Wayne Newton- Songs for a Merry Christmas

DSCN3152So Thanksgiving is over and Christmas season has officially begun.  I think it unofficially began sometime in October.  Anyway, with the season comes Christmas music and for better or for worse, that is what Donkey-Show is doing this month.  And what a better way to start it off then the man who inspired the name of this blog, Mr Las Vegas himself, Wayne Newton. This was $3.00.


Wayne’s Website

This album is pretty standard fare from Wayne.  Well sung songs with his trademark style.  Oddly enough, when I first saw Ferris Bueller, I thought it was a woman singing “Danke Schoen”.

DSCN3153This album has all the classics and is pretty good as far as Christmas albums go.  high points include “Jingle Bell Rock”, “The Christmas Song”, “Rudolph” and “Silent Night, Holy Night”.

LAS VEGAS - OCTOBER 28: Entertainer Wayne Newton performs during the opening night of his limited-engagement production "Once Before I Go" at the Tropicana Las Vegas October 28, 2009 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images for Tropicana)

For a sample, I went with “Let It Snow Let It Snow Let It Snow”.


The Blasters-Over There

DSCN2517This was $3.97.  I became familiar with the Blasters thru 1) their appearance in the movie Streets of Fire, 2) a Operation Ivy bootleg with one of their covers, and 3) from the countless shows at the Continental that I talk about going to but ultimately find a reason to blow off.ZZZ004023-PPFormed in 1979 in Downy, California, The Blasters took music beyond rockabilly.  This album is a live EP from 1982 recorded at the Venue in London.  According to the liner notes, it was close to Victoria Station.  The last three or four times I went to London, I stayed in a cheap hotel behind Victoria Station and ended up mostly eating Station food.  I used to stay right on Picadilly Square but the hotel ended up getting condemned.  blasters-with-carl-perkins

The Blasters’ Web Page

Back to the point, this album features both Alvin brothers in their younger days.  It is an EP so it is short and very cover heavy featuring tracks by Roy Orbison, Little Richard, and Jerry Lee Lewis.  Overall, it is a decent album.


For a sample I went with “Keep a Knockin” and “Roll’em Pete”.2008Blasters03

Satisfactory.  I spent all day Friday working so this Saturday post is brief.



George Siravo- Darling Please Forgive Me

DSCN2515This was a dollar.  I thought the title was kind of funny.  Maybe the idea of someone actually playing this album while begging for forgiveness.6a00e008dca1f088340120a64866fa970b-200wiGeorge Siravo (1916-2000) is best known for orchestrating Frank Sinatra’s first two major records.  By that time, Siravo was already a veteran of the big band era, having played in bands with Gene Kruppa, Glenn Miller, Jan Savitt, and Charlie Barnett.  He also worked Rosemary Clooney, Vic Damone, Tony Bennett, and Doris Day.  Spaceagepop.com thought enough about him to give him a bio on their page.

Link to Spaceagepop’s bio on Siravo

I was largely unimpressed with this album when I listened to it.  For reasons why, I largely forget.  I am not, however, re-listening to this to remember why.  I don’t think it was bad per se, just a bit uninteresting.  I think this is another case of me expecting something from the cover and getting something else.  I just honestly expected more, especially from a Mercury Record.DSCN2516

I went with “It Might Be Too Late” and “Loser of Love” as samples.  I really can’t decided between the two of them.

Meh.  They should apologize to me for buying the thing.


The Tupper Saussy Quartet with Charlie McCoy- A Swinger’s Guide to Mary Poppins


This was $4.00 or so. I liked the title. I thought the record would sound different. If I would have taken a second to read the back, I would not have been so surprised.DSC06179

Tupper Saussy, it turns out had a strange life. Born in Statesboro, Georgia in 1936, Saussy was a composer, musician, artist, art director, actor, and writer. His play, 1977’s The Gimmes, openly criticized the IRS and put him on the agency’s radar. As a result, he was charged with three counts of willfull failure to file a return. He got acquitted on 2 charges but was found guilty on one. Around this time, the assassin of MLK Jr, James Earl Ray co-wrote, edited, and published an autobiography on Saussy, The Tennessee Waltz: The Making of a Political Prisoner. Fearful of repercussions from revelations in the book, Saussy became a fugitive for ten years. During this time, he began researching clandestine elements within the US government. After finally surrendering, Saussy spent 14 months in jail at which time he finished his book, Rulers of Evil. He would die in 2007 of heart failure. Oddly enough, his music was having a bit of a resurgence right before his death.


Tupper’s Webpage

This is a collection of songs from Mary Poppins, performed by the Tupper Saussy Quartet with Charlie McCoy. Saussy handles the piano while McCoy plays the harmonica. The record itself is not bad per se. I was just expecting something more swinginger.   I would say it is more light jazz. It was hard picking a sample as the songs really all sounded the same.DSCN2514

I decided to go with “Chim-Chim-Cheree” as I like the song from the original. I like it because Bert gets philosophical in it.

Meh. Probably not the Quartet’s fault with this. I just had an idea in my head what this would sound like and the result was different from this.



Russ Aston- Ruf-Nec

DSCN2511This was $3.00 and was autographed. It was made out to a Travis who I am guessing was the singer’s boss at some point. I worked selling oilfield equipment for 15 years of my life so I am kind of sentimental to records like this.

Drilling rig in the night

This is a collection of oilfield songs by a former roughneck, Russ Aston. Born in Indiana and raised in New Mexico. While his first love was singing, his meal ticket was oilfield, working from roughneck to toolpusher. The songs at times are clever re-workings of country standards. It was recorded in Calgary, Alberta and distributed by London Records of Canada.

Eagle Ford Drilling Rig

It should also be note that the rig on the cover was Commonwealth Drilling Rig No 26. It drilled what was the deepest hole in Canada at the time of this record, 16,540 feet. I am guessing this came out in the sixties.DSCN2512

Since this is a small record, and because it hits home, I decided to post more than a few songs for this. I like “The Old Drilling Rig” when he talks about all the places it has been, West Texas to Leduc, from Venezuela to Iran. “Easy Money in the Oilpatch” talks about the hard work involved for that easy green. “Goin’ In the Hole” is a good number. I am partial to “Oh, You Drillin’ Rig” because it calls out that old Ideco derrick (would have been Dreco derrick in the song of this album was written later). Finally, Russ sings a song about one of the most storied people ever to work the oilpatch in “The Legend of Red Adair”.

Satisfactory record for me.


Johnny Burnette- Hits and Other Favorites

DSCN2506This was $4.00. I got this for the song I used as a sample. Internet at the casa is abajo so between that and working all week, the posts for the end of the month should be brief.

Johnny Burnette (1934-1964) was a legend in the rockabilly movement. Along with his brother and guitarist Paul Burlison, he formed the Rock and Roll Trio. Driven by the highly influential guitar playing of Burlison, the band originated the rock and roll staple, “The Train Kept A Rollin”. Oddly enough, after four singles and one LP, the trio failed to achieve success and disbanded.   However, Burnette would find later success as a solo act. He would drown in a boating accident in 2964 at the age 30.


History of the Rock and Roll Trio

This album is a collection of his hits for Liberty Records. Although these songs are more in the pop vein as compared to the Rock and Roll Trio, there is a good mix of tunes on this album. They really walk the line between rock and roll and country and although his solo career is more pop, there are some good rockabilly numbers on this. “Walk On By”, “Dreamin”, “A Little Bitty Tear”, and “Hello Walls” all stand out.DSCN2508

A result of the move from rockabilly to pop is the liberal use of stings on these tunes as opposed to the minimalism of standard rockabilly. I enjoy the stings on this record, however and no song does the strings better on this then “You’re Sixteen”. It takes a rockabilly tune and theme and turns it into a sophisticated piece of music. It gives it a much more plush sound.01829078

Satisfactory record.

Ike and Tina Turner- Star Collection

DSCN2504Hey.  Another week gone.  This was $5.00.  It is a German record of Ike and Tina Turner playing live on what I guess was marketed as the “Star Collection” by Midi Records, a product of WEA Music, Gmbh.ikeandtinainside

There is nothing funny about domestic abuse and Ike was a pretty bad human being in that regard.  I grew up knowing Tina Turner as a solo star, so I am amazed there was even some question as to if she would be famous after leaving Ike.  After the biopic “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”, Tim Meadows did a mean Ike impersonation which I thought was funny at the time but now that I am older, I have pulled back a little on it.


Link to Tim Meadow’s doing Ike


Anyway, this is a pretty decent album cheaply put together.  Highlights include “I Can’t Stop Loving You”, “Tight Pants”, “Good Times”, and “You Are My Sunshine”.  Very horn heavy.  I thought I would hear more of Ike’s guitar but no.  This album is mostly Tina, which is good.DSCN2505

Because I have been playing a lot of crap this week, I decided to go with two songs of this album, “Tell the Truth” and “Finger Poppin”.  I thought these two tracks were good.  They are all Tina.  It goes back to what I said earlier:  why would anyone doubt she could stand on her own?  She is standing on her own on these tracks.ike__tina_turner_231172_dia14

Satisfactory record.  Enjoy your Saturday.


The Seekers- A World of Our Own

DSCN2502This was a dollar.  The Seekers, to me are a lot like Long John Silver’s.  You drive by and can’t remember the last time you went, you eat there, and you remember why its been so long.  You don’t eat at LJS’s again until a year goes by and the process starts again. But when it does, I completely forget and buy another Seeker’s record.fff

Despite my feelings, The Seekers were a hugely talented and successful group.  Forming in Melbourne, Australia in 1962, they were discovered in the UK in 1964.  The would have a string of Top Ten Hits in their short span.  They also had the first single to reach the Top Five in Australia, the UK, and the US.  They would disband in 1968, but have been reuniting here and there.  The last tour was to celebrate their 50th anniversary.  It ended with two performances in Royal Albert Hall, London.  Currently, there is a musical being staged in Sydney and Melbourne called “Georgy Girl” based on the female singer, Judith Durham.

The Seeker’s Webpage

Georgy Girl- The Musical Info

I really, really, really like “Georgy Girl”, both the song and the movie.  But sadly, the Seeker’s songs are hit and miss to me.  Granted, they are talented and have lovely voices, but I prefer my folk music with a bit of edge, a bit of imperfection, a bit of me against the world, etc, etc.  And in this respect, I just can’t truly get into their records.


This album, in particular, was their fourth.  Looking at the back cover, it had a great songlist.  Two Bobby Dylan songs, one Ian Tyson, one Woody Guthrie, a traditional song from the UK (“Leaving of Liverpool”) and one from the US (“Just a Closer Walk With Thee)” and one of my favorite songs written for the Seeker’s by Tom Springfield, “A World of Our Own”.  In the case of the latter, I thought it was a Sonny James tune originally.  I was wrong.  But Sonny James knocked his version out of the park.  Same with the rest of the tunes, there is just something lacking for me to latch on to.  To offer a contemporary opinion, in the words of my friend Tracy, this is “truly horrible music”. It should be noted, as a point of counter-opinion, the album went #2 in Australia, #3 in the UK, and #19 in the US.DSCN2503

The only number that had any punch was the spiritual “You Can Tell the World”, which I thought was much better than the rest of the album. They really cut loose with the vocals.  I use it now as the sample.  If the rest of the songs were played the same way, I would really like this album.art-seekers-20anniversary-620x349

Meh.  I know I bought at least one better Seeker’s album recently.  This one just does not do it for me.


David Soul- ST

DSCN2500This was $2.00.  I had I in my hand for awhile at Half Price Books in Pearland, but passed on it.  A week later, my friend Jen saw it the same Half Price and texted me to see if I wanted it.  I did.  She bought it.  I paid her back.  I do not know what changed in a weeks time.  I don’t think it truly clicked to me at the time who David Soul  was.


Article on David Soul today

Born in 1943 in Chicago, Illinois, David Soul is best known from playing Kenneth “Hutch”Hutcherson on TV’s Starsky and Hutch which ran from 1975 to 1979.  I really liked the show as a kid but really do not remember much of the dialoge. Acting was his meal ticket but singing was his passion.  He did some TV work before Starsky and Hutch and some after. His most notable work after, would be his portrayal of Jerry Springer in Jerry Springer- The Opera which ran in London in 2004.  Please note there is profanity on the clip below.

This album was released in 1976 and was a big hit for soul.  I think it is kind of corny.  I mean it is kind of country in some places, easy listening in others.  I actually thought it would be more country based on the back cover. The song titles sound like musical productions.   He covers Leonard Cohen’s “Bird on a Wire”.  Nicky Hopkins plays piano on a couple tracks.  Basically, the album is all over the place.  But hey , what do I know?  It went to #2 in the UK.DSCN2501


The single, “Don’t Give Up on Us Baby” actually went to #1 in both the US and UK as well as Canada and Australia.  Soul had more hits in the UK, but this was his sole US hit (no pun intended).  Oddly enough, Owen Wilson did a version in the movie remake of Starksy and Hutch, which prompted Soul to record a new version.

Meh.  Sorry.  I would like the album if it were a bit more focused on the country side.