Thursday, December 14, 2017

Frank and Jack--beyond odd

Frank and Jack's 1956 novelty versions of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and Jingle Bells fall into the so-bad-they're-fascinating category.  Frank and Jack are trying to be Spike Jones, Dickie Goodman, and Wes Harrison all at once, and it does not work.  Yet, somehow, this 45 cries out to be heard, simply because the makers put so much effort into being bad.  Because they put so much time and care into constructing one of the What the...? novelties of all time.

I have no idea what I'm babbling about.  Neither did these guys.  Download without delay.

By the way, Billboard reviewed this on December 8, 1956 and concluded that the first side ('Twas) has "some funny moments" and that "many jocks will find it useful in the coming weeks."  The same person dismissed Jingle Bells as "unfunny."  I'd opt for "really, really dumb."

Maybe I dreamed this record.  Download before I wake up....

Click here to hear: Frank and Jack

'Twas the Night Before Christmas, 1956
Jingle Bells, 1956


Wednesday, December 13, 2017

'Twas the Night Before Christmas--The Mistletoe Singers

Kind of a nice cover for such a cheap LP.  The "Mistletoe Singers" is a fake name for whoever and whatever the label (Tinkerbell) could dig up for this effort, and, to my genuine surprise, the album's a pretty fun mix of frequently-released old stuff (a number of Perry Como sound-alike Johnny Cole/Kay sides from the Johnny Cole Wishing You a Merry Christmas LP on Crown CST-165, 1959), and newly-recorded stuff.  From the sound of the newer stuff, I'd deem this LP a 1970s relic.  No date at Discogs.

"A Favor for the Little Christmas Tree" may be my favorite track: "Now there's something I'd like you to do that will make it all worthwhile: When the holidays come to an end, don't toss me any-old-where.  Instead please plant me once again, 'cause burning me pollutes the air."  It's different.

The usual cobbled-together holiday cheapie, but somehow cooler than most of its type.  Oh, and despite the presence of old Crown material, the company is SPC (Synthetic Plastics Co.).  The give-away?  A barely legible "Ambassador Record Corp." credit on the back cover.

Oh, and the jacket lists the tracks in the correct order.  This is getting to be a pattern.

Click here to hear: The Mistletoe Singers (Tinkerbell SX 1732)


'Twas the Night Before Christmas
Every Little Snowflake
Good King Wenceslas (typo on zipfile--"Wesceslas")
Go Tell It On the Mountain
Gather Around the Christmas Tree
The Mostest, Bestest, Merriest Christmas Time
We Wish You a Merry Christmas
The Shepherd's Carol
I Wonder as I Wander
Rise Up Shepherd and Follow
A Favor for the Little Christmas Tree
Cantique de Noel


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Christmas, according to RITE Records (Big 4 Hits and Gateway!)

Today, five selections from the Big 4 Hits label, and four from Gateway Records.  Both were put out in the 1950s by RITE Records of Cincinnati, Ohio.  These are sound-alikes, and they range from fun (The Night Before Christmas Song) to "I've lost the will to continue living" (I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus).  I mean, I Saw Mommy... is going to bad in any version, even when it's done in the proper cutsie, campy, "Isn't that adorable?" fashion, but the Big 4 Hits version is intolerable.  (I really know how to plug my playlists, don't I?)  Fortunately, it's the first track, so it's over quickly enough, and there's much better stuff to follow.

Sources are 78s (Big 4 Hits) and a fairly hammered 45 (Gateway) that I played with my extra-big 45 needle from Rek-o-Kut.  Ending track is the dumb aren't-children-singers-cute standard Nuttin' for Christmas, which, though the song lyrics clearly refer to the behavior of a naughty boy, is sung by one Dolly Nunn.

Even the lightest Decliker/Decrackler filter application on the Gateway Records EP caused fluttering and drop-outs in the male singing voices, so I went ahead and recorded it minus filtering.  Then I went in, obsessively removing some of the louder noise manually.  Do you remember when "clicks" were called "ticks" by serious audio people?  I do.  "Ticks and pops."  (Hm.  A quick Google check shows the term is still in use.)  But to me, they'll always be clicks.

To the cheapo RITE Records Christmas classics: RITE Records Christmas


I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus--Lynn Peal (Big 4 Hits 56, 1953)
Blue Christmas--Preston Ward (Big 4 Hits 110, 1954)
Frosty the Snowman--Eddie Williams (Same)
Here Comes Santa Claus--Billy Thomas (Same)
Winter Wonderland (Frank Roberts (Same)
The Night Before Christmas Song--Eileen Scott (Gateway, 1956)
C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S--Terry Buter (Same)
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer--Jack Daniels (Same)
Nuttin' for Christmas--Dolly Nunn (Same)


Friday, December 08, 2017

Merry Christmas from (who else?) Line Material!!

                                 Scans by me, from my collection

(This repeat post appeared in nearly the same form in 2015.)

Ahhhh... Line Material Christmas singles--one of the best parts of any Christmas, anywhere. How to explain? How about with a capsule history of the company: Line Material.

Luckily for all of us, Line Material gave Christmas booklets and records to its employees during the holiday season.  A number of these have survived.  Here are eight of the LM singles, starting with 1956's The Magic of Christmas.  (I own a ninth--1949's Keeping Christmas--but it's not remotely as good as these, so you're not missing anything.)

Oh, yeah--and London-born John McCarthy (1919-2009) was the arranger on tracks 2-7.  That's why they sound so incredibly professional.  John is way better known for his Ambrosian Singers Christmas sides.  From 1961 to 1966, the Ambrosian Singers were known as the London Symphony Orchestra Chorus.  (Last bit of info swiped from Discogs.)

Here's John, from 1989:

Click here to hear: Merry Christmas from Line Material!


The Magic of Christmas--1956
Santa's North Pole Band--1957
The Kinds of Christmas--1958
The Sound of Christmas--1959
Santa's Factoree--1960
The Day That Santa Was Sick--1961
Let's Trim the Christmas Tree--1962
The Story of Santa Claus--1964

Ripped and de-clicked by Lee Hartsfeld, 2007.


Wednesday, December 06, 2017

Another Record Corporation of America holiday classic!

Sure, it's a cute cover (another 10-incher for Christmas 2017), but it doesn't exactly have "High Quality" printed all over it.  Well, actually, it did, and it took me hours to clone out the lettering.  What a task....

Varsity, of course, was one of Eli Oberstein's labels, so the no-budget nature of this collection should come as no surprise.  No artist credits, BUT (and I consider this a minor Christmas miracle), the tracks are listed in the correct order on the cover!!   A possible first.  Of course, the label screws them up in one spot, but you can't have everything.

I have at least two of these on singles, and there's something about one of the credits that's quite amusing.  Too bad I can't remember what it was....  (Too lazy to dig up the single and check?  Moi?)

The perfect background music for those cheap light-show thingies they're advertising on cable TV (including "Star Shower").

Click here to hear:  Merry Christmas Songs (Varsity 6905)

Consult track listing on cover scan.


Tuesday, December 05, 2017

Merry Mervmas!!

A Merry Mervmas from the late, great Merv Griffin (1925-2007)!

Click here to hear: Merry Mervmas!


Merry Christmas Polka--Merv w. Freddy Martin Orch., 1949
Sleigh Ride--Same, 1950
Christmas Time--Same, 1950
Christmas City--A WDSM Recording, 1962
Song of the Christmas City--Same, 1962

See: The Real Story Behind Merv Griffin's Iconic Song "Christmas City"
A Christmas City surprise discovered inside KBJR6


A "Season's Greetings" record card from our former Toledo, Ohio neighbors

Wow.  The "pre-owned" stuff you spot on eBay: in this case, a Christmas record card from Beringer's Gulf Service--1918 Wayne Street, Toledo 9 Ohio.  "Whoa," I said to myself mentally. "A Gulf gas station, 1918 Wayne Street.  We lived next door!!"  Indeed, we did.

Since there's no date on this disc, I dunno whether the Gulf station was still called Beringer's when we moved next door circa 1962.  It's possible.  After all, it was still Wayne St. and our pre-zip-code "zone" was 9, so those check out.  And it was a Gulf station.  But was it still Beringer's?  Dunno.

Oh, cool instructions on the back of the card--"Best way to play--tape corners to any standard record or to turntable."  And the irony is, this is so far the only cardboard-backed disc I haven't had to tape down.  It played just fine!

Merry Christmas from my Toledo neighbors:

Season's Greetings--Beringer's Gulf Service--1918 Wayne St., Toledo 9 Ohio.


Merry Christmas from the Garcia Corporation!

This may be the weirdest company-produced Christmas single of them all, but of course one can never be sure.  Two, perhaps, but not one.  It's Garcia's long-playing Merry Christmas EP from 1962--the Garcia Corp. of Teaneck, NJ, to be exact.  In 1980, Garcia became the Swedish ABU Garcia.  It's all explained here in a manner that's almost possible to completely follow.

If "Abu" doesn't sound particularly Swedish, it's because it's a shortening of "AB Uhrfabriken." So there.  ABU Garcia makes highly valued fishing reels.  And highly obscure Christmas EPs.

And I just accidentally deleted the URL, so let me re-find it.  The weather has my sinuses in turmoil, which puts me in space.

I regret to report that Garcia had no closing jingle.  That is, no chorus singing "Merry Christmas from Garcia Corporation fishing poles," possibly because that would be a bear to set to a tune.

Click here to hear: Garcia--Merry Christmas


Silent Night--Garcia Glee Club
Noel--French Mitchell Chorus
Forever Christmas---Composed and Sung by Tony Baly
The Star Over Eastern Land--Swedish Abu Chorus
Christmas Is Here Again---Swedish Abu Chorus
Silent Night--German by Plate Chorus

Produced and arranged by Sal Muley of the Garcia Corporation


Saturday, December 02, 2017

The Ain't-Not Tree--Radio City Music Hall Chorus, Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1963

The Ain't-Not Tree, as featured by the Radio City Music Hall Chorus in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade, 1963.  Cute song, but the lyrics aren't the easiest to make out.  (Maybe my 60-year-old ears are partially to blame.)

But here are some of the lines I made out:

"It ain't not big, It ain't not small."

"The Ain't-Not blooms at Christmas, the favorite time of year."

and my favorite...

"It never saw the out-of-doors, Because it grows in Macy's stores."

The flip is the Carollers crooning "A modern Christmas carol" called Happy Birthday, Dear Christ Child.

I hope you ain't-not going to not download this classic:

Click here to hear: The Ain't-Not Tree.

The Ain't-Not Tree--Radio City Music Hall Chorus
Happy Birthday, Dear Christ Child--The Carollers


Friday, December 01, 2017

A Gilmar and Tops 78 rpm Christmas!

I had no idea the cheapie label Gilmar had produced 78s, so when this showed up on a 78 list, I grabbed it.  (Actually, I sent money for it and waited for it to arrive via USPS.  I didn't literally grab it.  Tried, but it didn't work.)  Most of Gilmar's output consisted of fake versions of current hits, the material coming from Tops and Broadway/Value--Hit Parade Tunes.  Hence, the "Tops All-Star Orchestra and Chorus" credit on this disc.  (I hope that made sense.)

Pretty rough shape, and sounds terrible with my 78 stylus.  So I tried an LP needle, and... infinitely better results.  That'll happen, sometimes.

The bonus track--The Music Hall Dram Group and Orch. performing The Night Before Christmas--appears to have originated on the Record Guild of America label.  Perhaps Tops purchased the master from it.

Click here to hear: Gilmar--Christmas Favorites


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Have a Hawthorne House and Everlast Products Christmas!

Last year, I shared these two Hawthorne House Record Cards--greeting cards with thin wafer-type records which, to be restored, have to be removed from their paper backing and affixed to a solid surface. As in, to another record.  Click links to hear:

 Jingle Bells--Hawthorne House, 1948
 Joy to the World--Hawthorne House

This year, I have two Christmas postcard records made by Everlast Products, Inc., of NewYork, NY, and the challenge here was flattening the cards so the grooves could be tracked.   To accomplish this, I taped the (rather large) postcards to a couple of unwanted 78s.  Click links to hear:

 Santa Claus Is Coming To Town--Everlast Products, Inc.

 Jingle Bells--Everlast Products, Inc.

Here's what the Everlast postcards looked like, front and back, prior to processing:

Santa Claus Is Coming to Town--Artists unidentifed

Jingle Bells--Artists unidentified



Saturday, November 25, 2017

Christmas songs in Chinese!

Another ten-incher, here.  There are familiar Christmas numbers sung in Chinese--at least, I'm almost sure this is Chinese (so said the ad).  I bought this for the novelty value, but these turn out to be gorgeous renditions in an almost completely Western style (which is kind of a novelty, really--the "Western style" part).  Beautifully recorded, too, and with quite cool cover art.  A winner.

For some reason, Joy to the World is titled Glory For a Child Is Born, and It Came Upon the Midnight Clear goes under, of all names, Christmas Card.  Kind of adds to the charm of the whole thing.  I thoroughly love this album.

Click here to hear: Christmas Songs

Jingle Bells
Holy Night (Silent Night)
Hark! The Herald Angels Sing!
Glory For a Child Is Born (Joy to the World)
The First Noel
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Christmas Card (It Came Upon the Midnight Clear)
Christmas Tree (O Christmas Tree)

Tower TWK-6 (10-in., 33 1/3)


Friday, November 24, 2017

Songs of Christmas by the Macy Singers!

Click here to hear: Songs of Christmas--Macy Singers

The First Noel
Silent Night
God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
Adeste Fideles
Rudolph, the Red-Nose (sic) Reindeer
White Christmas
Jingle Bells
Reprise--White Christmas

The Macy Singers
Directed by Dick Rogers, Conducted and Arranged by Jimmy Leyden
(Benida A-1021; 1955)

You'll be a regular Macy's customer after hearing these singers.  I got this 10" LP for a buck (!) on eBay last year.  It was "Buy It Now," and I bought it now.  Got here very quickly, and for G/VG condition vinyl, it yielded a very good file.  After I removed most of the clicks, anyway.

The mono sound is tremendous, though I decided to tweak the upper end a bit on VinylStudio.  One look at the track titles, and I figured this would be a fairly dull listen, but it's mostly delightful.  Dick (Harlem Nocturne, et al.) Rodgers is the director, and I was surprised by his considerable arranging skills--and then I noticed the Jimmy Leyden (Bell, Decca, RCA) credit on the back jacket.  It was Jimmy, all along.  That explained it.

"This is the first industrial choral group to be signed to a major company for international distribution," note the  notes.  (Not sure about the "major company" part.)  Interesting.  And the group itself?  A spirited, beautifully rehearsed semi-professional outfit which produces some fine sounds, along with some painful ones (esp. on Silent Night).  They won't make you forget Robert Shaw on the arty numbers or Lawrence Welk on the poppy tracks, but they're several cuts above the norm for this kind of group.

The notes call The Macy Singers the "new Miracle on 34th Street"--very clever.


Christmas Party for Children--20 Favorites (Yulesong SY-0222)

We kick off the 2017 Christmas posting with the ultra-cheap classic, Christmas Party for Children--20 Favorites.

And what list of Christmas favorites would be complete without "Hickory Dickory Dock," "Farmer in the Dell," "Twinkle Twinkle Little Star," "London Bridge," "Me and Teddy Bear," or "The Bible Tells Me So"?  Oh, and they also have filler like "White Christmas," "Silent Night," and "Toy Soldier," the latter sounding a lot like Leon Jessel's 1897 Die Parade der Zinnsoldaten (Parade of the Toy Soldiers).  Uncannily so, in fact.  Hm.  Maybe Yulesong was saving on ink when it typed out "Toy Soldier."

This disc was, quote-unquote,"Mfd. by Cadet Records, Inc.," but we cheap-label experts know that we're not talking the Chess/Argo family of labels, but rather the infamous Crown/Kent/United/Robin Hood/Custom, etc. brood.  What I can't believe is that Yulesong didn't have enough actual holiday cuts on hand to fulfill the LP's "20 Favorites" promise, given all the Crown Christmas material they had in the vaults, but then they didn't specify which kind of "favorites," now, did they?

The sound is acceptable, for the most part, and there's some real stereo to be heard on a few selections, making the label's "stereo" promise not a complete lie.

In the best cheap-label tradition, the title line-up on the jacket has zilch to do with the actual one.  I cloned out the masking tape on my jacket scan, but now I'm thinking I should've kept it there for maximum el-cheapo effect.

Click here to hear: Christmas Party for Children--20 Favorites

White Christmas
Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Toy Soldier
The Night Before Christmas
Happy Birthday to You
The Bible Tells Me So
Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
Alphabet Story & Song
Farmer in the Dell
Hickory Dickory Dock
Little Drummer Boy 
Down By the Station
Me and Teddy Bear
The First Noel
Three Blind Mice
Jack and Jill
Silent Night
London Bridge
Mary Had a Little Lamb
Jingle Bells


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Happy Veterans Day!

Thanks to all who served, including those who served with me!

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Saturday, October 28, 2017

Halloween 2016 is back!!!

Greetings!  It's almost Halloween, and I've been too ill to post any scary stuff for the holiday (unless you find barbershop frightening), but... looks like my 2016 posts are still up and running!  I really went to town last year--I'd forgotten how much.  I must have felt a heck of a lot better than I have this year.

So, here are the 2016 post links.  Ignore the message about the preview not loading--just hit the download button.  All is fine--I've test-downloaded all of these successfully.

And there's the fact I have very few "new" Halloween tracks on hand, so I'd just be recycling this year, anyway.  Halloween isn't like Christmas.  If it were, there'd be thousands more Halloween records!  Even as liberal as I am with my definition of a "Halloween track" (I've tossed in flying saucers, Little Nell, and even dinosaurs one year), the things just get harder to unearth.

And... a fun post from 2014 featuring 1964 Sunset House catalog ads.  I wonder if anyone is still selling the "Spook Hand" that sticks out of the toilet seat?  (Not making this up....)



Saturday, October 21, 2017

A Little Close Harmony--Vintage Barbershop (1906-1926)

Wow--I didn't realize I'd been absent from this blog for two months.  I'd have guessed one, not two.  Time flies when you're ill, I guess.  My apologies.

Today, 17 vintage barbershop recordings, all (as far as I know) by white quartets.  More on that later.  Some fabulous singing is coming your way.

In a follow-up post, I'll talk about my absence (ah, the joys of Prednisone!), and I'll give background on these (mostly) barbershop gems contained in today's playlist, all ripped by me from my shellac collection with Vinyl Studio and MAGIX software.  For now, here's the wonderful music:

Click here to hear: A Little Close Harmony

A Little Close Harmony (a.k.a., The Old Songs)--Criterion Quartet (1921)
Down at the Huskin' Bee (Same)
Sweet Adeline--Peerless Quartet, 1926
In the Evening By the Moonlight--Same
The Owl and the Pussycat (melody: De Koven)--Haydn Quartet, 1908
Bring Back My Bonnie to Me--Haydn Quartet w. Orch., 1906
Darling Nellie Gray--Peerless Quartet, 1925
Down By the Old Mill Stream--Brunswick Quartet, 1911
Way Down Yonder in the Cornfield--Imperial Quartet, 1915
Honey That I Love So Well--Chicago Glee Club (Male Quartet), 1911
You're a Great Big Blue-Eyed Baby--Heidelberg Quartet, 1913
And the Green Grass Grew All Around--American Quartet, 1913
Kentucky Days--Peerless Quartet, 1912
Rainbow (Wenrich)--Shannon Quartet, 1926
Red Wing (Mills)--Same
The Cross Bow (De Koven, from "Robin Hood")--Imperial Quartet, 1915


Saturday, August 19, 2017

The soothing concert sounds of Paul Whiteman, featuring Ferde Grofe and Jack Fulton

Before I forget, and for those who don't already know, it's Christmas in July time at Ernie (Not Bert).  (Wait, it's August!  Boy, is Ernie dedicated!)  Everyone is wondering how Ernie does it, and that includes me!

Meanwhile, over here, some soothing sounds for people having trouble getting to sleep--people like, oh, for example, me.  Four superb sides by Paul Whiteman--three of them "concert" treatments of pop songs and the fourth a symphonic jazz piece by Rube Bloom called Soliloquy.  These are my own rips from my own  12-inch 78 rpm copies, and I hope I've done the originals some justice.

Meanwhile, on the sleep front, I'm halfway there with a recent prescription that has me sleeping like a log but, unfortunately, still plenty sedated after getting up (or, rather, making the attempt!).  It's back to the drawing board, but at least I've experienced some decent sleep.  Problem is, I need decent awake time, too.  Comes in handy....

Two of our selections--Lover and I Can't Give You Anything But Love--feature (in my opinion) lovely vocals by Jack Fulton, whose biggest fan has to be Gary Giddins, author of Bing Crosby: A Pocketful of Dreams--The Early Years, 1903-1940. who describes Fulton's singing style as "effeminate" and "almost flaccid," apparently because Jack sang in a (gasp!) falsetto.  (What was next?  Long hair?  Flowery clothes?)  I would like Giddins' book a great deal more if he'd managed to present Bing as something new and important (which Bing certainly was) without resorting to insult-a-thons, but the volume is dedicated to hyping Bing as the hero in a sea of backward squares (is that redundant)?  In other words, same ol' pop biography.

To the music.  Sorry for all the junk on the Zippyshare page:

I Can't Give You Anything But Love--Paul Whiteman and His Orch.


I Can't Give You Anything But Love (Arr: Ferde Grofe)--Vocal, Jack Fulton (1928)
When Day Is Done (Arr: Ferde Grofe) (1927)
Soliloquy (Rube Bloom, Arr: Grofe?) (!927)
Lover (Arr: Adolph Deutsch?)--Vocal, Jack Fulton (1933)



Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Greetings! Still here

Just to let everyone know I'm still among the living.  More specifically, among the tired.  I'm having major sleep issues, but they're slowly working themselves out with the help of prescription meds.

It's just that, for some strange reason, I go through the day tired (as I did today), then sit in a chair at 1 am, wired awake.  What the heck?  This is the pattern I seek to end.

Hope everyone's fine.  Be very careful next Monday when the solar eclipse occurs.  I won't even try protective glasses myself--I'm simply not looking.  I'm sure it'll be on TV.

Where I live, we won't get the complete blackout effect.  Which is fine, since I'm not looking, anyway.


Sunday, July 02, 2017

Mingo presents... Fourth of July, 2017!!

Mingo's eyes were operated on two weeks ago, and they're doing way better.  The way I understand it (and I may be wrong) is that all three of Mingo's eyelids--upper, lower, and inner--were turned the wrong way.  Our vet, Dr. Mike, had never encountered anything like it before and was hesitant at first to operate, but Mingo's condition kept getting worse, so he went ahead, and... now Mingo is looking (and seeing) a lot better!  Mingo can't wait for the local-town fireworks, which are visible from our back yard.

The selections--marches, polkas, fiddle tunes, choral performances, and more--were all ripped by me (with musical direction by Mingo) from 78s and vinyl my collection.  Mingo and I wish everyone a safe and happy Fourth!

Click here to hear:  Fourth of July, 2017

The Standard Bearer March--Conway's Band, 1917
The Star Spangled Banner--Prince's Band, 1916
Columbia, the Gem of the Ocean--Prince's Band, 1916
Yorktown Centennial--March (Sousa)--United States Marine Band, 1921
Swanee (Gershwin)--All Star Trio, 1920
Original Jigs and Reels--George Stehl, Violin Solo, 1910
Battle Hymn of the Republic--Victor Mixed Chorus w. Orch., 1928
Arkansas Traveller--Kessinger Brothers, 1928
The Midnight Ride of Paul Revere--Budd McCoy, 1959
Stars and Stripes Forever--The Thunderer (Street Organ, Amsterdam), 1959
American Eagle Polka--The Polkateers
Americana Medley--The Banjo Barons, 1959
You're a Grand Old Flag--George M. Cohan, Jr., 1948
Chester (Billings)--Janice Beck, organ
Chester (Billings)--The Gregg Smith Singers, 1969
This Is a Great Country (Irving Berlin)--Lawrence Welk, 1976
This Is My Country--Lawrence Welk, 1976


Monday, May 29, 2017

Memorial Day 2017, Part 2

Two more selections for today, and I'll try not to complain about Windstream in this post, especially considering the fact that Zippyshare is now, for some reason, working.

I have no idea how I got it to work.  It could have been one (or more) of any four solutions I tried, including switching from Google Chrome and saying in a loud Patrick Stewart voice, "YOU WILL WORK AS I COMMAND."  It was probably the Patrick Stewart voice.

I think the last time I featured Ferde Grofe's wonderful c. 1929 Over There Fantasie was in 2013.  Not sure, since I long ago purged most of this blog's history (too many "dead" links), but here it is again, and in something we don't hear a lot of at this blog: stereo.  I've coupled it with a highly enjoyable and inspiring version of William Billing's Revolutionary War anthem Chester, arranged by United States Army Band leader and commanding officer Colonel Samuel Loboda.  It includes a 21-gun salute (just to let you know).

Click here to hear: Over There Fantasie--Chester

Over There Fantasie (Grofe, c. 1929)
Chester (William Billings; arr. Colonel Samuel Loboda

The United States Army Band, Colonel Samuel Loboda--Leader and Commanding Officer, 1975.

From LP, The United States Army 1775-1975 (No label name)


Memorial Day 2017

I can no longer use Zippyshare--I try to upload, and nothing happens.  I imagine it's our sick and sorry excuse for internet service (the joke known as Windstream DSL).  So my uploads will have to be, unless and until I get around to enjoying the experience of staring helplessly at an upload that refuses to happen.

You who enjoy an actual internet connection have no idea how unbelievably lucky you are.  And, yes, they actually bill us for ours.

Click here to hear: The Trumpeter

The Trumpeter--Raymond Newell, Baritone; Ion Swinley, Narrator, 1929.
Your Land and My Land (Romberg, A: Grofe)--Paul Whiteman and His Orch., w. vocal refrain, 1927.
March for Americans (Grofe)--Meredith Willson and His Orch., 1941.


Saturday, May 27, 2017

Dance It Again with Me--Acoustical gems (1903-1920)!

Acoustical gems, spanning the years 1903 to 1920.  A number have been featured here before, but not sounding as good, because 1) I'm using Vinylstudio and 2) I'm using a bass turnover of 0 Hz and a 10kHz treble rolloff of 0 dB.  The result is clear, crisp, clean acoustical sound.

You'll think you're right there, hearing the musicians play in person.  Well, not really, but the sound is quite good.  Download without delay for some 97- to 114-year-old sound!

Click here to hear:  Dance It Again with Me

Cold Turkey--Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orch., 1917
12th St. Rag--Same
Ringtail Blues--Wilbur Sweatman's Orig. Jazz Band, 1918
Bluin' the Blues--Same
On the Streets of Cairo--Art Hickman's Orch., 1919
My Baby's Arms--Same
Sand Dunes--Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orch., 1919
Oriental Stars--One Step--Joseph C. Smith's Orch., 1920
Arkansas Traveler--Don Richardson, violin, 1916
Old Zip Coon--Same
Spanish Bolero (Moszkowski)--Columbia Band, 1903
Pork and Beans--Earl Fuller's Rector Novelty Orch., 1917
Swanee--One Step (Gershwin)--Gene Rodemich's Orch., 1919
Dance It Again with Me--Art Hickman's Orch., 1919


Monday, May 15, 2017

Cheap label country of the 1950s

And we mean cheap.  How cheap, you ask?  Record Pak-cheap, that's how cheap.  Plus, Tops-, Allegro-, and Variety-cheap.  These are the pop and country labels you ended up with if you weren't willing or able to spring for the name outfits and artists.  Cheap as cheap can be.  And lots of fun.

Most of these rips sound decent enough, with the exception of a couple tracks from the Record Pak 78, which I suspect was played with a Stone Age tonearm.  An extra-wide needle and heavier tracking force can only do so much for such a battered platter, but the tracks are great fun.  (Did I mention fun?)

From 78s (and a 45) from my collection.

Click here to hear: Cheap Label Country


Salty Dog Rag--Steve Thompson (Record Pak 149)
Wild Side of Life--Same (Record Pak 149)
Easy on the Eyes--Rusty Gill (Record Pak 149)
The Gold Rush Is Over--Prairie Ramblers; v: Wally Moore (Record Pak 149)
I Walk the Line--No artists credited (Variety EPV-802)
Folsom Prison Blues--No artists credited (Variety EPV-802)
Honky Tonk Man--No artists credited (Variety EPV-802)
My Baby Left Me--Rusty Howard (George Jones), The Rhythm Rangers-- (Gilmar RX-124)
Hep Cat Baby--Rusty Howard, the Rhythm Rangers-- (Tops R244)
Courtin' in the Rain--Same
In the Jailhouse Now--Pat Patterson and the Texas Wranglers (Tops R255)
That's All Right--Same
Knee Deep in the Blues--Dave Burgess and the Toppers (Tops R302)
Singing the Blues--No artists credited (Allegro 1670)
I Walk the Line--No artists credited (Allegro 1670)


Wednesday, May 03, 2017

Whittemore and Lowe--"Pop Hits on Two Pianos," plus bonus tracks

The 1959 RCA Camden LP, Pop Hits on Two Pianos (above), reissues nine of the ten tracks from the 1946 Whittemore and Lowe 78 set Two Grand. which RCA had the duo pianists redo, under the same title, in 1956, possibly having decided it wasn't grand enough.  Anyway, the Camden LP omits The Continental, so I ripped it from my 78 copy and inserted it as a bonus track, because I'm like that.

Completing the Pop Hits on Two Pianos tracklist are three pop-concert mega-standards: Ritual Fire Dance, Malaguena, and Liebestraum, all featuring duo pianists Arthur and Jack without orchestra.

In addition, from shellac in my collection, we have two 1948 orchestra-less sides, plus two 1951 prepared-piano numbers that also qualify as "tape music," given the tape effects therein (quick splices, delay, possibly some speed manipulation), so you can't say without fear of rebuttal that I've scrimped on the Whittemore and Lowe.  By the way, Ernie was the person who brought the prepared piano sides to my attention a while back.  Thanks, Ernie.

Arthur and Jack were kind of a less flamboyant Ferrante and Teicher, and they were first.  Like F&T, they did light classics, pop standards, Broadway, and even country, but in a more laid-back way.

Click here to hear: Pop Hits on Two Pianos, plus bonus tracks

(With orchestra conducted by Russ Case, 1946)

In the Still of the Night
The Song Is You-Same
They Didn't Believe Me
Falling in Love with Love
That Old Black Magic
The Continental (from 78 rpm)

(Without Orchestra; dates courtesy of Buster)

Ritual Fire Dance--December 18, 1947
Malaguena--January 31, 1947  
Liebestraum--September 20, 1946

(Bonus Tracks, from 78s)

Night and Day--RCA Victor Red Seal 10-1361 (1948)
Seldom the Sun (Alec Wilder)--RCA Victor Red Seal 10-1361 (1948)
Third Street Rhumba (Clifford Shaw)--RCA Victor 20-4404 (1951)
Begin the Beguine--RCA Victor 20-4404 (1951)


Friday, April 21, 2017

Society Favorites that are our favorites (Royale VLP 6042)

More adventures in cheap vinyl.  Today, the Royale label is making another appearance--Royale, you'll recall, belonged to Elliott Everett "Eli" Oberstein, whose labels were probably the cheapest of the cheap, though I hesitate to make a claim that cheap--I mean, that large.  As is not infrequently the case, the music here is quite decent--much better than the second-rate vinyl it was pressed on.  Best of the bunch are the marvelous pre-RCA and Columbia Percy Faith sides, which date from (I believe) 1946.

Vintage easy listening which can't be beat--that is, unless it was more competently mastered, and on better vinyl, but that's why you have me--to restore this stuff.  This ten-inch LP dates from... who knows when?  It has a copyright date of 1952, but I wouldn't trust that.

Society Favorites (That Are Our Favorites).  For the socialites and non-socialites among us.

Click here to hear:  Society Favorites

Body and Soul--Stevens Orchestra
Sweet and Lovely--Nat Brandwynne and Orchestra
Dancing in the Dark--Percy Faith and Orchestra
You and the Night and the Music--The Twilight Three
I Cover the Waterfront--Stevens Orchestra
I Guess I'll Have to Change My Plans--Chauncey Gray and Orchestra
That Old Black Magic--Percy Faith and Orchestra
The Continental--Jerry Wald and Orchestra

Society Favorites (That Are Our Favorites)--Royale VLP 6042 (10")


Monday, April 17, 2017

Kostelanetz, to date

While I'm wigging out over my Impala's unreliable AUX function, here are the links to all of my active Andre Kostelanetz posts:

Kosty Speaks! The Voice Behind the BatonKosty Speaks

Ten-inch Kosty: Kostelanetz Strings:  K. Strings

Kosty for Saturday: KFS

Exotic Music (1946): EM

Andre Kostelanetz, 1934-1946: AK, 1934-1946


In 2017, auxiliary jacks are super-duper cutting-edge high-tech ultra-technology of the future

In case you didn't know that.  Some would argue that auxiliary (AUX) jacks are 1930s technology, but we have a 2017 Chevy Impala with a state of the art entertainment console/module/something, and the AUX function doesn't work.  It's that simple.  It doesn't work.

Simple logic tells us that, if an AUX function doesn't work on a state of the art, super-duper, ultra-modern, latest-technology entertainment console, then it must be, at the very least, emergent technology.

At any rate, it was working yesterday.  The console "detected" my AUX device (a Panasonic portable CD player plugged into the AUX jack), and I was able to play CDs and stuff, and everything was great.  Today, no device was detected.  No sound.  Everything was as I had left it, but no detected device, no sound.  None.  Nada.  Zilch.  Nicht.  Zero.

So I plugged, unplugged, turned the car off and on again, tested the Panasonic player in the house (it's working fine), then counted to ten to keep from smashing something in anger.

Worked yesterday but not today.  Who to ask for help?  Well, given the fact that the folks at the dealership, including a tech, are less familiar with the console/module/something menu that I am (picture a tech poking around, with no idea what he's looking for because Chevrolet forgot to inform anyone what they were planning to do with the 2017 Impala command center console thingie), going back to the dealership would likely be an exercise in, "Hm.  We don't know what's happening," only it would take 20 minutes to get to that revelation, and meanwhile everyone would act like they knew what they were doing.  And there's no number to call.

And imagine if there was a help center.  Person on phone (heavy foreign accent): "Do you have the device plugged in?"  Only, of course, it would come out, "Do you haf dee (inaudible) plag een?"

Here I sit, defeated by the auxiliary function.  Back in 1955, Bev, who is going on 83, used an AUX jack to listen to her record player through her radio.  In 2017, I can't use an AUX jack to play my Panasonic through my super-duper, state of the art, emergent-technology entertainment audio console/module/whatever.

1955=plug player into AUX, sit back and enjoy the sound.  2017=No device detected.


UPDATE: Working again.  But... for how long?  (Ominous music, fade)

UPDATE, PART 2: Continuing to work.  It's messing with me!


Sunday, April 16, 2017

More Easter sounds--Make Like a Bunny, Honey; Easter Chimes; He Lives

My bobblehead bunny (from Walgreens, I think) and his two buddies asked me to dig up some more Easter music, so of course I complied.

Here are six more Easter selections, including three extremely silly ones that will always have a home at MY(P)WHAE.  My Stairway to Easter (not one of the silly ones--or is it?) is a takeoff on a little-known Led Zeppelin number--a ditty you may have heard once or twice.  Or a thousand times.  And here's Jimmy Carroll again.  We heard him not too long ago in multi-tracked form, in which he functioned as a clarinet orchestra performing Tiptoe Thru the Tulips.  That really happened--it wasn't a dream.

Beautiful rainbow this morning, perfectly situated for viewing from our church fellowship room window.  Maybe it's a sign the storms will be mild tonight.  (Well, I can hope.)

More Easter music

He Lives (Ackley)--Ralph Carmichael Choir
Funny Little Bunnies--The Cricketts w. the Peter Pan Orch.
Easter Chimes (Hartsfeld)--Lee Hartsfeld, plus echo, 2006
Bunny Hop--Peter Pan Orch. and Singers, 1955
Stairway to Easter (Hartsfeld)--Lee Hartsfeld and Noteworthy Composer, 2009
Make Like a Bunny, Honey--Jill Corey, w. Jimmy Carroll Orch. and Cho., 1957