John Schneider- Quiet Man

This was $2.40 at a discount.  I used to like getting celebrity records on this site but that was when I was unemployed and had all day to write post.  Those days have past.

John Schneider, born in Mount Kisco, NY in 1960, is best known for his portrayal of Beauregard “Bo” Duke from the Dukes of Hazard.  As a child from the 80’s, this was my favorite TV show.  Like most kids my age, I had a crush on Daisy Duke as well as hated shows when Bo and Luke’s cousins took over during contract disputes (or going on the NASCAR circuit as the show stated). Along with playing Chips, me and my pal used to play Dukes of Hazard but for some reason, I always had to be Luke (since my friend argued that his name was Jon, I was always Paunch in Chips). Back to Schneider, it should be noted that he had a re-occurring role as Superman’s adoptive father in Smallvile.

Not sure of those were simpler times or if we just turned an eye to casual racism.  Well my bet is on the latter but I do not want to turn this into a big debate.  I will say this: Sorrell Booke and James Best, who played Boss Hogg and Roscoe P Coltrane, were good friends and were allowed to ad-lib on set.  Best also taught acting classes later in his career and one of his students was a young Quentin Tarantino.  It was at Best’s classes where Tarantino met collaborators who would work on his films.

Schneider was able to parlay his popularity on Dukes to a successful music career.  He recorded ten albums (including a Christmas album with Dukes’ co-star Tom Wopat) with four Country #1 singles to his credit.  This was Schneider’s third album, released on the Scotti Brothers label in 1983.  It did not chart.

Decent album but I would have probably liked it more if I was a girl in the 80’s.  There are some decent moments.  As a whole, I really do not like much 80’s country so I am a bit biased to start with this. 

For a sample, I went with the old Johnny Burnette classic “Dreamin” which was released as a single.  It charted at #32 on the country chart.

Meh.  As stated above, do not like 80’s country and I am pretty much over the Dukes.  Not 10 anymore. I mean it sounds just as good as anything else from that decade, it is just not my proverbial cup of tea.

Traffic- John Barleycorn Must Die

Here’s a really good one dollar record for a Saturday.  

This was the fourth album from the UK group Traffic but the first without guitarist Dave Mason.  In his departure, and after some side projects, Steve Winwood, Chris Wood, and Jim Capaldi put together this album which was released in 1970.  Critics were a bit hard on this album noting Mason’s absence, but it sold well both in the US and the UK , eventually going gold.  Most of the record is very jazz/blues oriented with the exception of the title track, which was a nod to the rising influence of bands like Fairport Convention on the UK scene. 

“John Barleycorn” (Round 164) is an English folk song dating back to the Age of James I.  The earliest copy is from the 1400’s.  There is also around 140 versions of the tune according to the back cover.  On the surface, it seems like a pretty nasty song.  Three men have decided that John Barleycorn must die.  He is mowed down and left in the sun to dry.  He is then cut down at his knees, rolled into a cart, smashed between stones ground up.  The songs concludes that many men can’t function without the death of John Barleycorn and that his blood is consumed by many from all walks of life.

Pretty gruesome until you realize that John Barleycorn is not actually a person and is instead barley and malt, the main ingredients in beer and whiskey.  The song in fact is a description of the harvest of these cereal crops and the production of alcohol.  It remains popular today and versions as shown above exist in both minor and major tones.

Anyway, I found Traffic’s version to be quite interesting.  Thus, here it is as the sample.  It should be noted that the rest of the record does not sound like this.

Good record. Satisfactory.

Jerry Butler- The Best of Jerry Butler

This was one dollar and a good chance to put some soul music on the site. After what proved to be almost a book of a post on Thursday coupled with the fact that this is Saturday should make this brief.

This is a greatest hits compilation from Mercury Records from the former lead singer of the Impressions/ the current Cook County Commissioner Jerry Butler.  Born in 1939 in Sunflower, Mississippi, The Iceman moved to Chicago as a youth and used music and church as his escape from poverty (he sung in the local church choir with Impression’s band mate Curtis Mayfield).

He left the Impressions in 1960 to pursue a solo career which spawned a good amount of hits in the 60’s and 70’s which this record (released in 1978) compiles.  Butler is still singing and performing somewhat while serving his commissioner duties.  

This record is pretty good but what else would you expect from a greatest hits album?  The songs are good an probably warrant more explanation from me but I am posted out this week so all I am going to say is here is “Hey Western Union Man”, from 1968 which was #16 on the US chart as well as #1 R&B chart.

Great little collection of R&B/pop.  Satisfactory.

The Charleston Trio- On Tour

Welcome to another week of the Show. This one was a pricey selection at $5.00.  It did have a lot of songs on it that a knew and liked.  

I know nothing about the Charleston Trio other than they were probably a marketing tool rather than a proper band.  They may or may not have provided backup vocals to the likes of Marty Robbins, Johnny Cash, Hank Snow, George Jones, Roy Orbison, and Patsy Cline.  I believe the group consisted of the Glaser Brothers from Nebraska (Tompall, Chuck, and Jim) who moved to Nashville in 1958.  They really shook the town getting involved in publishing, recording, and singing. Sometime in the mid 60’s the group worked under the moniker, Tompall Glaser and his Brothers.  I believe they disbanded as a vocal group in the early 70’s to focus on solo endeavors. Of the brothers, Tompall was probably the most successful in the genre of Outlaw Country.  This of course is really speculation but I think it is accurate.

This may have been the group’s third record, released some time in the mid-sixties, I am guessing.  On the International Award Series, this album does not sound even remotely live.  Yet it has the On Tour moniker.  Really good selection of songs although it has more of a folksy vibe as compared to the country style the half baked biographies seem to claim..  A lot of good songs including “Drill Ye Tarriers Drill”, “Casey Jones”, “The Wayfaring Stranger”, and “Greensleeves”.

For a sample, I went with “Billy Boy” for certain reasons that will not be disclosed here.  I also went with “Casey Jones” as well.  

Eh decent enough record but highly overpriced for me.  And the cover versions of the songs that I really like tend to lean a bit on the bland side. But the vocals are quite good. I imagine their country recordings are much better. I went back and forth on this and finally decided to go Satisfactory.

Grupo Cafe- ST

This was $3.  I got it for the international flair as well as the picture of the pretty lady on the cover.  I was slightly disappointed when I found that this was just a model and not a singer in the band.

This effort comes from 1977 and was distributed by Musart Records.  There is some muy importante information on the back regarding copyright.  Other than that, I know nothing about these cats other than their name translates into Coffee Group.  The back cover shows an eight piece of all men with snazzy uniforms.

But the record itself, is pretty good.  A lot of songs I like on here, including “Los Dos” and “Y Hoy”.  For a sample, I went with “Melodia Para Dos” or “Melody For Two”.

Despite not having the female vocals, I still liked this album. That means it was an up hill climb for this record. Satisfactory.  If anyone has info on this band, send me a message and I will update this site.

Judy Collins- In My Life

With April coming to a close, we are still keeping a spotlight on thise artists who frequently pop up on this site.  Judy Collins fits this bill perfectly.  I got this not only for the artist, but for the high number of songs on this album which are among my favorites; “Pirate Jenny”, “Liverpool Lullaby” and “In My Life”.  This was only 80 cents with discount.

This was Collins’ sixth album (her fifth studio effort) and marked a transition from folk to more of a pop vein.  Released in 1966, the album also featured more orchestration compared to the more simpler folk style of previous releases.  There are a lot of great song writers on this album including Dylan, Farina, Brecht-Weill, Newman, Cohen, Donovan, and Lennon- McCartney.  As stated above, the song selection as well as the interpretation of these tunes makes this album something special, although quite truthfully, I prefer to folk sound of the earlier efforts. But back to this, it is a completely diverse selection of works which I feel does quite well for itself.

For a sample, I had many choices to chose from but for some reason, decided to go with a song I had not heard until I bought this record.  From the 1963 play/ musical The Persecution and Assassination of Jean Paul Marat as Performed by the Inmates of the Asylum of Charenton Under the Direction of the Marquis de Sade, of Marat/Sade for short, here is a collection of 4 songs from the effort. The play, which features music in a Brecht manner, takes place in the days after the French Revolution and is a play with in a play with the Marquis de Sade directing inmates from an insane asylum as the title would suggest. Apparently, Sade used to really do this.

It premiered in 1964 in West Germany and soon found its way to London and Broadway.  It would win a Tony for best play in 1966. A film version was released in 1967 staring Patrick Magee in the lead role of Sade, a role he performed in the London production. Anyway, it is an ambitious work for Collins to tack on this album and I think she does it quote well.

Excellent album. Top Rating.

Paul Clayton- Whaling and Sailing Songs From The Days Of Moby Dick

I could say it was the whaling genre that got me to buy this album, or the allusion to Moby Dick, or the inclusion of “Greenland Whale Fisheries” that made me buy this album.  But honestly, it was the yellow and blue cover that caught my eye and made me buy this.  It was $3.00, perhaps $2.40 if I got it on discount.  I can not remember exactly.

But for what ever reason, I bought this and fell in love with it as soon as I heard it.  “The Mermaid Song”, in particular, caught my ear and after two days, I threw it in to my guitar repertoire.  Anyway, this album, released by Tradition Recordings in 1956, takes some of the more popular whaling songs, most known and referenced by Melville and displays them in this collection.

It is kind of odd when you sit down and think of it, but singing was an integral part of a seaman’s life back in the day.  There were all types of songs for all types of jobs, varying in length to reflect the various jobs.  These songs also varied in mood and emotion.  A sailor who could sing well could stand to gain great respect from his captain and crew.

Paul Clayton,  born in New Bedford, Massachusetts in 1931, was a folk singer who gained popularity during the folk revival of the 60’s as well as the Greenwich Village Scene.  Although he collected tunes from various places including the Appalachians, his New England upbringing lent himself to become a purveyor of whaling and sailing songs.  He became friendly and even a mentor to a young Bob Dylan.  However, when Clayton’s publishing company found that Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice Its Allright” sounded too much like one of Clayton’s own compositions, the two companies met in court.  It was found that Clayton’s song came from an earlier song which was in the public domain, so the lawsuit was settled out of court.  The two artists remained friends after this up until 1967, when beset with personal problems, Clayton took his own life with an electric heater in a bathtub.  He was only 36.

This record is an excellent collection of sea shantys, done in a bare bones fashion with little instrumentation save a guitar.  The record has a summary of the song on the back cover as well as a little history and why and where the song was sung.  All together, really great songs.

For samples, I went with a couple of songs. First off, one of the oldest shanties, “The Maid Of Amsterdam” tells the story of a sailor who meets a fair maid who pinches his money.  The second song, “The Mermaid” (Child 289) was one of Melville’s favorites and quoted in his novel White Jacket.  As mermaids were known as harbingers of doom, this song tells the story of such an encounter.

“Greenland Whale Fisheries”, which was one of the reasons I bought this album, is presented here as well.  I have noted with this song as did the liner note writer that there are two variants of this song.  In some versions, the captain, although pained by the losing of the whale, grieves more for the loss of his crew.  In versions such as the Pogues’, the two are switched which is perhaps more realistic. The Dubliners have actually gone both ways with this, which begs the question; was human life more or less valued back then as compared to now?  Well, just like today, it probably depends whose life? Anyway, which version does Clayton choose?  You will have to listen for yourself.

Finally, here is a number dating back from days after the death of Napoleon, “Boney Was A Warrior”.  This short drag song was used for sweating up the halyards at the end of a long pull.

Anyway, real good album.  Satisfactory.

 

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.

OST- The Music Man

dscn5286-800x773This was $3.00.  It is not a stretch to say that this musical is perhaps the greatest of the last century.  At the very least, it would be in the top five.meredith_willson_1967

Meredith Willson wrote the music, lyrics, and book for this effort, his first musical.  Before this, he had worked in Hollywood, composing scores for movies, radio, and television.  He started adapting a story based on his Iowan boyhood for Broadway after being rejected for television and movies.a33cc024e00c9393de3fabbe4befc3c2

A smashing success in 1957, The Music Man ran for 1,375 performances and won five Tony awards.  This album also was a hit, winning a Grammy while remaining on the album charts for 245 weeks. In 1962, a film adaptation was made.  Numerous revivals and smaller productions have gone on thru the years and continue today. Wilson’s second musicals, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, was a modest success.  He made two more musicals with limited success.  Wilson would die in 1984 of heart failure.  He was 82.

Broadway Database info on The Music Man

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One of the things I found amazing about this musical is the background of its star, Robert Preston.  I was a bit shocked to find out that Preston had no background in vaudeville.  He had started acting after high school and to this point, had mainly been in a B-level actor in westerns.  Granted, he is no Gene Kelly, but he does manage to do a good job of both singing and dancing in his role of Harold Hill.  In one such anedote, it was his acting skills that helped him get the job.  Most singers trying out for the role had trouble with “Ya Got Trouble”whereas Preston nailed the song with little difficulty.  1101580721_400

For his efforts, he won a Tony for a role.  Furthermore, Wilson insisted he revisit his role for the movie version as Jack Warner wanted Frank Sinatra. I just can’t see Ol’ Blue Eyes doing the role justice.  Preston would die in 1987 of lung cancer.  He was 68. The clip below is pretty bad quality but I think it is one of the best in the movie version and it also illustrates Preston’s abilities in both song and dance. Granted, you don’t have to be a great dancer to perform the routine but you do need some level of skill.

I also came across this video of a flashmob doing the same act that I thought was ok. I really liked it when I first saw it. Now, a little less so.

As far as the musical goes, it is a lesson in syncopation, juxtaposition, and onomatopoeia. For an example of this, I would look no further than the opening number.

The songs are infectiously catchy and have become classics.  As stated before, the songs have been covered and parodied extensively.  Most notably in The Simpsons and The Family Guy.

For samples, I went with the perhaps one of the more popular numbers, the above mentioned “Ya Got Trouble”.  I also went with “Pick A Little Talk A Little/ Good Night Ladies” because it is a good example of the components I spoke of in the a couple of paragraphs prior.  I originally wanted to use “Piano Lessons” which features a great duet between Barbara Cook, who originated the role of Marion Paroo, and Pert Kelton, who performed the role of Mrs Paroo on both Broadway and on the screen.  Alas, it skipped and I was too lazy to go upstairs to clean it.f1649944a6e3719ae648ad2890c59b49

Top Rated album for sure.

Steeleye Span-Parcel of Rogues

DSCN4506This album represents my big score from last year’s Memorial Day Sale at Half Price Books Sale.  I got it at the HPB at Hwy 6 and Veterans’ Memorial. They have a huge dollar section.  It was 80 cents with discount.  I was ecstatic.  There was a guy next to me in the dollar racks talking to himself.  He asked me a question if I was buying a certain album but it took me a while to answer.   I did not realize he was talking to me.Steeleye_span_mk42-600

This was Steeleye Span’s fifth album and the most successful to date (although it would be eclipsed soon thereafter).  This was made with its classic lineup that produced a good string of hit records in the seventies.  It was formed out of a theater project the band was working on at the time, a stage version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped.  The book and play focused on a time in the aftermath of the 18th century Jacobite Rising, where Charles Edward Stuart attempted to regain the British throne for the House of Stuart with a march south from Scotland. In preparation for this, the band became familiar with a good deal of 18th century Scottish poetry and songs.The_Battle_of_Culloden

Wikipedia page on said rebellion

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The albums title comes from the Robert Burn’s song, also on this album, “Such a Parcel of Rogues in a Nation”.  The song was a decry against the members of the Scottish Parliament who signed the Act of Union with England in 1707 and were suspected of taking bribes.  The song continues to this day to be associated with Scottish Nationalism.Photo-of-STEELEYE-SPAN-001

The rest of the album is pretty good.  It reached #13 in the UK.  The underlying theme of the album can be the contrast between the old and the new both in theme with song selection, song themes , and the interplay between acoustic and electric instruments which Steeleye Span is known for.  The album contains three of their classic numbers, “Allison Gross”, “One Misty Moisty Morning”, and “Cam Ye O’er Frae France”.  The latter is a satirical Jacobite song mocking the court of King George I or Geordie Whelps in the song.  I was tempted to write a summary about it on this page but my Lord is there already too many words in this post.  If you have any interested you can read about the song here.

Meaning of Cam Ye O’er for France

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For samples, I went with the above mentioned “Cam Ye O’er for France” because it is one of my favorite Steeleye Span songs.  I also decided to include “Parcel of Rogues” for what few Scottish friends I have and not to stroke any nationalistic fires.steeleye-span_2767432k

Anyway, this is the third Steeleye Span album I have posted so it should go without saying that I would call this a Top Rated Album.