Saturday, July 07, 2007

Christmas In July 2007-Day 7

OK, here's the file that marks the end of the first week. It's tougher than it looks, to share out all this music, believe me. The hardest part is deciding what to share out each day. Today was a fairly easy choice, though. I'm just throwing three versions of the same track at you. And that track is Skater's Waltz, which may or may not be considered a Christmas tune. If you're one of those people who doesn't think this track belongs in the Christmas canon, then I suggest you don't download this one. The three artists are The Kingsway Strings, The Organ Masters and The 77 Strings Orchestra, from the albums A Symphony On Ice (Somerset P-4900), Music For Skaters (RCA Camden CAS-2363, 1969) and Waltz Favorites (Golden Tone 14043) respectively. Here's the link, and I hope you enjoy them.

The shares from this date last year were two tracks from 5 Guitars, 50 Fingers by Mark White. Good guitar stuff, if not particularly Christmassy.

Oodles Of Doodles CCXLIV-Christmas In July 2007

Similar to last night, today's doodle again features an angel blowing a trumpet. But that's where the similarity ends. This angel is really blowing his heart out on the flip side of Hallelujah! Brass Of The Hollywood Bowl Symphony Orchestra, Conducted By Alfred Newman (Capitol P8529).
This is another record that is on the list of things I might record and share out at Christmas. So if you're interested, say so now so I have time to get it recorded between now and then.

The Other Prison

I showed you my favorite picture of Alcatraz yesterday, Alcatraz being the most famous (former) prison in the San Francisco Bay area. The second most famous (active) prison is San Quentin, and that what you see in the picture above. This one is located in the North Bay and is actually attached to the mainland, unlike the island of Alcatraz. Not only is this the second most famous prison, it's also the site of Johnny Cash's second most famous prison album, coming in right after Folsom Prison. I guess San Quentin just can't win. On the plus side, there is great video of the Johnny Cash concert here, something that Folsom doesn't seem to have.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Two Sides, Same Coin

Is it possible that I'm starting to repeat myself in my old age? I shot both of these pictures while I was in California. The one above was on day four, the one below on day one. The shot above is looking East towards San Francisco from the Marin Headlands. The shot below is from a small hill above Berkeley looking West towards San Francisco. Just a wee bit similar, don'tcha think?

Christmas In July 2007-Day 6

Is it the 6th already? Time flies when you're having fun. Today is Ferrante & Teicher Day, in case you were wondering. All three tracks are from the great piano duo, and none of them are from their classic Christmas recordings! These tracks snuck into ordinary non-seasonal albums, but I think you'll agree with me that they could just as well have been on a holiday release. The first two tracks, Skaters Waltz and Happy Sleigh Ride are both from The Enchanted World Of Ferrante And Teicher (United Artists UAS 6375, 1964) and track three, Ave Maria, is from the live album The Ferrante And Teicher Concert, Part Two (United Artists UAS 6475, 1966). The record I recorded for that last track is a bit beat, so I apologize for the clicks and pops. Hopefully you can listen through those and really enjoy it. If not, check out a non-live version of the same track by the same artists (but on a different label) that I shared out last year. But first, download today's share!

Last year featured three great organ tracks from Ethel Smith on this day. Excellent stuff!

They Don't Know The Words

Right before I left Florida for California, I spotted two hummingbirds. They were gone before I could get to my camera, and never reappeared. Upon walking into the botanical garden near UC Berkeley, I spotted yet another hummingbird that I at first mistook for a bumblebee. Again, gone before I got the camera pointed. Several days later, I spotted a small bird flitting through some bushes near the Golden Gate Bridge. I wasn't sure if it was a hummingbird or a small finch. Then I saw the iridescence in his feathers and knew what I had was another hummingbird. He lit on a branch long enough for me to get off about 3 frames, then he was gone. So this is the best I could do. I'm going to have to get myself one of those sugar-water feeders or something if I ever hope to get any good pictures of these guys.

The View To Alcatraz

You may have thought I was done with my San Francisco pictures, but I'm not. There are still plenty of great pictures that I want to share with you, I just need to get in there and find them. Sometime during the day I will remember something I shot that I haven't looked at yet, then I forget to try and find the picture when I sit down at the computer later. That happens to me a lot, actually. I assume it's a sign that I take too many pictures, but I'd rather have taken too many pictures than not enough. The shot I'm sharing with you above was one of my favorite from the whole trip. I tried for several days to get down to the waterfront at sunset, but I missed it most nights. One night I figured it was my last chance, so I got off of the Bay Bridge in the middle onto Yerba Buena, and wait for the sun to go down. I was lucky because there was very little fog, only minimal haze, and some pretty good color. I shot many, many different versions of this picture, trying to get the best light, the most ethereal tones, and of course a little flash from the lighthouse. Look close, because I did get it in mid-flash. The sign below, which has clearly seen better days (as has Alcatraz) was from earlier in the day somewhere near Pier 39 and the ferry boats that take tourists out to the island and back. It was too far off the ground for me to get the actual island in the picture with the sign, but I did think about it.

Oodles Of Doodles CCXLIII-Christmas In July 2007

Tonight's doodle is meant to look like a classical woodcut, or perhaps it is a woodcut, I don't know. I sort of doubt it, though. It's still a nice image of an angel, and it comes from the LP The Best Of Christmas by Paul Mickelson Orchestra And Choir (RCA Victor LPM-1517, 1957).

Rattlesnake Redneck Style

Many years ago, when I was just a little guy, the coolest thing around was Dad's rattlesnake belt. I was recently reminded of it when I visited a belt factory in San Francisco, so I decided to get a picture of it and share with everybody. I can barely remember a time before the belt, so I must have been pretty young when Dad had it made. We often ate rattlesnake when I was young, so it was a natural extension to use the hides for something. I can remember seeing hides like this in the freezer for many years, waiting their turn to be turned into something similar. Every once in a while I got to wear this belt to school for show and tell. I had to be really careful with it, since it was easy to pop the scales off by pulling it through the belt loops. Oh, and you could change the buckle to any of a number of belt buckles that made a statement, from the ever-popular Ford through Massey-Ferguson tractors and Bush Hog mowers to rebel flags. It's a bit worse for wear now, after thirty years, but it's still a great symbol of my childhood.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Christmas In July 2007-Day 5

You get a little tropical/exotica flavor in today's Christmas shares. Well, in two of them anyway. I couldn't find a third track that really complimented the first two, so I just threw something in there that I liked. So, what have I got? Let's see... Track one is Alfred Apaka with It's Snowing In Hawaii from Blue Hawaii Moonlight (Decca DL 8820, 1959). (I think I spelled Apaka as Alpaka in the MP3 file. Sorry 'bout that...) Great Hawaiian themed track. And who better to follow up on that track than the immortal Martin Denny? He performs Snowflakes In Summer from the LP Exotica Today (Liberty LST-7465, 1967). I don't know if this is really a Christmas track, but I like it. You can never go wrong with Mr. Denny. Track three, which really has nothing to do with the other two is Spring Will Be A Little Late This Year by The Four Lads from The Four Lads Sing Frank Loesser (Columbia CL 1045, 1957). A good song, but a little out of sorts from the other two. Please be my guest and download these great tracks!

This time last year I shared out two tracks from the great Dick Schory, so if you missed 'em, go get 'em!

Oodles Of Doodles CCXLII-Christmas In July 2007

Here's your doodle for the day. This delightful Christmas tree comes from Merry Christmas-The Organ And Chimes Of Edmund Francis (Imperial LP-12250, 1963). I don't think I've ever had a doodle from that label before. First time for everything I suppose. There's a nice legible signature on this one, C. Krieger, but that doesn't lead me anywhere on Google.

Rock And Roll

Last night before the fireworks, they had a small concert stage in Palmetto. But even though it was a small stage, they had a couple of big names. That's Rick Derringer above, and Edgar Winter below. Edgar put on quite a show, featuring a fifteen to twenty minute version of Frankenstein that was awesome. I didn't hear all of Rick Derringer's set, but I don't think it was as impressive. Apparently, he used to live in Bradenton, or was born here or something, which is why he seems to show up around here a lot.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy Fourth Of July!

I just got back from the 4th of July celebrations in Palmetto, Florida. I got a few good shots of the fireworks, so I figured I'd share a couple of them with you. After shooting fireworks for several years now, I still have no idea how to get it just right. These shots will have to do. I did shoot colors other than red, but they tend to not be as bright as the red ones and therefore not as impressive.

Oodles Of Doodles CCXLI-Christmas In July 2007

Just in time for one of the hottest days of the year, here's a great Christmas doodle for you. This charming wintry scene comes from Fred Waring And The Pennsylvanians-The Sounds Of Christmas (Capitol T1260, 1959). You don't get much more homey and bucolic than this. Church bells ringing out, families chopping their own Christmas trees and exchanging gifts, people both sledding and sleighing... It's like a Hallmark greeting card crossed with a Norman Rockwell painting. Well, that may be going a little too far, but you get my drift...
If seeing this has wet your appetite for the sounds of The Pennsylvanians, you can check out this post for some of their music I shared last Christmas and this one for the Christmas before that. He also seems to be a popular artist for doodles. He's shown up 1, 2, 3 times before!

Christmas In July 2007-Day 4

Happy Independence Day! It's a great patriotic holiday, but instead of patriotic music, you get Christmas! I'm leading off today with two tracks from 'The Star of Ukrainian Comedy', Peter Hnatiuk, both from his album, 12 Goofy Ukrainian Hits (Sunshine SSLP 4002). You'll have to judge for yourself how Goofy! Goofy! Goofy! his songs are. The label also emphasizes that it's 100% Canadian, so I guess you're allowed to broadcast it in Canada. Your two samples are Ukr. Jingle Bells and 12 Days Of Holiday. You'll recognize the melody of both songs, if not the lyrics. I have no idea what he's saying or singing most of the time, so if anybody is able to translate, please be my guest. From Ukrainian goofiness, we move on to polka goodness. You'll really enjoy Happy Holiday by Stan Wolowic And The Polka Chips from The Greatest Band In Polka Land (Capitol ST 1283). It may not have anything to do with Christmas, but it sure is happy! So go get these tracks, and then get out and enjoy the fireworks!

Last year on this date I shared out a harp track from The Stanley-Johnson Orchestra and a stereo action track from Dick Schory. If that sounds at all interesting to you, please be my guest.

Independence Day

Happy July 4th to all! We should never forget the terrible price that some have paid to keep us independent. When I was in San Francisco, I shot some pictures at the cemetery in The Presidio. This may well be the last cemetery located in San Francisco. Many years ago, they moved all the cemeteries out of town because the real estate was just too valuable to be used by the dead. But I'm sure this military burial ground was exempt from that decision. Driving around this place, I imagined it was very similar to Arlington, except Arlington must be much, much larger. Very somber, very quiet and very humbling. The rows of graves just seemed to go on forever.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Google Update

Just for kicks, I typed 'Ernie' into Google to see where I rank. I show up at #110. That's not too shabby. There are a lot of more popular Ernie's out there, so I'm not going to complain. Type 'Ernie Not Bert' in there, and I come out top of the list!

Oodles Of Doodles CCXL-Christmas In July 2007

Another day, another doodle. I'm pretty late tonight, so it's not the most impressive of doodles, but it's still nice. Some snowflakes and a length of garland. Classic, simple stuff. This come from the back of Christmas Favorites Sung By The Magnificent Magnavox Chorus (Magnavox Not For Sale). No idea where this one came from, but I think it's on the list of stuff to share out at Christmas. Organ is provided by Virgil Fox, and the chorus was the first prize winner of the Chicagoland National Music Festival. You can't argue with that!

Christmas In July 2007-Day 3

Day the third! Still plenty of good stuff, so don't tune out yet. Two songs today from the smooth Ray Conniff (one with The Singers, and one with his orchestra and chorus) and one from some group you've never heard of... First, the two Conniff tracks. Track one is My Favorite Things from the album Music From Mary Poppins Featuring The Academy Award Winner "Chim Chim Cher-ee", The Sound Of Music, My Fair Lady And Other Great Movie Themes (Columbia CS 9166, 1965). That may be the longest title of a record I've shared so far. My fingers hurt just from typing it in. Those of you who don't think of My Favorite Things as a Christmas song will have to forgive me. I rather like it, and I've got plenty more versions of it in the can here for sharing throughout the month. I'm sure there'll be at least one day when that's all you get. Track two by Ray Conniff is the real kicker in today's share. This is now my favorite version of Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy, here titled An Improvisation On "Dance Of The Sugar Plum Fairy." The LP for this one is Concert In Rhythm-Volume II (Columbia CS 8212, 1959), and like I said, it's awesome. Track three, and the odd man out this go-round, is Silver Bells by The Klokken Ringers from the LP A Festival Of Bells (Omnisound N-1020, 1978). Remember that old Hershey's Kisses commercial they play at Christmas time where each Kiss is a hand-bell, and together they play a little tune? Well, that's what this track is, those same sort of bells. The full credit on this record says The Klokken Ringers from the New Hackensack Reformed Church, Wappingers Falls, New York. Betty Garee, Director. And then there's bunch of talk about how you should buy the record if you're a bell ringer, an active bell choir director, hi-fi/stereo enthusiast, or just someone looking for unusual sounds. What more can I say? Just download it and listen.

Whoops, forgot to mention the fun from this day last year where you can get five different versions of I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm, almost all of which are pretty interesting. Check it out!

Monday, July 02, 2007

Another Thinker

Before I went to San Francisco, I happened to stumble across the little fact that they had their own copy of Rodin's The Thinker. And sure enough, I was lucky enough to be able to find it. It's located in the courtyard of The Legion Of Honor, which is on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. But then, most things in San Francisco are on a hill overlooking one or the other or both. I had previously spotted a version of The Thinker in Cleveland, Ohio. Apparently, there are many castings of the same thing out there, some of which are considered originals since Rodin made them himself.

California (10/50)

California is just weird. What other state has non-alphabetic characters on their license plates? I can hear Ponch and/or Jon calling this in to HQ. "I've got a red 2006 Honda, California tag Juliet, Alpha, Alpha, November, Heart Shape, Lima, Oscar." Perhaps they just have too many cars...

Previous plates: Virginia, Alaska, Connecticut, New York, Maine, Hawaii, Washington, Ohio, Wisconsin.

Oodles Of Doodles CCIXL-Christmas In July 2007

Are those the correct Roman numerals for 239? I'm not sure. I guess I don't use Roman numerals enough. Anyhow, here's today's doodle for Christmas in July. Yes, I know, I already posted one today, but that was for yesterday when I didn't know I was going to be doing doodles. Sorry if I confused you. This abstract angel is from the backside of Ethel Smith-Christmas Music (Decca DL 8187, 1955?). This was the LP I wanted to share out last Christmas with the other Ethel Smith record I had, but I didn't find a copy until earlier this year. Now I have to decide if I want to record it and share it out. I've recorded and shared so many organ Christmas records already, I'm starting to get tired of them. What'ya think? There was also an all-Ethel day during last year's Christmas In July, so check that out to.
The style of this doodle is highly reminiscent to me of this previous doodle from the St. Patrick's Cathedral Choir album last Christmas.

Christmas In July 2007-Day 2

Day two already. Seems like just yesterday I started sharing out these Christmas tunes. Wait, it was yesterday. I guess I need to lay off the fake snow for a while. I've got some really great stuff for today because I couldn't bear to wait any longer to share them. Perhaps my favorite find so far this year is December by Count Basie & The Mills Brothers. It comes from The Board Of Directors (Dot DLP 25838, 1968), and it really swings! I'm shocked that this one doesn't seem to be anthologized somewhere. The other two tracks are also winners, both from Ruby Murray and her album Irish (And Proud Of It) (Capitol T 10327, 1962). The two songs are Christmastime In Ireland and Christmas In Killarney (the old Bing Crosby chestnut). Both of these will make you celebrate a little bit of Green Christmas. Here's the link, go get 'em!

If that's not enough for you, you can go get a couple of tracks from Six Fat Dutchmen that I shared out on this day last year.

Oodles Of Doodles CCXXXVIII-Christmas In July 2007

The more I thought about it, the more I was unhappy with just sharing out single tracks for my Christmas In July celebration. My blog is about both art and music, well, maybe not art, but my photography at least. I didn't want to scan in all the LP covers from all the tracks I'm sharing, because I'm terribly lazy, so I thought back to July 0f 2005 when I shared out Christmas doodles. So that's what I'm doing! In addition to a few Christmassy tracks each day, you also get a Christmas doodle. The two have nothing to do with each other, but at least I'm getting something visual into the blog. Today's full color doodle comes from the flip-side of Ferrante & Teicher-We Wish You A Merry Christmas (United Artists UAS 6536, 1966). You have to get an original label pressing to see the doodle, though. I've seen lots of these on Mistletoe Records, and they omit a few of the songs, as well as this great doodle. If the doodle looks familiar, it's because it's very similar to the one I shared out first in 2005 from Jimmy Roselli. Same label, same year and same artist, I'm sure. Stay tuned for more of these as the month goes on.

Sunday, July 01, 2007

The Windmill Of My Mind

I promised pictures of the windmill in Golden Gate Park, and here you go. This was pretty much the only place I made it to in the Park, which is a little disappointing, since it was on my list, but I saw plenty of other stuff that made up for it. I actually spotted this windmill while I was visiting the Cliff House, and then drove the half mile or so down the road to shoot it. It's pretty impressive, sitting right there off the beach. Unfortunately, it doesn't turn anymore, or at least it didn't while I was there.

The Month Of July-Part Two

Two more calendar pages for you today, this time the 11x14" format that we hang up on the wall at work. The shot above is the Federal Courthouse in Cleveland, Ohio. I'm not sure why they have a copy of the Venus de Milo out front. Maybe justice isn't only blind, it also has no arms... The shot below is a beautiful bald eagle, which unfortunately is no longer able to live in the wild. He is a full-time resident of the Audubon Center For Birds Of Prey in Maitland, Florida. They take in all sorts of injured raptors, caring for them until they are better, and re-releasing many of them back into the wild. Some of them are unfortunately never able to be released and are used for educational purposes while living out their lives in captivity.

The Month Of July-Part One

First of the month, and that means lots and lots of calendar pictures for you. These two are from the CD-sized calendars we made as promo items for one of the companies I work for. You might recognize the images if you have a good memory, as they are recycled from some of the older full-sized calendars. The picture above is one of my favorite of all time. I caught the snowy egret at just the right spot at just the right time. The flag was flying over the restaurant at the end of the Anna Maria City Pier on Anna Maria Island here in Florida. The shot below is the town square in Twinsburg, Ohio. Every town square in Ohio has to have a church with a steeple, a monument to fallen citizens, and some large casting, in this case a cannon.

The First Week Of July

This week features Independence Day, so it's only appropriate that the calendar page features a flag. I shot this early one morning at work, as the sun was coming up over the building across the street. Their flag was silhouetted by the clouds, and I felt it was a great time to take a picture.