Thursday, December 19, 2013

From Eddie Gorodetsky

A Merry Crumble to one and all!   Heres a few treats hidden here to stuff in your Xmas stockings or up the festive tree. All the best for 2014 and happy record hunting!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Billy Cotton Band Show

An LP on the Fontana label from 1966.   More MOR than other LP's I have of his band.  A nostalgic favourite that reminds me of Sunday roast dinners with my parents when I was young.  Highlight on this selection is Alan Breeze's rendition of the old music hall song " I Can't DO My Bally Bottom Button Up".

Wikipedia says  -  Born in Smith SquareLondon, to Joseph and Susan Cotton, Cotton was a choirboy and started his musical career as a drummer. He enlisted in the Royal Fusiliers by falsifying his age and saw service in World War I in Malta and Egypt, before landing at Gallipoli in the middle of an artillery barrage. Later he was recommended for a commission and learned to fly Bristol Fighter aircraft. He flew solo for the first time in 1918, the same day the Royal Flying Corps became the Royal Air Force. He was then not yet 19 years old. In the early 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 theirAfrican American trombonist and tap dancer, Ellis Jackson. Their signature tune was "Somebody Stole My Gal", and they made numerous commercial recordings 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.
As a racing driver his finest moment came in 1949 when he finished fourth in the 1949 British Grand Prix, sharing an ERA with David Hampshire.
Cotton married Mabel E. Gregory in 1921 and they had two sons, Ted and Sir Bill Cotton, who later became the BBC's managing director of television. In 1962 Billy Cotton suffered a stroke. He died in 1969 while watching a boxing match at Wembley.
He was the great-uncle of TV & Radio Presenter Fearne Cotton.”

Billy Cotton Band Show

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Victor Borge

I have featured Victor Borge before I think a few years back so about time for another - this time from an EP kindly sent by a friend.  It is a bit scratchy and jumps on the first side sadly but hopefully won't deter from the amusement generated.

Wikipedia says  -  Borge was born Børge Rosenbaum in Copenhagen, Denmark, into a Jewish family. His parents, Bernhard and Frederikke (Uchtinger) Rosenbaum, were both musicians—his father a violist in the Royal Danish Orchestra and his mother a pianist.Like his mother, Borge began piano lessons at the age of two, and it was soon apparent that he was a prodigy. He gave his first piano recital when he was eight years old, and in 1918 was awarded a full scholarship at the Royal Danish Academy of Music, studying under Olivo Krause. Later on, he was taught by Victor SchiølerLiszt's student Frederic Lamond, and Busoni's pupil Egon Petri.
Borge played his first major concert in 1926 at the Danish concert-hall Odd Fellow Palæet (The Odd Fellow's Lodge building). After a few years as a classical concert pianist, he started his now famous "stand up" act, with the signature blend of piano music and jokes. He married American Elsie Chilton in 1933, the same year he debuted with his revue acts.Borge started touring extensively in Europe, where he began telling anti-Nazi jokes.
When the Nazis occupied Denmark during World War II, Borge was playing a concert in Sweden, and managed to escape to Finland.He traveled to America on the USS American Legion, the last neutral ship to make it out of Petsamo, Finland, and arrived 28 August 1940, with only $20 (about $333 today), with $3 (about $49.99 today) going to the customs fee. Disguised as a sailor, Borge returned to Denmark once during the occupation to visit his dying mother.

Even though Borge did not speak a word of English upon arrival in America, he quickly managed to adapt his jokes to the American audience, learning English by watching movies. He took the name of Victor Borge, and, in 1941, he started on Rudy Vallee's radio show,but was hired soon after by Bing Crosby for his Kraft Music Hall program.
From then on, fame rose quickly for Borge, who won Best New Radio Performer of the Year in 1942. Soon after the award, he was offered film roles with stars such as Frank Sinatra (inHigher and Higher). While hosting The Victor Borge Show on NBC beginning in 1946, he developed many of his trademarks, including repeatedly announcing his intent to play a piece but getting "distracted" by something or other, making comments about the audience, or discussing the usefulness of Chopin's "Minute Waltz" as an egg timer.He would also start out with some well-known classical piece like Beethoven's "Moonlight Sonata" and suddenly move into a harmonically suitable pop or jazz tune like Cole Porter's "Night and Day" or "Happy Birthday to You".

Victor Borge  -  Phonetic Punctuation

Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Edmundo Ros

Record found today at the Oxfam in Crewe for 99p.  Big band calypso with some nice pan playing. A bit MOR for my taste but an interesting addition to my ever growing calypso aquisitions.

Wikipedia says  -  “Edmund William Ross was born in Port of Spain, Trinidad. His mother Luisa Urquart was a teacher, thought to be descended from indigenous Caribs, and his father, William Hope-Ross, was of Scottish descent. He was the eldest of four children, having two sisters, Ruby and Eleanor, followed by a half-brother, Hugo. His parents separated after Hugo was born, and after various false steps Edmund was enrolled in a military academy. There he became interested in music and learned to play the euphonium. From 1927 to 1937 his family lived in Caracas, Venezuela.
He played in the Venezuelan Military Academy Band as well as being a tympanist in the Venezuela Symphony Orchestra. As Sue Steward noted in his obituary: "His local name, 'Edmundo Ros', launched a lasting myth that he was Venezuelan." Later he received a music scholarship from the government, and, from 1937 to 1942, studied harmony, composition and orchestration at the Royal Academy of Music. At the same time he was the vocalist and percussionist in Don Marino Baretto's band at the Embassy Club, and also recorded several sides as a sideman to Fats Waller, who was visiting London in 1938.

In August 1940, Ros formed his own rumba band, performing as Edmundo Ros and His Rumba Band. In 1941 he cut his first tracks with Parlophone, the first number being "Los Hijos de Buda". The band played regularly at the Coconut Grove club in Regent Street, attracting members of high society.
Ros's bands were always based in London nightclubs or restaurants. The first was the Cosmo Club in Wardour Street; then followed the St Regis Hotel, Cork Street, the Coconut Grove and the Bagatelle Restaurant. At the Bagatelle a visit from Princess Elizabeth and party made his name. The future queen danced in public for the first time to Edmundo's music. In later years his orchestra was often invited to play at Buckingham Palace.
By 1946 Ros owned a club, a dance school, a record company and an artistes' agency. His band grew to 16 musicians and was renamed Edmundo Ros and His Orchestra. Among his percussionists was Ginger Johnson. His number "The Wedding Samba", 1949, sold three million 78s. His album Rhythms of The South (1958) was one of the first high-quality LP stereo records: it sold a million copies. He was with Decca Records from 1944 to 1974, and altogether he made more than 800 recordings.
In 1951 Ros bought the Coconut Grove on Regent Street and in 1964 renamed it Edmundo Ros's Dinner and Supper Club. The club became popular for its atmosphere and music, but it closed in 1965, when legalised casino gambling had drawn away many of its best customers. During the 1950s and 1960s the Ros orchestra appeared frequently on BBC Radio, continuing into the early 1970s on Radio Two Ballroom.
In 1975, during Ros's seventh tour of Japan, his band's Musicians' Union shop steward tried to usurp Ros's authority by making arrangements with venues behind his back. Upon their return to the UK Ros organised a celebratory dinner after a BBC recording session and announced the disbanding of the orchestra. He destroyed almost all the charts (arrangement sheets), which conclusively ended the orchestra's existence.”

Tracks are as follows  -  1. Saturday Night  2. Panther's Going To The Moon  3. All Night Tonight  4. Granpa's Advice  5. The Sky Jackers ( Calling Habana )  6. Simple Calypso

Edmundo Ros  -  Side One

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

Kenneth Horne (Re-Up)

A 10" LP I found today at a boot sale. On the Concert Hall record label from 1962. Kenneth Horne is better remembered as the amusing a genial host of radio's Round The Horne which featured Kenneth Williams, Hugh Paddick and Betty Marsden etc. in the 60's. Interesting to hear him here narrating this tale set to the music of Prokofiev which I always thought was tinged with a certain undefinable melancholy. One can't help thinking - any minute now Rambling Syd Rumpo will appear to spoil the mood and regale us with a Swoggler's Nadgering Song! Wikipedia says - "Kenneth Horne (27 February 1907 – 14 February 1969) was an English comedian and businessman. The son of a clergyman and politician, he combined a successful business career with regular broadcasting for the BBC. His first hit series, Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh, written with his co-star Richard Murdoch, arose out of his wartime service as an officer in the Royal Air Force. Ill health forced him to choose between commerce and show business after 1958, and, choosing the latter, he made two further popular radio series, Beyond Our Ken (1958–1964) and Round the Horne (1965–1968) Charles Kenneth Horne was the seventh and youngest child of Charles Silvester Horne and his wife, the Hon. Katherine neé Cozens-Hardy. Silvester Horne was a Congregationalist minister, Liberal MP for Ipswich, and powerful orator. His maternal grandfather was Herbert Cozens-Hardy, the Liberal MP for North Norfolk who became both the Master of the Rolls and Baron Cozens-Hardy on 1 July 1914. Horne was educated at a preparatory school in Shrewsbury, followed by St George's School, Harpenden and the London School of Economics. His tutors at the LSE included Hugh Dalton and Stephen Leacock. Horne was dissatisfied there, and through the generosity of an uncle, Austin Pilkington of the Pilkington glassmaking family of St Helens, he was enabled to go instead to Magdalene College, Cambridge. He represented the university at tennis, partnering Bunny Austin, but was academically undistinguished and so neglectful of his studies that he was sent down in 1927. Austin Pilkington was aggrieved at Horne's failure to make the most of the opportunity he had provided, and he decided against offering him a post in the family firm. However, through his contacts within the industry, he secured for the young Horne an interview with the Triplex Safety Glass Company at King's Norton, a district of Birmingham. Horne's sporting record commended him to the manager of the Triplex factory, and he was taken on as a management trainee on a very modest salary. In 1930, despite his unimpressive finances, he married Lady Mary Pelham-Clinton-Hope, daughter of the 8th Duke of Newcastle. The marriage was happy at first, but they were sexually incompatible. His wife left him and returned to her family home. The marriage was annulled in 1933 on the grounds of non-consummation, although the two remained on friendly terms thereafter. When Horne's first marriage was dissolved, he was sought out by a former girlfriend, Joan Burgess, daughter of a neighbour at King's Norton. Unlike his first wife, she had much in common with him, including a liking for squash, tennis and golf and for dancing. A month before her 21st birthday they were married, in September 1936." Peter & The Wolf - Side One. Peter & The Wolf -Side Two

Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Jake Thackray

The master of drollery and sly humour from an LP on the EMI label from 1969.  Reminds me of Paddy Roberts and singer songwriters of that ilk.

Wikipedia says  -  John Philip "Jake" Thackray (27 February 1938 – 24 December 2002), was an English singer-songwriter, poet and journalist. Best known in the late 1960s and early 1970s for his topical comedy songs performed on British television, his work ranged from satirical to bawdy to sentimental to pastoral, with a strong emphasis on storytelling, making him difficult to pigeonhole.
Jake Thackray sang in a lugubrious baritone voice, accompanying himself on a nylon-strung guitar in a style that was part classical, part jazz. His witty lyrics and clipped delivery, combined with his strong Yorkshire accent and the northern setting of many of his songs, led to him being described as the "North Country Noël Coward", a comparison Thackray resisted, although he acknowledged his lyrics were in the English tradition of Coward and Flanders and Swann, "who are wordy, funny writers". However, his tunes derived from the French chansonniertradition: he claimed Georges Brassens as his greatest inspiration, and he was also influenced by Jacques Brel and Charles Trenet.He also admired Randy Newman."

Tracks are as follows -

1. Country Girl  2. Family Tree  3. Sophie  4. Worried Brown Eyes  5. On The Shelf

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Alan Sherman

A welcome find was this LP on the Warner Bros. label from 1963.  I already have "My Son The Folk Singer" but not sure how many others in this series there are?   I expect Wikipedia will shed light on the subject.  Hello Muddah.... his big hit is on here but the other parodies of songs on here are just as amusing.  I love the sleeve art too. Another quid well spent!

"In 1951 Sherman recorded a 78-rpm single with veteran singer Sylvia Froos which included the songs "A Satchel and a Seck," parodying "A Bushel and a Peck" from Guys and Dolls, and "Jake's Song." The single sold poorly and when Sherman wrote his autobiography, he did not make reference to it. Later, he found that the song parodies he performed to amuse his friends and family were taking on a life of their own. Sherman lived in the Brentwood section of West Los Angeles next door to Harpo Marx, who invited him to perform his song parodies at parties attended by Marx's show-biz friends. After one party, George Burns phoned an executive at Warner Bros. Records and persuaded him to sign Sherman to a contract. The result was a long playing album of these parodies, My Son, the Folk Singer, which was released in 1962. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. The album was so successful that it was quickly followed byMy Son, the Celebrity, which ended with "Shticks of One and Half a Dozen of the Other," fragments of song parodies including Robert Burns' "Comin' Thro' the Rye": "Do not make a stingysandwich, pile the cold cuts high;/Customers should see salami comin' thru the rye" and "All day, all night Cary Grant," a takeoff on "Marianne."
In 1962, capitalizing on his success, Jubilee Records re-released Sherman's 1951 single on the album More Folk Songs by Allan Sherman and His Friends, which was a compilation of material by various Borscht Belt comedians, such as Sylvia Froos, Fyvush Finkle and Lee Tully, along with the Sherman material.
As suggested by the albums' titles, Sherman's first two LPs were mainly reworkings of old folk songs to infuse them with Jewish humor. His first minor hit was "Sarah Jackman" (pronounced "Jockman"), a takeoff of "Frère Jacques" in which he and a woman (Christine Nelson) exchange family gossip ("Sarah Jackman, Sarah Jackman,/How's by you? How's by you?/How's by you the family?/How's your sister Emily?" etc.) The popularity of "Sarah Jackman" (as well as the album My Son, the Folk Singer) was enhanced after President John F. Kennedy was spotted in a hotel lobby singing the song. By his peak with My Son, the Nut in 1963, however, Sherman had broadened both his subject matter and his choice of parody material and begun to appeal to a larger audience.
Sherman wrote his parody lyrics in collaboration with Lou Busch. A few of the Sherman/Busch songs are completely original creations, featuring original music as well as lyrics, rather than new lyrics applied to an existing melody. The Sherman/Busch originals – notably "Go to Sleep, Paul Revere" and "Peyton Place" – are novelty songs, showing genuine melodic originality as well as deft lyrics."

Tracks are as follows - 1. You Went The Wrong Way, Old King Louie  2. Automation 3. I see Bones  4. Hungarian Goulash No. 5   5. Headaches  6. Her's To The Crabgrass

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Minstrel Show

I must admit this LP is pretty awful but I was attracted by the colourful and font rich sleeve.  That's my excuse anyway!   Always had a dislike of minstrels especially after enduring the Black & White variety on the telly in the 60's and early 70's.  This record is a sad reminder of those innocent pre- politically  correct days and what was considered family entertainment.  I only feature it here to remind you how dire it all was!

Minstrel Show  -  Side One

Friday, September 20, 2013

The Polyanka Russian Gypsy Orchestra

Another EP on the Concert Hall label featuring the massed balalaika's of the "Polyanka" RussianGypsy Orchestra in glorious stereo.  Its actually plays at 33 nd third which was why it sounded incredibly fast when I put it on first at 45 r.p.m.!   Even at 33 and third it sounds like they are going at break neck speed -their little Kossack legs all a blur!

Polyanka Russian Gypsy Orchestra  -  Side One

Polyanka Russian Gypsy Orchestra  -  Side Two

Monday, September 16, 2013

George Melly

A recent charity shop find for a mere pound.  I have several George Melly records but I have never seen this one before so grabbed it knowing I was in for a treat.

His Guardian obituary says  -  "....Alan George Heywood Melly was born in Liverpool. His father, an easy-going man, came from a large and well-known Liverpool business family, and made a comfortable living in the wool trade, which he hated. Tom didn't mind what anyone did, so long as it made them happy. Maud, George's Jewish mother, had once dreamed of a career on the stage, and remained a leading figure in Liverpool's amateur dramatics. (George's sister Andree was to become a well-known actress.) Maud was the friend of many theatrical queens, and visiting stars such as Robert Helpman, Frederick Ashton and Douglas Byng were often at the house near Aigburth Road, as was David Webster, then running a department store in Liverpool before taking over the Royal Opera House.
George wrote his autobiography backwards, starting with his early years in the jazz world, and working back to his childhood. Scouse Mouse (1984) is an affectionate account of 1930s middle-class Liverpool and its numerous Melly eccentrics. The snake in the Eden of Sefton Park was George's headmaster at Parkfield prep school, the alcoholic WW Twyne. A manic wielder of the house slipper, given to purple rages, Twyne deplored almost everything about the modern world except games. His denunciations of ballet and leftwing politics were so extreme that George knew at once that he would like both. Thus his interest in both anarchism and surrealism, developed at Stowe, can be traced to his comfortable Liverpudlian beginnings, just as his passion for fishing went back to family holidays in North Wales.
George clearly lacked officer-like qualities and was unable to qualify even as a naval clerk when he was called up in 1944. He remained a skiving Ordinary Seaman for most of his three and a half years service, leaving anarchist tracts on the messdeck to annoy his superior officers. He spent most of his leaves in London getting to know the Surrealist circle that gathered round the Belgian poet and gallery-owner ELT Mesens, and relishing an exuberant homosexual life made much easier by his uniform. Rum, Bum and Concertina (1977), his account of this period, is extremely funny. As a convinced surrealist George felt an obligation to be shocking and subversive, but his sense of reality and his sense of humour kept him out of serious trouble....."

Tracks are as follows -   1. Aint Misbehavin'  2. Squeeze me  3. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down And Write Myself A Letter  4. An Awful Lot My Gal Ain't Got  5. Your Feets Too Big  6. My Very Good Friend The Milkman  7. The Joint Is Jumpin'

George Melly  -   Sings Fats Waller  - Side One

Monday, September 02, 2013

Webb Pierce

EP on the Brunswick label from the 60's- a compilation of country hits from the mid to late 50's. Webb has a pleasing voice and delivery which put him in the top rank of country singers of his time.

Wikipedia says  -  "Webb Michael Pierce (August 8, 1921 – February 24, 1991) was one of the most popular American honky tonk vocalists of the 1950s, charting more number one hits than any other country artist during the decade.
His biggest hit was "In the Jailhouse Now," which charted for 37 weeks in 1955, 21 of them at number one. Pierce also charted number one for several weeks' each with his recordings of "Slowly" (1954), "Love, Love, Love" (1955), "I Don't Care" (1955), "There Stands the Glass" (1953), "More and More" (1954), "I Ain't Never" (1959), and his first number one "Wondering," which stayed at the top spot for four of its 27 weeks' charting in 1952.

For many, Pierce, with his flamboyant Nudie suits and twin silver dollar-lined convertibles, became the most recognizable face of country music of the era and its excesses.[1] Pierce was a one-time member of the Grand Ole Opry and was posthumously inducted into the Country Music Hall of Fame. A tribute in his honor (produced by singer/songwriter Gail Davies) was released in 2001 entitled Caught In The Webb - A Tribute To Country Legend Webb Pierce."

Monday, August 19, 2013

Ian Dury - Star Choice (Re-Up)

A radio show from 1978 on BBC Radio One. I think it was called "Star Choice" - where pop celebrities of the day played DJ for two hours and raided the BBC Archives. It was Ian Dury's turn and a wonderful eclectic mix it was too -including Max Miller , Roland Kirk, Kay Starr and Albert Ayler to name but a few.

Wikipedia says -

"Dury was born in north-west London at his parents' home at 43 Weald Rise, Harrow Weald, Harrow (although he often pretended, and indeed all but one of his obituaries in the national press stated, that he was born in Upminster, Havering). His father, William George Dury (born 23 September 1905, Southborough, Kent; died 25 February 1968), was a bus driver and former boxer, while his mother Margaret (known as Peggy, born Margaret Cuthbertson Walker, 17 April 1910, Rochdale, Lancashire) was a health visitor, the daughter of a Cornish doctor, and granddaughter of an Irish landowner.

William Dury trained with Rolls-Royce to be a chauffeur, and was then absent for long periods, so Peggy Dury took Ian to stay with her parents in Cornwall. After the Second World War, the family moved to Switzerland, where his father chauffeured for a millionaire and the Western European Union. In 1946 Peggy brought Ian back to England and they stayed with her sister, Mary, a physician in Cranham, a small village bordering Upminster. Although he saw his father on visits, they never lived together again.

At the age of seven, he contracted polio; very likely, he believed, from a swimming pool at Southend on Sea during the 1949 polio epidemic. After six weeks in a full plaster cast in Truro hospital, he was moved to Black Notley Hospital, Braintree, Essex, where he spent a year and a half before going to Chailey Heritage Craft School, East Sussex, in 1951. Chailey was a school and hospital for disabled children, and believed in toughening them up, contributing to the observant and determined person Dury became. Chailey taught trades such as cobbling and printing, but Dury's mother wanted him to be more academic, so his aunt Moll arranged for him to enter the Royal Grammar School, High Wycombe which he attended until the age of 16 when he left to study painting at Walthamstow Art College, having gained GCE 'O' Levels in English Language, English Literature and Art.

From 1964 he studied art at the Royal College of Art under British artist Peter Blake, and in 1967 took part in a group exhibition, Fantasy and Figuration, alongside Pat Douthwaite, Herbert Kitchen and Stass Paraskos at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London. When asked why he did not pursue a career in art, he said, "I got good enough [at art] to realise I wasn't going to be very good."[citation needed] From 1967 he taught art at various colleges in the south of England.

Dury married his first wife, Elizabeth 'Betty' Rathmell (born 12 August 1942, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire), on 3 June 1967 and they had two children, Jemima (born 4 January 1969, Hounslow, Middlesex) and the recording artist Baxter Dury. Dury divorced Rathmell in 1985, but remained on good terms. He also cohabited with a teenage fan, Denise Roudette, for 6 years after he moved to London."

Ian Dury  -  Star Choice   Side One

Ian Dury  -  Star Choice Side Two

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Elkes Owls Steel Orchestra

Another steel band from the West Indies on the Wirl label.  Released in 1973.  Attracted by the sleeve more than anything. Steel bands don't really transfer to vinyl very well - it all sounds a bit too tinny if you'll forgive the pun!

Wikipedia says  - " French planters and their slaves emigrated to Trinidad during the French Revolution (1789) from Martinique, including a number of West Africans, and French creoles from Saint Vincent,Grenada, Saint Lucia and Dominica, establishing a local community before Trinidad and Tobago were taken from Spain by the British. Carnival had arrived with the French, and the slaves, who could not take part in Carnival, formed their own, parallel celebration called canboulay.
Stick fighting and African percussion music were banned in 1880, in response to the Canboulay Riots. They were replaced by bamboo sticks beaten together, which were themselves banned in turn. In 1937 they reappeared in Laventille, transformed as an orchestra of frying pansdustbin lids and oil drums. These steelpans are now a major part of the Trinidadian music scene and are a popular section of the Canboulay music contests. In 1941, the United States Navy arrived on Trinidad, and the panmen, who were associated with lawlessness and violence, helped to popularize steel pan music among soldiers, which began its international popularization.
The first instruments developed in the evolution of steelpan were Tamboo-Bamboos, tunable sticks made of bamboo wood. These were hit onto the ground and with other sticks in order to produce sound. Tamboo-Bamboo bands also included percussion of a (gin) bottle and spoon. By the mid-1930s, bits of metal percussion were being used in the tamboo bamboo bands, the first probably being either the automobile brake hub "iron" or the biscuit drum "boom". The former replaced the gin bottle-and-spoon, and the latter the "bass" bamboo that was pounded on the ground. By the late 1930s their occasional all-steel bands were seen at Carnival and by 1940 it had become the preferred Carnival accompaniment of young underprivileged men. The 55-gallon oil drum was used to make steelpans from around 1947. The Trinidad All Steel Percussion Orchestra (TASPO), formed to attend the Festival of Britain in 1951, was the first steelband whose instruments were all made from oil drums. Members of TASPO included Ellie Mannette and Winston "Spree" SimonHugh Borde also led the National Steel Band of Trinidad & Tobago at the Commonwealth Arts Festival in England, as well as the Esso Tripoli Steel Band, who played at the World’s Fair in MontrealCanada, and later toured withLiberace and were also featured on an album with him."

Tracks are as follows  -  1.The First Time Ever I saw Your Face  2. Shaft  3. Wonderful |Song  4. St. Thomas Girl  5. Love Story  6. Drunk & Disorderly

Elkes Owls Steel Orchestra  -  Side One

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Erroll Garner

LP on the cheapo Ember label from 1965 found at charity shop today.  Pleasant piano jazz - a compilation of show tunes and standards.

Wikipedia says - " Born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, to an African American family in 1923, Erroll began playing piano at the age of three. He attended George Westinghouse High School, as did fellow pianists Billy Strayhorn and Ahmad Jamal. Garner was self-taught and remained an "ear player" all his life – he never learned to read music. At the age of seven, Garner began appearing on the radio station KDKA in Pittsburgh with a group called the Candy Kids. By the age of 11, he was playing on the Allegheny riverboats. At 14 in 1937, he joined local saxophonist Leroy Brown.
He played locally in the shadow of his older pianist brother Linton Garner and moved to New York in 1944. He briefly worked with the bassistSlam Stewart, and though not a bebop musician per se, in 1947 played with Charlie Parker on the famous "Cool Blues" session. Although his admission to the Pittsburgh music union was initially refused because of his inability to read music, they eventually relented in 1956 and made him an honorary member. Garner is credited with having a superb memory of music. After attending a concert by the Russian classical pianist Emil Gilels, Garner returned to his apartment and was able to play a large portion of the performed music by recall.
Short in stature (5 ft 2 in), Garner performed sitting on multiple telephone directories. He was also known for his occasional vocalizations while playing, which can be heard on many of his recordings. He helped to bridge the gap for jazz musicians between nightclubs and the concert hall.
Garner made many tours both at home and abroad, and produced a large volume of recorded work. He was, reportedly, The Tonight Show host Johnny Carson's favorite jazz musician; Garner appeared on Carson's show many times over the years.
Erroll Garner died from a cardiac arrest on January 2, 1977. He is buried in Pittsburgh's Homewood Cemetery."

Erroll Garner  -  Side One

Thursday, August 08, 2013

Chris Barber

10" LP recorded in the 50's on the Pye Nixa label. Found the other day in a Leek charity shop in The Peak District for 99p.  I have posted previously about Chris Barber but  not this record I don't think.  Mostly trad jazz instrumentals and one vocal by Ottilie Patterson on this side.

Wikipedia says - " Donald Christopher 'Chris' Barber (born 17 April 1930, Welwyn Garden CityHertfordshireEngland) is best known as a jazz trombonist. As well as scoring a UK top twenty trad jazz hit, he helped the careers of many musicians, notably the blues singer Ottilie Patterson, who was at one time his wife, and vocalist/banjoist Lonnie Donegan, whose appearances with Barber triggered the skiffle craze of the mid-1950s and who had his first transatlantic hit, "Rock Island Line", while with Chris Barber's band. His providing an audience for Donegan and, later, Alexis Korner, makes Barber a significant figure in the British rhythm and blues and "beat boom" of the 1960s."

Tracks are as follows -  1. Bye and Bye  2. Proud of Blues  3. When You and I Were Yound, Maggie  4. Just A Closer Walk With Thee

Chris Barber  -  Side Two

Friday, August 02, 2013

Barbados Steel Band

Rather disappointing steel band from Barbados. Was attracted by the sleeve and the 50p price tag.  A weird mixture of calypso, classics and folk songs which all sound very similar after a while.

"Steel band music originated in Trinidad & Tobago in the 1930s and spread to the rest of the Caribbean, becoming one of the sounds most associated with island music in the minds of many visitors to the region. Originally, bamboo tubes of varying sizes had been used as percussion instruments to accompany vocal songs -- mostly because of restrictions on genuine drums, designed by the white government to curtail the annual Carnival celebrations among the Afro-Caribbean and Indian (true Indian, not native American) population. Metal objects, however, produced much louder, livelier accompaniment, and so industrial leftovers -- various types of pans, containers, and drums (in the "barrel" sense of the word) -- became the new instruments of choice. Players learned that different pitches could be drawn from some of the containers, and eventually how to tune the instruments with slight modifications. By the 1940s, steel pan players were crafting instruments that could sound over a dozen pitches. Around 1946-47, steel bands discovered that discarded oil drums -- which were more sturdily constructed -- could be used to fashion excellent instruments, and by the time the '50s rolled around, steel drums made from oil containers boasted different pitches covering full chromatic octaves, plus standard concert-pitch tuning. Technical innovations and refinements continued through the rest of the decade, with ensembles trying to outdo one another at the annual Carnivals. The repertoire of steel bands grew to include not only calypso melodies, but the various styles of music broadcast on the radio -- American jazz, showtunes, and ballroom-dancing music, Latin-American dances, traditional Indian music, and European classical. When college-educated Trinidad & Tobago youth picked up on steel band music in the '50s, it achieved a new respectability among the middle and upper classes, and has remained an important part of the country's -- and the Caribbean's -- musical scene right up to the present day, even if soca has long since eclipsed steel band music in popularity."

Barbados Steel Band  -  Side One