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Friday, December 28, 2012

The Big Guitar Sound - Living Guitars

Big Guitar
The Big Guitar Sound
Living Guitars
Arrangements By Al Caiola
Camden CAS-766

Total early 60s light pop. Released in both a silver foil and white paper jacket.

From the back cover: Big Guitar is an Al Caiola original composed especially for this album.

Boss Guitar
Wabash Cannonball
Alley Cat
Big Guitar (This is a different version than the one currently available online for purchase)
Rhythm Of The Rain
Oh, Lonesome Me
I Believe In You

How Much Is My Album Worth?

This is an impossible question for me to answer taking into account all the ways people buy and sell  albums.

However, here is how I value the records I collect.

I start by searching completed auctions on ebay. Ebay, for me, is a good place to review current real market values. I check the completed auctions and compare the number of copies on the market, prices and what copies have and or have not sold for.

If you do not see your album listed on ebay at all, that does not necessarily mean that you’ve got a rare and valuable record on your hands. You may have an obscure record with limited appeal to a small number of collectors.

If I tell you your album is worth $10, but then you find your album listed online for a higher price? The answer is that prices are fixed for an entire host of reasons which are not tied to real market value.

There are a great number of online resources to search for values, including,, and Many record dealers also have online storefronts. But, again, prices will be all over the place. Some prices will be absurdly high. Buyer beware.

Now, I back up to the issue of rarity vs. obscurity. I blog few rare records. I blog obscure records. Some record stores I visit don’t really know what to do with the records I like to collect. Some dealers discard or refuse to buy the records that I value. Other dealers, both online and brick-and-mortar sellers, over-value the records I enjoy. I've noticed copies of albums I fine interesting literally sit untouched in record stores for years. What this tells me is that the some records are obscure and valued, but by a select few collectors who value them differently. So, if you see a copy of a record on a blog, that does not mean that the record is a pricey collectible (although it could be).

You will also need to consider the condition of your album, but that is a different can of worms that I'll leave unopened for the moment.

This Magic Moment - Earl Grant

This Magic Moment And Other Instrumentals
Earl Grant
Produced by Charles Bud Dant
Cover Photo: Bill Levy
Decca DL 75108

The Dock Of The Bay
The Sound Of Silence
The Importance Of The Rose
Let It Be Me
Turn Around, Look At Me
This Magic Moment
Theme From Valley Of The Dolls
This Guy's In Love With You
My Special Angel
Love Is Blue

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Hits Of The 70s - The Hollyridge Strings

Bridge Over Trouble Water
Hits Of The 70s
The Hollyridge Strings
Arranged And Conducted By Stu Phillips
Capitol ST-883

From Billboard, January 29, 1972: Hollyridge Strings, arranged and conducted by Stu Phillips, have proven giant sellers with their Beatles Songbook packages. Now they take on the big hits of the 70's and the result is an MOR programming winner that should garner hefty sales and chart action.

Uniquely arranged easy. Interesting stuff, good all the way through.

We've Only Just Begun
It's Too Late
Theme From Summer Of '42
Bridge Over Trouble Water
Theme From Shaft
Theme From Love Story
It's Impossible
Superstar From Jesus Christ Superstar

The Guitar Style Of Al Caiola

The Guitar Style Of Al Caiola
5 All-Star Guitars
RCA Camden CAL/CAS-710

Session guitarists: George Barnes, Al Casamente, Don Arnone, John Pizzarelli and Billy Bauer.

From the back cover: Al Caiola is hotter than a pistol in the ping-pong percussion album department. His L.P.'s are high on the best-seller charts and lavishly displayed in record stores across the U.S. But prior to his ascendancy as "ping-pong" champ, Al was long known to the inner circles of music as one of the best guitar pickers in the country.

Rocking light pop featuring many great period session guitarists and super engineering.

Sweet Georgia Brown
Dipsy Doodle
It's A Sin To Tell A Lie
Tumbling Tumble-Weeds
Strait Ahead
I Love You

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Dynamic Percussion - Ray Korwin

Chant Of The Moon
Dynamic Percussion
Ray Korwin And His Percussionist
P.R.I. Records SPL-6

Here's a curious 7 inch 33 on a budget label. Ray Korwin can't be found online by me.

Korwin creates a typical, but not unpleasant early 60s "Command" percussion/ping pong sound. However, there are a few tracks found on the disc that smack more of late 50s exotic. The sample above being the most fun.

A Bushel And A Peck
Warm Night Wind
O Sole Mio
Glow Worm
Finiculi Finicula
Chant Of The Moon
El Choclo

Sticks And Bones - Marty Gold

Sticks And Bones
Marty Gold And His Orchestra
RCA Victor LSP-2070

This one is available for purchase/download at your usual outlets so I won't be posting a sample. Sorry! But I thought I'd share the scans of the covers.

From Billboard, January 4, 1960: Album previously issued on Vik features Marty Gold in a smart modern mood set with the emphasis on interesting percussion work with bells, wood blocks, etc.

Inventive arrangements topped off with a touch of light space age pop.

Side one

Hall Of The Mountain King
All I Do Is Dream Of You
You've Changed
On The Alamo
Sticks And Bones

Side two

Limehouse Blues
Comes Love
Autumn In New York
Star Of The Evening
Love For Sale
Smoke Rings

Latin Satin - Perez Prado

Latin Satin
Perez Prado And His Orchestra
Photo by Wendy Hilty
RCA Victor LPM-1459

Lamento Gitano
Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps
Green Eyes
Come Closer To Me
You Belong To My Heart
Always In My Heart

Monday, December 24, 2012

Dick Contino & David Carroll

Purple Islands (Stereo)
Dick Contino And His Accordion
David Carroll And His Orchestra
Mercury Wing MGW 12122 & SRW 16122

From the back cover: Dick was born in Fresno, California early in 1930. While papa tended to his butcher shop, baby Dick was taken care of by a kindly Greek family. Soon the youngster spoke better Greek than his native Italian or English. At the tender age of seven, after much begging, Dick was allowed to follow his strongest desire, to play the accordion. The family later moved to San Francisco and it was there that Dick decided he wanted a better accordion. This request would not be granted by the parents, however, until it was decided that young Dick had "what it takes". The family discovered an old master accordionist, Angelo Cagnazzo, who said he'd find out if Dick had the "stuff". This was a crisis in Dick's young life, for if he failed to impress the teacher he would have to return to the butcher shop where he had been working and learn the meat-cutting trade. The instructor was not only impressed, but it wasn't long after, that Dick actually moved in with the instructor in order that he might study full time, a move that literally assured him of success.

It was just after Dick left Fresno High School and was attending Fresno State College that a talent scout from the Horace Heidt Show heard Dick play. The scout got him on the show and Dick's fabulous, and now famous, versos of "Lady Of Spain" easily won for him. Dick remained on the show as a contender for first place for many weeks and soon became the talk of the country. He later won the quarter finals and then went on to win the national finals, an event that won the hearts of the nation's front page newspaper space.

It is quite obvious, from young Contino's many achievements, that here is one of the country's greatest talents. In this album "Dick Contino and his Accordion," his stellar musicianship in most brilliantly displayed. You can't help but feel that you are listening to something extra special, and above the ordinary. The repertoire has been carefully selected by Dick Contino himself in order that the many fine qualities and sounds of the accordion can be best brought to your ear thur the miracle of present-day perfected high-fidelity.

Twilight Time
Mexicali Rose
Song Of The Islands
Tango Of The Roses
The One Finger Melody
Purple Islands

Hawaiian Punch - The Manuna Loa Islanders

Bali Hai
Hawaiian Punch
The Mauna Loa Islanders
Produced By Ethel Gabriel
RCA Victor LSP-2295

This is a well crafted space age "Hawaiian" album that blends "traditional" island sound with early 60s light pop.

Hawaiian Punch
Drifting And Dreaming
Hawaiian War Chant
Bali Hai
Malihini Mele
A Song Of Old Hawaii
Blue Hawaii
Enchanted Island
Hawaiian Sunset
I'll Weave A Lei Of Stars For You
How Is The Hour

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Command Performances - The Ray Charles Singers

Do You Want To Know A Secret
Command Performances
The Ray Charles Singers
Originated And Produced By Enoch Light
Command RS 876 SD

Love Me With All Your Heart
Do You Want To Know A Secret
Hawaiian War Chant
My Old Flame
Sweet Little Mountain Bird
Vieni, Vieni
For All We Know
Traveling Down A Lonely Road
Blue Hawaii
This Could Be The Start Of Something Big

Music To Strip By - Bald Bill Hagan


Music To Strip By
Party Fun Songs From The Golden Age Of Burlesque
Bald Bill Hagan And His Trocaderons
Directed by D.L. Miller
Cover Art: G.L. Phillips
Somerset SF-16800

A Pretty Girl Is Like A Melody
Bumps And Grinds
Frankie And Johnnie
G-String Twist
Night Train
The Stripper
Party Time
Bedroom Blues
Second Honeymoon
Girdles Aweigh
My Heart Belongs
To Daddy

Feelings - The Young Lovers

We've Only Just Begun
Young Lovers
Pickwick SPC-3548

Are you feeling it?