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Saturday, May 21, 2022

The Greatest Steel Guitar In The World - Pete Drake


Blue Guitar

Pete Drake
The Greatest Steel Guitar In The World!
Hilltop STEREO JS-6052
A Product of Pickwick International
By Arrangement With Mercury Records

From the back cover: In utilizing the steel guitar and the human voice, Pete has combined the two most versatile musical instruments known to man. In the hands of a master performer, such as Pete Drake, the steel guitar is capable of an infinite variety of mood and expression. It is required in any performance, that the should of the artist urge the moods and expression from the soul of the instrument. Pete Drake urges his steel guitar through a gamut of musical expressions. Melodic expressions that rest easy on the listener and to which the listener, no matter what age, can relate. – Hugh Cherry, KFOX Radio, Long Beach, California.

Are You Sincere?
I'm Walking
This Is Our Last Night Together
I'm Sorry
Little Bitty Broken Heart
Blue Guitar
Funny How Time Slips Away
I'm Blue

Fred Astaire


Steppin' Out With My Baby

Fred Astaire
In a collection of memorable performances from the sound-tracks of his films
With the M-G-M Studio Orchestra and Chorus
Lion L70121

From Billboard - August 17, 1959: A smart bit of packaging in which a flock of famous sound track cuttings by Astaire are put together for salable results. A few examples: "I Love Louisa" and "By Myself" from "The Band Wagon"; "Steppin' Out With My Baby," from "Easter Parade," and "They Can't Take that Away From Me," from "The Barkleys Of Broadway." For the many Astaire devotees, this is a solid buy.

They Can't Take That Away From Me - "The Barkleys Of Broadway"
Steppin' Out With My Baby - "Easter Parade"
You'd Be Hard To Replace - "The Barkleys Of Broadway"
I Love Louisa - "The Band Wagon"
Baby Doll - "The Belle Of New York"
I Left My Hat In Haiti - "Royal Wedding"
A Shine On Your Shoes - "The Band Wagon"
It Only Happens When I Dance With You - "Easter Parade"
Seeing's Believing - "The Belle Of New York"
By Myself - "The Band Wagon"
Ev'ry Night At Seven - "Royal Wedding"
Shoes With Wings On - "The Barkleys Of Broadway"

Moods For Moderns - Charles Magnante


In The Still Of The Night

Moods For Moderns
Charles Magnante
World's Most Famous Accordionist and His Orchestra
Charles Magnante uses Excelsior Accordion, exclusively
Originated and Produced by Enoch Light
Recording by Robert Fine
Art Direction by Casper Pinsker, Jr.
Grand Awards Records GA 33-413

From the back cover: It is that extra little something that Charles Magnante has captured in creating these Moods For Moderns. You will hear it time and time again in the flavor of his arraignments, in the subtle and imaginative ways that he sets the scene for each selection in his introductions. You will hear it particularly in the way that Charles Magnante has teamed his accordion with Tony Mottola's guitar to produce a fresh sound that has that bubbling sparkle of fine champagne, propelled by the firm, pulsing rhythm laid down by Moe Wechsler on the piano, Bob Haggart on bass and Terry Snyder, drums.

The Continental 
Tchaikowsky Piano Concerto "Theme"
Begin The Beguine 
"Theme" From Polovetsian Dances
I Know That You Know
Night And Day
Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto "Theme"
In The Still Of The Night

Accent On Dixieland - Pee Wee Erwin


Pagan Love Song

Accent On Dixieland
Pee Wee Erwin
Urania Record Corporation UJ 1202


Pee Wee Erwin - Trumpet
Andy Russo - Trombone
Sal Pace - Clarinet
Tony Spargo - Drums, Kazoo and Solo Whistling
Charlie Traeger - Bass
Billy Maxted - Piano

From the back cover: Monday night is 'off' night a Nick's, the jazz and steak emporium in Greenwich Village, and Pee Wee Erwin was sitting on the floor of his apartment listening to the test pressings of this record. When his left ear, (which was no more than 3 inches from the cone of a Hi-Fi speaker) had completely absorbed every sound and audible frequency he was ready to talk – first about the music that he'd heard, then about himself.

"I was born in Falls City, Nebraska, six miles off the Missouri River on May 30, 1913. When my father was discharged from the Army after World War I, he gave me a trumpet and I started to play jazz immediately – at four. My father was a trumpet player, and he played jazz. I can hardly remember when I haven't played the trumpet.

"I had my first professional engagement as a soloist with the radio station of the Kansas City Star on a program called "The Night Hawks" on Station WDAF in 1921. Because I was so young – playing jazz – I was thought a bit of a freak. I played with the Coon-Sanders Band, which was well known in Chicago, in 1922-23. From there a vaudeville act was built around me – I looked five when I was nine. I appeared on the Orpheum circuit."

"Ultimately I went to the West Coast and came East in 1931 with a band led by Joe Haymes, who was then the orchestrator for Ted Weems. This was the nucleus of Tommy Dorsey's Band. I then went with Isham Jones for two years, and then with Freddie Martin. I joined the Benny Goodman Band in 1935 who were playing on the "Let's Dance" program. During this time, Ray Noble arrived here from England, and Glenn Miller organized a band for him which eventually played at the Rainbow Room in New York City. Claude Thornhill, Will Bradley, Charlie Spivak and Glenn Miller were in the brass section and I played with both Benny Goodman and Ray Noble at the same time.

"In 1936 I went to California with Benny Goodman and made a movie called the Big Broadcast of 1937 for Paramount. On our way back East we stopped at the Congress Hotel in Chicago, and I stayed there with Benny until August and then joined Ray Noble in New York. At the beginning of 1937, after the Noble Band dissolved, I joined Tommy Dorsey. Every time Bunny Berrigan left them, both Benny Goodman and Tommy Dorsey would ask me to work for them; they considered me the closest thing to Berrigan. Bunny had mad "Marie" with Tommy Dorsey, and I made the sequels – "Who", "Yearning," etc. I must have made 50 sides with Tommy Dorsey Clambake Secen which was then Johnny Mintz, Bud Freeman, Carmen Mastren, Dave Tough, Gene Traxler and Howard Smith, (now the conductor of the Gary Moore show) and of course, Tommy. I stayed with Tommy until the Raymond Scott Quintet was organized and remained with Scott for a year."

"In 1940 I formed my own band – which was disbanded because of the war. Then I came back to New York and worked on radio on a freelance basis. At the end of the war I formed another band – a modern band. We had eighteen pieces and six vocalists. Red Rodney played trumpet, Tiny Kahn was on drums, Tony Aless on piano, Frank Sokolow, tenor sax; vocals by Dave Lambert, and orchestrations by George Handy and Mannie Albam. But I couldn't give this band away! Can you imagine that? I then decided to leave the modern field and went to Nick's in the Village. I have been at Nicks' off and on for six years, alternating with Napoleon Bonaparte. Outside of music I paint and am a hobbyist." (Pee Wee has made every piece of furniture in his apartment on 57th Street and Sixth Avenue.) "I have been painting now for about five years with as much vacillation in my painting as there is in my life. For example, I paint seascapes at Central Park. My tastes in jazz? Well, if I were on a desert island and could take only one record along, I would have any one of Louis Armstrong's better records with me – particularly Elder Eatmore's "Sermon On Gratitude."

The horn Pee Wee uses is a 65-year old French Besson and it has 13 patches. He uses it for a variety of musical chores including Dixieland jingles for egg noodle commercials.

According to Tony Spargo (originally Spabaro, who was the drummer with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band in New Orleans), he is the only kazoo player in jazz. Red McKenzie has long been credited with the distinction. Tony contends, however, that McKenzie was unorthodox in this choice of instruments and did not use the genuine kazoo. Tony also whistles on the "Pagan Love Song."

Sal Pace: Has been five years at Nick's. A few years ago he had an Italian restaurant in White Plains and gave it up to play with Phil Napoleon.

Billy Maxted: Does all arranging for the band – in the "head arrangement" style. He played with Bob Crosby and Red Nicholas. Was a Navy Fighter Pilot during the war.

Charles Traeger: In his third year at the Columbia School of Engineering. He had played with Wild Bill Davidson.

Andy Russo: Back in the 20's had his own band at the Balconnade Ballroom, New York City, now the St. Nicholas Arena. He once hired Bix Beiderbecke and as a result the band was fired. Andy also played with Jimmy Dorey and with the Ruth Eating radio show along with Red Nichlos.  – Sidney Gross

From Billboard - January 28, 1956: This is the kind of Dixieland that brings the college trade year in, year out to Greenwich Village looking for Nick's and Eddie Condon's. Erwin and his cohorts evince little effort to hold a rigidly "authentic" style. Theirs is primarily designed to give the kids a stomping good time. Bill Maxted (who also did the arrangements) is on piano. Tony Spargo on drums and kazoo, Sal Pace on clarinet or Andy Russo on trombone. For latter day Dixielanders, an enjoyable session.

Washington And Lee Swing
Battle Hymn
Dixieland Shuffle
Pagan Love Song
I'm Confessing
Memphis Blues

George Gershwin - Paul Whiteman


Cuban Overture

Paul Whiteman and His Concert Orchestra
In A Program Of George Gershwin Music
Decca DL 8024

From Billboard - May 6, 1950: The association of Whiteman with Gershwin's writings should lend luster to this collection of four of the composer's serious works. Of course, Whiteman commissioned and initially performed the now famed "Rhapsody In Blue," which marked the first step in Gershwin's development as a major influence on American music, both serious and popular. Tho these recordings date back more than a dozen years and sound it, this disk, which is a recapitulation of a long-standing Decca best-selling shellac set, should attract more than moderate calls. Roy Bargy handles the piano parts on both Rhapsodies and Rosa Linda does the keyboard chore for the "Cuban Overtures."

Rhapsody In Blue - Roy Bargy at the Piano
Cuban Overture - Rosa Linda at the Piano
An American In Paris
Second Rhapsody - Ray Bargy at the Piano

Friday, May 20, 2022

Hillbilly Heaven - Eddie Dean


Impatient Blues

Hillbilly Heaven
Eddie Dean
Crown Records CLP 5258

I Dreamed Of A Hillbilly Heaven
Love The Way You Say It
Banks Of The Rio Grande
Impatient Blues
Tangled Lies
Iowa Rose
Walk Beside Me
Make Believe
Seeds Of Doubt
I Called And I Called
I Took The Blues Out Of Tomorrow

Swing Along With Jonah Jones



Swing Along With Jonah Jones
Pickwick / 33 PC 3008

From the back cover: In his long career as a trumpeter, he has played with the best – Fletcher Henderson, Stuff Smith, Lil Armstrong, Jimmy Lunceford, Benny Carter, Cab Calloway and Earl "Fatha" Hines. And now Jonah Jones can take his place in the front ranks of this select group of jazz personalities. – Herman Schoenfeld, Music Editor of Variety

Cherry Pink & Apple Blossom White
Lisbon Antiqua
Soft Summer Breeze
Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home
Lonesome Road

Dave Brubeck And Jay & Kai At Newport


Take The "A" Train

Dave Brubeck and Jay & Kai
At Newport
Recorded in performance at the American Jazz Festival at Newport, R.I., on July 6, 1956
Columbia CL 932

From the back cover: Both groups presented material not yet heard by the Newport audience. This was one of the bounties bestowed on the crowd by most of the Columbia artists, who were asked to prepare fresh material because their programs were being recorded. The contrast to the usual practice of repeating the well-known recorded successes was a welcome change and one can only hope that all artists will do this in the future whether or not they are being recorded.

From Billboard - December 29, 1956: To one listener at Newport, the Brubeck set was a highlight, superior to much of the material on his earlier concert disks, mainly due to Paul Desmond's alto and to several interesting new originals. On disks, six months later, it sounds even better. As for the Jay and Kai set, George Avakian's editing has eliminated the goofs, and this too, sounds great. All told, this is a a jazz set that almost any modern collector will want to own. For name value and for musical merit, this one has what it takes.

The Dave Burbeck Quartet featuring Paul Desmond
In Your Own Sweet Way
Two-Part Conversation
Take The "A" Train
I'm In A Dancing Mood

The J.J. Johnson – Kai Winding Quintet
Lover Come Back To Me
True Blue Tromboniums

Precious Moments - The Blue Sky Boys


Precious Moments

Country-Sacred Bluegrass-Western-Old Time
International From Nashville, Tennessee
The Musical Heart Of America
Presents Precious Moments
With The Blue Sky Boys
Bill & Earl Bolick
Starday Records SLP 269

From the back cover: Bill and Earl wanted for many years to make an album of their most requested sacred songs. During August of 1963 they each gave up part of their vacation and came to the Starday Studios in Nashville to pick and sing together again after being out of the entertainment field for over 12 years. This album is the result.

Bill and Earl Bolick, who are brothers, were born and raised in and around Hickory, North Carolina. They started their entertainment careers at a radio station in Nashville, North Carolina in 1935. They later performed over radio stations in Atlanta, Georgia; Raleigh, North Carolina; Shreveport, Louisiana and various other stations throughout the South.

During World War II they both saw plenty of action in the U.S. Armed Forces. Bill saw action in the Philippines and Okinawa. Earl participated in the invasion of Normandy, the jump across the Rhine and the Battle Of The Bulge, as a paratrooper. Both boys needed their faith during these trying times.

In 1951, the boys decided to leave the entertainment field. Earl, who married in 1946, now lives with his wife and 2 children in Tucker, Georgia. Bill, who married in 1957, and his wife, now make their home in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Although they have not performed together for over 12 years, they found when they were together again that they could still make the same wonderful country harmony and music as before. With high fidelity sound equipment it is possible to bring back once again the wonderful music of the Blue Sky Boys on this outstanding collection of sacred songs.

We believe this album will bring a blessing to all who hear it and we invite Country Music fans throughout the world to share a few "Precious Moments" of sacred singing with the Blue Sky Boys. – Don Pierce, Starday Studios

Radio Station S-A-V-E-D
Why Should You Be Troubled And Sad
Precious Moments
My God, Why Have You Forsaken Me?
Come To The Savior
The Promise Of The Lord
The Last Mile Of The Way
God Is Still On The Throne
The ABC Song
Boat Of Life
Whispering Hope

Together Again! - The Blue Sky Boys


Don't Trade

From Nashville, Tennessee
The Musical Heart Of America
Together Again!
The Blue Sky Boys
Bill and Earl Bolick
Starday SLP 257

From the back cover: After an absence of 12 years from the Country Music scene, Bill and Earl Bolick, internationally famous as the Blue Sky Boys are "Together Again" as they made this great new album of country songs.

The Blue Sky Boys have a vast following resulting from their many hit recordings on the Bluebird and RCA Victor labels. They have a unique style of country harmony singing as they pick the mandolin and guitar together.

It was due to the consistent demand for Blue Sky Boys records that Starday issued an album from some old recordings during 1962, The response from Country Music fans was very enthusiastic and Bill and Earl were prevailed upon to spend part of their vacations in Nashville so that these new recordings could be made, in high fidelity sounds, at the Starday Studios, under the direction of Tommy Hill with "Hoss" Linneman assisting with the engineering.

Many of the most popular old songs that the Blue Sky Boys made famous several years ago are included in this album along with some newer songs that are suited for the Blue Sky Boys type of Country harmony. No effort was made to add any gimmicks to the original and authentic sound of the Blue Sky Boys.

The high fidelity sound equipment brings out the pure country sound in all its glory. Accompanying musicians were Tommy Vaden on fiddle, Pete Drake on steel guitar, Vic Williams on piano and Billy Linneman on Bass. Jerry Shook played electric lead and Harold Weekly played Drums.

Bill and Earl Bolick, sons of Mr. and Mrs. Garland H. Bolick, were reared in and around Hickory, North Carolina. They started their entertainment careers on radio station WWNC, at Asheville, North Carolina, back in 1935. Later they moved on to radio stations in Atlanta, Georgia; Raleigh, North Carolina and Greenville, South Carolina. When World War II came along Bill Bolick saw action in the Philippines and Okinawa. Earl Bolick participated in the invasion of Normandy, the jump across the Rhine, and The Battle of The Bulge, as a paratrooper.

After the war, the Blue Sky Boys continued their entertainment career in Atlanta, Georgia, Raleigh, N.C., Bristol, Virginia, and on the Louisiana Hayride at Shriveport, Louisiana.

In 1951 the boys left the field of entertainment. Earl now lives with his wife and two children in Tucker, Georgia, while Bill and his wife live in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Are You From Dixie
In The Pines
Don't Trade
The Little Paper Boy
Why Not Confess
The Wednesday Night Waltz
Just Because
Your Brand Will Remain On My Heart
Mommie, Will My Doggie Understand?
Sweetheart Mountain Rose
A Satisfied Mind

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Swinging On Broadway - Louie Prima & Keely Smith


O Babe

Swinging On Broadway
Louis Prima & Keely Smith
Celebrity Records UTS-170
A Division Of Premier Albums Inc.

O Babe
Pizza And Beer
Brooklyn Boogie
Piccolina Lena
Bring Forth The Light
This Evening
C'Mon A My House
Yeah! Yeah! Yeah!
Dig That Crazy Chick

George Feyer & His Orchestra Play Cole Porter


Side One

George Feyer & His Orchestra Play Cole Porter
Photo: Gerard Oppenheimer
Vox Productions, Inc. VX 25.510

Easy to Love
I Get A Kick Out Of You
Why Can't You Behave
In The Still Of The Night
True Love
Begin The Beguine 
So In Love
It's Delovely
Night And Day
Anything Goes
My Heart Belongs To Daddy
It's All Right With Me
You Do Something To Me

Anita O'Day


The Man I Love

Anita O'Day
Cover Photo Courtesy of Melvin Levine
Dobre Records 1014
Distributed by Ray Lawrence, Ltd., Studio City, California

From the back cover: Anita O'Day has experienced a very long, incredible career as a song stylist, starting in walkathons of the '30's and currently touring several times a year worldwide. As this album goes to press she has just returned from a month tour of Europe in concerts and jazz clubs to appear in New York City the month of September 1977.

Her recordings total the equivalent of about 60 LP albums. This includes all the early single recordings from the Gene Krupa and Stan Kenton bands which have been re-issued on LPs plus the Verve series currently re-issued in Japan, South America, Europe, etc.

In 1975 and 1976 she recorded four albums in Japan during two highly successful tours there. This album is a collection of tunes recorded in Tokyo, June 30, 1976 at the famous Mouri Studios produced by Tokao Ishizuka and released in Japan on the TRIO label. It is the first of the Japanese albums to be made available in the U.S.A. There will be more forthcoming.

Featured on piano is Merrill Hoover from San Francisco, the great George Morrow of Clifford Brown/Max Roach fame on bass and Anita's longtime associate John Poole on drums.

There is no need to elaborate on Anita's vocal style or phrasing or influence over dozens of other singers; it is obvious to the long-time listeners and to the many music critics the world over.  – John Poole, August 23, 1977 - Studio City, California

Our Love Is Here To Stay
Come Rain Or Come Shine
The Man I Love
After You've Gone
Body And Soul
Day Of Wine And Roses
The Nightingale Sand In Barkley Square
Why Shouldn't I

Night Of The Four Moons / Voice Of The Whale - George Crumb


Voice Of The Whale

Modern American Music Series
First Recording
George Crumb
Produced by Jay David Saks
Engineering: Edward T. Graham, Raymond Moore & Arthur Kendy
Cover Design: Katherine Polladini
Cover Illustration: Don Ivan Punchatz
Columbia M 32739

Voice Of The Whale (Vox Balaenae)
For Three Masked Players
Aeolian Chamber Players
Erich Graf, Flute
Walter Ponce, Piano
Jerry Grossman, Cello and Antique Cymbals
   Vocalise (...for the beginning of time)
      Archeozoic (Var. I)
      Proterozonic (Var. II)
      Palenzoic (Var. III)
      Mesozoic (Var. IV)
      Cenozois (Var. V)
Recorded under the supervision of the composer

Night Of The Four Moons
(Based on fragments from Federico Garcia Lorca)
Jan DeGaetoni, Mezzo-Soprano
Aeolian Chamber Players
Lewis Kaplan, Piano
Erich Graf, Alto Flute and Piccolo
Paul Tobias, Cello 
with Raymond DesRoches, Percussion
I – La Luna esta muerta, muerta... (The Moon Is Dead, Dead...)
II – Cuando sale la luna... (When The Moon Rises...)
III – Otro Adan oscuro esta sonando... (Another Obscure Adam Dreams...)
IV – Huje luna, luna, luna!... (Run Away Moon, Moon, Moon...)
Recorded under the supervision of the composer

From the back cover: Notes by the Composer

Voice Of The Whale (Vox Balaenae), composed in 1971 for the  New York Camerata, is scored for flute, cello, and piano (all amplified in concert performance). The work was inspired by the singing of the humpback whale, a tape recording of which I had heard two or three years perviously. Each of the three performers is required to wear a black half-mask (or visor-mask). The mask, by effacing the sense of human projection, are intended to represent, symbolically, the powerful impersonal forces of nature (i.e. nature dehumanized). I have also suggested that the work be performed under a deep-blue stage lighting.

The form of Voice Of The Whale is a simple three-part design, consisting of a prologue, a set of variations named after the geological eras, and an epilogue.

Night Of The Four Moons, commissioned by the Philadelphia Chamber Players, was composed in 1969 during the Apollo 11 flight (July 16 - 24). The work is scored for alto (or mezzo-soprano), alto flute (doubling piccolo), mango, electric cello, and percussion. The percussion includes Tibetan prayer stones, Japanese Kabuki blocks, alto African thumb piano (mbira), and Chinese temple gong in addition to the more usual vibraphone, crotales, tambourine, bongo drums, suspended cymbal and tam-tam. The singer is also required to play finger cymbals, castanets, glockenspiel and tam-tam.

I suppose that Night Of The Moons is really an "occasional" work, since its inception was an artistic response to an external event. The text – extracts drawn from the poems of Frederico Garcia Lorca – symbolize my own rather ambivalent feelings vis-a-vis Apollo 11. The texts of the third and fourth songs seemed strikingly prophetic!

Also from the back cover: George Crumb was born in Charleston, West Virginia, in 1929. Mr. Crumb's Echoes Of Time and The River: Four Processionals For Orchestra, Premiered by the Chicago Symphony, was awarded the 1968 Pulitzer Prize in Music. In 1971, his Ancient Voices Of Children received both the international Rostrum of Composers Award (UNESCO), Paris and the Koussevitzky International Recording Award. Mr. Crumb's most recent compositions include Lux Aeterna for soprano and instruments (1971) and Makrokosmos, Volumes I and II (24 Fantasy-Pieces after the Zodiac) for amplified piano (1972-73). Mr. Crumb currently teaches composition at the University of Pennsylvania.

The Aeolian Chamber Players was founded in the Spring of 1961 by Director Lewis Kaplan from the purpose of presenting unusual works with a variety of timbre and musical thought. Performing in various combinations of their instruments, the group offers a vast and varied repertory ranging from the Baroque through music of the avant grade.

Since 1962, the Aeolian Chamber Players have toured extensively throughout the United States, Canada and Europe. Among their appearances have been concerts in New York City, Boston, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Seattle, Vancouver, Ottawa, London, Amsterdam and Hamburg, and at the three of the major music centers in the United States – the Juilliard School, the New England Conservatory and the Oberlin Conservatory. In addition to their frequent concert tours, the Aeolians have appeared on a number of programs for N.E.T Television. Each summer since 1964 the Aeolian Chamber Players have been in residence at Bowdoin College.

Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Country And Western - Rex Trailer


Big Rock Candy Mountain

Country And Western
Rex Trailer And The Playboys
Cover Art: Hobco Arts
Crown Records CST 186

Brahma Bull
Blue Tail Fly
Golden Slippers
Big Rock Candy Mountain
Wagon Master
Ridin' Down The Canyon
Red River Valley
Big Corral And Railroad Corral
Sweet Betsy From Pike
Home On The Range

Golden Hits Live - Jerry Butler


I Dig You Baby

Jerry Butler's
Golden Hits Live
Produced by Dick Corby
Recorded by Ed Green - Edgewood Studios
Engineering Supervision & Remix: Roy Cicala
Mercury SR 61151

From the back cover: As one walks across the campus of Morgan State College, he is immediately impressed by the quiet dignity of the green and spacious grounds. The student body and faculty of this institution are noted for their respective and appreciative attitude towards art, and particularly, towards artistic performances in the field of music. The auditorium at Morgan State is a dignified monument to music, since it is well known as being acoustically outstanding.

In late September, 1967, Jerry Butler was still enjoying the quiet dignity of the campus as he entered the auditorium to give one of a series of concerts to raise money for scholarships for deserving students. He had no idea that when he concluded his concert that night, he would become, as he has at many colleges, something of a campus hero, along with those who would be remembered for athletic and scholastic achievements. Jerry Butler would also long remember this night at Morgan State because he was, for the first time anywhere, cutting an LP of all of his greatest hit records, "live", before an audience.

Jerry Butler walked from the wings to an exceptionally genuine and warm reception which is reserved for those who are held in very special esteem. The auditorium was brimming with expectant enthusiasm and it was at this point that you became aware of the fact that Jerry Butler carried a very special and unique kind of weight with these young men and women. They knew him for the compliments he pays to the taste of every audience by the excellent and fine selection of material he brilliantly performs for them. It is obvious that there is a spontaneous and reciprocal identification between Jerry Butler and collegians. – Brooks Johnson

From Billboard - January 27, 1968: The excellent of Jerry Butler's singing and of a college concert audience's enthusiasm is excellently captured here. Butler's fiery style has lit up such hits as "I Dig  You Baby" and "Your Precious Love," included in this top-notch roundup, but he also gets a lot of mileage out of songs like "Make It Easy On Yourself" and "Moon River."

Make It Easy On Yourself
Moon River
I Stand Accused
Cause I Love You So
For Your Precious Love
I Dig You Baby
Let It Be Me
He Will Break Your Heart

Monday, May 16, 2022

The Golden Hits With The Mexicali Brass


A Taste Of Honey

The Golden Hits Of
The Mexicali Brass
Modern Records 101/1001

The Shadow Of Your Smile
A Taste Of Honey
The Work Song
Tijuana Taxi
Winter Wonderland
The Lonely Bull
Whipped Cream
Spanish Flea
Zorba The Greek
Hello Dolly
What Now My Love

Esso Steel Band - Hubert Smith Junior


Back To Back

Esso Steel Band
Featuring Hubert Smith Junior
A Mastertone Recording, Vol. 3
Recorded at The Rosebank Theater In Bermuda

From the back cover: The rhythm and beat of the Islands is in the Esso Steel Band! This talented group have carried their fascinating music all over the West Indies and North and South America, to be acclaimed wherever they went, always with return engagements. Originating with the 'poor people' of Trinidad who wanted sound and rhythm for their Cane Festivals and had only dust-bins, brake drums and bamboo stalks, the Esso Steel Band now use the specially-tempered steel oil drums the have been carefully cut, measured and hammered for correct tone and pitch. Each drum is now an instrument that has its own part to play and has its own name; there's the Ping-Pong which is the melody; the Kettle Drum which is the harmony; and the Tune-Booms which are the "strings".

The leader of Bermuda's Esso Steel Band is Rudolph Commissiong, with Herbert Smith Jr. who is wise in the ways of entertaining holiday-markers and honeymooners who come to the Island for something different that will leave wonderful memories to be treasured always.

Land Of Sea And Sun
Island Woman
Sloop John B
Limbo Like Me
Sailor Man
Kingston Market
Cuban Love Song
Shake SeƱora
Back To Back
Capulito De Aleli

Slow Freight - Ray Bryant


Satin Doll

Slow Freight 
Ray Bryant
Recorded: December, 1966 at RCA Studios in New York City
Recording Engineer: Ray Hall
Album Production & Supervision: Esmond Edwards
Cadet Records LP 781

Ray Bryant - Piano
Richard Davis - Bass
Freddie Waits - Drums
Art Farmer & Snookie Young - Trumpet & Flugelhorn 

From the back cover: Ray Bryant started something with the sound of piano trio with brass that he used on the very successful Cadet album Gotta Travel On. Then he followed this with another winner titled Lonesome Traveler utilizing the same dual flugelhorns of Clark Terry and Snookie Young. 

Ray was so pleased with the musical results of the two initial albums and so gratified  by their public acceptance that he decided to continue recording with the sound of mellow brass augmented his pianists. At the time Slow Freight was recorded, Clark Terry was touring Europe and unavailable for the session, but the great trumpeter and flugelhorn player Art Farmer teamed with Snookie to produce the soulful brass sounds heard here.

It is again obvious that Ray has come up with a sound that lifts his albums out of the usual piano trio category and adds a bright new dimension to his performance. He used the horns sparingly, brining them forward at just the proper moments to emphasize his playing. This is a most satisfying album on many counts. In addition to the bright, beautiful sound, there is the tremendous artistry of Ray Bryant, undoubtedly one of the foremost jazz pianists currently active. Much has been said about Ray's great ability to swing and his powerful left hand that often beats out the same line as the bass player, thus giving a gutsy kind of bottom to his performance.

Another feature of Ray Bryant piano mystique is his close affinity to the roots of jazz. Although a young modernist, he knows and digs the blues and his treatment of Slow Freight is a fine example of Ray's attachment to the form. An additional plus on Slow Freight is the ad lib vocal comments of Paul Serrano.

If You Go Away, popularized by Damita Jo, is somewhat similar in treatment to Ray's It Was A Very Good Year on the previously-mentioned Travel On album. Ray's beautifully conceived arrangement shows every sign of being as popular as Good Year was.

Satin Doll is a fine example of Ray's Straightforward jazz cooking. In the Duke Ellington standard he ranges the entire keyboard and takes a backseat to no one in the creative or groove department.

Freddie Waits has been the drummer on all three of Ray's Cadet albums. This young man loves to play and it is evident in his relentless drive and lilting swing. He never lets things get bogged down and is certainly an asset to the Ray Bryant sound.

We have mentioned everyone but bassist Richard Davis, but really what can you say about this phenomenal musician that doesn't sound like exaggeration. His intonation is flawless, his technique marvelous, his sound clear as a bell and his time like a metronome. Listen to Richard's beautiful bowed accompaniment to Ray on When The World Was Young and his solo on Satin Doll and you'll hear what I mean. Out of sight!

Ray Bryant always surrounds himself with pros; he's one and he wants nothing but the finest with him. The end product justifies the means. This is an excellent album. – E. Herbert

Slow Freight 
Satin Doll
If You Go Away
Ah, The Apple Tree (When The World Was Young)
The Return Of The Prodigal Son
The Fox Stalker

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

Andre Toussaint And The Caribbeans


Goombay Chant


Andre Toussaint 
And The Carribeans
Bahama Records Ltd.
Manufactured by Columbia Records Transcript Division
B.R.L. No. 20

Buck Buchanan - Bass
Ernest Ranglin - Guitar
Peanuts Taylor - Drums

From the back cover: Andre Toussaint presented here in a masterful collection of both Haitian songs in French and folk songs of Hispaniola, takes his rightful place as one of the top singers and entertainers in the entire West Indies.

Andre's voice is both beautiful and entrancing and his interpretation of the Haitan creole folk songs is one long to be remembered. In addition to being gifted with a lovely voice Andre is an accomplished guitarist.

Toussaint came to the Bahamas a little over two years ago from Haiti and has rapidly risen to the top niche of Nassau's great entertainers.

Andre's rendition of the happy creole French or Spanish folk song, and his change of pace to the sad, plaintive ballad is amazing. His performance of the Voodoo or goombay song is typified in the soul-stirring Goombay Chant is one that will leave its memories indelibly imprinted on the listener. Amazingly versatile Andre can change his moods to run the gamut from sad and soulful music to the happy and rhythmic excitement of the Cha Cha Cha and Merengue.

Andre and his talented musical combination known as "The Caribbeans" continue to charm patrons of the Junkanoo Club and Blackbeard's Tavern where both Bahamians and visitors in the island gather to hear this talented musical group.

Ti Ta To  (Haitian Junkanoo)
Goombay Chant
Panamam Tombe
Piel Canela 
Mother's Love
La Cruz (Paolo)
Ma Brune
Baila En Cha Cha Cha

Pure Truck & Country - Country Stars


Diesel Smoke On Danger Road

Pure Truck & Country
Produced by Don Pierce
Cover by Dan Quest Art Studio, Nashville
Nashville - A Product of Starday Recording & Pub. Co.
NLP 2066

From the back cover: Pure Oil's nationally-known TruckStoppers travel throughout the nation to greet drivers, wipe windshields, hand out Treasure Chest cards – and of course, look pretty. They appear at Grand Openings of Pure's giant TruckStop complexes which are complete with such luxuries and necessities as barber shops, color TV lounges, separate service islands for trucks and cars, Western Union message centers, acres of paved parking, restaurants merchandise stores, motel rooms for truckers only.

The professional corps of models also have appeared at such functions as the Country Music Festival in Nashville (as hostesses for the Starday Record hospitality suite): Green Bay Packers football game; Chicago Cubs baseball game; on magazine covers, and in newspapers, radio and television throughout the country.

Pictured on the jacket are TruckStoppers (from left): Carrie Ann Willey, former Lions Queen of Queens and Cosmopolitan Magazine cover girl; Barbara Rucker, Miss Photoflash; Betty Allen, a former Miss Chicago; and Sharon Brown, a former Miss U.S.A., Miss Louisiana, and Sugar Bowl Queen. – Les Kennon - Supervisor, Press Relations - Pure Oil Division - Union Oil Company of California

Wild Catter - Tommy Downs
Our Sleeper Cab Home - Pat & Darrell
Curves And In-Betweens - Ray King
Gooseball Brown - Lonnie Irving
Clyde's Getaway - The Stanley Brothers
Border Ride - Time & Jesse
Diesel Smoke On Danger Road - The Willis Brothers
Hitch Hiking Girl - Red Sovine
Big Wheel - Ray King
Pinball Machine - Merle Kilgore