Then, suddenly deciding music was not for him, he became a cartoonist on a Los Angeles newspaper, developing the style that is even today one of the most trenchant and recognizable around. But even the lively atmosphere of a newspaper office could not keep the irrepressible Cugat contented, and her returned to  music on a somewhat different level. He organized a small group of instrumentalists with the modest intention of supplying relief music for regular orchestras. His success, however, was even more modest then his intention, and several lean years followed. Then, suddenly, people began to learn the dances he was playing, to become fascinated by the orchestration, by the exotic rhythms, and the Cugat bandwagon was under way. For years his orchestra was a fixture at the Waldorf-Astoria in New York, his records were best-sellers, he appeared on the radio, in theaters and in the movies. As each successive dance came along – the rhumba, the conga, the samba, the mambo – he helped in pioneering its acceptance, and became one of the most successful maestros in the business.

Rhumba: Oye Negra
Tango: El Choclo
Conga: Cuba Libre
Beguine: Begin The Beguine
Mambo: El Barijuano
Paso-doble: Touradas en Madrid
Afro-Cuban: Babalu - Vocals by Miguelito Valdez
Guaracha: Bim Bam Bum
Bolero: Nightingale
Samba: Good, Good, Good
Habanera: I'll Never Love Again - Vocals by Dinah Shore
Mexican Hat Dance: Jarabe Tapatio

Thursday, August 26, 2010

An Hour Of Piano Dance Music - Frank Froeba

An Hour Of Piano Dance Music
Nat Brandwynne And His Orchestra
Frank Froeba at The Piano
Allegro/Royale 1285

Here we have another great vintage cover. This is a two color print job, red and silver metallic ink (reflective ink) which is unusual.

Allegro jackets on their 12 inch records were constructed differently then all other 12 inch jackets, slightly smaller and printed on heavier cardboard. Many sported engaging designs.

This is an "Allegro" labeled jacket with a "Royale" labeled record inside. Royale's catalog consisted of re-releases of Allegro Records.

Froeba was a house pianist for Decca in the 1930s and 40s.

The record starts off with some very standard 30s sounding band backed dance tunes but then and thankfully, transitions to some nice light jazz (not at all "dance" music) which Froeba is better known for. These inconsistencies are common on this label. They pressed what they could beg, barrow or steal.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Topicana - Monty Kelly

Bali Hai
Monty Kelly
Somerset P-7300
Miller International Co.

This is an excellent early exotica flavored LP. I also ran across this set sporting the same jacket design on a site featuring Essex label releases. The catalog number is ESLP-203. A 1955 release.

A 1953 Billboard article explains that Kelly signed a two year non-exclusive contract with Essex to make 32 non-exclusive instrumental sides. The tune Tropicana, from this album, was done to full fill part of this contract.

At some point Kelly went to work for Somerset as a staff arranger. He worked on 101 Strings albums composing at least 50 tunes according to a 1967 Billboard article (Monty Kelly And The Soul Series).

The article goes on to point out that Kelly showed devotion to all types of music and was prolific.

I don't see Kelly listed on This surprises me after listening to this LP and reading the Billboard article. Kelly seems like a good fit.

About half this album can be found on a CD collection (Bali Hai excluded) titled "The Golden Age Of Light Music: Great American Light Orchestras".

Christmas With Chippy The Chipmunk

Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
Chirstmas With Chippy The Chipmunk
Silver Seal UT-1006
Premier Albums

This is a great album cover. Chippy is a two color (red & white) print on embossed die cut foil and then applied to the cover, like a sticker.

I can find almost no mention of this album online. At first, I thought that this may be a rip off of the "real" Chipmunks. It is and maybe worse is than that the Chipmunk Song found on this record is an direct copy of the Ross Bagdasarian song released in 1958. I'm not a Chipmunk scholar... but I don't think the other tracks are direct copies. They seem to be far more budget basement chipmunks. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town is not a copy.

Sounds To Make You Shiver!

Sounds To Make You Shiver
Black&White SPC-5101
Product of JKL Entertainment Productions

This album is a great collectable for the lurid and garish cover art.

Side one, A Night In A Haunted House is one long wind storm with other FX thrown in. At one point there is even a little music which is nice. The recording drifts and the use of FX is sparse making this a good recording for use in other audio projects or for video presentations.

Side two has some nice creepy sound effects. Phantom Piano is very cool.

I think this is a re-release of a Pickwick album (same cover art, but no "Pickwick" logo). The album may also have been released on the SOMA label. I've seen the album on another blog sporting the same name but with a different and very fun cover imagine.

Songs From Sesame Street

Yellow Submarine
Songs From Sesame Street
Another Peter Pan Original
Peter Pan 8092

Here is another incredible Peter Pan record. A while back I featured a Peter Pan "Disney" knock off record. On that record Peter Pan used illustrations on the jacket that looked like very much like Disney characters. I don't know how they got away with infringing on the Disney brand.

Now I find this "Sesame Street" album. Interestingly enough, this album is labeled "Another Peter Pan Original" while at the bottom of the cover (out of the frame on my scan) there is a line of copy: Not affiliated with the T.V. program "Sesame Street". At the same time, the back cover is loaded with copy explaining the actual T.V. program mentioning Jim Henson and actual character names.

The songs are by the "Peter Pan Orchestra and Chorus". For the most part, the sound is total early and not so great 70s adult easy listening. Any kid who thought he was going to hear The Cookie Monster sing a song was in for a hugh disappointment.

Apparently, according to the back jacket, the song "Yellow Submarine" (not this version, of course) was actually used on shows number 17, 62 and 102.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Sound For A Picture Evening

Gay Party
Sound For A Picture Evening
Popular Photography

This an LP marketed by Popular Photography magazine. I'm assuming sales were largely made through advertising in found in the magazine.

There is a Capitol Records logo on the record label.

Apparently, the record was made to accompany home movies and slide shows. There are a variety of easy listening selections and some sound effects with suggestions as to what type of slide show the track would best work with. Gay Party, for instance, "fits just about any party".

Doin' The Twist - The Twisters

Twister's Blues
Doin' The Twist
The Twisters
Treasure TLP 890

I can not find any information on who The Twisters were. Treasure Records, as far as I can tell from the back cover, was a budget label operating out of Mount Vernon, New York.

The "Peppermint Lounge" is mentioned, as an advertising gimmick on the front cover. This dates the album to 1960 - 62 when the Twist fad was in full swing.

David Carroll - Let's Dance Again

David Carroll And His Orchestra
Let's Dance Again
Mercury SR 60152

Many of Carroll's album covers are bold cheesecake fun.

The music isn't great 60s cheese or good space age pop. Curiously, there is one track on this LP that gets the exotica/space age pop job done nicely. Swamp Fire, is very cool and sounds strangely out of place amongst the sugar coated white bread "dance" tunes.

Monday, August 23, 2010

The Mellow Guitar Moods Of Los Indios Tabajaras

Nunca - Lovely Weather - St. Louis Blues
The Mellow Guitar Moods Of Los Indios Tabajaras
RCA Victor LPS-2959

Wonderful space age pop album by brothers from The Tabajara tribe of Northern Brazil who created a night club act around Brazilian and Latin folk songs.

Real information is lacking as RCA was careful to package the duo as they saw fit. As an exotic act.

They charted a Top 10 album with their first RCA release, Maria Elena. The novelty worn off and their next release barely dented the Top 100. This album is their third RCA Victor effort. Apparently, however, their records sales were such that RCA would continue to produced as many as 18 more Indios LPs into the 1980s.

Needless to say, St. Louis Blues is not a Latin folk song. I post the sample because it is a unique cover of that tune. I found a Los Indios "best of" CD on Amazon (a pricey import) that includes two songs from this LP, Amor and Angelitos Negros.  Much of their music, however, can only be found on vinyl.

Broadway Latin America Party - Freddie Sateriale's Big Band Cha Cha Chas

Everyday Is Ladies' Day Meringue
Smoke Gets In Your Eyes Cha Cha Cha
Freddie Sateriale's Big Band Cha Cha Chas
Merengues & Mambos
Broadway Latin America Party
Spinorama Records S-22

Very little information to be found on this album or artist. The jacket design looks to be early 60s (after Enoch Light's Command Label jacket designs). I think this LP may be the stereo release of an earlier Spinorama release, MK-3038.

Nice clean basic space age big band Cha Cha.

Learning Basic Skills Through Music - Volume II - Partners

Learning Basic Skills Through Music
Volume II
Educational Activities AR 552

Learning Basic Skills Through Music - Volume II

Let's Dance
Learning Basic Skills Through Music
Volume II
Educational Activities AR 522

Sounds like Palmer mixed a a touch of The Beatles into Let's Dance. The lesson? Learn the basic skill set necessary for getting down with your bad self of course!

Learning Basic Skills Through Music - Vocabulary

Kinds Of Food
Learning Basic Skills Through Music
Original Words & Music By Hap Palmer
Educational Activities AR 521

Panic The Son Of Shock

Panic The Son Of Shock
The Creed Taylor Orchestra
Compositions By Kenyon Hopkins
ABC Paramount

Creed Taylor's follow up to his great album titled SHOCK.

From the back cover: One point first: if you think, upon first hearing it, that this album is simply a kind of Muzak for morticians, you may disqualify yourself right from the start. It's a free country.

Side one on this LP seems to lack the atmosphere I was expecting. It seems a bit too "Spike Jones" for me. That is, with the exception the 5th track titled Out Of This World. This song has a great 50s science fiction feel to it and end unexpectedly with dogs barking.

Side two plays for me much better. The tracks are titled Heartaches, Rain Alpine Honeymoon, A Shot In The Dark, The Fastest Gun and No Smoking. They are moody, atmospheric and quirky.

Learning Basic Skills Through Music

What Are You Wearing?
Learning Basic Skills Through Music Volume 1
Original Words & Music By Hap Palmer
Educational Activities AR 514