Saturday, July 12, 2008

Illegally Posted

I saw a sign last night that had been defaced much like this one. It was raining, so my pictures of that one didn't come out too well. Then tonight I notice a similar sign on a different corner of the same intersection, and this time I got a good enough shot that I can share it with you. It struck me as odd that the sign had been defaced in such a way as to obscure the phone number, yet it hadn't been removed. I thought it might be some sort of marketing gimmick, or maybe the city was trying to make a point about all those tacky little signs like this that litter roadsides and telephone poles everywhere. But why would a government worker put up a sticker and not remove the sign? And why would a marketer obscure the only means of contact on the sign? Well, a few minutes of searching on the internet led me to the answer. It's an informal group calling themselves CAUSS, Citizens Against Ugly Street Spam. They deface the annoying signs, leaving them in place to deter others, but making them useless for their intended advertising purpose by obscuring the contact information. Fairly clever, eh?

One More Gehry

While I'm sharing Gehry stuff, here's one more item. This is a large pedestrian bridge that leads to the bandshell in the previous post from the other section of the park. It crosses a big highway (not US 41!) that you can see near the bottom of this post. This is called the BP Pedestrian Bridge and it, too, was designed by Frank Gehry.

This bridge is extremely windy. No, not windy. Wind-y. Windey. It winds a lot. I don't know how to write that... You wouldn't want to have to use it for any sort of emergency evacuation.

There are something like 9800 stainless steel plates on the outside of this bridge. Wish I'd gotten that contract at work. I wonder who I should write to to get in on the bid process for when it comes time to recover the thing?

I was looking at the pictures I originally wanted to share, and I decided that they didn't really show you the whole bridge. So I went back and found some shots I took from the observation deck of the Sears Tower. Now these two pictures show you the bridge in all of it's serpentine glory. You also get a good view of the Pritzker Pavilion, although it's blocked somewhat by that building in both shots. I couldn't decide which of these two shots I liked better. They are almost identical, but one is a very small fraction of a larger picture, and the other is from a tighter shot I got a few minutes later, with only a little bit of cropping. They both have their merits, so I threw them both up here for your edu-tainment.

Frank Gehry Strikes Again

Some of you may remember a trip I took to Chicago back in March, and how I got really sick upon my return. Well, because I got sick, I didn't get a chance to share too many of the photos from my trip. Here's a little bit I wanted to share with you in response to a comment I got on this post. What you see in the pictures above and below is a large bandshell designed by Frank Gehry. It's amazing to see in person. It looks like a large pile of twisted sheet metal towering high above an empty lawn. I was so amazed by it that I went around and shot the back of it, as evidenced by the second photo below. I was also impressed by the network of shiny tubes that stretched over the grassy seating area to suspend the lights and speakers. It looked like it would fall down in the slightest breeze, but I'm sure it's rated to survive the harsh winds of Lake Michigan, which is only a few hundred yards to the East of this location.

Oh, the name of this structure is the Pritzker Pavillion, located at the North end of Millennium Park in Downtown Chicago.

Oh, and the big metal jelly bean at the bottom of this picture? That's Cloud Gate, the single most impressive piece of public sculpture I have ever seen in my life.

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Red Kangaroo

Hop to it! Today's animal from my recent trip to the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo is the red kangaroo. These marsupials look like nothing else in the world, but certainly not like mice, as they used to claim in those Warner Brothers cartoons. They are quite cute in their own way, though. You can see why these guys are called red kangaroos, their coats are a nice shade of red. They've also got grey ones, but I don't know if I have any good pictures of those. We'll see.

Just in case you've ever wondered, this is the pouch on one of the kangaroos you see above. I'm not sure if this is the sort of place where I'd like to be raised. Again, cartoons have let us down. I think there was a joey in there when I took the picture, but I never saw him poke his head out.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 12

Today marks the twelfth day of Christmas in July. Lucky for you that there are more than 12 days of Christmas when it happens to fall in July! Today is one of the special days when you get six tracks instead of the usual five. I don't know why, I just felt like being generous. I'll regret today later in the month when I have to stay up extra late recording more tracks to share. Anyhow, let's get started.

Track one is a nice, ordinary version of The Twelve Days Of Christmas by Mabel Mercer from the LP Once In A Blue Moon (Atlantic 1301). Nothing odd about it at all.

Track two is a slightly messed up version of the same song retitled Twelve Days performed by The Chad Mitchell Trio from their LP Singin' Our Minds (Mercury SR 60838). I don't know what to make of this version. The liner notes say it was inspired by an article in the paper from Christmas Day, telling how a Nazi war criminal was released after years in jail, and his return to his hometown where he was treated as a hero. I guess in certain lights the song might be humorous, but I'm not convinced. Give it a listen and decide for yourself. More from this scratchy LP later this month.

From here on out, today is just a random jumble of Christmas tracks with neither rhyme nor reason. Track three is a very slow version of We Need A Little Christmas (you know, the song from Mame popularized by Angela Lansbury) by some guy named Joe Berl from his album Mame (Parliament/Connoisseur PLPS 901). Hmm, I guess I didn't need to tell you where this was from since it's the name of the album.

Track four is a song I'd never heard before I happened to pick up the album called Spring (Warner Bros. 4WS 2754 Promotion Not For Sale, 1973) by The San Sebastian Strings, Vocals by Rod McKuen and Anita Kerr. It's a nice little Christmas song, but I would have expected it to be on their Winter album. Oh, I didn't tell you the name... It's called And Everyday Was Christmas.

Track five is Cantique de Noel by George Wright from the album George Wright At The Mighty Wurlitzer (Regent MG 6022). You got another track from this LP earlier this month.

And finally, track six is Exotic Night by the great Martin Denny from his LP Exotica Classica-For Those In Love (Liberty LST-7513, 1967). Yes, I think this track showed up on one of the Christmas Cocktails CDs, so don't tell anybody I'm sharing it here. I doubt if you'll mistake my noisy vinyl for a CD version anyway.

And there you have it. Six tracks on the twelfth day. Here's the download link, now go clean up after those six geese a-layin'. Be sure to go back to this same day in 2006 and 2007 for more Christmas In July fun. Counting today, I've shared out 65 Christmas tracks this month. Not too shabby!

Friday, July 11, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Sloth Bears

We switch gears a little here, going from White Christmas to Malayan Sun Bears. Well, at least I think they are sun bears. They only sorta match the description given at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo webpage, but that's where I saw them and that's the closest thing I could find to what I saw. The description includes the band of light fur under the neck, but it says short hair. Does this guy look short-haired to you? I didn't think so. Wait, I'm wrong. This is a sloth bear. They share the neck band, but are long-haired. Sorry about the confusion. I just can't seem to get away from the sloths.

I had only taken a few shots when suddenly a fight broke out! I think one of the bears was getting a little frisky, and the other bear in the enclosure wasn't having any of it. I think it's pictures like this that make Stephen Colbert so deathly afraid of bears. If I hadn't been on the other side of a wall and a moat, I would have been scared too. But once she put her teeth away for the evening, she headed off into her bear house, and poor Mr. Bear was left outside to contemplate possible escape using his giant claws.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 11

OK, if this post goes as planned, then I will be back on track with post number 11 on the 11th. Then if I don't get sick again, maybe I can finish out the month on time. This post gets you in the Christmas spirit with five great versions of Irving Berlin's classic White Christmas.

Where do I start? OK, how about a medley entitled Easter Parade; White Christmas by Jay Blackton Conducting His Chorus And Orchestra from the album Let Me Sing And I'm Happy-The Best Of Irving Berlin (Epic LN 3408). Two, two, two holidays in one with this track!

Track two is not a medley, but it does have an odd seventies vibe to it. I can't explain what I mean by that, just give it a listen. The artist is The Riviera Orchestra and it's from the album The Best Of Irving Berlin (Mercury Wing SRW-11010).

Version three is by Jack Shaidlin And His Orchestra Featuring Will Bradley And Al Gallodoro from their LP Academy Award Favorites (Mercury MG 20061). Pretty straightforward, and frankly boring, version.

Number four is by Merrill Jay from his tribute album Bing Crosby-A Tribute (Galaxy GAL 121). I had to look awful close on this record to find an artist listed. They've gone to a lot of trouble to make it look like a Bing Crosby record, and I'm sure some folks were confused. The guy doesn't sound one bit like Bing, but whatever. I've got another record from the same guy that's a similar 'tribute' to Nat King Cole, so guess which song you'll hear from this same guy later in the month? I bet he doesn't sound like Nat King Cole, either.

The fifth, and probably best, version is by Andre Kostelanetz And His Orchestra and it comes to us via his LP Music Of Irving Berlin (Columbia CL 768). AK may be the only artist on this playlist who actually knew Irving Berlin, and he does the biggest, lushest, most spectacular version of the track since the original Bing.

So there you go, another great collection of real Christmas music, right here in the middle of July. Here's the download link, and remember, if you wish hard enough for a white Christmas, you just might get it. And pigs might fly, too. (If you haven't already, go back to this day in 2006 and 2007 for more Christmas In July goodness.)

When I Ruled The World

Just let me state for the record how much I love Coldplay's Viva La Vida. The song that is, I don't know about the whole album. One minute I held the key, next the walls were closed to me. That's beautiful stuff. I drive around just waiting for them to play that song on the radio. And people couldn't believe what I'd become. But that was when I ruled the world... It's just so depressingly sad and terribly upbeat at the same time. Which is perhaps how the album got it's name. Oh well, if you haven't heard it, go buy it. And now back to our normal diet of boring Christmas music and animal photography.

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Cheetahs

We move from the slowest living mammal yesterday (and the even slower reptile the day before) to the fastest land mammal today. This would be the cheetahs. Absolutely beautiful big cats, long, lean, nothing but muscle, fur and teeth. If one of these fellows sets out after you, you'd better be driving a Jaguar or something faster. If you're on foot, they're going to catch you and they're going to eat you. These beauties live at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo, where they had three of them in a single habitat. I don't know what the relationship between the three of them was, but they seemed to be getting along well enough.

Just so you know, this may look like a detail of that first picture up there, but it's a different picture, taken a few seconds earlier. This particular cheetah was focused on something for a few seconds and I was able to get off a few shots of what were pretty much identical poses. I love how the animal was moving just enough, and I was tracking her well enough, that the background is a little blurred, but the animal's face is still in focus. Beautiful!

Christmas In July 2008-Day 10

Are you ready for day 10? No questionable Christmas songs for you today, it's five different versions of that holiday classic, Winter Wonderland! I know you're gonna like these, so let's get to it.

Version one is by Rubino And His Dance Orchestra from the LP I'm Yours For Dancing (Telefunken TP 2518). Don't know much about this mysterious Rubino, but it's a nice little upbeat version.

Versions two is an unexpected version from the king of New Years Eve, Guy Lombardo and His Royal Canadians, with vocal by Kenny Gardner. The LP is Lombardo In Hi-Fi (Capitol W738), part of a series of albums that Capitol put together after the coming of high fidelity recording techniques in the mid-fifties. These all featured new recordings of old hits that were supposed to sound better than the originals. I've seen versions for Stan Kenton, Fred Waring, Freddy Martin (maybe) and others.

Version tres is Dennis Farnon And His Orchestra from The Enchanted Woods (RCA Victor LPM-1897, 1959). I think I shared a track from this same LP earlier, but if not, I'll share one later. This is probably my favorite version here, it's got a very space-age pop feel to it. Not so far out there Esquivel might have done it, but nice.

Version the fourth is by Richard Hayman And His Orchestra from Serenade For Love (Mercury MG 20115). If you know much about Richard Hayman, then you know there's going to be some great harmonica in there.

The fifth and last version is the biggest surprise. It's a version designed for you to play your own lead alto or baritone sax over. There's no band name listed for the backing track, so I credited it to the record company, Music Minus One, and it's from their LP entitled Fools Rush In/Makin' Whoopee-Music Minus One Alto Or Baritone Sax (Music Minus One MMO 4008). This is a very mellow, even jazzy version, with plenty of room for an enterprising or aspiring player to wax poetic with his sax right over the top. Anybody want to record their music over top of this one? Send me a copy and I'll be more than happy to share it with the world. Oh, there are some musicians credited on the record label, I wanted to share their names with you, just in case you knew one of them back in high school. Tyree Glenn-Vibes & Trombone; Seldon Powell-Tenor Saxaphone; George Duvivier-Bass; Ed Shaughnessy-Drum. Any of those names ring any bells?

That's it, five versions of a great holiday song. Here's the download link, go get it! And if that's not enough to help you get over your Christmas jones, go visit this same day in 2006 and 2007 from more Christmas In July goodness.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Sloth

How many of the seven deadly sins do you see in these photos? Well, none, I guess, cause these are animals, and I don't think they can sin. I'd have to consult with the Pope on that to get an official position, but I don't think that's likely to happen. Anyhow, now that I've blathered on for a little too long about absolutely nothing, let me introduce you to a two-toed sloth family at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo. I figure it's appropriate to bring you sloths tonight since I brought you tortoises yesterday, and both are creatures renowned for their slowness. I watched this sloth family for a while, and while they did move, they did not move in a hurry.

Just in case you're wondering, that's not his tongue, it's a piece of carrot he was boring to death before he ate it. I mean it, these guys were slow!

Aw, aren't they cute? I assume that's a mother and her baby, but I don't know about the family structure of the sloth. I don't know how they manage to get up the steam to make baby sloths. I mean that takes some energy, and these guys were positively listless.

Not very attractive, are they? They remind me of a ratty old Chewbacca Halloween mask I had when I was younger. Well, I guess I shouldn't be so harsh. Not every animal at the zoo can be pretty.

Still More Christmas In July

Just in case you've got more cravings for Christmas in July that what my shares can satisfy, be sure you pay a visit over to my buddy Inkydog's blog, Cheerful Earful. He's actually sharing out full albums over there, and track by track, I think he's shared more music out this season than I have. And that's saying something! He also shares out plenty of vinyl goodies at the normal holiday season, so be sure to add him to your bookmarks. I'm gonna give him a little linky-link on my sidebar here to the right, so you know that means he's got some good goodies for you.

(And here's a little hint for you. If you have need of getting your LP covers restored, he's your man. Trust me, he does fantastic work! Hire him if you can. I think he'll perform karaoke at your bar or bat mitzvah, too, but I'm not certain...)

Half A Moon

You know what they say, half a moon is better than no moon at all. Well, maybe not, but you get the idea. I took a look out the window a few minutes ago and saw this half moon high in the sky and knew I needed to try and grab it for you with the new camera. I set the spot meter to it's tiniest spot, pointed the camera through my 300mm IS USM lens, and shot. Then I tried it with the ISO set way down at 100 for minimal grain, opened the shutter up as wide as it would go and tried again. I think the camera did a pretty good job. And this is handheld, no less. Gotta love it.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 9

Today is day 9 of Christmas in July, which is odd, given the fact that it's July the tenth. Well, I'm behind because I was sick for a couple of days. I should get caught up soon, so just bear with me. We're having a pretty good month so far, I hope you're enjoying all the music. Today, you're going to get six different versions of The Skater's Waltz by Emil Waldteufel. Seems that there is much disagreement over how exactly to spell the title of this track. Among the six tracks I'm sharing there are three different spellings, not counting the variations that include or omit the word 'the'. I guess apostrophes give everyone a little trouble. So let me quit with the grammar and get on with the sharing.

Version one is The Skaters Waltz, and it's by Michael Collins, His Strings And Orchestra from the LP Waltzing Through The Years (Capitol ST10254).

Version two is simply titled Skaters' Waltz, is by The 110 Strings Orchestra, and is from the yellow vinyl LP Waltz Favorites (Mayfair 9657S). I think most, if not all of the releases on this label are yellow or yellow marbled vinyl. They all look pretty neat. I don't even care that it's a low-quality budget label that used colored vinyl as a gimmick.

Version three is also titled Skaters' Waltz and is by blog favorite George Feyer from his album Golden Waltzes Everybody Knows (Decca DL 4455).

Version four changes the title slightly to The Skater's Waltz (which I think is correct) and is by Kurt Maier from Yes! It's Vienna (Rondo 105).

Where am I? Oh, version five. Same title, but the artist is Edmundo Ros And His Orchestra from the album Heading South...Of The Border (London Phase 4 SP 44153). Gotta love Edmundo Ros!

The sixth and final version changes the title again to Skater's Waltz, and is the only organ version here. The artist is Brad Swanson, and it's from his LP Skater's Waltz With The Whispering Organ Sound Of Brad Swanson (Thunderbird THS 9012). I think this is how many people today are familiar with the song, from the time they spent at roller rinks and ice rinks as kiddies, listening to the same old songs played on the same old organ.

There you go, six versions for the price of none. Here's the download link, now get skating. Couples only! For more Christmas in July goodness, check out today's shares from 2006 and 2007. (Ha, that's funny, I was a day behind on this day last year, too.) It's more fun than a roller rink, I promise.

Good News And Bad-I received an email from George Feyer's daughter-in-law last night, and she tells me that the family is in the process of making all his recordings available for legal download. That's the good news. The bad news is that I can't share it with you anymore, but I think the good outweighs the bad. So keep checking back and hopefully I'll have some information about when and where you can download some tasty George Feyer.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Aldabra Tortoise

I used to always get excited about finding a turtle when I was little. Occasionally a box turtle or gopher tortoise (these days you can't mess with the gopher tortoises. They're threatened.) would happen to wander through our yard, and I'd grab it and play for a while. They probably didn't appreciate it very much, but I have fond memories of some of those turtles. I can also remember eating the occasional softshell turtle, and I know for a fact that those guys didn't appreciate that. But imagine when I stumbled across these giant Aldabra Tortoises at the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo. Each of these guys is the size of a barrel! What would I have done if I'd come across one of these in my back yard? I suspect I would have turned around and run the other way. The picture above shows them as I first saw them, unable to tell which end was the front and which end was the back. Wandering back by a few minutes later revealed that I was looking at the front end, as a head finally poked out and had a short look-see.

Some years back, I had a cool encounter with a turtle almost this big, but it was a sea turtle, not a giant land animal. Check it out.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 8

And here's the post that you would have gotten yesterday if I hadn't been laid up in bed all day with a bad head cold. Not sure why it hit me so hard, but it did. I was so bad I didn't record a single song all day! But I've got a few in reserve, and I recorded some today, so hopefully I won't slack on the Christmas music this July. This share features songs with a shepherd theme, you know, as in shepherds came, and all that noise. Well, maybe it'll work for you, maybe it won't. I've been listening to some of these for so long now that I actually hear them as Christmas songs.

Track one is Little Shepherd's March from the great Mitch Miller And His Brass, Piccolos And Drums and the early LP March Along With Mitch (Columbia CL 1475). Not your typical sing along with Mitch style track, but still nice. You can get another Mitch track here, if you're so inclined.

Track dos is Shepherd Serenade from Blue Barron And His Orchestra, from the 10" LP Blue Barron And His Orchestra Play (Royale 1863 10"). I've started to really like Blue Barron since I shared out a Christmas EP from him last year. It's good stuff. You already got a version of this song earlier in the month, in case it sounds familiar.

Tracks three, four and five are all versions of Swingin' Shepherd Blues. Version one is by The Knightsbridge Strings and their LP Nostalgic Swing Mood (Purist SP-4). I was surprised to find the name Malcolm Lockyer credited on the back of this record as an arranger/conductor (along with Reg Owen). Version two is by J. Lawrence Cook from the LP Piano Roll Rock 'N Roll (Mercury SR 60083). I've no idea what piano roll rock 'n roll is supposed to be... Version three is courtesy of The Daphne Hellman Quartet and the LP Holiday For Harp (Columbia Harmony HL 7167). Yep, you read that right, it's another harp artist to add to the list. What have we got now, Robert Maxwell, Harpo Marx & Bianco? Not too shabby.

Anyhow, hope you enjoy tonight's selections. Here's the download link, so have at it! Don't forget to check out 2006 and 2007 for more Christmas in July goodies!

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Snow Leopard

This is the animal I should have shared with you on Monday, but I was under the weather, so you get it today. This is the elusive snow leopard. I've tried to shoot these awesome cats at Big Cat Rescue up in Tampa, but they are always staying inside their air-conditioned cave. I finally got to take some decent pictures at the Cleveland MetroParks Zoo. They are larger than I expected, bigger than the cheetahs or leopards I'd seen. Not as large as tigers or lions, though. Maybe some of that size is just fur, since they do live in some of the coldest places on Earth.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 7

Here we are, Day 7, but I'm posting it on day 9 because I was sick. Sorry about the inconvenience. But I think you'll be happy once you realize that I've got five different versions of Ave Maria for you today. How can you possibly go wrong? So get going!

Version one is, if you can believe it, a trombone version by the great Urbie Green from his album Bein' Green (Project 3 PR5066SD). Yes, it's an Enoch Light-related track, and all the usual Command label people put in an appearance here.

Track two is sung a capella by a bunch of French guys called Les Compagnons de la Chanson, from the LP The Three Bells (Columbia CL 596). They're singing in English, but you won't be able to miss the accents. The credits on the LP sleeve say this version was written just for them.

Number three is a German version (well, the singer is German, I think he's still singing the Latin words) by Karel Gott with The Gunter Kallmann Choir, and is from the LP In Mir Klingtein Lied (Polydor (Germany) 249 324). I orginally picked this record up for a version of Paint It Black in German, but was surprised to later find a Christmas track I could share with you.

Track the fourth is from blog favorite George Wright and his album George Wright At The Mighty Wurlitzer (Regent MG 6022). I think he has two or three albums by this same name, but this is the only one featuring this track that I know of. I've actually got another track from the same LP to share with you later. Much more George Wright can be found here and here.

Fifth and last is actually called Ave Maria (Schubert) and is from a red vinyl 7" 45 RPM EP by The Robert Shaw Chorale called "The Rosary" And Other Songs (RCA Victor Red Seal 7" 45 RPM WEPR-43). I think all the version of Ave Maria I've shared tonight have been the Schubert one, but this is the only one so titled.

There you go, hope it was worth the wait. Here's the download link, now go have a glass of eggnog on me! And don't forget to check the Christmas in July archives for tracks from 2006 and 2007. You can never have too much Christmas, especially in July.

All Apologies

Hey gang. Sorry about the lack of new posts in the past couple days, especially new Christmas in July shares. I've been under the weather since Sunday night and haven't been able to work on getting new posts up or sharing out new pictures. I'm better today, so I hope to get some new stuff up for you tonight. It may take me a few days to get caught back up, but I will get back ASAP. Thank you all for continuing to hit the site and download even though I haven't been around much. There is plenty of great stuff in the 'to be shared' folder, so stay tuned!

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Live At The Cleveland Zoo-Tree Kangaroo

Here's one of the animals that I had never seen or heard of before I visited the Cleveland Metroparks Zoo last month. This is a Goodfellow's Tree Kangaroo. This girl was quite active while I was watching her, unlike the koala bear who was in the habitat on the other side of the glass. She was walking around from tree to tree, keeping a close eye on everything going on around her. If I remember correctly, the keeper said her name was Scarlet because of her deep red coat. This was probably the animal I would have been most tempted to take home, but I don't have any trees here in the condo for her to live in. Shame, that.

Christmas In July 2008-Day 6

Welcome to day 6! Do I say that everyday? I'm not sure... Anyhow, here's your Christmas in July share for the day. It's six songs, all with Winter in the title. How's that for a theme? And none of them are Winter Wonderland, although I have three different versions of that song waiting in the wings for another day.

First track: Lonely Winter by Ralph Marterie And His Marlboro Men from Marvelous Marterie (Mercury Wing MGW 12154). When I slid this record out of it's sleeve, I felt something shift inside. I pulled out an envelope and it contained two unmailed musical postcards from Switzerland. That's right, they were postcards that had grooves pressed into them so you could send the sounds of your vacation back home to someone you love. I think you can learn more about these over at WFMU's Beware of the Blog.

Second track: Wintertime Of Love by Richard Hayman And His Orchestra from The Great Motion Picture Themes Of Victor Young (Mercury SR-60012). I'm seeing a lot of Richard Hayman around here lately for some reason, and there's more to come.

Third Track: Winter Warm by The Bob Crewe Generation from Music To Watch Birds By (Dynovoice DY31902). You needed a little Now Sound right this very minute, didn't you?

Fourth track: Our Winter Love by Clebanoff And His Orchestra from Today's Best Hits (Mercury SR 60791). I shared out several versions of this song before, and even got a comment from the daughter of the guy who popularized it, Bill Pursell!

Fifth track: Cold Winter Shadows by The Irish Rovers from All Hung Up (Decca DL 75037). These are the same guys who sand the Shel Silverstein song The Unicorn. I love that song.

Sixth track: I'm Gonna Be Warm This Winter by Connie Landers from Current Hits Volume No. 3 (Hit HLP 1003, 1963). Yes, this one is a ringer. I shared it out last Christmas from a single, but this one is from the LP and allegedly in stereo. The name Connie Landers doesn't appear anywhere on this record, but then none of the songs list any artists, so I'm going to go with the name from the single I found. It's a good song, so I figure it's OK to share it out again. I know it's not as good as the Connie Francis track, but I can't really share that one around here, can I?

And there you have it, six more songs, bringing the total shared so far for the month to 33! That's a lot of music. Here's the download link for today. Don't forget to come back tomorrow for more goodies, and don't forget to check the archives for more great Christmas in July from 2006 and 2007.

Water Racing

I spent a few hours out in the hot blazing sun at the beach today to try and get some pictures of the big offshore race. They were racing these boats just a few hundred yards off of North Lido Beach, so me and about 100,000 of my closest friends packed the sand to see what we could see. The best pictures I got were these showing the boats coming up and out of the water when they struck a bit of wake. Too far out, and they'll flip over, but I didn't see any of that. My favorite set are the three below, showing one boat getting a little wobbly before it settled back down. You know it's not a good thing when the engine is no longer in the water!