Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Billy Cotton Band

LP on the Columbia label from 1961 when the The Billy Cotton Band Show was at it's height on BBC radio and TV. I have fond memories of his show being aired at Sunday lunchtime as the family all sat round the dinner table to eat. I bought this purely for the nostalgia of a bygone time that will never be again.

Wikipedia says -

"William Edward Cotton (6 May 1899 – 25 March 1969), better known as Billy Cotton, was a British band leader and entertainer, one of the few whose orchestras survived the dance band era. Today, he is mainly remembered as a 1950s and 1960s radio and television personality, although his musical talent emerged as early as the 1920s. In his younger years Billy Cotton was also an amateur footballer for Brentford F.C.(and later, for the then Athenian league club Wimbledon, now AFC Wimbledon), an accomplished racing driver and the owner of a Gipsy Moth which he piloted himself.
Born in Smith Square, London, to Joseph (born in 1858 in Coventry, Warwickshire) and Susan Cotton, Cotton was a choirboy and then started his musical career as a drummer, an occupation he also pursued in the army during the First World War. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers by falsifying his age and saw service in Malta and Egypt, before landing at Gallipoli in the middle of an artillery barrage. Later in the war he was recommended for a commission and learned to fly Bristol Fighter aircraft. He flew solo for the first time on 1918-04-01, the day the Royal Flying Corps became the Royal Air Force. He was then not yet 19 years old.
He married Mabel E. Gregory in 1921 and had two sons, Ted and Bill Jnr. In the inter-war years. he had several jobs such as bus driver before setting up his own orchestra, the London Savannah Band, in 1924. At first a straight dance band, over the years the London Savannah Band more and more tended towards music hall/vaudeville entertainment, introducing all sorts of visual and verbal humour in between songs. Famous musicians that played in Billy Cotton's band during the 1920s and 1930s included Arthur Rosebery, Syd Lipton and Nat Gonella. The band was also noted for their African American trombonist and tap dancer, Ellis Jackson. Their signature tune was "Somebody Stole My Gal", and they made numerous records – 78s, that is – for Decca.
During the Second World War Cotton and his band toured France with the Entertainments National Service Association (ENSA). After the war, he started his successful Sunday lunchtime radio show on BBC, the Billy Cotton Band Show, which ran from 1949 to 1968. In the 1950s composer Lionel Bart contributed comedy songs to the show. It regularly opened with the band's signature tune and Cotton's call of "Wakey Wakey". From 1957, it was also broadcast on BBC television.
In 1962 Billy Cotton suffered a stroke. He died in 1969 while watching a boxing match at Wembley. His son, Bill Cotton, later became BBC's head of variety."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Somebody Stole My Girl
2. Sing Sing Sing / Sugartime / Let's gather Round The parlour Piano / Bill Bailey Won't You Please Come Home ( with Alma Cogan, Russ Conway and the Silouettes.)
3. Exodus Song ( with Grisha Farfel )
4. And The Great Big Saw Came Nearer and Nearer ( with Alan Breeze & The Highlights )
5. Let's Face The Music & Dance ( with Alma Cogan )
6. She's Funny That Way / The Man I Love / You Were meant For Me ( with Alma Cogan )
7. Ta Ra Ra Boom De Ay / Ragtime Cowboy Joe / Row, Row, Row ( company and audience )

Billy Cotton Band - Side One

Cliff Carlisle

Another from the recent boot sale batch. On the Old Timey label from 60's I imagine, though songs recorded back in the 30's. Similar to Tommy Collins but more yodelling and exceptional steel guitar.

Wikipedia says -

"Carlisle was born in Taylorsville, Kentucky and began performing locally with cousin Lillian Truax at age 16. Truax's marriage put an end to the group, and Carlisle began playing with Wilber Ball, a guitarist and tenor harmonizer. The two toured frequently around the U.S. playing vaudeville and circus venues in the 1920s.
Carlisle and Ball first played at Louisville, Kentucky radio station WHAS-AM in 1930, which made them local stars, and later that year they recorded for Gennett Records and Champion Records. In 1931, they recorded with Jimmie Rodgers. Toward the end of 1931, Carlisle signed with ARC and was offered performance slots on several radio stations, including WBT-AM in Charlotte, North Carolina, WLS-AM in Chicago and WLW-AM in Cincinnati, Ohio. Cliff's brother Bill became his guitarist after Ball left in 1934. During the 1930s Carlisle, who recorded a large amount of material despite a hiatus from 1934 to 1936, frequently released songs with sexual connotations including barnyard metaphors (which became something of a hallmark).
Carlisle toured with his son, "Sonny Boy Tommy," to occasional consternation from authorities in areas where this contravened local child labor laws. He continued to perform on WMPS-AM in Memphis, Tennessee for several years in the 1940s, but by the 1950s had retired from music.
In the 1960s, The Rooftop Singers covered his tune "Tom Cat Blues"; in its wake, Carlisle and Ball did a few reunion shows together and recorded for Rem Records. On April 2, 1983, Carlisle died at the age of 79 in Lexington, Kentucky."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Hobo Blues
2. Shot The Innocent man
3. Two Little Sweethearts
4. Trouble Minded Blues
5. The Hobo's Fate
6. Payday Fight
7. Waiting For A Ride

Cliff Carlisle - Side One

London Barrel Organ

This was 10p in a charity shop so could hardly pass it up. Turns out to be pretty much what I expected and a nostalgic reminder of what the buskers of Victorian London must have sounded like - monkey with tin cup and all!

Wikipedia says -

"A barrel organ (or roller organ) is a mechanical musical instrument consisting of bellows and one or more ranks of pipes housed in a case, usually of wood, and often highly decorated. The basic principle is the same as a traditional pipe organ, but rather than being played by an organist, the barrel organ is activated either by a person turning a crank, or by clockwork driven by weights or springs. The pieces of music are encoded onto wooden barrels (or cylinders), which are analogous to the keyboard of the traditional pipe organ.

The pieces of music (or tunes) are encoded onto the barrel using metal pins and staples. Pins are used for short notes, and staples of varying lengths for longer notes. Each barrel usually carried several different tunes. Pinning such barrels was something of an art form, and the quality of the music produced by a barrel organ is largely a function of the quality of its pinning. This complex encoding of music was an early form of programming.
The organ barrels must be sturdy to maintain precise alignment over time, since they play the same programming role as music rolls and have to endure significant mechanical strain. Damage to the barrel, such as warpage, would have a direct (and usually detrimental) effect on the music produced.
The size of the barrel will depend on the number of notes in the organ and the length of the tune to be played. The more notes, the longer the barrel. The longer the tune, the greater the diameter.
Since the music is hard-coded onto the barrel, the only way for a barrel organ to play a different set of tunes is to replace the barrel with another one. While not a difficult operation, barrels are unwieldy and expensive, so many organ grinders only have one barrel for their instrument."

Tracks on side one are -

1. I Do Like To Be Beside The Seaside
2. Don't Dilly Dally
3. The Honeysuckle & The Bee
4. Wouldn't It Be Loverly
5. Run Rabbit Run
6. That Old Fashioned Mother Of Mine
7. God Bless The Prince Of Wales

London Barrel Organ - Side One

Tommy Collins

An LP on the Capitol label from 1984 but original recordings from 1959. Found at car boot the other day in Frodsham. I'd not heard of Tommy Collins before I must admit but pleasantly surprised by the overall sound which reminds me of Hank Williams and several other artistes of that era when country music had that hillbilly swing.

Wikipedia says -

"Leonard Raymond Sipes (September 28, 1930 – March 14, 2000), better known as Tommy Collins, was an American country music singer and songwriter.
Active primarily during the 1950s through 1970s, Collins was instrumental in helping create the Bakersfield sound of the country music genre. He enjoyed a string of hits during the mid-1950s including "It Tickles" and "Watcha Gonna Do Now". He also wrote several songs for other artists, including "If You Ain't Lovin' (You Ain't Livin')", which was a top 10 hit for Faron Young in 1954 and a No. 1 hit by George Strait in 1988.
After several years in the ministry, Collins returned to recording. In 1965, he had a comeback hit with "If You Can't Bite, Don't Growl". In the 1970s, he wrote several hits for Merle Haggard, including the No. 1 hits "Carolyn" and "The Roots of My Raising". In 1981, Haggard recorded a biographical tribute to Collins called "Leonard".
Collins was the inspiration and character talked about in Craig Morgan's song, "I Wish I Could See Bakersfield"
Collins remained active in the songwriting business. He died March 14, 2000, in Ashland City, Tennessee."

Tracks on side one are -

1. You Better Not Do That
2. I Always Get A Souvenir
3. Untied
4. How Do I Say Goodbye
5. I'll Be Gone
6. It Tickles

Tommy Collins - Side One

Friday, April 22, 2011

Pedro & His Amigos

My son actually bought this record in Buxton yesterday in a charity shop as a joke gift for a friend. I managed to borrow it to have a listen before he wrapped it up. Despite the amuisng sleeve the record offers little for the world music afficianado! It is quite charming in its simplicity and so uploading three tracks so you can hear a sample of what you might find if ever you see it in your local charity shop or boot sale.

Eddie & His Amigos - Granada

Eddie & His Amigos - El Gallo

Eddie & His Amigos - Tico Tico


Not sure where I got this LP on the Asona label from. Made in 1986 in London England.

The sleeve notes by Anthony Roberts-Frampong say -

" Katana are Lee Duobo, Sylvester Kwame, Eddie Sey, Ogene Kologbo, Emmanuel Roberts and Fouad Amoo. Now based in West Berlin their music features strong funky harmonies but retains the subtle influence of their West-African roots - Highlife.
This is the second album, the first namely AKWANKWAA (DUKE) released on the Oval label in 1984. It is interesting to note that this is the finest example to date of Katana's work, and when you listen to it you will undoubtedly agree with me. It is an excellent blend of smooth and funky highlife sounds exemplified by IT'S HIGH TIME NOW, ODO BEBA (ATEAA), and with their more defined treatment of the Ghanaian traditional song MONSOM."

Side two features the tracks -

1. Monsom
2. saturday Night
3. Feeling So Nice

Katana - Side Two