Wednesday, December 30, 2009

George Van Dusen

Lots of requests for more George Van Dusen and coincidentally found a 45 of "It's Party Time Again" on the Bri-Tone label that was released in the 70's ? ( no date on it ) today in a charity shop in Chester.

Little is known of George Van Dusen and despite extensive searches on the internet have failed to find anyone who knows anything about him except that he was a renowned yodeller held in high regard and a contemporary of Harry Torrani and Ronnie Ronalde in the 30's and 40's. His "Yodelling Chinaman" track is probably his most well known and popped up on several compilations of novelty songs over the years. These tracks are from 1937 and kindly supplied by Jim Benson who will doubtless phone me up to tell me I've got it all wrong and that infact George was a dutchman who died in 1929! I love this photo of him from the only one I could find.

Since this was last blogged I had some interesting comments to say that George was born Thomas Harrington , probably in the East End of London in the early 1900's and recorded for the Rex record label. He was still perfoming well into his 80's though confined to a wheel chair. He apparently had a minor hit in the 60's but I can find no record to confirm this.

George Van Dusen - It's Party Time Again

George Van Dusen - Murphy's Wedding Day

George Van Dusen - Izzy Izzy Izzy

George Van Dusen - Holiday Time Is Jollity Time

George Van Dusen - The Yodelling Sailor

George Van Dusen - A Wee Drop Of Scotch

George Van Dusen - It's Holiday Time Again

George Van Dusen - Poloski's Russian Party

George Van Dusen - The Yiddisher Yodeller

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Bernard Cribbins

An LP on EMI Starline label from 1963. A compilation of some of his hits and the B sides. Bernard is a fine actor and can currently be seen in the latest Dr.Who series on BBC.

"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."

Discover more about Bernard Cribbins HERE.

Bernard Cribbins - Gossip Calypso

Bernard Cribbins - The Tale Of A Mouse

Bernard Cribbins - Verily

Bernard Cribbins - The Bird On The Second Floor

Bernard Cribbins - I'd Rather Go Fishing

Monday, December 28, 2009

Flanders & Swann

Another old favourite that I have neglected to upload here. Their second LP on EMI from 1963. Some great songs here including The Gas Man Cometh, Sounding Brass and In The Desert. Both sides of the LP for your listening pleasure without any breaks.

Wikipedia says-

"Flanders and Swann both attended Westminster School — where in July and August 1940 they staged a revue called Go To It[1] — and Christ Church, Oxford, two institutions which are linked by ancient tradition, but the pair went their separate ways during World War II. However, a chance meeting in 1948 led to a musical partnership writing songs and light opera, Flanders providing the words and Swann composing the music. Their songs have been sung by performers such as Ian Wallace and Joyce Grenfell.

In December 1956, Flanders and Swann hired the New Lindsey Theatre, Notting Hill, to perform their own two-man revue At the Drop of a Hat, which opened on New Year's Eve. Flanders sang a selection of the songs that they had written, interspersed with comic monologues, and accompanied by Swann on the piano. An unusual feature of their act was that, due to Flanders' having contracted poliomyelitis in 1943, both men remained seated for their shows: Swann remained behind his piano, and Flanders used a wheelchair. The show was successful and transferred the next month to the Fortune Theatre, where it ran for over two years, before touring in the UK, the United States, Canada and Switzerland.

In 1963 Flanders and Swann opened in a second revue, At the Drop of Another Hat. Over the next four years they toured a combination of the two shows in the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, the United States and Canada, before finishing up at the Booth Theatre on Broadway. On April 9, 1967 they performed their last live show together. Ten days later, they moved into a studio and recorded the show for television.

Over the course of 11 years, Flanders and Swann gave nearly 2,000 live performances. Although their performing partnership ended in 1967, they remained friends afterwards and collaborated on occasional projects."

Flanders & Swann - Side One

Flanders & Swann - Side Two

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Tommy Burton

I found this LP on the obscure Unit label at a car boot sale some time ago. I thought I had uploaded some tracks from it but looking through the archives I see that I haven't. Making ammends now.

"Tommy Burton was first and foremost an entertainer. His hero was Thomas “Fats” Waller, and he was best known for his remarkably accurate recreation of Waller’s vocal style and his command of stride piano. Burton was a popular performer at traditional jazz gatherings up and down the United Kingdom, where his ebullient presence was always a tonic.

He was born Thomas William Burton in Bilston, near Wolverhampton, on 10 January, 1935, and began to learn piano at the age of eight, then added clarinet and saxophone in his teens (he also played guitar). He played his first gigs on clarinet with band leader Pete Young in 1950, then became the pianist with Johnny Fenton and The Fentones until he was called up for national service in 1953.

He served in the RAF until 1958, and was active in leading several service bands. He also made his first radio broadcast during that period. It would be the first of many, and he was also featured in an extended engagement on BBC television’s Pebble Mill At One.

On leaving the RAF, he formed the wonderfully named Thunderfoot Burton’s Celestial Three in Walsall, and hopped on the rumbling rock and roll bandwagon for a time with his own group, The Ravemen, in which he sang and played guitar. He formed another band, the Tommy Burton Combo, in the 1960s, this time playing tenor and soprano saxophones. His best known group, however, was his Sporting House Quartet, which featured the Waller-inspired repertoire most associated with him.

He formed the band at the end of the 1960s, and carried it on into the 1990s. It provided an excellent setting for his stylish piano playing, his quirky vocals, and his often risque humour. He also played solo piano gigs, and performed in a duo with guitarist and banjo player Spats Langham for a time in the mid-90s. He visited New Orleans as a performer on several occasions from the late 1980s onward, and performed both as a solo pianist and with the local musicians there.

He ran a pub in Wolverhampton for six years from 1972-78. He suffered a stroke in 1999, but had returned to playing, and performed at the Bude Jazz Festival shortly before his death."

Tommy Burton - When The Midnight Choo Choo Leaves For Alabam

Tommy Burton - Dapper Dan ( From Dear Old Dixie Land )

Tommy Burton - Everything Is Peaches Down In Georgia

Tommy Burton - Somebody Else Not Me

Happy Monsters (Re-Up)

A really odd record I bought today at a boot sale. It was released on the Happy House label ( Made In America ) in the 60's I imagine. One side a has a story and the other is all songs ,or rather, tunes- sub funk backing tracks that have percussive intruments like bells, marracas and squeakers layered over the top in a strange haphazard fashion. The resulting mess is quite alarming! I recognise a few tunes here including James Brown's "Papa's Got A Brand New Bag". Maybe you can spot some others? Goodness knows what children thought of this when it was played at their parties!

I've had many requests for this to be uploaded again with the story side of the record - so here it is.

Happy Monsters - Story

Happy Monsters - Ooog Frug

Happy Monsters - Monster Rock

Happy Monsters - See See Monster

Happy Monsters - Clap Your Tentacles

Happy Monsters - Kiss Me Ooognight

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Xmas Podcassette

A selection from the privately pressed? tape of old xmas songs and adverts cunningly cobbled together by Eddie Gorodetsky in 1997 that someone sent me a couple of years ago.

Tracks are-

1. Christmas For Moderns - Maynard Ferguson
2. Jingle Bells - Jimmy McGriff
3. Frosty The Snowman - The Lizard Men
4. Cowboy Santa Claus - Bill Lacey & Group

Jimmy McGriff

"One of the all-time giants of the Hammond B-3, Jimmy McGriff sometimes gets lost amid all the great soul-jazz organists from his hometown of Philadelphia. He was almost certainly the bluesiest of the major soul-jazz pioneers, and indeed, he often insisted that he was more of a blues musician than a jazz artist; nonetheless, he remained eclectic enough to blur the lines of classification. His sound -- deep, down-to-earth grooves drenched in blues and gospel feeling -- made him quite popular with R&B audiences, even more so than some of his peers; what was more, he was able to condense those charms into concise, funky, jukebox-ready singles that often did surprisingly well on the R&B charts. His rearrangement of Ray Charles' "I Got a Woman" was a Top Five R&B hit in 1962, and further hits like "All About My Girl," "Kiko," and "The Worm" followed over the course of the '60s. McGriff spent much of the '70s trying to keep pace with the fusion movement, switching to various electric keyboards and adopting an increasingly smooth, polished style."

Freddy "Parrot Face" Davies

Be full of Chrishmush cheer!

Wikipedia says-

"Freddie Davies (born 21 July 1937) is a British comedian and actor. He is the grandson of Music Hall comedian Jack Herbert.

Freddie Davies was born on in Brixton, London. Evacuated in 1939 to Seend in Wiltshire and then to Torquay taken to Salford, Manchester in 1941. After National Service in the Royal Army Pay Corps. He became a stand-up comedian, after beginning his career in 1958 as a Butlins holiday camp Redcoat entertainer. He started on the cabaret circuit in 1964, when he turned professional, and he appeared on Opportunity Knocks. Sunday Night at the London Palladium. The Des O'Connor Show. The Tom Jones Show. The Bachelors Show. Blackpool Night Out. Plus many top rating Television shows in the 60s, 70s and 80s.
His act featured jokes about budgies, and he eventually picked up the nickname "Parrot Face", partly due to the faces he pulled on stage. He became known as "Freddie "Parrotface" Davies", wore a Black Homburg hat and became very popular with both the young and old alike.

From 1968 to 1971, the long-running British children's comic Buster featured a comic strip Freddie "Parrot-Face" Davies, based upon the adventures of Freddie and his "boodgies". In 1974 he had a BBC children's television series, The Small World of Samuel Tweet. Mr. Tweet worked in a pet shop in Chumpton Green, appearing with many animals during the series. He also appeared in a commercial for Trill budgie seed, with the slogan, "Trill makes budgies bounce with health".

Freddie also recorded several children's albums and stories for children. The Last of the Summer Wine actor Bill Owen wrote the lyrics to a romantic ballad called "So Lucky" which Freddie recorded and it became a hit record in Brazil, the Philippines and South America and Freddie received a Gold Record for sales in Brazil.

After a spell touring th U.S.A. he returned to the U.K and began an acting career appearing in Heartbeat, Casualty, Last of the Summer Wine, Preston Front, 2 series of Harbour Lights (as George Blade), Born and Bred, Sensitive Skin and My Family.

Freddie's films include the cult comedy classic Funny Bones, and 2004's Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban.

He now runs the "Sheep Shop" on Atholl Road in Pitlochry, Scotland, selling wool, knitting needles and Shaun The Sheep memorabelia."

Max Miller

"Max Miller, Britain's top comedian in the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, was born in Brighton, on the south coast of England in 1894. He excelled as a stand-up comic playing to large audiences in variety theatres, where his skill was such that he could hold an audience in the palm of his hand. He was master of the double entendre. He was mischievous, brash and quick-witted; he dressed over the top and he certainly lived up to the name the Cheeky Chappie. Even the poorest jokes got a laugh; his timing and delivery were legendary.

Max Miller left school at 12 and, after drifting from job to job, was called up by the army to serve in the First World War. During the war he acquired a taste of entertaining whilst performing to his fellow soldiers and, after the war, he pursued his show-business ambition starting with the occasional gig in pubs and halls. His first break came about when he joined a concert party on the Brighton sea front as a song and dance man. It was good training for the future and, from time to time, he would get the chance to tell a gag or two. The occasional booking in a London theatre followed this. His talent developed and soon he excelled as a solo performer writing his own material and composing his own songs. He rose to fame and, in the 1930s, reached the top of the bill playing all the major variety theatres including the most famous of them all, the London Palladium."

Find out more about Max Miller at this website dedicated to him HERE.

Max Miller - In Brighton 1961

Johnny Pineapple & His Orchestra

Found this EP the other day in a charity shop for a few pence. Released in 1964 on the cheapo Bravo label. Nothing much to be found out about him sadly - on the sleeve it says -

"Johnny Pineapple is a genuine Hawaiian and played in America's Stork Club for many years. The growing popularity of Hawaiian music can be attributed to the exotic flavour of its rhythms, it's drums, it's split bamboo, and it's gourds."

Unfortunately the music is at the MOR end of the exotica spectrum sounding more like the Mike Sammes Singers and Sing Something Simple version of genuine authentic hawaiian music.

Johnny Pineapple - Hilo March

Johnny Pineapple - Pretty Mermaid Of The Southern Sea

Johnny Pineapple - My Hawaiian Kula La Ni

Johnny Pineapple - Aloha Oe E Kuu Lei

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Dr. Nico

Found in Brick Lane I think some years ago this "African" label LP from 1970 is called L'Afrique Danse No.10 and one assumes there were 9 other amazingly good albums released before this one! It's by Dr. Nico & L'Orchestre African Fiesta Sukisa and here is what Wikipedia has to say about him-

"Nicolas Kasanda wa Mikalay (1939 – 1985), popularly known as Dr. Nico was a guitarist, composer and one of the pioneers of soukous music. He was born in Mikalayi, Kasai province in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. He graduated in 1957 as a technical teacher, but inspired by his musical family, he took up the guitar and in time became a virtuoso soloist.
At the age of 14 he started playing with the seminal group African Jazz, led by Joseph "Grand Kalle" Kabaselle. He became an influential guitarist (Jimi Hendrix once payed him a personal visit while on tour in Paris), and the originator of the ubiquitous Congolese guitar style, acquiring nickname "Dr Nico". African Jazz split up 1963 when Dr Nico and singer Tabu Ley Rochereau left to form L'Orchestra African Fiesta, which became one of the most popular in Africa.
He withdrew from the music scene mid 1970s following the collapse of his Belgian record label, and made a few final recordings in Togo, not long before he died in a hospital in Brussels, Belgium in 1985."

Discover more about African music HERE.

Dr. Nico - Echantillon Ya Pamba

Dr. Nico - Sizarine

Dr. Nico - Nazali Se Mobali Na Yo

Dr. Nico - Tu M'as Decu Chouchou

Dr. Nico - Bolingo Ya Sens Unique

El Disco Del Ano (Re-Up)

Here is one I uploaded before, back in 2008. It's from Colombia and dated 1980. It certainly looks very xmassy but my guess would be that it's "Hits Of The Year" and these are some of the favourites in Colombia in 1980. It makes a change from the usual Christmassy music thats churned out at the is time of year.

Wikipedia says-

"Modern Colombian music is a mixture of African, native Indigenous and European (especially Spanish) influences, as well as more modern American and Caribbean musical forms, such as Trinidadian, Cuban, and Jamaican. The national music of Colombia is said to be cumbia.
Cumbia is a mixture of Spanish and African music, the latter brought by slaves. In the 19th century, slavery was abolished and Africans, Indians and other ethnic groups mixed more fully. Styles like bambuco, vallenato and porro was especially influential. When the waltz became popular in the 19th century, a Colombian version called pasillo was invented. International Latin, a type of pop ballad, and salsa music are best-represented by Charlie Zaa and Joe Arroyo, respectively."

Alcides Diaz Con Los Piratas Sabaneros - Remolino

El Combo De Las Estrellas - Aguita De Ron

El Combo Nutibara - La Clavada

El Binomio De Oro - Mi Novia Mi Pueblo

Juan Pina Con La Revelelacion - El Pilon Guajiro

Alcides Diaz Con Los Pirajas Sabaneros - Dos Mujeres

Los Hispanos - La Cobija

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ginny Tiu

Another LP found yesterday for a few pence in a charity shop. I was attracted to the list of songs on the LP ranging from Colonel Bogey to Inka Dinka Doo - the old Schnozzle Durante number. This version is the most excruciating I have ever heard and worth the price of the LP alone!
Hard to find out much about her career except that she was born in the Phillipines and her father (who plays on the record) is a pianist too. She came to the notice of the Ed Sullivan Show around 1959 and played on that and was such a sensation she was a regular on many TV shows in the 60's including Perry Como and Danny Thomas. She also appeared with her sister in the Elvis Presley film "Girls, Girls, Girls".
She now plays piano in many of the hotels in Hawaii.

Ginny Tiu - Twelfth Street Rag

Ginny Tiu - Bamboo Dance

Ginny Tiu - Waltz In Ab

Ginny Tiu - Inka Dinka Doo

Friday, December 11, 2009

Yma Sumac

After saying I don't find much in the way of records these days lo and behold a great little EP on the Capitol label by the undoubted Queen Of Exotica Yma Sumac which I found today for 49p in a charity shop.

Wikipedia says-

Zoila Augusta Emperatriz Chávarri del Castillo was born on September 13, 1922 in Ichocán, Cajamarca, Peru. Although she claimed to have been born on September 10, "her personal assistant, who claimed to have seen her birth certificate, gave her date of birth as September 13 1922." Other dates mentioned in her various biographies range from 1921 to 1929. Some sources claim that she was not born in Ichocán, but in a nearby village or possibly, in Lima, and that her family owned a ranch in Ichocán where she spent most of her early life. Stories published in the 1950s claimed that she was an Incan princess, directly descended from Atahualpa. A story claiming that she was born Amy Camus—Yma Sumac backwards—in Brooklyn or Canada was fabricated while she was performing in New York City in the early 1950s.

Chávarri adopted the stage name of Imma Sumack (also spelled Ymma Sumack and Ima Sumack) before she left South America to go to the U.S. The stage name was based on her mother's name which was derived from Ima Shumaq, Quechua for "how beautiful!" although in interviews she claimed it meant "beautiful flower" or "beautiful girl".

Imma Sumack first appeared on radio in 1942 and married composer and bandleader, Moisés Vivanco, on June 6 of the same year. She recorded at least eighteen tracks of Peruvian folk songs in Argentina in 1943. These early recordings for the Odeon label featured Moisés Vivanco's group, Compañía Peruana de Arte, a group of forty-six Indian dancers, singers, and musicians.

In 1946, Sumack and Vivanco moved to New York City, where they performed as the Inka Taky Trio, Sumack singing soprano, Vivanco on guitar, and her cousin Cholita Rivero singing contralto and dancing. Sumack bore a son, Charles, in 1949, and was signed by Capitol Records in 1950, at which time her stage name became Yma Sumac.

The cover of Yma Sumac's debut album, Voice of the Xtabay (1950).During the 1950s, Yma Sumac produced a series of legendary lounge music recordings featuring Hollywood-style versions of Incan and South American folk songs, working with the likes of Les Baxter and Billy May. The combination of her extraordinary voice, exotic looks, and stage personality made her a hit with American audiences. Sumac appeared in a Broadway musical, Flahooley, in 1951, as a foreign princess who brings Aladdin's lamp to an American toy factory to have it repaired. The show's score was by Sammy Fain and E. Y. "Yip" Harburg, but Sumac's three numbers were the work of Vivanco with one co-written by Vivanco and Fain."

Yma Sumac - Jivaro

Yma Sumac - Sejollo

Yma Sumac - Batanga-Hailli

Yma Sumac - Wanka

Bobbie Comber

Historic recordings dubbed from 78's to tape from a great compilation on Windyridge Records that is still available I think. I've mentioned Bobbie Comber before but happy to upload these novelty songs from the 20's and the 30's.
Not much gleaned about Bobbie Comber on the interweb. He was born in 1890 and died in 1942. and was most successful with songs of a nautical nature like "Barnacle Bill The Sailor" during the 30's. He also acted in many films.

Bobbie Comber - All Hands On Deck

Bobbie Comber - He Played The Ukulele As The Ship Went Down

Bobbie Comber - The Flies Crawled Up The Window

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Slim Galliard

"Born: Bulee Gaillard, January 4, 1916, Detroit, Michigan - Died February 26, 1991 - England
Other sources including Gaillard himself have claimed he was born on 1 January 1916 in Santa Clara, Cuba. Gaillard led an adventurous childhood. On one occasion, while traveling on board a ship on which his father was steward, he was left behind in Crete when the ship sailed. His adventures became more exciting every time he recounted his tales and include activities such as professional boxer, mortician and truck driver for bootleggers. Originally based in Detroit, Gaillard entered vaudeville in the early 30s with an act during which he played the guitar while tap-dancing. Later in the decade he moved to New York and formed a duo with bassist Slam Stewart in which Gaillard mostly played guitar and sang. Much of their repertoire was original material with lyrics conceived in Gaillard's personal version of the currently popular 'jive talk', which on his lips developed extraordinary surrealist overtones. Gaillard's language, which he named 'Vout' or 'Vout Oreenie', helped the duo achieve a number of hit records, including 'Flat Foot Floogie'. Their success led to a long running radio series and an appearance in the film Hellzapoppin."

Find out more about Slim HERE

I think Slim is on the left in the photo.

Slim Galliard - Sonny Boy

Slim Galliard - Cement Mixer

Slim Galliard - Chicken Rythym

Slim Galliard - Fried Chicken O'Routie

Slim Galliard - African Jive

Cosmotheka - (re-up)

Cosmotheka sing a few old favourites from the days of music hall on their 1992 BBC radio show "Cosmotheka's Comedy Songbook" live from the Palace Theatre , Redditch in the West Midlands.

"For those of us that had the pleasure of witnessing the ‘act’ that was Cosmotheka (Dave & Al Sealey) should count ourselves lucky. I say this in the knowledge that I, along with countless others will recall with nostalgia the songs set before us for the first time on CD. So, congratulations to Graham Bradshaw at Folksound for issuing it. I won’t re-trace the history of the duo (Dave does that in the accompanying booklet) but needless to say a majority of the most popular numbers from their extensive repertoire appear here. To name-check a few, we have ‘Wot A Mouth’, ‘Don’t Do It Again, Matilda’, ‘Thuthie’ and ‘Wot I Want Is A Proper Cup Of Coffee’. Dave and Al’s tireless pursuit of the rich music hall heritage that was so much a part of Britain’s social structure is a testament to all song collectors. I reflect with fondness my particular association with the duo when I was asked to play a difficult banjo break on one of their recordings and all the encouragement they gave me in completing the task. Without the likes of Cosmotheka, the world of folk music (which they embraced as much as the music halls) would be a poorer scene. Sadly Al passed away in 1999 leaving a legacy of recordings that if they were to be released today would bring a smile to the sternest of critics. Perhaps now the ball has started rolling someone somewhere will re-issue all of Cosmotheka’s back catalogue."

Buy the CD of some of their best known songs HERE.

Cosmotheka - Radio Session 1980's

Cosmotheka - Guest Spot Radio 2 1986

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Mickey Katz

I already uploaded a couple of tracks from another great LP last year but had some requests for more. How could I refuse? These tracks are from a CD called "Mickey Katz Greatest Shticks" and full of some great yiddish flavoured novelty songs.

"Long before Allan Sherman and Woody Allen showered the public with Yiddish slang -- and decades before the klezmer revival breathed new life into a once-popular ethnic music -- a little clarinetist with a lot of chutzpah blazed the trail, exposing "crossover" audiences to the language and the melodies of his forebears with a series of English-Yiddish parody records.

Being Jewish "was always popular in my house," recalled Mickey Katz, who embraced his heritage from the early days of his career. "The only people it wasn't popular with were those who were frightened." Among those who were displeased with him for being open about his religious persuasion was the Jewish editor of Variety, who reprimanded Katz for "defiling" the legend of Davy Crockett when the bandleader's parody "Duvid Crockett" became a hit record.

Katz made a lot of people uncomfortable in the 1940s and '50s. He was too ethnic for many Jews of his generation who couldn't shed their Old World roots fast enough, and too much of a comedian for the purists -- a strange hybrid of Naftule Brandwein and Spike Jones they didn't quite dig."

Mickey Katz - Duvid Crockett

Mickey Katz - Knish Doctor

Mickey Katz - Borscht Riders In The Sky

Mickey Katz - Old Black Smidgick

The Great "Hee Haw" Disk

Delving into the archives now in the run up to Crimble as the boot sales have fizzled out and the charity shops have less and less of tapes and vinyl to root through.
Not sure where this originated but a fine compilation of cockney rock and novelty songs from the 70's and 80's including diverse "talents" such as Laurie Lingo & The Dipsticks, The Wurzels to Alfie Bass and Bernie Winters.

Discover more about Jackie Lynton HERE

Discover more about Ricky Cool HERE

Discover more about The Firm HERE

Jackie Lynton - Don't Try To Make Me Love You Tonight

Ricky Cool - You're Not My Type

Wolfie Witcher - No Money Down

The Firm - Arthur Daley

Cockney 'n' Westerns - She's No Angel

Friday, December 04, 2009

Fred Douglas - (re-Up)

Not really a boot sale find but an excuse to upload some novelty songs by Fred Douglas who I know nothing about except he made lots of cover versions of hits on the cheap Regal label that sold in Woolworths I believe back in the 30's and 40's. Later they had the Embassy label which did a similar service - all the pop hits of the day by obscure singers who nobody had ever heard of! Fred Douglas went by many other nome de plumes, some say as many as 60 including the comedy duo The Two Gilberts.

Chris Gavin says of The Two Gilberts -

"Almost nothing is known about this comedy duo, but it can be surmised from their recordings that the people making up the pairing varied with time. The odd thing is that the Two Gilberts appear at a time when comedy duettists had just about died out in terms of popularity. Harry Cove & Billy Thompson had dominated the recording studios (along with the likes on Will Brockton, Jack Charman, Stanley Kirkby, Lionel Rothery etc) with their duet records from before WWI. People with a good ear claim that Fred Douglas, a prolific maker of records in his own name, is always one of the pair. Recently it has been claimed that the most regular duo were Fred Douglas and Leslie Rome.

Interestingly, both Cove and Thompson were mainstays of The Two Gilberts at different times. Thompson seems to be Douglas's first partner before Cove took over in mid-1924. Recordings by Tom Gilbert exist, usually paired with recordings of the Two Gilberts, these records issued as by Tom Gilbert are also by Fred Douglas; the Regal company obviously dreamt up the name as a tie-in with the duettists as well as issuing record under Douglas's own name.

It seems that about these artists: Douglas, Thompson & Cove, very little is known as they spent pretty well the whole of their careers as recording artists, generally looked down upon by collectors and researchers as "of no historical importance or interest"."

The Two Gilberts - Santiago

Fred Douglas - My Wife Is On A Diet

Fred Douglas - I love Me, I'm Wild About Myself

Fred Douglas - Dirty Hands - Dirty Face

Thursday, December 03, 2009

Leslie Holmes


"Leslie Holmes showed signs of being musical as soon as he could toddle, and as a boy he could play on the piano a tune he heard whistled in the street. After the first world war, he joined Henry Hall's band and broadcast with them in 1925. He later became a composer."

Very little is known about Leslie Holmes but he did join up with Leslie Sarony (someone who will feature here later I'm sure) to form The Two Leslies who had a few hits back in the thirties.
These two tracks though are from 78's transcribed to Cd by a friend of mine. They are over 70 years old so please forgive sound quality.

Leslie Holmes - The Squires Wedding Day

Leslie Holmes - I've Gone And Lost My Little Yo-Yo

Leslie Holmes - Build A Little Home

Friday, November 20, 2009

Frank Crumit

"b. 26 September 1889, Jackson, Ohio, USA, d. 7 September 1943, Longmeadow, Massachusetts, USA. Crumit's early career took a somewhat unusual route from the Culver Military Academy, Indiana, via the University of Ohio, into vaudeville as the One Man Glee Club. First recording in 1919 for the Columbia label, he later signed for Victor Records in 1924 and shortly after for Decca. Crumit played the ukulele, sang in a soft, warm voice, and was especially noted for his performance of novelty numbers, such as A Gay Caballero, Abdul Abulbul Amir (and the follow-ups, The Return Of… and The Grandson Of . . .), The Prune Song, There's No One With Endurance Like The Man Who Sells Insurance, Connie's Got Connections In Connecticut, Nettie Is The Nit-Wit Of The Networks and What Kind Of A Noise Annoys An Oyster?. He is supposed to have written thousands of songs and adapted many others such as Frankie And Johnny and Little Brown Jug to suit his individual style. Crumit enjoyed great popularity throughout the '20s and '30s, appearing in several Broadway shows, including GREENWICH VILLAGE FOLLIES. He also appeared in TANGERINE with his future wife, Julia Sanderson. They married in 1927 and retired from show business for two years. Following their comeback in 1929, they were extremely successful together on radio in the '30s as the Singing Sweethearts, and in 1939 began THE BATTLE OF THE SEXES game show which continued until Crumit's death in 1943."

Frank Crumit - Connie's Got Connections In Connecticut

Frank Crumit - A Gay Caballero

Frank Crumit - Sissy

Frank Crumit - Abdul Abulbul Amir

Frank Crumit - Nettie Is The Nit-Wit Of The Networks

Frank Crumit - King Of Borneo

Monday, November 16, 2009

Piano Jazz - Barrel House and Boogie Woogie

An LP on the Coral label I picked up in a Woolies sale about 38 years ago . I have always had a soft spot for some boogie woogie piano and some prime examples here by the likes of Pine Top Smith, Montana Taylor, Speckled Red and Cow Cow Davenport etc.

The copious sleeve notes say-

"Whoever thought of the word "boogie-woogie" (generally credited to Pinetop Smith who first used it on a recording included here ) certainly hit on one of those ideally onomatopoeic words. The forceful reetitious character of the word is boogie-woogie exactly, which relies on it's insistent bass figure for most of it's character and a blues-like repetition of the treble figure, more percussive than melodic. The conformity to the eight-to-the-bar bass and the twelve bar blues sequence might be thought to constrict the music; on the contrary it gives the utmost freedom and an endless permutation of variations which some of the modernist with their eleutheromania have failed to see."

It goes on -

"Montana Taylor made Detroit Rocks and Indiano Avenue Stomp for Vocalion in Chicago on April23, 1929. Nothing is known of his life; like so many folk artists he was active before the historians got to work and, if it hadn't been for these recordings we would have known nothing of him.

Speckled Red, whose real name is Rufus Perryman, is no less mysterious in origin. The Dirty Dozens No.1 was recorded in 1929 and No. 2 in 1930, and are his own compositions built around an old folklore rhyme which comprised of a set way of insulting and being insulted by someone with whom you'd had a bitter quarrel....

Romeo Nelson completes a trio of jazz ghosts. He was known to have lived in Chicago and recorded a few songs for Vocalion in 1929. Head Rag Hop, made on September 3rd that year, is a piano jazz classic on which Nelson makes the spoken commentary as well as playing, in an exciting and intricate piece of music."

Montana Taylor - Detroit Boogie

Montana Taylor - Indiana Avenue Stomp

Speckled Red - The Dirty Dozen No. 1

Speckled Red - The Dirty Dozen No. 2

Speckled Red - Wilkins Street Stomp

Romeo Nelson - Head Rag Hop

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Eddy Okonta

An LP found some years ago in Brick Lane flea market. Nigerian highlife on the Phonodisk label from the 80's one assumes from the album title "Page One '81".
Here's the first side in all it's pressed off centre glory.

Remembering Eddy Okonta, the Obi of trumpet
By Benson Idonije

"IF Eddy Okonta, the late great trumpeter and highlife musician were still alive, today's musicians would be learning the technique of articulating 'rhythm' as an essential musical component at his feet. While he lived, he pretty well appreciated the fact that the main essence of African music is 'rhythm' and he used it to full advantage, thoroughly Africanising his own brand of highlife in the process.

He had served an initial apprenticeship with the Sammy Akpabot Sexlet, an aggregation that revolved this same name even as it increased or diminished with time. He was there with the late Oba Funso Adeolu on auto and tenor saxophones. He enjoyed sharing solos with him while bandleader Akpabot himself provided an ideal background for highlife and dance music to blossom with his dexterity on the vibraphone, an instrument which only Akpabot could play at the time in the whole of West Africa.

As an instrument, the vibes has a special way of resonating sounds and floating them through harmonies and arrangements. But Eddy's high notes helped to put all the reverberation in check for dancing and easy listening.

Eddy later served a long term of apprenticeship with the late Bobby Benson of Africa, this time culminating in outstanding professional musicianship, with proficiency in arranging and composing. He not only put the final polish to his accomplishment with the Bobby Benson Jam Session where he stood out the way Chief Bill Friday and Zeal Onyia before him did, his artisting now reached its apotheosis in the area of improvisational design. He began to use the vast resources of his creativity to construct solos that contained revolutionary melodic language and rhythmic subtlety.

As one of the pioneering big bands in the country, the Bobby Benson Jam session offered all its graduates a well rounded musical experience and discipline as they were exposed to all dance music forms including swing, Latin American , Jazz, Afro Cuban, the ball room type that dominated the colonial era with the music of Joe Loss and Victor Sylvester, and all."

Eddy Okonta - Otanjele

Eddy Okonta - Sweet Sherry

Eddy Okonta - Enjoyment

The City Quads (re-up)

I can't believe I haven't uploaded some tracks from this LP before. Its one I found at Brick Lane flea market many years ago for a few pence. Its on the Polydor label and made in what was Rhodesia and is now a troubled Zimbabwe. Sleeve printed in Germany. No date but imagine it would be late 50's or early 60's.

No info. on the internet so just a little information on the sleeve notes.

" Polydor presents a unique collection of popular African tunes sung ina variety of native languages by one of the best known vocal groups in Rhodesia, The City Quads. The performance you hear on this LP could be called a mixture of African folklore and pop songs of a kind one is always likely to hear wherever people gather together in an African township."

The music in particular-

LINDEA - (sung in Shona ) Love songs are always popular, and this one is a most tender example.

LIZOFIKANINI LANGA - (sung in Sindebele ) This is a sort of non-political spiritual and tells of an oppressed people's longing for the day when they will be free.

IDALALAKECE - (sung in Sindebele ) Now we have a gay wedding song. There is much shouting and cheering because the young girl is to be married.

BALELE EYAYA - (sung in Sindebele ) This is a son g about a policeman who is alays pounding the beat and writin g in his little book, but who never has time to write home to his family.

LA MULELA - ( sung in Xhosa ) Here we have a song about animals fighting; "unless they are broken apart one of them will have his tail cut off!"

RUDO - (sung in Shona ) The lyrics of this song say: "There couldn't be anyone better than you. Your love haunts me even when you are not there."

NYATELU UGIHILE - (sung in Xhosa ) Another wedding song. Here we are told it is customary for a girl to sing the first song.

The City Quads - Lindea

The City Quads - Lizofikanini Langa

The City Quads - Idalalakece

The City Quads - Balele Ekaya

The City Quads - La Mulela

The City Quads - Rudo

The City Quads - Nyatelu Ugihile

Asiawaka Brass Band (re-up)

I think this LP on the Drobisco label was found at Brick Lane in the 80's or 90"s. Not sure of the date. Ghanain "Highlife" played on brass instruments which is unusual I think - I certainly havent found any others. The internet isn't much help this time and no mention of Asiakwa except that it is a village in Ghana.

Discover more about the music of Ghana HERE.

Asiawaka Brass Band - Nsuo Amona

Bobby Thompson ( The Little Waster ) (re-up )

I found this today in the Age Concern shop for 75p. The accent is a bit hard going at times and one can see why he really didn't mean much outside of his North East England patch.

"Famous for his broad North-east accent, self-deprecating humour and mastery of the mother-in-law joke, Thompson was affectionately known as The Little Waster due to his short stature. His most famous outfit was a worn out stripey jumper and flat cap. His ever-present Woodbine cigarette stub, hanging from the corner of his mouth, was also an integral part of his on-stage persona.

His attempts to move beyond North East England were limited by his accent and the regional bias of his humour, although he did enjoy some success with the BBC show, Wot Cheor Geordie, and with regular appearances on Sunday Night at the London Palladium."

He was also renowned for his problems with the tax man. He incorporated this in his stage act.

Problems with drink, finances and his health affected his career in the 1970s, but he remained a North East favourite, particularly on the club scene, until shortly before his death.

Discover more about Bobby Thompson HERE.

Buy CD's and DVD's at his son Keith's site HERE.

Bobby Thompson - The Army

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Adge Cutler & The Wurzels

I found this some time ago in a local charity shop for 75p. I have uploaded some tracks before by the Wurzels but they have long since dried up. This was on the Starline label culled from tracks frommthe 60's and the early 70's called "Don't Tell I, Tell 'Ee".

"Born Alan John Cutler in Bristol in 1930, he spent his early life in the small town of Nailsea in Somerset, and one of his first jobs involved working for a local cider mill — but, influenced by Len Uke Thomas (a local Bristol comic singer and entertainer) and a stint on the road as Acker Bilk's road manager, he took to a career in music. Armed only with a few songs he had written, in June 1966 he approached agent John Miles, who helped put together the band the Wurzels with guitarist and banjo player Reg Quantrill, accordionist Reg Chant, double bass player John Macey, and Brian Murphy on the wurzelphone — in reality a tuba. One of the first songs they played live was Cutler's composition "Twice Daily" — about a shotgun wedding between a young farmhand and the farmer's daughter Lucy Bailey — which was later to be banned from radio play by the BBC owing to its risqué lyrical content.

Encouraged by the local sales in the West Country, EMI nationally released the single "Drink Up Thy Zider" backed with "Twice Daily" and saw it scrape into the bottom of the chart at number 45, quickly followed by the album Adge Culter & the Wurzels, mostly recorded at the Royal Oak pub in Nailsea and including both sides of the single as well as humorous songs "Champion Dung Spreader," "Hark at 'Ee Jacko," "The Mixer Man's Lament," and "When the Common Market Comes to Stanton Drew." The album climbed to number 38 in the LP charts. After this brief foray into the national charts, the band returned to performing live concerts locally in Somerset. Cutler was a lifelong supporter of the Bristol city football club, and one of his songs, "Morning Glory," was changed to "One for the Bristol City," which the team used to fire itself up before each game.

On the May 5, 1974, following a Wurzels concert, Adge Cutler overturned his car on a roundabout in Chepstow and died from his injuries. Following his death, the Wurzels continued as a trio, by then featuring a completely different lineup of Tommy Banner, Tony Baylis, and Pete Budd. Amazingly, they enjoyed a period of chart success in the long hot summer of 1976, including even the number one single "Combine Harvester (Brand New Key)," based on the Melanie hit with new lyrics written by Brendan O'Shaughnessy, and the Top Three single "I Am a Cider Drinker," based on a holiday hit from the previous year, "Una Paloma Blanca."

Discover more about Adge Cutler & the Wurzels HERE.

Adge Cutler & The Wurzels - Side One

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Clinton Ford 1931 - 2009

Clinton Ford, whose real name was George Harrison strangely enough was born in 1931 in Salford near Manchester in the North West of England.
"Clinton will now be best remembered for his novelty song, "Fanlight Fanny"- a recording he made while he was with Oriole, a minor label which had association with the Woolworth's budget record brand, 'Embassy'. In fact Clinton Ford was one of Oriole's most successful artists for a while, and "Fanlight Fanny" looked like Clinton's break into the big time. Sadly, it never quite happened.

Like many other artists of the time, Clinton had first excercised his entertainment ambitions by becoming a 'redcoat' at Butlins. Although his own leanings were towards country and western material, he began singing with traditional jazz bands and skiffle groups. This appears to have influenced his style somewhat and much of his best work was done in the company of trad groups like the Merseysippi Jazz Band and George Chisholm for example. Clinton's choice of recorded material was certainly diverse- with everything from the country flavoured sentimental 'Old Shep' and his confident interpretation of 'Run To The Door' through the most outrageous novelties like 'The Old Bazaar In Cairo' and even George Formby's 'Why Don't Women Like Me'."

Clinton Ford - Where Did Robinson Crusoe Go With Friday On Saturday Night

Clinton Ford - What A Little Moonlight Can Do

Clinton Ford - Yaaka Hula Hickey Dula

Clinton Ford - Huggin' And A Chalkin'

Clinton Ford - My Little Bimbo

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Neville Dickie

I found this at the boot sale recently and attracted immediatley by the cover. I love Fats Waller anyway so wondered what Neville had done to these great old tunes. Turns out he did a pretty good job despite no vocals. Certainly better than most "honky tonk" style pub pianists and probably better than Mrs. Mills, Russ Conway and Bobby Crush. Nice guitar too by Brian Fahey. No drummers name on the sleeve notes. An EMI label record from 1970.

Wikipedia says-

"After serving in the RAF, Dickie left Durham and moved to London, where he began playing piano for small wages in various pubs. It was only after Doreen Davies, who was head of BBC Radio 2, noticed him at a BBC audition that he took a notable stride in his musical career. He has played on hundreds of BBC Radio broadcasts.

Dickie has produced scores of records and can be heard on hundreds of jazz recordings, as well as several recordings with the French pianist, Louis Mazetier. Dickie had a Top 40 UK hit single in 1969 with "Robin's Return" on the Major Minor Records label (MM 644). It reached number 33 on the UK Singles Chart.

His 1975 album, Back to Boogie, sold more than 100,000 copies.[1] Dickie remains active, performing in the London area with his trio and with a band, the Rhythmakers, that he formed in 1985."

Neville Dickie - Carolina Shout

Neville Dickie - When Somebody Thinks You're Wonderful

Neville Dickie - Keepin' Out Of Mischief Now

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Frank Ferera and Anthony Franchini

My other half found this on a boot sale the other day. I almost dismissed it as a piano duet but it turns out to be two hawaiian guitars and the sound is quite charming despite the ravages of time.

"Frank Ferera introduced steel guitar and slide guitar playing to an audience that was literally worldwide since many of his recordings were issued outside the United States. He was not the first Hawaiian guitarist to record. That was probably Joseph Kekuku, the steel guitar's reputed inventor (credit has also been given to James Hoa and Gabriel Davion), who performed with Toots Paka's Hawaiian troupe on Edison cylinders, both two- and four-minute, announced in the December 1909 issue of Edison Phonograph Monthly. Another predecessor was W.K. Kolomku, whose guitar solo of "Hawaiian Melodies" was issued on Victor 65341. But Ferera was the first guitarist to enjoy success as a recording artist, his name a familiar one in the catalogs of virtually all record companies of the World War I era and 1920s. His style of playing was a forerunner of bottleneck playing on blues records and "steel" playing on country records, and his popular records must have influenced many guitarists of his generation.

Hawaiian music had been recorded as early as the 1890s but was not especially popular or influential until the World War I era. The most complete examination of pioneer Hawaiian recordings is L.E. Andersen's "Hawaiian Recordings: The Early Years" in Victrola and 78 Journal (Issue 7, Winter 1996). Andersen writes, "The recording industry at first paid little attention to authentic Hawaiian repertoire...The first major offering of Hawaiian repertoire appears to have been made by the American Record Co. of Springfield, Massachusetts and New York City. These are on 10-5/8 inch blue single-sided 'Indian label' discs. By 1904 several Hawaiian troupes were performing in various mainland cities including New York, where American's Hawaiian recordings apparently were made late in that year or early in 1905."

Ferera & Franchini - Dream Kiss

Ferera & Franchini - Isle Of Paradise

Saturday, October 03, 2009

Fairport Convention

A double cassette I found today in a charity shop for a couple of quid. Not sure how rare it is but it says it's an "official bootleg of the 1987 Fairport reunion at Croprety : Oxfordshire".
Those taking part were Simon NIcol, Dave Pegg, Dave Mattacks,Ric Sanders, Martin Allcock with guests Ian Anderson, Martin barre, jerry Donahue,Cathy LeSurf, Richard Thompson, Dave Swarbrick and June Tabor.

I have a soft spot for early Fairports when they were breaking bounderies with early folk/rock fusions. Later on they became rather too folky for my taste and with the loss of Richard Thompson much of the driving force went out of the group.

This live set though is sprinkled with some nice tunes and the Richard Thompson songs "Hand Of Kindness" and "Saturday Rolling Around" make it all worthwhile.

Their official website says of their early days-

"Fairport Convention played its first concert in a church hall in May 1967. Based in suburban north London, the group had coalesced around bass guitarist Ashley 'Tyger' Hutchings.

The youngsters 'convened' for rehearsals at a house named Fairport, the family home of rhythm guitarist Simon Nicol. Thus was born the name of a band that has endured for nearly four decades.

As well as Hutchings and Nicol, there was lead guitarist Richard Thompson and Shaun Frater on drums.

However, that initial line-up only played the one gig. A young drummer, Martin Lamble, was in the church hall audience and he convinced the band that he could do a better job than the incumbent. It was the first of the bewildering flurry of line-up changes that characterised Fairport's first fifteen years.

Fairport soon augmented its line-up with a female singer, Judy Dyble, which set it apart from the dozens of other bands springing up from the fast-moving youth culture of that summer.

Fairport found no shortage of work and was soon a regular act at underground venues such as The Electric Garden, Middle Earth and UFO.

The band had only been playing a few months when they caught the ear of Joe Boyd who secured them a contract with Island Records. Boyd suggested they augment the line-up with another male vocalist and so Iain Matthews joined the band and the first album, Fairport Convention, came out before the end of 1967.

At this early stage, Fairport looked to America for material and inspiration. "The two lead vocalist approach appealed to us," Matthews recalls. "and because of our name and onstage presence, lots of people thought we were American, and we were not about to attempt to dispel that presumption." This led to the band being dubbed 'the British Jefferson Airplane'."

Fairport Convention - John Barleycorn

Fairport Convention - The Hiring Fair

Fairport Convention - Bridge Of Sighs

Fairport Convention - Shame Of Doing Wrong

Fairport Convention - Hand Of Kindness

Fairport Convention - Saturday Rolling Around

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Stanley Holloway

A CD found recently at a boot sale. Still available I think if you search for it on the Avid label. 2001. Mostly the monologues that he was famous for but with a few novelty/ music hall songs thrown in for good measure.

Wikipedia says-

"He was born in Manor Park, Essex (now Greater London), England, and attended The Worshipful School of Carpenters in Stratford.

His Mother Florrie was a housekeeper and his father George was a Lawyers Clerk. He had one sister called Millie.

His first job was as a junior clerk in a boot polish factory called "Everitts Nutta and Jetta"" where he earnt ten shillings a week. His second job was again as a clerk but this time at Billingsgate fish market. Whilst working there, he began his performing career as "Master Stanley Holloway -- The Wonderful Boy Soprano", from 1907. He began performing in end of pier concert parties at English east coast seaside resorts, including Walton-on-the-Naze and Clacton-on-Sea where he appeared for three years in Bert Graham and Will Bentley's concert party at the West Cliff Theatre in 1910.

He was then recruited by established comedian Leslie Henson to feature as a support in Henson’s own more prestigious concert-party performing in "Nicely, Thanks" in 1911.

He then planned a career as a singer in 1913 and went to Milan to train his voice, but realized that this wasn't for him and returned home. He then followed his heart and carried on in light entertainment.

In 1914 when World War I was in full swing, he enlisted in the Connaught Rangers infantry regiment. Upon joining he was immediately commissioned as a Second lieutenant. This was because a few years earlier he had had some training as a private in the London rifle Brigade.

Although an estimated 2,500 members of this regiment were killed during the Great War, Holloway survived and immediately began singing and acting in London's music halls and theaters, performing at the Winter Garden as Captain Wentworth in Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse's Kissing Time in 1919, and as Rene in A Night Out in 1920.

After the war he joined the Royal Irish Constabulary in 1920 as a Temporary Constable but left by the beginning of 1921. The 'Temporary Constables' of the RIC are more generally remembered as the 'Black and Tans'.

After the war, he found his first big success in the show The Co-Optimists which ran from 1921 until 1927 and was then filmed in 1929. A second run of the show from 1929 developed his comic song and monologue repertoire, which launched his recording career with records of his own created character, "Sam Small," and Marriott Edgar's "The Ramsbottoms" selling world wide.

Holloway established himself as a BBC radio personality in 1923 and developed his solo act throughout the 1920s while continuing his involvement with the musical theater and [The Co-Optimists]]. He was cast as Bill Smith in the London production of Vincent Youmans' musical comedy Hit the Deck (1927), in Song of the Sea (1928), and in Coo-ee (1929). He began recording his monologues for the phonograph market in the early '30s. Based on colorful "North Country" characters named Albert and the Ramsbottoms (by George Marriott Edgar) and Sam Small (whom Holloway created), these remarkable recitations were couched in rhyming stanzas. Apart from speaking the monologues, Holloway would often sing the verses, carefully sticking to the words but always characterizing them in his own special way. Other contributors who would write with Holloway included Greatrex Newman, Robert Patrick Weston, and Bert Lee."

Stanley Holloway - The Future Mrs. 'awkins

Stanley Holloway - The Parson Of Puddle

Stanley Holloway - Guarding The Gasworks

Stanley Holloway - My Missus

Sunday, September 06, 2009

The Savannah Jazz Band

Another trad jazz cassette from the boot sale a couple of weeks ago for 25p. Reminds me of the Temperence Seven and trad jazz revival of the 50's.

Their website says-

"The Savannah is without doubt one of the most popular UK bands around. With their talent for satisfying listeners and dancers alike they have built up a truly international reputation at major festivals in the UK and overseas.

The band's driving and exciting New Orleans style attracts large audiences whenever they play. Their many fans follow them from festival to festival and turn out devotedly to see them at regular venues in the UK. This tremendous support is very much appreciated by the band.

Demand for their music has prompted regular recordings on tape and CD. To date, 18 recordings have been made of the band, 12 live concerts and 6 in the studio by Lake Records. Their CDs sell like hot cakes. Other 'goodies' such as Polo Shirts, Sweatshirts, and even ladies Knickers sporting the Savannah logo were once a popular line - a sure sign of the band's popularity, all sadly discontinued.

Their music can be heard as far away as New Zealand and America and they have travelled to Holland, Germany, Denmark. Finland, Majorca, Canada and all parts of the UK, delighting new audiences and collecting loyal supporters along the way.

However, the band's reputation has not suddenly emerged; it has been hard earned and well-deserved for nearly 3 decades. Formed in 1979, The Savannah started their swinging Thursday night sessions at the Station Tavern at the railway station in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, which has now come to an end.

Fortunately their dedication and ability has steamed ahead, and a residency continues at the Royal British Legion , Golcar where on the first Thursday of each month the band can be seen and heard for a relatively small entrance fee.

The Savannah Jazz Band is as much a musicians' band as it is a magnet for its impressive number of loyal fans. Over the years the band has enjoyed playing with some very fine and talented musicians and the genuine admiration that exists between Savannah and the many guests who have joined them is mutual. This tradition is continued at the Royal British Legion, Golcar."

Tracks include - Only A Beuatiful Picture, Love Songs Of The Nile, Creole Blues, I Double DareYou, Chloe, Home Sweet Home, I get The Blues When It Rains, Let Me Call You Sweetheart.

The Savannah Band - Side Two

Thursday, September 03, 2009

Charleston Chasers

A cassette on the Sovereign label from 1994 found at the boot sale this week. A medley above includes songs Ain't She Sweet, I Wanna Be Loved By You and Varsity Drag.
Their website says -

"The Charleston Chasers, a ten piece band who are led by percussionist and vocalist Debbie Arthurs, play hot vintage music like you have never heard before! The Chasers, formed in 1987, are the spearhead band for music from the Art Deco era, so it was no surprise when they were chosen to play at the launch party for the Art Deco Exhibition at London's Victoria and Albert Museum. Some 800 invited guests were returned to the great age of artistic and musical creativity and to great acclaim, The Chasers drove new life into old numbers.

The Charleston Chasers hot vintage music show has been seen in some of the UK's finest theatres with guest presenters David Jacobs, Eric Knowles and Angela Ripon. The show features the well- known tunes of the day,including numbers by Fats Waller, George Gershwin, Charlie Kunz and Hoagy Carmichael, and are performed by top-flight musicians and sung by vivacious vocalists.

The Charleston Chasers have appeared at International Arts Festivals in Bath, Cheltenham, Edinburgh Leicester, Lichfield, and performed at open-air concerts for English Heritage, The National Trust and many fund raising events. European Festivals have warmly welcomed The Chasers. Two visits to Switzerland, as well as Holland and Denmark have had audiences clamouring for more of The Chasers music. The Chasers recordings are regularly played on BBC Radio 2 courtesy of Desmond Carrington, Russell Davies and David Jacobs."

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Spitting Image

A cassette on the EMI label from 1990 - a compilation of songs from the satirical puppet series Spitting Image that was popular throughout the 80's and 90's on TV.
Many of the voice artistes involved went on to become famous in there own right later on - people like Chris Barrie, Steve Coogan, Hugh Dennis and Harry Enfield to name but a few.

"The premiere of Spitting Image opened with a puppet caricature of Israel's prime minister Menachem Begin wearing a magician's outfit. With a flourish, he produced a dove of peace from his top hat, then announced, "For my first trick . . ."--and wrung its neck.

This was the first of many outrages perpetrated on the British public, who were either offended or delighted each Sunday evening from 1984 to 1992. Spitting Image was roundly condemned for its lampooning of the Royal family: the Queen was portrayed as a harried housewife, beset by randy, dullard children and screaming grandkids. Britain's most cherished figure, the Queen Mother, appeared as a pleasant, if somewhat boozy great-grams.

The Conservative leadership was a constant target: Margaret Thatcher's puppet was a needle-nosed Reagan groupie who consulted with Hitler on immigration policy and sold off England's infrastructure to baying packs of yuppies and her eventual successor, John Major, was portrayed as a dull, totally grey man who ate nothing but peas. The opposition Labour leaders, including Neil Kinnock as "Kinnochio," were pilloried for their inability to challenge decades of Tory rule.

In spite of its detractors, over 12 million viewers (a quarter of England's adult population) watched Spitting Image on Central Independent Television, a subsidiary of ITV. Its spin-off records, books, comics and videos sold in the million. It won an International Emmy for "Outstanding Popular Arts" program in the 1985-86 season, and a franchised edition appeared on Moscow television. "

Spitting Image - Apart-Aid

Spitting Image - I'm Sure Livin' Since I Died

Spitting Image - The Estate Agent Song

Spitting Image - The Mad Song

Spitting Image - We're The Has-Beens

Spitting Image - The Chicken Song

Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Philicorda Rhythm Record

Another 45rpm EP from the boot sale that I couldn't resist for 25p. On the Philips label from the 60's. A disc to play along to while you tickle the ivories on your Philicorda organ. A forerunner of the built in rhythm device that most electric keyboards have now in abundance.

Philicorda - Quick-step

Philicorda - Fox Trot

Philicorda - Rumba

Bouzouki Songs

This EP on the Odeon label caught my eye yesterday at the boot sale. It's pretty much what I expected. A holiday souvenir from Greece in the 60's or 70's I imagine.

"In Greece, this instrument was known as the pandura or pandourion, also called the "trichordo" because it had three strings; it was the first fretted instrument known, forerunner of the various families of lutes worldwide. The source of our knowledge about this instrument is the Mantineia marble (4th century BC, now exhibited at the National Archaeological Museum of Athens), depicting the mythical contest between Apollo and Marsyas, where a pandouris is being played by a muse seated on a rock.

From Byzantine times it was called the tambouras. The modern Turkish Tanbur is practically identical to the ancient Greek pandouris. On display in the National Historical Museum of Greece is the tambouras of a hero of the Greek revolution of 1821, General Makriyiannis. This tambouras bears the main morphological characteristics of the bouzouki used by the Rebetes.

The Turkish Saz belongs to the same family of instruments as the bouzouki. A middle-sized kind of saz is called a "bozouk saz". Bozuk in Turkish means "broken, not functioning, modified". Here it is used in order to specify the size of the instrument. It is concluded, therefore, that the bouzouki has been named after the jargon of the Turkish saz. An alternative popular etymology maintains that the word "Bozouk" was used because different tunings (the Turkish 'düzen') are required for the instrument to play in different musical scales (known as Dromoi in Greek, Maqam (pl. Maqamat) in Arabic). A tuning known as the "bozuk düzen" (broken tuning) still exists in Greek folk music.

The early bouzoukia were mostly Three-string (Trichordo), with three courses (six strings in three pairs) and were tuned in different ways, as to the scale one wanted to play.

After the late '50s, four-course (Tetrachordo) bouzoukia started to appear. The four-course bouzouki was made popular by Manolis Chiotis. Chiotis also used a tuning akin to standard guitar tuning, which made it easier for guitarists to play bouzouki, even as it angered purists."

Yiannis Kalatzis - The Skittish One

Yiannis Kalatzis - How Right The Children Are

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Laughing Songs

I was reminded of some great laughing songs the other day whilst browsing the Music Makes Me blog and finding some amusing novelty 78's.
I compiled 2 CD's worth a few years back for my own amusement and here are few of the older crackly ones that I have found over the years.
I think the very first laughing song was on a wax cylinder in about 1895 but some of these are from the 20's and 30's. Charles penrose who was responsibel for many including the much played "Laughing Policeman" which used to haunt the Children's Favourites radio show of my youth is included her with one of his lesser known chortling ditties.

Spoofums - You've Got To Laugh

Sidney Bechet - Laughing In Rythym

Jelly Roll Morton - Hyena Stomp

Woody Herman Orch. - Laughing Boy Blues

Charles Penrose - Laugh, And You Feel Grand

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Lower Mess-Deck Chorale Ensemble

Found ina charity shop in Wrexham yesterday for a few pence. I was attracted by the cheerful cartoon sleeve art initially. The songs are pretty much your average rude rugby song sung by sailors, or drunks pretending to be sailors. Its pretty awful but I thought you might like to hear it so you could avoid it if you ever saw it in a flea market or boot sale. On the cheapo Summit label from 1966.


1. She'll be Coming Round The Mountain
2. The Old Red Flannel Drawers That Maggie Wore
3. Poor Blind Nell
4. John Brown's Body
5. Poor Little Angeline
6. The Sailor Come Home On leave
7. The Sailor's Prayer

Lower Mess-Deck Ensemble - Side One

Burl Ives

An old LP on the Columbia's "Harmony" label from the 60's I would guess- found at a car boot sale this week for a few pence.

Tracks are -

1.The Lollipop Tree
2. Old Wich, Old Witch
3. The Little Turtle
4. The Moon Is The North Wind's Cookie
5. Two Little Trains
6. The Lavender Cowboy

"With his grandfatherly image, Burl Ives parlayed his talent as a folksinger into a wide-ranging career as a radio personality and stage and screen actor. After spending his early 20s traveling the country as an itinerant singer, Ives moved to New York City in 1937. By the end of 1938, he had made his Broadway debut, and he also sang folk songs in Greenwich Village clubs. In 1940, Ives began to appear regularly on radio, including his own show, The Wayfarin' Stranger, on CBS. Ives made his first records for Stinson, a small folk label, then was signed to Decca, a major label. He made his movie debut in Smoky in 1946. In 1948, his first book, Wayfaring Stranger, was published. In 1949, he had his first chart hit with "Lavender Blue (Dilly Dilly)." The same year, he moved to Columbia Records. With the advent of the long-playing record, Ives suddenly had a flurry of LP releases from his three labels: The Wayfaring Stranger on Stinson; three volumes of Ballads & Folk Songs, Women: Folk Songs About the Fair Sex, Folk Songs Dramatic and Humorous, and Christmas Day in the Morning on Decca; and Wayfaring Stranger, Return of the Wayfaring Stranger, More Folk Songs, American Hymns, The Animal Fair and Mother Goose Songs on Columbia. He also recorded a series of albums for Encyclopedia Brittanica Films under the overall title Historical America in Song. In 1951, he hit the Top Ten with "On Top of Old Smoky." In 1952, he returned to Decca. While continuing to publish books and to act on Broadway and in the movies, Ives made a series of albums that included Coronation Concert, The Wild Side of Life, Men, Down to the Sea in Ships, In the Quiet of the Night, Burl Ives Sings for Fun, Songs of Ireland, Old Time Varieties, Captain Burl Ives' Ark, Australian Folk Songs, and Cheers, all released in the second half of the 1950s. In 1961, Ives oriented himself toward country music, resulting in the hit "A Little Bitty Tear," which made the Top Ten in both the pop and country charts. The single was contained on The Versatile Burl Ives. "Funny Way of Laughin'" was another pop and country Top Ten in 1962; it appeared on It's Just My Funny Way of Laughin' and won Ives a Grammy Award for Best Country Western Recording. He turned his attention primarily to movie work from 1963 on, especially with the Walt Disney studio. But he charted with Pearly Shells in 1964 and made a children's album, Chim Chim Cheree and Other Children's Choices, for Disney Buena Vista Records. At the end of the '60s, Ives returned to Columbia Records for The Times They Are A-Changin' and Softly and Tenderly. "

Friday, August 07, 2009

Soul Vendors

An old LP on the Coxone label from 1967 found at a flea market some time ago. Its a bit scratched so please forgive the blips and pops.

"The Soul Vendors the group that gave us 'Rock Steady', the phrase originated by Coxone Dodd, the record producer and owner of Studio One studio. This new sound was much slower than Ska, stronger base line and a persistent shuffling rhythm together with some very fine sax and trumpet solo's, and the organ was used to greater effect. The vocal styles were very soulful, heavily influenced by the USA soul and R & B records of that period. "Rock Steady" by Alton Ellis issued in 1967 on the Treasure Isle label sums up the new style, using repeat upbeat guitar riff and the brass section answering the vocals, beautiful sax solo, even a vocal backing group, all added up to a suberb production by Duke Reid who went on to make this new sound his own. "

Soul Vendors - Give It To Me

Soul Vendors - The Raver

Soul Vendors - Everybody Knows

Soul Vendors - Give Me Little Sign

Soul Vendors - Just A Bit O' Soul

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Tom Glazer

Delving into the archives I found this that I havent uploaded before - probably for good reason! Anyway I feel I have to broaden my outlook to include these dodgy bargains - even at 89 pence it seemed a bit steep! It has a certain charm though and reminds me of the Wally Whyton records of my youth and later - singing along with my young son to similar ditties on the radio and television.

"Best-known for authoring the children's classic "On Top of Spaghetti," folksinger and songwriter Tom Glazer was born in Philadelphia on September 2, 1914. After the death of his carpenter father four years later, he and his siblings were raised by their mother and assorted relatives, sometimes living in an orphanage. At school, Glazer studied a variety of musical traditions and instruments (among them guitar, bass, and tuba) before relocating at 17 to New York City, where he worked at Macy's department store while finishing high school at night. After three years at New York City College, he relocated to Washington, D.C., accepting a job at the Library of Congress and befriending the legendary musicologist Alan Lomax. Upon learning a handful of folk songs from Lomax, Glazer soon began a performing career, even appearing at a small White House function organized by Eleanor Roosevelt before making his formal public debut in early 1943 at Manhattan's Town Hall. Two years later, he launched the ABC radio series "Tom Glazer's Ballad Box," which aired through 1947; he also appeared on radio programs including "We the People," "Listening Post," "True Story," and "Theatre Guild on the Air." Glazer used his radio broadcasts not only to expand his audience, but also to disseminate his political beliefs -- songs like "Because All Men Are Brothers," "When the Country Is Broke," "Talking Inflation Blues" (sometimes covered by the young Bob Dylan), and "Citizen C.I.O." plainly articulated the populist leanings at the heart of much of his music."

Tom Glazer - Come In And Join The Game

Tom Glazer - The Dickie Bird Song

Tom Glazer - Eentsy Weentsy Spider

Tom Glazer - Eye Winker, Tom Tinker, Chin Chopper

Tom Glazer - Five Little Ducks

Tom Glazer - Go In And Out The Window

Tom Glazer - He's Got The Whole World In His Hands

Sunday, August 02, 2009

Novelty Songs

From a tape compiled by Jim Benson -

Tracks are-

1. Istanbul (not Contstantinople ) - Radio Revellers
2. Toot Toot - Fats Domino & Doug Kershaw
3. Working Class Millionaire - Richard Digance
4. Flying saucers - Eddie Grundy
5. Take A Mac - Toby Jug & The Washboard band

In the event of no records being found and too lazy to remove sscanner and plug in the ION turntable we shall have to put up with some more old novelty songs from various tapes already on Treemo.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Comic Cuts Vol.2 (Re-up)

Sorry for the repeat but needed to add something as I have neglected this blog for so long. Sadly new finds at boot sales and charity shops are few and far between these days. Most are being sold on E-bay it seems or just thrown away. I seem to rummage through the same pile of old tat I rummaged through before!

I promise to venture into the cobwebbed archive soon and find some gems I havent uploaded before.

While I'm in the cassette pile I might as well mention this one I found a few years back at Brick Lane. It's all novelty songs from the 20's and 30's by British Dance Bands like Ambrose and His Orch. Billy Cotton and the Western Brothers etc.
Its on the little known Old Bean Records and not sure of the release date.

Leslie Sarony.

"Leslie Sarony (January 22, 1897 - February 12, 1985) was an English entertainer, singer and songwriter. Sarony was born in Surbiton, Surrey and died in London.
He began his stage career aged 14 with the group Park Eton's Boys. In 1913 he appeared in the revue Hello Tango.
In the Great War, Sarony served in the London Scottish regiment in France and Salonika. His stage credits after the war include revues, pantomimes and musicals, including the London productions of Show Boat and Rio Rita.
Sarony became well known in the 1920s and 1930s as a variety artist and radio performer. He made a number of recordings of novelty songs such as "He Played his Ukulele as the Ship Went Down", including several with Jack Hylton and his Orchestra. He teamed up with Leslie Holmes in 1935 under the name The Two Leslies. The partnership lasted until 1946. Their recorded output included such gems as "I'm a Little Prairie Flower".
Sarony continued to perform into his eighties, moving on to television and films."

Jack Payne.

"British bandleader Jack Payne was born in Leamington Spa, Warwickshire on August 22, 1899; while serving as an aviator during World War I, he organized a series of dance bands to
entertain his fellow troops, and after the war continued performing in small group settings. In 1925, his six-piece band was tapped to appear at London's Hotel Cecil; by the end of the year, they were regularly featured on BBC remote broadcasts from the venue, and in 1928 Payne was named the radio network's Director of Dance Music. After four years with the BBC he quit his post, returning to the hotel circuit; in addition to appearing in the film Say It with Music, Payne also made a number of recordings, including a 1935 date with the noted jazz pianist Garland Wilson. He disbanded the group in 1937, retiring to his Buckinghamshire stud farm before forming a 20-piece big band the following year; in late 1939, Payne became the first British bandleader to perform for the troops in France. He resumed his BBC duties in 1941, remaining Director of Dance Music for five years before going to work as a disc jockey. Payne died December 4, 1969."

Novelty songs from the 30's from a tape called "Comic Cuts Vol. 2" on the Old Bean label released in the 80's.

Tracks are-

1. You Can't Do That There 'Ere - Jack Payne & His Band
2. Fanlight Fanny - George Formby
3. The Pig Got Up And Slowly Walked Away - Ambrose & Orch.
4. A Thick Thick Fog In London - Jack Payne & His Band
5. Madame Ah! La Marquise Ah! - Billy Cotton Band