Kippy Lou Brinkman- An Evening with Kippy

DSCN4619 (789x800)This was only $1.00 .  I think the title as well as the cover are what hooked me to buy.050508-Kippy

Kippy Lou Brinkman was a former Miss America contestant from Seattle area, five foot six, with long blond hair . She was named the most talented musician in the 1996 Miss America contest.  I am guessing playing the harp was her talent.  44

She parlayed those talents into a gig at the Dome of the Sea restaurant at the Las Vegas Dunes Hotel. With a catalog ranging from the classics to pop music, she has played with “top flight entertainers” including Frank Sinatra according to one bio. From what I can tell, she now gives harp lessons back in Washington in the Olympia area although it is now Kippy Lou Scott.CCRjjw-WMAA_LXQ

The Dome of the Sea was a gourmet seafood restaurant in the Dunes hotel which opened in 1965.  Carry Grant came to the opening.  It was designed by Milton Schwartz with a sea shell in the middle of the floor surrounded by a figure 8 of water.  Inside the sea shell, sat Kippy.  Apparently it was mesmerizing for customers.  Not sure how long the restaurant lasted but the hotel was closed in 1993.  Two years later, it was imploded.dome-of-the-sea-postcard

I am sure this was an attempt to sell records to the mesmerized eaters who went to the Dome.  It is a collection of popular numbers unaccompanied on the harp.  I imagine this gives a pretty good taste of what Kippy was performing in Vegas.  Standards on the album include “Laura’s Theme”, “Sunrise, Sunset”, and “Yesterday”.  Kippy is well accomplished at her instrument and as a result, it is pretty nifty harp playing.DSCN4620 (781x800)

For a sample, I went with “Never On a Sunday” which I felt best ties in all the elements of harp playing.9858228

I am in a good mood today.  Satisfactory record.

Doug Kershaw- Ragin’ Cajun

DSCN4617 (800x790)Another month of the Show.  Yay.  I am slowly whittling away at the backlog.  I also did not buy any new records in April or May.  I have bought only a scant handful in 2016.  I also did not partake in the Half Price Books Memorial Day 20% off Sale which last year led to the backlog.  Anyway, why not start the month with some Cajun music.  This record was $1.00. In writing this post, I discovered something I kind of always knew.  I suck at spelling Louisiana, the state I have lived next to for 35 years.slu_fanfare09_kersha

Doug Kershaw , the Ragin’ Cajun, was born 1936 in Tiel Ridge in Cameron Parrish, Louisiana.  He learned how to play the fiddle (age five) before he learned English (age 8).  He would eventually learn to play 25 instruments.  After playing with family members including his brother, Rusty, Doug went solo around 1964 or so but not before releasing his big number, the autobiographical “Louisiana Man”.

Kershaw put out a good stretch of albums as well as live performances.  He has influenced many in both Cajun and country music and still performs today. 0016

Recent article regarding Kershaw’s early Anthology

This was Kershaw’s 9th solo album, released by Warner Brothers in 1976 and boy it is a blistering one.  It features good ole Cajun music highlighted by Kershaw’s fiddle.  Kershaw wrote all the material.  Not much to say other than this a really good album.DSCN4618 (800x796)

For a sample, I was torn between the raging instrumental “Mamou Two Step” which has an excellent accordion and “It Takes All Day” which is a catchy number with Kershaw’s vocals and incidentally was the single from the album.  I decided to split the difference with “Mon Chapeau” .  On this track, Kershaw plays all the instruments, which I found impressive.

 

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Top Rated Record for sure.

VA- Soul to Soul

DSCN4516This was $2.40 and an excellent chance to insert some sorely missed soul into this blog.MV5BMTAyMzg3NDcxODheQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU3MDYzMzU2MjE@__V1_UY1200_CR116,0,630,1200_AL_

Soul to Soul was a concert by mostly American Soul/ R&B groups in Accra Ghana on March 6, 1971.  The original idea for the concert was suggested by Maya Angelou in the mid sixties but changes in the government delayed any action.  After a 1970 West African tour by James Brown was a success, the idea of a multi-act show in Ghana or a “West African Woodstock”  was revisited.846053651_46eac641f2_o

The concert was held in Black Star Square, now known as Independence Square.  The American acts consisted of Wilson Pickett, Ike & Tina Turner, Les McCann and Eddie Harris, The Staple Singers, Santana, Roberta Flack, and The Voices of East Harlem.  Ghanaian acts also on the bill include Guy Warren, The Damas Choir, Charlotte Dada, Kwa Mensah, The Kumasi Drummers, The Aliens, and The Anansekromian Zounds .  It was noted by many locals that despite having one black member, Santana was the most African sounding of the American acts. Wilson Pickett noted that this was the first real US style concert most Ghanaians had ever seen and the audience was in awe during most of the show.846053707_6c34569e91_z

A documentary  film was made of the concert but current copies have omitted Roberta Flack’s contribution, on her request.

Blog post from voicesofeatanglia.com where I borrowed pics from.

The album itself is excellent.  The live performances are bridged with what I believe are local snippets of Ghanaian music.  Other than the snippets, the music is all from the American acts.  The slight exception, McCann and Harris played with an African artsist Amoa Azangio.DSCN4518

Also, while most of the other tracks are from the concert, Flack’s “Freedom Song” was recorded in mono on a portable unit in the dungeons of an old slave fortress in Cape Coast, making it a powerful number.  Overall, all the performances are good.DSCN4517

The biggest star at the time of the recording, however, was Wilson Pickett, known in Ghana is Soul Brother #2 (James Brown being #1).  He was the headlining act and closes the album with two of his biggest hits, “Funky Broadway” and “Land of 1000 Dances”.  These two rock and as a result, I am using them as samples.Wilson-Pickett-Soul-to-Soul-e1353197203237-600x400

Top rated album for sure.

The Ventures-$1,000 Weekend

DSCN4527Hey this was $5.00 and had a pretty good song list on it.  A lot of the songs covered are favorites of mine.CDCHD-1176a_1

This was released in 1967 by Liberty Records.  It was the band’s third release of the year.  It was made by the Nokie Edwards, Don Wilson, Bob Bogle, Mel Taylor lineup, which I believe is the “Classic” Lineup.  The album has pretty good songs on it that were popular at the time including “Ode to Billy Joe”, “Groovin”, my favorite “Georgy Girl” and “Yesterday” but I will argue that covering popular songs were not the Venture’s best efforts. Rather, it was their interpretation of pop instrumental standards.ventures-1961

However, I digress on this point.  The album may not be as good as some of its predecessors, but it is still docent enough. As a side note, Edwards would leave the band the following year after this release.DSCN4528

For a sample, I went with “What Now My Love” which I felt was the best number. 60s-vent9

Meh.  as stated above, I prefer the Venture’s earlier work. And $5.00 was a bit too much for this.  I might have rated it better us price was at least cut in half.

Hank Williams- On Stage Vol 2

DSCN4529This was $2.40. When I bought this,I was hoping to tie this record in with the Hank biopic film that was released earlier this year but since it was a flop, well here’s this post now.Hankinstudio

It is kind of taken for granted now but Hank Williams’ recording career lasted all of 6 years.  Kind of remarkable how a career so short cold be so important to country music.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

This was a posthumous release of Williams by MGM Records.  It was released in 1963 and was taken from some of his radio show performances. Backed up by the Drifting Cowboys and with his first wife, and mother to Hank Jr, Audrey Williams on back up vocals, this album goes through a slew of tunes half of which covers and the other half William’s originals.   Vol 1 was released the year prior with the same format.Hank_and_Audrey_Williams_MGM_publicity_-_Cropped

The album is ok.  I wish there was a little more gap between songs but what can you do.  Also would have liked to hear more of William’s better known tunes but what can you do?DSCN4530

For a sample, I went with the gospel standard that William’s really made his own “I Saw The Light”.  After re-editing this post, I decided to include a selction sung by Miss Audrey, who died of heart failure due to alcohol and drugs in 1975, “There’s a Bluebird on your Windowsill”.

*Jun 01*

Meh.  I would have preferred Vol 1 but that is because I really like “Lost Highway”.

Richard Hayman- Music For People Who Can’t Sleep

DSCN4525Insomnia is a common problem.  So people drink warm milk.  Others drink booze.  Some take pills.  Others tally sleep.  I suppose there are those who rely on custom high fidelity recordings to ease into slumbers.  This was 80 cents.  I got it for the title and the purdy girl on the cover.  A-128975-1426173185-3893.jpeg

Richard Hayman (1920-2014) was an arranger/conductor who worked on records and MGM movies.  He started life playing harmonica with Borrah Minevitch’s Harmonica Rascals  During his stint, Hayman arranged the music for Minevitch. From there, he worked for MGM as well as the Vaughn Monroe Orchestra.  He is best known for his 30 year stint arranging for the Boston Pops.  His award winnig arrangements are still used today.  He also worked extenisvley with the St Louis Symphony Orchestra.DSCN4526

So then there is this.  This is a collection of slower paced, relaxing tunes designed to calm the nerves before going to bed.  I should have known this reading the title but this is what we have.  You are not going to get fast paced, jagged complex arrangement on a record for people who can’t sleep.  So that being said, I really can’t fault this album for delivering what it promised.SleepTips_NSF_Insomnia_080315-img_1280x720

For a sample, I went with “Alone Together”.Hayman-Richard-02

 

Maybe it is unfair for me to say, but this album is too slow and bland for me.  Meh.

Shirley Bassey- Is Really Something

DSCN4540This was $2.40.  Seems to be a lot of $2.40 records this week. Anyway, the playlist was pretty good and diverse so I got this.6a00e008dca1f08834017c3714689a970b-500wi

Shirley Bassey, or Dame Shirley Bassey is from Wales.  I did not know this. Along with Tom Jones, I seem to be cramming all my Welch content into this month. Anyway, her career started in the mid-fifties with chart successes in the UK and the US.  Her biggest hit and the song she is really known for, for better of for worse, is the theme for the James Bond Film, Goldfinger.  She also sang the themes to Diamonds are Forever, and Moonraker.  She is still active today.

Bassey’s Unoffical Blog

This was Bassey’s 13th album I believe.  It was a comeback album of sorts.  Bassey’s career had been in decline from the mid 60’s to 1970, when this came out.  It was a big hit, reaching Number 5 on the UK charts.  Her version of the Beatles’ “Something” was also a hit.  This album greatly rejuvenated her career and led to a string of good albums in the 70’s.  DSCN4541

And the album is pretty good.  It has a good selection of songs from diverse sources.  Pop standards, contemporary rock, older standards, film music, and a song from the musical Hair, all done with Bassey’s powerful vocals. 974021137bd29b8bebde5e65d9f90486

For a sample, I went with “What About Today” which I felt was the best song on the album.  I also decided to go with her version of “Light My Fire”  to give some contrast to the Nancy Sinatra version I posted last week.article-1222968-06F129BE000005DC-450_468x477

Excellent album.  Top rated.

ST/ Tatum-Hampton-Rich

DSCN4504This was $2.40.  It was recommended to me by some random stranger I met at the Half Price Books on FM529.  Anybody who knows me knows how much I love talking to strange men.  But somehow, instead of the normal ignoring routine that I do, we chatted for a bit.  We talked a bit about Buddy Rich’s brutal treatment of musicians and his influence on certain Seinfeld‘s lines.  We also spoke a bit about Ray Price, who was a roommate of the stranger’s father for a period.  At first I was dead set against buying this record, because I am not going to get something because someone I do not know suggested I should.  But after looking at it for awhile, I decided it looked pretty good.  I was also looking at the time for an outlet for two of my Buddy Rich stories.812215

Link to earlier Rich album with the two stories including his link to Seinfeld.

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This album was originally released in 1955 by Clef Records.  This version I posted is a re-release by Verve.  It features the work of three geniuses in their fields; the vibraphone of Lionel Hampton, the piano of Art Tatum, and the drums of Buddy Rich.  Tatum would die a year after this recording.  Art-tatum

All members are in good form on this album and it is a really good jazz collection.  Songs like “Perdido”, “Hallelujah”, and Cole Porter’s “What is This Thing Called Love” really swing.  As stated above, I got this originally as an outlet for some Rich stories I had, but I felt that the album really highlighted more of Hampton and Tatum.  Rich was keeping the beat in a supporting role rather than offering flashy fills.  And perhaps, that is exactly what this album needed and why Rich is one of the greats.DSCN4505

I thought “Hallelujah” was a better song, but for a sample, I wanted to use something that showcased all three.  Therefore, here is “How High The Moon” which has what I can recall the only drum solo Rich does on the album.buddyrich500999

Top Rated Record. This is an excellent jazz album.

Rosemary Clooney & Perez Prado- A Touch of Tabasco

TabascoThis was $4.50. Rosemary Clooney was singer of the 1950’s and probably best remembered today as George Clooney’s aunt.  Perez Prado was a Cuban band leader known as King of the Mambo.  He also wrote “Mambo #5”.73385068_-1_991755a

This album, released in 1959, was Clooney’s first effort for RCA after leaving Columbia and it is her only collaboration with Prado.  Apparently, bottles of tabasco were used from promotion of this album.  Also, the husband of Clooney, Puerto Rican Jose Ferrer, wrote the liner notes. It is said that he helped her with pronunciation on this album as she initially struggled with it.Jose_Ferrer_and_Rosemary_Clooney_in_Deep_In_My_Heart

The album itself is pretty good although I would say that there should be more Prado.  I felt compared to his other works. the music on this album is more subdued.  But that being said, it is still a good album combining Clooney’s cabaret style with Prado’s Cuban rhythms, complete with his trademark arrangements and percussion.DSCN4543

For samples, I went with the swinging, “Mack the Knife” as well as “I Got Plenty O’ Nothing”.  Both really good numbers.

Photo of Perez Prado
Perez Prado

This is a top rated album despite the scant criticism I gave it.

Martin Denny- Exotica Volume II

MI0001811003I can not remember if I paid the full $4.00 for this or if I got a discount.  Either way, I am not going to pass up a Martin Denny album.islandlife1a_b

Even if I was not ass-tired today, this is the fourth post I have done for Denny so there is not much more insight I can give into the guy.  And as mentioned, I am ass-tired.  What else is there to say. He admired Herbie Handcock, Chick Corea, and Dave Brubeck.  What else?  Apparently, he had the same girl on the cover of all his early albums.  She showed up to a couple shows afterwards and asked Denny if he recognized her.  He did not.  Anything else you want to know, feel free to use the blog’s Search function and go back to an earlier blog.

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This was Denny’s second album if you overlook the fact that he re-recorded Vol 1 for stereo with Julius Wechter replacing Arthur Lyman.  Recorded in June of 1957 and released in July of 1958,  this album continued the trademark exotica sound Denny first unleashed to the world on Vol 1.  It is indeed an excellent record of glittery, tropical lounge music.DSCN4549

For a sample, I went with the opening track, “Soshu Night Serenade” which has the trademark bird calls on it and lush effects.  I also included the Asian flavored “Rush Hour in Hong Kong”.dennyg

Top Rated Record.

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