Saturday, January 06, 2007

Statue In The Sky

I mentioned this statue the other day when I posted a picture of a similar statue here. I went back to the Ringling Museum today to see if they had put it back up after taking it down for some new construction. Lo and behold, they had installed it in the center of the long drive leading up to the museum. Maybe now someone will know the name of it when I ask. Pretty cool color, too, thanks to the sun having just set.

Sarasota Sunset

Here's a shot of the sunset this evening. This cormorant was nice enough to point it out for you. He was sitting on a piling along the seawall at the Ringling Museum tonight as the sun was setting behind Longboat Key in the background. His aim is a little bit off, but you get the picture.


Once again, I'm happy to report that the coastline is still there. The sky is still blue, clouds are still white, and the water is still a great shade of green. And yes, it is January.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Elektra Again

These are scans of a catalog (or flyer, really) for Elektra records that I found inside of Susan Reed Sings Old Airs From Ireland, Scotland And England (Elektra 26, 10" vinyl, 1954). The catalog is also from 1954, and shows all of the stuff you could buy at that time. In fact, the Susan Reed record is shown in the scan below at top left. Oddly enough, the last old catalog like this that I found in a record was also from Elektra. I don't know if they came in the record jacket originally, or if they were given away by the record dealer at the time of sale. Come to think of it, both records also included another insert with all the lyrics to the songs performed, so maybe the catalog went into any record that had another insert. Who knows? Anyhow, I thought some of you folks might think this interesting reading.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Oodles Of Doodles CCXII

I've got a doodle for you tonight, from the cover of Kitty Kallen's "My Coloring Book" And Her Other Great Hits (RCA Victor LSP-2640 RE, 1963). This one is slightly unique in that it comes from the front of the record sleeve. I would say 99% of the other doodles I've shared came from the flip side of the record. But other than that, there's nothing too remarkable about this one. I guess they were trying to tie into the song title a little bit. I suppose I should be thankful that no one tried to color in Ms. Kallen. I'm thinking that the 'RE' at the end of the catalog number means that this isn't the original album cover. I saw that once before on an LP by Dick Schory, which turned out to be a release with a different cover.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Two For Tuesday

I've had an idea in my head for a little while, and I want to try it out on all my loyal fans, or at least on the drunken surfers who happen to click on by. Once a week, I want to share a pair of tracks with you, a pair that have something in common. Sometimes something obvious, sometimes not so obvious. To start things off, it's pretty obvious. I've got two versions of The Ballad Of Jed Clampett, which you may know as the theme song from The Beverly Hillbillies. I don't know that I'd ever come across a version of this track by anyone other than Flatt & Scruggs, then I happened across two. So here are those two great versions by Spike Jones (who I think you know...) and Jo Ann Castle (one of Lawrence Welk's many musical proteges), both from 1963. Enjoy!

365 Days

Check it out, they're bring back the 365 Days Project! It's 365 days of really, really wacky audio extravaganzas. I wish the stuff I shared with you could be 10% as out-there as this stuff. They did this in 2003, and it was a real hoot. So 2007 should be at least 54% better. Go check it out, I'll still be here when you get back

Monday, January 01, 2007

Kookin' For Kookie

Sometimes the things I find in my record collection surprise even me. I remember buying this record, but I had forgotten it until I found it again a couple of days ago while looking for something to listen to. At the time I bought it, I thought it was just a rip-off LP, capitalizing on the popularity of the TV show, since all of the tracks besides the title song were written by either Frankie Ortega or Sy Oliver. Well, turns out I was wrong. Way wrong. Frankie Ortega and his trio were the house band at Dino's, the hangout for the folks on 77 Sunset Strip (and apparently owned in real life by Dean Martin). Check it out, Frankie is actually listed on the IMDB because of it. So I was glad that I picked up this LP and played it. It's great, jazzy stuff, played by The Frankie Ortega Trio, with backing from Sy Oliver And His Orchestra. There's some really swingin' stuff here, some smooth stuff, too. Even one track that sounds to my ears like Fever, but claims to be an original. So if you're into late 50's sound, this record may well knock your socks off. Oh, and it's in stereo! So here, go get The Frankie Ortega Trio With Sy Oliver And His Orchestra-77 Sunset Strip And Other Selections (Jubilee SDJLP 1106, 1959). Dig it!

Don't forget the Warner Brothers Stars Christmas LP I shared with you last month, as well as the single from Ephrem Zimbalist, Jr. Those'll get you more fun from the stars of 77 Sunset Strip.

Update-9 May 07-Turns out that I originally recorded this record in two track mono instead of stereo. I realized this when I went to record their previous LP, Swingin' Abroad. I've just now uploaded the stereo version, so if you grabbed it earlier, you might want to get it again. It sounds a lot better now. Sorry about the mixup.

The Very First Week Of January

The new year starts today, and that means new pictures for you. Unfortunately, none of the monthly calendars are done yet, so you're not going to get to see those for a while, but here are the pictures from the weekly calendars. Starting today, I've flip-flopped the two calendars. The top picture is from the new, 2007, book, while the shot below is from last year's book. Even thought the year 2006 is over, I've got pictures in it all the way to the end of February, so you've got two months to look forward to with two pictures per week. The shot above is some seedpod in Ohio, the name of which escapes me. I really should find out, because they are everywhere up there, and I take lots of pictures of them. I caught it on a January morning while there was still frost about. No snow, though. The shot below is a view of my favorite statue at the Ringling Museum here in Sarasota. It's actually a small version of my favorite statue. During some recent renovations, they took down the large one, and I don't know if it's back up yet or not. I need to go down there and have a look, I think. But not today, it's raining.

2 x 10^5

First of all, welcome to 2007! Second, congratulations to me on getting my 200,000th hit sometime this morning! I had hoped to reach that goal sometime during my Christmas sharity last month, but I didn't quite make it until today. But that's OK, I'm just happy to be here. I only hit 100,000 at the beginning of November, so this milestone came pretty quickly. I'm sure the next hundred thousand will take a little longer, but good things take time.

Sunday, December 31, 2006

Volume 1 For Hi-Fi Living

As the year draws to a close, I wanted to start a new series of shares with you. Christmas shares are still 11 months away, but I like the attention I get when I share stuff out, so I'm going to try to share more with you this year from my off-the-wall record collection. Many months ago, I shared the doodle from the back of this record with you, and it was the only time I was ever able to track down the artist and say howdy. That doodle actually appears on all 12 of the records in this set, and sometime during this past year, I managed to lay my hands on every single record in the set. So, with a little luck, I'll be able to get all 12 volumes up here for your enjoyment. This set was marketed to people who were new to the world of hi-fi, and needed something to play to show off their new equipment. I've found very few references to this set online, with the exception of people trying to sell the individual records. I suspect it's a bit difficult to put the entire set together these days, since they couldn't have sold too many of these. They all appear to be in mono (which makes sense with a release date of 1957), and with the advent of stereo in 1958, who wanted to buy mono records to show off on the hi-fi? But you'll enjoy them. The first one is quite mellow, but it has it's moments. Be sure to keep coming back and complete the set! Here's Hill Bowen And His Orchestra-I Could Have Danced All Night; Vol. 1 For Hi-Fi Living (RCA Custom RAL 1001, 1957). I've never seen any other records in this number series (RAL). Is it possible this was all they ever used it for?

The Front Page

I thought you might want to see the front page of my annual calendar project. This is what's on the cover, an osprey I shot out at Myakka River State Park. You can see what it looked like on Christmas morning below. That's my grandmother opening up the calendar for the first time.

The Last Day Of The Year

Almost let today pass without getting these calendar pages up. There's only one day in this week, so you don't have to look at them for long. The upper picture, from last year's book, is a red form of aloe plant. I shot this at a local nursery that has an open house twice a year. It's great for looky-loos like myself, who don't by anything. Well, actually, I think I always wind up buying something. Then it lives on my porch for a while until the unbearable heat and lack of water kill it. The photo below is from the calendar book for 2007, and shows some snow on a pine tree. This was in Twinsburg, Ohio, and is just outside the building where I work up there. People always look at me funny when I'm up there, because I'm usually out traipsing around taking pictures of things that they see every day, but are all new and different to me.