Sunday, October 31, 2010

Marino Marini

More rather battered vinyl from Liverpool - this time an LP on the Durium label from the late 50's I would guess. A fun group of Italians who are kind of cross between Mike & Bernie Winters and the Spike Jones band.

"Marino Marini (1924-1997) was an Italian popular musician who achieved international success in the 1950s and 1960s.

He was born into a family of musicians on 11th May 1924 in Seggiano in the Grosetto region of Italy. After briefly studying electronics, he studied piano, violin and composition at the Conservatorio Rossini at Bologna, teaching music on his graduation. In 1947, after military service, he was appointed artistic director of the Metropolitan music hall in Naples, where he developed a liking for Neapolitan music. In 1948 he visited the United States for six months, meeting Dizzy Gillespie, Stan Kenton and Charlie Ventura. American jazz was also a formative influence.

On his return, Marini wrote music for films and revues and played in cabaret in Rome and Naples.

In 1955, he placed a newspaper advert seeking “young musicians without experience, singing in tune. If not cheerful, don't apply." From the many applicants he chose Tony “Toto” Savio (guitar), Sergio (drums) and Ruggiero Cori (bass and vocal) for a quartet, Marini playing piano and occasionally singing solo. This quartet played together from 1955 to 1960, a period regarded[1] as the Marino Marini Quartet’s most prolific and successful.

They made their first recording on the Durium label in 1955. The following year they appeared on Italian TV. Their recordings of Marini’s compositions Guaglione, Don Ciccio o' piscatore, Rico Vacilon, La Pansè, and Maruzzella were very popular, Guaglione becoming the first European single to sell more than five million copies. (It was used on the soundtrack of the 1999 film The Talented Mr. Ripley.) Following this successful debut, Marini commenced touring with his quartet, in the following years performing in hundreds of concerts in western and eastern Europe, the USA, the Middle East and Japan.

Marini's recordings in the late 1950s and early 1960s included covers of Domenico Modugno’s Volare, Come Prima and Ciao ciao Bambina and Rocco Granata’s Marina. In 1960, he won the first and the second prizes in the Naples song festival with Serenata a Margellina and Uè uè uè che femmena. In 1958 he performed Mikis Theodorakis's The Honeymoon Song in Michael Powell's film Honeymoon."

Marino Marini - Lisbon Antigua

Marino Marini - Chella 'lla

Marino Marini - Whatever Will Be Will Be

Marino Marini - Donne E Pistole

Marino Marini - La Piu' Bella Del Mondo

Marino Marini - Only You

Marino Marini - Guaglione

Lonnie & Lottie

Another scratchy record from the junk shop in Liverpool on the Paragon label in Canada - signed by both Lonnie and Lottie on the reverse, From the 60's I would guess. Versions of old standard country songs like Stand By Your Man and The Games People Play etc. I suppose I was rather attracted by the odd sleeve photo - shame it had been scrawled on by some idiot.

"Lonnie and Lottie were a brother and sister act that were popular with the fans in the southwestern Ontario, Canada area in the 1960s. While many fans might associate a band name of Po' Folks with another country legend, that was the name of the band that backed this popular duo.

Both of them were born in the city of Maniwaki, Quebec, located due north of Ottawa.

The two of them began singing together at an early age. Audiences were listening to their singing talents on stage, radio and television when they were both teenagers.

An album of theirs entitled "Just Between The Two of Us" gives the listener a taste of their harmonies. They also did solo numbers of popular tunes of the day. Backing Lonnie and Lottie on that album were Larry Dyer on lead guitar, Bob Wingrove on steel guitar, John Scott on bass, Gary Nugent on drums, M. DeBenidictis on the piano and organ.

Lonnie and Lottie made appearances on the well-known country music shows that were airing in Canada in that era. They appeared on the famous CHML Main Street Jamboree show that broadcast out of Hamilton, Ontario. Another famous show they appeared on was the CKNX Barn Dance, billed as the largest traveling barn dance show that originated out of Wingham, Ontario.

Other shows included the Gary Buck show that broadcast over CKCO-TV in Kitchener; the Red Barn Jamboree over CKLB in Oshawa.

During their career, they also had their own radio show on CHIQ in Hamilton. "

Lonnie & Lottie - Just Between The Two Of Us

Lonnie & Lottie - Tippy Toe'n

Lonnie & Lottie - So Afraid Of Losing You

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Anna Russell

Bumper crop of old scratchy records from a junk shop in Liverpool the other day whilst going round the Biennial. I have already featured Anna Russell here some years ago and she is due for an update. This is a very worn LP on Philips from 1958 when she was obviously at the top of her performing abilities. Hard to describe her comedy really - a quaint kind of female Hoffnung crossed with Joyce Grenfell. Sounds very dated now but still mildly amusing and I've always been a sucker for songs about bananas!

Wikipedia says -

"Russell was born in Maida Vale, London, England, though some sources say her birthplace was London, Ontario. She was educated at St Felix School at Southwold, Suffolk, at Harrogate College and in Brussels and Paris. She studied at the Royal Academy of Music. She had a difficult childhood, and particularly a difficult relationship with her mother, who often shipped her off to live with other relatives for some time. Russell was twice married and divorced, first to John Denison and second to artist Charles Goldhamer. In her "Who's Who" entry she described herself as single.

Russell's early career included a few engagements in opera (including a disastrous appearance as a substitute Santuzza in a British touring production of Cavalleria rusticana, where she clumsily tripped on a set piece and pulled it down – an event later used in her comedy) – as well as appearances as a folk singer on BBC radio in 1931. Russell's mother was Canadian, and the family returned in 1939 to Toronto, after her father's death, where she began to appear on local radio stations as an entertainer. By 1940, she was beginning to find success as a soloist on the concert stage in Canada. Russell's first one-woman show as a parodist was sponsored by the Toronto Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire in 1942, though it was the Canadian conductor Sir Ernest MacMillan who really set her on her international career as a "musical cartoonist", when he invited her to take part in his annual burlesque Christmas Box Symphony Concert in 1944. Russell made her New York City debut in her one-woman show in 1948, which she toured throughout North America, Britain, Australia and the rest of the English-speaking world."

Anna Russell - A Practical Banana Promotion etc.

Anna Russell - Poetry In The Cellar

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Charlie Gillett - E.T.Mensah

Another old radio show from the 80's with DJ Charlie Gillett talking to guest E.T. Mensah from Ghana. The usual fascinating chat and great record choices - mostly Ghanaian "Highlife" and some calypso. Also studio guest Ted Hawkins plays a couple of songs in session.

"Highlife, dance music played mostly in Ghana and Nigeria, represents one of the century's first fusions of African roots and western music, and before 1970, it ruled dancefloors across much of West Africa. The World War II era introduced American swing to the highlife mix, already a blend of Trinidadian calypso, military brass band music, Cuban son and older African song forms. Trumpeter and bandleader E.T. Mensah, pioneered the development of the swing-jazz influenced highlife dance-bands that were so popular throughout West Africa in the 1950's and 60's. Indeed, these urban dance bands became the musical zeitgeist of the optimistic period of early independence.

Mensah played music from childhood starting out in 1930 as a flautist in that Accra Orchestra, a band of school children. With his brother Yebuah, Mensah formed the Accra Rhythmic Orchestra in the late 30s. World War II brought an influx of Europeans to Accra, including musicians with jazz training, who had an impact on the local scene.

In 1948, Mensah formed the Tempos and began playing a new music, highlife, bringing the freedom of jazz and older local guitar styles into the more formal dance band music of the pre-war era. The band soon began touring in Nigeria, where they signaled a sea change that would soon sweep the region. The Tempos' songs in English, Twi, Ga, Fante, Ewe, Efik and Hausa seduced admirers as far away as England. In 1956, Mensah's career reached a peak when he performed with the great Louis Armstrong in Ghana. With the rise of Congolese music in the 1960s, highlife's golden era ended. But Mensah continued to perform, as did other top big bands, Jerry Hansen and his Ramblers International, and Uhuru. In the Tempos' wake came many guitar highlife outfits, including Nana Ampadu and his band the African Brothers as well as the City Boys and A.B. Crentsil. Nana now operates a recording studio where he produces releases for the African Brothers, the City Boys, and other highlife groups. Dr. K. Gyasi and his Noble Kings pioneered a sound called sikyi highlife, a lulling, wistful take on the classic dance music. Gyasi too still records, as does Kumasi-based sikyi highlife singer Nana Tuffour. They are all the musical descendants of E.T. Mensah."

Charlie Gillett - E.T.Mensah Side 1

Charlie Gillett - E.T.Mensah Side 2

The Sound

Another dusty cassette from the 80's. This time a band who deserved more success than they got at the time. Here they play a short set on the In Concert spot on BBC Radio One back in the mid 80's just after their second album came out. I think its DJ Pete Drummond who you can hear briefly at the end.

"Founded from the remnants of The Outsiders, the original lineup of The Sound consisted of Adrian Borland (vocals, guitar), Graham Bailey (bass), Mike Dudley (drums) and Benita "Bi" Marshall (keyboards, saxophone, clarinet). In 1979, the band signed a contract with Korova Records, a small label under Warner Brothers, to produce three albums. They debuted with Jeopardy, which received favorable reviews.

The second album, From the Lions Mouth, saw the replacement of keyboard player Marshall with Colvin "Max" Mayers, and more accolades from the critics, but neither record caused the band to break beyond a cult status. Korova pressured Borland and his mates to come up with a more commercially successful third album. In an act of rebellion, the band responded with All Fall Down, an album that took them even further away from that direction. Drummer Mike Dudley told it this way: "We thought [the label wasn't] giving us the support that we were due and that if they really wanted a commercial album, they had got to put plenty of money behind it, which with both Jeopardy and From the Lions Mouth they hadn't really done....So when they turned around and said 'The solution is for you to write more commercial songs,' we thought, 'Fuck you,' and went ahead and produced All Fall Down."

During the early 1980s, The Sound toured throughout Europe, covering the UK and much of the continent. Like their contemporaries, the Comsat Angels (whom they toured with in 1981), they enjoyed perhaps their greatest success in the Netherlands, developing a substantial following there. The Sound recorded several Peel sessions and performed the single "Sense Of Purpose" on the TV show Old Grey Whistle Test (circa 1981). In 1983 and 1984, they made two short tours of the US."

The Sound - In Concert

SUD Sound 1992

Another cassette from the dusty box. This one is a bit of a mystery. I assume its from Sudan but I could be wrong. The Arabic writing doesnt give many clues. If anybody has an inkling of where this comes from I'd love to know.

Sud Sound - Side One

Wednesday, October 27, 2010


Another cassette from the cupboard which hasnt seen the light of day for a while. I think someone sent me this from Poland back in the 80's when I exchanged many mix tapes and compilations through the mail art network - a forerunner of this blog it could be said.

Wikiepedia says -

"Band was founded in 1983 in Warsaw by Dariusz Gierszewski, Andrzej Zeńczewski, Artur Miłoszewski and Piotr Strojnowski. In few months the band took three other artists Waldemar Deska, Andrzej Krzywy and Jarosław Woszczyna. In that time they played songs like Do plastica and Przed nami wielka przestrzeń.

They played in Holland, France, Denmark and USSR. In 1985 they released their new album called DAAB which had a hits like Kalejdoskop moich dróg, Fala ludzkich serc, W zakamarkach naszych dusz, Fryzjer na plaży (instrumental), Ogrodu serce. The latter was the best song in Daab history ever. After this some changes in the band occurred. They added a new member Tomasz Pierzchalski and removed Jarosław Woszczyzna and Piotr Strojnowski.

Andrzej Krzywy left the band soon for a new founded group, De Mono In 1989, because of their friendship, they returned to the band to make a new album, ///. The band restructured into an organisation. The main members were Zeńczewski, Miłoszewski and Gierszewski. They worked with guitar players Michał Grymuza and Grzegorz Rytka, Piotr Korzeniowski, Jacek Wojcieszuk."

Daab - Do Plasticka

Daab - Ogrod u serce

Daab - Po trzykroc pytam

Daab - Wieczny pielgrzym


A cassette that looks very dodgy with a thin paper sleeve and very little information on it - originally from Cheshire Street market in the 80's I think.Seems to have come out originally on the TCD label in 1985.
Including tracks Cherie Coco, La Femme De Mon Patron,Je men Fouts, Soungourou Ba, and Kanan Djanfa.

Very little can be found out about him on the internet. All I know he is from the Ivory Coast and had a big hit with "Mon Coeur Balance" in the 80's which Charlie Gillett played quite often. Probably recorded in Paris like so man Soukous records at that time.

Daouda - Side One

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Charlie Gillett - Miriam Makeba

Another great radio show from the 1985 with Charlie talking to Miriam Makeba. City Beats 18 is all it says on the cassette sleeve from which it is dubbed. Again I apologise for the poor sound quality due to tha age of the tape.

Wikipedia says -

" Miriam Makeba was born in Johannesburg in 1932. Her mother was a Swazi sangoma and her father, who died when she was six, was a Xhosa. As a child, she sang at the Kilmerton Training Institute in Pretoria, which she attended for eight years.

Makeba first toured with an amateur group. Her professional career began in the 1950s with the Manhattan Brothers, before she formed her own group, The Skylarks, singing a blend of jazz and traditional melodies of South Africa.

In 1959, she performed in the musical King Kong alongside Hugh Masekela, her future husband. Though she was a successful recording artist, she was only receiving a few dollars for each recording session and no provisional royalties, and was keen to go to the United States. Her break came when she had a short guest appearance in the anti-apartheid documentary Come Back, Africa in 1959, by independent filmmaker Lionel Rogosin. The short cameo made an enormous impression on the viewers and Lionel Rogosin managed to organise a visa for her to leave South Africa and to attend the première of the film at the Venice Film Festival."

Having listened to this again I realise that Miriam Makeba isn't actually on this tape but there must be another tape with her on but I cant find it at the moment so you'll have to make do with the second half of the two hour prgramme. If the bit with Miriam turns up I will indeed upload it.

Charlie Gillett - Miriam Makeba Part 1

Charlie Gillett - Miriam Makeba Part 2

65th Inter-Tribal Ceremonial

Some native American music now on cassette I found in the Sally Army shop the other day. This gives you some idea what to expect if you attend the annual Inter-Tribal Ceremonial at Red Rock State Park near Gallup , New Mexico. Recorded by James Lascelles in 1986.

Find out more HERE.

Tom Mauchahty-Ware - Flute Solo

Aztecas - Mother Earth Dance

Zuni Olla Maidens - Comanche Dance

Amalia Rodrigues

A cassette for a change now- found at the Sally Army shop the other day for ten pence. Sadly this is not really the Fado I was exepcting and more a watered down version MOR for entry into the Eurovision Song Contest or something. Better examples of her work can be found on YouTube where she is singing with a small group of guitar players and not the Mantovani type strings you can hear on this. I upload one side anyway so you can see what I mean. Some of you may even enjoy this but it's the stuff I usually run a mile from!

Wikipedia says -

"Amália da Piedade Rodrigues, GCSE, GCIH, (July 23, 1920 – October 6, 1999), also known as Amália Rodrigues (Portuguese pronunciation: [ɐˈmaliɐ ʁuˈdɾiɡɨʃ]) was a Portuguese singer and actress. Despite official documents which give her date of birth as July 23, Rodrigues always said her birthday was July 1, 1920.[1] She was born in Lisbon, in the rua Martim Vaz (Martim Vaz Street), neighborhood of Pena. Her father was a trumpet player and cobbler from Fundão who returned there when Amália was just over a year old, leaving her to live in Lisbon with her maternal grandmother in a deeply Catholic environment until she was 14, when her parents returned to the capital and she moved back in with them.

"She was known as the "Rainha do Fado" ("Queen of Fado") and was most influential in popularizing the fado worldwide. In fact, she was one of the most important figures in the genre’s development, and enjoyed a 40-year recording and stage career. Rodrigues' performances and choice of repertoire pushed fado’s boundaries and helped redefine it and reconfigure it for her and subsequent generations. In effect, Rodrigues wrote the rulebook on what fado could be and on how a female fadista — or fado singer — should perform it, to the extent that she remains an unsurpassable model and an unending source of repertoire for all those who came afterwards. Rodrigues enjoyed an extensive international career between the 1950s and the 1970s, although in an era where such efforts were not as easily quantified as today. Other well-known international fado artists such as Madredeus, Dulce Pontes and Mariza have come close, however."

Amalia Rodrigues - Malhao De Aguera

Amalia Rodrigues - Oliveirinha Da Serra

Amalia Rodrigues - Quando Eu Era Pequenina

Amalia Rodrigues - Senhora D'Aires

Amalia Rodrigues - Macadeiras

Charlie Gillett - Shadow

A Foreign Affair radio show from the early 80's with guest Shadow, who plays some Soca and Calypso from Trinidad.

Donald's Encyclopedia of Popular Music says -

"(b Winston Bailey, 4 Oct., late '30s, Les Coteaux, Tobago) Unique calypsonian and soca artist, usually referred to as Shadow. Grew up on grandfather's farm, began composing at age nine; joined group Fire Sticks that provided backing vocals at Mighty Sparrow's tent, appeared solo there '70 but forgot his lines. Joined Victory tent '71 led by Lord Blakie (Carlton Joseph), recorded 'The Threat' that year (directed at Sparrow and Lord Kitchener); moved '73 to Kitchener's tent for three seasons. Infl. by style of Mighty Spoiler (Theophilus Phillip: 1926--60), the great exponent of humorous and imaginative calypso. He has a propensity for the eccentric with a touch of eeriness; often wears dark clothing with broad-brimmed hat and regal cape; some of his calypsos tell of bizarre, sometimes violent events in an unmistakable raspy voice, interspersed with tremulous humming; from early on his work also had a strand of insightfulness and sensitivity, qualities which have become more developed and prominent in his later output. "

Charlie Gillett - Shadow Part 1

Charlie Gillett - Shadow Part 2

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Solid Gold

I had rather a soft spot for old reggae, ska etc. back in the 70's and this was picked up then for 20p , probably from Cheshire Street flea market when I lived nearby in Stepney. It has no sleeve and has been used as a frisbee at some point but still sounds good despite the scratches and pops. I particularly love the Abyssinians "Declaration Of Rights" which reminds me of those times and listening to the great Reggae show on Radio London just before Charlie Gillett came on Sunday mornings.

Wikipedia says of the Abyssinians -

"The vocal trio was originally formed in 1968 by Bernard Collins and Donald Manning. Their first song was "Satta Massagana", which was strongly influenced by Carlton Manning's "Happy Land". "Satta Massagana" is a Rastafarian hymn sung partly in the ancient Ethiopian Amharic language. They recruited a third vocalist, who was still at school and often unable to attend rehearsals; He was soon replaced by Donald's brother Lynford Manning, who had previously been a member of their brother Carlton Manning's group Carlton and The Shoes.
"Satta Massagana" was first recorded for producer Clement "Coxsone" Dodd in March 1969, but he decided against releasing it, seeing no commercial potential for what he saw as a song constituting cultural subversion. In 1971, the group purchased the master tapes from Dodd for 90 pounds and released it on their own Clinch label, the single becoming a massive success, prompting Dodd to release his own instrumental and deejay versions. The group released further takes on the song on Clinch by Tommy McCook, Big Youth, and Dillinger, as well as their own "Mabrak", featuring the group reciting passages from the Old Testament. It has since been recorded by dozens of artists. The group's second release, "Declaration of Rights", featured Leroy Sibbles on backing vocals, and like their first was a huge hit in Jamaica, (and subsequently in the international market) and has been covered several times since. Their 1973 single "Y Mas Gan" was similar to "Satta" in its use of Amharic."

Delroy Wilson - I Love You Madly

Ernest Ranglin - Surfing

Wayne McGhie - How Does It Feel

Abyssinians - Declaration Of Rights

John Holt - I Don't Want To See You Cry

Beltones - Let Him Live

Private Eye's Golden Years Of Sound

Found this LP of Private Eye'sGolden Years of Sound at a boot sale a couple of years ago. It's a compliation of all the Christmas flexi discs they used to give away with the satirical magazine between 1964 and 1970. It has contributions by John Bird, Eleanor Bron, Barry Fantoni, Wiilliam Rushton and many others. On the two snippets here you can hear Peter Cook and Barry Humphries (doing his Barry Mackensie voice) and Dudley Moore singing a song as Whispering Jim Narg.This Lyn label copy was published by Private Eye in 1973. Most of it sounds pretty dated now , being mainly about the politics and personalities of the time who have long since passed from public conciousness (even in the U.K.).

Wikipedia says -

"Private Eye is a fortnightly British satirical and current affairs magazine, currently edited by Ian Hislop.

Since its first publication in 1961, Private Eye has been a prominent critic of public figures deemed incompetent, inefficient or corrupt, and has become a self-styled "thorn in the side" of the British establishment, though it also receives much criticism and ire, both for its style and for its willingness to print defamatory and controversial stories. This was reflected in its once prominent libel lawsuits, for which it became notorious.

As the UK's best-selling current affairs magazine, such is its long-term popularity and significance that many recurring in-jokes in Private Eye have entered popular culture from its pages."

Private Eye - His Masters Voice Oct.1964

Private Eye - I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus Dec. 1964

Private Eye - The Rites Of Spring

Private Eye - BBC Gnome Service Dec. 1966

Private Eye - Abominable Radio Gnome Dec. 1967

Private Eye - The Loneliness Of The Long Playing Record Feb. 1969

Private Eye - Dear Sir, Is This A Record? Dec. 1969

Private Eye - Just For The Record Dec. 1970

Monday, October 18, 2010

Tempos Of Time

A curiosity now I found in the Hospice shop today - an EP on the HMV label circa 1960's. A soundscape of the last century starting with the clip clop of a horse drawn cab and ending with the bleep bleep of Sputnik. In between the voices of Churchill, Hitler, Marie Lloyd, Curuso, Gracie Fields and George Formby to name but a few. Commentary by Rt.Hon Lord Brabazon of Tara whose fruity tones link one voice and sound effect to the next in a weird yet strangely comforting way. A time capsule for the ears.

Tempos Of Time - Side One

Tempos Of Time - Side Two

BBC Radiophonic Workshop

Whilst I'm in the mood for uploadling these old 78's I might as well include this oddity which I've had for 30 years or more. It's a BBC soundtrack disc made of metal with a plastic coating. It plays at 78 and is very scratched so apologies for the crackles and pops. The handwritten label suggests it was made for inclusion in the radio series "Journey Into Space" that was popular in the 50's but why this song? I have another version of "When It's Night Time In Italy , It's Wednesday Over Here" by the Everly Brothers. Bing Crosby apparently recorded a version but I've never heard it. I assume its an old music hall song. I will delve further into the internet and see what I find.

You can find the full lyrics to the song HERE.

You Tube link to a Billy Jones version of this song HERE.

Radiophonic Workshop - When It's Night Time In Italy, It's Wednesday Over Here"

Radiophonic Workshop - When It's Night Time In Italy - Track 2

Country Pie

My record collecting chum and devout Chas & Dave fan Jim Benson told me about this record a few years back. He says it's an early session by Chas & Dave during a spell of financial insecurity when they desperately needed the money.Chas Hodges plays guitar as well as piano on this session and Mick Burt is on Drums.Coincidentally I found a copy at a bootsale a couple of months later! Its on the cheap and cheerful Avenue label and released in 1971.

"Pianist Chas Hodges and guitarist Dave Peacock were widely experienced around the British rock scene of the 1960s and early 70s before teaming up with drummer Mick Burt (another much-travelled musician who had gone back to his original trade as a plumber) to form the group. Chas had worked with the legendary producer Joe Meek, backed Jerry Lee Lewis, played with Mike Berry and the Outlaws, along with Ritchie Blackmore, and also the highly respected Cliff Bennett and the Rebel Rousers, which had Burt on drums. He then joined Albert Lee’s cult band Heads Hands and Feet before playing with Dave and Albert in Black Claw. Dave had been equally active, Starting out in The Rolling Stones (no, not them!) in 1960. Spells with The Tumbleweeds, Mick Greenwood, Jerry Donaghue, and the above mentioned Black Claw followed prior to the pair coming together to go out on their own as Chas & Dave."

Find out more about Chas & Dave HERE.

Country Pie - Country Pie

Country Pie - They'll Never Take Your Love Away From Me

Country Pie - How Many Times

Country Pie - If You Wanna Be My Woman

Country Pie - Hill Billy Music

Country Pie - Wrong Yo-Yo

Charlie Gillett - Mike Howlett/ Police & Thieves

Continuing the homage to Charlie Gillett who sadly passed away earlier this year - here are two old The Alchemists shows from Capital Radio from the early 80's. The first features Mike Howlett the musician and producer who plays some records he likes and some he had produced by the likes of The Police, OMD and Flock Of Seagulls.
The other show is on the theme of Police & Thieves and features records by Bob Marley, Ian Dury, Roy Brown and Charles Penrose.

Wikipedia says -

"Mike Howlett (born 27 April 1950) is a Fijian-born musician, Grammy Award winning producer and teacher based in the United Kingdom and Australia.
In the late 1960s Howlett was the bassist in Sydney pop band The Affair which travelled to England after winning a music competition. He then settled in London and in 1973 joined renowned British progressive rock group Gong, which had been founded by another Australian expatriate, Daevid Allen. Howlett remained with Gong until 1977, recording several albums with them and co-writing much of their material later in this period with drummer Pierre Moerlen.
After leaving Gong, Howlett formed the short-lived band Strontium 90 in 1977, bringing together Sting, Stewart Copeland, and Andy Summers for the first time; the latter trio would later achieve massive success as The Police. Howlett originally intended Strontium 90 to consist of himself, Sting, Summers and drummer Chris Cutler, but Cutler was unavailable and so Copeland was recruited, brought in by Sting, with whom he had already been playing in an early incarnation of The Police. Howlett taped several demos of the band, including the very first version of Sting's "Every Little Thing She Does Is Magic" which was the first recording of the song ever made. He also taped a Paris Gong reunion concert in May 1977, which marked the first time that the future Police played together live. An archival collection of Strontium 90 material was released as the album Strontium 90: Police Academy in 1997."

Charlie Gillett - Mike Howlett

Charlie Gillett - Police & Thieves

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bob & Earl

LP on the Sue label from the 60's. Biggest hit was Harlem Shuffle and most of the other songs on here are variations of that idea or else soulful ballads.

Wikipedia says -

"The original duo were Bobby Byrd and Earl Nelson (born Earl Lee Nelson, 8 September 1928, Lake Charles, Louisiana - 12 July 2008, Los Angeles) They had both been members of The Hollywood Flames, a prolific doo-wop group in Los Angeles, California whose major hit was "Buzz Buzz Buzz" in 1958, on which Nelson sang lead.

By 1957, Byrd had started a parallel solo career, writing and recording for contractual reasons as Bobby Day. He wrote and recorded the original version of "Little Bitty Pretty One", and had a hit of his own with "Rockin' Robin" (1958). In 1960, Day/Byrd and Nelson began recording together as Bob & Earl, on the Class record label. However, these releases had relatively little success, and Day/Byrd restarted his solo career.

In 1962, Nelson then recruited a second "Bob", Bobby Relf (January 10, 1937 - November 20, 2007), who also used the stage names of Bobby Garrett and Bobby Valentino. Relf had already led several Los Angeles based acts in his career, including the Laurels, the Upfronts, and Valentino and the Lovers. The latter two groups also featured the then pianist and bass singer, Barry White.

This duo of Relf and Nelson recorded several singles for different labels, before "Harlem Shuffle" in 1963. The song was written by Relf and Nelson, arranged by Barry White, and produced by Fred Smith. It was based on a number called "Slauson Shuffletime" (named after a boulevard in Los Angeles) by another Los Angeles singer, Round Robin. When released on the Marc label, "Harlem Shuffle" became a modest hit on the R&B chart. Its vocal interplay directly influenced later duos such as Sam and Dave. However, its main success came as late as 1969, when it was re-released in the UK and became a Top Ten hit there. Reportedly, George Harrison called it his favourite record of all time.

By that time, Nelson had achieved further success as a solo artist under the alias of Jackie Lee, with "The Duck", a hit dance record released in 1965, which reached #14 in the U.S. (Jackie was Nelson's wife's name and Lee his own middle name). When "Harlem Shuffle" became successful on reissue, Nelson and Relf reunited as Bob & Earl to tour. The duo split up for the last time in the early 1970s."

Bob & Earl - My Woman

Bob & Earl - The Sissy

Bob & Earl - Your Lovin' Goes A Long Long Way

Bob & Earl - Puppet On A String

New Vaudeville Band

I had heard that The New Vaudeville Band contained ex-members of the Bonzo Dog Band so expected something similar but this is pleasant enough pop but nothing more. Indeed it turns out that only one ex-member of the Bonzos joined them, Bob Kerr, but he left shortly afterwards due to musical differences and formed the Bob Kerr Whoopee Band (featured here some months ago ).

Wikipedia says -

"The New Vaudeville Band was a group created by songwriter Geoff Stephens (born 1 October 1934, New Southgate, North London) in 1966 to record his novelty composition "Winchester Cathedral", a song inspired by the dance bands of the 1920s and a Rudy Vallee megaphone style vocal. To his surprise, the song became a transatlantic hit that autumn, reaching the Top 10 in the UK and rising to No. 1 in the U.S. Global sales of the single were over three million, with the RIAA certification of gold disc status. The track also won a Grammy Award for Best Contemporary Song in 1967. The lead vocal was sung by John Carter, formerly of The Ivy League, who had sung on the demo of the record, which Stephens decided to keep for the commercial release. An initial long-playing album was also issued in late 1966 by Fontana Records, also titled Winchester Cathedral.

When Stephens received several requests for The New Vaudeville Band to tour, he had to put together a group, as the song was recorded by session musicians hired only for the recording session. He contacted a real group, the Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, which played similar music at the time.[1] Only Bob Kerr from that group was interested, so he left The Bonzos to help Stephens form a touring version of The New Vaudeville Band, which included original session drummer Henri Harrison. The lead singer of the touring version of the group was Alan Klein, who was billed as 'Tristram - Seventh Earl Of Cricklewood'.

In 1967, The New Vaudeville Band released the On Tour album, with the single "Peek-A-Boo," which made the Billboard chart that February and reached No. 7 in the UK singles chart. Further UK hits followed with "Finchley Central" (No. 11) and "Green Street Green" (No. 37), both based on locations in London and therefore less appealing to the American public.[1] In 1968, the group played a major role on the film soundtrack, The Bliss of Mrs. Blossom, but their novelty was beginning to wear off with the record-buying public."

New Vaudeville Band - Albert & Victoria

New Vaudeville Band - Hard Life

New Vaudeville Band - 1973

Stars From Zaire

Another old african LP picked up in Brick Lane market many years ago I think. I thought I had uploaded tracks from this already but a quick check didn't find any so here is side two for your listening pleasure.

Wikipedia says-

"Since the colonial era, Kinshasa, Congo's capital, has been one of the great centers of musical innovation, ranking alongside Nairobi, Lagos, Johannesburg and Abidjan in influence. The country, however, was carved out from territories controlled by many different ethnic groups, many of which had little in common with each other. Each maintained (and continue to do so) their own folk music traditions, and there was little in the way of a pan-Congolese musical identity until the 1940s.

Like much of Africa, Congo was dominated during the World War 2 era by rumba, a fusion of Latin and African musical styles that came from the island of Cuba. Congolese musicians appropriated rumba and adapted its characteristics for their own instruments and tastes. Following World War 2, record labels began appearing, including CEFA, Ngoma, Loningisa and Opika, each issuing many 78 rpm records; Radio Congo Belge also began broadcasting during this period. Bill Alexandre, a Belgian working for CEFA, brought electric guitars to the Congo.

Popular early musicians include Feruzi, who is said to have popularized rumba during the 1930s and guitarists like Zachery Elenga, Antoine Wendo Kolosoy and, most influentially, Jean Bosco Mwenda. Alongside rumba, other imported genres like American swing, French cabaret and Ghanaian highlife were also popular.

In 1953, the Congolese music scene began to differentiate itself with the formation of African Jazz (led by Joseph "Grand Kalle" Kabasele), the first full-time orchestra to record and perform, and the debut of fifteen-year-old guitarist Francois Luambo Makiadi (aka Franco). Both would go on to be some of the earliest Congolese music stars. African Jazz, which included Kabasele, sometimes called the father of modern Congolese music, as well as legendary Cameroonian saxophonist and keyboardist Manu Dibango, has become one of the most well-known groups in Africa, largely due to 1960's "Independence Cha-Cha-Cha", which celebrated Congo's independence and became an anthem for Africans across the continent.

Big bands (1930s–1970s)
Into the 1950s, Kinshasa and Brazzaville became culturally linked, and many musicians moved back and forth between them, most importantly including Nino Malapet and the founder of OK Jazz, Jean Serge Essous. Recording technology had evolved to allow for longer playing times, and the musicians focused on the seben, an instrumental percussion break with a swift tempo that was common in rumba. Both OK Jazz and African Jazz continued performing throughout the decade until African Jazz broke up in the mid-1960s. Tabu Ley Rochereau and Dr. Nico then formed African Fiesta, which incorporated new innovations from throughout Africa as well as American and British soul, rock and country. African Fiesta, however, lasted only two years before disintegrating, and Tabu Ley formed Orchestre Afrisa International instead, but this new group was not able to rival OK Jazz in influence for very long.

Many of the most influential musicians of Congo's history emerged from one or more of these big bands, including Sam Mangwana, Ndombe Opetum, Vicky Longomba, Dizzy Madjeku and Kiamanguana Verckys. Mangwana was the most popular of these solo performers, keeping a loyal fanbase even while switching from Vox Africa and Festival des Marquisards to Afrisa, followed by OK Jazz and a return to Afrisa before setting up a West African group called the African All Stars. Mose Fan Fan of OK Jazz also proved influential, bringing Congolese rumba to East Africa, especially Kenya, after moving there in 1974 with Somo Somo. Rumba also spread through the rest of Africa, with Brazzaville's Pamela M'ounka and Tchico Thicaya moving to Abidjan and Ryco Jazz taking the Congolese sound to the French Antilles. In Congo, students at Gombe High School became entranced with American rock and funk, especially after James Brown visited the country in 1969. Los Nickelos and Thu Zahina emerged from Gombe High, with the former moving to Brussels and the latter, though existing only briefly, becoming legendary for their energetic stage shows that included frenetic, funky drums during the seben and an often psychedelic sound. This period in the late 60s is the soukous era, though the term soukous now has a much broader meaning, and refers to all of the subsequent developments in Congolese music as well."

Orchestre Conga 68 de Jonny - F.C. Dragon

Elegance Jazz - Lisumu Lisango

Orchestre Veve - Mfumbwa 2eme

Orchestre Bella Bella - Nakomitunaka

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

The Great Days Of Music Hall

A terrific LP of old music hall stars that were still around in the 20's and 30's to record these medleys of their biggest hits. I've had these on a cassette for a number of years but glad to find this vinyl version on the cheapo Music For Pleasure label that was released in the 60's and sold for 12 shillings and sixpence back then. Wee Georgie Wood writes the sleeve notes- here's the first part about Billy Merson -

"The Greatest Music-Hall Ever Assembled" is
no mean boast, yet the six stars on this album
really do represent the best of music-hall
I can think of no better selection of artists and
numbers with which In illustrate the talks on
music-hall immortals which I give throughout
this country and America. There were other
greats too, of course, but these six stood in the
front rank and I am proud to have been a personal
friend of them all.
BILLY MKRSON typified the individuality
and personality which marked out the great
artists of the days when, to quote George
Bernard Shaw: "The music-hall, thank God. is
part of the traditional British life acceptable.—
nay, indeed welcomed—by Ireland".
"On The Good Ship Yacki Hicki Doola" was
the popular favourite of pierrot shows, amateur
reviews for charity, and delighted countless sea-
side charabanc parties.
Merson's own particular favourite was "The
Photo Of The Girl I Left Behind Me" but
"Signora", the least successful item in his
repertoire, was nevertheless the critics choice.
Lewis Waller's performance in the well-known
drama "A White Man" inspired "A Prairie
Best known of all his numbers was of course,
"The Spaniard That Blighted My Life" and I
can remember that, during the Drury Lane
rehearsal breaks of that truly great musical "Rose
Marie" (in which Merson played the part of
Herman), the composer Rudolf Kriml would
implore Billy to teach him the trick of "The
Spaniards" opening of "O list to me while 1 tell
you" with which Billy played vocal tricks with
nuances of tremolo and almost a yodel. In 1943,
Al Jolson sang this song to the troops when we
were together in North Africa and he always pre-
faced it with a personal tribute to "That Merson
man of the music-hall". Later, when Joe Brown
parted from "The Bruvvers" to gain fame as a
solo performer, he added the song to his reper-
toire and performed it with great success on a
T.V. show filmed in colour specially for America,
when it was generally thought to be a new song!"

Billy Merson - Medley

Vesta Victoria - Medley

Charles Coburn - Medley

Florrie Forde - Medley

Harry Champion - Medley

Ella Retford - Medley

Mammoth Gavioli fair Organ

An EP from the Hospice shop yesterday on the Decca label from 1965. We are always amazed by the giant fairground steam organs at the Cheshire Steam Fair every year - the noise they make is incredible. Fascinating to see the holey sheets of music being fed in in huge stacks frond the back- all folded up like concertinas. Several of these monsters churning out old Music Hall hits in one field , togther with the smell of candy floss and smoke can be quite overwhelming!

The sleeve notes say -

"The organ that you hear on this record is the largest of eight magnificent 112 key instruments supplied in Britain in 1908-9 by the Paris firm of Gavioli, and is probably the largest fair organ ever built. Delivered to South Wales in 1909, it formed the front of Sidney White's Electric Colisium Bioscope and Variety Show. The advent of the cinema doomed the travelling bioscope shows, and the Colisium Organ was reduced in size to a 98 key instrument and was installed in the Welsh Dragon Scenic Railway, travelling extensively until the ride was permanently erected in the Cosy Comer Amusement Park on Barry Island."

Mammoth Gavioli Organ - Side One

Mammoth Gavioli Organ - Side Two

Wild Animal Sounds

An EP on the castle label from the 50's I would imagine from the sleeve design. Recorded by F.C.Judd A. Inst.E (whatever that means?) who was "well known for his unique recording techniques". In order of appearance here on side one you have - Male and female lions - Gibbons - Chimpanzees(angry, curious and excited)- Bell Bird, Rattle snake - Gaboon Viper - Emporer geese - Fish Eagles - Mountain lion (puma) and Kookaburra (laughing jackass).

Wild Animal Sounds - Side One

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Norman Wisdom 1915 - 2010

Sorry to hear of the death of Norman Wisdom today who's films I much enjoyed as a nipper back in the 50's.

"Norman Wisdom was born in the London district of Marylebone to Frederick and Maude Wisdom. His father was a chauffeur and his mother a dressmaker. After a difficult and poverty-stricken childhood he joined the 10th Hussars and began to develop his talents as a musician and stage entertainer

After he left the army he went into show-business, gradually becoming one of Britain's most successful stars. In 1954 he released the best-selling single that is still closely associated with his name, "Don't Laugh At Me (Cause I'm A Fool)".
Moving into film in the 1960s, he created an accident-prone, clownish character called Norman Pitkin, a lovable fool who appeared in several successful films, most notably The Early Bird (1965). His famous and widely imitated cry as Pitkin was "Mr Grimsdale! Mr Grimsdale!

In 1967, he was widely praised for his performance as a serious actor in The Night They Raided Minsky's, but his career began to decline in the 1970s and he was out of favour with British tastes in comedy for many years. On 11 February 1987 Norman Wisdom was the subject of Thames Television's This Is Your Life.
He became widely popular again in the 1990s, helped by the young comedian Lee Evans, whose act was heavily influenced by Wisdom's work. The highpoint of this new popularity was the knighthood he received in 1999 from Queen Elizabeth II.
After he was knighted, true to his accident-prone persona, he couldn't resist pretending to trip on his way out off the platform."

Discover more about Norman Wisdom HERE

Norman Wisdom - The Joker

Norman Wisdom & Joyce Grenfell - Narcissus

Monday, October 04, 2010

Sydney Carter/ Jeremy Taylor

Slim pickings at the boot sale this weekend but did pick up this rare LP on Fontana for a couple of quid. I have an LP with Jeremy Taylor and Spike Milligan which is fun so hoped this would be too. I certainly wasn't disappointed and happy to upload both sides. I could have done without the horrible Eton Boating Song at the end sung by lots of toffee nosed oiks but the rest is excellent despite the odd pop and crackle. Made in 1967 .

Wikipedia says of Sydney Carter-

"He studied at Christ's Hospital school in Horsham, West Sussex and Balliol College, Oxford, graduating in history in 1936. A committed pacifist, Carter joined the Friends' Ambulance Unit on the outbreak of World War II and served in Egypt, Palestine and Greece.

He worked as a lyricist for Donald Swann's revues and musicals in the 1950s and in 1962, produced an album Putting out the Dustbin with Sheila Hancock, with the song Last Cigarette on failing to give up smoking that became a minor hit."

The sleeve notes are as follows -

"Balliol is brainy but ugly, Trinity elegant but lackadaisical. They
stand side by side in Oxford. Each has a low opinion of the other
and lewd songs are sung over the dividing wall. Jeremy Taylor went
to one, Sydney Carter to the other. Look at their pictures and you'll
guess which came from which.
Both write songs and sing them. Anyone who does this now is
likely to be labelled "folk" unless (like Noel Coward) he plays the
piano. Taylor plays the guitar and Carter will often sing starkly
unaccompanied, for which reason he has been described (in The
/sis) as "traditional". He may be that, but his songs are not anony-
mous nor as ancient as some people think. He did not (as one Church
Organist seems to imagine) flourish around 1660; and Jeremy
Taylor did not write Holy Living ard Holy Dying (1651) though any
encyclopedia will say he did. The songs on this record should
dispel that notion.
Both have one foot in education and the other one in entertainment.
Carter pulled his out of education pretty early; after teaching for two
years at Frensham Heights he only did it after that from the safe
distance of "English by Radio" and the Schools Department of the
B.B.C. He found his way to folk song via Greece, where he spent
two years with the Friends Ambulance Unit, frequenting taverns
when he got the chance, dancing the hassapiko and listening to
the bouzouki. "Not that this was considered folk at all when I was
there" he says, "people told me it was low and Turkish. But I
breathed the pure mountain air of the klephtika as well".
Jeremy Taylor first taught in Johannesburg, where he sang in a
coffee bar at night. That is how he got mixed up with Wait a Minim,
the revue which was a smash hit in South Africa and had a two
year run in London before going on to Broadway. There it still goes
on, but Jeremy left the cast to stay in England. There he reverted
to education, teaching for a spell at Eton, but slipping up to London
now and then to do a folk song club or cabaret.
He is now back in the theatre. His Eton swan song was a concert in
the Art School, and this is it. Though no Etonian (even by associa-
tion) Sydney Carter sang as well. Martin Carthy was roped in to
play the guitar, Terry Brown to rattle chains and supervise."

S.Carter/J.Taylor - Side One

S.Carter/J.Taylor - Side Two