Saturday, August 05, 2006

Oodles Of Doodles CLXXVII

Been a good long time since I've brought you a doodle, so here you go. This is from the flip side of The Crew-Cuts Sing (RCA Victor LPM-2037, 1959), which was near the top of the stack because I gave you a track from it on the last day of my Christmas In July share-a-thon. I also mentioned a tag from the LP, and here it is below, "Song Fest". Enjoy!

For those of you who weren't around back in the golden age of doodles, or at least my golden age of sharing them, these bits of black and white art were commonly found on the back of old LPs from the fifties and sixties. They were a cheap way of adding a little art to the record jackets without the cost or difficulty of photos and color. Search through the blog archives and you'll find almost 200 of these jewels I put up in my first year of blogging. The tag is something you see a lot less frequently. It was used as part of the logo on records from RCA Victor from 1958 to 1961 (or thereabouts). I used to think they were all different, but I've found a few that are identical. I've even found different versions of the same LP that have different tags, although I can't remember which one that was right now...

The Three Suns And Rudolph

Here's another little thing a found today that I couldn't wait to share. This is the companion EP to one I shared with you last Christmas. I've been hunting for it ever since, and today I got it. It had the wrong record in it, but that's OK. I already have all the tracks from it. This is The Three Suns-Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer (RCA Victor EPA-654, 1955). The artist signature looks like Gerston to me, the same as was on the other record. I can't find anything on the net under that name. Anyhow, I just wanted to share this great cover with you. I'll get the music reposted come this Christmas.

The Original NRA

I found a tie today that I thought was neat, but I didn't realize just how neat it was until I took a close look at the skinny end. A small piece of paper folded around the tie proclaimed that it was produced in accordance with the National Recovery Act. This program was instituted by FDR way back in 1933, and overturned by the courts in 1935, but was quite popular in the meantime. That means this tag has been attached to this tie for more than 70 years! You never know what you'll find in those thrift stores...

Friday, August 04, 2006

The Best From Christmas In July

For those of you who didn't download all 31 days worth of shares I threw up in July, I put together a single-disc, single-download best-of. It's really pretty good, if I do say so myself. I've been listening to it for a few days now, and it's very listenable. Download and enjoy! (There's one track in there I didn't share out. I recorded it, but then decided not to share it since you can get it pretty easily on CD. But it fit into my theme quite well, so I hope it's OK if I put it on a compilation for you. Don't tell the RIAA though!)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Chanukah In August-Part 2

You didn't think I was going to do a second edition of Chanukah In August, did you? Well, I'm full of surprises. I was also surprised to find a small stash of records I'd put together at some point, all with a decidedly Jewish theme. So we'll see what I can find.

Tonight's track is Tzena by The International Folk Singers from Hava Nagila (Come, Let's Be Happy) (London SW 99021, 1960). Is this a Chanukah song? I don't know. I'm afraid that many of the songs I'm going to share with you have nothing to do with Chanukah, but I'll try. I grabbed this one because of the name. It turns out that the Smothers Brothers track I shared the other day, Swiss Christmas, well, the second half of that track features a song called Tzena, Tzena, Tzena. I don't know if there is a connection or not, but I'm making one up in my head and running with it. So download today's track, and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Chanukah In August-Part 1

Yesterday was the end of Christmas in July, so today is the beginning of Chanukah in August. (A tradition proudly started last year!) Chanukah songs are much harder to come by in the dusty old LPs that I enjoy collecting, but I got lucky last week, and got this one track for you.

Chanukah by Ray Middleton from Ten Jewish Holy Days (Candle Records CAN-112, 1957). Yep, it's the story of Chanukah, told in story and song. Now I know all about the Maccabees and the oil lasting for eight days. (I am, however, unsure about why they mention Palestine in the song. I guess I need to brush up on my history.) This great old record comes complete with an insert the gives all the words and lyrics to the stories inside, as well as a card you can send back to whoever bought you the record, thanking them politely for the gift. I guess whoever got this record bought it for his or herself, and not as a gift. The orchestra and chorus behind Ray Middleton belong to Howard Barlow ("The Voice Of Firestone"), and the lyrics were written by Gerald Marks (writer of Is It True What They Say About Dixie, which I have been enjoying of late in a performance by Phil "Balloo" Harris). "Orthodox, Conservative and Reform Rabbinical Approval"!!!

Please download and enjoy this special track for Chanukah in August!

(This is part of a series???)

August 2006

Rather than wait until the end of the month, I think I'll share out the monthly calendar at the beginning this time. It just seems to work better that way. Anyhow, this was one of my favorite pictures from last year's trip to Cleveland. I don't remember the name of the statue or the building, but the combination of the two made for a great image. Look closely near the base of the statue and you can see water droplets frozen in midair. (The statue is in the center of a fountain.) I still want to get this blown up to poster size and hung on my wall, I'm that impressed with it.

Orange For The First Week In August

It's the first week in August, which means you get a calendar page, and what a doosey of a picture. This is a tight detail of the inside of a spectacular flower. My mom has one of these in her yard, so maybe she knows the name of it. I'm afraid I don't. This isn't the one from her yard, though. I found this one in Siesta Village on Siesta Key, FL, not 50 feet from the beach.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Christmas Preview

OK, I can't keep it under my hat. I've already been busy getting a bunch of stuff ready to share with you in December. And some of it is really good and exciting, at least to a Christmas nut like me. If you're interested, here's a small teaser you can download that has 20 sample tracks from 20 of the albums that I've recorded so far. I'm not even going to tell you what's in there, but if you're the type who likes to open presents before Christmas, then re-wraps them for Christmas day, download this little present. Most of this stuff will show up complete between Thanksgiving and Christmas, but some of it may get bumped for better stuff. I didn't necessarily pick the best tracks or the worst tracks, it was pretty much just a random sampling that I tried to pick without duplicating any songs. Oh, wait, I put Jingle Bells in there twice, no, three times. I should have put more time into this, I suppose. Anyhow, enjoy this little taster!

Christmas In July-Part 31-The End

Congratulations! You've made it to the end of another wonderful Christmas in July! Download these three final tracks, and you'll have yourself a wonderful collection of 112 songs that can help you get in the holiday spirit all year long.

Track one: Happy New Year, Happy New Year from Charlie Weaver. This appeared on the same LP as the track from the other day, Charlie Weaver Sings For His People (Columbia CL 1345), and apparently on a single with the same track. Still not very funny.

Track two: Perhaps it was inevitable. What did you think I was going to end the faux holiday season with? Yep, it's Auld Lang Syne as performed by Mrs. Miller from It's Party Time! (Capitol Canada T6094, 1964). You know you wanna listen to this.

Track three: A second, and much better, version of Auld Lang Syne by The Crew-Cuts from The Crew-Cuts Sing (RCA Victor LPM-2037, 1959). What a fitting way to end the month, with a track from the glory days of the RCA label. There's even a tag line on the front of this LP, "Song Fest". I wish the scanner worked.

There you have it. 112 tracks. The most repeated song? Baby, It's Cold Outside showed up 7 times. The most popular artist? Henry Mancini with 5 tracks. The absolute best track? That's for you to decide. I hope you enjoyed the songs. I know I enjoyed tracking them all down. My original goal was to share two or three a day, but it sort of snowballed out of control. Stay tuned though. Christmas is coming, and I've got plenty of surprises in store. There might even be more this week...

The Last Two Days In July

Here's a pelican action shot for the last couple of days in July. I don't remember when I took this specific picture, but I suspect I was standing on a bridge at the time. I stand on a lot of bridges while I'm out shooting pictures. Anything to get a little elevation.

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Christmas In July-Part 30

Here we are, the next to the last day of Christmas In July. As promised, I have some more comedy for you today, including some actual funny stuff, plus one song, which isn't funny at all, but is actually quite good. So let's look and see what's in the zip file that you should start downloading before you read all this.

Track one is the actual song of the day. Winter Night by Eydie Gorme from Love Is A Season (ABC-Paramount ABCS-273, 1959). I spotted this LP today in a thrift store, and figured with a title like Love Is A Season, I would surely be able to find a holiday season song there-in. And sure enough, there it was. The copy I found was in mono, so when I came home I trolled through the archives, and sure enough I already had a stereo copy. Perhaps this is a sign that I have too many records. Or perhaps that I don't have enough. Anyhow, this was a very fortuitous discovery, as it's a great track. I'm sure you'll enjoy it.

Track two is perhaps the least funny of today's bunch, but I'm a completist so I'm throwing it in here. Family & Holidays by Pat Cooper from More Saucy Stories (United Artists UAS 6690). Only partly about Christmas, I'm afraid, but the Christmas part is about as funny as the whole bit gets. Listen and see for yourself.

Track three is moving up the funny meter a notch, but just one. Christmas Sing Along With Jose-Jingle Bells by Bill Dana from Jose Jimenez In Orbit-Bill Dana On Earth (Kapp KL-1257). Here's another example of why Political Correctness does have a place. Although it is slightly cute, this track's humor derives entirely from the poor English pronunciation of poor Jose. These days they wouldn't let Jose across the border, so maybe he's lucky to be in the US at all.

Tracks four, five and six are all pretty funny, and that's because they are all from The Smothers Brothers. These guys knew their funny from their, well, from their not funny. The earliest track is a warped version of Santa Claus Is Coming To Town from the LP Think Ethnic! (Mercury SR 60777). Short, but sweet. The next track, also the longest, is Swiss Christmas from Curb Your Tongue, Knave! (Mercury SR 60862). Actually, this is two songs, as the song itself goes to great pains to explain. Last is another short snippet of humor called Santa Claus from Mom Always Liked You Best! (Mercury SR 61051). Do all Smothers Brothers album titles end with an exclamation point? These three do, and they are also all produced by David Carroll, who showed up earlier here at Christmas In July. This last Smothers Brothers track isn't really a song, just a short bit about the jolly fat man who always wants to give your kids some candy.

OK, next to the last day and you get six tracks. Not too shabby. Here's the link, now go enjoy yourself. More tomorrow.