Saturday, May 05, 2007

Flora, Not Fauna

Here's another of the records I got at the Goodwill yesterday. Nothing special about it, really. But after someone posted a comment about one of the EP sleeves I posted, I took a closer look at the back of this one.

Here's the back of Poppa John Gordy And His Piano-Lisbon Antigua (RCA Victor EPA-719, 1956). See the little advertisement for another record at lower left? Here's a detail of just that part of the picture:

It's the cover for another Sauter-Finegan album that I don't have, Inside Sauter-Finegan. (Notice how they've wiped out the catalog number on this ad? I looked close at all the cover reproductions on the sleeve, and they are all marked out in the same way. Odd...) Notice that this cover and the one from the other EP have not only the same style, but the same representations for Misters Sauter and Finegan. But the important part here is the artist. I'd never heard of him, but his work is pretty well known in certain circles. Jim Flora is the guys name, and if you follow the link, you'll see quite a few examples of his work. It's a pretty interesting style. Of all the covers referenced on that site, I have just the one I found yesterday. I'll have to keep my eyes open. And if anyone has this Sauter-Finegan record, I'd love to hear it...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Seven Inches And Rising

It's amazing the ways I can find to waste my time and money. After telling myself all day that I wasn't going to stop at the Goodwill store after work today, the car turns left instead of right, and I went to the Goodwill store. And what do I find there but a huge stack of records. Not just your run-of-the-mill records, either, but 7" 45RPM vinyl EPs from the mid- to late-50s. Dozens and dozens of them. Complete sets of them, almost all in their original cardboard sleeves or in boxes. Oddly enough, every single one of them was on either RCA Victor or "X", a subsidiary of RCA at the time. So I'm thinking maybe this was the collection of an employee of the company, or someone who had some sort of link to RCA. Every single record or set was marked $0.99, which I knew I wasn't willing to pay. I flipped through all of them, pulling out 20 or 30 that I knew I wanted, but really thinking the whole stack would be worth getting, if just for some of the great covers. So I went in search of a manager and asked if there was room to deal. Sure enough, he offered $0.59 each. I countered with $50 for the whole stack, and he agreed. So between myself and the manager, we each grabbed a huge armful and carried the piles to the front of the store. I also bought a few regular 12" records, but nothing so exciting as there EPs. After hurrying home, I spent hours going through the stack, carefully putting the different sets together, and putting the few records without custom sleeves into the generic sleeves in the pile. Turned out that every record had a sleeve, and most of the sets were complete. Every box that I opened up was complete, and every record was in the correct place. The conditions are wonderful, too. I haven't played any of these yet, but you can bet the rest of my weekend will be spent hunched over the turntable, flipping small record on and off. I quickly through a few on the scanner just to share them with you. I didn't do a lot of touch-up on them, so take these scans as just samples of what's in the pile. Did I mention the count? There were 146 records here, which doesn't include the multiple records in some of the sets. Pretty good deal, eh? So what did I scan to share with you? Above and below are parts 2 and 3 of Geri Galian And His Carribean Rhythm Boys-Rhapsody In Rhythm ("X" EXA-8 & EXA-9). I put these up to illustrate what I meant by sets. There was probably a singe 12" record released of this same music, but they also spread it out over three single records, for people who liked their music at 45 RPM. Each sleeve was a little different, but they were all themed the same.

One of the sets that I really wanted to get was the one above, The Sons Of Sauter Finegan (RCA Victor EPC-1104, 1955), a three record set, all in a single sleeve. I've always heard great things about Sauter-Finegan, but their records seem to be rare as hen's teeth. And this wasn't the only record by them in the pile! Below is a great cover from blog-favorite, Xavier Cugat, drawn by the man himself. The title of this one is Dancetime With Cugat (RCA Victor EPB-3170), this time a two record set in a single sleeve.

I just can't believe some of these great covers. The music is almost incidental. Above is Noro Morales And His Orchestra-Mambos (RCA Victor EPA-553, 1954) and below is Bob Zurke And His Delta Rhythm Band-Tom Cat On The Keys (RCA Victor EJC-1013, 1955).

Above is a boxed set of three records that could prove to be mighty interesting. Just imagine what Your Horoscope In Music by Dewey Bergman With The Voice Of Eddie Gallaher (RCA Victor WP-325) is going to sound like. Most of the boxed sets included inserts, which I didn't even think came with most boxed sets. Quite a few of them even have the disposable paper slips that originally slid in between the records during shipping and were meant to be thrown away after the records were sold. (I showed you something similar a long time ago.) The only promotional record in the stack, and one of the few without a jacket is below. This single is Adios b/w Granada (RCA Victor J7OW-97172/3) by the one and only Esquivel, taken from his LP Other Worlds Other Sounds (LPM-1753). And yes, it does appear to be mono. Everything in the pile is mono. This may be the only record that is available in stereo elsewhere. I think everything else is too early.

So what else is in this pile? Plenty! At least one more from Esquivel, plenty by The Three Suns (including a much-desired Christmas single which is guaranteed to show up on the blog sometime), lots of Frankie Carle, Tony Martin, a whole series of Broadway shows, most of the year-by-year Honor Roll Of Hits series, and many, many more. I'm just so excited! Can you tell?

Thursday, May 03, 2007

The Month Of May, Part Two

Finishing up the calendars for the month of May, here are the two CD-sized pages. Above is a shot of a railroad bridge in The Flats district of Cleveland, Ohio. I used to know the name of this bridge, but it escapes me now. There are quite a few historic old steel bridges in this area, dating back to the turn of the last century when the area was criss-crossed by industrial railways. Today, there are only a few working tracks in the area, but they've preserved many of these old bridges for the tourists to see. Below is a detail of a passionflower bloom. When I was little, these things grew wild out behind the house, and we'd eat the fruit from them. I don't remember it being very good, but it was great if Mom wouldn't let you have something out of the fridge since dinner was only a few hours away.

The Month Of May, Part One

Here are the two full-sized pictures for the month of May. The shot above of the flamingo is ancient. I must have shot this three or four years ago. I found the flamingo at Jungle Gardens here in Sarasota, and I must have shot him and his brothers for an hour. I sat as still as I could so they'd come closer. I love the dark background on this one. The light was just right for illuminating the bird and nothing else. The shot below is University Circle in Cleveland, Ohio. That's the art museum on the far side of the lake. To the right is the campus of Case Western Reserve and to the left is Our Lady Of The Holy Oilcan. Well, you can't actually see either of those in the shot. What you can see in the foreground is a statue of Atlas. And really tiny in front of the museum is The Thinker by Rodin.

The First Week Of May

Three days into the month, and I'm just now posting the first calendar page. You folks are supposed to remind me of these things. Anyhow, here's a great picture of Elvis the red-tailed hawk. I shot Elvis at Earth Day last year at Oscar Scherer State Park. I shot Elvis again this year on the same day at the same park. Coincidence? You be the judge.

Monday, April 30, 2007

The Last Bit Of April

It's going to be a good week for calendars, and here's the first little piece. For the last two days in April, the calendar is this shot of the Anna Maria City Pier on Anna Maria Island. This is one of my favorite spots to go take pictures. It's what you might call "picture perfect".

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Volume 11 For Hi-Fi Living

The wait is over, it's time for another installment of Hi-Fi Living! I know it's been a while, but I've been busy on other things. Nice weather means I am out and about taking pictures, so it's tougher to find time to record records. But I made some time today, and here is the result. Please download and enjoy Tony Osborne And His Orchestra-A Trip To Romance-Vol. 11 For Hi-Fi Living (RCA Custom RAL-1011, 1957). Only one more record to go and we'll have the whole set. (We heard from Tony Osborne earlier in the series, in case that name sounds familiar.)