The Avengers- The 1972 Bruins Season

This was one dollar.  I have been meaning to post this during hockey playoffs.  Chance are, if you are a hockey fan, that this years playoffs did not go as you had planned.  As an Oiler fan, you would figure I would be happy with this years performance given the last last, dismal ten years, but anything less than a Cup is a bit disappointing for me.  

If you are a Bruins’ fan, at least it was a quick exit for you.  I watched a bit of the Bruins/Sens series while switching between the Leafs/Caps.  In comparison, the speed and skill of the Caps/Leafs made the Bruins/Sens look super sluggish.  Almost like one of my men’s league games.

Anyway, back to this record, here is a season overview of the Boston Bruins’ glorious 1972 season, which saw them finish first in the league with 119 points as well as the overall Stanley Cup Winner. Phil Esposito won the Art Ross scoring title netting 66 goals along the way.  Bobby Orr finished second in scoring but had himself a busy year picking up the Norris, Hart, and Conn Smythe trophies. He also racked up 106 penalty minutes along the way.  The 70’s game was not today’s hockey and a superstar like Orr, as Don Cherry would say, was definitely not afraid to go.

Gerry Cheevers set a record which I believe still stands, going undeafeted for 33 games in a row. Other members such as Johnny Bucyk, Derek Sanderson, Wayne Cashman, and Ken Hodge also had solid seasons as well.  

This record highlights season and post season exploits of the Big Bad Bruins.  The moments of individual achievement as well as the payoff run are exciting.  It is also interesting to hear Derek Sanderson speak of his fear of flying as well as hear Garnet “Ace” Bailey speak of his game winning goal in Game One of the finals.  Bailey would pass away in one of the hijacked planes during 9/11.

As stated above, the Bruins path to the Cup lasted 5 games against the Maple Leafs, 4 against St Louis, and 6 games in the finals against the New York Rangers. Here, I believe is an excerpt from the Finals.

In general, I do not get too excited about spoken word albums and the fact that I am not a Bruins fan does not help much.  But this was a dollar and the 1972 Bruins were a great team.  This album is interesting enough for me.  Satisfactory enough.  For your Bruins fans and for most anybody else from a real hockey town, there is always next season.

Larry Beck- Recites Robert Service

My dad was from Yellowknife so I grew up with Robert Service’s poetry.  So when I saw this, I had to grab it.  As a side note, it is autographed on the back, made out to one Janet to whom Larry Beck wised for the best.  The date of the autograph was Aug 13, 1975.  This was $3.00.

Robert Service (1874-1958) was the Bard of the Yukon.  Born in Lancashire, England, Service left for the Great White North of Canada when he was 21, in search of adventure.  After roaming around North America, Service found himself in the Yukon town of Whitehorse in 1904.  When a local newspaper editor asked Service to compose a poem for a function, instead of offering recital, Service took up the challenge.  While thinking of this poem and roaming around the streets of town at night, he ran into “a bunch of boys whooping it up”.  From there “The Shooting of Dan McGrew” was born.

Other poems followed until he had enough for a book, Songs of  Sourdough, which proved to be a success, which Service parlayed into more writing as well as a comfortable life.  Despite being somewhat despised by the literary set, his poetry was the most commercially successful prose of the last century. He left the Yukon in 1913 and bounced around the globe until his death in Monaco, where he had been living for 11 years.

Larry Beck (1935-1990), on the other hand, was born in Oregon, but bred in Alaska, where he lived and worked in his teen days.  If I am reading the back cover right, he was the Vice President of the Pacific Northwest’s largest outdoor sign company and stationed in Seattle, when found himself on a business trip in Fairbanks, Alaska.  Here the back cover segways from that trip to this album so I am not sure how it happened but with the blessing of Service’s widow Germaine (who was 30 years younger than Service), Beck made this album and apparently a Volume 2.  From here, Beck left the sign business and worked to promote Alaska tourism until his death.

A link with some information on Larry Beck.

This is a pretty decent collection of Service classics.  From a shootout between two hard men, to the cremation of a southerner, to the sawing off of a corpse’s arms, to the amusement at the expense of city slickers, all the big poems are here.  Beck’s grizzly voice, brings these stories to life.  There is also a Beck original ” Ballad of The Bad And The Good” on here as well.

When choosing a sample, I really tried hard not to go with the one that is best known, “The Shooting of Dan McGrew”.  However, i found it so captivating with Beck’s narration.  When the stranger plays the piano, you can hear the music in your head.  It is gripped with emotion and feeling.  Also, it is pretty strange that we learn really nothing about the man who the ballad is named for. So here is “Dan McGrew”. And for good measure, I included my favorite, “The Cremation of Sam McGee”.


Orson Wells- The Begatting Of A President

dscn5530Well, after a year and a half of incessant campaigning (actually more than that if you consider the non-stop campaign cycle of today), Election Day is upon us.  I bought this record for use for today, although quite frankly, I have been staring at it at the Half Price Books in Montrose for over a year,  After I keep seeing a record, eventually, I break and buy it.  Getting marked down to a dollar helped. Also, I am a big Orson Wells fan although I am unsure what this record brings to the table.

Say what you want about Donald Trump, but at least he provides a sort of truth in advertising: he has an obnoxious style that reflects his obnoxious policies. What makes someone like Hillary Clinton (or Barack Obama) particularly insidious is that they come packaged in a respectable format, yet espouse despicable policies.

For the most part, I do my best to keep this blog apolitical and in light of what has been one of the nastiest, most polarizing, and at the same time, vastly  meaningless campaigns of my life time, I would still much like to keep it so.  So I will make my comment brief and to the point as possible. We are thrusting headfirst into the 21st century on the backs of 19th century institutions, namely the two party system.  Instead of voting for the better of two evils, why not form new parties with possibly less or perhaps no evil?  I am ending this here. Please note that this paragraph was originally three times as long.orson-welles

Back to records, as stated above, I am a huge Orson Wells fan.  His movies are classics.  From Citizen Kane, to The Lady From Shanghi, to his Shakespearean works including Chimes at Midnight, to Touch of Evil, Wells had a sense and style all his own.  There is an inherent violence in his movies.  It comes from the use of quick, jagged edits, tilted camera angles, and use of shadows in the black and white. To a lesser extent, the use and development of compelling characters, even if the role is small or one dimensional, also stands out in my mind.


Wells webpage

Wells made this record for Mediarts in 1969.  Written by Myron Roberts, Lincoln Haynes, and Sasha Gilien, the album tells the story of the 1968 election thru a biblical overtone.  It shows the fall of LBJ and the Democrats, the rise of Richard Nixon and the Republicans, and the murders of both Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy. It was originally produced as a comedy album but the joke is less funny now. It was also at the time supposed to a satire on Richard Nixon but again, overtime, it seems to become more non-partisan.  President Lyndon Johnson.

On that point, again venturing back into the political area I swore to avoid, this is another reflection of where we are as a nation.  When people ask me who won the debates, I usually respond, if you like Clinton, than she was the clear winner and if you prefer Trump, the debates were his.  It is all really predetermined in ones mind and the results are arbitrary.  I see this on this album. If you are a Republican, you will find the material on democrats to be funny and vice versa and I do not feel that that was the original intent.  Also, on a separate note, political discourse between the time this was made and the present has rapidly disintegrated so the subtly of the jokes on this album is mostly lost today.nixon-1968-republican-convention-1200

Anyway, this was the best selling record of Mediarts catalog.  It has also been featured on various record blogs with mixed reviews.  Again, some it just seems corny today.  Other parts, particularity the subtle moments just seem outdated.  As for Wells, this record may or may not have led to troubles with the IRS during Nixon’s reign.


Link to another blog with complete record

For a sample, I wanted to make sure I was bi-partisan, presenting a piece for both parties.  Therefore, here is “The Pacification of Goliath” whereas LBJ loses the support of his party and decides not to seek re-election as well as “The Raising of Richard” where the Republican Party is looking to capitalize on the Democrats’ situation.


As far as the record goes, meh.  I do not find it that funny.  In contrast, the joke does get old after awhile.  Too many bad puns and corny biblical allusions. It is, however, an interesting snap shot of the times.