Howdy Folks! Check out my Atomic Age Vinyl Finds! If there are copyright issues or a problem with any post, just contact me and I will make corrections. I'm here to have fun and hope you will share in my process of discovery!
Recorded at Atlantic Recording Studios, New York, N.Y.
Recording Engineer: Lewis Hahn
Re-mix Engineer: Ed Barton at Wally Heider's Studio, Los Angeles, California
Cover Art & Album Design: Stanislow Zagorski
Atlantic Recording Corporation
Members of The Modern Jazz Quartet are:
John Lewis - Piano and Harpsichord
Milt Jackson - Vibraharp
Percy Heath - Bass
Connie Kay - Drums and Percussion
On "Variations On A Christmas Theme" and "Piazzo Navona:
Snookie Young and Joe Newman - Trumpets
Garnett Brown - Trombone
Jim Buffington - French Horn
Don Butterfield - Tuba
From the inside cover:
It (MJQ) began, actually, as the rhythm section of Dizzy Gillespie's 1946 - 48 big band. Indeed, in 1948, its members made a rather obscure record date, under Milt Jackson's name, and with the celebrated Cuban bongo player, Chano Pozo.
As John Lewis has modestly explained, it was the quality of their work on this and subsequent recording dates together (done in 1951 and 1952) that convinced the members of the group that they liked playing together and wanted to continue to.
Of course it was not that easy. The musicians had to bide their time and take other jobs before they could persuade the rest of the world of what they had already discovered for themselves about their potential. Jackson worked with Woody Herman and was back with Gillespie. John Lewis accompanied Ella Fitzgerald and worked with Charlie Parker and Lester Young.
But the recordings together continued, and, with John Lewis appointed musical director of a co-operative group, the style grew. Then, in early 1953, one of the group's LPs caught on with record buyers, and the Modern Jazz Quartet became a going thing in nightclubs and concerts.
There was one change in personnel. In early 1955, the great drummer Kenny Clarke decided to leave the United States and take permanent residence in Paris. Connie Kay, whose work John Lewis had known with Lester Young, was brought in, with little preparation, for a job in Philadelphia. He has been with the group ever since.
From the back cover: Bobby Darin, born May 14, 1936 in New York, N.Y. Real Name: Walden Robert Cassotto. Grew up in New York, attending public schools there. Went to Bronx High School of Science, which accepted pupils only after rigid entrance examinations and personal interviews. Graduated with a scholarship to attend Hunter College in New York.
After one term at Hunter, Bobby decided that further formal education could not help him to achieve his ambition, which was to become an actor. He left school, and almost immediately got a job playing an Indian Chief with a traveling group. Began to write songs. Taught himself to play the piano, previously only played drums in his high school band. Was first heard on records as singer of commercial jingles and on demos of songs he wrote. Signed his first record contract in 1956.
In 1957 Bobby was signed by Atco Records. First records commercially unsuccessful. Almost a year passed before his first smash hit, Splish, Splash. Hit followed in quick succession: Queen Of The Hop, Early In The Morning, Dream Lover. Began working a few important night spots.
Following overwhelming success of Queen Of The Hop, recorded his first LP: That's All. In it was Mack The Knife. Taken from the album and issued as a single, it became the biggest record of 1959, selling over 2,000,000 copies. Opened in Las Vegas with George Burns at the Sahara. An engagement at The Cloister in Los Angeles followed. This brought him to Hollywood, his original goal; but he was there as a singer, not as an actor. He played ever major nightclub in America, culminating in an engagement that had long been hi highest ambition as a singer: the Copacabana in New York (preserved "live" in Darin At The Copa).
TV appearances became more and more frequent. In 1959 he was singed by Paramount Pictures and by Universal-International. At long last he was an actor. And this earliest objective of his had been achieved as a result of his singing. At this point in his career many people thought Darin would stop singing. Bobby's answer to that: "It'll never happen."
From Billboard - September 15, 1973: The writers on this one, including the late Fred Rose, read like a Hall Of Fame list, and with that with which to work, Gibson can certainly do the rest. Naturally, he's among the writers. After all, everyone else records his songs; why shouldn't he? Probably no one in the business has more real feel for a song than Gibson, and he presses that right into the record. It's another of his classics. Best cuts: "Made For The Blues," "Blue Darlin'," "Just Another Reminder," "That's What I'll Do," Dealers: No frills, just simple Gibson, and that should do it.
From the back cover: Launched with this Indian heritage at Dougherty, Oklahoma, in 1922, as Kathryn Starks, the girl who became famous as Kay Starr first moved to Dallas and then to Memphis, absorbing all the exciting musical sounds she heard along the route. She got her first money for singing when she was thirteen by winning five dollars on a radio amateur program in Dallas. In those days she was a hillbilly singer – "authentic hillbilly," she explains, "that is, yodeling."
She became a professional vocalist in high school, singing on Memphis station WREC. Just turned eighteen, Kay and two records with Glenn Miller's orchestra (Baby Me and Love With A Capitol "You"). This was a fill-in stint for Glenn's regular vocalist, Marion Hutton, but it led to regular singing with Bob Crosby's band and Joe Venuti's band. In 1943 she joined Charlie Barnet for a two-year run that brought her to the attention of dancers and jazz fans all across the country, for this was a period when Mad Man had one of his best bands.
A serious throat ailment in 1945 kept her from sining for more than a year. When Kay recovered , she struck out as as single with a voice which had acquired an interestingly rough quality from her illness and an understanding of what she wanted to do in music that had been deepened by a year of careful, honest thought.
"I have a great love for lyrics," she once said, describing her approach to music. "It's hard for me to sing any song in which the lyrics don't make sense to me. And I like songs which have to do with life. After all, a singer is no more than an actor or actress set to music."
With this insight and a flexible, vital voice with which to project her songs, Kay moved rapidly to that special top rung of popular singers and has stayed there ever since.
Nowadays Kay tries to stay within easy commuting distance of her comfortable California home and her 12-year-old daughter, Kathy. There she cooks, paints, sails her sloop and plays golf. ("I can break 100 if I break my back.") She limits her professional work to records, an occasional TV appearance and engagements at clubs that are not too far from the home around which her life now revolves because, as she says, "I've served my apprenticeship as a gypsy." – Notes by Ramsey Stuart
From Billboard - February 1, 1960: The thrush packs plenty of lusty vitality and rich vocal quality into a group of memorable standards and oldies – "Fit As A Fiddle," "I'll Never Say Never Again Again," "Wrap Your Troubles In Dream," etc. Excellent jockey wax and a solid rack item.
Sings Selections From Lerner And Loewe's My Fair Lady
Produced by Lee Gillette
Cover Photo: Werner Wolf/Black Star
Capitol Records SW 2117
From Billboard - September 5, 1964: The motion picture version of the hit play has given rebirth to several outstanding albums of "My Fair Lady Music," The commercial coupling of Nat King Cole with the Lerner & Lowe score couldn't hold more sales promise. Cole gives the well-known tunes a fresh and vibrant treatment that adds up to top listening enjoyment. Excellent in stereo.
On "Let The Good Times Roll," "Alesander's Ragtime Band" and "Deed I Do" is Ray Charles, piano and vocals; Clark Terry, Ernie Royal, Joe Newman, Snookie Yong, Marcus Belgrave and John Hunt, trumpets; Melha Liston, Quentin Jackson, Thomas Mitchell and Al Gray, trombones; Frank Wess, flute, alto sax or tenor sax; Marshall Royal, alto sax; Paul Gonsalves, Zoot Sims and David Newman, tenor saxes; Charlie Fowlkes and Bennie Crawford, baritone saxes; Freddie Greene, guitar; Eddie Jones and Edgar Willis, basses; Charlie Persip and Teagle Fleming drums. On "Alexander's Ragtime Band, Jose Mangual, bongo and drums, is added.
On "It Had To Be You," "Two Years Of Torture" and " When Your Lover Has Gone," the personnel is the same except that Billy Mitchell replaces Zoot Sims on tenor sax.
On "Just For A Thrill," "You Won't Let Me Go," "Tell Me You'll Wait For Me," "Don't Let The Sun Catch You Cryin'", "Am I Blue" and "Come Rain Or Shine," Ray Charles, piano and vocals, is accompanied by Allen Hamilton, guitar; Wendell Marshall, bass; Ted Sommer, drums; Bob Brookmeyer, trombone; and a large orchestra of woodwinds and strings (Harryt Lookofsky, concert master).
On "Alexander's Ragtime Band," trumpet solo is by Marcus Belgrave.
On "Two Years Of Torture," the tenor sax solo is by Paul Gonsalves.
On "Let The Good Times Roll," "It Had To Be You," "When Your Lover Has Gone" and "Deed I Do," the tenor solos are by David "Fathead" Newman.
From the back cover: Ray was Quincey's (Jones) first influence as a an arranger. Charles had been born in Albany, Georgia, in 1932, was moved to Greenfield, Florida, when he was a baby. At six, he was left blind after an illness. He studied music at a school for the blind in St. Augustine, Florida. Ray was orphaned at 15, and began playing professionally around Florida. For the next two years, he also began to gain experience as a singer and arranger.
At 17, he settled in Seattle and instituted the Maxim Trio. Quincy, who grew up in Seattle, remembers the trio as being "very modern." He sang like Nat Cole with a little Charles Brown. Although he wasn't singing blues as much then, he always sang with that feeling. He also was playing clarinet and alto then, and he was writing. He did some arranging for a band I was in then, Bumps Blackwell's junior band, whose singer was Ernestine Anderson. I remember even then that when Ray came into a session, it came to life."
"He showed me how to voice the first bass section writing I ever did", Quincy adds. "He really showed me the function of an arranger, what he was capable of doing. He made everything breathe for me. When he wrote, he put life into every note."
Among Ray's other qualities, Quincy underlines "hi fantastic sense of humor and his basic honesty. And he's so direct and unselfconscious."
Cover and Liner Photographs by Bob Ghiraldini, Arsene Studios, New York
Chancellor CHL 5001
Distributed by Am-Par Record Corp.
From the back cover: Here, in all his glory, is Franki Avalon, idol of the teen-age tempest, the rock 'n' roll revelers and the sentimental set, as well. For the 18-year-old song star is no tyro to the performing art, having basked in the light of national acclaim when he was but 12, his recording of Trumpet A Sorrento having hit the best-seller list within weeks after the youngster had had his first trumpet effort released on wax. The fact that Frankie had been studying the trumpet for only about three years at the time he was signed to record the selection attests to the remarkable zest which surrounds the handsome Italian youngster in all his endeavors.
From Billboard - May 24, 1958: Rock and roll warbler demonstrates versatility on a group of r&b hits, and standards (including his own best-selling singles "De De Dianh," "Diana," "Short Fat Fannie," "Oooh! Look-A There, Ain't She Pretty?," etc. Avalon has strong appeal for fem fans, and this package could move out, a la "Pat," "Ricky," etc.
From the back cover: Francis Bay's ability to play practically every important wind instrument in virtuoso fashion make him a particularly authoritative orchestra leader, and it is no surprise to learn that when he won the International Song Festival in Venice his orchestra had then existed merely 175 days.
This Belgian musician's career began early, for at the age of seven he was already playing the clarinet in local orchestras, at the age of fourteen he was busily getting down to composition, at fifteen he was fast becoming an intense jazz addict, and at the age of sixteen he won a first prize in clarinet playing at the Conservatoire of Malines. From then on he broadened his technical accomplishments by learning to play the other reeds and saxes, and gained valuable orchestral experience buy playing the ensembles of Paul Godwin (1936) and Boyd Bachman (1939). From then until 1952 he was to be found playing in orchestras of many nationalities (Swiss, Dutch, Swedish, German and Belgian), writing, arranging and composing film music and interesting himself in "trick" recordings and jazz of an advance nature.
More recently, he has led the I.N.R. Dance Orchestra (this was the team which won the Golden Gondola in Venice) in co-operation with producer Bob Boone. This orchestra, as you would expect, contains some true virtuoso soloists, among whom are the tenor saxophonist Benny Couroyer, the "high blower" Edmond Harnie, the "bop" soloist Charlie Knegtel, the alto saxophonist Francois l'Elise, the astonishing drummer Armand van de Walle, and the pianist Jean Evans. Francis Bay has been lately causing quite a stir with his versions of "Tequila" – proving that a Latin-American melody in a swingy vein can be played with as much gusto by a Continental band as by any of its transatlantic counterparts. On this record he continues in this vein, presenting hi ideas in his inimitable style, combining a Latin beat, a hard-driving swing, and that flawless precision which is his hallmark.
Billboard - September 22, 1963: Benton's current single hit is the lead item on this powerhouse LP. The lad sings "Lie To Me" in strong fashion and comes through with 11 other topflight performances, many of which have a touch of the blues mixed with a touch of the country. Strings, vocal chorus and other special instrumental effects enliven the ballad album which contains such potent material as "Chains Of Love," "Valley Of Tears," and "Got You On My Mind." Two big ones for Brook, "Send For Me" and "Looking Back" are also included.