Search Manic Mark's Blog

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Perry Como - TV Favorites

Perry Como
TV Favorites
As Sung by Perry on His Chesterfield TV Show
RCA Victor LPM 3013

This 10 inch 33 1/3 sports a fabulous cover. The graphic promotes not only Perry Como, but RCA's table top set (17T200) in blond.

There is an awesome version of Summertime on this album.

Percussive Oompah

Mack The Knife
Percussive Oompah
Hofbrauhaus! Stimmung!
Rudi Bohn and His Band
Phase 4 In Stereo
London SLE 14 400 Ex

A "percussive" Oompah album?

All the London Phase 4 albums I have in the collection come in nice heavy book-fold jackets that feature glossy covers. This jacket is a gatefold, but printed on thin stock in the European style of the period. The disk features a Telefunken label as shown above.

Liechtensteiner Polka
Trink', Trink', Brüderlein Trink'
Too Fat Polka
O Du Lieber Augustin
Pennsylvania Polka
Mack The Knife
Accordion Joe
The Happy Wanderer
Beer Barrel Polka
In München Steht Ein Hofbrauhaus
Auf Wiederseh'n Sweetheart

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Randy Rayder In Outer Space

Randy Rayder In Outer Space
Produced and Scripted by R. J. Clarkson
Continental Production Company, North Hollywood, California

This is a book-fold jacket that features a fold out comic book styled insert so that you can follow the disc story in pictures.

Latin Boss Senor Ros

Jet Plane
Latin Boss Senor Ros
Edmundo Ros And His Orchestra
Phase 4 Stereo
London SP 44073

Also check out Arriba a quirky offering, which apparently, came quick on the heels of this release.

The two albums feature the same basic formula, slightly quirky instrumentals including one or two odd vocal tracks that, I assume, features Ros singing.

The engineering is excellent.

Paul Mauriat - Listen Too!

It's Not Unusual
Listen Too!
The Fabulous Paul Mauriat Orchestra
Philips Records PHS 600-197

Here is another Mauriat easy album that features a graphically dynamic cover art.

Read more about Paul Mauriat on

Light, fun and just a touch quirky.

Starlight Serenade - Morton Gould

Starlight Serenade
Morton Gould And His Orchestra
Columbia Records CL 664

Easy listening from Morton Gould. Downloads are available from usual sources. I recommend the track, Speak Low.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Mystic Mood Orchestra - Extensions

The Mystic Moods Orchestra
Philips PHS 600-301

This was the 17th "Moods" release. The April 19, 1969 Billboard "spotlighted" the album saying: Their (Moods) revolutionary sound in music will again prove to be another sales giant.

Mystic Moods sets blend natural sound effects, easy listening, 60 pop and quirky arrangements. The albums are like concept projects even though popular tunes are covered. On this album your will find a beautiful cover of The Beatles Norwegian Wood. And there is also a cover of Mac Arthur Park on the B side that is totally outrageous!

The Bossa Nova Beat!

Si Zentner And His Orchestra Play Desafinado
The Bossa Nova Beat!
An S. W. Production
Arrangements: Bob Florence
Engineer: Dave Hassinger
Cover Design: Studio Five
Photo: Robert W. Young
Liberty LST-7273

From Billboard - November 17, 1962: Bright and tightly swinging performances of a flock of tunes in bossa nova rhythm including the current hit "Desafinado," by the big-sounding Zentner crew. Also included are "Caravan," "Midnight Sun," "Maria" and "Star Eyes." Could move to bossa nova fans.

Quizas, Quizás, Quizás (Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps)
Speak Low
Midnight Sun
Bernie's Tune
Oso Blanco
Come Closer To Me
Star Eyes
Lisbon Antigua

Sears Golden Strings - Be My Love & Other Love Songs

Stairway To The Stars
Sears Golden Strings
Be My Love & Other Love Songs

This is the second Sears produced LP I've found. My first find (Golden Voices In Hollywood) was a bit of a treasure because Sears tried to cover pop songs with studio vocalists. That release was a campy 60s disaster. Sears, however, left the vocals off this release and gifted us with a straight forward and smooth mood set.

The Sears price was $1.49.


From Russia With Love
Edmundo Ros And His Orchestra
London Phase 4 Stereo SP 44080

Here is an album sporting a great cover and excellent Phase 4 Stereo engineering. Musically it a quirky mix of light pop songs, including covers of Get Me To The Church On Time and Hello Dolly.

Heart Of Spain

Ravel's Bolero
Heart Of Spain
Santiago & Silver Strings
Coronet Records CX-123

Here's a festive cover on a budget record. The music is straight forward easy listening. Ravel's Bolero has a touch of "rose clenched between the teeth" feel to it, but that's about it.

The Singing Zither

Jingle Bells/Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer
The Singing Zither
Christmas & Old Time Hymns
Willie Dittrich
Jim Loyd Presents (WMT Radio, Cedar Rapids, Iowa)

Here's a fun private press album found today at one of the thrifts I frequent.

From the back cover: The Singing Zither belongs to Willie Dittrich of the Amana Colonies in Iowa (Homestead, Iowa).

Although none of the venues are named, Dittrich played at least one local restaurant as well as other local venues including "one of eastern Iowa's local television programs."

Superstar Guitar - Tony Mottola

Spinning Wheel
Tony Mottola
Superstar Guitar
Project 3 PF 5062SD

This is an Enoch Light label release. Mottola made a number of albums for Light. The arrangements on this set are just quirky enough to hold the attention. Check out Spinning Wheel! Mottola manages to make something out of this song.

There are some great tunes on this album including a solo cover of a blend of Yesterdays/Yesterday by Harbach/Lennon.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Supersonics In Flight - Billy Mure

Supersonics In Flight
Billy Mure
RCA Victor LSP-1869

This is one of my favorite space age covers that features a Grumman F11F-1 Tiger.

This album is a follow up to Mure's excellent Fireworks LP. I also have a blog post up featuring Mure's work on Blue Hawaii.

Tracks from this album are available online. I suggest Flaming Guitar as a download.

Excellent space age pop with awesome supersonic guitar playing!

Read more about Billy Mure on

Songs Of Christmas

Songs Of Christmas
The Norman Luboff Choir
Columbia CL 926

Great vintage cover on this album.

Moon Of Manakoora

Hawaiian War Chant
Moon Of Manakoora
Lush Strings
Custom Records CM 2006 Monaural

Saul Bihari, head of Crown Records, announced in a 1965 issue of Billboard a "new label" called Custom. Custom would feature his answer to Living Strings and be sold at discount prices ($1.98 or less). Recordings would be made domestically and in Europe.

There are a number of Lush Strings albums out there, including a few with interesting titles such as Spellbound and Ebb Tide.

This album is fully orchestrated mood that features some nice vocal touches to give the music a hint of tropical mysteriousness. However, I picked a nice dramatic cover of Hawaiian War Chant to feature as the sample above.

Ghostly Sounds

Ghostly Sounds
Peter Pan 8125

Narrated by Peter Waldron. Produced by Gershon Kingsley.

This halloween record really isn't scary and the cover isn't all that garish but the album was a fun listen. Each side is like a weird electronic mini-opera with sparse narration.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Ping Pong Percussion - Chuck Sagle And His Orchestra

The Sheik Of Araby
Ping Pong Percussion
Chuck Sagle And His Orchestra
Conductor: Chuck Sagle
Photo: Don Hunstein
Epic BN 568

The second jacket variations (above) features the price printed on the cover.


Clarinet – Phil Olivella (tracks: B1, B2, B4, B6)
Clarinet, Oboe, Flute, Piccolo Flute – Phil Bodner (tracks: A1-A6, B3, B5)
Double Bass – George Duvivier
Guitar – Barry Galbraith (tracks: A1-A6, B3, B5), Mundell Lowe (tracks: B1, B2, B4, B6)
Percussion – Archie Freedman* (tracks: A1, A3 to A5, B1, B2, B4, B6), Bob Rosengarten (tracks: B1, B2, B4, B6), Harry Breuer (tracks: A1 to A6, B3, B5), Jimmy Crawford (tracks: B1, B2, B4, B6), Joe Venuto (tracks: A1, A3 to A5), Marty Grupp* (tracks: A1 to A6, B3, B5), Phil Krause* (tracks: A2, A6, B3, B5), Ted Sommers*, Warren Hard, Willie Rodriguez
Piano – Moe Wechsler
Saxophone [Tenor], Flute, Bass Clarinet – Al Klink (tracks: A1-A6, B3, B5)
Trombone – Harry DaVito* (tracks: A1, A3 to A5), Lou McGarity (tracks: A2, A6, B3, B5)
Trumpet – Doc Severinson* (tracks: A1-A6, B3, B5), Johnny Glasel* (tracks: B1, B2, B4, B6)

From Billboard - June 16, 1960: The success of the Enoch Light percussion albums has led to much recording activity in this field. This is in that groove – and it's a mighty good album at that. It features percussion with guitars, played by top musicians and recorded beautifully in stereo. The arrangements by Al Caiola are Smart, and the packaging is excellent. Tunes include "Gone With The Wind," "Just In Time," "Charleston" and Early Autumn."

Who's Sorry NowThe Sheik Of Araby
For Me And My Gal
How Come You Do Me Like You Do
My Honey's Lovin' Arms
When The Saints Go Marching In
Make Love To Me
Cuddle Up A Little Closer
Stars Fell On Alabama
Muskrat Ramble
Someday Sweetheart
High Society

Club 15

Club 15

Club 15 was a construct of The Campbell Soup Company. Club 15 was an "exercise club" for teenage girls. A former olympic gymnast and coach, Muriel Davis Grossfeld was contracted through a New York advertising firm, BBD&O to travel the country visiting schools and teach exercises to teenage girls.

I think the album was made in 1968 or 69 or shortly after Muriel did coaching chores for the U.S. Women's Gymnastics Team came back from Mexico City. Read more here.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Sounds Of Terror!

The Exorcism
Sounds Of Terror!
Written by Frank Daniel. Produced by Wade Denning.
Pickwick International SPC-5104

This is a great sound "effects" record! Out of all the "haunted house" albums I've listened to the production values on this record are, by far, the highest. I think kids listening to this might actually get a fright out of it. The tracks are sort of like mini-stories with a brief spoken word introductions followed by a rich blend of sound effects. Your imagination will then take over finish the story of terror. Great stuff.

Buddy Johnson - Rock 'N Roll

Rock 'N Roll
Buddy Johnson And His Orchestra
Wing MGW 12005

From the back cover: So don't try to sit back and relax because your feet won't let you and your ears will agree." That's a awkward sentence if I do say so. But you get the drift that this is a rocking album. The cover is misleading, designed to look white in a effort to do crossover sales.

The vocal treatments, by both Buddy and Ella Johnson and Ricky Harper and Gil Askey are smoking.

Hawaii - Henry Mancini

Music Of Hawaii
Henrhy Mancini
His Orchestra And Chorus
RCA Victor LSP-3713

This album falls about in the middle of Mancini's discography. This album is a bit lighter then his earlier work, but there are still plenty of those Mancini musical twists and turns to keep you engaged.

Hawaiian War Chant, the first track on the B side is especially cool.

Man From Interpol

Man From Interpol
Top Rank RS 627

Soundtrack by Tony Crombie, an accomplished jazz drummer and composer from the UK. The TV series, starring Richard Wyler, that was purchase by NBC in 1960.

This is very cool space age lounge/jazz that happens to available on CD.

Dance To The Magic Of Billy Daniels

Dance To The Magic Of Billy Daniels
Golden Tone 9644 S

Here's a Billy Daniels album sporting a graphically sweet cover.

Daniels was an active singer in the United States from the mid-1930s to 1986, two years before his death. Read about Daniels on his widipedia page.

This is a rocking lounge styled record with some pretty peppy electric guitar breaks. Downloads are available online. I Found A New Baby would be the sample track I would download for a listen.


Czech Philharmonic Orchestra
Conducted By Zdenek Chalabala
Parliment PLP 103

Budget release with a cool exotic cover.