Sandy Posey- Born A Woman

This was one dollar.  I liked the last Sandy Posey album I posted so long ago that I decided to give this one a spin. Trying hard to get as many as these  posts kicked out this month.  Only two more to go.

As noted in the first post I did on Posey which can be searched for on this site, MGM did not know whether to market her as pop or country.  They chose the pop route.  Was it the right choice?  I am not sure.  I guess it is hard to say at this point. It was not as if the pop route did not lead to popularity for the singer.

This was Posey’s first album.  Its strength was based on the success of the self titled single.  It would be her first hit, selling over a million copies and going gold.  I still think it would have made a better country tune, Incidentally, Rush Limbaugh uses the song in his show, although it is a pretty crappy thing to do since the song basically says if you are born a woman, you are are born into heartbreak.  Then again, I am not sure what Rush’s female fans are looking for either.

The record came out in 1966.  Pretty decent album.  Some good covers on here including “Strangers in the Night” and “Its All In The Game”.  For a sample, I decided to go with her “Strangers” cover because just as I am writing this at the end of the month, when I listened to it for samples, I no doubt wanted to get this month finished.

Decent record. Satisfactory.  One more post to go.

VA- Nashville Chowdown

This was an odd priced item for Half Priced Books for $2.50. Normally, their records are in dollar increments. But it is exactly the kind of gimmicky thing I like to by and post.  Plus they have a singing “rice-ipe” about Houston.

This is a two record set featuring a 12″ of various country stars accompanied by a flexible 7″ of “singing rice-ipes”.  The record was released by Colombia’s Special Products Line.  Can not figure out who is behind the food angle.  (Apparently, this was done by Riviana Foods).  I believe this was released somewhere around 1970 or so.

The 12″ is a collection of country stars doing songs which are standards but not exactly by the singers on the record.  For instance, we have the Carter Family doing ” I Walk The Line”, Tammy Wynette doing “Gentle on My Mind”, Ray Price with “Cold, Cold Heart”, and Marty Robbins with “Never Tie Me Down”.  Pretty decent stuff.  Good singers and good songs.

The 7″ is the real treat of this set.  It features seven singing rice-ipes.  These are recipes packaged as country songs and are quite humorous.  They are obvious take offs done in various styles such as Johnny Cash and Lynn Anderson. Somehow they find a way to work all the ingredients into the song.  There is also an accompanying lyric sheet with the recipes spelled out proper on the back.The common denominator in all these recipes is rice.

Listening to this, the best songs I felt were the Carter Family’s “Walk the Line” as well as the singing Rice-ipe, “Houston Hash”.  However, some other music blogger beat me to this record and has already posted these songs to his blog, which are totally worth checking out.   This really bummed me out.  This blogger has correctly identified that these are the strongest songs on the album.  Let me know if the link ever goes dead and I will post these songs on my page. anyway, besides these songs, this blogger has a bit more of the history of the record.

You should definately check out this link for these songs.

If you want to know how to make Houston Has but can not figure out from the song, here is how.  Take 2 sliced green peppers and 2 sliced onions and saute in  a heavy skillet in  3 tablespoons of shortening until tender.  Add 1 pound of ground beef and cook until no longer pink.  Add 2 cups of canned tomatoes, 1 cup of cooked rice. and seasonings (1 teaspoon of chili powder, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 dash of black pepper).  Arrange in a greased baking dish and top with 1/4 cup of bread crumbs.  Bake at 350 degrees for 15 mins.  Make a Johnny Cash voice when you eat it.

So, for samples, I am left with Jimmy Dickens and “Night Train to Memphis”.  For the rice-ipe, I went with “Sunnyside Rice”  which is an obvious take off of “Keep On The Sunnyside”.  I also decided to go with “Skillet Gumbo” as well.

As I am a bit disappointed some else beat me to blogging about this, I got a kick out of this record. Satisfactory.

The Osmonds- Crazy Horses

This post is all about to factions of my life coming together in the last month or so.  When I got a bin of records from my pal Micahl, he noted the high content of Osmond albums in the mix.  This was also duly noted by myself at the time of receivership.  Flash forward to a couple weeks ago on Thursday in the locker room during my Over 40 hockey league.  A fellow I play with who I am sure has a proper name but I only seem to know affectionately as Booger, and who normally brings a diverse mix of songs into the locker room (from Sinatra to the Dead Kennedy’s and things even weirder than that) played a song from this album.  At the time, he asked, neigh, he dared anyone to name the artist.  When no one could answer, he said it was the Osmonds which promoted me to go home and dig thru the newly received collection of their catalog to find this gem.

So then there is this, the 10th studio album, released in 1972.  Most definately the hardest rocking of the Osmond’s output, the record spawned to hit singles, the title track and “Hold Her Tight”.  Also, the record marked a reduced role on vocals for Donny as he was starting to go thru puberty at the time.  As a result, brothers Alan, Wayne, and Jay took over more of the singing on the album along with Merrill.

According to Merrill, at the time, the Osmonds were much still a successful boy band, recording material that the label brought to them.  The group wanted to experiment with its own music.  The result was this record.  I would also be remiss not to mention that the Osmonds were the model Joe Jackson used for the Jackson 5.  This was pointed out to me by the same Booger mentioned in the first paragraph.

And it is quite an interesting album.  All the songs musically are quite edgier than the rest of their output.  Lyrically, still pretty tame however.  One of the highlights is what I believe is the only rock and roll song about “Utah” and perhaps the only song I can think of that describes the state as a rocking place to be.

For a sample, I went with the song that got me here, the title track, “Crazy Horses” which was one of the first environmentally conscious song as the crazy horses “smoking up the sky “refer to the big gas guzzling cars of the last century. I also decided to go with “Julie” which I think was my favorite song of the album.

When I first saw the pile of Osmond records Micahl gave me, I did not think I would post one so soon to the blog.  I also did not think I would ever give one something more than meh, but it is a pretty decent album and I got a lot out of it.  Satisfactory.

Rick Wakeman- The Six Wives of Henry VIII

This was 80 cents when I got it.  After reading about it, I was not going to pass this up.  Plus I had much fun with the other post I did so long ago on Rick Wakeman.  I actually saw Yes (perhaps Wakeman’s most famous work) in 1991 on the Union tour.  They had the two camps of Yes (Wakeman, Howe, and Bruford vs Rabin, White, and Kaye) with Anderson and Squire being the only constants.  Both sides did play a number of tunes together.  It was a pretty good event but it was also my first and last trip to Cynthia Mitchell Woods Pavilion.  I made a vow not to go back for reasons that now seem foreign to me.  I believe everything about getting there, going there, and leaving there was a hassle.

This is my second post on Yes keyboardist Rock Wakeman.  The first post was on his concept album on King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table.  It was a good album but I could not get over the fact that Wakeman performed the album in concert with ice skating.  Not a very rock and roll thing to do…. or is it the most rock and roll thing to do?

More on that story with this post complete with video

This was Wakeman’s first solo album, released in 1973, after his initial success joining Yes.  While on tour with the group in the USA, Wakeman had read a book on Anne Boleyn.  This prompted him to write a piece of music for each of King Henry VIII’s six wives, as the title of the album probably indicated.  For his work, Wakeman got members of Yes as well as his previous band, The Strawbs to contribute.  For example, the first track , “Catherine of Aragon” features Yes’ Howe, Squire, and Bruford.  Pretty good instrumental album that does not feel limited to the confines of progressive rock.  The album also sold well at the time and was overall successful both financially and commercially.

The sample I used for this album is “Anne of Cleves”, Henry VIII’s fourth wife.  Born in Dusseldorf in 1515,, Anne married the King in January of 1540.  She did not enjoy the finer arts that the King found entertaining such as books and music.  She was also not much of a looker.  The King himself complained of her “sagging breasts” and “bad body odor”. Before the marriage, Henry VIII felt that he had been misled about her appearance.  Despite buyer’s remorse and  after trying to back out, the pair were wed although they did not consummate the marriage on the wedding night.

Eventually, the King got an annulment on the grounds of non-consummation six months later.  He would marry his fifth wife, Catherine Howard the same day.  Thomas Cromwell, the King’s chief minister who urged him to marry Anne, was executed.  For her part, Anne got the best deal of any of Henry VIII’s wives.  First off, she got to live. That is always a plus and more than three of his wives can say. Secondly, she got to live well as the “King’s Sister”.    She lived the rest of her life in comfortable obscurity  and even got to see Howard executed as well as Henry VIII in the ground for 10 years before her death in 1557.

The accompanying song is pretty good as well.  Overall, I liked this album and could have gone a number of ways with it.  Plus there were shorter tracks on here which I usually favor for samples (this song is 7:30).  However, I picked “Anne of Cleves” for one reason:.  At the 3:35 mark, Wakeman lifts a line straight from “El Cumbanchero” which I posted last week. When I heard that line, I knew this was the song I was going to post. Why Wakeman choose to incorporate a Latin tune into his interpretation of the musical characteristics of the German born Anne of Cleves, I do not know but I do know I like it.

Good album.  Satisfactory.


Petula Clark-Just Pet

This was a dollar.  I like the English pop girls enough to buy it.  Kind of weird as I am back to getting a jump and writing these posts in advance.  By the way things have been going two weeks in advance.  Who knows what things have transpired between the time I am writing this and the time it gets posted?  Will there even be a use for music blogs in this future? What bleak existence would it be otherwise?

Well, just in case there still are music blogs, there is this from UK hipstress Petula Clark. After working the same child entertainer circuit that produced Julie Andrews, Clark found adult fame, first in France, then in the UK, and then finally, the whole world.  I had done an earlier post on her but apparently, I was pressed for time then as well as there is not much more information in that post either.  Well, at the very least, at the time of this writing, Clark is still with us. So there is some light left in the world.

This would have been her 30th record maybe?  I lost count somewhere around the 20’s.  Of course journalistic standards have been in decline so who is counting these things? Anyway, it was released in 1969.  Decent album. A couple real good spots and nothing I would classify as poor.  I liked “Fill The World With Love”, “Happy Together”, “No One Better Than You” and the Beatles’ “Fool On The Hill”.

However for samples, I went with another Beatles’ song “Hey Jude” which I felt was very good.  Normally, as I believe I pointed out either last month or some time this month, the covers of this particular song usually fall pretty flat. In fact, listening to it again right now, I am taken aback on how good it is. It has a gospel style piano line, its sung with a whole lot of soul for an English white girl, and finally unlike most cover versions of this song, they do not skimp on the ending. I felt Clark’s version held up well. I also went with the French “Je N’aurai Pas Le Temps” or ” If I Only Had Time”. PS.  It is not in French.

Decent album.  Satisfactory.  Let’s hope the future allows for more blogging.  I do have too many records I need to go thru.

Arthur Lyman- Taboo

This was in the big box of records I got from my pal, Micahl and quite frankly, its probably one of the better ones if not the best.  There were several exotica albums in the mix.  This is the one I knew the most about and quite frankly, I was a bit surprised I did not already have a copy.

Along with Les Baxter and Martin Denny, Arthur Lyman is the third cog of the big three exotica musicians.  Lyman (1932-2002) was a Hawaiian native from Kauai who first rose to prominence playing vibraphone and marimba with Denny.  After Denny’s seminal work, Quiet Village, Lyman split from the group to do his own music.  This chaffed Denny on some level although the two remained professional about it.  Anyway, Lyman took the Exotica sound and made his styling of it even more flamboyant. He released more than 30 records and performed at various hotels, resorts and clubs, both on the islands and on the mainland.

Link to an earlier post on Denny with the origins of animal noises

This was Lyman’s second album but his first one in the field of exotica.  Released in 1958, this work put Lyman into the same club as Denny and Baxter.  Furthermore, Lyman takes the exotic instruments and animal noises from Denny’s group up a couple notches. Really great album. I could talk about it at length but since it is Saturday, I am going to be lazy and link up to someone else blog.

Ambient Exotica link on the album

For samples, man, did I have a hard time narrowing it down. While going over old songs from this blog, I noticed that Duke Ellington’s classic “Caravan” gets a lot of play. So why should I fight it? I also decided to go with the classic “Miserlou” which would become a big hit for Dick Dale and surf guitar.  Finally, I wanted to go with one of the more traditional exotica tracks.  After much back and forth, I went with “Sim Sim” although the title track was a close second.

Top rated album.


Webb Pierce- Just Webb Pierce

This was $2.  Not going to pass up my favorite country artist. no sir. By the time you read this, I will be 43.  However, I was 42 when I wrote this.  For some reason,. I thought I was 43 a lot last year.  Well, I guess 2016 finally caught up to me and now I am the age I thought I was.  

If you do not know who Webb Pierce is, may I refer you to the search function on this page and to the many posts I have done over the course of the almost two years I have done this blog.  May I also refer you to Google.

This is a Hilltop Record, a division of Pickwick and therefore, a collection of previously released material.  I believe it was released in 1965.  Most of the stuff sounds like his early 1950’s work.  It is a good record.  Filled with stuff that probably did not get much attention when originally released but probably deserved a second look this time around.  This album does definitely get points off for the songs on the record not being in the order listed on the cover.  I really hate when this happens.

For a sample, I went with “English Sweetheart” as well as “The Darkest Hour Is Just Before Dawn”.  

Despite being out of order, I can never crap on one of Webb’s albums, even if it is a child of Pickwick.  Satisfactory.

Jackie Gleason Presents- Music For Lover’s Only

This was only $1.  I found it quite ironic that someone would trivialized domestic violence would put out an album for lover’s only. About 20 years ago, before I had any idea of the concept of a blog, I purchased one of Gleason’s other records.  At the time, I described it as something I would play to children if I wanted to discourage them from making music.

Always a fan but not able to read or write, Comedian Jackie Gleason enjoyed a second career in the music business in the 50’s and 60’s when he lent his name to a series of 20 or so Jazz flavored albums with romantic themes. most notably for Capitol.  He wanted to make music that would serve as wallpaper or mood music.  The instrumentation is in the back ground and the overall music is very laid back with smooth edges. Cornetist and trumpeter Bobby Hackett played on some of these as well as serving as leader on seven. He originally spoke very highly of Gleason’s musical skill as well as some of the lessons learned during these sessions.  However, later in life, when asked what Gleason contributed in the studio, Hackett replied ” he brought the checks”.

Gleason with the Ginger Man himself

Spaceage page for Gleason with some interesting background.

This was Gleason’s first record of his series.  Released in 1952, it became a best seller staying in the Billboard Top Ten for 153 weeks. I believe it was his best selling disc. It sounds as described above, a series or romantic songs played in a slow laid back fashion.  In true form the solos are in the background as the setting moods take the foreground.  What do I think? Well, the record to me comes off like a pair of safety scissors.  I find the songs on here quite boring. So after 20 years from buying my first Gleason record, my opinion is unchanged.

For a sample, I had a hard time finding something I liked on this but finally decided on ” I Only Have Eyes For You”.

I still hate these albums.  I find them too bland and given some of the other albums I have posted, that is saying something.  But what do I know?  These albums were quite successful.  People actually bought them en masse.  Well, I still don’t like them.  So meh.

Edmundo Ros and His Orchestra- Bongos From The South

This was 80 cents.  Pretty decent play list.  A lot of my favorites on here.

Edmundo Ros was a Trinidad-born, Venezulean-weaned band leader who made a name for himself in the UK.  Skilled with both percussion and vocals, Ros formed his own orchestra which played in various clubs and restaurants in London. He would also buy his own in 1951.  Ros made many notable recordings during his career.  His last public performance was in 1994.  Ros would pass in 2011, two months shy if his 101th birthday.

This album, released by London Records in 1961 was done at a time when Ros style of music was quickly being supplanted by rock and roll. But it still is a decent album.  It is a collection of songs mostly from either South America or the southern US with some other Latin tunes as well.  Pretty good collection of tunes which are well done.  As the title as well as Ros’ background would suggest, the songs are percussion heavy.  Given this, the songs all feature pretty extensive orchestration. The band does not skimp on other areas for percussion’s sake. Good album.

For a sample, I had many choice to choose from.  I went with “Deep in The Heart of Texas” which is well served by a Latin arrangement.  I also went with “Brazil” because I always go with that song.  I also went with “El Cumbanchero” for reasons that will be apparent next week.

Good album.  Satisfactory.

Stan Kenton & Tex Ritter- ST

This was $4.00.  It had a lot of promise.  An interesting collaboration between two artists and a decent song list.

This album is a collaborative effort between alcoholic pianist, composer, and arranger, Stan Kenton (1911-1979) and country singer and actor Tex Ritter (1905-1974), who was the father of Three’s Company Star, John Ritter as well as the voice of the Disney Bear Jamboree’s Big Al.

This effort was released in 1962 for Captiol Records and features Ritter’s low country voice with Kenton’s Big Band orchestration. I had high hoped for this album but quite frankly, it does not work.  The two styles mix as well as oil and water. They do not compliment each other at all. In all honesty, it probably would have  been better served with a singer with a higher register.   Critics and fans felt the same as this album did not sell well.

There are a couple songs that I normally like such as “High Noon”, “Cool Water”, and “Red River Valley”. There are also a couple of big band standards such as “September Song” but really all of them kind of fall a bit flat.  After some thought, I went with “Cimarron”.  

Meh.  Pretty lackluster album and I had such high hopes for it.