Friday, December 28, 2007

James Brown, Prisoner of Love

King Records
K 5739
45 RPM

James Brown passed away last Christmas (2006). I'd forgotten that. But David Mills didn't and he put together a very cool James Brown contest. It's over, but you can still listen to it.

I have very little James Brown, but I do have his 1963 45 rpm recording of Prisoner of Love -- his first song to enter the pop Top 20. It had also been an earlier hit for Perry Como (source: wiki).

Of course I'd planned on scanning both sides...until I found a James discography that had taken care of that for me. Also includes all the recording information I wouldn't have had.

If you're looking for James info, try here: James Brown Discography.

Guess all that's left for me to do is t play the songs:

And a scan of the 44-year old record sleeve.

High school music

Saxophone sheet music (1978) for the Rosemount school song.

I played saxophone through 9th grade. As much as I love the saxophone, I wasn't very good. I did enjoy playing in the pep band -- more saxophone friendly music and acoustics in Minnesota hockey arenas were generally awesome. My ears still ring from the brass section on 25 or 6 to 4. The one year I did marching band was so-so. I doubt we had more than 60-80 band members and the routines were fairly rudimentary: march 5 yards, turn around, march 10 yards, spin right and march in place. Yawn. I remember watching a half time performance the next year when the routine was slightly more complicated and seeing one section high-stepping to a point, then pivoting off at a 45 degree angle. Kinda cool, but the field was wet and about 10 band members ended up in a pile. I'd have been in that pile if I'd still been playing. So one point for me for giving up!

The band has since become much larger and quite good at the marching thing. It so happens that on the other side of the country we happen to live in the neighborhood of one of the top high school bands in the country: Lassiter. We'll pack a picnic dinner in the fall and go watch them practice. I haven't seen many sports teams that practice as hard as these guys do.

Here's the last performance of 2007. It's a bit grainy, but at the beginning you'll hear the director state the band numbers about 250 or 14 percent of the student population. Too bad there isn't a better copy of this because it was an amazing routine and they won a regional tournament with it. If you scroll to the bottom of this Vic Firth page, you can watch the Lassiter High School Percussion Ensemble performed at the Percussive Arts Society International Convention (PASIC) in Columbus, Ohio: The ensemble was selected from a recording of selections performed by last years group and evaluated by a panel of judges. The judges were made up of college professors of percussion from across the country. The Percussive Arts Society hosts the competition each year in order to encourage , promote and reward musical excellence in percussion ensemble performance. This is one of the most prestigious honors that any percussion program can receive. The ensemble is under the direction of Mike Lynch and assisted by Scott Brown.

Here's a video of their 2002 National Championship routine:

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Disneyland LPs

In addition to the 30 or so Disneyland 45 rpm records the wife owns, we returned from Christmas dinner at my mom's with 29 Disneyland LPs. These are all from the 1960s and I remember playing them when I was six -- the same age our daughter is now. Plan is make copies of these for my brother and sisters for next Christmas.

At some point my parents must have tried to sell these at a garage sale because they all have price stickers for $2 or $3. Originally, most of them sold for $1.98.

Here's the list:
  • #1289, 1965: It's a Small World, 18 favorite folk songs
  • #ST-1908, 1963: 101 Dalmations in story and song
  • ST-3905, 1962: Story of Pinocchio (complete story, all the songs and music, plus a 24-page colored illustrated book)
  • #1202, 1963: All the songs from Walt Disney's Pinocchio
  • #1203, 1969: Songs from Bambi
  • #1204, 1963: All the songs from Walt Disney's Dumbo
  • #1304, 1967: Songs from the Jungle Book
  • #1231, 1964: Lady and the Tramp, All the songs from the Motion Picture
  • ST-1927, 1963: The Story of an Incredible Journey
  • DQ-1246, 1963: The Story of the Littlest Outlaw
  • DQ-1253, Walt Disney presents the story of Hansel and Gretel (music from the Humperdinck opera and one of the voices is Marni Nixon)
  • ST-1910, 1961: Story and songs about Walt Disney's 3 Little Pigs
  • 1208, 1968: All the songs from walt Disney's Alice in Wonderland
  • DQ-1251: The story of Treasure Island
  • ST-3906, 1962: Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (with illustrated book)
  • ST-3922, 1964: The Story of Mary Poppin with songs from the motion picture (Marni Nixon and Richard M. Sherman)
  • ST-3910, 1962: Story of Peter Pan (with illustrated book)
  • #1259, 1964: The Little Engine That Could
  • #DQ-1249, 1964: The Story of Robin Hood
  • ST-1912, 1963: The Prince and the Pauper
  • ST-1917, 1963: Adventures of Little Hiawatha
  • ST-1915, 1963: The Story of Hans Brinker and the Silver Skates
  • ST-1924, 1963: Presents the Story of 20,000 Leagues under the Sea
  • ST-1907, 1963: Story of Swiss family Robinson
  • ST-1911, ????: The Absent Minded Professor
  • ST-1920, 1963: The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

A couple years ago, while visiting Disney World, I tried to buy a CD version of Sleepy Hollow. The Disney store at Downtown Disney had a music kiosk where you could create your own CDs. Most of the available material was recent crap from their shows on the Disney Channel, but there were also a few old ones. I wanted Sleepy Hollow and Peter and the Wolf. Unfortunately when I tried to burn my copy, the CD burner broke and the shop drones had no idea what to do. Not only that, but that kiosk was apparently the only place in the entire Disney universe one could purchase those tracks. No other kiosks around, no ability to download from iTunes or elsewhere. That seriously sucks and makes no sense. Most likely, most of the stories listed above have never been made available in any modern format. I wouldn't be surprised if few were ever printed after the mid 70s.

When we were back this past May, the kiosk was still there with all "old" songs purged. If I'd been in the market for a Hannah Montana mix CD, that was where I needed to be. Otherwise, worthless. So while I plan on sharing most of these with the usual streaming through the Vox account, Sleepy Hollow will be available as an mp3 download*. Suck it, Disney**. Set your music free. And by free I mean available to purchase. It's called capitalism, you should try it. You have a product I want to give you money for, so let's make this work. Though I guess I don't really need you anymore, do I? I'm probably missing a record or two I'd like to have, so we might still be able to do business. If you get your act together.

*Halloween 2008

**Uh, that's a joke

Monday, December 24, 2007

Great Songs of Christmas...created exclusively for Goodyear

CSS 388
Columbia Special Products created exclusively for Goodyear.

Artists: Barbra Streisand, Andy Williams, Johnny Mathis, The King Family, Pablo Casals, Jan Peerce, Ray Conniff, New Christy Minstrels, Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Mormon Tabernacle Choir, Bing Crosby, Mahalia Jackson & Percy Faith.

Just realized this is the third LP by the Columbia Special Products Division. The Barbra Streisand and Friends for Maxwel House and another one for Grant's Department Stores. For all you who complain about me not playing enough classical Christmas music, here you go. This is one of a handful of records from the mid-60s that were played continuously in our household...until the Jackson 5 Christmas album came out and I redefined what "classical" meant for me.
From the back cover:
This is the sixth in the Goodyear Series of the Great Songs of Christmas; 22 selections to enrich your holiday. A pleasing blend of the great music of the season, the old and the new.

Thank you, Goodyear. I will think of you the next time I need tires. I miss the good ole' days when the giants of commerce offered gifts for you patronage. Unlike all those compilation Christmas CDs put out in the 90s to raise money for some obscure cause. You know, like cancer, or the homeless, or gimpy children. Sometimes I just want to listen to a song without having to save the world.

Twenty-two songs is a bit much, so I'll just offer three.
  1. Jan Peerce, Noel Nouvelet
    Each year the Great Songs of Christmas is enhanced by a few traditional carols which are melodious and well-loved in other countries, but unfamiliar here. Noul Novelet is one of these. It is a traditional French carol, whose melody is in an ancient Greek style. Marcel Dupre's famous composition for organ, Variations on a French Noel, is based on this melody.

  2. Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme, Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow. Not a huge fan of this song or the vocals, but I love the arrangement. I need to clip those first 6 seconds and just loop them.
    Still another festive, cheerful song of the season is Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow and this warming performance by Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme is hearty enough to chase away the most fearful weather.

  3. Mahalia Jackson and Percy Faith, Away in a Manger
    Mahalia Jackson and Percy Faith each are outstanding artists in their own right; on the rare occasions when the two record together, the result always is a rare treat. For this album they have recorded an especially moving performance of Away in a Manger.

    For many years this carol was thought to have been written by Martin Luther for his children. But, this belief seems to have originated with the American harmonizer of the melody. The true origin of the carol is unknown, but is believed to have been composed by a member of the German Lutheran colony in Pennsylvania.

Bobbie Gentry, the sounds of Christmas

A Collector's Limited Edition
B.F. Good rich presents
The Christmas Sound of Music
Stereo SL-6643

A Christmas LP of mostly country stars. Glen Campbell has side 1 all to himself with four songs. Then Bobbie Gentry, The Lettermen, Sandler & Young, and Ella Fitzgerald share side 2. What's Ella doing on there and why was she only given one song? Well, she was a bit past her prime and O Little Town of Bethlehem isn't one of her better efforts. To be honest, I prefer David Sedaris doing Ella more than Ella herself.

I've never been much of a country music fan, but I do enjoy Bobbie Gentry on this. And I always forget she sang Ode to Billy Joe, one of my favorite songs. Maybe I should hit the used CD store and give her more of a listen.

Here's the two Bobbie Gentry songs. The rest of the album I don't much care for.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Fast Babs Slow Babs

Barbra Streisand's warp speed version of Jingle Bells.

I've never cared for this one. Sounds too much like she was sick and tired of being in the studio and just wanted to be the hell done. I can picture her slamming down her headphones and stalking out of the recording booth. Engineer looks at the producer and says "I guess were done."

So I decided to fix it. If it's too fast, make it slower. Done: Jingle Bells Slower.

Later I'll add I've added the Jim Nabors version that appears on Season's Greetings from Barbra Streisand...And Friends. It's a promotional album from Maxwell House and Barbra could only be bothered to show up for half of it. The rest is filled out by Jim Nabors, Doris Day, and Andre Kostelanetz.

borrowed photo:

Jim Nabors singing Jingle Bells. But his voice is too deep. No problem, I fixed it so he sounds more like Gomer Pyle -- listen to the new version.

Two Christmas links

I won't stream these since you can just follow the links and play or download the mp3s yourself. From two of my favorite singers.

Kim Shattuck

She, of course, is the lead singer for The Muffs. One of my favorite bands of all time. Go buy all their CDs. I have. She's recently started a blog and has release the Kim Shattuck Holiday Podcast 2007. It's 43 minutes of wonderful Christmas music. To be honest, I just found this and I'm listening while typing. Don't know if she sings, but the selections are great. If you live in Southern California, she's started a portrait business with her sister...if you need some of that.

Prudence Johnson

I have no idea how many times I've sat in a bar listening to Prudence Johnson. Let's just call it a lot. Probably the only musicians I've seen more often would be the Wallets. This is just a beautiful song and everyone should have it in their library. Listen, download, then go buy her CDs. Cantique de Noel (mp3)

Monday, December 17, 2007

Today's quiz

From the NY Times:
For the final performance of “A New Day,” Celine Dion’s show at Caesars Palace here last weekend, M J Wylie, 49, a health-care consultant from Denver, decided to go formal. She wore a floor-length black gown and a sparkly white shawl; around her neck was a silver pendant in the shape of the show’s first logo, an elongated figure of a woman. Inside her $3,400 Judith Leiber clutch, bought at the gift shop adjacent to the theater and also bedazzled with the logo, were several autographed photos of Ms. Dion with Ms. Wylie. It was an undeniably elegant ensemble; the only problem, Ms. Wylie said, was that her dress hid her commemorative “New Day” tattoo.

It was her 62nd time at the show.

Ms. Wylie said, “It’s been my escape for the last five years.” She likened her fervor to a drug addiction — except, she said, “it’s legal, it’s wholesome.” But it’s also pricey: She estimated she had easily spent $15,000 to $20,000 on her Dion habit.

Is Ms. Wylie,
  1. A bit delusional, but of no harm to anyone but herself and her bank account.
  2. Delusional and dangerous and this article goes into her already bulging file maintained by Celine Dion's security staff.

I have no Celine Dion songs to add to this.

Friday, December 14, 2007

In other words

A few links to what other people are writing about.

Nine Things Which Appeared on The Muppet Show, But Wouldn’t Make It Onto Family Television These Days
3. War. A Muppet unit of World War One infantrymen, being shelled to pieces in their trench while singing a cheery rendition of “Why Can’t We Be Friends?”… Jesus Christ. The performance ends with Statler and Waldorf putting on German helmets and machine-gunning the stage. I swear to God I’m not making this up.

When I was volunteering at my son’s school recess on Wednesday I saw something similar. It began like something you’d see in grainy black and white footage documenting the early days of Beatlemania. The vast majority of the third grade came out of the building in a screaming pack. Soon I noticed that they all appeared to be chasing a boy named Isaac.

I started to worry about the safety of Isaac and the other kids. I asked my son Liam what was going on. “Isaac promised us that he would sing at recess!” he replied.

The Best Joni Mitchell Song Ever:
This is a love letter. To a love song. One I keep returning to. One I keep feeling I need to do justice to. I don't know if I can, but I'll try.

A couple of months ago, I'd gone back to playing it. Only I can't play it just once. I have to play it over and over again for hours on end. I can't get enough of it. It's not just a love song: It's a road song, it's a motel song, it's a Southwestern desert song, it's a disappearance and death song. It's a Joni Mitchell song. It's "Amelia."

People get that way about Joni Mitchell songs. Bob Dylan once told me that he'd written "Tangled up in Blue," the opening song of the much-celebrated Blood on the Tracks, after spending a weekend immersed in JM's Blue (although I think he may have been talking about the whole album, not just the song).

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Thursday Challenge VI

Christmas edition! Let's zero out everyone's scores and start over.

1 point each
  1. "Oh Damn, guess what I forgot?"
  2. According to the South Park Christmas, what should you not say in front of Jesus?
  3. Why is Backdoor Santa not like old Saint Nick?
  4. Complete this lyric from a famous christmas duet:
    You're a bum You're a punk
    You're an ________________

  5. In Tom Waits' "Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis" christmas is not mentioned in the lyrics. What holiday is?
  6. On the album cover of "Christmas with the Chipmunks," what date are they opening presents?
  7. According to James Brown, Santa goes where?
  8. How much cash did Santa leave Run D.M.C.?
  9. In "Elmo saves Christmas" who does Harvey Fierstein tragically portray?
    2 points each
  10. Jews singing Christmas songs: name your favorite two.
  11. In "Pee Wee's Playhouse Christmas" what does Grace Jones sing?
  12. And where was her intended destination?

Rules, always with the rules
Points only for those you know without googling. Obviously I can't stand over you with a Nun ruler, so I'll borrow from the guidelines Ken Jennings uses for his Tuesday Trivia:
As with all good trivia, it would take you about 30 seconds to Google the answers. So you're on the honor system here: no peeking, and only send in the answers you knew off the top of your head.

Unless otherwise noted, spoiler discussions are allowed in the comments. So discuss the answers as much as you want in the comments and if you're still guessing then avoid the comments until your answers are ready.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Malcolm McLaren, Madam Butterfly

45 RPM, 12"
Island 0-96915
Malcolm McLaren -- Lieutenant B.F. Pinkerton
Betty Ann White -- aria, sung by
Deborah Cole -- soloist, nonopera variety
Robert Erdmann -- photograph

Let's stipulate the following:
  1. Malcolm McLaren did not create punk.
  2. The Sex Pistols did not create punk.
  3. If anything, the Sex Pistols killed punk.
  4. American punk was always more about the music; specifically reclaiming it from hippies and boring baby boomers
  5. British punk was more tied into the economic ruin at the and was wrapped up in class warfare and government protest. Even though many of the studios used were built with government grant money to give the youths something to do and keep them off the street.

Getting back to Malcolm McLaren, he is a particularly vile human being who didn't give a shit about the music or musicians or anyone other than himself. Everything he did was created for the sole purpose of creating a "scene" around him. Johnny Lydon's work with PiL was much more interesting than the Sex Pistols. When Adam Ant had his band stolen by McLaren, he took McLaren's ideas and improved upon them, turning out some fun and interesting music. Bow Wow Wow was created as a mouth piece for McLaren's anti-youth, anti-music tirades. Then there's how he treated the underage Annabella. From Simon Reynolds' Rip It Up and Start Again, postpunk 1978-1984:
Vermorel believes McLaren's master scheme was "to create a child porn scandal implicating as many people as he could." Not just EMI, who was financing Chicken, but the BBC, too.A documentary crew headed by Alan Yentob had been following McLaren around for a program on the marketing of Bow Wow Wow. Partly impelled by his usual lust for maximum media mayhem, McLaren also wanted to make a serious polemical point, exposing pop music as porn for children...and pop as porn using children to titillate adults.

With typical ruthlessness, McLaren, in his eagerness to embarrass the music and media establishment, showed no concern whatsoever about the youngsters (Annabella and the other teenage models) or old friends (Vermorel) who would have been embroiled in the scandal. When he went to remonstrate with McLaren, says Vermorel, "alcolm just laughed and said, 'You should be telling all this to the judge! When the shit hits the fan, I'll be in South America.' So I told EMI what was going on. And they tld Yentob, and he freaked out, and those tapes have been in the BBC vault ever since."

...Chickennever hatched. According to Vermorel, the only physical evidence of Chicken's existence was the rate card for advertising in the magazine." But Bow Wow Wow's second release, Your Cassette Pet, continued to expolit the underage-sex angle.

I'll pick the rest when I get around to the Bow Wow albums. But for all his faults, and dislike of music, McLaren did have interesting ideas that sometimes worked. His 1989 album Waltz Darling, a marriage of funk and waltz, is quite effective in parts. But if I'm picking, I'm going with his 1984 opera/R&B work in Fans. Which began with the release of Madam Butterfly.

...Even though "My white honky I do miss him" is about the dumbest lyric ever.

1985 MIT review
Robert Christgau
Youtube video

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Three songs I like

I'll get around to the bands and the full records eventually. Until then, here's three songs for your (or at least mine) listening pleasure.

There was an old lady, Wallets

Ghi, Voodoolulu

Broken hearts for you and me, Trio

Taking suggestions

Looking to see if there's a preference for what I do next. I'm thinking one of the following:

  1. The Something Wild soundtrack. Excellent collection of 80s music -- the Sister Carol track is worth the price of admission. It was released as a CD in 1990, but appears to currently be out of print.

  2. An LP of Margaret Atwood reading her poetry. Years ago, when I was reading a bunch of Atwood novels, I came across this in a used record store. I don't think I've ever played it.

  3. A Civil Defense record from the early 60s. It came with a booklet about how to build a bomb shelter in your backyard. Unfortunately, that's been lost. When I had a college radio show, I'd play this with Beethoven's 9th underneath. Sometimes, with the civil defense siren blaring, it was spooky.

****As you may have noticed, I didn't follow up with any of these. The Malcolm McLaren just needed a couple of finishing touches, then I started ripping some old christmas albums as a parental christmas gift. I did get the civil defense record completed and that should be posted later this week. "Something Wild" might be a bit longer as I'm thinking about pulling some audio clips from the movie.

Thursday Challenge V

It's Shakespop!

Match the artist with the lyrics. Two points for each correct answer.

Bonus Points
  • 1 point for each title you know.
  • 1 point for each song you own.
  • 10 points if you own none.
  • I own four, for 1 point each, name them.
  • For 1-8 points, incorrectly guess the theme. Be creative. Points awarded at the sole discretion of the judge -- me

  1. What if I were Romeo in black jeans
    What if I was Heathcliff, it's no myth
    Maybe she's just looking for
    Someone to dance with

  2. Romeo is dead, Juliet is dyin'
    Love and death has got this whole town cryin'

  3. Juliet says "hey, it's Romeo, you nearly gave me a heart attack!"
    He's underneath the window she's singing "hey la, my boyfriend's back.
    You shouldn't come around here singing up at people like that...
    Anyway what you gonna do about it?"

  4. Romeo was restless, he was ready to kill
    He jumped out the window 'cause he couldn't sit still
    Juliet was waiting with a safety net
    He said, "Don't bury me 'cause I'm not dead yet"

  5. Romeo, oh Romeo
    Wherefore art thou Romeo?
    He's in a car or at a bar
    Or churning his blood
    with an impure drug

  6. I was never satisfied with casual encounters
    I cant hide my need for two hearts that bleed with burning love
    Thats the way its got to be
    Romeo and juliet, they never felt this way I bet
    So dont underestimate my point of view

  7. Romeo and juliet, samson and delilah
    Baby you can bet their love they didnt deny
    Your words say split but your words they lie
    `cause when we kiss, fire

  8. Maybe he's no Romeo
    But he's my lovin' one man show
    Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa
    Let's hear it for the boy

  9. Valentine is done
    Here but now they're gone
    Romeo and Juliet
    Are together in eternity...Romeo and Juliet
    40,000 men and women everyday...Like Romeo and Juliet

  10. Juliet, where's your romeo
    where oh where is your romeo
    tell me juliet where's your romeo
    tell us tell us dear for we all want to know

  • Blue Oyster Cult
  • Elvis Costello
  • Dire Straits
  • Melissa Etheridge
  • Madonna
  • Michael Penn
  • Lou Reed
  • Bruuuuuce Springsteen
  • Denise Williams
  • Peter Wolf

Rules, always with the rules
Points only for those you know without googling. Obviously I can't stand over you with a Nun ruler, so I'll borrow from the guidelines Ken Jennings uses for his Tuesday Trivia:
As with all good trivia, it would take you about 30 seconds to Google the answers. So you're on the honor system here: no peeking, and only send in the answers you knew off the top of your head.

Unless otherwise noted, spoiler discussions are allowed in the comments. So discuss the answers as much as you want in the comments and if you're still guessing then avoid the comments until your answers are ready.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Jesse Johnson, Crazay featuring Sly Stone

A&M Records
12" Single
Original sticker price: $4.28

One of the highlights of 1986 was Jesse Johnson's shockadelica. Except I couldn't have bought in 1986m because I only have the CD and I didn't own a CD player until 1987. What I did buy was the 12" remix of Crazay featuring Sly Stone. Played the crap out of it, too. Searching for a decent scan of the album cover I came across Purple Music, which seems to list everyone ever involved with Prince. Learned that Jesse had tracks on the Pretty in Pink and Breakfast Club soundtracks; somehow I'd missed that.

I think this is his Official Myspace page, where I learned he is playing on Chaka Khan's new CD, Funk This. Her website is all the annoying, but the music sounded good and I downloaded the whole thing from iTunes. She's one of those artists I've always enjoyed, but never really bought any music from. I do have the 12" remix of I Feel For You for whatever that's worth.

Back to Crazay, the side 2 remix, Paul Edit, looks to be by this Cameron Paul.

Need a Sly Stone link -- Phattadatta

Side One
  1. Remix (8:18). I could listen to this all day; Sly even drops a bop gun in there.
  2. Dub Version (6:45). I've been able to figure out what the "Africa-Jungle" intro is supposed to me. Best I can do is wonder if they meant to somehow tie into the South African disinvestment protests.

Side Two
  1. Paul Edit (4:21), Paul Edit by Cameron Paul.
  2. 7 inch Remix (4:32)

Produced by Jesse Johnson for J.W.J. Productions, Inc.
Executive Producer: John McClain
Mixed by Bruce Forest
Additional Production by Bruce Forest
Engineered by Frank Heller
Original version appears on the A&M album "Shockadelica" SP-5122

Additional Photos
One thing I need to do is work on shots of album covers. There's a number I can't locate on the intertoobs, or they're of poor quality. I've tried my own camera shots and I'm not happy with those. Then there's scanning, which doesn't fit:

Front, partial

Back, partial

Side A

Side B

Monday, December 3, 2007

DJ John: Rob Base vs Prince

A remix of "It Takes Two by Rob Base and Kiss by Prince (mp3).

More from DJ John.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Flip Wilson: Cowboys & Colored People

Atlantic Recording Corporation

Side 1
  1. Cowboys & Colored People (5:43).
  2. Midget (1:07).
  3. Riot Suit (1:41).
  4. David and Goliath (5:29).
  5. Ugly People (2:18).
  6. Staying On Too Long (1:25).

Side 2
  1. Christopher Columbus (6:50).
  2. Kids (1:40).
  3. Cheap Hotel (4:25)
  4. Church On Sunday (2:00)
  5. Big Hand (2:05)
  6. Confidential Survey (:50)

Considering how popular he was, it's a little surprising his records were never converted to CD and that there is so little information available about him. Here's three sources:

Some middleclass, well-educated blacks are offended by the updated Amos 'n' Andy quality of Flip's material. Wilson's way of playing with the stereotypes, however, unselfconsciously holds them up to ridicule. Not even Archie Bunker could find much ammunition for bigotry in Flip's presentation of Geraldine (see box, page 59). If Flip is Amos 'n' Andy, he is Amos 'n' Andy in reverse shuffle—with 30 years of civil rights battles behind him.

Most blacks, uneducated as well as sophisticated, seem to realize this. Last year when he appeared at Black Expo '71, a trade and cultural fair in the International Amphitheater in Chicago, the audience was screaming for Geraldine even before Flip came on. "There was such a massive outpouring of love and appreciation that it overwhelmed the cat and broke him down," remembers the Rev. Jesse Jackson, who helped organize the affair.

No Color. To those who say that he should do more to advance the "cause," Flip has a ready reply: "I have feelings about these things, but I'm selling professional entertainment. Politics is for politicians. Each man has his own style; mine is that 'the funny' has no color. I do these characters because they're what I know. But people are just people to me. The way I see it, I don't have to think black—or not think black. I just have to entertain. I'm just a comic."

....His off-the-cuff comments about his craft are more revealing. "Generally," he says, "it only takes one thing that's different to be great. I don't think there's anything that can compare with Charlie Chaplin's walk and remarkable use of the body. With Bob Hope, it's timing; with W.C. Fields it's complete effortlessness. A long time ago, I decided what my thing was and I eliminated everything else. I used to work with a partner, but he'd get drunk and forget his lines. No partner. I eliminated the orchestra because I didn't sing or dance. I used to wear a ratty old coat and a funny hat. I threw those away. No props. Just me. Flip Wilson."

Back Cover: Liner Notes 1
Flip Wilson belongs to the new wave of comics, stand-up monologists like Bill Cosby, Dick Gregory, Woody Allen and Godfrey Cambridge. He is a satirist who knows how to use humor to show the foibles of the society in which we live.

The first national exposure for Flip Wilson came with a guest shot on the Johnny Carson "Tonight" show. He scored so solidly that he was quickly booked by Carson for five more appearances. Those shows brought Flip Wilson to the attention of millions. Wilson had been trying for many years to break into the big time. He admits to being the schoolhouse ham who made his debut at the age of nine, playing Clara Barton in the school play because he learned his lines by "hanging around" and the leading lady didn't show up opening night because of stage fright. There are also those who remember Mr. Wilson as the leader of the daily Pledge of Allegiance at the age of six, when he constantly found new and interesting songs and poems to recite while waiting for the pledge.

Flip's professional career began after a four-year stint in the Air Force. As he says, "It is a lot easier than parking cars." After 10 years of playing scores of small clubs throughout the country Flip Wilson became an "in" comic a few years ago. Since the "Tonight" show he has guested on the Ed Sullivan show and other top-rated TV shows, has moved up from the small clubs to the big-time nighteries, and has become a hot act on the college campus circuit. His hilarious comedy routines on this recording indicate that Flip Wilson will remain in the big-time for many years to come.

Bob Rolontz

Back Cover Liner Notes 2
There's also a review from Variety:
Flip Wilson
Paul's Mall Boston

Flip Wilson, around for some time working in concerts, jazz rooms, onenighters and tv guesting, not yet documented in Variety, is a social satirist and his recounting of historical events in which one or more of the important figures always speak with a southern Negro drawl is devastating. His Biblical figures come to life related to present day showbiz personalities. "Little David was the Ray Charles of his time." His chronicling of ancient Rome could aptly be title "Flip Wilson's Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire."

He repeats, explains, and always with a new clever twist that hits hippie audiences [I'm always in favor of hitting hippie audiences -- Bill] right where they live for continuous rounds of applause and laughter.

Wilson seques from Rome to a hilarious account of Columbus discovering America, with Columbus a small boy, who always keeps saying "when I grow up, I'm gonna discover America." From this he goes into a far out and funny Indian premise in which he relates the Indians to social prejudices: "Do you want to build a $50,000 split-level and have some Indian put up a wigwam next to?" Wilson builds an Indian Jeremiah, detailing, "I tried to be nice to them, but...Thing is the Indians aren't ready yet." He's got a plentitude of routines, writes his own material and is constantly researching for comic satire premises. His material is sharp and clever, in tune with the times, and he wisely refrains from the politico situations preferring to use his comic talents in wild premises that are fun, relating social mores of the past to the present and vice versa.

All material written by Flip Wilson
Licensed for broadcast by BMI
Recording engineer: Phil Lehle
Cover photo: George Rosenblatt
Album design: Loring Eutemey
Introductory voice: Jack Walker
Supervision: Nesyhi Ertegun & Monte Kay

This is a high fidelity recording. For best results observe the R.I.A.A. high fidelity roll-off characteristic with a 500 cycle crossover.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Clean, Complex, and Dark

Your Score: the Wit

(61% dark, 30% spontaneous, 36% vulgar)

your humor style:

You like things edgy, subtle, and smart. I guess that means you're probably an intellectual, but don't take that to mean pretentious. You realize 'dumb' can be witty--after all isn't that the Simpsons' philosophy?--but rudeness for its own sake, 'gross-out' humor and most other things found in a fraternity leave you totally flat.

I guess you just have a more cerebral approach than most. You have the perfect mindset for a joke writer or staff writer.

Your sense of humor takes the most thought to appreciate, but it's also the best, in my opinion.

You probably loved the Office.

PEOPLE LIKE YOU: Jon Stewart - Woody Allen - Ricky Gervais

The 3-Variable Funny Test!

- it rules -

I prefer the American Office over the British Office, though it's far from my favorite show. Jon Stewart's ok (lately, I've watched more of Stephen Colbert) and I haven't seen a Woody Allen movie in years -- I would put Purple Rose of Cairo high on my list of favorite movies. But if we're talking stand up, I'm a big fan of Woody Allen's early work. Very nice absurdist storytelling. He recorded three albums between 1964 and 1968; I don't have any of those. What I do have is a 2 record set released in 1978 that contains material from those earlier albums. You can buy the CD of the same material at Amazon, though the CD cover is different from the album. Here's my favorite Woody Allen routine:

  • Listen to Woody Allen: Moose

Good to know I'm not the only affected by the Moose story.

Thursday Challenge IV

At TSORT's World's Music Charts, by combining a number of source charts, the following were listed as the biggest hit albums of their year. Arrange them in chronological order from oldest to youngest. Two points for each correct answer.

Bonus points:
  • Give yourself 2 additional bonus points for each album/CD you own.
  • You get 5 bonus points if you own zero.
  • I own two; for two points each, name them.

Images linked at

You can wait until Tuesday for the answer or look here

Rules: Points only for those you know without googling. Obviously I can't stand over you with a Nun ruler, so I'll borrow from the guidelines Ken Jennings uses for his Tuesday Trivia:
As with all good trivia, it would take you about 30 seconds to Google the answers. So you're on the honor system here: no peeking, and only send in the answers you knew off the top of your head.

Unless otherwise noted, spoiler discussions are allowed in the comments. So discuss the answers as much as you want in the comments and if you're still guessing then avoid the comments until your answers are ready.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Projects slowing me down

Just thought I'd mention that things might be a little slow around here for a week or two. Birthday parties, home renovations, holidays, work, just haven't been able to get away for a time-sucking hobby. I'll try for a quiz for Thursday, but try not to be too disappointed if there isn't one. The above picture is one of my projects. Since all our CDs are loaded on the computer for home play and carried around on iPods for play everywhere else, the actual CDs and jewel cases just take up space. So I'm filing the CDs and liner notes in media folders and throwing away the jewel cases. It's like a stack of photo albums of album cover art.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Flip Wilson, Cowboys and Colored People

In Progess

Working on this now. I'll put up "Christopher Columbus" and "Cowboys & Colored People" for Thanksgiving (the rest of the album in a few days). Seems like the most holiday appropriate tracks I have. This is one of my favorite comedy albums and "Cowboys & Colored People" my favorite routine.

Criminal his records aren't available on CD. I was at the used record store earlier this week and picked up two other albums: The Flip Wilson Show with special guest David Frost and Flipped Out> Probably won't get around to those until sometime next year.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Two from Nat King Cole

I'm ripping a 6 LP box set for a friend -- two down, four to go. It's "The Longines Symphonette Society proudly presents the Nat King Cole Treasury." You can read the booklet that came with it. I haven't compared what's on this with what's currently available, however, I doubt there are any hidden gems. What I would like to find are some Nat King Cole recordings with a simple jazz combo as I'm not a fan of the 101 strings arrangement. Here's two I like of the arrangements and because I don't think I've heard them before.

I'm scanning the center of the LPs for the CD labels.

Listen to Oh Mary, Don't You Weep

Listen to What Can I Say After I Say I'm Sorry

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs as read by Robie Lester

Robie Lester was the Disneyland Records story reader for seven years, did many commericals for Kellogg's, and was the voice for Miss Jessica in Santa Claus is Comin' to Town. Eventually I'll get around to scanning all the pages and turning this into a video. If you like this, we have more. Even if you don't like this we have more.

Listen to the Story of Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (10:25)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Thursday Challenge III

Match the band or singer with the movie. They performed on stage as background action to the real actors.

  1. Against All Odds
  2. Body Double
  3. Blow Up
  4. The Hunger
  5. Kill Bill
  6. Nothing But Trouble
  7. Repoman
  8. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2
  9. Vision Quest

  • 5,6,7,8's
  • Bauhaus
  • Circle Jerks
  • Digital Underground
  • Frankie Goes To Hollywood
  • Kid Creole and the Coconuts
  • Madonna
  • Vanilla Ice
  • Yardbirds

For bonus points, name the song and band; backwards, of course

XWL: 21
justkim: 15
pastor_jeff: 4

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Trust Me

Information from the back cover:

1977 GRT Corporation

Written and produced by Hans Petersen

The players
  • Hans Petersen as Pres. Jimmy Carter
  • Bill Conkright as Billy Carter, Jody Powell, others
  • June Stewart as Roslynn Carter, others
  • Matt Stovall as the pschiatrist, accents, others
  • The pickers: Bill Weathers (banjo), Howard Simpers (piano), Sam Hobbs (fiddle)

Executive producers: Dick Heard & Nelson Larkin. Recorded November 19, 1976 and March 29, 1977 at International Recording Studios, North Augusta, S.C.

Who's Hans?
Hans Petersen and his wife Betty live in Augusta, Georgia, where he is a morning radio announcer. A native of Pensacola, Florida, Hans (rhymes with Fonz) is a former Peace Corps volunteer in Africa and has worked in radio and television since the age of fifteen. The voice of Jimmy Carter has been a regular feature of Hans' radio program since the New Hampshire primary. After the election, Betty said, "Why don't you make an album about Carter?" So he did,

Recording, editing & mixing engineers: Jimmy Burch, Bruce Albertine, Steve Logan, Ronnie Dean, Ed Hudson, and Richard Masei.

There's not much information on this record out on the intertoobs, so this was probably a regional hit and quickly disappeared. Luckily, I've held onto my copy since 1977. Trust Me is a Vaughn Meaderesque take on a Jimmy Carter White House, filled with pretty much every southern stereotype you can think of. Yes, there are jokes about grits and peanuts, Amy carter selling overpriced sandwiches to the press, jokes about how unlikely it is that Carter became president, and apparently Carter's inability to do anything without first consulting the polls. And even though this was recorded in a studio and all the laughter is canned, some of this is still funny. Not to be missed is the routine that I'm convinced was the influence for David Letterman's Oprah-Uma routine at the Oscars. I'm sure you'll agree.

Becasue there are 17 tracks, I'll release these over 3-4 days so you enjoy them at leisure.

Side One
1. Intro :25
OK, there the first banjo joke

2. Southernizing the White House 4:18
I'm guessing here, but I'm thinking few people reading this remember Robert Hall stores. The funny thing is, at the time this was recorded, they were in the process of being liquidated. This track starts a running joke about Jimmy Carter and nicknames.

3. The Interpreter 2:06
"I suppose it could be, what do the polls say?" I bet that joke has been used for every president and it's always funny.

4. Miss Lillian 1:13
Just like in real life, Miss Lillian is a bright spot on this album.

5. Call the President: 25
This one still makes me chuckle. Jokes, like prom dates, are often best when they're cheap and easy.

6. The Press Conference 2:36
The Amy Carter joke works best if you remember news stories about her, at age 8, selling lemonade and sandwiches to newsmen. Also, why Jimmy doesn't have to keep a promise

7. The Psychiatrist
Pretty good bit that drifts off without a clear punchline.

8. The Spat
Mr. and Mrs. Carter have a fight. Another routine that ends prematurely.

9. The Advisor
Jimmy Carter wonders if he'll be reelected.

Side Two
10. The Press Secretary
Did he say lambinated? Did you know all southerners were ignant hicks? Because they are and it's funny.

11. I've Got A Secret
The priest line easily makes this my favorite track.

12. Idi, Meet Eddie
This is the track that I'm convinced influenced David Letterman's Oprah/Uma Oscar routine. Someone else besides me owned this album. Compare them and dare tell me I'm wrong.

13. Call the President 2
An honest to god funny joke.

14. The Plane to Nashville
Brother Billy goes to the airport

15. Call The President 3
How did this guy get past the switchboard

16. The State Suppah
Yay! Miss Lillian is back! Though I've never heard anyone say "porch-a-ko." Also includes some of the most offensively stereotyped Chinese and Mexican accents (don't miss the musical cue on the fadeout). I've always liked syrup on mine.

17. Goodnight
They laughed years ago when you said you wanted to be the president.


Thursday, November 8, 2007

Thursday Challenge II

Today it's match the album title to the artist. These are taken from Melody Maker's top albums of 1992. Mostly the top 10, except for a couple I left out because the band name was part of the title.

1. Automatic For the People
2. Slanted and Enchanted
3. Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury
4. Red Heaven
6. Dry
7. Henry's Dream
8. Down Colourful Hill
9. Ten
11. Lazer guided melodies
12. Let me come over

  • Buffalo Tom
  • Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
  • Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds
  • P.J. Harvey
  • Pavement
  • Pearl Jam
  • Red House Painters
  • REM
  • Spiritualized
  • Throwing Muses

For your listening pleasure, the title track from the third best album of the year, Hypocrisy is the Greatest Luxury

That's 10 points on the board, with some bonus points for correctly guessing which of these I own. After Week 1, the standings are:
  1. XWL, 16 points
  2. justkim, 10 points

Rules: Points only for those you know without googling. Obviously I can't stand over you with a Nun ruler, so I'll borrow from the guidelines Ken Jennings uses for his Tuesday Trivia:
As with all good trivia, it would take you about 30 seconds to Google the answers. So you're on the honor system here: no peeking, and only send in the answers you knew off the top of your head.

Unless otherwise noted, spoiler discussions are allowed in the comments. So discuss the answers as much as you want in the comments and if you're still guessing then avoid the comments until your answers are ready.

Answers will be listed on Tuesday.

Monday, November 5, 2007

Musical separated at birth

The first is Life Has Been Good To Me, by Randy Newman, from his musical, Faust (1995). The second is Otis Redding's Glory Of Love (1967). Amazingly similar.

If I can figure out how to make the Box widgets work I plan to make this a regular feature. Until then, go read about the stagnant state of rock:
Sometimes it seems rock is the most conservative music on earth. Mozart's Symphony #40 is dated 1788. Beethoven's "Ode to Joy" was completed in 1824. In 32 years, working in the same genre with the same musical form and the same orchestra, look how the geniuses re-invented the whole notion of music!

OK, "Rock Around the Clock" is released in 1954. Add 32 and you get 1986. Take away arrangements and production, and for my money there's not an inch of daylight, musically, between "Rock Around the Clock" and "Walk Like An Egyptian." Stripped down to just lyrics and chords, they could be from the same year. In fact, a Haley recording of "Rock Around the Clock" charted at #12 as recently as 1974 (When "American Graffiti" was hot).

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Propaganda presents the Nine Lives of Dr. Mabuse

group: Propaganda
record: Propaganda Present the Nine Lives of Dr. Mabuse
label: ZTT (12 ZTAS12)
year: 1984
format: stereo 45 rpm

Let it be said I never would have considered myself a big fan of synthpop. But my tastes would seem to defy that statement. Replaying this Propaganda 12" (for the first time in maybe 20 years), reminds me of how much fun some of this could be; especially as done by Trevor Horn and the short, shooting star existence of the ZTT label. At the time, Art of Noise was completely unique and one of the oddities of my record collection is that I never bought any of their records. I cannot explain that. However, I do own a Frankie Goes To Hollywood album that I enjoyed.

Who else in the good synthpop category? There's the Human League, Yello, Yaz/Yazoo, Thomas Dolby, Soft Cell, and Bronski Beat kicks all kinds of ass. Done well, this music was imminently listenable and danceable. A nice change from some of the extreme nihilism of the punk side of the recod store.

I'm not sure if Propaganda deserves to be in the pantheon of synthpop--kinda hard to say as these two sides are all I've ever heard from them. It does have an epic quality about it that I think holds up fairly well. Sure, it has a heavy Giorgio Moroder quality that though this clearly puts it in the mid-1980s, I don't think makes it sound too outdated.

I found one review that repeats a claim of Propaganda being: "Abba from Hell." I don't hear that at all. I think NME's Chris Bohn said it most accurately, "The children of Fritz Lang and Giorgio Moroder." Of course I agree, I said half of that. I found that quote in Simon Reynold's Rip It Up and Start Again: Postpunk 1978-84. He devotes an entire chapter to ZTT, Art of Noise, and Frankie Goes to Hollywood. Here's what he had to say about Propaganda:
The third ZTT release, Propaganda Present the Nine Lives of Dr. Mabuse by the Dusseldorf group Propaganda, represented the next stage in this master plan of raiding the (early, European) twentieth century. "The children of Fritz Lang and Giorgio Moroder" is how NME's Chris Bohn tagged Propaganda. Inspired by Lang's expressionist trilogy of movies about a shadowy master criminal, "Dr. Mabuse" was epic Eurodisco, for which Horn and engineer Steve Lipson constructed a monumental edifice of arching synths and percussion as imposing as marble colonnades. Propaganda's conceptualist, Ralf Dorper, justified this "very bombastic sound" to ZigZag. "The character Mabuse was symbolizing something extraordinary, something more or less unreal, so we had to have an unreal production." Formerly in metal-bashing pioneers Die Krupps, Dorper was a fanatic cinephile who preferred movies to music. "Cinema is much more inspirational to me," he declared. "It's much more multi-leveled: you have to have a storyline, a setting, a soundtrack."

  2. FEMME FATALE (The Woman With The Orchid) and 3. (the ninth life of...) DR. MABUSE

Liner Notes

"the discovery of truth is prevented most effectively, not by the false appearance things present and which mislead into error, not directly by weakness of the reasoning powers, but by preconceived opinion, by prejudice opinion, by prejudice, which as a pseudo a priori stands in the path of truth and is then like a contrary wind driving a ship away from land, so that sail and rudder labour in vain."

dance and crime: the nine lives of dr. mabuse, presented, prevented and presumed by propaganda.

the third and fourth side
2. FEMME FATALE (The Woman With The Orchid)
3. (the ninth life of...) DR. MABUSE

"every general truth is related to specific truths as gold is to silver, inasmuch as it can be converted into a considerable number of specific truths which follow from it in the same way as a gold coin can be converted into small change."

Propaganda: noise and girls come out to play. NOISE: ralf dörper andreas thein. GIRLS: claudia brüchen suzanne freytag. BEHIND THE SCENES: michael mertens. BEHIND THE SCREENS: ( : michael wertz.

TREVOR HORN produced the nine lives of Dr Mabuse. ANTON CORBIJN photographed the group and painted the hand. XL and ZTT made up the sleeve. the first and second side are obtainable as ZTAS 2: a seven inch. the first, second, third and fourth side of the story make up number two in zanf tuum tumb's bold action series. "Viva muchos anos!"

recorded at sar, west eleven. dr. mabuse visual: ZTIS 107. help from arthur scho[enhauer and maurice ravel, from a to b; aphorism to bolero, artist to beekeeper. further information about propaganda and all other zang tuum tumb lies is available from ZTT Records, The ZTT Building, 8-10 Basing St. London West Eleven. Enclose s.a.e. and hope. The next propaganda single is 'Duel'

"not the least of the torments which plague our existence is the constant pressure of time, which never lets us so much as draw breath but pursues us all like a taskmaster with a whip. it ceases to persecute only him it has delivered over to boredom.

Additional Information

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Bob Fosse alert

Just a programming note that I will be following the Bob Fosse blogathon beginning November 10. Maybe I'll even getting around to ripping the All That Jazz soundtrack.

I hope someone addresses the Fosse choreographed routine by Gwen Verdon that someone mashed up with Walk It Out. This youtube video also includes the clip with the original music. New version is better.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Thursday Challenge I

The first Thursday Challenge will be an audio quiz. In 2 minutes and 16 seconds listen to ten songs and try to match them to the listed artists. One point for matching the artist to the correct song, another point for knowing the song title. Yes, the points are meaningless and yes, I will be keeping track.

Even though we are not friends of hippies, we're starting off with some favorite hippie music -- the Beatles. But these are all covers. Listen to untitledartist (opens in new window), then match the songs (1-10) with the following artists:
  • Bar-Kays
  • Los Fabulosos Cadillacs
  • Dionne Farris
  • Bobby McFerrin
  • Pahini Brothers
  • The Pretenders
  • Otis Redding
  • Richard Thompson
  • Tuck & Patti
  • U2

More Rules (edited): XWL asks about Googling. Only award yourself points for those you know without googling. Obviously I can't stand over you with a Nun ruler, so I'll borrow from the guidelines Ken Jennings uses for his Tuesday Trivia:
As with all good trivia, it would take you about 30 seconds to Google the answers. So you're on the honor system here: no peeking, and only send in the answers you knew off the top of your head.

Unless otherwise noted, spoiler discussions are allowed in the comments. So discuss the answers as much as you want in the comments and if you're still guessing then avoid the comments until your answers are ready.

XWL is in first with 14 out of 20 points. I'll award an additional point for promptness. He's also provided some google answers, but one of those is incorrect. Ha! I take away one point for you, Googleboy!

gnos sith enam

Time to get this blog started. I'll get around to describing what this bog is about later. Until then, a game! Name this popular song. One catch -- the entire track has been reversed.

The link will take you to my Vox audio account where you can stream the track.

Play sdrawkcab