Saturday, September 03, 2005

Oil And Water Don't Mix

Somehow, I don't think the artwork on this LP jacket is what Mussorgsky was trying to capture with his Pictures At An Exhibition. If I can believe what I read on the back of The Nord Deutsches Symphony Orchestra Conducted By Wilhelm Schuechter-Mussorgsky: Pictures At An Exhibition (Somerset SF-7800), from which this cover is taken, Mussorgsky wrote his work in honor of artist Victor Hartman. I doubt that Victor Hartman ever did any work in psychedelic oil and water mixtures.

Congo Percussion

I wasn't sure what to make of this LP cover when I first picked it up. Looked neat, but a little bit stereotypical and racist at first glance. But it turns out to be actual African rhythms recorded by African Americans. Chief Bey And His Royal Household-Congo Percussion (Pirouette Records RFM 11) is what would be called World Music today, but it was 30 years or so ahead of it's time.

Oodles of Doodles CXIX

Here's a special two-fer for you, from a label other than Capitol or RCA Victor, if you can believe it. This first extraordinary color doodle is fromthe cover of Les Djinns Singers-60 French Girls Sing Encore (ABC-Paramount ABC 368, 1961). I don't know a whole lot about these 60 French girls. This doodle is signed by Galster, but that name doesn't bring up anything interesting on Google. The two B&W doodles below are from the backside of the LP, and are just details from the front doodle.

The bonus doodle above is from the front of another LP, Les Djinns Singers-60 French Girls Les Petites (ABC-Paramount ABC-404, 1961). Again, a section of this doodle is repeated on the back, but it's exactly the same as the front, so I didn't feel it important to scan it in for you. This time we have a complete signature, Fran Scott, who appears to have designed many LP covers for ABC-Paramount. She was married to Tony Scott, who seems to be a jazz performer, but I've never heard of him.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Oodles of Doodles CXVIII

This intrepid explorer is from the back of Esquivel-Exploring New Sounds In Hi-Fi (RCA Victor LPM-1978, 1959). I promised this doodle to you a while back when I scanned in the tagline from the front, "For Woofers & Tweeters", and here you have it. The telescope this guy is using is meant to mirror the one on which Esquivel is leaning on the cover. That tells me that this drawing was made specifically for this release. Well, maybe. You never know. RCA may have had a giant library of these doodles, and they searched for an appropriate one whenever they had some blank space to fill on a cover. This LP came to me with an inner sleeve similar to this one I shared with you the other night, only the colored bits are a dark grey, and it's been reformatted to fill the entire side of the sleeve, not just a strip of it like what I showed you.

Where In The World Is Ernie (Not Bert)?

I got a GPS unit at work today, and I thought I'd connect it to my desktop PC, just to see how it works. Once I got it all installed and stuck the receiver to my office window, I discovered a strange thing. My office seems to move around a lot! As you can see by the track above, I actually move across the street from time to time at speeds of up to 3 miles per hour. Who'd a thunk it? The scale on the screen shot above tells me that I roam around a radius of about 100 yards. This track is from only 20 minutes or so of leaving the unit on. I let it run for a couple of hours earlier, and during that time my office crossed the street and floated across the pond behind the shop more than once. And my altitude is showing as about 100 feet below sea level. I suspect there's something going on here, like reflections from metal structures, or interference from machinery or something, but I'm not entirely sure. Maybe some of this is from the built-in signal degradation that the government adds in there to confuse the enemy. Maybe.

She Can't Take Much More, Cap'n!

If this thing gets too much bigger, I'm going to have to relocate.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

When You "Go Stereo"

Ever since I brought you Eight Questions courtesy of Capitol Records the other day, I've been looking for an RCA Victor equivalent, and this is the closest I've found so far. These pictograms come from the inner sleeve of the 1958 Bob Scobey release I doodlized below. This first illustration shows you the evils of mono recording and playback. Notice how the one side of your head actually turns black when listening to monophonic recordings!

Stereo recording is a very complex process that only the engineers at RCA have mastered, just ask them.

As you can clearly see above, stereophonic playback results in less discoloration of the human face. And all you need to do is buy twice the equipment! What a deal! If you're really curious, you can read the entire sleeve below, or at least the parts relative to the stereo process. The rest of the sleeve was just advertisements for various stereophonic records available at the time.

Oodles of Doodles CXVII

Don't these guys look like they are having a whale of a time? These musicians are from the back of Bob Scobey's Frisco Jazz Band With Clancy Hayes-College "Classics" (RCA Victor LSP-1700, 1958). I can't even think of anything smarmy to say about these guys.

The Beginning of September

As promised, you get two calendar pages today, and here is the second one, this time for just the week. I'm trying to remember what these flowers are called. Blood lilies, maybe? Nope. I'm not sure. I can't even remember for sure where I photographed these right at the moment. It was either at EPCOT or at Marie Selby Botanical Gardens. Both of them are good for flower shots, but you already knew that, didn't you?

September 2005

It's the first day of September, and that means you get two calendar pages. This first one is for the whole month, and it features a great white egret in full breeding colors. Normally, the skin around the eyes is a yellow color, but during the breeding season it turns a brilliant emerald color. I don't think this has anything to do with jealousy, since both mating and no-mating firds get the same coloration. They also get long, extravagent feathers on their backsides, but you can't see that in this picture.

She's Gonna Blow!

Does this give you a better indication of how large this bud is becoming? It's going to open with an explosive "POP"!

Wednesday, August 31, 2005

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Hi Mom! Hope you have a happy birthday! I didn't want you to think I had forgotten. And your present is the fact that I didn't post your picture.

Oodles of Doodles CXVI

How about another kiddie doodle? These three images are from Peter Pan Pop Singers And Orchestra-Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (Peter Pan 8070). You probably know the story of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang better than I do, but do you know who wrote the original story? Would you believe Ian Fleming, who also wrote the James Bond books? And did you know that James Bond was in reality an ornithologist? It's a small world.

This Is Dynagroove

I found this LP the other day, extolling the many advantages of Dynagroove records. This was the revolutionary new recording process that followed Living Stereo and Stereo Action at RCA. Apparently, they couldn't come up with anything that was good enough to last more than a couple of years. And while the other processes are mythologized to this day in certain circles, Dynagroove was not welcomed in audiophile circles. This Is Dynagroove (RCA Victor PRS-140, 1963) features 11 cuts in total, 5 from the pop side of things, and 6 from the classical arena. Sid Ramin, Marty Gold, Dick Schory, Hugo & Luigi Chorus and Peter Nero are the pop names here. The classical side features two cuts from Arthur Fiedler & The Boston Pops, and Erich Leinsdorf, Charles Munch, Leontyne Price & Richard Tucker and Morton Gould each get a single track. The back of the record promises the technical story behind Dynagroove is inside, but my copy has no insert or inner sleeve. Time has robbed me of the true facts behind Dynagroove! By the way, that cover image is a photograph of an actual Dynagroove record taken through a microscope.

Keep On Growin'

This thing just keeps on growing and growing. I think it's trying to take over my porch.

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Oodles of Doodles CXV

You knew I couldn't go a whole day without posting a doodle, right? Well, I can't keep up that pace forever, but today isn't my day to let you down. This drum and music stand hail from Eddie Cano And His Sextet-Deep In A Drum (RCA Victor LSP-1645, 1958). This seems to be another one of those releases that sold based on the cover more than the music. None of the places I found on the net that mention this LP had anything good to say, and I'm too tired to give it a listen right now. But the cover is interesting, so I went ahead and scanned it in for you. Enjoy! (PS-I've brought you drum doodles a couple (1, 2) of times before. Oh, and then of course there were the funky drummers of Siesta Beach. I hope you aren't getting bored of them.)

Al's Tagline

Real quick, here's the tagline from Al Hirt With Orchestra Arranged And Conducted By Billy May-Horn A-Plenty (RCA Victor LSP-2446, 1962). This is one of the later taglines I've found, so I wanted to get it up here for you. And the LP features Billy May, my favorite arranger. Hooray! (Also, Al is from the Big Easy, and those folks just got walloped by a pretty big blow. Keep those folks in your prayers.)

Something Bigger

Day after day, it just gets bigger and bigger and bigger...

Monday, August 29, 2005

Wrapping Up (The Whole Sleeve)

(If you're seeing this first, skip down about nine posts and work your way back up. It really works much better that way.) Anyhow, just to give you an overview of the whole eight questions sleeve, here's the whole eight questions sleeve. You can see for yourself how it looks. And if you look really close, down at the lower left, you'll see something I just barely noticed myself. It's a logo for something called the T-RIM, protecting your records from each other, as long as they are stacked directly on top of one another! Hope you enjoyed this little tour as much as I did.

Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Question Number Eight

Last but not least, another important question. Will these new records break like those pieces of garbage they tried to foist off on us back during the war, where they made records out of stuff more fragile than glass? Ha-ha, of course not. In fact, we've designed record players that actually drop the records onto each other from a height of four inches or more before they are played, just to prove how durable they really are! Collectors in the future will thank you! Maybe I'm reading too much between the lines here.
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Question Number Seven

I hadn't originally intended to post all eight of these tonight, but I'm on a roll now. Here's another of those stereo illustrations, only this time it's playback instead of recording. And sure enough, there are those two amps and two speakers you had to buy. And be sure to place your chair right in the smack dab center of the speakers. Anywhere else, and you might as well be spending your money on something silly, like stock in a plastics company.
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Question Number Six

This one confuses me. Did you really need two amplifiers at the time? I guess that makes sense, what with two independent audio channels coming out of the platter player. I wonder how long that lasted? Surely not very long. No wonder they were finding stereo such a hard sell. "Well, I've got this fancy hi-fi, now I need a second one. Oh, and a second speaker. How extravagant." And you thought you had a hard time convincing your wife to buy that surround sound system.
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Question Number Five

OK, back to the questions, and our first wonderful stereo separation drawing. This drawing, and some others like it, were reworked and reused on the excellent UltraLounge series of reissues a while back. I always liked those (my favorites were on the Christmas discs), but never knew where they came from. Now you know. Tell your friends, be a show-off. The text here explains why you have to go out and buy the expensive needles, not the one your father made from a thorn and put on the old Victrola.
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Oodles of Doodles CXIV

I've got to interrupt my exciting eight stereo questions with this doodle from a mono record. The loaded-down baggage cart above is from the reverse of Hugo Winterhalter And His Orchestra-Wish You Were Here (LPM-1904, 1959), a musical romp through a number of primo vacation destinations similar to this outing by Bing and Rosie. The best line in the notes of this LP is a credit for the cover model's wig; courtesy Carita Salon at Henri Bendel. And you get a tagline for free with this cover, "The Winterhalter Sound." (This previous post had two other Winterhalter taglines "Latin Hits" and "Sizzling Strings".

Question Number Four

A quickie this time, but a fairly important one. What about this huge pile of old records I have sitting here that are mono? Are they going down in the basement with the 78s? (And many folks kept buying the monophonic records, since they were about $1 cheaper.)
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Question Number Three

Here's part three of our little passion play. Another great picture, this time explaining that a stereo cartridge picks up two signals at the same time. That's what those little curly wires are for. See how one picks up the red sound, and the other gets all the blue sound. This sort of reminds me of the last presidential election where we were all sorted into red and blue states. Nothing in the middle, just red or blue.
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Question Number Two

Ooh, the first diagram. You're gonna love these. You can clearly see, without even reading the text, that stereo is red on one side, and blue on the other. Plain old monophonic sound is red only. Remember what I said about the Red menace earlier??? And don't forget the footnote. Very important stuff.
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Question Number One

Well, this is an obvious question. Keep in mind that stereo was new and exciting in 1957. For all they knew, stereo had something to do with Sputnik and the Red menace. At least they were honest when they said the best stereo sound is better than the finest mono sound. At this early date, there were still plenty of fine mono recordings being made that sounded way better than the stereo versions.
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

Eight Questions Most Often Asked About Stereo Records

I know that all you readers out there are sitting there hoping for more exciting posts about odd things in my record collection. So here's a set of scans from an inner sleeve found in the George Shearing LP discussed previously. I said the LP was boring, but I have found the inner sleeve to be fascinating. The logo above is from one side of the sleeve, and I scanned it in just because I liked it. But the more interesting part is the text from the other side of the sleeve:

Yep, there really are eight burning questions that are answered on this sleeve, and I'm going to bring them to you, one at a time. Keep in mind this stuff is all from 1957. Stay tuned!
Intro One Two Three Four Five Six Seven Eight The End

The Last Few Days Of August

Here's the calendar page for the first half of this week. It's a wonderful picture of the lighthouse at Boca Grande just after sunset. I don't think it's visible in this particular picture, but in some of the other shots you can see a crescent moon above and just to the left of the lighthouse. Beautiful...

Something Big

There's something going on out on my porch, and it's gonna be big!

Sunday, August 28, 2005

Oodles of Doodles CXIII

This may not be the latest doodle I've ever posted, but it's certainly later than most. This is from Raspberries-Raspberries (Capitol SK-11036, 1972). You may have heard of them with their hit Go All The Way, which was actually from this LP. Eric Carmen was the leader of the group, and he went on to bigger and better things. (The most recently issued doodle I've posted was from 1979, for those of you keeping score.)

Oodles of Doodles CXII

OK, after that boring George Shearing, I figure I owe you something good. So how about a pair of doodles, courtesy of Living Strings? I brought you Living Marimbas earlier today, but we'll try to forget about that one. This first doodle is from Living Strings Play Music For Romance (RCA Camden CAS-637, 1960). Look close down at the lower right, and you'll see J Grey II, an artist we've seen at least twice before, here and here (as Jo Grey II). In fact, this doodle is very, very similar in both style and subject to that second one I linked to.

This time the LP is Living Strings Play All The Music From Camelot (RCA Camden CAS-657, 1961), and again we have a familiar signature. The RR you might spot down in the debris at the right side of the drawbridge is another initial that's popped up before here (and here) at Oodles of Doodles. I like the fact that specific artists are beginning to turn up with some regularity around here. Now if I can only track someone down who knows about these people...

Oodles of Doodles CXI

Here's yet another elegant doodle from our friends over at Capitol Records. This illustration is featured on the flip side of The George Shearing Quintet And Orchestra-Black Satin (Capitol ST858, 1957). The liner notes mention that the arranging work on this LP is split between George Shearing and Billy May, but I don't hear any Billy May in it at all. In fact it's pretty bland. Even this doodle is bland. I've got to go find something more interesting to share with you.

Oodles of Doodles CX

No, you aren't seeing double. The organ doodle above was printed on the LP twice, once normally, and once as a negative. I can't tell you for sure which is the original, but I'd suspect it's the black-on-white one. The white-on-black version is from the front of Eddie Layton At The Hammond Organ-Folk Sounds (Mercury MG 20814), and the other is from the back. Also on the back is an autograph from Mr. Layton to Ken! This may be a first for Oodles of Doodles!

A Couple More Ties

Here, have a couple more ties, one fifties, one sixties. I'll leave it to you, the reader, to decide which is which.

The World's Biggest Gong

I found this Dick Schory LP yesterday, and I thought I was pretty lucky. His stuff is pretty hard to find, and I've only got a couple of his other LPs. At first, I just wanted to share the tagline with you, since "Featuring The World's Biggest Gong" is a pretty good one. But then I started looking around on the net, and I discovered a bit of a mystery. Every other website that showed a picture of Dick Schory's New Percussion Ensemble-Percussion From Melody To Madness Music To Break Any Mood (RCA Victor LSP-2125, 1960) showed a different cover. So I scanned mine in, front and back, just so you can see what mine looks like. It's a beautiful cover, very typical of the era, and it really highlights the world's biggest gong well. But why is it different from the others? And why does it look like the title is Percussion From Melody To Madness instead of the more commonly known Music To Break Any Mood? (To add a little more confusion, the spine says Percussion!-Music To Break Any Mood.) Best I can guess is that mine is a reissue. I only say that because on the bacl of the sleeve, the catalog number shows an "RE" after it. Maybe the other version of this cover was too outrageous for some folks, what with a nearly naked Mr. Schory and his gong. But why change the tagline, too? The other version says "World's Biggest Sound"? The world may never know.