Knuckle Fingers Joe-Honky Tonk Piano


Here is another piece of old timey music that I bought for ….. $2?  Should have been cheaper.  I am not sure if there was a song on here that I liked or at the time of purchase I just had a thing for pian-ee.  For some reason or another I keep buying these old timey records and keep getting disappointed. And for yet another reason, I still keep on a buying them.

This came out on Custom Records, a budget label run by the Bihari Brothers, who were apparently legends in the world of budget labels.  I believe this came out some point in the sixties.  I am also pretty sure old Knuckles Joe is a studio band.I probably posted this before but to me this gag only gets slightly old.


Other than the old school bar room piano .  There is not much else to say about this record.  For a sample, I went with “Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight” with the slightly out of tune sound.  Almost makes you want to throw a mug of beer across the bar.

Meh.  But I will not let this deter me from future old timey purchases.

Guadalajara Brass- Around The World

This was $1.  The track list was impressive.  The cover suggested a cheap Tijuana Brass knock off, which was popular during the latin explosion of the sixties.

Well, that more or less is what this is.  I could not find much info on the “band” itself but one source suggested that this might have been a legitimate band and not some consortment of studio musicians thrown together by Coronet/Premier Records.

In doing research, I came across a posting of this record from a fellow music blogger, Unearthed In The Atomic Attic.  His review is less than positive some of their previous work stating it was “so bad and not bad good”.   I am going to be honest, this is not a great album.  But in that line of honesty, you kind of had to know what this was going to sound like before purchase and that is exactly what I said above, a cheap Tijuana Brass knock off.

Link to Unearthed in The Atomic Age

That being said, I am sure this came out sometime in the late 60’s.  Other than that, I do not know much else about the subject.  A lot of common instrumentals at the time, including “Moon River”, “Midnight in Moscow”, and what was one of the MORE popular tunes of the era (and keeping the alliteration up), “Mondo Cane” or “More”, which is what I used as a sample. For the record, this song has less of the brass on it and is more string driven.

Eh, meh.  I know.  I kind of knew what this would sound like and it was dirt cheap but I was hoping for more and not just the song.


Bravo Pops Symphony Orchestra- Gigi/ My Fair Lady

Only three more posts for this Broadway salute.  This record was only a dollar.  It contains two works of the Broadway team of Lerner and Lowe, the film the dup composed Gigi, and perhaps their most famous work, My Fair Lady.  For the purposes of this post, we are going to pretend the Gigi side does not exist, despite the fact that the duo would covert the movie into a Broadway musical in 1973.

I posted the Original Cast Recording for My Fair Lady a couple months back and had a pretty lengthy write up so I am not going to rehash many of the specifics here other than the fact that it ran for 2,717 shows, which at the time (1956-1962) was the longest Broadway production.

On the last post,  I noted that I am not a huge fan of this piece.  That has not changed.  Still do not find it believable.  I mean Professor Henry Higgins clearly prefers the company of men.  

This album is credited to the Bravo Pops Symphony Orchestra under the direction of John Senati.  Senati, the orchestra and Bravo records did a series of musical albums in the late 50’s/ early 60’s.  Broadway musical albums that is.  I get that all music is musical.

But despite my feelings about this work, “The Street Where You Live” is still one of my favorite songs.  Here it is as a sample. 

Meh.  Could have used some vocals. Also, maybe at this point, I am just sick of listening to musicals.

Heeresmusikkorps 5 Der Bundeswehr- Deutsche Heeresmarsche Aus Der Pruessischen Armeemarschsammlung Folge 3

This $2 album is the last in the series of German records I have been posting for Oktoberfest which concludes this year on Oct 3 which by my calculations is today.  What seemed to be a fun exercise in German music has lead to me greatly tiring of this and ready to move on to new things. Also, at the time of this writing, it is the Saturday after the landing of Hurricane Harvey which as you know by now, did not do much to the City of Houston other than a flash flood warning in a whole lot of counties(ED Note.  The Carnage flooding was yet to come).  You are probably asking as well if I bought every single marching band album during my Memorial Day trip to the Half Price Books on Veteran’s Memorial.  No.  I would say I bought around 1/8 of them.

The title of this album translates into “German Marches from the Prussian Collection”.  According to the back of this record, the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III, in 1817 oversaw to historic actions.  First, he unified the Prussian Protestant churches.  This was the first time such a unification took place in a German State.  Second, and important to this narrative, he ordered a collection begin of predominately German military marches.  The list initially included 36 slow marches and 36 quick marches but quickly grew not only in size but in scope.

At the last time of publication, 1913, the collection included 100 slow marches, 243 quick marches, and 138 Calvary marches (all Prussian).  The collection also included 35 Russian, 22 Austrian, 11 Italian, 4 French, 2 Swedish, and 1 dutch marches.

So this album is a collection of German marches as collected by the Royal Prussian Army. This was released in 1976.  The liner notes point out that these marches are both totally original at times as well as derivative of popular operas of the time.  Other than that, this is the third marching band album I have had to both listen to and write about so I am kind of at a loss in both categories.

For a sample, I went with the majestic “Festmarsch II 1871, Jan 18” which I believed celebrated the formation of the second German Empire between Kaiser Wilhem I and Otto Von Bismark.

This should come as no surprise if you have been reading the other posts but meh.  Could have used a lower price for these as well as the other albums.  Hope your Oktoberfest was fun and entertaining.

Toni Praxmair and the Kitzbuheler Nationalsanger- Authentic Austrian Volksmusik

This was $2.00.  Again, it appears I am trying to pass off Austrian music during my salute to Oktoberfest.  For shame.  Well, here we are with this.  Too late to correct it at this point.  Still gung ho on writing posts and getting ahead of the game.  Yes I am still waiting for Harvey to hit.  You remember Harvey right? (Ed Note.  At this point I was waiting for the return hurricane so techincaly it is a re-hit (Monday or Tuesday)).

So there is this record from what the album calls Austria’s most popular entertainers, most all from Kitzbuhel, a ski resort village high in scenic Tyrol.  This album features a collection of Austrian folk tunes, dances, and polkas featuring yodels and cowbells.  It came out on Capitol Records’ Capitol of the World series, I believe in 1958.

For a sample, I went with “Tiroler Kuckuck”.

Meh.  Really kind of over polka based folk music at this point. Also, slow interent is really souring my mood on most of this at the moment.

Deutschland Musik Korps- Vorwarts!Marsh!

Keepin’ it German for Oktober Fest this month for at least the end of this month.  Here is another record of marches I got for this event for $2.  If you are looking to participate in Oktoberfest activities but at this point, probably have not booked travel to Munich, check out your local area to see what celebrations are going on for those in Houston, there is a link below.  Apparently, they have not changed the graphics much from last year.

Link to Houston Oktoberfest activities

Here is another collection of German military marches brought to you by those fine folks at Fiesta Records.  When you think military bands, think Fiesta.  Not sure when this came out, nor I am too hip towards spending any more time to find out.  Anyway, this is performed by the German Music Corps. The title translates into “Forward March” and despite being German, I am constantly reminded of the Monty Python bit when I listed to this.

For a sample, I went with “Fliegermarsch” or aviator’s march.

Meh.  Sorry.  I like the front cover better than the one two days ago but marching music just does not do it for me.

Heeresmusikkorps IV- Soldatenlieder

Well,  it is September, which means Oktoberfest is on us again. Technically, it started 3 days ago.  This, the celebration runs to October 3. For one reason or another, I seemed to really double down on the German records this year for this event,  Well, let;s kick it off with this that I got for $2.

Link to helpful hints regarding attending Oktoberfest in Munich

This is a record of soldier’s songs performed by a marching orchestra, occasionally accompanied by a choir.  I assume the IV signifies 4th division of what ever branch this band is from.  Not really feeling digging into to this much further.  Listening to an album of military marches was enough research for me. Not that I do not support the military but it is just there have been no real innovations in the field of marches.  Also, I am not sure there should be, at least not at this juncture.

Anyway, for a sample, I went with “Das Schonste Auf Der Welt’ which translates to “The Most Beautiful In The World”.  To what they are describing, I do not know.

I hate to give this meh since I knew what it was going to sound like before I bought it, but come on.  Rather bland record so meh.

Billy Vaughn and his Orchestra- Blue Hawaii

This puppy was a buck.  Got it for the songs, most of which I like.  What is going on this week, other than zipping thru posts?  Well, nothing as much to make note of but still too much to dedicate too much time to writing this.

On that note, Billy Vaughn has always been hit or miss with me.  Well this album from Dot Records, released in 1959, is pretty much a miss.  I found the arrangements to be a tad slow and boring and not really in the whole tropical vein.  Of course, exotica was never really Vaughn’s bag and perhaps this is not fair, but what do you expect me to do about it today?

Well, for a sample, I went with one of my faves, “Hawaiian War Chant”.

Meh. Sorry Billy.  I’ll get you the next time around.


Sir Malcolm Sargent and the Pro Arte Orchestra- Gilbert & Sullivan- The Mikado, HMS Pinafore, and Patter Songs

This fine old collection was $5.  I bought it way, way right before I started writing this blog.  Yet, I still remember the cashier remarking how it reminded him of Raiders of The Lost Ark and the Indiana Jones franchise, as the minor character of Sallah, played by John Rhys- Davies, is fond of singing Gilbert & Sullivan numbers.  I found it a bit odd not only that the young tattooed clerk could connect this but could connect lines to HMS Pinafore.

On that note, a month back (or longer depending on when you read this), I attended The Houston Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s production of The Gondoliers.  I felt the production was quite good and very entertaining but as I went to the Sunday matinee, I was quite concerned that the audience was mostly over 85 and thought that perhaps appreciation for G&S was dying.  A friend of mine pointed out that Sunday matinees are mostly older crowds and the G&S are not going anywhere.

So then there is this record conducted by esteemed British conductor, Sir Malcolm Sargent (1895-1967) who participated in his first G&S production at age 10.  He conducts the Pro Arte Orchestra with assorted soloists and the Glyndebourne Festival Chorus.  I am not sure when this came out other than after Sargent’s passing but it seems to be a collection earlier recorded works, most notably two of G&S’s most famous works, The Mikado and HMS Pinafore.

So to start off with samples, from the Mikado, I went with my favorite song from this piece (which is never on any of the albums I buy), “The Sun Whose Rays…”.  It is sung my Elise Morrison.  From the HMS Pinafore, I went with “I Am The Monarch Of The Sea…. When I Was A Lad”, sung by George Baker.

In terms of the patter songs, I wanted to use a number from “The Gondoliers” to tie it in to  the story above but I felt the album should have put different numbers.  There are a couple good patter songs that involve the Gondoliers and their wives which I felt could have been used on this.  Oh well, In their place, here is “In Enterprise Of Martial Kind”, sung by Geraint Evans with the chorus.

I really wanted to post “My Eyes Are Fully Open” from Ruddigore, but I felt this version was to tepid and slow.  And for the most part, that is my criticism of this collection.  The patter songs as well as G&S’s catalog really works when done in rapid fire.  All the songs really could have used a but more speed.  So meh.  Sorry.

Henry Mancini/ Doc Severinsen- Brass on Ivory

Here is a record from two artists who I frequently post for $1.

This collaboration from composer Henry Mancini and trumpeter Doc Severinsen was released by RCA in 1972.  Mancini handles the arrangement and piano duties while Severinsen takes up the fluegel horn.  Despite the high credentials of both artists, I found this album to be too slow and too ballad heavy.  One fast tempo-ed song would not have killed anyone.  Oh, well.  We are left then with what it is, two musical geniuses locked in a slow collection of ballads.

For a sample, I went with the theme to “Brian’s Song”, the 1971 made for tv movie we had to watch in jr high school that showed how two people can overcome race relations if they are highly paid athletes.  The movie chronicled the story of Chicago Bear tea mates Brian Piccolo and Gale Sayers, who were adversaries and then friends with Sayers sticking by his pal until his untimely death from a tollbooth shooting.* Also, this song was written by another frequent guest, the Frenchman Michel Legrand

I can take pride since I have spoken so well of both artist in the past, in giving this record a poor review.  Meh.  Could have used a few more upbeat tunes.

*I would think that this is obvious satire since Picollo died of cancer at age 26 while the actor who played him in the movie, James Caan, was famously shot as Sonny Corleone in The Godfather, but for the sake of anyone who can not take a joke, here is this disclaimer.