Omsk Russian Folk Choir- ST

As you can probably tell , I am winding down the month.  You can tell obviously by date, but but also the quality of posts.  Really running and gunning to get these done. Maybe you can tell be the lack of consistency this weeks posts have had.  Well no use blabbing about it.  Let’s get this one out of the way. This was $2.  If you read these posts, you should know of my love of Russian Music.

The Omsk Russian Folk Choir, according to the back sleeve, was founded in 1953 by Elena Kalugina.  By the time 1963 rolled around the Choir was directed by G. Pantukov.  The ensemble sings both traditional folk songs as well as songs written by local Siberian musicians.  The back cover also states that many members are former amateur singers which I do not know how to process.  The back cover , by the way, is in Russian,, English, and French.

Let’s learn about Omsk, the Sister City to Millwaukee

 

Anyway, here is this effort, which is pretty good.  It is from the at the time State run Melody label.  from what year, I do not know. Sometime after 1964 I imagine.  It is hard to detect with any accuracy when it comes to records from the USSR or China, especially when you do not want to put too much more effort into it. Anyway good stuff. Some instrumentals if I remember right.  Some female driven chorus numbers, some male numbers, and some mix of the two.

For samples, I went with “The Cossack Song” and “Mantani”.  At least that is what I think they are.

Good record.  Satisfactory.

Robert Goulet- On Broadway Vol 2

I know.  I know.  I said I was burned out on Broadway.  Well this is still true.  Yet I decided to slip this one in here that I picked up for $3.  Either you love him or you loathe him (Will Ferrell) but regardless, the man had talent.  Well I guess that statement really depends if you are on the love or loathe side.

Myself, I am on the love side.  The Canadian who burst onto the US scene in Camelot, has a smooth voice as well as delivery. He was also one Oscar short of completing the ever coveted EGOT (Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony). But what ultimate tribute can one have than to have the American Mustache Institute name a trophy in memorial after you, The Robert Goulet Memorial Mustached American of the Year, given to the person who best represents or contributes to the mustached community for the year.  Notice I said person and was not gender specific.

This record, came out in 1967.  As the title would suggest, this is his second album of various Broadway tunes.  Some pretty good numbers on here.  Works include such productions as Cabaret, Man of La Mancha, Mame, Brigadoon, and I Do, I Do.

For a sample, I went with one that is one of my favorites that I spoke of last month but did not post, from Man of La Mancha, “The Impossible Dream”.

Would of preferred more songs that I knew or really liked but good enough record for me, satisfactory.

Knuckle Fingers Joe-Honky Tonk Piano

 

Here is another piece of old timey music that I bought for ….. $2?  Should have been cheaper.  I am not sure if there was a song on here that I liked or at the time of purchase I just had a thing for pian-ee.  For some reason or another I keep buying these old timey records and keep getting disappointed. And for yet another reason, I still keep on a buying them.

This came out on Custom Records, a budget label run by the Bihari Brothers, who were apparently legends in the world of budget labels.  I believe this came out some point in the sixties.  I am also pretty sure old Knuckles Joe is a studio band.I probably posted this before but to me this gag only gets slightly old.

 

Other than the old school bar room piano .  There is not much else to say about this record.  For a sample, I went with “Hot Time In The Old Town Tonight” with the slightly out of tune sound.  Almost makes you want to throw a mug of beer across the bar.

Meh.  But I will not let this deter me from future old timey purchases.

Mel Torme- A Time For US

Already so over this month but we are so close to being finished.  Here we are with the Velvet Fog.  This record was $2.  This is the second album I posted this month in which I bought because it had a Beatles song on it, namely “She’s Leaving Home”.  But since this is underwhelming Beatles track, this is the second time this month I have passed on this song as a sample.  Normally, I will post any Beatles’ cover. 

Well, here we have this from the late Mel Torme. Released in 1969, the title track is the theme from Romeo and Juliet.  Decent enough record.  Pretty good song selection on it  Man, am I lazy today.  I am going to limit this to this paragraph.

For samples, I went with “Games People Play'” which has a great opening bass line as well as “Happy Together”.

Satisfactory.

Steel Eye Span- Live At Last

Rounding out this week with one of my favorite artists who has been on the blog a whole lots, Steel Eye Span.  This record, with discount was $8.00.

Live At Last was Steel Eye Span’s 11th and at the time last album (before they shortly reformed).  Classic lineup members, Peter Knight and Bob Johnson had left the group to be replaced by Martin Carthy and John Kirkpatrick.  The addition of Kirkpatrick made this one of the only two SES records which featured accordion as a primary instrument.  This record also features only two songs from previous albums.  

As the record states, the band broke up shortly after the recording of this album (which was March 7, 1978) for reasons they did not want to elaborate on.  Wikipedia, on the other hand , states the split was short lived as the band was contractually obliged to release an album (which they did in 1980).  Carthy and Kirkpatrick additionally viewed their tenure as short term and did not wish to continue much further.  And more reunions, albums, and other events followed which I do not wish to elaborate on.

As stated above, the departures and additions made for a different sound then their peak albums but this sound is pretty interesting in its own right.  Sure I am biased but the accordion is a nice touch.  I really liked this album altogether including this song “The False Knight”.

For samples, I really wanted to go with what are abnormalities for SES, songs written in the 20th century.  This album has two of them.  First we have “Saucy Sailor/ Black Freighter”, the latter song of course from Kurt Weill’s Three Penny Opera.  Maddy Prior really cuts loose in parts of this one.  Finally, I also have “Rag Doll” which is the Four Seasons’ classic.  Apparently, SES used to do a set of 1950’s numbers for encores and I imagine this number was part of that.

Satisfactory.

The Kingston Trio- Sold Out

This record was $1.00.  Normally, I have to see a song I like before I but an album like this but in general, I do like me some Kingston Trio.  As a side note , at the time of this writing, it has rained twice in Houston since Harvey.  I could not help to have a small panic attack in both instances as I am sure most people in this region are still a bit jumpy over rain.

Despite the title, this is not a live album. This was in fact their sixth album in three years.  It was also thier third album to go to #1 in the charts, where it would stay for 12 weeks, eventually going Gold. Consisting of the classic line up of Bob Shane, Dave Guard, and Nick Reynolds, I am guessing this was driven by the strength of the single “El Matador”.

Overall, it is a good record but I would not consider it among their strongest.  That is just my opinion.  There are a lot of good moments on it , mostly consisting of traditional music as well as folk songs written both from the US and abroad.

For a sample, I went with “With Her Head Tucked Underneath Her Arm” which is of course, about Anne Boleyn.  The songs tells the story of how her ghost wanders the Tower of London to haunt her ex-husband, Henry VIII

Pete Fountain and Al Hirt- The New Orleans Scene

I got this at Vinyl Edge in the Heights for $3. I would have bought it for either so having both artists make it a no brainer.  Plus I really bought it for the song that I am going to post.

I have had both Pete Fountain and Al Hirt on this site numerous times, but this is the first time I had them together.  Both men had deep ties to the New Orleans’ jazz scene.  Both men had their own night clubs in the French Quarter, I believe.  Both men also stole members from each others bands as well.  Despite these events, the two remained friendly in competition for the most part.

This record from Coral in 1962 and features four songs from both Fountain and Hirt in a traditional 7 piece dixieland jazz format.  The other four tunes are just Fountain,, backed by a typical West Coast rhythm section.  A fellow blog site dedicated to Fountain describes this album in more detail.  I have been leaning on other’s blogs quite frequently this month.

Blog entry on the record.

For a sample, I decided to highlight something from the two artists and I wanted to use “It’s A Long Way From Tipperary” , being one of my favorite tunes.  The song , made popular in WWI, is sung from an Irishman’s perspective, being in England for training and away from home.

Satisfactory Record

Chitti Babu- Musings of a Musician, Vol II Accompanied by his Disciples

I got this with a handful of other Indian albums at the melting pot of used records that is Sugar Land Half Price Books.  I think the title, plus the artists’ stable of musicians on the back drew me to this purchase.  It was $4.00.

Chitti Babu.  It is a fun name to say.  I think I will do it again  Chitti Babu. Anyway, Chitti Babu was born in 1936 in Kakinada in the Indian State of Andnra Pradesh.   Born to musicial (or at least supporting of music) parents, he studied the classical Southern Indian style of Carnatic music.  In order to support himself, Chitti Babu worked in film as an artist/ composer/ and musical director.  However, it is his classical playing for which is most reknown, winning various awards and touring the world.  According to Wikipedia, Chitti Babu, in the world of Carnatic music, became a legend in his own time.  Pretty heavy statement.  With that being said, Chitti Babu died of massive cardiac arrest in 1996 at age 59. Also, he is no relation to the comedian Chitti Babu, who is also dead.

If you think the instrument on the cover is a sitar, then you are quite ignorant my friend.  It is a Veena.  The Northern Indian Veena, which plays like a stick zither, is used in Hindustani music and for the most part , has largely been replaced by the sitar.  In Southern India, however, the Veena functions more like a lute and is still popular in Carnatic music circles.  Also according to Wikipedia, the Veena has become synonymous with the artist on this record so when you say Veena, you are talking Chitti Babu.

The webpage below is an excellent source of information on Chitti Babu and greatly expounds on the information above.  I suggest checking it out.  One takeaaway I got was a quote from Chitti Babu himself, ” Music starts with M and in my opinion the M is for melody.  If You remove that M out of music, it makes USIC (you sick)”.  Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

Link to webpage on Chitti Babu

Anyway, here is this effort from 1972, as the title would suggest, accompanied by his disciples (a very lofty way of saying students), Shelia Pathy, Shanti, Kala, Hema, and Lakshmi.  It should be noted that Chitti Babu had many disciples over his life and many of them became important Veena musicians in their own right.  Not sure why they are all female on this record, but then I again, I am quite sure why.  But back to this album, side one features five classical raga movements in a traditional Indian form.  Side two on the other hand, features six songs that are more western in nature.  Truth be told, I really liked side 2 and picked around 4 of the 6 for possible samples.

In that vein, I decided to use “Fifth Movement: Raga: Sankarabharanam” from side 1 (or at least what I think is the fifth movement).  From side 2, I went with “Rhythms Indiana” and “Of The Rocks” which I believe is my favorite.

Great little album from Chitti Babu.  had to say it one more time.  Satisfactory.

 

Loretta Lynn- I Like ‘Em Country

Here is one from Ms Loretta Lynn.  I imagine a paid somewhere in the ball park of $3 for this.  I am going to buy it since it is early Lynn but the light blue backdrop which was popular on country albums of the time kind of subconsciously made sure this purchased happened.  I wonder of somebody in Nashville designed the records that way.

As reported on this blog (as well as everywhere else), Lynn suffered a stroke this May.  However, I believe she is still making a good recovery.  she has still postponed public performances and has delayed her new album until next year, but according to her daughter, she is progressing positively thru physical therapy.

This effort was Lynn’s 6th studio album.  Released in 1966, the album would peak at #2 on the Billboard Country Charts.  With songs by Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash among others, it was a pretty good effort which spawned two Top Ten singles, Betty Sue Perry’s “The Home You’re Tearing Down”, and Lynn’s own composition ” Dear Uncle Sam” which was about the Vietnam War.

For a sample, I went with the catchy “Hurtin’ For Certain”.

Great record.  Satisfactory.

Martin Denny- 20 Golden Hawaiian Hits

Doubling down on the Hawaiian this month with a record from the guy who was mentor to the earlier posted effort (Arthur Lyman), Martin Denny.  This was $2.

This record from Liberty in 1964 is not the stuff out of Denny’s prime (the late 50’s), but it is not bad either.  If I can remember right, there are none of the sound effects heard so prominently on his earlier albums (also missing is the female on the cover), but other than that, this is the classic Denny sound, applied to a series of songs (20 to be exact) related to Hawaii.  I probably mentioned this already but Denny would die in Honolulu in 2005.  His ashes were scattered at sea.

Decent album.  I liked a lot of songs and had quite a few slated as samples, but as always I go back to my favorites which are “Hawaiian War Chant” and “The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai”.  I already provided some background this month on “War Chant”.  “The Cockeyed Mayor”, on the other hand, dates back to the 1930’s I believe and celebrates the town’s custom of having honorary mayors.  I could recount the story here but I am lazy and will direct you to the link below.

News article on the mayor of Kaunakakai

Good record.  Satisfactory.