Saturday, September 10, 2005

A Sinclair Station?

Who remembers Sinclair? The gas station with the friendly dinosaur on the sign? These stations were gone before my time, or at least they didn't exist in Florida. We had a tiger in our tank, or maybe a Shell, but mostly the big orange Union 76. This ad is from the back of Music From Schubert Alley (Custom High Fidelity LP DSS-2250, 1960), a various artists promotional LP that is the soundtrack from a 1959 TV special on NBC. It's hosted by Andy Williams (his first, but not last, hour-long TV special), and features Alfred Drake, Lisa Kirk, Ray Walston, Doretta Morrow, Betty Comden & Adolph Green, all singing show tunes.

Oodles of Doodles CXXVIII

I've brought you the Ames Brothers quite a few times before, and I have more of them in stock for the future. But for tonight, here are The Ames Brothers With Hugo Winterhalter And His Orchestra-Sing Famous Hits Of Famous Quartets (RCA Victor LSP-1954, 1959). I don't know if that's supposed to be a concert hall behind them, or maybe an apartment house. I see a TV antenna on top, so maybe it's apartments. Are those little circles supposed to be faces watching the Ames Brothers singing? I guess all these answers are lost to the mists of time. There's a single initial in the lower right-hand corner. Either a B or an F. Hard to say...

Oodles of Doodles CXXVII

I think I hit the doodle motherlode with this LP, Musical Cocktail Party With Cedric Dumont, His Orchestra And His Shaker (Decca DL 8600, 1955). The twelve individual doodles above each represent a different track on the LP, and each track is named for a different drink, each of which is an original concoction by Mr. Dumont. I guess when they included his cocktail shaker in the credits, you knew it was going to be interesting. From left to right, top to bottom, you have: Ballroom Whispers, The Swiss Boy, Sarie Marei, Guitar Serenade, The Anvil-Cocktail, Gay Paree, High Feather, Fireproof (the naked lady!), The Vilia-Cocktail, The Swiss Girl, La Reginelia and Spanish Fire. What a group! The champagne glass below is also on the back cover, just to sort of round things out, I suppose.

The music on this one is OK, but nothing as spectacular as what I found on this other cocktail-themed LP.

Oodles of Doodles CXXVI

I don't know if this really counts as a doodle or not, but since it touches on the subject of stereo, I figured I'd throw it in. This is the instrument layout diagram from Andre Kostelanetz-Wonderland Of Sound (Columbia CS 8457, 1961). You can clearly see that electric guitar goes on the right, and each side gets it's own set of vibes. Timpani are split, two on the left, one on the right. Trumpets and trombones left, oboes, cymbals and harp on the right. Eveything has a place, and everything in it's place.

Hawaii (3/50)

Here's another license plate from a series I started a while back. I think that I could spend a couple of weeks around here shooting plates, and I could get all fifty states. And DC, and Puerto Rico, Canada and Mexico. But I'm lazy. But when I see a rare one, I shoot it. And that's how I got this one, from the big island. This one came a long way to arrive finally in Florida.
Previous plates: New York, Maine.

The End

All good things must come to an end. The stink flower is all shriveled up and dying. But there are other buds...

Oodles of Doodles CXXV

This doodle is a good example of why I'm trying to collect doodles. It looks cool, it's well-drawn, it has an air of whimsy about it, the off-kilter perspective is great, it's almost a perfect explanation of the doodle mentality. From the flipside of Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians-Lullaby Time (Decca DL 8110) comes this mother tending to her newborn. Like our previous Fred Waring LP, this one features Bing Crosby, this time adding vocals to two tracks.

Oodles of Doodles CXXIV

I skipped a couple of days on my postings. Sorry. I know all you blogger doggers missed me. So I'm going to try and make ofr it today and tomorrow with a whole bevy of doodles and records and what-not. I'm also hoping to fill you up and tire you out so you don't complain too loudly about the week and a half I'm about to miss. I'll be in Ohio all that time, and I doubt if I'm going to be able to post anything during that time. But we'll see... In the meantime, here are a couple of very animated harmonicas from Larry Faber With Orchestra-Harmonica Harmonies (Celebrity Records UTS 155). Harmonicas are one of those intstruments, like the organ, that spawned dozens and dozens of LPs in the hi-fi era. Just think about the Harmonicats for a sec... But back to Larry Faber, you can actually listen to this LP over at The Vinyl Preservation Project.

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

Oodles of Doodles CXXIII

How's about a country doodle? Or better yet a comedy doodle? Maybe a combination of both? This odd couple is from Lonzo & Oscar-Country Comedy (Hilltop JM-6021), a combination of country and comedy straight from the Grand Ole Opry. Though not on this LP, these guys biggest hit was I'm My Own Grandpa, which is probably worth hearing at least once. Not twice, but once. And that's all I have to say about that.

Still Useless

I'll ask you again, what good are cats?

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Oodles of Doodles CXXII

Tonight's doodle is an exquisite drawing of an orchestra, presumably with 100 strings in total. I'm having trouble dividing a whole bunch of 6-stringed instruments into the total count of 100, but maybe there are some instruments who's string-count I don't know. I quit band just as soon as something opened up in a home-ec class. Anyhow, this doodle is from Joni James-100 Strings & Joni On Broadway (MGM Records SE3839, 1960). Yep, that's right. Not Capitol, not RCA. Aren't you shocked?

More Stink Flower

I'm still completely fascinated with this flower blooming on my porch. Here's another view that highlights the hairs covering the petals. You can see the long lighter ones near the edges, and the thick red ones nearer the centers of the petals. Pretty cool, eh?

Another Week In September

This may be the first time I've repeated myself here on the blog. I brought you a different version of this picture a few weeks ago. But it is technically a different shot. Anyhow, here's this week in September. To repeat myself further, this is a sculpture in downtown Tampa, Florida. It's pretty intricate, but it makes a really neat picture.

Monday, September 05, 2005

Oodles of Doodles CXXI

I brought you a pretty crummy Paul Weston doodle yesterday, so here's a slightly better one to help make up for it. It's not the most exciting doodle, but at least you can tell what it is supposed to be. This amorous couple by the fireside is, appropriately enough, from Paul Weston-Music For The Fireside (Capitol T1192). I think I see the initials GBR in there, near the corner of that pillow she's sitting on. Or it may just be BR. Or it may just be my imagination. You be the judge.


I've pretty much wasted my day off work today. It's almost 9 pm, and I haven't posted anything to my blog all day, not even a doodle. I don't know if I'm going to be able to find one between now and bedtime, either. I recorded some Christmas music and posted it over at FaLaLaLaLa, if you're interested, though. Lots of organ stuff. Just you wait until Christmas rolls around, this place is going to be Christmas tune central! But for today, for you, all I have is the late, great Jimmy Stewart. I found this soundtrack today, Franz Waxman-The Spirit Of St. Louis (RCA Victor LPM-1472, 1957), with a great picture of Jimmy as Charles Lindbergh. I've never seen the movie, but now I might have to catch it next time it shows up on TCM or somewhere. It was directed by Billy Wilder, who made some of those great movies from the late 50's and early 60's, some of them with Marilyn Monroe. But all I can hope is that the Lindbergh movie is more historically accurate than the cover shot on this LP. Look at the cover again. See those cars behind the plane? Those are 1950's cars, not 1920's or 30's cars. Whoopsie!

Sunday, September 04, 2005

I Love Music

Here's a special treat for those of you who are still paying attention. This LP, I Love Music (Capitol PRO 445, 1958), is a special promo-only collection of Capitol artists from January of 1958. I think all of the music from it has been released elsewhere, but it does have a few spoken intros I wanted to share with you. Follow this YouSendIt link, and you can download the intros by Frank Sinatra, Keely Smith and Billy May. Now I know those haven't been issued anywhere else since 1958! I wish this LP and cover were in better shape. You can see above that the front cover has some radio station stickers on it. But I've said it before and I'll say it again, beggars can't be choosers. (If you look close at the picture, you'll see these two hep-cats are listening to records by Fred Waring and Louis Prima. I find it nearly impossible to imagine a time when those two artists would share an audience. Ah, America in the late fifties...)

Dimensions In Dynagroove

I dug up a couple of more Dynagroove samplers after this other one I shared earlier. RCA really seemed to be pushing this format, good or bad. The first LP is Dimensions In Dynagroove (RCA Victor PRS-180, 1965), and it features artists like Sid Ramin, Si Zentner, Marty Gold, Hugo Montenegro, Morton Gould and Arthur Fiedler.

This second LP, from a year later, didn't even bother to list the artists on the outside of the jacket, instead using the space on the back for a full-sleeve advertisement of the new Swingline portable stereo. At least the previous LP could spare half the back for the artists. So if you wanted to know who was featured on Sounds Fantastic! (RCA Victor RVS-80, 1966), you had to buy it first. Turns out that this one had an arguably better selection of artists, although most of them were well out of touch with popular music of 1966. Sid Ramin, Si Zentner and Marty Gold returned from the previous years LP, but this one also featured such artists as Chet Atkins, Dick Schory, Al Hirt, The Three Suns and even Esquivel. Wasn't Elvis on RCA by this time? Why doesn't he show up on any of these samplers? Or maybe those samplers have been bought up before I'm lucky enough to find them...

Pop Goes The Flower

Well, I come home from lunch today, look out on the porch, and my bud is bigger than ever. And it looks a little lopsided. Could it be that it's finally reached it's maximum size and is going to burst? A close look at the shot above shows you what I saw. The tip has split into a couple of pieces. Tipping the bud up, you can see down into it now because one seam has opened up completely.

I took the picture above, then came into the house to look at what I had shot. Five minutes later I look back out on the porch, and I see the view below. Now three of the seams have burst, releasing two of the petals completely.

As I'm sitting there shooting the two-petal stage, I hear a small 'pop' and the third petal comes free. In fact, a close look at the above picture shows that the seam was already starting to split. The shot below shows three free petals, and only one seam left to split.

I go away for another five minutes, and sure enough, the final seam splits, leaving an open flower with five giant petals.

The final result? Here you have it. The pot you see the flower resting on is 8" across. Point to point on this flower is almost a foot across! And the best part? It smells really, really bad! I mean bad! Imagine rotting meat. Imagine rotting meat that's a week old. Imagine that meat has been soaking in stale urine for that week. You're getting close, but now double it. That's about the smell coming out of this flower. I believe it's called a carrion flower due to it's overpowering smell. Instead of attracting bees with a sweet smell like other flowers, this flower emits a stench to attract flies for pollination. And it may well ward off a predator or two. Wait, this particular species is called a Starfish Plant (Stapelia gigantea). Notice the thin hairs on the edges of the flower below. Supposedly, flies mistake those hairs for mold, thus encouraging them to come visit the flower and cover themselves with pollen. Did I mention it stinks really bad?

Oodles of Doodles CXX

This may be the most ambiguous doodle yet. Is it a tree trunk? Probably. But it could be a waterall, too. And are those rocks ar leaves down at the bottom? It's all so confusing. Anyhow, this doodle is from Paul Weston And His Orchestra-Music For Romancing (Capitol T153). You've seen some other doodles here related to Mr. Weston, as well as Mrs. Weston. You'll have to take a look at those, as they are undoubtable more straightforward than this one.