Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Charlie Gillett - Todd Rundgren

Another radio show from The Alchemists series on Capital around early 80's with Charlie talking to guest Todd Rungren who plays some of his own records and some by people he has produced like the New York Dolls and The Psychedelic Furs.

Wikipedia says -

"Todd Harry Rundgren (born June 22, 1948) is an American musician, singer-songwriter and record producer. Hailed in the early stage of his career as a new pop-wunderkind, supported by the certified gold solo double LP Something/Anything? in 1972,[1] Todd Rundgren's career has produced a diverse range of recordings as solo artist, and during the seventies and eighties with the band Utopia. He has also been prolific as a producer and engineer on the recorded work of other musicians.

During the 1970s and 1980s, Rundgren engineered and/or produced many notable albums for other acts, including Stage Fright by The Band, We're an American Band by Grand Funk Railroad, Bat Out of Hell by Meat Loaf (now ranked as the fifth biggest-selling album of all time), and Skylarking by XTC. In the 1980s and 1990s his interest in video and computers led to Rundgren's "Time Heals" being the eighth video played on MTV, and "Change Myself" was generated on commercially available Amiga Computers.

His best-known songs include "Hello It's Me" and "I Saw the Light" which have heavy rotation on classic rock radio stations, and "Bang the Drum All Day" featured in many sports arenas, commercials, and movie trailers."

Charlie Gillett - Todd Rundgren Part 1

Charlie Gillett - Todd Rundgren 2

Brian Rust 1922 - 2011

I have fond memories of Brian's radio show in the 80's on Capital. Mardi Gras was a great programme about jazz, swing and an eclectic mix of oldies from the days of 78's and wax cylinders. It was on before Charlie Gillett's show so sometimes caught the last half hour or so and often wished I'd paid more attention at the time but my tastes were more atuned to rock, blues and R&B. I did pick up this tape from Brick Lane market of two of his shows which interested me because of the novelty music slant in one show called Mad Items from 1st March 1981. The other is called Minidiscs etc. from 8th March 1981. Brian's introductions to records have been trimmed substantially but I hope it still gives a flavour of this great knowledgable DJ and music that never fails to entertain despite it's age.

The Times obituary says -

"Charles Dornberger's 1927 version of Tiger Rag was unlikely musical fare for the newly launched Capital Radio in 1973. However, amid the contemporary pop played by Kenny Everett and the middle-of-the-road melodies presented by Michael Aspel, the tune introduced the weekend vintage jazz and dance band programme Mardi Gras, presented by Brian Rust. For seven years, Rust played the music he had devoted his life to researching and found a wide audience for what was a very specialist area of knowledge.

To jazz enthusiasts Rust was better known as the author of the standard work, Jazz Records, 1897-1942, which ran through five editions from 1961 to 1983. It documented the music, dates and personnel of every jazz recording made during those years and the author's dedication to accuracy, and to scholarly discographical methods, made it a byword within the industry.

Yet Rust also produced equally distinguished books on prewar dancebands and American recordings. He wrote learned articles on discography and record collecting and also researched the early days of Edison's cylinder recordings to go alongside his encyclopedic knowledge of the 78rpm disc. Brian Arthur Lovell Rust was born in London in 1922, and began collecting danceband records as a child. In his teens he became fascinated by jazz, but his first job was in a bank and during the Second World War he was in the London Fire Brigade. But in 1945 he began work in the BBC Gramophone Library, where he sought out dance records for the Light Programme.

He was to stay in the library for 15 years, greatly expanding his knowledge of jazz and dance music, and undertaking trips to America to find out more. Among those he met and interviewed was Nick La Rocca, the cornetist with the Original Dixieland Jazz Band who had made the first jazz records of all. He also collaborated with Walter Allen on one of the first attempts to combine biography with discography, in the life of the pioneer New Orleans cornetist Joe "King" Oliver.

In 1960 Rust left the BBC to work as a freelance researcher and author. He not only published books but articles for Melody Maker and The Gramophone, as well as copious notes for LP record sleeves. Already at the centre of a network of record collectors, Rust undertook copious correspondence with other enthusiasts round the world.

Rust published a text on methods of discography in 1980, and in 1992 he received a lifetime achievement award from the Association of Recorded Sound Collections.

During his time at the BBC he had also played jazz, as a member of the Original Barnstormers Spasm Band, in which he performed on the washboard. The band was recorded by Parlophone, and its temporary success led to Rust being forced to leave it, as his superiors at the BBC said it would be a conflict of interest for one of the corporation's librarians to appear on television as a musician. He rejoined the band soon after the offending broadcast, but left when he became a freelance writer.

He is survived by his wife Mary and by two daughters and a son.

Brian Rust, author, discographer and radio presenter, was born on March 19, 1922. He died on January 5, 2011, aged 88."

Brian Rust - Mad Items

Brian Rust - Mini Discs

Thursday, January 20, 2011

That'll Be The Day (re-up)

In 1972 David Essex/Ringo Starr made the film "That'll Be The Day" on the Isle of Wight. Billy Fury made a cameo appearance in the movie as "Stormy Tempest", a 50's holiday camp ballroom singer, more or less reflecting his own image from the early days. The movie premiered in West End in April 12th 1973 and was a huge success, as was it's soundtrack album which spent 7 weeks as No. 1 on the charts. The album contained a mixture of oldies together with some specially-recorded material, including 5 tracks by Billy.
This wonky cassette is just half the double LP and has been chewed all down one side hence the poor sound quality. The Viv Stanshall track seems to have recorded o.k. this time despite the tape being a bit chewed up. Stanshall is actually credited with the writing of What In The World (Shoop) that Billy Fury (Stormy Tempest) sings here and I've no Idea who Dante and the Evergreens are? They could even be Billy Fury in a different guise.

Here's a segment from a site about Steve Winwood who does some work on the soundtrack along with many others.

"An article in New Musical Express 10/28/72 described the project: "The film features the music of the times (before the Beatles). The Everly Brothers are seen in the picture, as are Viv Stanshall and Bill Fury who fronts a mythical band of the period. It is this band, known as the Stormy Tempest and the Typhoons, that is creating particular interest because of its star-studded line-up. The personnel is of a flexible nature and Keith Moon, Pete Townshend, Ron Wood, Graham Bond and John Hawkins have already been featured in soundtrack recordings. The NME learns this week that Stevie Winwood and Jack Bruce have now joined this array of musical talents."

The 2-LP soundtrack features three sides of oldies, ironically including Bobby Vee And The Crickets' version of "Well All Right", and one side of new material. The new tracks are credited to David Essex ("Rock On"), Billy Fury ("A Thousand Stars", "Long Live Rock", "That's All Right Mama", "Get Yourself Together", "What Did I Say"), Viv Stanshall ("Real Leather Jacket"), Stormy Tempest ("What In The World (Shoop)"), Eugene Wallace ("Slow Down"), and Wishfull Thinking ("It'll Be Me"). Steve did not appear in the film. To date, the album has only been re-issued on an incomplete bootleg CD. Our assessment is that Steve probably played organ on "That's All Right Mama" and "Get Yourself Together", and possibly piano on Ray Charles' "What Did I Say"."

Here's Side Three of a four sided cassette which includes -

1. That'll Be The Day - Bobby Vee & The Crickets
2. Born Too Late - The Ponitails
3. Wake Up Little Suzy - Everly Brothers
4. Sealed With A Kiss - Brian Hyland
5. Real Leather Jacket - Viv Stanshall
6. At The Hop - Danny & The Juniors
7. Ally Oop - Dante & The Evergreens
8. What In The World (Shoop) - Stormy Tempest
9. That's Alright Mama - Billy Fury
10.Get Yourself Together - Billy Fury

Discover more about Billy Fury HERE.

That'll Be The Day - Side 3

Captain Beefheart 1941 - 2010

An old bootleg tape with various odds and ends from Don Van Vliet and various bands including early work with Frank Zappa. I was lucky enough to see Captain Beefheart and his Magic Band back in the early 70's at the Royal Albert Hall ( with Foghat who were awful ) and it was amazing - even better live than on record despite the sound problems. Always a fan since hearing a terrific session on the John Peel show in 1967.

Wikipedia says -

"Born January 15, 1941(1941-01-15)
Glendale, California, U.S.
Died December 17, 2010(2010-12-17) (aged 69)
Arcata, California, U.S.[1]
Genres Experimental rock, blues-rock, avant-garde, psychedelic rock, progressive rock,[2] free jazz, protopunk, surrealist, spoken word, outsider, alternative rock,
Occupations Songwriter, singer, musician, artist, poet, lyricist, composer, record producer, film director
Instruments Vocals, harmonica, saxophone, clarinet, oboe, french horn, shehnai, recorder, flute, piccolo, piano
Years active 1964–1982
Labels A&M, Buddah, Blue Thumb, ABC, Reprise, Straight, Virgin, Mercury, DiscReet, Warner Bros., Atlantic, Epic
Associated acts The Magic Band, Frank Zappa, The Mothers of Invention, The Tubes, Jack Nitzsche

Don Van Vliet (pronounced /væn ˈvliːt/), born Don Glen Vliet (January 15, 1941 – December 17, 2010) was an American musician, singer-songwriter and artist best known by the stage name Captain Beefheart. His musical work was conducted with a rotating ensemble of musicians he called The Magic Band, active between 1965 and 1982, with whom he recorded 12 studio albums. Noted for his powerful singing voice with its wide range, Van Vliet also played the harmonica, saxophone and numerous other wind instruments. His music blended rock, blues and psychedelia with free jazz, avant-garde and contemporary experimental composition. Beefheart was also known for exercising an almost dictatorial control over his supporting musicians, and for often constructing myths about his life.

During his teen years in Lancaster, California, Van Vliet acquired an eclectic musical taste and formed "a mutually useful but volatile" friendship with Frank Zappa, with whom he sporadically competed and collaborated. He began performing with his Captain Beefheart persona in 1964 and joined the original Magic Band in 1965. The group drew attention with their cover of Bo Diddley's "Diddy Wah Diddy", which became a regional hit. It was followed by their acclaimed debut album released in 1967 on Buddah Records, Safe as Milk. After being dropped by two consecutive record labels, they signed to Frank Zappa's newly formed Straight Records. Zappa as producer granted Beefheart the unrestrained artistic freedom in making 1969's Trout Mask Replica, ranked fifty-eighth in Rolling Stone magazine's 2003 list of the 500 greatest albums of all time. In 1974, frustrated by lack of commercial success, he released two albums of more conventional rock music that were critically panned; this move, combined with not having been paid for a European tour, and years of enduring Beefheart's abusive behavior, led to the entire band quitting. Beefheart eventually formed a new Magic Band with a group of younger musicians and regained contemporary approval through three final albums: Shiny Beast (Bat Chain Puller) (1978), Doc at the Radar Station (1980) and Ice Cream for Crow (1982).

Van Vliet has been described as "one of modern music's true innovators" with "a singular body of work virtually unrivalled in its daring and fluid creativity". Although he achieved little commercial or mainstream critical success, he sustained a cult following as a "highly significant" and "incalculable" influence on an array of New Wave, punk, post-punk, experimental and alternative rock musicians. Known for his enigmatic personality and relationship with the public, Van Vliet made few public appearances after his retirement from music (and from his Beefheart persona) in 1982 to pursue a career in art, an interest that originated in his childhood talent for sculpture. His expressionist paintings and drawings command high prices, and have been exhibited in art galleries and museums across the world. Van Vliet died in 2010 after many years of suffering from multiple sclerosis."

Captain Beefheart - Raities Side One

Charlie Gillett - Lovemore Majaivana

A City Beats radio show from 6/9/87 on Capital. Charlie's guest is Lovemore Majaivana from Zimbabwe. Excellent show with music from many Zimbabwean artists and from Lovemore's current album. We saw him in concert around this time in London and he and his band were fantastic.

Wikipedia says -

"Majaivana sang in the church choir in which his father was minister. By the age of 15 he became a drummer in a local Bulawayo band. After moving to the capital city, Salisbury (now Harare) he gave up drumming and began singing in nightclubs covering Tom Jones and Elvis Presley songs. After playing in Bulawayo for four years, he returned to Salisbury and formed his own band, [[Jobs Combination]named after Job's Nightclub (owned by then businessman Job Kadengu) where the group was the resident band].

Jobs Combination involved teaming up with blind singer Fanyana Dube, performing various popular musical idioms. They had several successful singles early on, and their debut album, Isitimela, was a big seller. Despite all this, the band broke up shortly thereafter, and Majaivana sang with the Real Sounds for about two months.

The turning point in his career came when he joined the Zulus, a band from Victoria Falls which featured two of his brothers. Finally having a stable base from which to work, Majaivana and his band released an album of traditional folk songs, Salanini Zinini, that he and his brothers had learned from their mother in 1984. From then, he progressed away from his former Western influences, and his popularity steadily grew especially in Ndebele speaking Matebeleland and Bulawayo in particular. His first international album was released in 1990."

Charlie Gillett - Lovemore Majaivana Part One

Charlie Gillett - Lovemore Majaivana Part Two

Saturday, January 01, 2011

Orchestre Sim-Sim International

An LP on the Plainis Phare label from Switzerland in 1985. The band though are from Zaire as far as I can make out from the french sleeve notes. A curious mixture of soukous and free jazz reminding at times of Albert Ayler , Captain Beefheart's Magic Band etc. Not much to glean from the web but a rough translation of the sleevenotes says-

"For everyone in Kinshasa "the old sim " hear Nsimba Vuvu - is almost an institution, long accomplice Manu Dibango in Cameroon, Nsimba returned a few years ago the country, full of plans. He set up a small studio and gets to work with numerous young talent that we re-found later in the most prominent orchestras of the city. Edited it to tens of Zaire 45 laps and was finally released in Europe with an International Sim Sim-disk lowland Zone4 lighthouse -the compositions of the "old" Nsimba reflect the eclectic musician who is imbued with the rhythms of folklore and Central Africa."

Orchestre Sim Sim - Ngogo

Orchestre Sim Sim - Nakupenda

Orchestre Sim Sim - Makom-Mese

Orchestre Sim Sim - Kokiko