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.

 

Leon McAuliffe- The Dancin’est Band Around

Here is a good ole piece of classic country music that has been sorely missed around here for the last month and a half.  It cost me $4.  When I started this blog, it would have cost me $1.

Leon McAuliffe was born right here in the great old city of Houston in 1917.  He was perhaps the greatest steel guitar player of his generation, not only paving the way for the instrument during the early days of Texas Swing country, but setting an influence which would be later picked up by blues musicians.  After playing with the Light Crust Doughboys, he joined Bob Wills band in 1936 at the age of 18.  He would play with Wills up until WWII in 1942.  Besides helping Wills compose “San Antonio Rose”, McAuliffe composed “Steel Guitar Rag” which is perhaps his legacy other than Wills’ calls of “Take It Away Leon”.

Texas State Historical Page on McAuliffe

After the war, McAuliffe formed his own band and had some success.  He also dedicated a good chunk of his life to teaching music as well as business and legal matters related to the industry.  McAuliffe would pass in 1988 at the age of 71.

This record was released long after his WWII service in 1963 on none other than Capitol Records.  Real good collection of songs that I like including “I Fall To Pieces”, “Walk On By”, and “From A Jack To A King”.  No vocals but a lot of excellent steel guitar.

For a sample, I went with “I Love You Because” because I really liked the opening slide line.

Satisfactory.

Dick Hyman- Provocative Piano

Welcome to another month of the good ol’ Donkey Show.  After half a month of Ocktoberfest music and a full month of showtunes, I decided to go back to posting good (or at least interesting) records.  So what a better way to start than with a selection from Command Records and their Provocative series.  This was $4.00. I buy pretty much any Command record I come across at a decent price. I realize this is on the high end.  Also, although I wanted to cut down on the number of gatefold albums this month, I still choose this one to start the month rolling.  Command Records being known for their love of gatefold, perhaps I should have reconsidered.

On that note, I guess this is a good time as any to announce the administrative change to this blog. Starting this month, I am setting my upper spent limit to $8.00.  This is quite a jump from the previous $5 but I am finding that record prices have increased slightly over the last year and in order to get in decent stuff, the increase had to be made.  I have mixed feelings about it but the decision has been made and I am prepared to move on from it.  Please note though that the preference will still be on the $1 albums.

Dick Hyman, jazz pianist of renown, has been on this site before.  I would think his association with Enoch Light’s Command Records would speak for itself and put him in an upper echelon of musicians of the period.  Besides his work in jazz, Hyman did some very important work in electronic music as well as soundtrack work for movies and TV.

This year, Hyman will be named a National Endowment for the Arts Jazz Master.  That is if it has not happened already or if the program’s budget has not been slashed yet.

Dick’s Space Age Pop Page

Anyway, this record, produced by Light, came out in 1960 and features Hyman’s piano pretty prominently.  A good mix of songs from “Canadian Sunset”, Autumn Leaves”, and “Miserlou” as well as works from Chopin and Tchaikovsky. As with most Command Records, I enjoyed it.

For a sample, I decided to play favorites and go with both “Polonaise” and Miserlou”.

 

Satisfactory.

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.

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.

Satisfactory

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.

 

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.

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.

Bert Kaempfert- Love That Bert Kaempfert

Here is a nice easy piece to blog about since I have done several posts on Bert Kaempfert.  This was $1.00.  It had a bunch of songs that I like.

This came out in 1968 on Decca in the US. (Polydor in the UK).  About half original compositions. half covers.  Pretty good stuff in line with the rest of his work. I believe it sold quite well.

For a sample, I went with his version of Duke Ellington’s jazz standard, “Caravan”. It has a nice use of fuzz on it.

Keepin’ it real brief today, son.  Satisfactory.

Los Norte Americanos- Galveston, I Saw The Light, and Other Hits In The Tijuana Sound

I paid $4 for this?  God knows why?  I remember I had a good reason why when I bought it but for some reason, it escapes me now.  Egads, $4 I paid for this steamer.

I guess I should take a second to point out that I am okay and have weathered the floods in Houston associated with Hurricane Harvey.  As I am on the 20th floor, I was really never concerned.

I was the only one able to make it to the office today (after some re-routing) and it looks like we only took minimal water and will only need to replace some carpet ( we elevated all our inventory off the ground prior to the storm and used my idea to use folding tables to do so).  And it looks like I will get a paycheck this Friday.  Plus gasoline was not too terribly gauge-y yet.

But I must acknowledge that I am one of the lucky ones and this storm did cause a lot of devastation.  I did spent a lot of my time holed up working on this blog so when you read about me preparing for Harvey in October, that is why.

The record states this is by Los Norte Americanos but in all reality, this was probably done by one of the many sessions bands for Somerset/ Allshire Records, more than likely outside of the US.  Made, no doubt very hastily in a bid to compete with the Latin explosion of the time, coming mainly for A&M Records (Herb Alpert, Sergio Mendez, etc), I believe this came out around 1969.

The first time I listened to this, there was something I liked about it.  Well what ever that was, it has escaped me the second time around.  I found this record to be pretty insipid and generally uninspiring.

But we do need a sample, so I went with the song I liked best, the Jim Webb penned anti-war song which Glen Campbell made into a hit (downplaying most of Webb’s sentiment), “Galveston”.

Meh. Got taken to the cleaners with this record.