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Friday, December 9, 2011

Swingin' Things From 101 Strings - Don Costa

Street Scene
Swingin' Things From 101 Strings
Scored by Don Costa
Alshire S-5055

Fun space age cover and good musical stuff.

Percussion In Velvet - Bobby Christian

Percussion In Velvet
Bobby Christian
Westminster WST 15046

This is a terrific album featuring colorful cover art. I believe that I blogged the shorter track from side one, The Japanese Temple in this post: Nothing But Percussion Vol. 2. Side one from this album was reproduced on that record.

So I'll feature, as my sample track, an outstanding tune from side two. Enjoy!

Midnight On Cloud 69 - George Shearing and Red Norvo's Trio

Midnight On Cloud 69
George Shearing Quintet and Red Norvo's Trio
Savoy Record Co. Inc., Newark, New Jersey

From the May 27, 1957 issues of Billboard magazine: If shown, should sell well to jazz browser, and particularly to collectors. I guess "If shown..." wasn't a given considering the suggestive cover.

Available for purchase/download so I will not be posting a sample. Sorry!

Nice period space age jazz.

The Torch Is Burning - Franklyn MacCormack

Easy Come, Easy Go Lover
The Torch Is Burning
The Poetic Voice Of Franklyn MacCormack
With Russ Garcia And His Orchestra
Liberty LRP 3086

If you were expecting to hear this lovely cover model sing... that's not gonna happen. This is a fun oddball recording featuring long time Chicago radio personality Franklyn MacCormack.  All of the songs are instrumentals over which MacCormack reads the lyrics.

I believe this is the only album MacCormack made. I'll include the notes from the back cover as MacCormack's wiki page doesn't contain some of the info.

For over twenty years Franklyn MacCormack's poetry has been featured on all four major radio networks. Outstanding were such programs as "Poetic Melodies", "Nocturne, The Readings of Franklyn MacCormack", "Shades of Blue", "Memories of You" and others, known from coast to coast. An indication of his tremendous appeal to people in all walks of life was his average mail – from ten to fifteen thousand letters a month.

Born in Waterloo, Iowa, one of five children, Franklyn forsook a college education for the theater. His association with Wayne King, one of the great band leaders of the early days of radio, lasted for twelve years. During this time he recorded his famous "Melody of Love" with the Waltz King, which has sold over two million copies to date.

Mr. MacCormack was a member of the WBBM radio staff in Chicago from 1932 until 1939. He free-lanced until his return toWBBM-TV in 1954.

Whether you know him for his radio and television shows, recordings or motion pictures, we are sure you will be pleased that we have brought Franklyn MacCormack into your home again, with all the poetry, nostalgia and passion for which his voice is so famous.

Russ Garcia would go on to make one of my favorite albums on Liberty in 1959 titled Fantastica.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Rue Barcley And The Wanders

Old Rugged Cross

Rue Barcley And The Wanders
Rural Rhythm Records - Arcadia, California

This record came in a blank jacket with the record catalog number stamped on the front and the record company catalog printed on the back.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Julie Wilson At The St. Regis

Julie Wilson At The St. Regis
Vik LX-1118

From by "bad habits" album cover collection. The stunning Julie Wilson drinking and smoking... in that red dress.

Available on CD so I won't be posting a sample. The songs are of the suggestive lounge/cabaret variety.

Taboo - The Exotic Sounds Of Arthur Lyman

The Exotic Sounds Of Arthur Lyman
Arrangements by Arthur Lyman and Paul Conrad
Cover Photo by Werner Story
HIFI Record R806

Available from online vendors so I will not be posting a sample. Presented here to share the cover art.

Highly recommended exotica set followed a year and a number of albums later by Taboo Vol. 2.

From the back cover: The sounds of Authur Lyman recorded in Henry J. Kaiser's Aluminum Dome, outside the Hawaiian Village Hotel in Honolulu, contrasted the native and the modern. The group, their instruments of sound, and their music, are native, pulsatingly primitive, often eerie. The Aluminum Dome is unmistakably modern, the product of 20th Century construction genius. Arthur Lyman plays vibes, marimba, and percussions of all kinds, having learned from his Hawaiian father since age 6. John Kramer plays bass, ukulele, guitar, flute, clarinet and percussions. Alan Soares is pianist, plays celeste, guitar and percussions. Harold Chang is a percussion virtuosos and plays xylophone. The bird sounds heard are from actual birds, with some imitative bird calls by Lyman and Kramer. Arthur Lyman's group entertains enthusiastic listeners in the Tiara Room at the Hawaiian Village Hotel where they now appear nightly.

Kaiser's Aluminum Dome is a half sphere, seating about 1,500 persons is used for live entertainment and movie showings. Its ingenious simplicity of structural design and ideal sound form suggest its wider use for low cost auditoriums of pleasing space-age appearance. We chose this place for our recording because the half sphere shape has no "peaks" and allows a pleasing "easy" sound reproduction with natural room acoustical reverberation. As you listen you will hear the unique effects produced by moving percussions, giving a certain sound perspective with intrigues. Oh, yes, the ocean sounds heard are real. Pacific salt waves. Native cries are, well, weird but real.

Also from the back cover: Perfect sound reproduction was achieved with 3 AKG Austrian microphones, a custom built Ampex 3-track 1/2" magnetic tape stereographic recorder, and later painstaking processing, using a scully automatically variable pitch lathe with the latest Wetrex cutting head to make the master disc.

From Billboard - March 17, 1958: A hit of several high fidelity shows, this package is must material for sound afficionados. Arthur Lyman's exotic sounds, bongos, timbale, Chinese gong, conch shell, wood blocks etc. make this a masterpiece of engineering skill and top musicianship. Music is essentially Hawaiian-Polynesian. The sounds generate an aura of being there. Will sell on first hearing

Ringo Oiwake
Sea Breeze
China Clipper
Sim Sim
Katsumi Love Theme
Akaka Falls
Dahil Sayo
Hilo March

Pagan Love Song - Billy Ward

Pagan Love Song
Billy Ward Orchestra and Chorus
Liberty LRP 3113

Great period exotica album jacket design. However, the musical style is more traditional big band/broadway.

Cha Cha Cha - Art Mooney And His Big Band

Cha Cha Cha
Art Mooney And His Big Band
Coronet Records CXS 138

Who's Sorry Now
Ole Jamaica
I Let A Song Out Of My Heart
Midnight Breeze
Hands Across The Table
Shine On Harvest Moon
Chi Chi Castenato
Glow Worm
In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree

Cha Cha Cha
Art Mooney
Promenade Records 2218

From the back cover: Art Mooney was born in Lowell, Massachusetts. However, his family soon moved to Detroit where Art grew up. His father was a member of the police force there and Art Mooney went to a technical high school in Detroit to study to become a linotype operator. He took to the saxophone immediately and soon got a group of his high school friends together and started a band. This group played all the local school dances around the city.

After graduation, Art Mooney gave up the idea of music and pursued his career as a linotype operator. However, he wasn't on the job very long when he started to dabble in music in his spare time. Soon Art got odd jobs playing his sax at night with local bands and he began to love it and started thinking about a band of his own. He got his first opportunity when, as a linotype operator, he was to set up an ad announcing the engagement of one of the top bands of the time; instead Art Mooney inserted his own name and, although he was fired from the job, he felt it was a good break for him because it gave him a chance to try his luck in the music world. He formed a band and started on the road but soon was drafted in the Army.

For three and a half years Art Mooney conducted the Miami Beach Air Corps band and when he was released from service he had already made a name for himself through his record hits of "Roll Out The Barrel" and "I've Been Working On The Railroad." He then organized a band and was waiting for the big chance when he finally got a two week engagement at the New York's Lincoln and Edison Hotels; the engagement extended itself for eight months. From this date, Art won a radio network contract and his future was made.

Cha Cha Cha
Art Mooney
Diplomat Records FM 45

Dwana S-45

Cha Cha Cha
With Art Mooney
Produced by Henry LaPidus
Bandleader Series Vol. 2
Spinorama MK 3079 & S-45

Monday, December 5, 2011

Broadway Spectacular - The Broadway Theater Orchestra

Good Morning Starshine
The Impossible Dream
Broadway Spectacular
The Broadway Theater Orchestra
Premier Albums 1003

Weird and obscure budget album. Weird, because there is no rhyme nor reason for the blend of styles featured. Check out the lounge version of The Impossible Dream. Wow! They pressed whatever they had on the shelf.

Keyboard Kaleidoscope - Dick Hyman

Keyboard Kaleidoscope
Dick Hyman
Performed on the Lowrey Organ
Originated and Produced by Enoch Light
Art Director Charles E. Murphy
Command Records RS 33-875

Discotheque Doll
Fiddler On The Roof
Who Can I Turn To (When Nobody Needs Me)
Under Paris Skies
Love Me Do
It Kinda Makes Yuh Wonder
How Dry I Am
Deep In My Heart Dear
Nice 'N' Easy
Some Day My Prince Will Come
That's A Plenty

The Exciting Mambo - Ramon Marquez

The Exciting Mambo
Ramon Marquez And His Orchestra
International Records LP 5065

Some of the tunes from this album may or may not be available online. The name of the albums the available tunes are said to come from don't match up with this LP. Nice jacket graphic. The music is a somewhat tame by comparison.


Thank Heaven For Little Girls
Arranged And Conducted By Gordon Fleming
Golden Tone C4035

Fantastic "bad habits" album cover.

Thank heaven for little girls... bad little girls who are about to drink too much...

Popular Science Project 3 Test Record

Sample from side two
Side 1
Side 2
Project 3
Popular Science Test Record
To Set Up/Calibrate/Check Out Quadraphonic System
Total Sound PR401 SQ

Popular Science Magazine promotion produced by Enoch Light and Jess Hest. Side one of this record features a variety of "tests".  Jumped to side two and listen to the music. All I can say is that all "stereo" records should sound this good! Light's engineering was always superb! The sound is amazing.

The Birchwood Pops Orchestra

He (She) Dance With Me - Waltz theme from The Slipper And The Rose
The Birchwood Pops Orchestra
Pickwick SPC-3581

Wow... Pickwick produced some fun stuff for a budget label. Most of what you may have collected from Pickwick probably doesn't surprise all that much. However this Pickwick LP is unique somehow.

The first two tracks, Evergreen, from A Star Is Born and Car Wash include vocals (hard to believe stuff). But then the album shifts gears and goes into the trippy waltz (that I've posted above). Gonna Fly Now, the theme from Rocky is a cheese synth number which is sandwiched between other more straight forward orchestrated numbers that are nice light pop mood setting tracks.

The engineering is some of the best I've heard from Pickwick.

The Nearness Of You - Dan & Dale

Stella By Starlight
The Nearness Of You
The "Sensational" Guitars of Dan & Dale
Diplomat DS 2390

The album cover is a misleading because this LP is not some lame easy listening album. What you are getting into is a fun and quirky light pop or jazz 60s guitar album.

Check out these Dan and Dale albums: The Theme From Hawaii and Somewhere My Love.