The Time- Ice Cream Castle

DSCN1233This was $4.00.  As always, I struggle to find good RnB/ Soul records on the cheap so when something comes available, I jump on it.

thetime2I went back and forth on the Time while writing this.  Formed in Minneapolis in 1981 under the guidance of Prince, the Time had some big time hits and were a force in the 80’s dance-pop/ RnB/ funk scene.  Morris Day and Jerome Benton were friends of Prince.  Both Day and Benton as well as the Time benefited from their appearance in Purple Rain.  However, Day would fall out with Prince after a rift grew between Prince and the band.  The Time would break up.  Benton would star in the awful Under a Cherry Moon. Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (not on this album) would become one of the more successful producers in the late 80’s/ early 90’s.  The band would reform for both the awful Graffiti Bridge and their best album Pandemonium in 1990. They would also perform an excellent set on Saturday Night Live, where Morris drops the F -bomb.  This reunion was short lived however.  They would appear in Jay and Silent Bob’s movie and reform sporadically until 2008 when they reformed as The Original 7ven.

Info about the Original 7ven

 

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As far as the album goes, it was released in 1984 and went up to #24 on the US charts as well as #3 on the RnB charts.  It would spawn three hit singles, the most notable being “Jungle Love”.  Jay and Silent Bob swear by the Time and their performance on SNL was great.  However, after listening to this album a few times, I am leaning more towards the school of thought where the Time are clown shoes.  I don’t know.  Maybe it is that this album reeks too much of the 80’s.  Perhaps Pandemonium is a better album. I guess what I am saying is this does little to transcend out of the era in which it was made.  Also, with the antics of Day and Benton live, a recording fails to establish the visual aspect of the band.

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For a sample, I went with the third single from the album, “The Bird”.  Reaching #36 on the US 100, #33 on the RnB, and #6 on the Dance charts, it was recorded live on this album and is one of the first Time songs not recorded in the studio by Prince ( a point which led to tensions between the band and Prince).  It has become a signature tune for the band and is still done in concerts.  It was also one of the theme songs used by WWF star, Koko B Ware.

Meh.  I wanted to like this more.  Really I did.  I guess the 80’s electric funk thing just ain’t my bag.

 

The Barry Sisters- Sing Fiddler on the Roof

DSCN1231This was a quarter. I could have made a phone call 20 years ago for this. I bought it because I like Fiddler.

The Barry Sisters were a vocal pair who specialized in American Klezmer and Jazz vocals.  To the laymen, think Yiddish-Swing.  The sisters (Minnie and Clara Bagelman) were born in the Bronx and started singing Yiddish Songs at an early age.  Their first break came in the 30’s on radio shows.  At the suggestion of a producer of the radio program Yiddish Melodies in Swing, they dropped the Bagelman moniker and became Claire and Merna Barry. (Not sure why they changed the name. I would think Bagelman would be a better name on the Yiddish Entertainer circuit.)  They would perform Yiddish versions of popular jazz songs on the show from 1937 to the mid 1950’s  .  From here, they appeared on Ed Sullivan, The Jack Parr Show, and the Tonight Show.  They also entertained troops during the Yom Kippur War. The sisters stood out greatly from other Yiddish entertainers due to their glamorous appearance.  Also, according to Wikipedia, they spared no expense with their orchestra.  Merna would die of a brain tumor in 1976 at the age of 53.  Claire would hold on until 2014, where she past on at age 94.

Merna (left) and Claire
Merna (left) and Claire

As far as the album goes, it is alright. It is what you expected, a swinging take on Fiddler. The Sisters’ harmony is impeccable and their voices are very pretty.  At times, I kind of think of a Jewish version of the Sweeny Sisters.  But kidding aside, the Sister’s do a fine job with the songs from the musical.  Everything is in English so there is nothing showcasing their Yiddish skills.

DSCN1232My favorite song from the musical is “Tevye’s Dream” which is a chorus number and therefore, not on this album.  However,  all the rest of the big tunes are on here.  “Matchmaker”, “Sunrise, Sunset”, “If I Were a Rich Man”, and the title track all stand out.  However, I went with two of my other favorite songs, “To Life” and “Tradition”.  Both showcase the Sister’s voices and swinging sound.

Satisfactory record, although I must admit it grew on me after a few listens. And again, it was only a quarter so go call someone who cares.

Chet McIntyre- Sings and Swings

DSCN1228This was a dollar.  It was autographed.  I will buy most anything with an autograph. I am also making a mental note that I should probably forge autographs on all my records before I sell them back so I can sell them to some one more gullible than I.DSCN1230Apparently. the last owner, Chuck, was a very fine drummer and a swell guy. I wonder what drove such a swell guy to sell such a keepsake.  I wonder if there was some sad tale of woe that caused Chuck to sell this.  Or if Chuck had passed away and this was part of an estate sale.  Or perhaps, Chuck just wasn’t really the sentimental type.5898799154_b606a3651e_b

Chet McIntyre was born in 1926 in Poteet, Texas (near San Antonio).  Being proficient on trombones, saxaphones, and drums, it would be the piano that would be Chet’s calling.  He played in various jazz groups in San Antonio in the 1940’s and made a name for himself in that scene.  He would later play Vegas, Lake Tahoe, Chicago, and other lounge destinations. From what I could piece together, he may have done some recordings for RCA and also worked with his wife Peggy, I believe later in his career. He may still be alive.  He has a web page but it may not have been updated.

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Chet’s Webpage

As far as the album goes, it is a decent mix of 1940’s vocal standards.  The song selection is pretty good. They do a great job of showcasing his smooth voice as well as his skills on the ivory.  As advertised, his music both sings and swings. At times, the tempo slows and gets stuck in places but for the most part the songs are ok and probably are a good representation of Chet’s live act.

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For a sample, I went with the swinging-est song on the album “Route 66”.  From Mr Swing himself.5898248675_38895df23b

Meh.  Sorry Chet. There is a lot of talent on display here but I got what I needed out of it.  Lounge music without the lounge atmosphere is kind of lacking. UPDATE ** After re-listening to this album, perhaps I was a bit hasty.  Moving this up into the satisfactory category.

Jerry Russell- Rednecks, White Socks, and Blue Ribbon Beer

DSCN1226Happy Fourth of July. I am off to fire off fireworks.  In tribute is this day , I got this for a dollar. It was the title and the cover that got me.__kgrhqqokjwe5_59vtp_bonhqzrcsq__60_3

Johnny Russell was a song writer from Moorhead, Mississippi. Born in 1940, he is best known for his song “Act Naturally”, covered by Buck Owens and the Beatles. He released a handful of albums. This one would be his most successful. His health towards 2001 would decline. After have both legs amputated in April, he would pass away in July of 2001 due to diabetes related conditions.

Johnny Russell’s Bio

This album, his second, would reach # 19 on the country charts. The title track would reach # 4 on the country singles chart. He would have some hits afterwards but none as big as this.

The album is okay. I was surprised to find that he did not write many of the songs on it. However, the songs on it are pretty good. The title track has been called the quintessential blue collar song. I also liked “The Baptism of Jesse Taylor” although I prefer female singer’s versions of it.DSCN1227

For a sample, I went with the title track and “Drinking a beer and Singing a Country Song” which I felt were the strongest points of the album.

Meh. This week has been a lot of meh. Have a happy and safe Fourth.

Jerry Jeff Walker- Viva Terlingua

DSCN1224This one was 80 cents. I bought it because it reminded me of a pal of mine, Ronnie, who I used to run with in Corpus.

This album was on most of the jukebox’s in Corpus. It used to be on a lot of jukebox’s here.DSCN1225

I have been complaining about lack of network all week. This post is going to suffer accordingly . All I have to say is this record is one of the important ones of the Outlaw Country Scene. Showcasing the his Gonzo Country style as well as the Lost Country Band, Jerry Jeff rips thru covers and originals. The first side is real good.  I like “Getting By”. That is all I feel like typing into my phone.  Go Google the album.

Here it is, Ray Wylie Hubbards’ “Up Against the Wall, Redneck Mother” in tribute to my buddy. Satisfactory record.

Dick and Kiz- Again- At the 90th Floor

DSCN1222This was 80 cents. I don’t know much about Collette’s Records other than that it was in Montrose.

I  still suffering thru no network at home so here is the gist of it : Dick and Kiz Harp were an up and coming Jazz duo who opened a club in Dallas . Kiz died before this album was released. She was 29 . She died from a brain hemorrhage. Real sad stuff . Here is a story about it

Here is a link about it

 

The album itself is ok. Vocal jazz and Piano.DSCN1223

I went with “Fugue for Tinhorns” which is my favorite song from Guys and Dolls. The song is done in two parts. The first part is done with the vocals separately. Something caused the singers to crack up at the end. The second part is done in the more traditional style of the song, a form of a round.

Meh. I would write more if not on my phone.

Triumph- Just a Game

DSCN1220Happy Canada Day. This was a dollar. Sorry to be contrite but I had to write this on my phone as the network is down.

July 1st celebrates the anniversary of the British North America Act of 1867, which merged three colonies into a single country called Canada. Near total independence was granted with the Statute of Westminster in 1931 and full sovereignty came from the Canada Act of 1982. Triumph

This album was the big break in the US for Triumph. Formed in 1975 in Toronto, this was their third album. Released in 1979, it went Gold in the US and spawned their two biggest US hits, “Lay It On the Line” and “Hold On” .229148505_Triumph_band_xlarge

The album is ok. If you don’t like classic rock, it is not going to change your mind. I really liked American Girls but I thought it was not the right choice to play today. So I went with “Hold On”.DSCN1221

Meh. Somehow, I picture Homer Simpson in his car jamming to this. Happy Canada Day. I will be going to The Maple Leaf Pub later to celebrate.

The Mariachi Brass featuring Chet Baker- Hats Off

DSCN1218This was a dollar.  It had some descent songs on it.

Last week, I received a good deal of traffic from the Netherlands. I am not sure why. I had this album on the schedule for later in July but decided to move it up to pander to Hollanders as it has a connection to Amsterdam.chet-baker-concertgebouw-amsterdam-1955

Chet Baker, born in Yale Oklahoma in 1929, was an American jazz trumpeter and vocalist. He found success in the 1950’s working with such stars as Stan Getz and Charlie Parker. After joining the Gerry Mulligan Quartet in 1952, success came quickly. After Mulligan’s arrest on drug charges, Baker found his own group which continued successfully. In 1956, Chet Baker Sings was released. The album brought him increased notoriety but somewhat alienated traditional jazz fans. He would become the face of the West Coast Cool School of Jazz.

And then came the drugs. In the 60’s, he served more than a year in Italy on drug charges, was deported from West Germany and the UK, and served short time in US jail; for prescription fraud. Furthermore, he ruined his embouchure after getting severely beaten while attempting to buy drugs.chetbaker1

After working odd jobs while his mouth healed, Baker went to New York and became performing and recording again. He would achieve a resurgence of popularity in the 70’s and 80’s. However, from 1978 until his death, Baker would reside and almost exclusively play in Europe.IMG_0700a

Which leads to his death and the Netherlands connection. Chet Baker was found dead in 1988 in the Hotel Prins Hendrik in Amsterdam. He had serious head wounds. Police found heroin and cocaine both in his room and in his body. As there were no signs of a struggle, they ruled the death an accident. The hotel has a plaque outside in Chet’s honor. I have 50+ pictures of public restrooms but no picture of this plaque which I have seen many times. Also, there is no plaque at Schipol where Solomon Burke died.Chetbakermonument

Unfortunately, this album is not among Baker’s best works. It was made as a quick response to the popularity of Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. The first Mariachi Brass band album , a Taste of Tequila, sold well enough to spawn this and a few others but in the end, it is really quite derivative. Baker plays both the trumpet and the flugelhorn on this album. I was real excited about “Bang Bang” and “These Boots were made for walking” but found them lacking any real punch.  DSCN1219

I went with “On the Street Where You Live” as the sample.

Meh. The Tijuana Brass is better as is Chet Baker’s pure jazz. Check one of these out before you try this.

Silver Convention- Save Me

DSCN1214This was $4.00. I figured it was a good way to get some diversified music on to this page.

Silver Convention was a West German disco band from the 70’s. It was the brainchild of producers/songwriters Sylvester Levay and Michael Kunze . It was led on vocals by three female session vocalists, Linda G Thompson, Penny McLean, and Jackie Carter. This was their first album, released after they scored some success on the singles chart. Oddly enough, their first appearance was in Dallas in 1977, in a Braniff airplane hanger. It was for a promotional party for the airline. The vocalists would leave and find moderate success on their own. After some hits and misses, they would release Love in a Sleeper in 1978 with a new producer and new singers. This album would bring success back to the group. However, with disco on the way out, the act’s fate was sealed. Levay went on to work in Hollywood on movies (he was the arranger on Scarface). Kunze, on the other hand became a successful lyricist and librettist in the German Musical theater.

Silver Convention WebPage

This record, released in 1975, would hit number 10 on the Billboard Pop Albums charts. Three singles would hit # 1 on the US Dance Charts. “Fly, Robin, Fly” would go to #1 on the US Pop Charts as well.

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I was surprised when I found out that Silver Convention was German. I always assumed they were from New York or Detroit area. I also always associated German music as being more synthesizer heavy so the lack of it is strange to me on this. As far the album, it is a disco album that is representative of the time. The songs are short on vocal verses and mostly focus on the chorus. Descent songs such as “Save Me” and “Tiger Baby”.  I understand why this was popular at the time, but there is little on this that transcends the era it came out of.DSCN1217

I went with “Fly Robin Fly” as the sample. It was popular at the time and has been used in film soundtracks since.

Meh. I am done with this album. Too much a dated disco album than anything else.

Roy Buchanan- Livestock

DSCN1166This was a dollar.

104153-original-RoyBuchananRoy Buchanan has been called the greatest Unknown Guitarist.  Born in Ozark, Arkansas in 1939, he would work as both a sideman and a solo artist, scoring two gold records and two Billboard charting albums.  A master of the telecaster, he pioneered his own guitar tone as well as his work with “chicken picking”, pinch harmonics and double stops.  He also used effects minimally as compared to his peers,  getting his sound from more basic means.  Although huge success eluded him, he is generally regarded well among other guitar players.  Tragically, he was found hung in a prison cell in Virginia in 1988.  He was 42.  After controlling his drinking habit for some time, he was arrested for public intoxication.  Although ruled a suicide, his family has expressed doubts.

Roy Buchannan Web Page

An Excellent Guitar Player Article

There are three interesting Zelig-esque stories about Buchanan that have him involved with some of the biggest names in rock royalty, depending on who you believe. First, during one of his early gig’s, playing with Ronnie Hawkins, Ronnie enlisted Buchanan to instruct a young guitarist and take him under his wing.  That guitarist would be Robbie Robertson, later of The Band.  Secondly,  according to Buchanan, the guitarist would challenge Jimi Hendrix to a “pick-off” competition which Hendrix would refuse.  This claim is somewhat dubious but not completely impossible.  Although the two had respect for each other, Buchanan was dismayed at the sight of Hendrix achieving the same sound with effects that Buchanan had painstakedly gained thru his hands.  Finally,  again according to Buchanan, the guitarist was asked to join the Rolling Stones at one point but refused.  Again,  there is not a whole lot of collaboration but it is not impossible either. In the end, Buchanan did not want gross fame and the pitfalls it brought, which is ironic considering the way he died.

This album is a live one form 1975 .  Recorded mostly in New York City, this album was done to finish out Buchanan’s contract with Polydor before moving to Atlantic.  The songs are okay and showcase Buchanan’s playing to a point.  However, it also greatly come off for what it is, an attempt to put out a record to oblige a contract.  That being said,  this album greatly influenced Jeff Beck’s work at the time from what I am told.DSCN1167

For a sample, I was stuck between a few songs.  I wanted to do “Roy’s Bluz” but I really do not like doing songs over 4 minutes on this web page.  I then was leaning towards “I’m a Ram” but in the end, decided to go with “Hot Cha”, an instrumental made famous by Junior Walker.  In this version, Buchanan trades licks with keyboardist Malcom Lukens.

Meh.  The album is good and all at times.  Again,  the guitar sound on “Roy’s Bluz” is mesmerizing.  However, I got what I could after a few listens.