Monday, October 30, 2006


From the LP "Moshi" by Barney Willen and friends on the French "Saravah" label. Released in 1972. A curious blend of field recordings and studio tracks, modern jazz and pop songs.

Tracks are-

1. Balandji In Bobo
2. Sannu ne Gheniyo
3. El Hadji

Seems that Barney and friends went to live and travel in Africa in the late sixties after hearing some music by a pygmy tribe. He stayed in Algeria and travelled accross the Sahara to Senegal and Mali long befor the notion of "World Music" was ever thought of and recorded this double Lp on his return.

"Wilen's contract for IDA helped create a comeback for a fine musician. In the 1980s he tinkered with jazz-rock and African rhythms (he went to live in Africa in the late 1960s) and his return to a bop-inflected style has something of the full-circle maturity which Stan Getz came to in his later work; Wilen's tenor sound does, indeed, have something of the magisterial sweep which Getz delivered, but the main character of his playing continues to lie in his even trajectory. His solos have a serene assurance which eschews dynamic shifts in favor of a single flowing line. With his tone still exceptionally bright and refined, it grants his playing a rare, persuasive power."

Moshi - Zombizar

Moshi - Gardenia Devil

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Sunday, October 29, 2006

Lord Christo

Another calypso record from Brick Lane picked up in the 80's. It's on the cleverly titled Kalypso label and released in 1963.

"Christo made a living as a cabinet-maker and sang in church choirs before he became the lead singer for the John "Buddy" Williams Band in the 1940s. His calypso career began in 1952 when he appeared at Atilla the Hun's Victory Tent. He then joined the McLean Brothers and accompanied them on a tour of the USA in December 1952. He later moved over to the Young Brigade Tent in 1955. The Young Brigade Tent became the Original Young Brigade Tent (OYB) in 1956, and Christo continued to sing with the OYB until he left for Chicago, Ilinois, USA, where he appeared at various nightclubs and on television. He returned to Trinidad in 1960 and continued to sing at the OYB for the rest of his career. Although he never won a title, Christo's popular songs "Miss Universe" and "Chicken Chest" were tailor-made for steelbands and were played extensively on the road during the 1957 Carnival."

A great archive of old calypso HERE at Irwin Chusid's radio show in the last hour. Well worth a listen if you like this kind of stuff. The first couple of hours is good too!

Lord Christo - Nursery Rhyme

Lord Christo - Indian Party

Lord Christo - The Parrot

Lord Christo - Jamaican Girls

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Hot Thumbs O'Riley

I can't remember where I found this - probably a flea market in London some years ago. Released in 1973 on the Charisma label. O'Riley (Jim Pembroke) went to Harrow School of Art and later fell in love with a Finnish au pair in Finchley and followed her back to Helsinki in 1965. He stayed and joined a band called Wigwam who make up some of the musicians on this odd recording. Complete line up includes - Ronnie Osterburg- Drums, Mats Hulden, Pekka Pohjola and Mosse Groundstroem - basses, Jukka Gustavson - organ . Jim pembroke played piano, harmonium, bass, guitar, harmonica and vocals.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Monster Rock 'N' Roll

As Halloween is approaching I thought I would give these old rockers as airing. From an Lp called "Monster Rock 'n' Roll" on the Crypt label with a dedication to Screaming Lord Sutch. One can see why he would enjoy some of these offerings. Mostly from the late 50's. The tracks are as follows-

1. Monster Hop - Bert Convy
2. Mad House Jump - The Daylighters
3. Split Personality - Jim Burgett
4. The Monster Hop - Jimmy Dee
5. Nightmares - John Sowell
6. The Horror Show - Sharkey Todd
7. Igor;s Party - Tony's Monstrosities

Bert Convy.

"Convy was born in St. Louis, Missouri to Monica and Bert Convy. Convy was a member of the 1950s vocal band, The Cheers, who had a Top 10 hit in 1955 with "Black Denim Trousers (and Motorcycle Boots)". He was also a minor league baseball player."

The Daylighters.

"The Daylighters -- not to be confused with the Texas blues band of the same name -- was a Chicago soul male vocal group of the '60s. The Birmingham, AL-born group was started by high school student Tony Gideon in the mid-'50s. Seeking fame and fortune, Gideon, Eddie Thomas, George and Dorsey Wood, and Levi Moreland moved to Chicago, IL, in 1958. Two months later, Moreland returned to Alabama. WGES radio DJ George "G.G." Graves introduced him to record shop/record label/club owner Norvel "Cadillac Baby" Eatmon, who issued the group's first record "Mad House Jump" on his Bea and Baby label."

Jimmy Dee.

"What happened to him later is not quite clear. Some say he joined the Houston police force, others like Joel Whitburn reckon he managed the Houston Astrodome. A third source puts him in Chicago living the life of a very wealthy man with no interest in his rocking past. This Jimmy Dee apparently recorded for Inner-Glo and Pixie, but he's not the Little Jimmy Dee on Infinity, nor the Jimmy Dee on Ace and Scope."

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

British Dance Bands of the 20's & 30's

A selection of novelty songs by British Dance Bands and duo who graced the radio and ballrooms between the wars.

1. Egyptian Ella - Jack Hylton v. Pat O'Malley 1931
2. Let's All Be Fairies - Durium Dance Band v. Leslie Sarony 1933
3. Keep It To Yourself - Henry Hall v.Les Allen, Les Bermon 1933
4. Little Betty Bouncer - Flotsam & Jetsam 1927
5. Shirts - Lupino Lane 1934
6. Paper Hat Brigade - Jack Jackson v. Jack Jackson 1935

Find out more about Jack Hylton at his official website HERE

Jack Jackson.

"Trumpet. b. 1907, Barnsley, Yorkshire, England, UK, d.
Jack completed his musical studies at the Royal Academy of Music, early on in the 1920's. His first jobs were as sideman in the small bands working on ocean liners, following which, he worked with Jack Hylton and Bert Ambrose. Jack went with Bert Ralston on his South American tour in 1931, the tour on which Ralston died.

He was with Jack Payne from 1931 to 1933, and then left to form his own band. It was booked into the Dorchester Hotel in August 1933, and remained until April 1939, when, unable to get together with the management on a salary agreement, the band left. During this time, the band did quite a few recordings, some of which featured the great American black vocalist, Alberta Hunter. The band toured after leaving the Dorchester, playing the theater and ballroom circuits, as well as some hotels, including Rector's and the Mayfair.

In private correspondence, Mr. Frank Reuben, has mentioned that "My uncle, Harry Reuben, played piano in the Jack Jackson Orchestra for a number of years prior to the second world war....."

In 1941, his band was seen in the British made film 'Pathetone Parade of 1941'. Jack disbanded in 1947. He finished his career as a disc jockey; TV personality, and theater soloist. He later retired to the Canary Islands."

Henry Hall.

"Henry Hall is now recognised as one of the important figures during the dance band era in Britain from the 1920's to 1950's. After years of being ignored by record collectors Henry Hall's recordings with his BBC Dance Orchestra are now being recognised for the quality that they are, and Henry's work on radio and TV shows is also now being recognised as visionary. Thankfully Henry wrote his autobiography in 1955 giving us many details and great insight into how his career developed and how he reacted to events and changing musical tastes during those decades. A band that had to broadcast at 5.00pm had to cater for everyone and the reputation as a novlety band playing children's songs did stick with Henry and his BBC Orchestra, and this wasn't helped by having a signature song like Here's To the Next Time. Today, with several CD re-issues available, collectors have had the opportunity to listen to a broad range of Henry's work with the BBC, and come to appreciate the talent of the numerous music arrangers and excellent vocalists employed during those short 5 years, 1932-37."

Monday, October 23, 2006

James Young

I found little on the internet about James Young so have gone to the sleeve notes of this Emerald Gem LP from 1970, found recently in a charity shop.

" This Lp "The Ballymena Cowboy" is a follow up to "Behind The Barricades". It is true to say that no other artiste, including The Beatles, has sold as many records in Northern Ireland. We feel sure when you listen to this LP you will know why, and we hope we will be favoured with many more LP's as this from James, in the years ahead."

I'm not sure if he made any more but very surprised he out sold the fab four in Northern Ireland!

James Young - The Ballymena Cowboy

James Young - A Hairy Tale

James Young - There's A Lounge Bar In The Town

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Downliner's Sect

"Don Craine (real name Don O'Donnell) and Sutton had previously been in a Twickenham band called the Downliners. The name came from a Jerry Lee Lewis b-side that had been written by Roy Orbison. Following the end of this band, Grant (real name Keith Evans) and Gibson were recruited and the band renamed the Downliners Sect. The band soon gained a following at Eel Pie Island in Twickenham and made an EP called A Nite In Newport Street. The R&B direction of the band had been decided after seeing the Rolling Stones at the Station hotel in Richmond. Previously, the group played more rock & roll classics. The EP was recorded live and featured four R&B classics including Booker T's Green Onions. This EP is available on the See for Miles collection called The Definitive Downliners Sect Singles As and Bs. This contained the band's interpretations of R&B classics such as Green Onions and helped the Downliners Sect to secure a recording deal with EMI.

The group had initial success in Sweden where they toured and had a number one record. However, this may have meant that they neglected the UK.

Ray Sone joined the group on harmonica, apparently beating Rod Stewart and Steve Marriott for the role. The group signed to Colombia Records and, shortly after this, the first single, Baby What's Wrong was released. This failed to make the chart but did receive some attention in Europe. The group also toured with the writer of the single, Jimmy Reed. The follow-up single was a cover version of the Coasters' Little Egypt. This showed the humorous, irreverent side of the Downliners. This was also captured on the debut album which was released in 1963. The Sect is a superb collection of British R&B which, nevertheless, did not endear the band to many fans of the music as it was seen to deviate from the pure R&B. The album consisted mostly of covers but with a few original tracks written by members of the Sect. Don Craine had become quite distinctive with his trademark deerstalker hat. He had worn the hat at a gig at Studio 51 and it subsequently become part of his and the band's image."

Discover more about the Downliners Sect HERE.

Comin' Home Baby

Downliner's Sect - Fortune Teller

Downliner's Sect - Hey hey Hey Hey

Downliner's Sect - Everything I've Got To Give

Downliner's Sect - Outside

Downliner's Sect - I'm Hooked On You

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

M'Bilia Bel

An LP on the French "Sono-Disc" label released in 1983. I think I may have bought this from a real shop - going through a phase of world music discovery back then fueled by the radio DJ Charlie Gillett who had a wonderful show on Capital Radio in London at the time. I have always had a soft spot for "soukous" and M'Bilia Bel is one of it's finest exponents.

Wikipedia has this to say about her-

"M'bilia Bel is a Congolese soukous singer, known as the Queen of Congolese rhumba. She rose to fame after being discovered by Tabu Ley Rochereau.
Born and brought up in the Democratic Republic of the Congo M'bilia Bel became successful in the mid-1980s when she recorded and toured with Tabu Ley Rochereau, and made her own solo albums. The birth of her first child prompted her to take a break from performing, however, and after a last album with Ley in 1987, she moved to Paris. There she started working with guitarist Rigo Star, and between 1989 and 1990 she went on to tour the United States, the United Kingdom, and West Africa."

M'Bilia Bel - Bafosami

M'Bilia Bel - Nazali Mwasi

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Monday, October 16, 2006

It's Trad Dad!

Delighted to find this rarity at the Help The Aged the other day - an LP soundtrack of a film, the first feature, by Dick Lester who went on to direct the Beatles first two films "A Hard Day's Night" and "Help". The motely selection of clean cut pop crooners and jazz bands are what mostly filled the U.K. charts before the beat boom a few months later.

"Lester's first movie was a 1962 cheapie about the resurgent traditional jazz movement, "It's Trad, Dad" (released in the United States as "Ring-a-Ding Rhythm"). With the trad-jazz boomlet fading even as the movie was nearing completion, Lester improvised by hiring Chubby Checker to do a twist number near the end. Next came "Mouse on the Moon," a sequel to the Sellers hit "The Mouse That Roared" (minus Sellers). While these epics may not have secured Lester's place in the film pantheon, they would prove significant in unforeseen ways. It was through "Mouse on the Moon" that Lester met producer Walter Shenson. And it was one of the musicians featured in "It's Trad, Dad" who played Lester some records he'd bought after hearing a group in Liverpool's Cavern Club."

Gene Vincent - Spaceship To Mars

The Temperence Seven - Everybody Loves My Baby

Acker Bilk & His Paramount Jazz Band - Frankie & Johnny

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


A 10" LP found in the Help The Aged shop yesterday with a bunch of others that will no doubt be featured here soon. This scratchy record (sorry) is on the Estoril label from Lisbon from the 50's I would guess by the artwork and the aged look of the sleeve etc.

On the sleeve notes- both in Portuguese and in English - it states -

"Fado is fate. The fate of a humble and sensitive people. It is the feeling of it's greatness, which is expressed by this mood of nobel ancestry, the spirit of a Christian race, the tradition of past glory and faith."

In an article in the Christian Science Monitor it says -

"The mournful roots music of Portugal was born on the narrow streets of Lisbon's working-class quarters in the mid-19th century and has been nurtured in neighborhood tabernas ever since.

Like American blues and country music (and like its distant Spanish cousin, flamenco), fado laments lost love and dashed expectations, sometimes with the sting of social critique. Even the name fado (literally "fate") speaks to its melancholy nature.

Backed by a Spanish guitar and the tinkling runs of a Portuguese guitarra, fado singers tremble with intensity. Their voices swoop up and down minor-key octaves, holding notes with anguished tremolos."

Adelina Ramos - Varinas

Manual D'Almeida - Tempos Que Ja La Vao

Fernando Farinha - Vidas Trocadas

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Friday, October 13, 2006

George Darko

A 12" single on the Rokel label from 1983 found at Brick Lane some years ago.

"The undisputed master of nouveau highlife a.k.a highlife fusion opened the flood gates to West Africa’s new popular rhythm with the recording of friends with the hit track Akoo Te Brofo in 1982. The rhythm was pulsating, the melody infectious and the lyrical content pleasantly instructive.

Everything about George Darko’s new found music was outstanding. The voice, the instrumentation, the arrangement, the overall technical production, and yes! the most outstanding of all was the man’s mastery of his instrument- the guitar. Acoustic or electric, the guitar was and is simply an extension of the man.

Now Tufuhene of Akropong traditional area George was born in 1951 to the paramount chief of Akropong. Growing up in the Palace exposed him to the traditional drumming and dancing of the people of Akuapem. Here he also studied the customs of his people whilst attending elementary school.

At the Okuapeman Secondary School where he continued his education, George discovered the guitar through Dobson his Canadian biology teacher- who played a self made acoustic guitar during leisure times."

Discover more about George Darko HERE.

George Darko - Akoo Te Brofo

George Darko - Medo Menanm

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Bobby "Boris" Pickett

Above is "Monster Holiday" by Bobby "Boris" Pickett and the Crypt-Kickers from an LP "Monster Mash" on the London label that was released in 1973.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about him-

"Bobby "Boris" Pickett (born Robert George Pickett, February 11, 1938, in Somerville, Massachusetts) is a musician and actor, best known for singing and co-writing the 1962 hit novelty song "Monster Mash". Pickett performed the track in an impersonation of veteran horror film stars Boris Karloff, and Bela Lugosi (as in the line "Whatever happened to my Transylvania Twist?").
Bobby Pickett co-wrote the song along with Leonard Capizzi. It became a million seller, as well as reaching Number One on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The song was styled as being by Bobby "Boris" Pickett & The Crypt-Kicker 5. In Britain it took until October 1973 for the tune to become popular, but it then pinnacled at Number 3 in the UK singles chart.
A Christmas themed follow-up, "Monster's Holiday", was also released in 1962 and became a minor hit.
In October 2005, Pickett protested inaction on global warming by releasing "Climate Mash", a new version of his hit single."

Discover more about Bobby "Boris" Pickett HERE.

Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Graveyard Shift

Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Blood Bank Blues

Bobby "Boris" Pickett - Rabian - The Fiendage Idol

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Billy Costello

I think i have mentioned Billy Costello here before but no excuses for uploading some more of his Popeye personna. Not sure if these were from the days of Max Fleischer but they sound pretty old to me. Above is "Blow The Man Down" send on a tape from a kind person who knows I like this sort of thing.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Popeye The Sailor-

"Popeye the Sailor is a famous comic strip character, later featured in popular animated cartoons. He was created by Elzie Crisler Segar[1] (who would sign some of his early Popeye comic strips with a cigar because it sounded the same as his name) and first appeared in the King Features comic strip Thimble Theatre on January 17, 1929. Popeye quickly became the main focus of the strip, which was one of King Features' most popular strips during the 1930s. Thimble Theatre, carried on after Segar's 1938 death by artists such as Bud Sagendorf, was renamed Popeye in the 1970s. Today drawn by Hy Eisman, Popeye continues to appear in first-run strips in Sunday papers (daily Popeye strips are reruns of older strips).
In 1933, Max and Dave Fleischer's Fleischer Studios adapted the Thimble Theatre characters into a series of Popeye the Sailor theatrical cartoon shorts for Paramount Pictures. These cartoons proved to be among the most popular of the 1930s, and Popeye at one time rivaled Mickey Mouse for popularity among audiences. After Paramount assumed control of the Fleischer Studio in 1942, they continued producing the series until 1957. Future Popeye cartoons were produced for television from 1960 to 1962 by King Features, and from 1978 to 1982 as well as 1987 to 1988 by Hanna-Barbera Productions."

Billy Costello - Nobody's Sweetheart Now

Billy Costello - Teddy Bears Picnic

Billy Costello - Merry-Go-Round Broke Down

Billy Costello - Tiger Rag

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

The Mighty Sparrow

"With his ultra-sweet vocals and lyrics that speak of romance and topical politics, Mighty Sparrow (born Slinger Francisco) has risen to the upper echelon of Trinidadian calypso. Best known for his hits "Jean And Dinah" in 1956 and "Carnival Boycott" in 1957, Sparrow is an 11-time winner of the calypso monarchy and an eight-time winner of Trinidad and Tobago's Carnival Road March competition. Born to a poor working class family in Gran Roi, a small fishing village in Grenada, Sparrow moved to Trinidad at the age of one. Learning to sing in the boy's choir of St. Patrick's Catholic Church, he became the head choirboy. At the age of 14, he formed a steel band to perform at the Carnival, sparking his interest in calypso. Teaching himself to play guitar, Sparrow began to write his own songs. Winning the Carnival competition with "Jean And Dinah," he received a grand prize of 40 dollars. In protest, he wrote a scorching indictment of the Trinidadian music industry, "arnival Boycott." Despite his refusal to compete in the Carnival contests for the next three years, Sparrow became one of the Caribbean's most successful artists."

"Maria", a track from the LP "Sparrow - Calypso King" on the RCA International label released in 1970.
This compilation is a strange mixture of calypso and more pop oriented songs like Hucklebuck and The Great Pretender. he certainly sounds more comfortable with the calypso songs on here.

Mighty Sparrow - Yvonne Sorry Now

Mighty Sparrow - Hucklebuck

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Psycho Serenade

A few strange records found on an LP called Psycho Serenade on the Beware label that came out in the 80's. Mostly trashy novelty songs and weird rock 'n' roll obscurities mixed in with old ads. and film trailers etc.

The sequence goes as follows-

1. Come With Me To The Casbah - Ganimian and his Orientals
2. Souie Baby Souie - Nanine
3. Cailifornia Hippy Murders - Red River Dave
4. Shake Your Tail Feather - The Five Du-Tones
5. The Riddler - The Riddler
6. Mad - The Social Outcasts

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

They Played The Empire

A double LP found some time ago in a charity shop in Basildon I think. The Empire was a group of variety theatres that flourished like so many others between the wars and some right up to the 50's. A motely selection of artistes included here including Sandy Powell, Tessie O'Shea, Larry Adler and Norman Wisdom. I've chosen a few who make me smile for one reason or another. Above is Borrah Minnevitch' Harmonica Rascals accompanied by the Three Ginx singing "The Music Goes Round And Round and Comes Out Here".

Borrah Minevitch, the harmonica virtuoso, American born but a frequent visitor to Britain, began his recording career as the soloist in a group called the "Dizzy Trio" in 1924. He and his Harmonia Rascals appeared at Command Perfomances at the Palladium and Coliseum in 1947 and 1949.

Cyril Fletcher born in Watford in 1913, comedian of radio and stage fame first appeared in London at the Holborn Empire in 1939. He is probably more firmilar for his "Odd Odes" and sitting in his armchair on the long running "Thats Life" on BBC TV during the 70's.

Lupino Lane actor, singer, dancer and director was born in London in 1892 and died in 1959. A comic and acrobatic dancer specializing in cockney roles, his biggest in "Me And My Girl" in 1938 and his famous rendition of "The Lambeth Walk". He was the cousin of Stanley Lupino who appeared in and directed films.

Tommy Handley was born in Liverpool and graduated from the chorus to concert party and variety. He's worked with Jack Hylton and Ronald Frankau. He later found fame in the long running and influencial radio show "ITMA" leading to films and television. He died in 1948 at the age of fifty five.

Tommy Handley - We Don't Want To Be Jiggered About

Lupino Lane - Who Are You A-Shovin' Of?

Elsie & Doris Waters - Please Leave My Butter Alone

Cyril Fletcher - Dreamin' Of Thee

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Monday, October 02, 2006

The Merrymen

This LP from Barbados was found in a charity shop some years ago. Recorded in the late 60's in New York on the West Indies Records label. The above song is "Bang Bang Lu Lu".

Wikipedia says -

"The music of Barbados includes distinctive national styles of folk and popular music, as well as elements of Western classical and religious music. The culture of Barbados is a syncretic mix of African and British elements, and the island's music reflects this mix through song types and styles, instrumentation, dances and aesthetic principles.
Barbadian folk traditions include the Landship movement, which is a satirical, informal organization based on the British navy, tea meetings, tuk bands and numerous traditional songs and dances. In modern Barbados, popular styles include calypso, spouge and other styles, many of them imported from Trinidad, the United States or elsewhere. Barbados is, along with Cuba, Puerto Rico, Trinidad and the Virgin Islands, one of the few centers for Caribbean jazz."

The Merrymen are still going strong today and you can buy there albums HERE.

The Merrymen - Foolishness

The Merrymen - Callalou vs. Cou Cou

SWAPATORIUM: Harry Belafonte

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Paddy Roberts

Delighted to find this at the boots sale today for 50p. One I had been searching ages for. The sleeve alone is worth 50p!
Following on from his first Lp "Songs For Grown-Ups" this one on Decca was made in 1963 and full of slightly risque songs . Probably raised a few eyebrows back then but quite harmless now ofcourse - quaint even.

"Paddy Roberts (1910 - 1975) was a popular songwriter, having previously been a lawyer and a pilot (serving with the RAF in World War II). He was born in South Africa and died in the United Kingdom. He enjoyed success with a number of songs in the 1950s and 1960s and wrote songs for several films. He released several LPs and EPs of his own material, often featuring what were, for the time, slightly risqué lyrics."

Paddy Roberts - Three Old Ladies

Paddy Roberts - Down In Dury Lane

Paddy Roberts - Don't Use The W.C.

Paddy Roberts - Ten In A Bed

Paddy Roberts - The Woodpecker's Hole

These SendSpace files are available for seven days or until exhausted.