Herschel Bernardi- Sings Fiddler On The Roof

This was one dollar.  October is Donkey Show salute to the musicals of old Broadway.  If you look at the last century of musical theater, hand down without comparison, America has produced the most important works of the genre, and this one, Fiddler On The Roof, is one of the best.

Opening on Broadway in 1964, it surpassed 3,000 shows to become at the time, the longest running show until being surpassed by Grease.  Today it still ranks #16. The show was based on Sholem Aleichem’s stories of Tevye and his daughters, with music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joseph Stein. The 1964 production would be nominated for 10 Tony’s, winning 9.

Many of the songs have become musical standards including “Tradition”, “If I Were A Rich Man”, “Matchmaker, Matchmaker”, “The Sabbath Prayer”, “To Life” , and “Sunrise, Sunset”.  Furthermore, the songs have been covered by a diverse array of artists including these two which have been featured on the blog and have become among my favorites.

Fiddler Post 1

Fiddler Post 2

The original role of Tevye went to Zero Mostel.  However, sometime in 1965, Mostel split and Herchel Bernardi assumed the role.  Other notable actors have been Mostel’s understudy Paul Lipson, Theodore Bikel, and Topol. all of which whom clocked 2,000 or more performances as the character.  Topol would later star in the 1971 film version.

This recording , from 1966 perhaps, is a collection of 10 songs, 8 from the what was the current production as well as two from the original production.  For a sample, I went with one of these two numbers, “When Messiah Comes”.

Satisfactory

Dolly Parton- 9 to 5 and Odd Jobs

Whew! Glad to have this month and Oktoberfest over.  This was $3.50. My folks had it when I was a kid so I recognized the cover.

This album was released in 1980 and coincided with the release of the movie, 9 to 5, starring Dolly Parton along with Lily Tomlin, Jane Fonda, and Dabney Coleman.  The underlying theme of this album was working and the album marked a return to a pop-country sound after a few more polished efforts.  The album went to #1 on the country charts and spawned three hit singles including the title track which was also nominated for an Academy Award for best song (it would lose to “Fame”).

Pretty good album but I am done writing for this month so here is Merle Travis’ classic “Dark As A Dungeon”.

Good album.  Satisfactory.  See you next month.

Heeresmusikkorps 5 Der Bundeswehr- Deutsche Heeresmarsche Aus Der Pruessischen Armeemarschsammlung Folge 3

This $2 album is the last in the series of German records I have been posting for Oktoberfest which concludes this year on Oct 3 which by my calculations is today.  What seemed to be a fun exercise in German music has lead to me greatly tiring of this and ready to move on to new things. Also, at the time of this writing, it is the Saturday after the landing of Hurricane Harvey which as you know by now, did not do much to the City of Houston other than a flash flood warning in a whole lot of counties(ED Note.  The Carnage flooding was yet to come).  You are probably asking as well if I bought every single marching band album during my Memorial Day trip to the Half Price Books on Veteran’s Memorial.  No.  I would say I bought around 1/8 of them.

The title of this album translates into “German Marches from the Prussian Collection”.  According to the back of this record, the Prussian King Friedrich Wilhelm III, in 1817 oversaw to historic actions.  First, he unified the Prussian Protestant churches.  This was the first time such a unification took place in a German State.  Second, and important to this narrative, he ordered a collection begin of predominately German military marches.  The list initially included 36 slow marches and 36 quick marches but quickly grew not only in size but in scope.

At the last time of publication, 1913, the collection included 100 slow marches, 243 quick marches, and 138 Calvary marches (all Prussian).  The collection also included 35 Russian, 22 Austrian, 11 Italian, 4 French, 2 Swedish, and 1 dutch marches.

So this album is a collection of German marches as collected by the Royal Prussian Army. This was released in 1976.  The liner notes point out that these marches are both totally original at times as well as derivative of popular operas of the time.  Other than that, this is the third marching band album I have had to both listen to and write about so I am kind of at a loss in both categories.

For a sample, I went with the majestic “Festmarsch II 1871, Jan 18” which I believed celebrated the formation of the second German Empire between Kaiser Wilhem I and Otto Von Bismark.

This should come as no surprise if you have been reading the other posts but meh.  Could have used a lower price for these as well as the other albums.  Hope your Oktoberfest was fun and entertaining.

Werner Muller and his Orchestra- Germany

This was $2 and purchased with the slew of other German records in accordance with the upcoming Oktoberfest celebrations.  Well maybe not so upcoming now, but at the time of writing and purchasing, yes.

This is a very interesting album brought to you by those fine folks at London Records.  Mixed in recorded in phase 4 stereo, this album is a smorgasbord (yes I know this is a Swedish term) of German music.  from Wagner to Weill, from marches and polkas to schlager and night club ballads, this record has a piece of everything.  The exact kind of thing this blog encourages.  Conducted by Berlin born, Werner Muller (1920-1998), this was released in 1965.

Muller’s Space Age Pop page

For a sample, I was drawn to Wagner’s “Ride of The Valkyries”, partly due to the fact that I mentioned it in an earlier post this week, but mainly in tribute to Bugs Bunny as well as that beacon of tolerance, Elmer Fudd.

Good album.  Satisfactory.

Bert Kaempfert- The Best of Bert Kaempfert

This double record set was $5.  I bought this some time ago , maybe even two Labor Days ago so I might have got 20% off .  So here I am, writing posts for September  at the same time as I am recording songs for  October, all the while it is in reality August and I am awaiting Harvey which by the time you have read this, will have already passed.  Perhaps I should add these current events to more timely posts.  Well, this is in retrospect, I guess.  The benefits to me of being ahead of posts as opposed to writing these day to day outweigh keeping these timely.

So with Oktoberfest currently going on and after a few days of more conventional German music, here is a regular fixture to this blog, Bert Kaempfert with a greatest hits compilation.  Not much to say about this.  Two albums of some of his more popular compositions as well as arrangements.  Not only it is impressive just how many great songs Kaempfert had a hand in composing.  The cover songs  on this show just how gifted an arranger he was.

For samples, I went with” The World We Knew (Over and Over)”.  Why not Duke Ellington’s “Caravan” as I always seem to post this one?  Well, I already posted it last month.

Satisfactory

Heino- Wir Lieben die Sturme

This was $2.  Look at that face with the glasses.  How could one resist?  I think this was the record the drove me to commit to half a month of German content for Oktoberfest. Which is the last thing on my mind right now as at the time of this writing, we are nervously awaiting Tropical Storm/Hurricane Harvey, who right now looks like he will ruin my weekend.   But hey, that was then.  This is now.  (Ed Note- Sorry to be flippant about an event that ended up to be really hard on a lot of people in town, but I leave this unchanged to reflect the true mood I had going in to the storm).

Heino, born in Dusseldorf in 1938, is a singer of popular German music or schlager as it is known.  You may have seen this word on my blog before.  If not, you will see it again this month fo’ so’. Anyway, exophthalmos gave Heino his trademark glasses.  His baritone voice gave him his success which translated into over 50 million records sold.  He is still active and lives in what has to be one the coolest town names in Germany, Bad Munstereifel.

In 2013, he made news by releasing an cover album of rock, rap, house, and other modern music.  This lead to disgust from some of the bands he covered.  I imagine this is the equivalent of Pat Boone singing heavy metal (which he has done).  Anyway, a slew of bands criticized the move but I am not sure if is because of the music or if it because the singer quoted a line from a Hitler Youth rally out of context around the same time (that part of the world still really cares about that sort of thing).  The sources I read on the matter are a bit inconclusive.

Either way, the album was a hit, and Heino still continues to be the king of schlager. But please note that the band in the first video is not Rammstein. And whatever thoughts the band might have had about him at the time, it was not enough to stop Heino from joining them on stage.

Really good article from Spiegal regarding this album and German’s secret love of schlager.

Anyway, here is this, which Google translates into “We Love The Storm?”, is a compilation album, I believe, which may have originally been released in 1969. With 13 songs, it is a compilation of Heino’s first two albums.  Pretty decent stuff. I mean, it is the schlager that I have been talking about.

For a sample, I went with “Wilde Gesellen” which translated to Wild Friends and sounds something like out a western. I also went with “Schwer Mit Den Schatzen Des Orients Beladen” which Google translates into Heavy Loading With delights of the Orient. Well, I am sure the translation is off but you get the gist of it.

Good little album.  Satisfactory.

Jeff Beck with the Jan Hammer Group- Live

This was $2.80 and purchased to inject a bit of rock into the blog which I like to do on Saturdays.  I saw Jeff Beck live at Sam Houston Coliseum.  He was a split bill with Stevie Ray Vaughn,  The year was 1989.  I was still in high school and was 15.  Terry Bozzio played drums.  Tony Hymas was on keys.  I remember being pretty stoked about “Freeway Jam”.  That is about all I remember.

Set List to said show

Interview with Beck and Vaughn and crew

Well, there is this live album, with a similar set up with the Jan Hammer Group.  Hammer best known for his work with the Mahavishnu Orchestra and the Miami Vice theme. Recorded somewhere on tout in 1976 (sources say the Astor Theater in Reading, PA on August 31) and released in 1977, this record features 7 songs which highlight Beck’s guitar skills as well as the interplay with the group.

For a sample, I went with “Full Moon Boogie”, solely because it had vocals, provided by drummer Tony Smith.  Just to round out the personnel, Fernando Saunders plays bass and Steve Kindler plays violin.

Good little album.  Satisfactory.

Trio Del Norte & Trio Los Aquilluchos- Saludos Amigos

This little gem was a dollar.  I tried rolling the dice on this to see what kind of latin music I would be getting myself into.

I do not know much about this record other than what is on the sleeve. The title translates into “Greetings, Friend”.  Released on the Sutton label, a budget label who sold in supermarkets rather than record stores, this is a collection of latin music, mostly bolero and ranchera style.  My guess is that this came out sometime in the sixties.  I suppose if I was a bit more up to snuff on my latin cultures, I might be able to pinpoint where this music came from but not today, I am afraid. My money is Mexico.

For a sample, I went with “Vieja Celosa”.  It is a ranchera and reminds me of the music they play when Liberty Valance gets shot in The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance although not shown below.

As far as this record goes, I got a lot of milage out of it.  I liked it.  Satisfactory.

Jo Stafford- Sings American Folk Songs

This was all of $1.  When I bought it, there was some tie in or something notable about the record, but whatever that was escapes me now.  It does have a bunch of good folk tunes on it.  Today, as I write this, the Great 2017 eclipse happened, which by now must seem like a distant memory to most.

Truly a historical day in Houston if one likes looking a clouds.

Well anyway, here is this by singer Jo Stafford (1917-2008).  Born in what is not a dirty word, Coalinga, California, Stafford was a singer who started in a group with her sisters before joining the Pied Pipers and then parlaying this into singing with Tommy Dorsey. She went solo in 1944 and her biggest hit was 1952’s “You Belong To Me”.  She retired in the mid-60’s with a few pop ups here and there until her death of heart failure at age 90.

During her solo career, many of Stafford’s works were backed by the Paul Weston Orchestra. Stafford and Weston would marry in 1952 and remain in union until Weston’s death in 1996.  The two did perform in a comedy routine, at first for friends and then for a bigger audience.  As two incompetent lounge performers Johnny and Darlene Edwards, the duo released five records.

This record was a 1962 re-release of an earlier record by Stafford.  The original released came out tin 1948, making it one of her earlier solo recordings.  Two years later a second version came out adding two songs.  Then in 1962, this came out with an additional 4, bringing the total to 12. With these songs conducted and arranged by her hubby, Weston, it should be noted that although these are conventional songs, none of these are conventional arrangements.  And I think that is what gives the album its charm.  Consequently, Judy Collins lists this album as highly influential in terms of her getting into folk music.

Lot of good choices on this album.  I really liked “Cripple Creek”, “Single Girl” ,and my perennial favorite, “Poor Wayfaring Stranger”.  However, I decided to go with “Sourwood Mountain”.

Good record.  Satisfactory.

Sergio Mendes & Brazil ’66- Herb Alpert Presents…….

This was only a dollar.  Probably got a discount on it, bringing it down to 80 cents.  For shame.  Such a great little album.  You may have noticed that I have been starting the month with artists who have frequently graced this blog.  This is not by accident.

This was the first album from keyboardist Sergio Mendes and his ensemble, Brazil ’66.  Released in 1966, it featured smash hit “Mas Que Nada” which in all probability was the first Portuguese song to hit it big in America.  Good little album with a bunch of real good tunes including “Going Out Of My Head” and the Beatles “Day Tripper” which I believe I posted on an earlier blog entry.

I was really surprised how big a sound Mendes got from such a small ensemble which also featured Lani Hall on vocals, Bibi Vogel on backup vocals, Bob Mathews on bass, Jose Soares on percussion, and Joao Palma on drums.

I could have gone many directions with this but decided to go with “O Pato”.

Great little album.  Satisfactory.