Fred Panopio- ST

DSCN2304Someone with a large Filipino record collection recently unloaded a collection of albums at the Half Price in Sugar Land.   This was one of the Filipino records that I bought.  It was $1.

Fred Panopio, born in 1939 in Nueva Ecija, was a famous Filipino singer. He rose to fame in the 60’s and 70’s, popularizing his yodeling-style of singing in the Philippines.  He also started in various movies and television shows in his home country.  Reaching a local legend status, he would die of a heart attack in Manila in 2010 at the age of 71.

I could not find a whole lot of info on Fred and at this point in the month, I am less inclined to dig thru foreign web pages.  This album is pretty decent but I know little else about it.  The songs are somewhat diverse.  Songs like “Ingkong”  have a disco beat while songs like “Bakit Ba, Bakit Ba”  have a more traditional Pacific sound.  Fred has a good voice and performs the songs well.  The diversity of songs make the album pretty listenable.

 

DSCN2305I was at first leaning towards one of the two songs listed above for a sample, but I caved and decided to go for an easier route.  “Bohemyo” is Fred’s take on Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  Likewise “Kawawang Cowboy” is his take on “Rhinestone Cowboy”.  Both songs are pretty good interpretations.  Ok.  I will cave and also post the funky “Ingkong” (King Kong) in a vain attempt to snag some of the funk listeners out there.

Satisfactory record.

 

 

Dick Schory’s New Percussion Ensemble- Music for Bang, Baa-room, and Harp

DSCN2306This was $3.  It looked interesting enough.  Most times, percussion albums are really hit or miss, but I guess the title and cover hooked me.schory_portrait

Dick Schory, born in 1931 in Chicago,  is more than just a percussionist.  He was a  band leader of  groups including his New Percussion Ensemble which is featured on this album.  He also did work with other ensembles including the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. He served various functions at Ludwig Drum Company.  In addition to his role as Vice President of Marketing, he was instrumental in product development.  He would compose, arrange, and conduct for both records and television.  Finally, he founded Ovation Records in 1971.  As of this writing , he is still alive  and recently was a guest conductor at the Glenview Park District’s Bearfoot in the Park concert series.a693c7c530ff3cffdd5fabd4bf0e4782

Percussive Arts Society Page on Schory.

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A lot of cheap record labels throw together an orchestra with a limited range of exotic percussive instruments and market it similar to this one.  This, however, is RCA and Dick Schory.  I believe this is his first album for RCA, released in 1958.  The range of instruments used on this is pretty extensive.  Highlights include “Typee”, “Way Down Yonder in New Orleans”, “Baia”, and “April in Paris”.  The arrangements as good. Moreover, the recording and the production value on this album are excellent.  Overall, it really puts the budget label percussion albums to shame.

DSCN2307For a sample, I went with “Holiday in a Hurry” which is a quirky number that has a pretty good range of percussion on it.  What I like about this, and the whole album is the percussion adds to rather than takes from the songs.  Also included is “Baia” as it is one of my favorites.  Again, the percussion is not overdone and you can also hear the harp lines as well.download

A satisfactory record indeed.

 

Merv Griffin & Arthur Treacher- ‘Alf & ‘Alf- Songs of the British Music Hall

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This was $2.40.  It was something different from other things I posted and  figured I could get a good story out of it at the least.  Victorian music hall

British Music Hall music, the UK equivalent of American vaudeville, was born the 1830’s.  It rose to popularity in the 1850’s and unofficially died in 1963 with the death of Max Miller. Although it would assume no fixed form, its popularity spawned some of the best songwriters and songs of the 19th and early 20th century.  It would spawn a major labor unrest in 1907 when the artists went on strike against the theater managers.  This resulted in copyright law being applied to music.  In WWI, at the height of its popularity, it was used as a recruiting tool.  After the war, its popularity waned with the rise of swing, jazz, trad, and eventually rock and roll.  However, perhaps the most enduring tribute to the Music Hall tradition was the first series of The Muppet Show.

Link to Music Hall Recordings

Arthur Treacher was a British actor (1894-1975) who made numerous movie, stage, and television appearances.  Merv Griffin (1925-2007) was a media mogul, working on stage and television, hosting his own show, and creating some of the most enduring game shows including Jeopardy and Wheel of Fortune.  What I did not know is that Treacher, who was Griffin’s mentor served as Griffin’s announcer and sidekick on the Merv Griffin Show from 1965 to 1970.  When network brass wanted to dump Treacher due to age, Griffin successfully protested.merv and artThis album is from what I can tell, a decent collection of British Music Hall tunes.  It includes songs originally sung by Billy Williams, Jack Worworth, Basil Hallam, Jack Pleasants, and Harry Champion.  The music is bouncy  with snappy back and forth dialogue.   Songs such as “I’ve Got a Loverly Bunch of Cocoanuts” highlight that British double entre style which suggests something is dirty when it really isn’t.  That is really prevalent on several of the tracks.  Overall, after a few songs, the gag wears thin.  The songs all sound similar after a while and the visual aspect of what Music Hall was trying to accomplish is completely lost with this.

DSCN2303For a sample, I submit “Whose Got the Suitcase”  which is the most upbeat number on the album.  It  showcases the fast paced back and worth between the two entertainers that really defined Music Hall.  Also included in “I’m Henry the Eighth, I Am”, a tune performed by Harry Champion and remade in a rock and roll style by Herman’s Hermits in the 1960’s.  This version seems to pay tribute to both styles.

Meh.  After a while, this album wears thin.  If all the songs were like the samples, I would bump this up a rating, but alas this is not the case.

 

Tenpole Tudor- Wunderbar 45

DSCN2299In the spirit of Oktoberfest, here is a special Sunday post.  I forgot how much I paid for this.  Let’s say $5.tenpole_tudor

Tenpole Tudor was an English punk-rockabilly band fronted by Edward Tudor Pole, infrequent movie star and one time replacement for Johnny Rotten.  They made two albums.  This was the second single from the first.

Personally, I think Tenpole Tudor made too few records and Edward Tudor Pole makes too few movie appearances.  p01bqtqt

Here is “Wunderbar” based on a German music hall song.  Apparently, according to some banter I heard from a live track, it was not well received in Germany.  It should be noted that the 45 version is superior to the album version.D13D0411TenpoleTudor192653-1024x681

Enjoy Oktoberfest if you decide to take part in local activities in your area.

 

 

Warren Baker- William Holden presents Far Away Places

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This was a dollar.  I am a big William Holden fan.  In retrospect, I am not sure why I would buy this based on the fact that I like the actor who is on the cover.  But I did,  so here we are.IMG_5989The above scene is from Stalag 17 and is my favorite Holden moment.  According to lore, Holden was unhappy abut playing the role of Sefton due to the character’s selfish nature.  He was the third choice for the role and was under studio contract. He begged to director Billy Wilder to soften some of the edges to little avail.  Wilder finally threw Holden a bone and let him have the goodbye salute at the end of his departure.  The more I think of it,  this is one of my favorite moments in all film.

William Holden The Wild BunchMy other favorite Holden role is in Sam Peckenpah’s The Wild Bunch as gang leader, Pike Bishop.  Again, Holden was not the first choice for this role.  Lee Marvin was cast for the role but turned it down for more money to sing with Clint Eastwood in Paint Your Wagon.  Nothing against Holden, but it would have been a different movie with Marvin in command.  However,  Marvin did gain a #1 single in the UK with Wagon’s “Wandern Star”.

SunsetBoulevardWilliamHoldenFinally, William Holden’s death was immortalized in Susan Vega’s 1984 song “Tom’s Diner” (which in turn would be immortalized by 1990’s DNA remix).  Holden would die in 1981 at the age of 63 after a fall into a table.  He was intoxicated at the time.   In the song, Vega sings about reading an article in the paper about “a story of an actor / who had died while he was drinking”.

As for the album itself,  it is actually pretty good. It is a collection of exotica tunes from around the world.  Arranged by TV, film and radio composer Warren Barker (who wrote TV’s Bewitched theme), the songs fall into either an Asian(the record calls it oriental) or Latin category.  As with most exotica,  the songs are filled with strange percussion.  There are a lot of good moments including “Malayan Nightbird”, “Tokyo Trolley”, “Kyoto Merry-Go-Round” and the songs I chose for the samples.

DSCN2291For samples. I went with my go-to favorite song, “Lotus Land”.  I followed this with the latin flavored “Carnavalito”.  Finally, “Kowloon to London Express” is a heavily Asian flavored song with subtle odes to Russia and England thrown in.

This is a top rated album.  Thanks William Holden as I would not have bought this without your approval.

 

 

 

VA-Original Golden Town and Country Hits-Vol 1

DSCN2294This was a dollar.  It had an okay selection of songs, but I got it for one song in particular that caught my eye,  Rex Allen’s “Don’t Go Near the Indians”.  I thought it would be a quasi-racist song that would offend.  SPOILER ALERT:  If you want to listen to the song without being aware of the subject matter, jump down to the MP3 now or after the next paragraph.rex

Rex Allen, the Arizona Cowboy, was born close to Wilcox, AZ in 1920.  Starting out in vaudeville, he rose to fame with the popularity of the singing cowboy as such stars as Gene Autry and Roy Rogers.  He stared in movies and on television as well as recording various albums.  He would die in 1999 just before his 79th birthday after both suffering a massive coronary and getting ran over in his driveway by his caretaker.  This song, “Don’t Go Near the Indians”  was his biggest hit, reaching #5 on the country chart.

So going back to the song, when I bought this, I thought this song would be about casual racism.  It is not.  It is about casual incest which is worse.  Yes, the singer of this song falls in love with an Indian girl only to find out that he was abducted from his tribe as a pup and he is really the brother of the girl he loves.  I thought this was awful and am kind of surprised this content would be allowed at the time.

As far as the album goes, it has good enough songs on it.  Faron Young and Patsy Cline were the big names I recognize.  Versions of “Wildwood Flower” and “From a Jack to a King” were good as was Leroy Van Dyke’s “Walk on By” (not the same as Burt Bacarach’s).  But overall, this album is really lacking the big star power (other than Patsy) that other compilations have.

 

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Here is “Don’t Go Near the Indians”, submitted for your approval.

Meh.  I have about 15 other country compilations that way exceed this one.

 

The Zillertal Band- German Beer Drinking Songs

 

DSCN2292Here is another German album for Oktoberfest.  This was 80 cents.  I got this back in May in order to diversify the posts.  Kind of came in handy this month.Oktoberfest_Beer Tent_04

Oktoberfest proper, in Munich, is already underway.  I kind of burned thru my trove of useless information on the last German post, but here is an attempt.  Apparently, the festival has been cancelled 24 times due to disease, war, and hyper-inflation.  Twice during these cancellations, the festival was replaced by a weaker festival with 2% ABV beer as opposed to the normal 6%.  ALso, I was surprised to learn that there is no loud music (85 db or higher) until after 6PM.  I guess the Germans want to nurse those hangovers as much as possible.

If you are looking for something to do to celebrate the festival, may I suggest eating at Rudi Lechners by Westhimer and Gesner, where it is Oktoberfest every day.  There is live music Wednesday thru Saturday.  There is also an Oktoberfest buffet on Wednesday night which appears on their webpage. If you go, order Rudi’s Gute Nacht Kaffee as a night cap.  It is a strong beverage but Rudi mixes it at the table. Below is a picture of him making one for me back in 2010.26493_109497519063129_6973787_n

Rudi Lechner’s Webpage

In terms of this album, I am not sure who the Zillertal Band are, but since this is an Alshire/Somerset album, I assume they are the cheapest band in Hamburg the label could find.  I saw on the internet that they were conducted by Harry Wehner and guess that this is some kind of joke.  The album follows the format of the last German album I posted.  The first side is a collection of individual folk songs while the second side is a bunch of beer tunes thrown together. Musically, I would say this album sounds what I imagine farts would sound like if they made music.

DSCN2293For samples, I went with two folk songs and a collection of beer songs.  For the folk songs, I went with “O Du Lieber Augustin” which you may recognize as “Hail to the Bus Driver” and “Du, Du Liegst Mir Im Herzen”.  For the beer songs, I went with “Ein Prosit” (a toast), “Es War Einmal Ein Treuer Husar” ( a song about a soldier who misses home) and “Wir Sind die Sanger von Finesterwalde”  (translated : we are the singers from Finesterwalde).

Meh.  This is a bit worse than Tuesday’s album.  However, download for your Oktoberfest party and you should be good to go.

 

 

VA- Sunday Morning at South Main

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This was $1.00 and just down the street from my place.  02, represent.

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South Main Baptist Church was founded in 1903 as the Tuam Baptist Church (please note that Tuam is Irish! I get into fights constantly about this).In 1930, the church was moved to its current location at Main and was renamed accordingly.  The church had a significant growth in the 70’s during which point, it was named Church of the Year by Guidepost magazine.  The 80’s were less groovy but equally important to the community.  At a time when people, businesses, and other churches were fleeing downtown, South Main Baptist increased their commitment to the area. As a result, South Main has become the diverse church it is today.

Church Web Page

I tried to get some information about the pipe organ.  According to the website, the organ was installed in 1934 by the Kilgen Organ Company.  Additons were made by John T. Ford in 1987.  However, in 2009, the church decided to replace all components of the organ and enlarge the existing chambers.  A task force was formed in 2014 and after some deliberation, the church decided to go with Nichols and Simpson Organ Builders of Little Rock, Arkansas.  I am assuming the new organ is installed by now.  Below is a link to its specifications:

Organ Specs

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This album has a varied selection of various church music from organ music, to choir ensembles, to solo singing, to brass pieces, to guitar.  It was conducted by Thad Roberts, JR, who was the Minister of Music at the time.  I was torn between an organ piece and a choir piece so I split the difference.  For a sample, I went with “Tone Poem on a Spiritual” which is a straight organ piece.  I also submit “And all the Earth Shall Own Him Lord”  which is a choir piece heavily driven by organ.SouthMainBaptist3-L

As far as church recordings go, this one is satisfactory.  Plus, you knows I got to give props to the 02 although I am not sure how this is still in the 02.  I thought it would be 77004 by now. Well, bravo to you, South Main Baptist for keeping it in the 02.

 

Vienna Male Choir- Folk Songs and Drinking Songs from Germany

 

DSCN2286In pulling together records for the month of October, I was planning to focus on female singers and German music.  The female singers were perhaps a response to putting too many instrumental albums in this month.  The German music, on the other hand, was to commemorate Oktoberfest. So I was surprised to learn that Oktoberfest has already started and ends the first weekend in October, which is already booked up with records.  You would figure one would know these things after 41 years, but then again,  I have never needed a reason to drink beers.  So as a result,  I switched two records up to dedicate some space this month to Oktoberfest.  This album in particular was 80 cents.oktoberfest-2013-09

Oktoberfest is the largest beer festival and fun fair in the world.  The origins are controversial, but it is believed the first fest was held to celebrate the marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig with a horse race and due to its success, the fest has been held ever since.  This is what Wikipedia is saying, anyway.  It is held in Munich and lasts 16 days.  It attracts over six million visitors per year. Only beer brewed within the limits of Munich can be served.  Also, organizers employee 1,800 portable toilets.  Other cities hold similar fests, including Houston, which in fine Houston tradition, will probably skimp on the port-o stalls.

Link to Houston Fest(note the Hipsters in German Garb)

The Official Site in Munich

This album is a split collection of both folk songs and beer drinking songs from Germany.  I could not find out any information on the Vienna Men’s Choir.  The first side of the album consists of the folk songs, which are broken out individually.  The beer drinking songs are on the flip side and are put together as one continuous track, which tends to be highly annoying for my purposes.  Both sides tend to portray the traits which I stereotypically assign to German music.

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For samples, I went with one folk song and a collection of beer drinking songs.  For the folk song, I went with “Ich Schiess Den Hirsch” or “I Shoot the Stag”. From the translations I have read, this song is about a hunter who is proud of the game he hunts.  He braves the elements and yet he feels love.  From who, I am not certain.  Perhaps, from nature, a mysterious shepherd, from the animals he kills, or maybe some unnamed German girl.  They were all very rough translations so I can not pinpoint this.  In terms of the beer drinking songs, I went with a collection of “Bier Her” (Let’s Have the Beer), “Ca, Ca Geschmauset” (Let’s Have the Fine Meal), and “Kurfurst Friedrich Von Der Pfalz” (Prince Frederick of Palatinate).  If you have ever been to Oktoberfest or seen it on TV, these tunes should ring a bell.Waitress-photo

Meh.  The folk side is actually the better side of the two.  Also, to lump all the songs on the second side together really gets to me.  Either way, you get what the album is trying to accomplish pretty quick into it.  This album will probably not get played again until this time next year.

 

Trombones Unlimited- One of Those Songs

DSCN2284This was 25 cents.  It had a good string of songs that I knew and liked.  For the price, it was worth a shot to hear these two tromboners.download

Trombones Unlimited was a jazz-pop combo that put out around five albums in the 60’s.  The combo was led by Mike Barone.  Born in Detroit in 1936, Barone would work with big bands before leading his own.  He would also do extenisive TV and movie work.  Today, the Mike Barone Band is still active and will be playing at the Lighthouse Café in Hermosa Beach on Oct 4th.  His partner for this album along with two others was Frank Rosolino.  Rosolino, who was also born in Detroit in 1926, worked with big bands as well as television shows.  Besides his trombone, he was known for his scat singing. His story is a more tragic one.  In 1978, he shot both his sons, then himself.  One son survived.

Mike Barone’s Web Page

Frank Rosolino’s Page on Trombones of the World

This album, released in 1968, is a decent collection of pop songs, augmented by trombones.  The album includes jazz standards (“In The Mood”and “Take the A Train”) contemporary pop (“Green Tambourine” and “Ode to Billy Joe”), a R&B standard (“Night Train”), and a children’s show tune (“Zip-a-Dee Doo-Dah”).  Overall, it is a good mix.  There is nothing overtly radical.  Just a dual trombone combo tackling a diverse work of music.

 

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For a sample, I went with “Ode to Billy Joe”.  It was hard to nail a song to best sum up the album.  After several attempts, this is what I came up with.

This has kind of turned out to be a crummy week for me personally so expect to see a lot of Meh albums, which is what I am giving this.  I mean, the album is alright, especially given what I paid for it, and perhaps it is unfair of me to rate this as such, but that is the mood I am in.