Sunday, April 16, 2006

What we do after we garden

OK so the title has absolutely NOTHING to do with what I have dug out of the stacks for you. But I was out in the garden (kinda) and now I'm not, it is currently a gorgeous 74 degrees F (23 deg. C for those of you on the Metric System), and my mind is wandering.

Let's wander around the world of theater organs for a sec. These are wonderful sounding things, one of my many passions. I have some recordings on 78, on LP, on reel tape, and on CD. Not to mention what I have accumulated on mp3. But this one is a great performance, spoiled only by the usual pops and tics from a thrift store record with no jacket. But what a record! I found one of the Cook Stereo Tour LPs, pressed on something slightly resembling vinyl, in the records-without-sleeves bin. THese are recognizable by a deep purple hue if you look through the disc into the light. Supposedly, when they were in better condition, these were an audiophiles' dream, and you can still hear glimmers of that dream in this cut of "Valencia", performed by Reginald Foort on a monster Wurlitzer organ, somewhere unknown. Impressive, even though the transfer can be probably done better (and may well be in the future).

One thing the organ cut isn't is blase'... which leads into the next cut, Phil Harris singing "You're Blase'". This is from a mid 1950s RCA 10" EP, and vastly departs from the usual Phil Harris treatment of a tune.... he actually is mellow, almost to the point of one thinking he has had a few too many tranquilizers. He DOES get the point of the song across, though, in the usual Phil Harris manner.

Being deliciously random, we go from Phil Harris to Harpo Marx, and a cut from this here LP:

Harpo Marx - Harpo At Work LP cover

The cut is one that evokes the promise of warm summer evenings (and is a favorite tune of mine), "My Blue Heaven". Nice work on this one, the orchestra is subtle enough to let Harpo do his thing.

Continuing on in random fashion, I pulled a bit of an audio oddity for your pleasure, "You'd Be So Nice To Come Home To", performed by the Sal Salvatore Quartet. This is from one of RCA Victor's wonderful (to some) Stereo Action series. Now I will warn you, you MAY need some Dramamine to get through the track, as the recording engineers had a field day running individual tracks from right to left and back again, but the music was usually very sound (and 'lounge-y' to be sure)... played on the usual home cabinet stereo, this may not have been too bad, but if you have a system with any kind of left-right separation (or, Goddess forbid, headphones)........ have a bucket handy!

Coming back to earth after the room has come to a complete stop, I have a couple from an interesting sampler disc I landed at the thrift store. Montgomery Ward (remember them?) issued a stereo LP in honor of their 90th anniversary, and featured nine artists on it. Where they GOT these recordings, I do not know, but I suspect they raided the dustbins rather than the vaults for these. Some may even qualify as Clankers, and the audio quality is nowhere near shining, but, here they are...

First Up is David Rose & His Orchestra in a very mis-titled cut named, simply, "Berceuse". Ummmmm, aren't we overly messing with Rimsky-Korsakov here, sir? I've not heard of a Great Wall of Berceuse, have you? David Rose usually has some fine works to his performing credit, and this DEFINATELY ain't one of them. Shame, shame. Oh, and next time you go into the studio, please make sure all the wet socks are out of the microphones?

Next up, from the same piece of red vinyl, is Artie Shaw, attempting to overcome a studio engineer tho thinks that high fidelity is what can be crammed down an early 1960s telephone line. The song is the"Anniversary Song", I suppose in (dis-)honor of Monkey Ward's 90th year of providing reading matter for the Seat of Convenience. This recording definately has that 'phoned-in' sound, and, in comparison with MOST of his recorded catalogue, belongs in the outhouse catalogue that one used to use when finished with one's business there. Ewwww.

OK, let's close this mess before I get tarred and feathered... I also get reel tapes from the thrift & anteeky stores whenever I can, and sometimes there are some GEMS in them there piles. Case in point: this excerpt from the Johnny Cash television show, circa 1966-7. In this cut, Johnny shares the stage with his wife, June Carter, and singer Tennessee Ernie Ford, performing a send-up of sorts of "Ain't Nobody's Business (If I Do)". If you'll notice, towards the end of the song, the other band that joins in is Kenny Rogers & The First Edition. Kind of a nice hodge-podge send-up, no? I like finding stuff like this, mostly because, since a lot of the television companies routinely erased and/or destroyed any tapes (audio and video) of shows like this, recordings made at home may be the only extant copies remaining of performances such as these. Much like the home-recorded discs earlier in the century, reel tapes are historical records, and should be part of the archive of culture (such as it is). Just my humble opinion.

Thanks for allowing me to ramble, it's been one HELL of a week, and I think I'll go now to the porch and my lawn chair, with some pork rinds and a mix of bourbon and Mountain Dew (I couldn't get any Mexican Coca-Cola yesterday...), and watch the sun gloriously set amongst the Colorado rockies.

Peace & Blessings be upon you and your House... I hope that your holiday was pleasant and restful, whichever holiday you celebrate was the one of your choosing (why am I writing in a style worse than BabelFish on Prozac??).... anyways, enjoy the day, enjoy the music, and Deities willing, we'll return later in the week with more STUFF!

Right-click to download, you know the drill :)



  • Thank you so very much for posting the Harpo Marx side - I'm a Harpo fan. Do you have any idea of the line-up? I'm pretty sure there are some 'big names' here.
    The Sal Salvador (not Salvatore!) side is very spectacular with headphones - the David Rose one is just frightening. If you wonder who is 'Foxy Corby' on the Salvador side, by the way, it's... Maynard Ferguson. Nice band. I like that.
    Lady Domi.

    By Anonymous lady domi, at 10:40 PM  

  • Hmmm, gonna have to dig out the liner and look at the notes... I have a bunch more of the Stereo Action discs to encode, but I'm having too much fun with the 78s (witness the Ben Selvin and Roy Smeck sides that just went up on SS).

    As always, your help and insights with personnel is greatly appreciated!

    Oh, by the way, you called it RIGHT ON with the Oscar Peterson LP where he did the Sinatra stuff. Yummy yummy tasty tasty.

    By Blogger The Impaler, at 11:14 PM  

  • Might write a little something about the Jazz Portrait of Frank Sinatra on my English pages too. Just posted something about a blues CD, by the way (click on my name, it will lead there this time).
    I don't play the piano as much as I should these days... as a matter of fact I don't think I have played a single note for months!
    I will check the Selvin sides later - you're posting music faster than I can listen to it!
    The drummer with Sal Salvador is Osie Johnson, by the way. Once again, if you want the entire line-up... just ask!

    By Anonymous lady domi, at 1:43 AM  

  • I have been looking around for the lineup on the Harpo At Work LP.... and I can't find the darned LP! I do know that a stereo version was pressed but with a different cover (and re-released, or most of it anyways because the poops at Universal couldn't FIND a good stereo master of three of the cuts for the CD)... as soon as I find it I'll post personnages... although I'm pretty certain that his son Bill had either some arranging and possibly some performance credits on that LP.

    I really need to go to bed, I have to be up at 0630, and then to work again tomorrow night... I gotta stop encoding these 78s!!!!


    By Blogger The Impaler, at 12:36 AM  

    Will that do?
    I put the Harpo cover as wallpaper yesterday, it was so nice to turn Mr. P.C. on this morning at 6 and see him pop up on the screen...
    Don't bother too much with the line-up. I'll see if I can find it myself.
    Have a nice day!

    By Anonymous lady domi, at 3:03 AM  

  • heheheh, well I am actually toying with putting up ANOTHER blog, something on the order of MoodyTunes, just random tunes that run thru my head that make the day go a little bit better. Case in point: Flora Purim's "Cuervo y Canala" or something like that... she & her husband, Airto Moriera going through basically a riff and a lot of percussion and her vocalese and other Brasilian cats like Hermeto Pascual showing off quite nicely... gotta dig that LP out & re-encode it...

    Blogging: Hobby, Therapy, or Obsession (grin)...

    By Blogger The Impaler, at 8:41 AM  

  • I wonder how you will be able to keep all these blogs alive... I'm having a hard time with my second one - but then, English is not my mother tongue. Also I'm in a hurry, workwise - deadline is in ten days now, I know I can make it but... well, I'm getting sorta kinda scared all the same.
    Maybe I could use your MoodyTunes, then.
    Have a nice day (6 pm here),

    By Anonymous lady domi, at 9:06 AM  

  • PS:

    By Anonymous lady domi, at 11:09 AM  

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