Jefferson Starship – Red Octopus

DSCN3867I have been trying to write this post for three days now but have been hampered by work. It should be noted, however, that Paul Kantner, founding member of Jefferson Airplane/ Jefferson Starship, died Thursday.1976_Jefferson_Starship

Obit from SFGate

Obit from the Guardian

Because I always like three, Obit from USA Today


The one album I have of Jefferson Starship is 1975’s Red Octopus. With its hit single “Miracles” it would be the best selling record of any incarnation of the band, and if Wikipedia is to be trusted, that would mean it outsold Starship’s 1985 smash, Knee Deep in the Hoopla. Kantner left the band before they turned into Starship. A lot of people mock “We Built this City” but back in 1985, it was a catchy tune.DSCN3849

I am not a huge fan but here is a song written and from what I can assume, sung by Kantner “There Will Be Love”kantner032715



Webb Pierce- The Webb Pierce Story

DSCN3706This was three dollars at a Record Show and worth every penny.  Webb Pierce is definitely in my top five favorite country stars.  On top of which, this is a double album.Webb-Pierce

I worked all day today from 8am to 10pm with about 20 mins to scarf some food in between.  I just got home 15 mins ago.  So if you can’t read between the lines, then I will tell you: don’t expect a lot of effort into this post.  Fortunatly, I did a more exhaustive post on Webb last year when I was unemployed and had all day to devise posts.

Link to earlier Webb Post.

This double record came out in 1964.  It is a collection of stereo re-recordings of earlier hits with a few odd new tunes as well. A lot of his biggest hits are on this album and done in a style which is either country acknowledging its influence on rock and roll or rock and roll acknowledging its country roots.  Either way, it is rocking.  If Webb knew one thing, he knew how to sell records and as a result, he was selling records when other artists were losing market share to rock and roll.  DSCN3708

I saw a few copies selling in the $20 range on Ebay which would net me $17 is I ever decided to sell…. which I won’t. DSCN3709

On a side note, there was January.  Whew.  Not a great month per say, post wise.  I really wanted to clean out my bin and get rid of some bad albums I have been holding onto since April of last year.  There were some good moments as well, a few records that I really, really liked. But again,  there were some stinkers.fffd

So I am using that as an excuse to post three tunes off this album, “In The Jailhouse Now”, “There Stand’s the Glass”, and my favorite “I Don’t Care”.  Each song is different than the standard version.  All incorporate the rockabilly sound described three paragraphs ago.  Yeah, I know posting anything more than two songs is lazy on my part. Enjoy.woodlawn_cemetery_8092-x600

This is Top Rated album for me.


Tomita- Firebird

DSCN3704This was $1.00. I had never heard of Tomita before I bought this.  It looked intriguing especially after reading the back cover, which I did before I bought it. Normally, at Sig’s Lagoon, if it is a buck, I just take it and read it later.

tumblr_inline_mwr02yH4dx1qk77s5Isao Tomita (born Tokyo, Japan in 1932) is a pioneer of electronic music.  He also was instrumental in the field of space rock, no pun intended. Starting out as a composer for TV, he would move in to electronic music after being inspired by the works of Wendy Carlos and Robert Moog.  His analog synthesized arrangements  are quite famous accordint to the internet.  As this week has been hectic, any further information, you will have to dig out for yourself.

Tomita’s Web Page


Tomita’s Wiki Page

This was Tomita’s third album.  It was released in 1975.  Along with Stavindky’s “Firebird Suite”, it also contains Debussy’s “Prelude to An Afternoon of a Faun” and Moussorgsky’s “A Night on Bare Mountain”. The album is pretty interesting if not a bit dated today.  Tomita lists all the equipment used on this album on the back cover.  It is a pretty extensive list.DSCN3705It was hard to pick a sample as I do not like posting anything longer than 5 minutes let alone 10. That excluded Debussy and Mourssorgsky.  I then was left with an excerpt from Stravinsky.  Unfortunately, this does poor service to the entire piece, taking a chunk out for sample.  Well, it had to be done. Here is the Infernal Dance of King Kastchei, from “Firebird Suite”.isao-tomita-sitting

This is an all right album.  I will call it satisfactory.



George Burns- George Burns Sings

DSCN3702I thought for sure I bought this at a record show, but there it is , the Half Price Books’ tag staring right at me.  With discount, I must have paid $4.George-Burns1

I remember when I was young, everybody making a big to-do about George Burns’ 100 birthday celebration.  Then when he finally turned 100, he was too sick to celebrate.  Then he died, shortly thereafter in 1996.1960-july-26-bobby-darin-george-burns-3

This record came out 1969 on Buddah Records as what I a assuming was a novelty record.  That would have made him 73 at the time of this recording. This record has George singing some old standards along with some modern tunes.  There is little here that is radical an I am far too tired today to expand on this. DSCN3703

I was torn between two songs as a sample.”  First off, I did not like any of the standards.  I thought “With A Little Help From My Friends” was one of the better tunes.  On the other hand, if you can sit through segments “King of The Road”, ‘%9th Street Bridge Song”, and “I Kissed Her on the Back Porch”, hearing Burns singing “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” is pretty darn funny in the “Medley”.  Here are both tunes for your approval….. or disapproval………whatever.George_burns_and_kermit

Meh.  I was kind of expecting this album to be better than it was.



Caterina Valente- Greatest Hits

DSCN3700This was 80 cents. I liked most of the songs on the album so I figured I would give it a try.valentCaterina Valente is a Italian singer/entertainer who was born in Paris, France in 1931.  Born into a family of entertainers, she became a popular singer of Schlager tunes (look it up for yourself).  She would become an International star with records, television appearances. and even movie spots.  She would also star in a short lived variety show on CBS with Carol Burnett and Bob Newhart.  She is still alive as of this writing.dean-caterina-valente-kingofcoolCaterina’s Translated Webpage


This album is a greatest hits collection from her work with Werner Muller and his Orchestra.  Right off, this album has a lot of entertainment value.  The songs are well arranged and orchestrated. It has that pizazz that was missing from yesterday’s album.  The vocals are fabulous as well. She sings in a great range as well as in a couple different languages on these.  This makes for a very good collection.  My highlights include “Malaguena”, “La Paloma”, “The Peanut Vendor”, “La Golondrina”, and the two songs that I selected as samples.DSCN3701

Those samples are “The Breeze and I” and ‘More”.2514476402

Satisfactory record.



The George Shearing Quartet- Black Satin

DSCN3698This was $1.00.  I bought it right before I decided to do this blog so that means then, that I bought it under my own accord.  Strange.  I think I liked the cover.

093b9b2d438c37cad10bea6874b86I tried four times to post this album but for some reason or another it got bumped each time.  I had a plan for the post back when I was unemployed and was able to write flowing paragraphs.  However, under the current schedule here is what I know: George Shearing-born in Battersea, London in 1919.  He played piano on the BBC and in Stephane Grappelli’s band before immigrating to New York in 1947. There he played jazz with various groups until his death in 2011. He also has a fingering style on the piano named after him.

George Shearing’s Web page so you can fill in the blanks.

A53402DFBF84B65617DD52944F9FFE30I think the one thing I found odd every time I tried to write this post is that Shearing was a regular performer at Bohemian Grove.  I should also mention that he is blind.  I took great humor in the fact that he was unable to see anything going on at the Grove while he was performing. That is probably why they hire him.  Maybe he heard some funky stuff go down while he was there, who knows?DSCN3699

This record came out in 1956 and was one of Shearing’s better charting efforts. It was arranged by Billy May.  The songs are all rather elegant in a ballroom kind of style. In the words of, quote “it’s mellow music for sure and heavily orchestrated, but there is a level of harmonic sophistication and brilliant arranging here that qualified Black Satin for classic status” unquote. I don’t know for sure what I thought I was getting into when I bought this.  I was hoping for something a bit more Esquivel-ish.  I realize that is a tall order but that is what I thought when I saw the cover. In all honesty, I was looking for something more lounge/ cocktail

I am not listening to this again.  I have already listened to it six times.  That is enough for me. This is the song I liked the best or the one I burned to MP3 last time I tried to post this; “What is There to Say”.  It will do for this. Kind of sounds like the Muppets ballroom songs in some parts.

Sorry but this is a lot of meh for me.


Jean Redpath/ Serge Hovay- The Songs of Robert Burns

DSCN3696This was an expensive record coming in at $4.00. I got it in September for the sole purpose of posting it today, January 25th, which is Burn’s Supper, or Burn’s Night or Robbie Burn’s Day, depending on how traditional you are.


A Story on Burn’s Night 2016

Robert Burns (1759-1797) is Scotland’s national poet and perhaps the best known (with an exception for the Poet Ewan McTeagle).  He is known for his work both in English and in a Scot dialect.  A pioneer of the Romantic movement according to Wikipedia, he also wrote as well as collected songs making updates and modifications where need be. His most well known work is probably “Auld Lang Syne” but my favorite is “A Parcel of Rogues for a Nation”.


A Web Page with More Info

Burn’s Supper is the annual traditional held in Burn’s honor.  These celebrations take place mainly in Scotland but over the years have moved outside into other part of the UK and beyond. The First Supper took place five years after his death by a group of friends. From there, the event grew into what it is today.  The Supper includes set traditions such as Host’s Speech, the Immortal Memory, and  the Toast to the Lassies as well as the consumption of Haggis and whiskey. Works of Burns are also read.

A slightly deeper explanation of Burn’s Supper


I believe I read somewhere that this record was originally part of a series of twenty two volumes intended to capture the complete song works  of Burns.  However, the arranger Serge Hovey, died after seven volumes and the singer decided she could not carry out the project without him.  The work that was released was well received.  Redpath, incidentally, was born in Edinburgh in 1937 but moved to the US when she was 24. According to her obit. she once shared a flat with Bob Dylan in the early day of Greenwich Village.  She performed, curated, and lectured on folk music on both sides of the ocean until her death in 2014 in Arizona.Jean Redpath At Newport

This album is a pretty good collection of Burn’s compositions.  This was the first volume in the collection.  It came out in 1976.  It is as it would appear; Scottish Music.  The music and vocals are very good.  Not much to say other than the album is what it says it is.

A Link to Burn’s Work

For samples, I went with “The Winter It is Past” which is similar to the Irish song “The Curragh of Kildare”.  Also the Pogues’ “White City” is based of the music of both.  The other sample is “My Tocher’s the Jewel” which appear to be a love song.

Alright record.  Satisfactory.  Enjoy the rest of Burn’s Night.




The Byrds – Fifth Dimension

DSCN3694This was $4.  I bought it at a records show this fall.  One of the things I discovered about myself last summer is that I like 60’s/70’s folk-rock and early alt-country.  As a result, I kind of got into the Byrds.  That is why I bought this album.the-byrds-4e1df13086c24

It is a good album.  Delivers on the above quite well , although others might say it leans more towards psychedelic rock. It was their third album and their first without a Dylan cover.  I like the first side the best.DSCN3695

I posted this album, however, for one song in preparation for Monday, Robbie Burns Day or Burns Night if you are traditional (more about that I imagine on Monday’s post.)  I’m celebration of the upcoming day, here is one based on a song from one of  Burn’s contemporary, Robert Tannahill and adapted by Francis McPeake.  I originally thought this was a Burns piece.  I have a Clancy Brother’s album where they sing it and credit Burns.  I know they are not Scottish but still. maxresdefault (1)Top Rated Record.




Tammy Wynette- The First Lady

DSCN3690This was 80 cents.  If you have been paying attention, the grand total for the last four days has been $2.00.  That’s how you survive the downturn, baby. On a personal note, between working late, hockey three nights a week, people dying, and computer problems at the casa, I have been burning the midnight oil pretty hard.  Let’s see how quick I can get this post out of here.wynette_tammy_image01Tammy’s Webpage

Aptly named for The First Lady of Country Music”, Tammy Wynette was female country.  Along with Loretta Lynn and Dolly Parton, she even more so defined what it was to be a country singer.  She charted 23 #1 hits during her career which apparently is not over despite her death in 1998.  She is getting the hologram treatment starting with a show in Nashville in 2016.  Is this the future of music? I mean, will living people just send out a hologram on tour?1393974430000-ASP-Rubenstein-Tammy-Wynette

Story about Hologram Tammy

This was Tammy’s eight album and it was released in 1970, the third studio album she released that year. It went to # 2 on the US Country charts.  “Run, Woman, Run” went to #1 on the country single’s.  The album is ok.  The songs are good. The liner notes, on the other hand, are terrible.  I gave up after 5 minutes of trying to read them. DSCN3691

The best song in my opinion is “Safe In These Lovin’ Arms of Mine”.  However, I like the song “Sally Trash” on title and principle alone.  Poor old Sally.  She probably gets a bad rap.  Maybe she is a nice girl deep down. She must have some redeeming qualities.maxresdefault

Satisfactory record.  Can not wait until weekend for rest.



Sania Poustylnicof and Ensemble- Russian Folk Songs

DSCN3688This was 80 cents.  You should know by know that I likes my Russian Music.  This is a Somerset Record (who would later become Alshire Records).  They are most famous for their 101 Strings records.  But despite this, I like Russian music enough to take a chance on this.Russian_Folk_Dance_BarynyaI like the liner notes on this album because it looks like I could of wrote them.  The Ensemble are from Russia and Poustylnicof has lived there most of his life.  “Why, when and how he left his homeland, we did not ask…….Our prime concern after hearing Mr Poustylnicof, was not delving into his personal history, but to record the outstanding artistry of his guitar and group.” For the record, this is the last time I am typing Poustylnicof, who is a master of Mid Century Russian balalaika.5jAC128y798

This was recorded in the Republic of Germany in 1958.  Unlike other Sommerset/ Alshire Records, this is real good.  They do a good job with the material, presenting it in a way that is different from other versions but not to far from the original intent. Also, there are some vocals on this album as well, of both the male and female variety.DSCN3689

I could not pick out just one sample, so here is a smorgasbord of Russian music.  Enjoy. There are some extra tracks on some of the Rated Record for me. Probably the only Somerset/Alshire record to get this distinction.