Louis Prima- A Tribute to Louis Prima

This record was $2.00 with discount.  Why not?  Louis Prima was a stud, in many ways.  Still trying to finish out to month and year.  With it technically still being November while I am writing this, I should point out that despite being in the American League, we are still proud of our local baseball team, the Houston Astros for winning the World Series.  Although I am still not happy about them moving out of the National League, there is not a better group of guys in sports than our Astros.  They held the parade a few weeks ago downtown. The rumor I heard in my apartment elevator was that 700,000 people were in attendance.  Either way, it made it tough for me getting home from work with all roads by my apartment jammed.

As noted above, Louis Prima was a stud.  Born in New Orleans in 1911, Prima mixed his Italian roots with New Orleans’ jazz to form something new and original.  His own musical styles also evolved over time, starting with a New Orleans-style jazz band in the 1920’s, a swing combo in the 1930’s, a big band in the 40’s, a jump blues band in the 50’s, and finally a Las Vegas lounge act in the 60’s. Unlike other artists such as Frank Sinatra, Prima openly embraced the new rock and roll which was rising in the 1950’s.  Prima was also married five times, inlcuding a stint to singer Keely Smith, with whom Prima had a successful act.  Prima died of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage in 1978.  He was 67.

This record was a collection of some of his biggest hits, both solo and with Smith, including, “Just A Gigalo”, “Sing, Sing, Sing” and :Felicia No Capricia”.  Pretty good album.,  Really jumping.

For a sample, I had various options but decided to go with the “Bourbon Street Blues” as well as “Hey Boy, Hey Girl” which features the talents of Keely Smith.

Top rated album.

The Beach Boys- Beach Boys Concert

If you are expecting to read a lot on this post, please note that it is the end of the week as well as the end of the month (in theory) for the blog.  So I would put those expectations aside.  On the plus side, I have gotten way ahead in writing these.  You can say getting caught up is my opioid.  Anyway, I got this for ONE DOLLAR!!!! ONE DOLLAR!!!! I thought it was going to be all scratched up but it was in great shape.  It even still had the insert pages which seem to get torn out on records like this.

This record was The Beach Boys first Live record (seventh overall). It was also (fun fact) the first and only Beach Boy’s record to hit #1.  I found this a hard fact to believe but it is true.  Released in 1964 and recorded from two concerts at Sacramento’s Civic Memorial Auditorium (in 1963 and 1964), this is the only live Beach Boys’ record to feature the complete original line up, as Brian Wilson would stay studio bound around the second half of the sixties.

Really good little record with a lot of energy.  Wikipedia suggests that there were a lot of overdubs and edits but I find it irrelevant.  It is a good mix of early Beach Boys hits as well as popular songs of the day including covers by The Rippington’s, Jan & Dean, Dion, Dick Dale, and Chuck Berry.

For samples, living in Texas, I obviously went with “Long Tall Texan” which reminds me of the stage show at The Texas Tumbleweed restaurant I used to go to as a kid (which apparently is greatly defunct). I also liked “Monster Mash” an already novelty number made even more so by Mike Love. Finally, I went with “I Get Around” just so you can hear all the teenage girls in the audience lose their collective lunch.

Still can not believe thsi was only one dollar.  Top Rated.  Good bye week.  Good bye Month.

Robert Goulet- On Broadway Vol 2

I know.  I know.  I said I was burned out on Broadway.  Well this is still true.  Yet I decided to slip this one in here that I picked up for $3.  Either you love him or you loathe him (Will Ferrell) but regardless, the man had talent.  Well I guess that statement really depends if you are on the love or loathe side.

Myself, I am on the love side.  The Canadian who burst onto the US scene in Camelot, has a smooth voice as well as delivery. He was also one Oscar short of completing the ever coveted EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). But what ultimate tribute can one have than to have the American Mustache Institute name a trophy in memorial after you, The Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year, given to the person who best represents or contributes to the mustached community for the year.  Notice I said person and was not gender specific.

This record, came out in 1967.  As the title would suggest, this is his second album of various Broadway tunes.  Some pretty good numbers on here.  Works include such productions as Cabaret, Man of La Mancha, Mame, Brigadoon, and I Do, I Do.

For a sample, I went with one that is one of my favorites that I spoke of last month but did not post, from Man of La Mancha, “The Impossible Dream”.

Would of preferred more songs that I knew or really liked but good enough record for me, satisfactory.

Mel Torme- A Time For US

Already so over this month but we are so close to being finished.  Here we are with the Velvet Fog.  This record was $2.  This is the second album I posted this month in which I bought because it had a Beatles song on it, namely “She’s Leaving Home”.  But since this is underwhelming Beatles track, this is the second time this month I have passed on this song as a sample.  Normally, I will post any Beatles’ cover. 

Well, here we have this from the late Mel Torme. Released in 1969, the title track is the theme from Romeo and Juliet.  Decent enough record.  Pretty good song selection on it  Man, am I lazy today.  I am going to limit this to this paragraph.

For samples, I went with “Games People Play'” which has a great opening bass line as well as “Happy Together”.


Steel Eye Span- Live At Last

Rounding out this week with one of my favorite artists who has been on the blog a whole lots, Steel Eye Span.  This record, with discount was $8.00.

Live At Last was Steel Eye Span’s 11th and at the time last album (before they shortly reformed).  Classic lineup members, Peter Knight and Bob Johnson had left the group to be replaced by Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick.  The addition of Kirkpatrick made this one of the only two SES records which featured accordion as a primary instrument.  This record also features only two songs from previous albums.  

As the record states, the band broke up shortly after the recording of this album (which was March 7, 1978) for reasons they did not want to elaborate on.  Wikipedia, on the other hand , states the split was short lived as the band was contractually obliged to release an album (which they did in 1980).  Carthy and Kirkpatrick additionally viewed their tenure as short term and did not wish to continue much further.  And more reunions, albums, and other events followed which I do not wish to elaborate on.

As stated above, the departures and additions made for a different sound then their peak albums but this sound is pretty interesting in its own right.  Sure I am biased but the accordion is a nice touch.  I really liked this album altogether including this song “The False Knight”.

For samples, I really wanted to go with what are abnormalities for SES, songs written in the 20th century.  This album has two of them.  First we have “Saucy Sailor/ Black Freighter”, the latter song of course from Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera.  Maddy Prior really cuts loose in parts of this one.  Finally, I also have “Rag Doll” which is the Four Seasons’ classic.  Apparently, SES used to do a set of 1950’s numbers for encores and I imagine this number was part of that.


The Kingston Trio- Sold Out

This record was $1.00.  Normally, I have to see a song I like before I but an album like this but in general, I do like me some Kingston Trio.  As a side note , at the time of this writing, it has rained twice in Houston since Harvey.  I could not help to have a small panic attack in both instances as I am sure most people in this region are still a bit jumpy over rain.

Despite the title, this is not a live album. This was in fact their sixth album in three years.  It was also thier third album to go to #1 in the charts, where it would stay for 12 weeks, eventually going Gold. Consisting of the classic line up of Bob Shane, Dave Guard, and Nick Reynolds, I am guessing this was driven by the strength of the single “El Matador”.

Overall, it is a good record but I would not consider it among their strongest.  That is just my opinion.  There are a lot of good moments on it , mostly consisting of traditional music as well as folk songs written both from the US and abroad.

For a sample, I went with “With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm” which is of course, about Anne Boleyn.  The songs tells the story of how her ghost wanders the Tower of London to haunt her ex-husband, Henry VIII

Judy Collins- Wildflower

Hey, hey, it is another Saturday, the day that I like to keep these brief.  Here is this effort from frequent blog guest Judy Collins.  It was , am I reading this right, $1?  Too cheap.

This 1967 effort was Collins’ seventh and highest charting record, going to #5 on the US Pop chart.  A lot of that was based on the strength of her single, the Joni Mitchell penned “Both Sides Now”, which went to #8.  The album also featured songs by the now dead Leonard Cohen and Jaques Brel along with a 14th century piece by Francesco Landini.  It also featured for the first time on record, three of Collin’s own pieces.

By the time this came out, Collins’ folk career was over and she had moved more into a pop vein.  On this subject, I am mixed as I absolutely adore her folk work. But I understand, you have to evolve  as well as make money so although this is not among my favorite of Collins’ work, I must acknowledge that this is a very good album.  And despite note being folk, Collins would still be able to present a diverse group of work  on it as evidence by the songwriters above (something she did on earlier albums) . Besides, the record would eventually go Gold in 1969.

For a sample, I went with the Brel piece, “La Chanson Des Vieus Amants”.

Great little piece which was the commercial high point of Collins’ career.  Satisfactory.

Melanie- Candles In The Rain

This gem of a record was only $1.  One freaking dollar.  Are you crazy people?  Anyway, looking at the cover and listening to this, I had a hard time believing this came out in 1970 (and was in great part, a product of the 60’s).  It looks and sounds like a much more modern record.

But this did come out in 1970 and was Melanie’s third album.  With the lead single “Lay It On Down (Candles In The Rain)” based on her experience performing at Woodstock (in which a bunch of spectators light up candles while see played).  I probably mentioned this on the last post I wrote on her, but you really do not hear much about Melanie’s performance at Woodstock which is probably a shame.  Anyway, this record and that single in particular, brought the artist her first Top Ten hit in the US.  “Ruby Tuesday” as well as “What Have They Done To My Song, Ma” were also hits.  The album sold well in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Overall, I think this is an excellent album and really showcases Melanie’s talent. With the exception of “Ruby Tuesday”, the rest of the songs are written by the artist.  She is also backed up vocally in places by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

For a sample, I decided to go with “Left Over Wine” which was one of the songs I picked from the live album I posted last year or so but did not use. I think because it skipped.

Great little record.  Satisfactory.

Lolita-Schlager Erinnerungen mit Lolita

This was $2 and purchased for use during Oktoberfest, which is on going this week. Over the last two years of doing Oktoberfest posts on this blog, I have really covered most every detail about the festival which started in 1810 in Munich to celebrate the marriage of the future King Ludwig to the Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.  Apparently she was also on the short list of possible brides for Napoleon.  Anyway, I would suggest you check out some the past posts to learn more fun facts about this festival.

Link to a search of Oktoberfest posts on this blog 

Well, I guess I should just straight up point out that this next artist is nor German and is in fact Austrian.  Do not want to get accused of trying to pass this off German or for lumping Austria and Germany together.  But as I did not do my research before selecting this album, we are moving full steam ahead with this record by Edith Enzinger, better known by her stage name, Lolita.  Born in ST Polten in 1931, Lolita had her only Gold Record in 1959, “Seeman” or “Sailor” in English.  Not only did it sell well in German speaking parts of Europe, it sold well in Japan went to #5 in US making at the time one of the few successful records in the US not recorded in English. She remained popular in Austria and Germany. She would pass of cancer at age 79 in 2010.

Since this came out in 1973 on Polydor International, I am guessing that this is a greatest hits compilation.  Well, it is pretty good.  All the songs are in the schlager style that I have been espousing for the last week.  Lolita had a pretty good voice.  A few of these songs really hit it out of the park.  The rest are still pretty good.

For a sample, I decided to pick “La Luna’ and “Was Ein Mann Alles Kann” or what can a man do.  I am not sure if this means what can a man do about a certain situation or what can a man do for me, mainly because I saw Raw last weekend.

Good little record.  Satisfactory.

Bert Kaempfert- The Best of Bert Kaempfert

This double record set was $5.  I bought this some time ago , maybe even two Labor Days ago so I might have got 20% off .  So here I am, writing posts for September  at the same time as I am recording songs for  October, all the while it is in reality August and I am awaiting Harvey which by the time you have read this, will have already passed.  Perhaps I should add these current events to more timely posts.  Well, this is in retrospect, I guess.  The benefits to me of being ahead of posts as opposed to writing these day to day outweigh keeping these timely.

So with Oktoberfest currently going on and after a few days of more conventional German music, here is a regular fixture to this blog, Bert Kaempfert with a greatest hits compilation.  Not much to say about this.  Two albums of some of his more popular compositions as well as arrangements.  Not only it is impressive just how many great songs Kaempfert had a hand in composing.  The cover songs  on this show just how gifted an arranger he was.

For samples, I went with” The World We Knew (Over and Over)”.  Why not Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” as I always seem to post this one?  Well, I already posted it last month.