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Friday, May 11, 2012

Brass Laced With Strings - Vic Schoen

Brass Laced With Strings
Vic Schoen And His Orchestra
Stereo Action
The Sound Your Eyes Can Follow
RCA LSA-2344

RCA got it right on this Stereo Action release. Rather than bouncing sound from channel to channel just because the new technology allowed the engineers the opportunity to do so (as heard on a few other releases in this series), RCA decided not to play around and produce normal stereo. The sound is clean, crisp and the separation doesn't get in the way of the music.

From Billboard - May 1, 1961: Vic Schoen achieves a smooth stereo sound (subtitle of LP is "The sound your eyes can follow") via a 12-brass choir, six cellos, four rhythm and one woodwind, which doubles on a variety of instruments - alto flute, piccolo, tenor sax, etc. It's a pleasant, listenable wound with solid programing possibilities.

Love For Sale
Lover, Come Back To Me
Lonely Town
By Myself
Easy To Love
Let's Take The Long Way Home
Hello, Young Lovers
Without A Song
Glad To Be Unhappy
And The Band Played On

Frank Stitt Plays The Baldwin Ogra-sonic Spinet Organ

Snake Charmer
Meet Mister Stitt
Frank Stitt Plays The Baldwin Ogra-sonic Spinet Organ
First Edition D-D4
Manufactured by Columbia Records

From the back cover: Born in San Bernardino, California, Frank Stitt played the organ commercially in the Chicago area for several years after World War II. In the last six years he has traveled extensively, particularly in the west coast states, playing the Baldwin and Orga-sonic Organs on radio and television plus numerous personal appearances.

The Orga-sonic Spinet Organ, which Mr. Stitt plays for this recording, was designed by and is currently built by the Organ Division of The Baldwin Piano Company, Cincinnati, Ohio.

Les Paul & Trio

I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me

Les Paul & Trio
The Windjammers
Rondo R-2002

Dark Eyes
I Surrender Dear
The Sheik Of Araby
I Can't Believe That You're Falling In Love With Me
Ain't Misbehavin'
Love And Roses
Sweet Smell Of Sunday
Powder, Paint And Perfume
Sun Dance

Les Paul And Trio
Tops Hi-Fi L1602

From the back cover: Les was born Lester Polfus in Waukesha, Wisconsin, 1916. By the time he reached 16 he was working in radio stations around Chicago, where he remained until 1937. His next stop was with the Fred Waring band for two years. In 1940 he returned to Chicago and radio work until California lured him in 1942. Greatly in demand as a studio guitarist in Hollywood, Les kept building a reputation throughout the early Forties. He sought an extra-curricular outlet for his jazz inclinations, however, and sat in at most of the jazz spots in the movie city, becoming well known to the jazz fraternity there. His brilliant style at that time has been compared to that of the late renowned French Gypsy, Djengo Reinardt.

In 1944 Les decided to form his trio, soon had more bookings for the combo than he could handle. He played several of the early Jazz At The Philharmonic concerts which, fortunately, are persevered on record. Les' last jazz recordings were made in 1946.

Mention the name "Rhubarb Red" to Les today and it's sure to evoke a shudder, for that name was the pseudonym he worked under during his early radio days when he played the character of a typical hillbilly guitarist.

The following explanation reputed to have been offered by Les may account for his having turned away from playing jazz in recent years. "When I was playing commercial radio shows in the Thirties, I was doing fine, making around $175 a week, sitting pretty. Then I began reading what certain jazz critics wrote, saying that I should stick to jazz, that I had a real talent for the idiom and was wasting myself by playing corn. So I switched. I played jazz guitar and worked the jazz spots. Pretty soon I was making $75 a week."

Stompin' At The Savoy
Dark Eyes
I Surrender Dear
Sheik Of Araby
All Of Me
I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
Danger, Men At Work
Ain't Misbehavin'
Rose Rome
At Sundown

Thursday, May 10, 2012

The Down Homers

Kentucky Rain
The Down Homers
Design SDLP-318

Here's an budget album sporting a cover that looks sort of like a country album... a folk album or maybe a soul album. And why the 70s science fiction type face?

Well... Design used some folk tracks on side one and then, just when you are about to fall asleep... they kick off side two with this whacky Elvis sound-alike version of Kentucky Rain. And then back to the folk fest.

Cha Cha Cha And Rhumbas - Esy Morales

Cha Cha #8
Cha Cha Cha And Rhumbas
Esy Morales And His Latin Rhythm Orchestra
Promenade 2060

There is more info on the back of this album that can be currently found on Morales wiki page:

Esy Morales, immortal maestro of South-of-the Border rhythm groups, was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico, in 1916.

At the age of eight, Esy was already adept at the saxophone, clarinet, and flute. Papa Morales, a hard-working tailor moved his wife and nine children to Venezuela. One by one, the kiddies joined their Uncle Augusto Sanabia's concert orchestra. Word reached the Venezuelan President's ear of the family's unusual musical talent. As a result, the Morales were soon playing in the Chief Executive's palace and living there in undreamed or luxury.

Esy came to the U.S. at the age of 20 and engaged in concert work. He attracted the attention of Xavier Cugat, Esy did considerable movie work and arranging, at the same time building a reputation as one of the world's foremost flute virtuosos.

He left Cugat in '43 to help his brother, Noro, launch his band. Three years later, Esy decided to wield a baton himself. The big break came early one summer when Esy's band was invited to play the July 4th weekend at a prominent resort in the New York Catskills. The exciting rhythm of Morales orchestra proved such a crowd pleaser that the band was held over the rest of the summer.

A real showman, Esy enjoyed much success in television, particularly on his own CBS show. He was featured in a Universal motion picture with Burt Lancaster, Criss Cross, and was a big favorite of college prom-goers.

On this recording, Uncle Augusto appears along with brother, Pepito, who is featured on the baritone sax. Brother Noro claims Humberto in his band, while two of the sisters are famed as concert pianist and violinist in their native Puerto Rico.

According to his wiki page, Morales died at the age of 34 from a drug-induced heart attack.

Summer '73

The Right Thing To Do
Ain't No Woman Like The One I Got
Rocky Mountain High
Summer '73
Recorded By The Sound Effects
QMO 117

Yes, here's another fine 2 Record set of 20 tracks by studio musicians that strain to achieve the "perfect" cover of your favorite tunes from the summer of 1973.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Hits From The Horn Of Nini Rosso

Hits From The Horn Of Nini Rosso
Produced by Ettore Stratta
Arranged and Conducted by Joe Sherman
Columbia CS 9374

You can find a brief Rosso bio can be found on Wiki.

From the back cover: This particular recording, made in Rome but conducted and arranged by the gifted young American arranger-composer Joe Sherman, was designed to display the haunting sound and the unique virtuosity that Nini Rosso is able to evoke from his horn.

I couldn't nail down the release date, but probably in short order after after Rosso's 1965 hit II Silenzio was released in the U.S. (1965).

La Pachanga - Rafael Seijo

Pachanga Brasilera
La Pachanga
Con Orquestra Charanga
Direction Rafael Seijo
Somerset SF-14200

Here's a Somerset album that was apparently manufactured for the Latin American market in the U.S. or for export? The brief jacket notes are printed bi-lingual but offer no real insight.

You get the fab cheesecake cover and music of surprising high quality. Not that Somerset didn't release some good stuff, they did. But this music rises above the traditional Somerset fare and comes off  (for the period) as enjoyable modern space age Latin.

A Man & A Woman - Frank Pourcel

Under Which Star Was I Born
A Man & A Woman
Franck Pourcel
IR Imperial LP-9343

This is another great easy album by Pourcel.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Aquarius - Franck Pourcel

Franck Pourcel
Atco SD 33-299

Here's another fine Pourcel album featuring his trademark blend of easy listening and light pop.

Side one:

The Lonely Season
Marry Me! Marry Me!
Free Again
My Time Has Come

Side two:

Good Morning Starshine
Where Is The Summertime?
Hey Jude
The World Around Us
Through The Eyes Of A Child

Our Man In Paris - Franck Pourcel

Our Man In Paris
Franck Pourcel
Et son grand orchestre
IR Imperial/Liberty Records LP-9304

Here's another fine album by one of my favorite easy listening composer/arrangers, Franck Pourcel. Pourcel, more often than not, manages to adds light pop sonic twists and turns that keep his stuff from blending in with standard period easy.

The River
Mister Lonely
Theme From Zorba The Greek
I Wanna Know
What's New Pussy Cat
My Captive Heart
The Sky, The Sun and The Sea

Shangri-La - Richard Boswell

Charade -  Composed by Henry Mancini and Other Themes
Richard Boswell - His Harp And Orchestra
Diplomat 2322

Tracks on this album are obviously not all recorded by the same "group". The set sounds as though it was complied from three different sources.

You Are My Only Love
Me Diran el Zacilon
Find Me A Bluebird
Beans Polka
Ahori Paga Por Tu Dano
Home & Peace
The Longer I Know You
Life Is Just A Song

The Sounds Of Our Times Play Hey Jude

The Fool On The Hill
The Sounds Of Our Times Play Hey Jude
Arranged And Conducted By Jack Pleis
Capitol Records ST 117

Good and groovy 60s light pop cheese. Apparently several more albums were released by this "group" including LPs titled Music Of The Flower Children and Love Is Blue.

TV Guide Top Television Themes

Have Gun Will Travel
TV Guide Top Television Themes
Arranged and Conducted By Warren Barker and Frank Comstock
Warner Bros. Records W 1290

From Billboard - May 18, 1959: This new album, conducted by the same men who made the label's best-selling "77 Sunset Strip" LP, could also turn into a big seller. It contains themes from "Perry Mason," "Peter Gunn," "Pete Kelley's Blues," and other top TV segs, with the swinging ork under the direction of Warren Barker and Frank Comstock. Plenty of display and musical value here.

The D.A.'s Man
Perry Mason
Sunset Strip
Pete Kelly's Blues
Mickey Mouse Club
Peter Gunn
Have Gun, Will Travel
Richard Diamond
The Real McCoys

Monday, May 7, 2012

Popular And Folk Songs In Protest To The Pessimism Of The 1960s

Whose Side Are You On
You'll Never Walk Alone
Popular And Folk Songs In Protest To The Pessimism Of The 1960s
The Optimists Plus Me
Somerset SF-24500

Come Back To The Virgin Isles

Charlotte Amalie
Come Back To The Virgin Islands
Compositions Of Bill La Motta - Piano and Orchestra
Vocals By Dell Anduze
Westindy Music - St. Thomas

From the back cover: The well-known composer-pianist has written many popular songs recorded by such outstanding artists as Xavier Cugat, Vince Martin, Edmundo Ros, Eddie Fisher, Tutti Camarata and Joey Dee.

Merengues Tipicos Folklore Dominicano

El Brujo
Merengues Tipicos  - Folklore Dominicano
Los Mejores Conjuntos Tipicos
Guira - Tambora - Acordeon
Rampa 1007
Santo, Domingo

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Disco Sonics


Disco Sonics
Radio Theatre Group
Psychosonic Laboratories - Cincinnati, Ohio

Here's an oddball LP I picked up recently. As you can tell, this is a stock audio disc that features numerous very short stabs of the "electronic" variety.

Hits Of The '50s

Hits Of The '50s
RCA Camden CAL 444

Compilation album sporting a fantastic space age cover.

Something's Gotta Give - Charlie Spivak
I Could Have Danced All Night - Domenico Savino
Whatever Will Be, Will Be - Connie Haines
Autumn Leaves - Bob Carroll with Alvy West
I Get Ideas - Tony Martin with Henri Rene
Around The World - The Earl Singers
Unchained Melody - Gisele MacKenzie with Alvy West
The Banana Boat Song - Peter Ricardo
Love Me Tender - Stuart Foster
The Stroll - Dave Martin with The Strollers
Melody Of Love - Jack Haskell with Johnny Guarnieri

Bimini Goombay

Delia Gone
Bimini Goombay
Harcourt Brown's Bimini Teenagers
Carib LP-2005

From the back cover: Two of the boys, Neville and Frank Brown, who are still in their 'teens, are sons of Captain Harcourt Brown, the genial host to all visiting yachtsmen. Captain Brown, in the not too long-ago when Bimini was comparatively unknown, often entertained his guests with the folk tunes that are included in this album. He now leaves this pleasant task to his two talented sons and the musical group they have assembled, including Wilmore Ritchie, vocalist, and "Nattie" Saunders, the island's only steel banjo player.

Calypso Encores - King Eric and His Knights

Cha Cha Baby
Calypso Encores
King Eric and His Knights
Carib LP-2017

This is a fine vintage Calypso recording featuring simple, but yet inventive approaches to the covers and very nice vocal treatments.

From the back cover: We hope that you will enjoy listening to this album because we enjoyed making it for you... Eric, Frankie Adams and Ronald Butler take this opportunity to thank you for the enthusiastic reception you have given them in the past and hope they may continue to please you with their music for many years to come. Now in their third year at the Ba Ma Club in Nassau, they invite you to visit them again.

Johnny Long Plays For Saturday Night Date

Blue Prelude
Johnny Long Plays For Saturday Night Date
Vocals By Sandee Moore
Tops L1575

It seems like most Tops records I find are either worn out or pressed poorly. This LP plays nicely and the quality of the big band covers are high. The sample above is the most dramatic track from the LP and Moore make an appearance about 2 minutes into the piece.

I did find one clipping, online from the Toledo Blade (1956) concerning Johnny Long: The popular southpaw and his orchestra favorites of the college set, return to Centennial Terrace this evening for a four night engagement. Johnny holds several attendance records at the suburban records at the suburban al fresco dancing center. This year he is featuring Sandee Moore, vocalist: Johnny Wells, the Long Shots and the Glee Club.

Side one:
Sweet Sue
Where Or When
Swinging Down The Lane
The Lady Is A Tramp

Side Two:
Blue Prelude
My Sin
One Dozen Roses
One O'Clock Jump

Come Blow Your Horn And Other Swinging Hits

Come Blow Your Horn
Come Blow Your Horn And Other Swinging Hits
Bill Martin And The Viking Pops Orchestra
Viking VKS 6603

What can be said about this cover that hasn't been said before?