Monday, October 31, 2005

Don Juan

Another mystery disc for Halloween. Found at a boot sale last year for a few pence. It sounds a bit like the Barron Knights for those firmiliar with their work. Calling it "Monster Hits" is quite funny as they obviously never had any or anything approaching a hit. Nothing can be found about them on the internet. Bullseye seems to be a label based in the North East of England and run on a shoe string judging by the sleeve art! Other tracks include versions of Cecelia, Take These Chains From My Heart and Old Shep. The whole thing seems to have been masterminded by someone called Ray Banks who has even signed the back of the sleeve.

Don Juan - Dracula

Don Juan - Ghost Riders In The Sky

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Sunday, October 30, 2005

King Horror

Not much is known about King Horror despite browsing various search engines. This very worn and scratchy LP on the Trojan label is an old favourite of mine featuring twelve "ska" and "rock steady" stomping tunes from the late 60's and early 70's. Other tracks include The Upsetters, Nora Dean and the Prophets. These two tracks though stand out , being perfect for Halloween.

King Horror - Loch Ness Monster

King Horror - Dracula Prince of Darkness

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Bobby 'Boris' Pickett

"Born Robert George Pickett on February 11th, 1940, Bobby was fascinated by horror movies as a child. By the time he was nine, he started to imitate Boris Karloff, whom he would see at the movie theatre that his father managed in Somerville, Massachusetts.

Following his discharge from the army in 1961, he moved to Los Angeles to try his hand at show business. As a member of a vocal group called "The Cordials" , he would do impersonations between songs, often using his impression of Karloff, which was a crowd favourite. His friend and fellow band mate, Lenny Capizi suggested that the pair try to take advantage of the novelty song craze that was happening in the early sixties by writing a tune around Bobby's Karloff imitation. It took nearly a year after the suggestion to get around to it, but when they did, the two worked out "The Monster Mash" in about an hour and a half.

To record their song, they approached producer Gary Paxton, who sang The Hollywood Argyles' hit, "Alley Oop". Pickett and Paxton, along with Leon Russell, Johnny McCrae and Rickie Page recorded the tune, and when the session was done, it was Paxton who came up with the idea of putting "Bobby 'Boris' Pickett and the Cryptkickers", on the record's label. Pickett also added all his own sound sound effects: the creaky door opening is a nail being pulled from a piece of wood, the boiling cauldron is Pickett blowing bubbles into a cup of water with a straw and the chains are him moving chains up and down. The song was recorded in just one take.

Gary Paxton took the tape to four major labels, who all turned it down. Not discouraged, he had a thousand copies pressed himself and started delivering them to radio stations across California. Soon, the Monster Mash was getting airplay and London Records, who had rejected the song earlier, called Paxton to sign a deal.

Eight weeks later, on October 20, 1962, the record hit number one, just in time for Halloween."

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett - Transylvanian Twist

Bobby 'Boris' Pickett - Sinister Stomp

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Friday, October 28, 2005

Prince Buster

prince buster
Originally uploaded by wastedpapiers.
I can't remember where I found this but always had a soft spot for "ska" music and Prince Buster was one of the pioneers back in the 60's. Very much influenced by New Orleans R&B and jazz. Rico Rodriguez, who features on the "Soul of Africa" instrumental once said his heroes were people like Gene Ammons, Smiley Lewis and Dave Bartholemew.

"Jamaica was in the throes of a new social revolution when Prince Buster Campbell was born on May 24, 1938. Bustemante had declared an island wide strike and excitement was at it's height.
His father was a railroad worker and, at the tender age of 4, young prince Buster (named after the great Jamaican leader) began his primary education at the Central Branch School in Kingston. Some years later when he was attending St. Anne's School he became interested in professional boxing and spent most of his early years in the booths.
Match or workout over he would stray over Kingston looking for music- and finding it. Night after night, together with a small "spasm" band consisting of friends with sticks and pans for drums, he would sing through the warm tropical nights on the corner of Luke Lane and Drummond Street."

Part of sleeve notes by James Asman.

Rico Rodriguez - Soul of Africa

Prince Buster - Run Man Run

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Thursday, October 27, 2005

'Owdham' Edge

A great LP on Topic that I found in my local branch of Oxfam for £2.99. Oxfam is notorious for charging high prices for their records as they have "experts" who go through "Record Collector" lists and quote the highest valuation possible, despite the record's condition. I was happy to pay this though as the disc was in perfect condition and has some wonderful old songs by a variety of artists from Lancashire. The Oldham Tinkers in particular are favourites of mine - having seen them play live at Northwich Memorial Hall a few years back. Bernard Wrigley was also on the bill that night and was very funny - his patter taking up most of his performance with just a few songs sprinkled in between. To see him wrestling with a bass concertina is something I shall never forget!
Heres what it says on the Lp sleeve-

"From the start of the post-war folk song revival , particular regions of England were at the forefront because of their abundance of material and the number of singers who were determined to revive and popularise their local songs and stories. Apart from the folk songs by their strictest definition, urban industrial songs and localised music-hall songs, were all absorbed into the repertories of the mainly young revival singers."

Bernard Wrigley - Our Bill

The Oldham Tinkers - 'Owdham' Edge

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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

The Original Tennesse Three

An obscurity now by the "undisputed kings of the C&W scene in Jersey" , the Original Tennessee Three! Another of those daft sleeve designs that leap out at you from the piles of Mantovani, Russ Conway and Gilbert & Sullivan records one has to sift through to find something remotely interesting. Mostly this is pretty ordinairy fare but a couple of novelty songs stand out which I have uploaded here.
The cow on the autographed sleeve is none other than "Dunedin's Moonlight", Supreme Champion in Jersey in 1973, about the time this record was made I imagine.

O.T.T. - May The Bird Of Paradise Fly Up Your Nose

O.T.T. - We Had Some Chickens

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Sunday, October 23, 2005

Ronnie Hawkins

"Ronnie Hawkins, born January 10, 1935 in Huntsville, Arkansas, United States, is a pioneering rock and roll musician. (He should not be confused with Canadian indie rock singer-songwriter Ron Hawkins.)
At the age of nine, his family moved to nearby Fayetteville. After graduating from high school, he studied physical education at the University of Arkansas where he formed his first band, "The Hawks," touring with them throughout Arkansas, Oklahoma and Missouri. His band helped launch such talented artists as Levon Helm, Rick Danko and Robbie Robertson. Hawkins owned and operated the Rockwood Club in Fayetteville where some of Rock music's earliest pioneers came to play including Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins, Roy Orbison and Conway Twitty.
Known for his early work with "The Band," he is most often referred to as Rompin' Ronnie Hawkins or "The Hawk." In 1958, he went to Canada where he made Peterborough, Ontario his permanent home. For the past 40 years, he been performing all over North America and has recorded over 25 albums. His best-known hits are "Forty Days" and "Mary Lou." His 1984 LP, 'Making It Again', garnered him a Juno Award as Canada's best Country Male Vocalist. Playing with The Band, Hawkins helped tear down the Berlin Wall in 1989 and performed at President Bill Clinton's 1992 inaugural party. In addition to his music, he has also become an accomplished actor hosting his own television show "Honky Tonk" in the early 1980s and appearing in such films as Heaven's Gate with his friend Kris Kristofferson and Hello, Mary Lou: Prom Night II."

I loved "Who Do You Love" the first time I heard it, played on a friends Dansette record player back in the early 60's. It must have the most blood curdling screams in rock 'n roll on it and some of the greatest guitar licks by a very young Robbie Robertson who was to find fame later in The Band." Horace" too is very memorable for its humour and crazy lyrics. In fact the whole LP on Roulette (1970) of re-issues from the 50's is great.

More about Ronnie Hawkins at his official website which you can find HERE.

Ronnie Hawkins - Who Do You Love

Ronnie Hawkins - Horace

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Friday, October 21, 2005

Al Jolson

"Al Jolson (born Asa Yoelson in Seredzius, Lithuania on May 26, 1886 – October 23, 1950) was an American singer and the son of Jewish immigrants. He was one of the most popular entertainers of the 20th century.
The son of a Jewish cantor, Jolson became a popular singer in New York City in 1898, and gradually developed the key elements of his performance: blackface makeup; exuberant gestures;operatic-style singing; whistling and directly addressing his audience.
By 1911, he had parlayed a supporting appearance in the Broadway musical La Belle Paree into a starring role. He began recording and was soon internationally famous for his extraordinary stage presence and personal rapport with audiences. His Broadway career is unmatched for length and popularity, having spanned close to 30 years (1911-1940). However, he is best known today for his appearance in one of the first "talkies" The Jazz Singer, the first feature film with sound to enjoy wide commercial success, in 1927. In The Jazz Singer Jolson performed the song "Mammy," which became a racial slur describing a matronly black woman. In truth, Jolson's singing was never jazz, indeed his style remained forever rooted in the vaudeville stage at the turn of 20th century."

You can read more about Al Jolson HERE.

Al Jolson - Who Played Polka With Pochahontos

Al Jolson - I'll Stand Underneath Your Window and Whistle

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Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Frank Sidebottom

"Frank Sidebottom: Nothing more than Chris Sievey wearing a paper maché head. He was created by Sievey as the Freshies' number one fan (well, The Freshies' only fan), and managed to get a career out of being the band's only fan. Ironic that the Freshies' fan would be more famous than the Freshies themselves.

Frank once sold a video by mail-order called "Frank's Home Movie Video". He reportedly recorded a personalised intro on each video ordered, and coloured all the sleeves in by hand!

He had many songs released, although all of them are near impossible to get hold of. For example, he released a couple of "Timperley" EPs, where all the tracks contained, er, "Timperley" (it was where he lived, or something). Yes: all of them. Every single one. Other famous releases included "Frank Sings The Magic Of Freddie Mercury and Queen", and the 12" version called "Frank Sings The Magic Of Freddie Mercury And Queen And Kylie Minogue (you know; her off 'Neighbours')". The most memorable tracks being "Frank Gordon" (a version of "Flash Gordon"), and "I Am The Champion" (a version of "We Are The Champions"). He also released a single entitled "Panic by The Sidebottoms", containing no less than nine different mixes of the same song (one of which was the "Demon Axx Warriors from Oblivion Mix"). And John Kettley wasn't the only BBC weatherman to have a song written about him, as Ian McCaskill's name was put to Frank's imaginatively-titled "Ian McCaskill". And we haven't even mentioned "Best of the Answering Machine", "6 All-time Great Footballing Chants (including 'Nil-Nil', 'Wemberley', and 'There's Only One Referee')" or "Frank checks into Auntie Edie's", yet. Or the album "B******s To Christmas"."

Frank Sidebottom - Timperley Blues

Frank Sidebottom - Firm Favourite Ads

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Max Bygraves

"b. Walter Bygraves, 16 October 1922, London, England. Performing as a soloist in his school choir and employing Max Miller impressions in the RAF, with music hall dates in the late '40s, led Bygraves quickly to his recording debut and first Royal Command Performance in 1950. His debut record, with the Carrol Gibbons Band, contained impressions of Al Jolson, and was followed by a string of novelty hits through the '50s such as, Cowpuncher's Cantata, Heart Of My Heart, Gilly Gilly Ossenfeffer Katzenellen Bogen By The Sea, Meet Me On The Corner, You Need Hands/Tulips From Amsterdam, Jingle Bell Rock and Fings Ain't Wot They Used To Be. On the popular BBC radio show, EDUCATING ARCHIE, scripted by comedian Eric Sykes, he gave a receptive nation catch phrases like, ‘a good idea son!’ and ‘bighead!’. Bygraves became enormously popular on stage and television with his clever mix of song and patter, defying the dramatic changes in music and entertainment taking place in the '60s. In the early '70s with Pye Records musical director Cyril Stapleton and the Tony Mansell Singers, Bygraves recorded an album of standard songs in medley form, called SING ALONG WITH MAX. It was the first of an amazingly successful series for which he has now won over 30 Gold Discs. Surprisingly, he has never adapted his ‘song and dance’ image to films, although he has played several, mainly dramatic, roles to substantial critical acclaim, including A CRY FROM THE STREETS and SPARE THE ROD. As early as the late '50s he formed his own music publishing company, Lakeview Music. It was intended to publish his own songs, like You Need Hands, however he bought the publishing rights to a 16 song show score for £350 because he liked one of the numbers. The show was Lionel Bart's OLIVER, and in the '80s he sold the rights to Essex Music for a quarter of a million pounds."

I found this old four track EP today in Chester's branch of what used to be the Spastic Society until they changed it to a name I can never remember. I've always avoided Max Bygraves like the plague but the youthful sleeve photo and the titles of the songs convinced me I should part with my 75p.

Max Bygraves - I Bought Myself An Old Guitar

Max Bygraves - Coming Out Party

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Saturday, October 15, 2005

Mrs. Ackroyd

Mrs.Acroyd is actually a dog and according to poet and songwriter Les Barker wrote several books of poems with Les's help back on the 70's and 80's. This LP "Mrs Ackroyd - Superstar" in on the Free Reed label from 1977.
Here's a excerpt from the liner notes by Les-
"I was born at an early age in Manchester and quickly became a mediocre left back in a Church of England youth club football team, which consisted of nine catholics, an agnostic and a police cadet who got sent off every week for shouting obscenities at referee's daughters. He is now a big fat constable and kept in a glass case on the Golden Mile at Blackpool. You put your money in the slot and he laughs his head off at you for it."

Anyway, on this great record are various people including Les doing versions of Les's songs. You can find out more about Les Barker and the Mrs. Ackroyd Band HERE.

Les Barker - Holland's Meat Pies

Bob Williamson - Kippers For Tea

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Thursday, October 13, 2005

The Chimes Family In The Ukraine

"The Chimes Family is a leading harmonic group with an inimitable style. It consists of Michael Chimes and his three sons, Gilbert, Craig and Michael Jr.
Michael Snr. at an early age was a member of the "Borrah Minevitch's Harmonica Rascals"> he has appeared in leading TV shows such as Ed Sullivan, Perry Como, Garry Moore and has been featured again and again on every major radio and TV network. His harmonica can be detected in most of the leading commercials. he has featured with prominent artists such as Harry Belafonte, Robert Russell Bennett, Keely Smith, the New Christy Minstrels, Johnnny Mathis and The Weavers and too many others to be listed.
The Three sons joiedn the act at the age of 6. This highly unusual family group has played all over the world and appeared in every major city in Canada."

This LP on the Request label was found at a boot sale recently. It reminds me of those old variety acts that you don't see anymore like the Morton Frazer Hamonica Gang and the The Three Ginx. Every week on the London Palladium they always seemed to have a juggler, and ventriloquist and a harmonica band!

The Chimes Family - Don't Wink You Girls

The Chimes Family - Over The Bridge

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Bernard Cribbins

"Born in 1928, in Lancashire, Bernard Cribbins is one of the best known children's entertainers in the UK. He has been an actor since the age of 14, when he became a student player with his local repertory company.
By the 1950s, Cribbins had become a star of the London stage, featuring in his own revue. It wasn't until the 1960s, however, until he attained true public acclaim, appearing in a string of successful films and had musical success with a number of novelty records like Right Said Fred and Hole in the Ground. He is better known today for voice over work (The Wombles, as well as numerous advertisements) and his appearances on Noel's House Party on BBC1."

Bernard Cribbins - One Man Band

Bernard Cribbins - Winkle Picker Shoes

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Monday, October 10, 2005

Mickey Katz

Another of those record labels that jump right out at you when you are sifting through piles of Mantovani, Mrs.Mills and Madonna records. Thankfully the songs are as weird and wonderful as the sleeve photo!
Here's what it says on the sleeve blurb-

"The difference between being slipped a Mickey Finn and a Mickey Katz is that you get knocked out in different ways. And in the latter case you keep coming back for more. Well, here's that more: a long playing, high fidelity "mitzeah."
Mickey's approach to a song is simple. He grabs the nation's favourites and gives them the stamp of his unique and abundant wit. The poor unsuspecting tune suddenly finds itself with more twists than a barrel of pretzels and more spice than a plate of pastrami. The famous doggie in the window turns out to be a pickle. It's no longer stars you shouldn't let get in your eyes, it's "schmaltz". And the wheel of fortune , alas, is nothing more than a "schlemiel".
Mickey was a musician before he was a comedian, and he played with several of the country's best bands before winning fame as the top dialectitian in Spike Jones' outfit. Now for his records and shows he hires the finest studio musicians in Hollywood, determined that his material shall not only be funny but musically solid."

For more about Mickey Katz and other great music go HERE.

Mickey Katz - The Pickle In The Window

Mickey Katz - Don't let The Schmaltz Get In Your Eyes

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Tex Ritter

"Born Woodard Maurice Ritter on January 12, 1905, "Tex" was the son of James Everett and Elizabeth (Matthews) Ritter of Murvaul, Texas, in Panola County. He died in Nashville, Tennessee on January 2, 1974. He became one of the best-known singing cowboys in western movies. Tex's youngest son, John Ritter, became a popular TV star in the '70s and '80s.

Tex lived with his sister while growing up in the Jefferson County town of Nederland. He graduated from South Park High in nearby Beaumont. While attending the University of Texas from 1922 to 1927, including a year in law school, Tex found his calling in the Men's Glee Club. He was greatly influenced by the folk music knowledge of, and cowboy folksongs collected by UT professors J. Frank Dobie, Oscar J. Fox, and John A. Lomax.

After a brief enrollment at Northwestern University, Ritter began his singing career at radio station KPRC in Houston in 1929. In 1930, he toured with a band throughout the South and Midwest. The following year, he joined the New York Theater Guild and appeared in Green Grow the Lilacs (the play that later served as the basis for the musical Oklahoma). In 1932, he became a featured singer in the Madison Square Garden Rodeo, which further established his "singing cowboy" reputation. He soon landed a starring role in "The Lone Star Rangers," one of the first western radio programs in New York."

More about Tex Ritter HERE.

Tex Ritter - Rye Whiskey

Tex Ritter - Blood On The Saddle

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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Danny (Kalauawa) Stewart

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 seemt 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 themsleves 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."

Danny Stewart - Hawaiian War Chant

Danny Stewart - Little Brown Gal

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Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Ronnie Barker & Ronnie Corbett

"For sixteen years, big Ronnie Barker and little Ronnie Corbett hit hard on the nation's funny bone with their gently subversive, often wonderfully rude comedy routines, which lampooned countless aspects of British life - pompous authority figures, eccentric middle class guests at dreary cocktail parties, shabby men (with distinctly surreal private lives) putting the world to rights over a beer or ten, ghastly restaurants with rude waiters and incompetent chefs, bumptious politicians, leery rock stars and deeply suspicious doctors. Although often regarded as a "safe" series, The Two Ronnies' best sketches often strayed toward decidedly bizarre and ridiculous Monty Python territory, which isn't surprising as several of the Pythons (together with genius upstarts like Marshall and Renwick) wrote for the series - that's when the great Ronnie Barker wasn't providing the bulk of the material himself under a number of unlikely pseudonyms! (Remember Gerald Wiley? That was him.) The musical numbers can seem dated to modern eyes, but the country and western parodies from 'Big Jim Jehosophat'(Corbett) and 'Fatbelly Jones'(Barker) were always a joy, wrapping dozens of double-entendres around some genuinely catchy tunes, as were the lesser-seen spoofs of Chas and Dave, Status Quo and even Kid Creole and the Coconuts! As with many of the 'old school' comedians, the Two Ronnies' work has endured far better than many of the 'alternative' comedians who tried to push them aside - not only that, they're still being repeated."

Sadly Ronnie Barker passed away today and so this serves as a small reminder of his comedy genius.

Jehosophat & Jones - Stuttering Bum

Jehosophat & Jones - Gal From Arkansas

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Monday, October 03, 2005

Lonzo and Oscar

Not really a boot sale find but a tape sent to me by a friend who knows the sort of daft music I like.
Lonzo and Oscar are from that same mad hillbilly country vein as The Korn Kobblers, The Hoosier Hotshots etc. and as well as writing amusing songs they could play their instruments too. Listen to the fine mandolin and fiddle playing on these two tracks. Here's a short extract from awebsite devoted to them-

"A total of sixteen songs were recorded for RCA Victor that year under the name of "Lonzo and Oscar with their Winston County Pea Pickers." Their best selling song was released in 1948. Written by Dwight Latham and Moe Jaffe, "I’m My Own Grandpa" became their signature tune and was recorded by many others. RCA Victor did not have the capacity to release this record (I'm My Own Grandpa); they had to enlist help in 10 other countries to press the record because RCA Victor couldn't do it fast enough. It sold over four million copies. Originally, RCA Victor approached Eddy Arnold to sing and release this record, but Eddy thought that it would suit Lonzo and Oscar better.

In 1949, the team switched record companies, finding their home with Capitol Records. Their first recording date with Capitol was August 21, 1949; however, Lloyd recorded his first songs as Ken Marvin on Capitol two days before he recorded as Lonzo and Oscar with Rollin. The latter recorded a total of ten songs for Capitol. By the end of January 1950, Lloyd was tired of the zany comedy act of Lonzo and Oscar, and he left the group to become Ken Marvin full-time. Lloyd asked Rollin if he could quit; Lloyd always told Rollin that "Sometime in my life, I am gonna try to go solo. It's something that I've always wanted to do." Lloyd had to choose a different name because WSM (the Grand Ole Opry radio station) stipulated that Lloyd would have to give up the name "Lonzo," so Rollin could find another Lonzo and continue with the "Lonzo and Oscar" name. As a child, Lloyd was an old western movie lover, and there was a guy that he liked named Marvin, and this is how he chose the stage name of Ken Marvin. After Lloyd left the group, he started playing shows with "Little" Jimmy Dickens, who had the hit song "Sleepin' at the Foot of the Bed," which was co-written by Eugene "Happy" Wilson, who was also from Haleyville, Alabama.

Rollin Sullivan was not alone though. Johnny Sullivan stepped up to take on the role of Lonzo. Rollin produced the group from this point on. The group went to Decca Records and recorded twenty-one songs that were released as singles. In 1963, the group scored another hit with "Country Music Time." A tragic car accident caused the death of Johnny Sullivan on June 5, 1967, and resulted in Rollin continuing on with the name of Lonzo and Oscar when he found David Hooten, who was the third Lonzo."

Lonzo & Oscar - Tickle The Tom Cat's Tail

Lonzo & Oscar - Hey Joe

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Sunday, October 02, 2005

Ruth Wallis

"Called the "high priestess of the double entendre," and the "queen of the wicked ditties," in the '50s and '60s, Ruth Wallis was an American woman whose saucy novelty songs made her a worldwide success. She was born in Brooklyn, and gave big-band singing a whirl, even doing a stint with Benny Goodman's band. She later established herself as a cocktail lounge singer and began writing her own songs. Her records weren't played on the radio, but they became hits nonetheless. Unlike many other party records, which could barely afford more than a singer and a piano, Ruth Wallis' songs had full orchestras, usually under the direction of Mac Ceppos or Jimmy Carroll. Her albums made fun of male shortcomings and proved that women could enjoy sex and risque humor as much as men."

Ruth Wallis - The Dinghy Song

Ruth Wallis - Down In The Indies

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Fred Dagg

This is one of those records you just have to buy when you see it in a charity shop as New Zealand comedy aimed at sheep farmers is a very rare commodity around these parts. I knew nothing about Fred Dagg and still know very little. Here's what Wikipedia says about him-

"Fred Dagg is a fictional archetype satirist from New Zealand created and acted on stage, film and television by John Morrison Clarke. Clarke graced New Zealand TV screens as Dagg during the mid to late 1970s, "taking the piss" out of the post-pioneering Kiwi bloke and ‘blokesses’.
When Clarke first unveiled the character of Fred Dagg in recordings and on New Zealand TV in 1975, he became a national star and icon. Clarke also recorded a series of records and cassettes as Dagg, as well as publishing several books.
The Fred Dagg character is a stereotypical farmer and New Zealand bloke; clad in a black singlet and gumboots, and supposedly attended by numerous associates all named 'Trev'. One memorable expression was uttered whenever there was a knock at the door: "That'll be the door".
"Fred Dagg" first became a household name in New Zealand in 1975, with the release by Clarke (as Dagg) of two singles with EMI, "Traditional Air"/"Unlabelled", and "We Don't Know How Lucky We Are"/"Larry Loves Barry", with the latter making it to number 17 on the national charts.
An album called "Fred Dagg's Greatest Hits" followed and was a massive seller. Thirty years after its release this album remains one of New Zealand's all-time biggest selling records."

Fred Dagg - Larry Loves Barry

Fred Dagg - The National Anthem

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Saturday, October 01, 2005

The Yetties

"Contrary to a popularly held theory, The Yetties did not get their name because of their fancied resemblance to the fabled hairy Himalayan monsters - although, come to think of it, looking at those 1970s photos, I can see how this misunderstanding might have occurred! But they got their name because they hail from the Dorset village of Yetminster, near Yeovil and Sherborne.

Formed way back the early 1960s, the band's original members were Bonny Sartin, Pete Shutler, Mac McCulloch and Bob Common. The line-up remained unchanged until 1979, when Bob left. The remaining trio has continued to perform right up to the present day. Over the years they have toured the world and recorded a large number of albums. Apart from their own compositions, the band has built up a huge repertoire of music of many types from diverse sources, including folk songs, dance music and popular songs from England, Scotland, Ireland, the US and other countries."

I found two Yetties albums in the Salvation Army charity shop in town the other day for a pound each. One is actually signed by the band thus doubling it's price straight away! Seriously though, despite not being a great "Scrumpy & Western" fan I do seem to gravitate towards these records mainly because of the two or three novelty songs they usually contain. On this album from 1976 on the Decca label called "The Village Band" they are joined by the Sherbourne Town Band who appear on several of their other LP's and the songs range from traditional pub songs to old engliosh folk songs and even "Cigareetes and Whusky and Wild, Wild Women".

Find out more about The Yetties by going HERE.

The Yetties - The Barley Mow

The Yetties - Costa Del Dorset

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South Seas Adventure

This curious "souvenir" EP playing at 45r.p.m. is another find from Brick Lane. Its taken from the soundtrack of a "Cinerama" film of the 50's or early 60's I would guess. I just love the small clips of Hawaiian music here and the "Click Go The Shears" song which sounds anything but authentic!
Here's a bit about Cinerama I found which describes how inventor Fred Waller discovered this "breakthrough" technology and more can be found HERE.

"It used three cameras and three projectors on a curved screen 146° deep. Making an anagram of the letters in “American,” he called it “Cinerama”. Even in an industry up to its Mitchell magazines in hyperbole, its impact was staggering. Running only 13 weeks in one theater in New York, “This Is Cinerama” was the highest grossing film of 1952. Several more travelogues would follow, climaxed by two dramatic films co-produced with MGM in 1962. Cinerama, which had been rejected by all the majors as too expensive - however impressive it was - now created a landrush. When they saw its drawing power, every studio scrambled to come up with a copycat process. The 1.33 aspect ratio was dead and the widescreen era was on. Cinerama’s 3-panel glory days lasted only 11 years, but it has never been forgotten by anyone who saw it."

The only Cinerama film I saw was Stanley Kubrik's "2001- A Space Odessy" which seemed quite stunning at the time and it's sad that these films don't get to be seen anymore outside of film museums.

South Seas Adventure - Part One

South Seas Adventure - Part Two

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