Original Broadway Cast- Hair


Huh! This was one dollar.  Keepin it all musical this month on the Show.  Mostly book musical.

Hair, the 1968 production was the first rock musical to hit Broadway.  Created by two actors Gerome Ragni and James Rado who wrote the books and lyrics along with Galt MacDermot, who wrote the music, the work is noted for its anti-war stance, audience interaction, illicit drug use, profanity, and full frontal nudity.

Well not every actor went along with the nudity.  Despite receiving a $50 bonus for nude work, a young Diane Keaton, who was a memeber of the “tribe” as well as an understudy for the role of Shelia, refused.  Incidentally, Keaton appears on this record as on of the singers on “Black Boys”.

I went thru the musical’s synopsis a few times and honestly can not in great detail describe the plot any more than say this a bunch of hippies doing hippie shit.  As a result, when it was adapted into a movie in 1979, substantial changes were made including adding an actual story.  The movie stared Treat Williams as Berger.  As a side note, for the year and a half I did not have cable TV in my house, I reckon I must have seen every Treat Williams’ movie on Antenna Tv.

But the actual musical (which was first championed by the illustrious Joe Papp and his public theater) was a success and ran on Broadway for 1,750 shows,  Subsequent productions ran on the West Coast as well as  London’s West End.  Frequent revivals have also been staged throughout the years. Furthermore, this album sold 3 million copies by the end of 1969.  It stayed on the #1 spot for 13 weeks and was the last Broadway recording to do so (Hamilton went as far as #3). The musical numbers also spawned hits for various people inlcuding teh 5th Dimension, the Cowsills (which is crazy),  Oliver, Three Dog Night, and Nina Simone.

Well, for a sample, I went with the closing number which has a rousing chorus part , “Flesh Failures (Let The SunShine In)”.



Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group- Live

This was $2.80 and purchased to inject a bit of rock into the blog which I like to do on Saturdays.  I saw Jeff Beck live at Sam Houston Coliseum.  He was a split bill with Stevie Ray Vaughn,  The year was 1989.  I was still in high school and was 15.  Terry Bozzio played drums.  Tony Hymas was on keys.  I remember being pretty stoked about “Freeway Jam”.  That is about all I remember.

Set List to said show

Interview with Beck and Vaughn and crew

Well, there is this live album, with a similar set up with the Jan Hammer Group.  Hammer best known for his work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Miami Vice theme. Recorded somewhere on tout in 1976 (sources say the Astor Theater in Reading, PA on August 31) and released in 1977, this record features 7 songs which highlight Beck’s guitar skills as well as the interplay with the group.

For a sample, I went with “Full Moon Boogie”, solely because it had vocals, provided by drummer Tony Smith.  Just to round out the personnel, Fernando Saunders plays bass and Steve Kindler plays violin.

Good little album.  Satisfactory.

The Ventures- The Colorful Venture

If my calculations are correct, this is post #800.  Here is a record from a group I put on this blog so much that I am running out of new pictures to accompany this.  This was $2 and bought at the Half Price on Veteran’s Memorial, which decided to raise its discount records from $1 to $2.50.  I got it last Memorial Day a couple months ago when HPB had its 20% sale.

This record was The Ventures 4th studio album, released in 1961.  It was the 3rd album they released that year.  It was somewhat successful compared to other releases around that period.  That is purely from a commercial perspective.  Music-wise, this is a fine album that plays on songs with colors in the title.  This album really has that classic Ventures sound.

For a sample, here is “Blue Moon”. Excellent album.  Satisfactory.

Kenny Rogers and The First Edition- Rollin’

Starting another month of Donkey Show with this record I got for $2.40.  A lot of good songs on this.  So we are into September. Plus it is Labor Day, so when you read this, I am at home doing nothing (or perhaps getting even further ahead in writing this blog).  That is if we still have a country when this post comes out.  Let’s see how this month plays out. I am good and ahead of the game as far as post writing goes.  However, still erring on the side of brevity so if you have any questions, I would suggest Google.

This record is from The First Edition, a band formed in 1967 from members of The New Christy Minstrels who wanted more freedom from a constricting repertoire .  Led by Kenny Rogers, who played bass and vocals, and Terry Williams, guitar and vocals, as well as Mary Arnold on vocals and occasional actor Micky Jones on drums, the band had some decent hits including “I Just Dropped In” and ” Ruby” blending the worlds of psychedelic pop and country together.    I did not realize this but when the band disbanded in 1976, there was some doubt as to if Rogers could maintain a solo career.

Well, during the height of their fame, they had their own TV Show, Rollin, produced by CTV in Canada.  As a counterweight to the Sonny and Cher Show with decidedly more rocking acts, the show began to paint the band as TV personalities rather than musicians, to the ire of certain band members.  Anyway, it ran from 1971 to 1973 with generally good ratings.

This album, released in 1973, features songs from the show as perfromed by the group.  There are songs that feature individual vocal performances by Rogers, Williams, Arnold, and guirist Jim Hassell, as well as an instrumental rocking piece on keyboards by Gene Lorenzo, Bach’s “Joy (Jeso, Joy Of Man’s Desiring), an arrangement that had been a hit for Apollo 100.  Pretty decent stuff.  A whole lot of Beatles’ content.

Well, from this record, here is the band with “Get Back”.  Also, might as well give Kenny some spotlight with “The Long And Winding Road”.

Probably could have done with some original content, but this perhaps defeats the purpose of this record, which is satisfactory.

VA-Fonzie Favorites

Ayyyy… Don’t sit on it.  I am not sure when I bought this but one day, while goign thru records in my pile, I noticed this.  $4 I paid for it.

Yes Arthur Fonzarelli, better known as the Fonz, was a minor character on the sitcom Happy Days before exploding into a national sensation and a main protagonist.  Played by Henry Winkler, who in real life was the complete opposite of his TV persona, Fonzie was the 1970’s adaption of 1950’s cool.  He was definitely one of my favorites as a kid and much to my parent’s chagrin, probably led to the ongoing friction I have with authority figures (which is quite funny given that it was a family TV show).

Here is a fun fact that I learned while writing this post.  Originally, the role of Fonzie was supposed to go to Ex-Monkee Micky Dolenz, based on the strength of a similar one time part he played on the TV show Adam 12. However, as Dolenz was 6 foot, producers wanted the character to be at the same level as other characters, and so the 5-6 Winkler was cast.  Poor Mickey.

So here is an album put out to capitalize on the Fonz’s popularity.  It consists of mostly 50’s songs, the Happy Days’ theme song, and three novelty songs.  The back of the album has a fold out easel so the cover can be used a picture. The 50’s songs are pretty good an run a good range from The Everly Brothers to The Coasters, to Little Anthony and the Imperials to the original theme song “Rock Around The Clock” by Bill Haley and the Comets. There is also an impressions track with expressed instruction for you to learn all of Fonzie’s favorite phrases.  This cam out in 1976 at a manufacturer’s suggested list price of $5.99 as advertised on TV and radio.

Of course for posting purposes, I am going to go with two of the novelty tunes.  First off, in what is quite strange, we have “The Fonzarelli Slide” which features the Fonz making an appearance at James Buchanan High with the Sweathogs from another 70’s hit, Welcome Back Kotter.  Although for the record, the impression of Horshack at times sounds more like Jerry Lewis.  Anyway, here it is as a strange time capsule of 70’s television.  It is credited to Frank Lyndon who I am guessing did all three Fonz impressions on this album.

Also, I went with a slightly more saner and straighter novelty number, ” The Fonz Song” by the Heyettes? .  Also to put something on that was not a joke, here is Lee Dorsey and “Ya Ya”.

The 1950’s hits are actually pretty good and I found the novelty songs entertaining.  Satisfactory.

Iron Butterfly- Ball

This was $3.  I got it at the SW-Hilton record show some time back.  Probably had a Saturday post in mind for it when I bought it.

This was Iron Butterfly’s third album, released in 1969 hot on the heels of their Inna Gadda Da Vida success. It went Gold and spawned to minor singles. This would be the last studio album from what was considered their classic lineup.

Not feeling typing anything more and will probably go out to buy a new mouse tomorrow.  I know what you are saying, you don’t type with a mouse but trust me, a lagging  mouse makes putting these posts together almost miserable.

Well, no need to feel any more misery with this post.  Here as a sample is “Real Fright” which combines a snappy drum, a poppy bass line, a snarling guitar and the intricate keyboards the band is known for.

If you want to know more about the album or the band, I would suggest your search either.  Critics called it an ambitious album.  Obviously, when you follow your biggest hit, there is going to be some critical response.  That being said, I think it is quite good myself. Satisfactory.

Peter Gabriel- ST (Car)

This album was $3.  I got it to play on a Saturday as I try to save the best albums for the weekend.  I originally had a Dean Martin album slated for today but recent events led me to this record.  I had the sample song in my head and realized I had this album in my unposted pile.

This was Peter Gabriel’s first solo album after leaving Genesis.  It was released in 1977 as a self titled album.  Gabriel’s first three albums were untitled so this one became Car, obviously.  Produced by Bob Erzin, the album also featured Tony Levin on bass as well as Steve Hunter and Robert Fripp on guitars. It contained his first single “Solsbury Hill” which was quite autobiographical in describing his departure from Genesis, in perhaps oversimplified terms.

And despite not liking to post popular songs from popular records, that is what I am doing as like Gabriel, I have been in a rut as of late.  Or perhaps another rut in a long series of ruts.  But before I feel too sorry for myself, ruts do present good opportunities to get out and try something new, like Gabriel did.  So here is “Solsbury Hill”.  

Great little album with other good songs such as “Modern Love” and “Here Comes The Flood”.  Satisfactory album.  As far as you humble narrator goes, well don’t feel too badly, I am more than positive that he will bounce back.

The Byrds- Mr Tambourine Man

Here comes Saturday which means quick post.  This was $5.  I got it at the first Hilton record show I went to.  Due to too huge a backlog, I do not go to record shows anymore.  So sad.  Anyway, I was on a Byrds kick when I got this. What I week it has been for spell check.

This was the seminal California band, the Byrds’ first album, based on the strength of the single, their rendition of Bob Dylan’s “Mr Tambourine Man”.  Featuring original members Mike and Gene Clark, David Crosby, Chris Hilman, and Jim McGuinn, It was released in 1965 and was the first real US challenge to the British Invasion at the time.

Good little album.  It features other Dylan songs “Spanish Harlem Incident”, “Chimes of Freedom”,  and “All I Really Want To Do”.  It also features folk classic “Bells of Rhymney” which incidentally, McGuinn performed earlier on Judy Collins album (featured on this blog).

Anyway, I went with Gene Clark’s “I’ll Feel A Whole Lot Better”, which was covered on Tom Petty’s first solo album.  Petty was greatly influenced by the Byrds and I believe that is the reason he played a Rickenbacker,  McGuinn, himself was influenced by seeing George Harrison play on in A Hard Day’s Night.

Anyway, great little album.  Top Rated.

OST (Herman’s Hermits)- Hold On!

This was one dollar.  Or possibly 80 cents.  I think I got it on sale. I definitely remember that I got a spat of Herman’s Hermits’ records at the time. This comes around the same time that 24 Hour Party People has been playing on the TV.  Of course the Madchester scene in the movie was different from the Manchester of the Hermits but at some level, there is a correlation between the types of music emanating from the city north of London.

I have been to Manchester, once, for a day.  I went to see the Pogues.  I stayed in a pub-hotel, the Mitre, which was affordable yet pretty low on amenities.  The cab driver on the way to the hotel kept asking why I would stay at the Mitre.  Kept laboring the point.  Said I could have got a better deal at a newer hotel (for the record, I had a lovely stay at the Mitre).  Also for the record, I think the renovated  since then as this story took place in 2004.

So for 15 mins, the cab driver just kept berating me for staying at the hotel.  Other than walking around the city and checking out the Christmas market, I saw the Pogues play at what was at the time, the Manchester Evening News Arena, the now Manchester Arena and site of recent suicide bombing.  Can not remember which pubs I went to which is a shame, but it was up and early in the morning to take the train to London.

Well enough rambling about the city.  This was the soundtrack to the second Herman’s Hermits’ movie, Hold On! .  Released in 1966 and featuring a plot that centered around NASA, the movie was set (and filmed I believe) mostly in the US, featuring clips from recent American performances.  Greatly influenced by Help!, the film got mixed reviews but has received more acceptance over time.

The US record features 10 songs including one with actress Shelley Fabares, Donna Reed’s TV daughter,  on lead vocals.  Decent stuff.  Kind of falls in line with the rest of Herman’s catalog. The other albums I bought at the time from the group were better, but this is not bad.

For a sample, I went with “A Must To Avoid” which was released as a single that went to the UK top ten.  I also included the B side, a re-recording of an earlier hit for the group, George Formby’s “Leaning On  A Lamppost”.  If you have been reading this blog, you may recognize this song as I posted it some months earlier from a camp album.

Anyway, decent enough record.  Satisfactory.



Jerry Lee Lewis-Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues

Woo hoo!! Saturday.  Let’s fly thru this.  This was $2.  Too many good songs to pass up.  Also after 2-1/2 years of doing this blog, I still hate typing the word rhythm.  I mis-spell it every time. Anyway, you can not go wrong with ending the week with Jerry Lee Lewis.

This record, released by Sun in 1969 was a repackaging of songs recorded earlier with Sam Phillips.  At the time, The Killer was going thru his county period (which I felt was even better than his rock and roll days). He was very hot during this period and the new owner of Sun, Shelby Singleton, wanted to capitalize on this so they put out a series of compilation records like this.

A lot of good rock and roll/ rockabilly songs on here. Most of these songs weer made famous by others including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Ray Charles.  Also, I kind of do take offense for taking songwriting credits for “C.C. Rider”.  But other than that, every song is pretty much a classic.  So I went with “Little Queenie”.

Top Rated Record.