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Saturday, August 22, 2020

The Stardust Road - Hoagy Carmichael

Hong Kong Blues
The Stardust Road
Hoagy Carmichael
Decca Records DL 8588

From the back cover: From Hoagland Carmichael, Attorney-At-Law, to Hoagy Carmichael, composer requires a great stretch of the imagination. But the two men are identical – for Hoagy Carmichael is a graduate lawyer and at one time practiced law in Florida.

Born in Bloomington, Indiana near the turn of the century, Hoagy learned to play piano by ear. At the law school of the University of Indiana he played in a three-piece college orchestra. During this time he composed two songs that were to attract much attention, "Riverboat Shuffle," and "Washboard Blues." Subsequently, the Wolverines, a popular band, recorded "Riverboat Shuffle," and still later Paul Whiteman recorded "Washboard Blues" which served to augment Hoagy's growing fame.

On graduating from law school, Hoagy turned down an offer to enter a New York music publishing house to practice law in Florida. When his shingle failed to attract many clients he returned to Indiana to join Jean Gold Kette's orchestra. Both "Star Dust" and "Rockin' Chair" were among the songs he wrote during this period.

After the band failed, Hoagy headed for Hollywood with his compositions – the very ones that were later to catapult him into popular acclaim.

From Billboard - June 2, 1958: This collection of Hoagy Carmichael songs includes a group of sides cut by the composer himself over the past decade or so. In his own individual style he pipes such favorites as "Stardust," "Hong Kong Blue," "Rockin' Chair," "Riverboat Shuffle," "Washboard Blues" and "My Resistance Is Low," Bands backing him include the Gordon Jenkins and Glen Gray crew. And on many of the sides Carmichael plays the piano with rhythm accompaniment. There's as audience for this art.

Hong Kong Blues
Star Dust
Rockin' Chair
Riverboat Shuffle
Old Buttermilk Sky
Huggin' And Chalkin'
The Old Music Master
Washboard Blues
Little Old Lady
Doctor, Lawyer, Indian Chief
My Resistance Is Low

Cocktails In Manhattan - Julian Gould

Cliffs Of Capri
Cocktails In Manhattan
The Julian Gould Trio
Bravo High Fidelity Records K149

These Foolish Things
P.S. I Love You
Cliffs Of Capri
Deep Purple
Sunrise Serenade
Once In A While

Big Brass & Rhythms - Enoch Light

Our Director
Big Brass & Rhythms
Enoch Light
Coronet Records CXS-169
A Division Of Premier Albums, Inc.

Wow! This is package is an unbelievably cheap set. From the sketchy back cover notes it appears as though Enoch Light may have been "the conductor of this recording session" and that is how Coronet managed to attach his name to the project. The "Command-like" cover art is misleading as the buyer was not purchasing a "Command label quality ping-pong-percussion set" but rather a disc packed with the most bland marching band music recorded and pointlessly engineered (reprocessed) into the worst stereo sound that I have ever heard.

High School Cadets
Under The Double Eagle
The Picador
The Gladiators
Stars And Strips
El Capitan
Rilfe Regiment
Our Director

The Incomparable Lena Horne

It's A Rainy Day
The Incomparable Lena Horne
Phil Moore and The Orchestra
Golden Tone Hi-Fideltiy C 4032

From the back cover: Her (Horne) versatility goes beyond the confines of vocal achievement. She has conquered all facets of show-business to become one of the few artists to excel in all media. Since her screen debut in "Panama Hattie," she has scored one box-office movie hit after another for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer. As this album will evidence, she is among the foremost recording artists in the world today.

Her name is magic on the marquees of nightclubs, throughout the land. Time and time again she plays to turn away crowds – clubs booked to sell-out proportions long before she arrives in town – from Los Angeles Cocoanut Grove to New York's Copacabana. She has won acclaim in her television appearances, and, more recently, returned to Broadway where she got her start, to open as the star of the hit musical, "Jamaica."

She is accompanied in this album by Pianist - Composure - Arranger - Conductor Phil Moore, one of the great musicians of our time, as he conducts a set of lush orchestral arrangements designed to set off her dazzling artistry. He wrote "It's A Rainy Day" specially for her to sing in this album.

More Than You Know
At Long Last Love
Sometimes I Feel Like A Motherless Child
Nobody Knows The Trouble I've Seen
Blue Prelude
Little Girl Blue
It's A Rainy Day
Frankie And Johnny

More Joni Hits - Joni James

I Still Get Jealous
More Joni Hits
Musical Supervision: Tony Acquaviva
MGM Records E3885

There Goes My Heart
Little Things Mean A Lot
There Must Be A Way
Be My Love
I Still Get A Thrill
We Know
They Really Don't Know You
Are You Sorry?
My Prayer Of Love
I Laughed At Love
I Still Get Jealous

Mood Latino - George Shearing

Jackie's Mambo
Mood Latino
The George Shearing Quintet
Augmented by Latin Percussion and Flute
Produced by David Cavanaugh and Tom Morgan
Capitol Records T 1567

From the back cover: "Authentic" seldom describes Latin Rhythms played by a non-Latin musician. But it has correctly applied to George Shearing's stylings in three previous hit Latin albums for Capitol, and so it does hear. George's is a sunny, danceable, now-famous brand of Latin that he applies not only to these exciting mambos and cha-chas, but to the subtle, insinuating boleros, as well.

"These boleros," George explains, "bear no resemblance to the famed Ravel composition. The bolero rhythm we play here is the Latin ballad tempo. Latin with mild season gin, if you like, it's distinctly an Afro-Cuban style – as distinctly as Armando's."

The bongo and conga playing of Armando Peraza is indeed distinctly Afro-Cuban, and it must be described with such contradictions as "controlled" and "frenzied." Armando has served as the percussion mainstay in each of the Shearing Latin albums to date, and joining him as important additions to the Quintet in each of these numbers are several other Latin percussionists and a flutist.

Blue Moon
Day By Day
Yesterday's Child
You And The Night And The Music
The Night Is Young And You're So Beautiful
Jackie's Mambo
All Through The Day
Say "Si Si"
Blue Rainbow
Te Arrango La Cabeza

Calypsos - Edmundo Ros

Boys And Girls Like Saturday Night
Edmundo Ros and His Orchestra
London Extended Play 45 RPM
BEP 6046, 6047 & 6048

One At A Time
Virgin Island
Mary Ann
The Cocoanut Song
Chocolate Whisky And Vanilla Gin
Relatives, Relatives
No Money
You Made A Woman You Made A Man
Boys And Girls Like Saturday Night

Friday, August 21, 2020

Belly Dance To Great Navel Music

Belly Dance To Great Navel Music
The Sultan's Caravan
Produced by Ethel Gabriel
Arranged and Conducted by Joe Castellon
Recording Engineer: Bob Simpson
Recorded in Studio C, New York
Designer: Craig DeCamps
Art Director: Acy Lehman
Photo of Marta by Nick Sangiamo
RCA Victor APL1-1820


Gus Vali - Clarinet & Flute (Vali appears through the courtesy of Peters International Records)
Souren (Sudan) Baronian - G Clarinet & Zills
Hakki Obadia - Violin
Haig Manoukian - Oud
John Valentine - Guitar, Trambur & Zurna
Chet Amsterdam - Bass
Shamia Azad - Dumbek
Angelo Ferrera - Drums

Ah Ya Zain
Sauda Sauda
Al Jazayer

The New Sound America Loves Best - John Klein & Sid Ramin

In The Still Of The Night
The New Sound America Loves Best
A John Klein & Sid Ramin Collaboration
John Klein - Carillonneur
Featuring the Schulmerich "Carillon Americana" Bells
Arranged and Conducted by Sid Ramin
Produced by Herman Diaz, Jr.
Recording Engineers: Bob Simpson, John Crawford and Tony Salvatore
Cover Dress by Ceil Chapman
RCA Victor LSP-2237

From the back cover: This recording is a collaboration between master carillonneur John Klein and the brilliant young arranger-conductor Sid Ramin. At Klein's command is a fantastically flexible collection of 1,453 bells – among them Flemish Bells, Harp Bells, Celesta Bells, Minor Tierce Bells, Quadra Bells, English Bells, Celestial Harp Bells and Chimes. Sid Ramin is in charge of three different orchestral setups that make for maximum variety. Each arrangement was constructed as a kaleidoscope of sound and rhythm, with solo instruments and ensembles weaving through musical patterns that are brimming with surprises, exotic blending and inescapably compelling rhythms.

Through it all the amazing set of bells which makes up the "Carillon Americana" can be heard adding a new sound dimension to the recording art as it swings through solos (on The 3rd Man Theme and Blue Tango, for instance) or supplies bright, decorative accents (Harbor Lights). Brilliant use is made of the two extremes of the carillon's potential – the infectious gaiety it projects on The Happy Little Donkey and Whistle While You Work and, on In The Still Of The Night, its ability to add an extra impact to the climatic passage through its tremendous depth.

From Billboard - August 1, 1960: This album is sold with a money-back guarantee, and it may be returned for the purchase price if the customer does not agree that it has exciting sound. Few will be returned for it is a wildly exciting sound album. It features some thunderous arrangements, and dramatic musical effects, achieved buy the use of the Carillon Americana, an instrument with 1,453 bells, played by John Klein, plus the large Sid Ramin ork. Tunes are all standards, and it's fabulous stuff for the hi-fi and stereo fan.

The 3rd Man Theme
Harbor Lights
Sweet Leilani
The Happy Little Donkey
Lisbon Antiqua
In The Still Of The Night
The Poor People Of Paris
Around The World
Blue Tango
Whistle While You Work

Monday, August 17, 2020

The Wonderful Teens - Dick Powell

Wonderful Teens
The Wonderful Teens
Dick Powell
Narrated by Dick Powell
Orchestra and Chorus Conducted by Joe Leahy
Script by Jerry Zinnamon
Music Supervised by Howard Drew
Recorded by United Recording Studios
Sound Engineer: Bud Morris
Graphics Direction: Gerald Cook
RPC Record Producers Corporation

From the back cover: Any biography of Richard "Dick" Powell must be summed up in the few short words, "Here's a man who parlayed a banjo and singing voice into a multi-million dollar business.

The transition from part-time singer with college bands to President of the huge Four Star Television Corporation and one of the industry's leading spokesmen has been made during the past 30 years by Powell.

Dick Powell was born in Mountain View, Arkansas, and attend public schools in Little Rock when a touring orchestra offered him a job as featured vocalist.

Powell accreted but in a few weeks found himself stranded in Anderson, Indiana, without a job and only 40 cents in his pocket. At about the time Powell had spent his last ten cents on a hamburger he received a wire and a fifty dollar advance from Charlie Davis, an orchestra leader.

He moved from one band to another during the next five years and from one state to another. Finally, after touring Ohio, Kentucky, Indiana and Pennsylvania, he landed the job of singing master of ceremonies for all the stage shows at the Stanley and Enright Theaters. It was here that a Warner's talent scout spotted hi and arranged for a Hollywood screen test.

He was given the part of a down-and-out crooner in a picture called "Blessed Event." The picture was a success and Powell was cast by Warner Bros. in a succession of hit musicals including, "Forty Second Street," "Gold-diggers," "Twenty Million Sweethearts," "Flirtation Walk" and "Shipmates Forever."

As proof of Powell's box office appeal, his pictures placed him among the top ten stars of the period, which, incidentally, was right in the middle of the country's worst depression years, 1935 and 1936.

In the early forties Charles Koerner, executive producer at RKO, cast him as a tough private eye in the Raymond Chandler mystery thriller, "Murder My Sweet."

This picture proved to be as important to the second phase of Powell's career as "Forty Second Street" had been in his band singing days. Critics and public alike were amazed and delighted with the "new" Dick Powell. A whole new future opened for Powell not only in pictures but also on radio. Soon he was starring on dramatic radio shows like "Richard Rogue" and "Richard Diamond, Private Detective."

In pictures he continued to build his new screen popularity with such movies as "Johnny O'Clock," "Assigned To Treasury," "Stations West," "The Reformer and The Redhead," "Right Cross," "Cry Danger," Susan Slept Here," and "The Bad And The Beautiful,"

From here he went on to directing and producing pictures. Among them were "The Conquerors," "Enemy Below," and "The Hunters."

In 1952, Powell inaugurated his first TV series, "Four Star Playhouse," in which he and his two partners, David Niven and Charles Boyer, alternated with another guest star.

"Four Star Playhouse" was the beginning of Four Star Television, which today produces some 13 series for all three networks.

With Powell's acumen and what appears to be a sixth sense for anticipating the public's newest taste, he mushroomed Four Star Television, of which he serves as president, into one of the major companies in the industry.

Away from acting, directing and producing chores Powell is an outdoor man who loves to hunt, go sailing, deep sea fishing and play golf.

From Billboard - May 22, 1961: Veteran film actor-producer-director Dick Powell handles the nostalgic narration on this salute to his teen-years in the 1920s and reminds older fans of his "42d Street" film musical comedy "days when" by warbling the title tune. Otherwise the vocal chores and "character comedy" bits are handled capably by Linda Wells, The Collegiates, and Bob Grabeau. Interesting chatter-angle was for jocks.

Photograph Fever - Orchestra And Singers
The Shiek - The Roaring Twenties
The Charleston - The Roaring Seven
If You Knew Susie - The Collegiates
Baby Face - Featuring Linda Wells
That Certain Party - Vocal by Linda Wells
The Varsity Drag - The Collegiates
Diane - Vocal by Bob Grabeau
The Wonderful Teens - Dick Powell

Seductive Strings - Siravo

East Of The Sun
Seductive Strings By Siravo
Arranged and Conducted by George Siravo
Artist and Repertoire: Bob Shad
Original Recording Engineers: Frank Abby & Bob Arnold
Re-Recording Engineer: Frank Abbey
Mastering: Hal Diepold
Liner Notes: Mark Reily
Album Coordination: Arpena Spargo
Typography: The Composing Room, Inc.
Time Records STEREO S/2019


Cornet Solo: Carl "Doc" Severinsen

Violins: Abram Bell, Arcadie Birkenholz, Julius Brand, Mac Ceppos, Alex Cores, Arnold Eides, Frederic Fradkin, Paul Gershman, Harry Glickman, Max Hollander, Harry Hoffman, Earle Hummel, Harry Katzman, Stanley Kraft, Leo Kruczek, Charles Libove, Joseph Maliganggi, Harry Meinikoff, David Nadien, George Ockner, Felix Orlewitz, Sam Rand, Aaron Rosand, Alvin Rudnitsky, Tosha Samaroff, Julius Schacter, Sylvan Shulman, Ralph Silverman, Salvatore Spinelli, Harry Urbont, Avram Weiss, Maurice Wilk, Paul Winter, Jack Zayde

Violas: Seymour Berman, Sidney Brecher, Richard Dicker, Leon Frengut, Isidore Zir

Celli: Seymour Baran, Maurice Brown, George Ricci, Alan Shulman, David Soyer

Piano: Henry Rowland, Buddy Weed

Bass: Arnold Fishkind

Drums: Sol Gubin

Guitar: Mundell Lowe

Harp: Janet Putnam

Once In A While
My Reverie
Star Dust
Autumn In New York
Hands Across The Table
Peg O' My Heart
The Very Thought Of You
Poor Butterfly
Maybe You'll Be There
Please Be Kind
The Hour Of Parting
East Of The Sun