Sunday, April 06, 2014

Duane Eddy

Another single from today's boot sale in a wet field. From 1962 on the Decca label. Duane's guitar style is very memorable. This was a minor hit I think in the UK- not as big as Peter Gunn , Rebel Rouser and some of the others who's names escape me for the moment. Wikipedia says - "Born in Corning, New York, he began playing the guitar at the age of five. In 1951 his family moved to Tucson, and then toCoolidge, Arizona. At the age of 16 he obtained a Chet Atkins model Gretsch guitar, and formed a duo, Jimmy and Duane, with his friend Jimmy Delbridge (who later recorded as Jimmy Dell). While performing at local radio station KCKY they met disc jockey Lee Hazlewood, who produced the duo's single, "Soda Fountain Girl", recorded and released in 1955 in Phoenix. Hazlewood then produced Sanford Clark's 1956 hit, "The Fool", featuring guitarist Al Casey, while Eddy and Delbridge performed and appeared on radio stations in Phoenix before joining Buddy Long's Western Melody Boys, playing country music in and around the city. Eddy devised a technique of playing lead on his guitar's bass strings to produce a low, reverberant "twangy" sound. In November 1957, Eddy recorded an instrumental, "Movin' n' Groovin'", co-written by Eddy and Hazlewood. As the Phoenix studio had no echo chamber, Hazlewood bought a 2,000 gallon water storage tank which he used as an echo chamber to accentuate the "twangy" guitar sound. In 1958, Eddy signed a recording contract with Lester Sill and Lee Hazlewood to record in Phoenix at the Audio Recorders studio. Sill and Hazlewood leased the tapes of all the singles and albums to the Philadelphia-based Jamie Records. "Movin' n' Groovin'" reached number 72 on the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1958; the opening riff, borrowed from Chuck Berry's "Brown Eyed Handsome Man," was itself copied a few years later by The Beach Boys on "Surfin' U.S.A.". For the follow-up, "Rebel 'Rouser", the record featured overdubbed saxophone by Los Angeles session musician Gil Bernal, and yells and handclaps by doo-wop group The Rivingtons. The tune became Eddy's breakthrough hit, reaching number 6 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It sold over one million copies, earning Eddy his first gold disc. Eddy had a succession of hit records over the next few years, and his band members, including Steve Douglas, saxophonist Jim Horn and keyboard player Larry Knechtelwould go on to work as part of Phil Spector's Wrecking Crew. According to writer Richie Unterberger, "The singles - 'Peter Gunn,' 'Cannonball,' 'Shazam,' and 'Forty Miles of Bad Road' were probably the best - also did their part to help keep the raunchy spirit of rock & roll alive, during a time in which it was in danger of being watered down." On January 9, 1959, Eddy’s debut album, Have 'Twangy' Guitar Will Travel, was released, reaching number 5, and remaining on the album charts for 82 weeks. Eddy's biggest hit came with the theme to the movie Because They're Young in 1960, which featured a string arrangement, and reached a chart peak of number 4 in America and number 2 in the UK in September 1960. It became his second million selling disc.[1] Eddy's records were equally successful in the UK, and in 1960, readers of the UK's NME voted himWorld's Number One Musical Personality, ousting Elvis Presley. In 1960 Eddy signed a contract directly with Jamie Records, bypassing Sill and Hazlewood. This caused a temporary rift between Eddy and Hazlewood. The result was that for the duration of his contract with Jamie, Eddy produced his own singles and albums. "Duane Eddy and the Rebels" became a frequent act on The Dick Clark Show." Duane Eddy - Ballad Of Paladin Duane Eddy - The Wild Westerner

Chris Sandford

A single I found at the damp boot sale today. The name rang a bell. An actor who had a brief spell as a pop star back in the 60's. Pleasant enough pop fodder for the time. Reminds me of Mike Sarne, Craig Douglas etc. Wikia says - "Born in 1939 Christopher Sandford played Walter Potts in Coronation Street from July 1963 to January 1964. As well as acting in the programme he also sang and his character's signature song called "Not Too Little, Not Too Much" was released as a record, entering the top twenty and reaching No. 17 following its release in November 1963 and it being featured in the storyline of the programme. Chris was, briefly, a DJ for Radio Caroline. Prior to his stint in the Street he played a vicious gang leader in No Hiding Place and Stanislavsky, the founder of the "Method" school if acting in Tempo. Straight after leaving the programme, his second record, You're Gonna Be My Girl, flopped and Sandford then formed a Rhythm-'n'-Blues group called The Outsiders who released an album in 1965 called A Little Bit off the Top of Chris Sandford and the actor tried to combine both a singing and an acting career. In a 1972 comment Sandford said that his excursion into pop singing was, "something I'm trying to forget." Chris Sandford - Not Too Little - Not Too Much Chris Sandford - I'm Lookin'

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Charlie Gillett Postcard

Following on from the Honky Tonk Record Collectors List the other day - here's a postcard made from a photo Charlie took in Africa one supposes on one of his many trips. Not sure about the interesting list he attaches here - birthday presents maybe? We used to live in Lambeth Walk in South London and Charlie gave me a lift home after the spot |I did on his show and said about the pub next door to us "Blimey, I used to put bands on there - it must have drove you mad!" Anyway hopefully can track them down on You Tube and add them. Ry Cooder Ali Farka Toure - Talking Timbuktu Otis Redding - Try A Little Tendeness Cheb Khaleb Deep Forrest - Sweet Harmony Well rather stuck on the Excello Ace comp but I expect it's out there somewhere. Cheb Khaleb track isnt on there either but closest I could get. I'm sure Charlie would approve.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Honky Tonk Guide To Record Collectors Jan. 1978

Have been digging through some old mildewed boxes in the attic and found this stapled list from around 1978/9 sent to me by Charlie Gillett when he did his wonderful old Honky Tonk show on BBC Radio London on Sunday afternoons for a few years. As you know I've featured a few old shows here in the past. Sadly time constraints forbid me to add any audio with this but thought it might interest a few of you who follow this blog. Its 13 pages long so cant upload all of it, but it is mainly lists of record shops, sadly mostly all defunct I suppose. In the late 70's their were still quite a few left. Also included are the poll results for Honky Tonk heroes- Best Male singer, best Vocal group etc. If I get time I will scan some more pages if anyone is interested.

Thursday, March 06, 2014

Johnny "Guitar" Watson

Excellent rhythm and blues album on the Charly label from 1985. Compilation by Cliff White from tracks Watson made in the 50's and 60's.  Some blistering guitar which I'm sure could give Hendrix a run for his money back in the day.

“Watson was born in Houston, Texas.His father John Sr. was a pianist, and taught his son the instrument. But young Watson was immediately attracted to the sound of the guitar, in particular the electric guitar as played by T-Bone Walker and Clarence "Gatemouth" Brown.
His grandfather, a preacher, was also musical. "My grandfather used to sing while he'd play guitar in church, man," Watson reflected many years later. When Johnny was 11, his grandfather offered to give him a guitar if, and only if, the boy didn't play any of the "devil's music". Watson agreed, but "that was the first thing I did."[citation needed] A musical prodigy, Watson played with Texas bluesmen Albert Collins and Johnny Copeland. His parents separated in 1950, when he was 15. His mother moved to Los Angeles, and took Watson with her.

In his new city, Watson won several local talent shows. This led to his employment, while still a teenager, with jump blues-style bands such as Chuck Higgins's Mellotones and Amos Milburn. He worked as a vocalist, pianist, and guitarist. He quickly made a name for himself in the African-American juke joints of the West Coast, where he first recorded for Federal Records in 1952. He was billed as Young John Watson until 1954. That year, he saw the Joan Crawford film Johnny Guitar, and a new stage name was born.
Watson affected a swaggering, yet humorous personality, indulging a taste for flashy clothes and wild showmanship on stage. His "attacking" style of playing, without a plectrum, resulted in him often needing to change the strings on his guitar once or twice a show, because he "stressified on them" so much, as he put it. Watson's ferocious "Space Guitar" album of 1954 pioneered guitar feedback and reverb. Watson would later influence a subsequent generation of guitarists. His song "Gangster of Love" was first released on Keen Records in 1957. It did not appear in the charts at the time, but was later re-recorded and became a hit in 1978, becoming Watson's "most famous song".

He toured and recorded with his friend Larry Williams, as well as Little Richard, Don and Dewey, The Olympics, Johnny Otis and, in the mid-1970s with David Axelrod. In 1975 he is a guest performer on two tracks (flambe vocals on the out-choruses of "San Ber'dino" and "Andy") on the Frank Zappa album One Size Fits All.He also played with Sam Cooke, Herb Alpert and George Duke. But as the popularity of blues declined and the era of soul music dawned in the 1960s, Watson transformed himself from southern blues singer with pompadour into urban soul singer in a pimp hat. His new style was emphatic - the gold teeth, broad-brimmed hats, flashy suits, fashionable outsized sunglasses and ostentatious jewelry made him one of the most colorful figures in the West Coast funk scene.”

Tracks are as follows  -  1.  Highway  2. Motor head Baby  3.  No I Can't  4.  What's Goung On?  5. Walking To My Baby  6.  Thinking  7.  I Got Eyes  8.  Space Guitar

Johnny "Guitar"  Watson  -  Side One

Danny Stewart & His Islanders (re-up)

Another of those records you just have to buy for the sleeve alone. The music is quite good too despite playing safely in that middle of the road type Hawaiian "easy listening" vein that fans of this music seem to love. I was once a member of the Hawaiian Tape Club which passed around compilations of exotic south sea island music and most of it was very dull - even duller than this! I sent round a few "novelty" tiki tapes to liven things up a bit but they met with scant response from the mostly fuddy-duddy members.
Heres a quote from the LP sleeve-


"The forces set in motion by the missionaries have made themselves felt very strongly in the songs that Hawaii now sends out to the world. In the first place there is the effect of a people quite recently pagan very quickly civilised and nourishing beneath the surface an engaging naivete which gives to Hawaiian songs something of the quality of the calypso. But there is also a more direct influence, for the form of Hawaiian music is not ancient in origin but has been evolved and adapted over the last century. Even the Hawaiian guitar and ukulele are imported commodities, though the habit of running the fingers over the strings to give a singing intonation has been developed here more than anywhere else. As a final blow to those who dream of going native it must also be recorded that the form of the songs has been shaped most strongly by the swinging tempo of the hymns that those missionaries originally bought from new England and turned into the popular music of the islands."

Tracks are as follows  -   1. My Hawaiian Song Of Love  2.  Ka Ulua  3.  beautiful Kahana  4. Ulo no weo  5.  Hame Pila  6.  Aloha Oe

Danny Stewart  -  Side Two

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Keith & Enid (re-up)

I've had this in my collection for many years but can't remember where I bought it for 35p - probably a junk shop in Limehouse. One of the very first releases on Chris Blackwell's Island label in 1963. Director of music - Ernest Ranglin, who probably plays guitar on some tracks here. Excuse the very bad surface noise.

"Island records was founded in Jamaica in 1959 by Chris Blackwel, the son of a white plantation owner. The label took its name from the Alec Waugh novel 'Island In The Sun'. The early releases on the label were by West Indians and in the music styles that were later to be known as Ska, Bluebeat and Rock Steady. It looked a very good investment when one of Blackwell's first productions, "Boogie In My Bones" by the Cuban-born singer Laurel Aitken, stayed at number one on the Jamaican radio chart for eleven weeks. Blackwell opened an office at South Odeon Parade in central Kingston, Jamaica, where he expanded his artistes with recordings by Wilfred 'Jackie' Edwards and Owen Gray. Both singers were already stars on the talent show circuit; so popular that eager youths fought among themselves for the honor of carrying Jackie Edwards' sharp stage-clothes to the dressing room. By 1962 Chris Blackwell was operating from premises in Notting Hill Gate, London. He catered for the large West Indian community in London by releasing records from Jamaica on his Island label. Blackwell also reckoned that, by switching to London, he could not only continue his own productions but also provide an international platform for Island's Jamaican rivals. The company could, therefore, potentially have the pick of Jamaica's hottest records, and hopefully becoming Britain's leading Ska label."

Tracks are as follows  -  1. What Have I Done  2. Cottonfields  3. Send Me  4. It's Only A Pity  5. Worried Over You


Keith And Enid  -  Side One

Thursday, December 19, 2013

From Eddie Gorodetsky

A Merry Crumble to one and all!   Heres a few treats hidden here to stuff in your Xmas stockings or up the festive tree. All the best for 2014 and happy record hunting!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Billy Cotton Band Show

An LP on the Fontana label from 1966.   More MOR than other LP's I have of his band.  A nostalgic favourite that reminds me of Sunday roast dinners with my parents when I was young.  Highlight on this selection is Alan Breeze's rendition of the old music hall song " I Can't DO My Bally Bottom Button Up".

Wikipedia says  -  Born in Smith SquareLondon, to Joseph and Susan Cotton, Cotton was a choirboy and started his musical career as a drummer. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers by falsifying his age and saw service in World War I in Malta and Egypt, before landing at Gallipoli in the middle of an artillery barrage. Later he was recommended for a commission and learned to fly Bristol Fighter aircraft. He flew solo for the first time in 1918, the same day the Royal Flying Corps became the Royal Air Force. He was then not yet 19 years old. In the early inter-war years. he had several jobs such as bus driver before setting up his own orchestra, the London Savannah Band, in 1924.
At first a straight dance band, over the years the London Savannah Band more and more tended towards music hall/vaudeville entertainment, introducing all sorts of visual and verbal humour in between songs. Famous musicians that played in Billy Cotton's band during the 1920s and 1930s included Arthur Rosebery, Syd Lipton and Nat Gonella. The band was also noted for theirAfrican American trombonist and tap dancer, Ellis Jackson. Their signature tune was "Somebody Stole My Gal", and they made numerous commercial recordings for Decca.
During the Second World War Cotton and his band toured France with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). After the war, he started his successful Sunday lunchtime radio show on BBC, the Billy Cotton Band Show, which ran from 1949 to 1968. In the 1950s composer Lionel Bart contributed comedy songs to the show. It regularly opened with the band's signature tune and Cotton's call of "Wakey Wakey". From 1957, it was also broadcast on BBC television.
As a racing driver his finest moment came in 1949 when he finished fourth in the 1949 British Grand Prix, sharing an ERA with David Hampshire.
Cotton married Mabel E. Gregory in 1921 and they had two sons, Ted and Sir Bill Cotton, who later became the BBC's managing director of television. In 1962 Billy Cotton suffered a stroke. He died in 1969 while watching a boxing match at Wembley.
He was the great-uncle of TV & Radio Presenter Fearne Cotton.”


Billy Cotton Band Show