The Barry Sisters- A Time To Remember

If my calculations are correct, today marks the first night of Hanukkah.  Happy Hanukkah everybody! To celebrate this event, here is the effort from the Barry Sisters.  It was 43 and probably bought specifically for this event (or maybe Passover- who can remember?).

I have featured the Barry Sisters on this site before so if you want to learn anything else about Minnie and Clara, I suggest you either search for the last post or check Google.  Did I mention I am on vacation?

This record was released by ABC Records in 1967 and is a collection of pretty standard Yiddish tunes. Well, I believe they are pretty standard.  Not 100% up to date on my Yiddish material.  Anyway, this was done around the end of their career but still a good little record.  A couple real interesting pieces. Perhaps if I were not on vacation, then I would be inclined to write a little more or at least re-read the back cover and regurgitate that information (according to the back cover, the song “is a happy wishing song” translating into “I Wish, I Wish”).

For a sample, here is “Alevai, Alevai” which I am sure means something but am too lazy to look into any further.


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.


Loretta Lynn- I Like ‘Em Country

Here is one from Ms Loretta Lynn.  I imagine a paid somewhere in the ball park of $3 for this.  I am going to buy it since it is early Lynn but the light blue backdrop which was popular on country albums of the time kind of subconsciously made sure this purchased happened.  I wonder of somebody in Nashville designed the records that way.

As reported on this blog (as well as everywhere else), Lynn suffered a stroke this May.  However, I believe she is still making a good recovery.  she has still postponed public performances and has delayed her new album until next year, but according to her daughter, she is progressing positively thru physical therapy.

This effort was Lynn’s 6th studio album.  Released in 1966, the album would peak at #2 on the Billboard Country Charts.  With songs by Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash among others, it was a pretty good effort which spawned two Top Ten singles, Betty Sue Perry’s “The Home You’re Tearing Down”, and Lynn’s own composition ” Dear Uncle Sam” which was about the Vietnam War.

For a sample, I went with the catchy “Hurtin’ For Certain”.

Great record.  Satisfactory.

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.

Webb Pierce/T. Texas Tyler/ Patsy Cline- Three of a Kind

This little gem of country music was only $1.  I got it for the Webb Pierce songs since he is my favorite country singer.  That inclusion of Patsy Cline did not hurt either.

This was from the record label I love to hate Pickwick.  In what they call ” a dramatic new concept in entertainment”, putting three people on one record, may be hyperbole, but it makes since for a serial repackager of music like Pickwick.  At the time of this record, they had put out ten of these series records including big bands, folk singers, Hawaiian music, blues, and polkas.  I believe this as well as most of the series, came out in 1964.

Well this was the country version featuring previously recorded tunes by three prominent performers, Webb Pierce, T. Texas Tyler, and Patsy Cline.  The songs (at least Pierce’s ) sound like the come from the 40’s or early 50’s.  Cline’s numbers are a bit later, being the late 50’s.  Pretty good stuff.  Each performer has three songs a piece.

For a sample, surprisingly I did not use one from Pierce.  No reason.  I also did not go with Tyler either, who despite the name, came from Mena, Ar-kansas and has no real ties to the state that is in his moniker.  Nope, I went with good old Patsy Cline.  As a side note, I knew a guy who once locked himself in a room and watched the Pasty Cline move, Sweet Dreams staring Jessica Lange repeatedly for an expanded period of time while getting drunk to mourn the death of his girlfriend.  I guess every body grieves in their own little way. But back to this, here is Patsy Cline with a song off her 1957 debut album and not a Ramones cover, “I Don’t Wanna”.

Most of the time, I am quick to poop on a Pickwick product, but I will look at this one a bit more favorably and call it 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.

Vivian Blaine- Pal Joey/ Annie Get Your Gun

Broadway month just keeps going despite the fact that I am sick of it already. At least only two more weeks. I have had this album kicking around since about the sixth month I started this blog.  Big Vivian Blaine fan from her work on both the stage and film version of Guys and Dolls.

Blaine, born in Newark, NJ in 1921, originated the role of  Miss Adelaide, Nathan Detriot’s oft neglected girlfriend, on Broadway.  She also performed on other stage productions as well as films with a good repertoire of both under her belt.  Towards the end of her career, she had successfully transitioned to TV, with guest spots on various shows of the time. She would pass of heart failure in 1995 at age 74.

This is a collection of songs from two famous Broadway productions, neither of which were performed by Blaine.  First we have yet another appearance of Irving Berlin’s Annie Get Your Gun.  Next we have what is probably the most famous work of Rodgers and Hart, Pal Joey.  This is probably more due to the movie version with Frank Sinatra.  But note, as discussed in previous posts, before the rise of the book musical as the dominate force in musical theater, this would probably explain why the songs are more famous than the actual work.  Anyway, it opened in 1940 and with a run of ten months, it was the third longest running Rodgers and Hart production, despite mixed reviews.  At also featured a young Gene Kelly in the staring role of Joey Evans. On a side note, obviously this month, I have gotten a lot of mileage out of these American Musical segments and totally suggest checking them out.  Julie Andrews, I believe has been doing the narration.

But back to this album, here is a Broadway legend doing Broadway standards in a beautiful fashion.  Released around 1959ish? by Mercury, by what I believe was the height of her fame, the only complaint is that the record is too short.  I mean she hits the high point numbers of each work, but I wish she could have had more space to tackle the deeper cuts from both productions.

Oh, well.  For a sample, I went with Zip from Pal Joey. From Annie, I went with “There’s No Business Like Show Business”.  Honestly, I liked all the Annie selections, but I felt this was the best version of this song from all the albums, except maybe the original (which I believe I already posted a version on an earlier compilation).

Pretty good little record and I am a bit embarrassed it took me so long to post it.  Satisfactory.

Dolly Parton- 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs

Whew! Glad to have this month and Oktoberfest over.  This was $3.50. My folks had it when I was a kid so I recognized the cover.

This album was released in 1980 and coincided with the release of the movie, 9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton along with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dabney Coleman.  The underlying theme of this album was working and the album marked a return to a pop-country sound after a few more polished efforts.  The album went to #1 on the country charts and spawned three hit singles including the title track which was also nominated for an Academy Award for best song (it would lose to “Fame”).

Pretty good album but I am done writing for this month so here is Merle Travis’ classic “Dark As A Dungeon”.

Good album.  Satisfactory.  See you next month.

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.

Caterina Valente- More Schlagerparade

This was $2.  I got this for this Oktoberfest spree we are having but if not for that, I would have bought this anyway as I really like Caterina Valente.  She is a great performer, all around.  As of this writing, I am at home on a Friday awaiting Hurricane Harvey, which is expected to bring heavy rains to the Houston area and by the time of reading this, well most likely be an after thought.   On the plus side, I am getting paid today, so in an odd equation of substitution, I am getting paid to write this post today.

International sensation Valente has had smash hits all over the world.  It was her embrace of the schlager that endeared her with German audiences.  This record, from Decca in 1960 , is a US album of German songs and a follow up to her earlier Schlagerparade.  The album notes Valente’s popularity in “her native Germany”.  This is in error as she was born in Paris to Italians.  Despite this, this is a pretty good album, showcasing Valente’s massive talent.

For a sample, there were a couple of choice to choose from but in the end I went with “Auf Ja Ma Maika” and “Ein Bisschen Pompadour”.

Great little album.  Satisfactory.