Saturday, May 12, 2007

Demilio Returns

I found another artwork by Demilio today. This brings my total up to six. They seem to be easier to find than Jim Flora stuff, and certainly less sinister, but at least as interesting. This comes from the cover to Edmundo Ros And His Orchestra-Calypso Mania (Richmond B 20021), which has a printed-on price tag of $1.98. That's pretty serious budget stuff. You can see the other examples of Demilio that I have found and read up on them here, here, here, here and here. As I mentioned in that last linked post, I've only ever found these covers shared out one other place on the web, and this seems to be one he doesn't have. I really should try to get in touch with that guy.

Dolphin (Not Mahi)

I went on a company fishing trip today in the Gulf Of Mexico. We didn't catch a lot of fish, but we get a visit from some fun-loving dolphins on the trip back to the dock. There were three or four of them in the water, playing in the wake of the boat for about a mile or so. They were easily keeping up with the boat, sometimes staying just under the surface, and sometimes coming out of the water briefly like these two. I don't make it out on boats as often as I might like, but I see lots of dolphins from shore. Believe me, they look cooler when they're right there in the water beside you!

Oodles Of Doodles CCXXXII

Here's a quicky doodle from the back of the LP I just shared with you, Bob Florence And His Orchestra-Name Band: 1959 (Carlton STLP12/115, 1959). I assume this is Bob Florence himself. I don't think this is a very flattering portrait, do you? Perhaps he didn't have creative control over his album sleeves. The album cover is no great piece of artwork, either. And what kind of title is Name Band: 1959? At least the music is pretty good.


It's late, but I'm still getting music up for you to download. I'm taking a break from the cha cha for a little big band tonight. I wasn't sure what to expect from this one when I picked it up, and it sat in the pile a while before I listened to it to tell the truth. But once I played it, I liked it. Nice arrangements of big band stuff. Not too far out there, but well done. I think you'll enjoy it. It's on the Carlton label, which is gone for all intents and purposes, so I don't think this one will ever show up on CD, as is the case with most of the stuff I bring you here. Go download Bob Florence And His Orchestra-Name Band: 1959 (Carlton STLP12/115, 1959). And be sure to check out the doodle from the slip side that I'm going to post next.
Huh, I just read all about Bob Florence over at Space Age Pop. Turns out this guy has a lot of history. I guess you never know. It's amazing what you can learn with just a few clicks on the internet. And some of it is actually true!

Friday, May 11, 2007

Cha Cha Cha Cha

Maybe you thought I was done with the cha cha music. Maybe you thought it was safe to take a moments respite from the dance floor. Well, you were wrong. This is Marimba Chiapas-Cha Cha Cha Vol. 4 (Audio Fidelity AFLP 1900, 1959). I don't know what it is with these cha cha cha albums and their great covers. I've got a few more in the stack that I want to get to eventually, but I don't know if those are going to get done and posted anytime soon. Still a few days left in my week o' music, so you never know.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Also Rans

I mentioned that I shot a pair of roseate spoonbills this afternoon. What I didn't mention were the myriad of other creatures I shot at the same time. There was a fairly large flock of glossy ibis feeding in the shallow water. Look close at the bird closest to center in the shot above and you'll spot a little blue heron that snuck in for a few bites. There was also some plain white ibis, a tri-colored heron, and a few pairs of moorhens. I didn't get any decent pictures of them though.

I had almost made it all the way around the lake when I saw this red-shouldered hawk on a tree branch nearby. He had his eye on something, but I never did find out what. Three shots after this one, I caught a frame with only his feet in the shot as he headed out after something. I saw either him or his mate a couple of minutes later being pursued by a murder of crows. No luck getting a picture of that, though.

This being Florida, you always have to keep your eyes open when you're near the water. Why? Because you never know when you might run into one of these fellows. This gator was about 6 feet long, and he was laid out in a storm drain right off the lake. I kept my distance once I saw him, but if I hadn't been paying attention, this could have spelled trouble.

In The Pink

On the way home from work tonight, I drove past that lake again. And sure enough, I spotted the roseate spoonbills again. I almost didn't stop, but I thought better of it and turned around. I happened to have my really long lens in the car, so I was able to get some nice shots of these bright guys. Shame they aren't so pretty when you get up close to them...

Oodles Of Doodles CCXXXI

I mentioned a doodle by Jack Davis in my previous post (where you can actually download the LP) and here it is. I'm sure you're familiar with Jack Davis. He was an illustrator for MAD Magazine for many years, and did numerous LP covers for RCA in the fifties and sixties. This is the first time I've seen his work on the back of a record, though. Maybe I just haven't been paying enough attention, but I think I would have noticed something this cool. The LP in question is Randy Carlos And His Orchestra-Makin' Whoopee Cha Cha Cha-Introducing The Jelly Bean Merengue (RCA Victor LPM-1689, 1958). No doubt this cleaning lady is angry at the dancer after he performed the Jelly Bean Merengue on her clean floor. Or something like that.
Update: I didn't remember that I had previously posted a doodle of Spike Jones by Jack Davis here. Maybe I've posted too many doodles. Nahhhhh.

Cha Cha Cha

Do you think you can handle one more LP tonight? I just can't get enough of the cha cha cha!!! This one is, to me, the most authentic sounding of the records I've shared tonight. Which is odd, because it seems to be the most irreverent. The cover is fairly straightforward, until you read the subtitle "Introducing The Jelly Bean Merengue". What's that all about? Well, you'll have to read the liner notes to find out, it's all explained in there, complete with diagrams. Those notes are penned by Frank Jacobs, contributor to MAD Magazine. Oh, and there's a great doodle by the great Jack Davis. But you want to listen to the music. Best track here is a stunning version of Makin' Whoopee. This one is going in the car for sure. Have I got your interest piqued? Then go download Randy Carlos And His Orchestra-Makin' Whoopee Cha Cha Cha-Introducing The Jelly Bean Merengue (RCA Victor LPM-1689, 1958). If you look close at the back cover of this one, you'll see a price tag from Sears, Roebuck & Co. for what looks like $9.95. Surely this record didn't cost that much back then. Anybody got a guess as to what's going on there?

Cha Cha

I promised two records tonight, and I'm as good as my word. Here's number two, and it's more of the great cha-cha sound from the late fifties. How about the cover on this one? They didn't come much racier than this in 1959, at least not on records sold at department stores. How's the music? You'll love it, trust me! Go download Don Swan And His Orchestra-Hot Cha Cha (Liberty LRP 3114, 1959). Read more about Don Swan here...


I believe I promised you a full album to download every night this week. Then I didn't get a chance to post anything yesterday. So I'm going to try to get up two albums tonight, and here's the first. As soon as I flipped to this LP, I knew it was going to be something special. Never heard of the artist, never heard of the label, never seen the cover, but sometimes you just know. And sure enough, there is some good music between the covers. You can't go wrong with the cha cha cha. So why don't you go download Cha Cha With Tony Matos (Tiffany 2010, 1960) and get busy dancing!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

More From Frankie, Errr, I Mean Frank

Tonight's share is the follow-up to a record I brought you a few months ago. This is The Frank Ortega Trio-Swingin' Abroad (Jubilee SDJLP 1080, 1958). As I mentioned before, Frankie and his boys were the house band at Dino's, the hip club from 77 Sunset Strip. On this LP, he goes by Frank instead of Frankie, so maybe he's loosened up a little bit by the time he landed that gig. The music here is a little sparser since it's just the trio without benefit of a big band behind them, but they are no less energetic. If you have any doubts, listen to this version of Sabre Dance. It's rocks! Don't miss The Third Man Theme, either. No zither to be found on this version. Oh, and this time around, the record is in Stereo-Sonic Sound. This is one of the records that I recorded while my PC was recording only in mono, so I had to go back recently and rerecord the whole thing. You'll be able to tell the difference on this one quite easily. Hmmm, I bet I need to go back and rerecord 77 Sunset Strip, too, if I can find it in here...
Update-I re-recorded the other Frank Ortega LP and uploaded it, so if you follow the link above, you'll get a nice stereo copy of a great piece of music. Enjoy!

Monday, May 07, 2007

The Next Week In May

Yep, it's another week, and that means another calendar page. This week features a picture from Ohio, a place in the Cuyahoga Valley called Virgina Kendall Ledges. It's an area filled with odd rock formations. I liked the way this tree had grown up out of a crack in the rocks, exposing the root structure and forcing the stones apart.

What's A Jean-Ager?

As promised, I'm trying to put up a new LP every day this week for you to download, so here is Monday's selection. How can you go wrong with a cover like this? I mean, come on! I know you want to go download Jazz For Jean-Agers-The Dazzling Trumpet Of Claude Gordon And His Orchestra (Liberty LRP 3022, 1957). The music is rather incidental compared to that great cover, but that doesn't make it any less important. Some of the tunes on here really swing, others hop, and the rest certainly roll merrily along. Mostly standards here, but there are a couple of originals, written by Claude with the one and only Billy May, so you know they're gonna be good. I don't know if it's the best song here, but the award for best title goes to 'Purple Shades'. The liner notes claim it was originally associated with Joni James, so I may have to try and find that version. The liner notes also talk quite a bit about the Spectra-Sonic-Sound contained on the disc, which is interesting since this is a year before stereo. You get lots of hi-fi, but only from the one speaker. Anyhow, hope you enjoy this one, and stay tuned for more great stuff tomorrow!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Volume 12 For Hi-Fi Living

Well, here it is, the post that many of you have been waiting for. Volume 12, the final installment of the For Hi-Fi Living series. It's taken longer to get there than I expected. I should have been done with this series back in March, yet here it is the first weekend in May. I hope the wait was worth it. I have to admit that these haven't been the most exciting records to cross my turntable in the past 5 months. But they're still nice artifacts of an age gone by, when a record was an investment in a lifestyle, an ideal, a sort of class statement that you could purchase at the department store. Before I get carried away in my yapping, why don't you go start downloading this installment, Malcolm Lockyer And His Orchestra-We're Having A Party-Volume 12 For Hi-Fi Living (RCA Custom RAL-1012, 1957). This is the second installment from Malcolm, in case you recognize the name.
I believe that the whole series is still available for download, so let me give you the links to those posts, in case you've just stumbled across the collection:
Which of these has been the most popular? Well, let's see... Um, the first installment, I Could Have Danced All Night, has been downloaded 186 times. That's probably not a fair assessment, since it might have the most downloads because it's been up the longest. Maybe we should have a vote on which volume you liked the best? Leave a comment and tell me which one was your favorite. I think mine was Latin Holiday, but that's because I've been digging the Cha-Cha-Cha for a while now. Now that I'm done with this, I can burn off the 2G of original wave files on my HD and use that space for something else. Big thanks to everyone who's downloaded these records, and especially to those of you who left nice comments and waited patiently for the final few volumes. It's always great to hear from you!
PS-Stay tuned all week if you want more music to download. Now that I've got this series out of the way, I've got a backlog of stuff that I didn't want to share until I was done. If all goes to plan, I'll be posting a new LP every day this week, and I've got some real humdingers in there for you.