Saturday, August 06, 2005

The Wood That Doesn't Float

So, I hear you all asking "What do you listen to on the Victrola while you're posting"? Why, the original motion picture score from Sex And The Single Girl, of course. Why that? Well, because the movie was on AMC the other night, and I love Natalie Wood. So there. The movie also stars Tony Curtis, who you can see in the cover photo above with Natalie, as well as Henry Fonda and Lauren Bacall. It must have been a Tony Curtis weekend or something over at AMC because I also caught Operation Petticoat with Curtis and Cary Grant. Back to Sex, though. The soundtrack was done by Neal Hefti (Batman), and according to the liner notes, this was the first soundtrack he had done. The music on the record isn't as great as I remember it being in the movie. Even the title track, with lyrics sung by Fran Jeffries (who is in the movie, but I don't think she sings), isn't as interesting as I had hoped. But at least I get to look at Natalie Wood in her prime! (The title to this post is a bad joke refering to Natalie Wood's death by drowning in 1981. And did you know she was married to Robert Wagner at the time? Actually, she was married to Wagner twice...)

Oodles of Doodles LXVIII

This doodle reminded me of the recent ballroom dancing craze inspired I think by the reality TV show. I couldn't care less about reality TV, but I read about it in the paper. Honest. Anyhow, this elegantly swinging couple comes from Les Baxter And His Orchestra-Arthur Murray Favorites (Capitol L 263), a rare doodle from a 10" LP. I think the last time I found a doodle on a 10" was the first time I brought you Jackie Gleason. This time the doodle is for the founder of exotic music, Les Baxter. The liner notes in this record mention Baxter's work on Music Out Of The Moon, as well as Yma Sumac's Xtabay. Unfortunately, the music found inside the jacket is nothing as hip as either of those releases. What did you expect from Arthur Murray?

Living In Stereo Part 2

I mentioned one more post about Henry Mancini-Music From Mr. Lucky (RCA Victor LSP-2198, 1960), and here it is. This is the Living Stereo banner across the top, and it's the only time I've ever seen it in this color scheme. Usually it's one of the two versions shown below, with gold speakers at either end and the little sound arrows are different colors. This color scheme is very similar to the black and white and red that makes up the actual LP cover. I guess Mr. Mancini was a big enough artist at the time to warrant a major change like this to a standard artistic element of all RCA stereo releases of the day. The "Miracle Surface" notice was a little bit different, too.

Tag, You're It!

You asked for more, you got 'em. Here's some more of those tag lines from RCA Victor LPs. The first one is from Hugo Winterhalter Goes Latin (RCA Victor LPM-1677, 1959). Sorry about the address label on there. I didn't want to try to get it off for fear of tearing the LP sleeve. I guess Ms. Burnham got rid of this record because it was Copy 2. Few people need multiple copies of their Hugo Winterhalter albums. Well, maybe the other one was stereo.

Hit Show Tunes is from the cover of Pat Suzuki's Broadway '59 (RCA Victor LSP-1965, 1959). This one has an odd credit on the back. It says 'Jewels by Carol Channing'. I wonder what that's all about? (We just brought you another bit from a Pat Suzuki LP a few minutes ago.)

Here's A Sound Spectacular, courtesy of John Klein & Sid Ramin-The New Sound America Loves Best (LSP-2237, 1960). There's an odd money-back offer sticker on the cover of this one that I previously brought you here. There's also a doodle on the back that I may share in the future.

How about some Inspirational Songs care of Ed Lyman-He Walks With Me (RCA Victor LSP-2095, 1960.) Since I'm getting crazy with the links to stuff I've posted in the past, here are some little stamps I found on the back of this LP.

It may be Dinner Music, but it doesn't involve any Hungry Cannibals. This is from the cover to Norman Leyden And His Orchestra-Music For A Back Yard Barbecue (RCA Victor LSP-1939, 1959). The cool doodles from the back of this one can be found here. (Are you starting to get the idea that the records I scan for doodles don't land far from the PC when I'm done with them?)

Finally, I can bring you something New. This is the first of these little taglines I've found from 1958. Previously, the earliest I'd found was 1959. Not that this is a particularly interesting one, but it does fit the pattern. Perhaps it was the first time RCA had tried it, that might explain the boring verbage. This is from The Melachrino Strings And Orchestra-Moods In Music; Music For Dining (RCA Victor LPM-1000, 1958). Yes, it's another of the 'Music For/Music To' records, as was the one above. And yes, I've previously posted a doodle from this one too.

Finally, here's one I haven't posted anything from before. I did post another tag from this same artist above, though, so it's not exactly original. These Sizzling Strings come from Hugo Winterhalter Goes Gypsy (RCA Victor LSP-2167, 1960). Hugo certainly tried out plenty of styles, didn't he? I'm sure you'll be seeing more of these taglines from his other LPs soon. Hopefully not in this same post, but soon.

Is this the last one for now? I hope so, my typing fingers are getting tired. This is Sound Of TV, and it's from Henry Mancini-Music From Mr. Lucky (RCA Victor LSP-2198, 1960). I just posted this from the Mr. Lucky LP cover, and I'm going to post something else as soon as I'm done with this mammoth list of trivial taglines. Maybe it would have been easier if I'd just posted the whole LP cover in the first place...

Vik Or Victoria?

I'm just full of questions tonight. Can anyone out there tell me more about the Vik label? It appears to be a subsidiary of RCA Victor, or maybe a foreign distribution arm. I'm not clear on the whole thing. The label above is from Pat Suzuki-The Many Sides Of Pat Suzuuki (Vik LX-1127, 1958), and it appears to be an American pressing. I've got another release from Pat right here from 1959, and it's on the regular RCA Victor label. I first noticed the Vik label on this great site (except for the ads) for Space Age pop, and wondered why I hadn't noticed anything on the Vik label before. Anyhow, I'm sure someone out there will come along and clue me in. Thanks in advance!

Shouldn't This Be 317Y?

I told you about 317X last week, but I found a couple more variations on the logo I wanted to share. The above variation is from the front cover of Henry Mancini-Music From Mr. Lucky (RCA Victor LSP-2198, 1959), and the text below was found on the inner sleeve of Sing Along With Jonathan And Darlene Edwards (RCA Victor LPM-2495, 1962). You'll be seeing a couple other unique bits from that Mancini LP in an upcoming post here, and I already brought you a doodle from the Jonathan & Darlene Edwards LP.

Oodles of Doodles LXVII

These friendly little doodles are from yet another of those "Music For" or "Music To" LPs that were so popular in the 60s. This particular one is Harry Herman-Music For Cards, Conversation And Cuddling (Decca Records DL 8563). I'm not sure what sort of music would apply to all three of those things, but then I'm not a highly paid record company executive. I can say that these doodles do a better job of matching up to the title than does the cover of this LP. The cover shows a foursome playing bridge in the first shot, a second shot shows one man getting agry at his parter while the second couple prepares to leave, the third shot is the fighting couple. the fourth and final shot is the make-up kiss. Well, it sounds better than it looks, trust me.

Friday, August 05, 2005

The Angry Sky-Classic Ernie

This is one of the many, many sunsets I shot out the bedroom window of my old apartment. It was up on the third floor, so I had a pretty unobstructed view of the sky, and I often would glance up, see something interesting, then run to the window and shoot. I think I took the window screens down in the first week I was there, and didn't put them back up for six years. This particular night saw a storm front blowing in at just the right moment for the dying rays of the sinking sun to catch and illuminate the leading edge. It's a great shot, except for the large expanse of overly dark clouds at upper left. But shooters can't be choosers.

(I just went back and read the previous post I linked to up above. It's eerie how I repeated myself almost word-for-word three months later. Sorry about that. I'll try to be more original in the future.)

Oodles of Doodles LXVI

This slightly surreal guitar is from the back of Burl Ives Sings...For Fun (Decca DL 8248, 1956). With those diagonal frets and the katy-wumpus head, this guitar looks more like something you'd find on a rock LP, not something from a folkie.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LXV

The instruments above come to our doodle-fest courtesy of Marjorie Meinert At The Lowrey Organ-Sitting Pretty (RCA Victor LSP-2168, 1960). I don't know why everyone was so into the organ back then. I guess it was the sound of something new and different. But how different was it? I know it was smaller than the big steam organs found in theatres and churches, but still, was it really that different? I suppose so, based on the number of organ oriented LPs out there. There is a small signature down in the lower right on this doodle. It says Jo Grey II, but Google isn't returning any hits on that. (Just for the record, this LP has a preprinted 317X notice, but no slogan above the RCA Victor logo.)

Moor, Not Less-Classic Ernie

I know, I know, I'm not sharing enough pictures with you folks these days. Or I'm sharing too many records with you folks these days. Take your pick. But my camera is still in the shop, so the only pictures I can share with you are these Classic Ernie shots. I feel like I'm somehow cheating my audience when I post pictures that I took 4 months ago. But you've never seen them, right? Anyhow, this is a moorhen. There were actually two of them, but they never got close enough to each other for me to get them in the same frame and still be able to see some detail. I shot this fellow at the Venice Rookery, which I told you about before, I think. (More than once, apparently, and all in the same day. This must have been when I didn't know how to cut and paste to get the exact post I wanted...)

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LXIV

Here's a doodle that invites you to Sing Along With Jonathan And Darlene Edwards (RCA Victor LPM-2495, 1962). I wasn't familiar with Jon & Dar until I was doing research for this previous doodle by Jo Stafford. I bought this LP because I liked the Jack Davis cover. I had no idea what awaited me inside. I won't spoil the surprise, so you should go out and find any one of their LPs for yourself.

Caught In The Act

Here are a couple more of those little tags I've been talking about for a few days. The upper one is a little unique. It's the first one I've found from a UK release on RCA Victor. And it's one of those records I have to wonder why they even released it over there. It's Brother Dave Gardner-Ain't That Weird? (RCA Victor LPM-2335, 1961). Brother Dave was a Southern humorist whose humor couldn't have travelled well overseas. But I suppose you never know, do you? The tag below is from another Brother Dave LP, this time it's Kick Thy Own Self (RCA Victor LPM-2239, 1960). Both of these are mono copies, but from pictures I found around the net, stereo versions carried the same tags.

What Is 317X?

Right up there with 7-UP, WD-40, Formula 409 and Grecian Formula 44, there's 317X. Well, OK, maybe you've never heard of it, but trust me, you should. This revolutionary anti-static ingredient is what helped make records sound so good. Surely it wasn't just hype on the part of RCA Victor Records? The sticker above was posted on many of RCA's Living Stereo releases from the late 50's and early 60's. The tag below was actually printed on many of the later releases. The sticker above is from the cover of George Beverly Shea-Christmas Hymns (RCA Victor LSP-2064, 1959) while the detail below is from Katie Lee-Life Is Just A Bed Of Neuroses (RCA Victor LSP-2214, 1960) (Both of which we've featured in our Oodles of Doodles series; follow the links). And way, way below is a note from the cover of the George Beverly Shea release describing the music within as "Holy Holiday". (I'm still trying to find out more about these descriptions, or maybe a list of them...)

All this carrying-on is really just to tell you about the new link you'll find over on the right to a site called 317X. This place has cover scans of dozens and dozens of vintage records, many of which I've shared doodles from. Please stop by over there and have a look to see some great images. It's truly a labour of love.

Fall in Summer-Classic Ernie

We don't get much change of season here in Florida. Certainly not snow or sleet or even freezing rain. But occasionally we get some leaves that die and fall down. So maybe that counts as Fall. The leaves on this vine were in the process of dying, so I'm pretty sure they were going to fall soon. Maybe, maybe not. This is the best we can hope for in Florida, I suppose.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LXIII

(You didn't really think I was going to do a whole month of Chanukah doodles, did you?)

I'm posting this really late because I just spent three and a half hours with the folks from Nielsen Media Research. I am now a Nielsen family. For my three TVs, they installed over a mile of cabling and well over 100 pounds of equipment. I thought there was a mess behind the TV and stereo before, but you should see it now. They even used wireless networking to cut down on the clutter, but it didn't help much. I've never seen so many different technologies put in to play. They even use fiber optics. But I don't think I'm supposed to talk about it.

Tonight's doodle is from Katie Lee With Ray Martin And His Orchestra-Life Is Just A Bed Of Neuroses (RCA Victor LSP-2214, 1960). The front of this LP is covered in similar little doodles, in color even, but they are faint and hard to scan. Katie Lee is well known in hipster circles for her two albums of psychiatric based humorous songs, this one and Songs Of Couch And Consultation. The late 50's/early 60's were a weird time, that's all I can say. The doodle is signed with the name Martin. I don't know if that's first or last name, or if it's any relation to the Ray Martin who conducted the orchestra. Below you'll see the little tag line from the cover.

They Call Him Flipper-Classic Ernie

I don't know why, but I've been into these widescreen shots lately. I found this one lurking on my hard drive from almost four years ago, so maybe 'lately' isn't the correct word. Anyhow. this panorama is of a fountain at Island Park in Sarasota, Florida. The water jets vary their pressure from time to time and create a pretty cool display. The skyline you see in the background is out of date, as they've built several high-rise condos since this picture was taken, and I think they've torn down a hotel, too. Progress marches on...

Monday, August 01, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LXII-Chanukah In August

Last month we brought you Christmas in July doodles, so what better followup than Chanukah in August! Our first doodle is from the flip side of At Home With The Barry Sisters (Roulette SR 25060). This dandy menorah is just the thing for those eight festive nights. Keen eyed spotters will notice that this LP was produced by Hugo & Luigi, who had an earlier doodle featured here.

Living In Stereo

(Is this thing going to work this time? I typed all this and posted it twice already...)

I'm hoping someone out there among my three readers can clue me in about the story behind these little capsule descriptions found on some RCA Victor releases from the late 50's and early 60's. The four examples you see here are all from LPs by The Three Suns. I've not been able to find a listing of these little gems, but I have seen dozens and dozens if not hundreds over the years. Some of them are just ordinary little descriptions, but some are pithy little comments about the tunes inside. Somebody is bound to know more about these items, so please, share the wealth! I'll be sure to post more of these as I come across them.

My Hometown-Classic Ernie

Here's a little Classic Ernie for the fans. This is the Lake Mirror Promenade in Lakeland, Florida. I grew up in a small suburb of Lakeland called Kathleen, which really was only a post office and a couple of schools. When I was little, the Promenade was not the sort of place you wanted to be after dark, or even during the day actually. But they've made great strides in the past ten years, revitalizing the whole downtown area.

The Spectacular First Week Of August

We have a long history of bringing you big birds around here, but I have to say this is the most colorful we've shared with you. This week's picture is a peacock, in case you didn't already peek. This guy lives at the Pelican Man's Bird Sanctuary on City Island in Sarasota, Florida. He enjoys strutting his stuff for his mate, and making weird noises in the night. Whatever works, I suppose.

Happy August

Welcome to the month of August! That means the year is 7/12 of the way over. Our calendar page this month is a night shot of the clock tower on Daytona Beach, Florida. This tower, along with a bandshell and a few other monuments, is visible from the ocean side only, since they have built a giant resort hotel and an entire entertainment district that totally cuts these areas off from the street.

Sunday, July 31, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LXI-Christmas In July

OK, we've made it to the end of Christmas in July. I think this is Christmas doodle number 33, since I snuck in two days with two doodles each. (Well, three actually, but I didn't start until July 2.) We get back to the real reason for the season today, with this doodle from George Beverly Shea-Christmas Hymns (RCA Victor LSP-2064, 1959). 1959 was certainly a banner year for doodles. I think we had three or four from that year. And RCA Victor was a banner label for these doodles, with almost one third of our doodles coming from that label. Which brings me to another question: Is there a definitive list somewhere of the little tag-lines they used next to the Living Stereo logo on these classic releases? This one says "Holy Holiday". I'm going to have to have a look-see around the web, I think. Anyhow, hope you had a great Christmas in July, and I'll see you back here tomorrow with more non-holiday doodles! Thanks for playing along!

Oodles of Doodles LX-Christmas In July

It's the last day in July, but this isn't our last doodle. I want to squeeze in at least one more after this one, then it's back to the more mundane art. This ornament comes from Chet Atkins-Christmas With Chet Atkins (RCA ANL1-1935, 1961). My copy is a reissue, so I don't know if this doodle dates all the way back to the beginning or not. Often the reissues don't even have the doodles, so I guess I'm pretty lucky to get this one. This LP dates to before the time Chet started appending the CGP to the end of his name. I'm sure he was already quite the guitar player, just maybe not certified yet.

The Very Last Day In July

Here's the weekly calendar page for the single day that makes up this part of the week in July. You won't have too long to enjoy it since you get a new one tomorrow, along with the monthly picture for August, but try to give it a few looks anyway. This shot is of the Rod And Reel Pier at the north end of Anna Maria Island, Florida, just seconds before sunset. This is only a few hundred yards from the very end of the island, which is called Bean Point. The shot was taken from the other pier, the Anna Maria City Pier, whch I'm sure you've seen pictures of here before.