Hank Snow- The Southern Cannonball

This was $4.  It is Saturday.  Yay!! Also last post of the month although I seem to think I missed a week somewhere.  A quick check of the schedule tells me this can not be.

Wrapping up another month of the show with Mr Hank Snow. I am running out of new pictures of him to post. This record was released in 1961.  It was a RCA/Camden compilation effort.  It is ok.  I felt a lot of the songs were derivative from other works (“I’m Moving In”, “Boogie Woogie Flying Cloud” for example).  The biggest hit from this was “Let Me Go Lover” which went to #1 in 1954.

For a sample, I was drawn to “When Mexican Joe Met Jolie Blon”.  I also really liked “Trouble, Trouble, Trouble”.  It is a kind of talking blues number kind of like Woody Guthrie’s style.  I have never heard Snow perform a number like this.

Criticism aside, of course I am goint to like one of Snow’s records.  Satisfactory.  See, I learned something from last month.  Put the easy posts at the end of the month.

The Cliff Holland Trio- Bourbon Street

This gem was only a dollar.  Not only do I like small regional records.  I also like autographed ones despite this record’s autograph being on the plastic cover.  It is made out to a “Mr & Mrs Cruz” to which Cliff Holland wished them good luck.  Since this record is from Calgary, I can’t help but wonder if these are Ted’s parents and if perhaps, I am holding the missing link of the JFK assassination in my hands.  Trump conspiracies aside, I always did have an overactive imagination.

Other than what I read on the back cover, I do not know much about Cliff Holland, other than the fact that he was a member of two successful southern vocal groups:The Delta Rhythm Boys and the Four Knights. His stint in both these groups led to worldwide travel and 12 Gold Records.  What brought him to Western Canada, I do not know.  Based on the lack of any drummer credits on the record, I assumed Holland handled skin duties but this is a mere assumption and I am starting to thing this is not the case. Anyway, the Trio is rounded out by English born Larry Yarwood on piano who was also a member of the Calgary City Stompers and Lye Kosh, a Regina native who was also an employee of Gulf Oil of Canada.  Further credits go to back-up bassist Glenn Dickson as well as Larry Bechthold for rhythmic patterns on the record.  Perhaps this is where the records drums come from although it is a strange way of saying it. Please note that I am pretty sure this is not Holland in the video below but I really liked this song.

Anyway, this is a real good album.  Between Holland’s baritone voice and the jazzy/lounge instrumentation, the listener is magically transported into a smokey dark room (although due to smoking laws, that aspect is lost to future generations).  Really good performances and really good songs including such standards as “Chicago”, “Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head, ” They Call the Wind Maria”, and “Summertime”.  

This record did skip pretty badly.  I went to my upstairs neighbor to clean it but that did not do the trick.  I had to use his turntable as well as his fancy recording device to get a good recording.  I succeeded on this front but was to lazy to splice the songs apart so here are three samples all put together.  First is the second Paint Your Wagon song on this record, the immortal “Wandrin Star”. Second is the Bob Crewe-Bob Gaudio penned “Can;t Take My Eyes Off of You” which is a great version but probably included only because I saw Jersey Boys last month.  Finally, I leave you with a Holland co-penned tune “Our Town” which is more of  a shout out to the people who worked on this record, which is dedicated to Calgary.

Really good little record despite the fact that I can not play it on my record player.  It really hit on a lot of angles for me.  Top Rated.

 

Ronnie Hawkins- The Best Of

 I got this again from the Big Al collection.  Makes sense having this, being Canadian (from Ontario none the less).  Hawkins and his backing band were popular in that neck of the woods.

One reason I went back to Amsterdam this year for no real good reason is I thought if I don’t go back now, it will be another two years before I go back.  I got a pretty good handle on the city.  I am about 85% proficient at planning out my activities based on city geography. I guess if I waited another two years, I may lose some of this.

Well to segue this observation into a tangible place I went to, I spent a day working down to the south east part of town to spend some time in Oosterpark.  Incidentally, on route to the park, I roamed seemingly close to Amstel Station (like I said, 85%).  Anyway, I got back on track and to the park.  Nice park it is.  Located behind the Tropical Museum and built on what I believe was an old cemetary, it is about a third of the size of Vondelpark.  I think the first time I went to the park was my trip two years ago.  There is a nice lake area with ducks and geese as well as a handful of art pieces and statues.

My favorite statue is the boy riding the goat situated on a path by the lake smack in the middle of the park.  I mean why is the kid riding a goat? It asks more questions than it answers.  The bronze, by the way, is called “De Bokkenrijder”(Goat Rider) and was done by Gerrit Boluis somewhere around 1957.

Back to the album, Ronnie Hawkins, born in Huntsville, Alabama in 1935 and raised in Fayetteville, is an American rockabilly musician who found great sucess in Ontario.  He is known as a pioneer in Canada’s music scene.

 When he moved up to Canada to take advantage of this popularity, all the members of his backing band, with the exception of his drummer, began to drop out. Hawkins replaced the departing Alabama boys with Canadians.  This became the backbone of the Hawks which later became the backing band for Bob Dylan, and then most famously, The Band.  Much has been written about this already and I am not going to re-iterate the story here.  Instead, I offer a link.

Link to a history page of the Band

As a side note, The Last Waltz was on PBS last week.  It is an amazing movie that could not be done by anyone other than Martin Scorsese and The Band.  Really great piece of work. I was really stunned at the end when I thought about it but everyone of the guest stars really either was or became an music icon.  No flavors of the month on it.

Anyway, this is a Canadian record from Roulette records in 1964.  Although there is some back and forth on the matter, this is compiled from past releases.  Levon Helm, Rick Danko, and Robbie Robertson are on all the tracks.  They are joined by Richard Manuel and Garth Hudson on “Mojo Man”, “High Blood Pressure”, and “Boss Man”.  The two also play separately on two other tracks as well.  Good album.  Nice piece of rockabilly as well as music history.

For a sample, there are many directions I could go in. After much thought, I decided to go with “Come Love”.  I was also considering “Who Do You Love”, “Sexy Ways”, and “I Feel Good”. I really could have posted the whole album but for some reason showed restraint.

Top Rated Album.

Rush-Signals

DSCN5109 (1024x1019)This is the third prog rock album I have posted this month.  No smoking gun reason why.  I post what I can find. So when I found this for a dollar, there was no way I was going to pass it up.  I always like when I can post something from the 1980’s.kerrang-10.1982-1

This was Rush’s ninth studio album, from 1982, and it came of the heels of their  biggest seller, Moving Pictures.  It marked a stylistic move towards synthesizers, played by Geddy Lee.  It also was the last album with producer Terry Brown.  “Subdivisions” is the big hit off this album, becoming a live staple in their show.  “New World Man” also had some traction as well.DSCN5110 (1024x1002)

Signals sold well, going to number 10 on the Billboard chart and going platinum in November of 1982, two months after its release. The new direction, aided by the synthesizers differentiated the album so it was not a case of Moving Pictures II, which they could have easily done.  The record buying public reacted gratefully for this.

For a sample, I went with “The Analog Kid”.  I find it kind of a bookend to the “Digital Man”.prog-02.2014-3

There you go.  Satisfactory record.  Five paragraphs to the point, a video, and an MP3.  Less than 5 minutes to throw together.  It is Saturday.  That is all you are going to get,

Hank Snow- Souvenirs

DSCN4843 (800x778)This was one dollar.  Hank Snow, perhaps the most famous Canadian country artist ( I am biased), was born in Nova Scotia in 1914.  His upbringing was hard as his father died young, his mother and step father(s) struggled and he endured both physical and mental abuse from various guardians.  At age 12, he ran off to sea to become a cabin boy.  After reeling in the bug bucks ($58), he bought himself a guitar and chord book out of a Eaton’s catalog for $5.98.  He had previously played his mothers steel guitar and showed talent.  hanksnow

Hard jobs and struggle continued, but Snow persevered and modeled himself after Jimmie Rodgers until he started gaining success signing a contract with the Canadian division of RCA Victor and becoming a national radio star. Soon enough Nashville got wind and Snow moved down to the US where he would become a star in the States.Hank Snow Getty Michael Ochs Archives circa 1970

Snow was influential in the career of Elvis Presley.  Snow first got him an appearance on the Grand Ole Opry.  He also used Elvis as an opening act for a while.  For better or for worse, Snow introduced Elvis to Colonel Tom Parker.  Parker and Snow entered into a partnership to manage Elvis in 1955.  However, Parker somehow got Snow out of the picture, taking full control of Elvis’ career.  From that point on, Snow had little nice to say about Parker.

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This record was made to celebrate the Silver Anniversary of Snow’s signing to RCA Victor in 1936.  It was released in 1961.  The songs, all staples of Snow’s career to date, were re-recorded in Nashville by Chet Atkins.  So this is an album of reboots.  The songs all have the classic Hank Snow elements to them.  In some cases, backup vocals, instrumentation, and a stronger back beat are added to give them a new twist while not deviating terribly from the source material.  Webb Pierce did something similar to this on an earlier post. DSCN4844 (800x798)

For a sample, there were a few songs I really liked re-worked, but I settled with one that he wrote, “I”m Movin On”, which has a stronger back beat and more backup vocals than its original version which is posted below.

Top Rated Record.

Moe Koffman- Plays for the Teens

DSCN4298This was $5.00 at the record show.  I think I got it because I thought the title was funny.  The idea of the Swinging Shepard knowing that the teens want more light jazz flute.koffman-moe-63182

Moe Koffman was actually from Canada, Toronto to be exact.  He had worked with some big bands in the US before returning to Canada to form smaller unis.  His big hit, “Swinging Shepard’s Blues” elevated him to the upper ranks of jazz flutists of the time.  His ability to adapt to popular styles of the times did not sit well with the older jazz crowd.  But he was versatile, both with music and with musical instruments.  He also did a lot of session and television work in Canada.  He would die of cancer in 2001 at the age of 72.

This was his first record for Ascot Records and contains his big hit mentioned above.  I can see where jazz flute purists would be upset with his up beat light numbers.   A lot of references to the twist and the shimmy on the titles.  There is also a few jazz classics such as “In The Mood” and “When the Saints Go Marching In.” DSCN4299

There is an article from the UK’s Guardian on this record that makes a good point:  this does not sound like the work of someone who would play with Quincy Jones and Dizzy Gillespie.

Review from the Guardian on their strangest records.

For a sample, I went with “Flute Twist”.tspa_0060339f

Meh.  I was kind of expecting more out of this album.  The flute playing is kind of vanilla.  It did not help that I paid the upper limit for this record, either.

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Harry Hibbs- A Fifth of Harry Hibbs

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Hey.  It is March and that means St Paddy’s Day is just around the corner.  In tribute, I decided to run thru the Irish records I have amassed during my record searches.  This was $2.00.  I got it at Vinyl Edge.  I did not like the fact that it was in the unpriced bin and I had to go thru the suspense of seeing if it was in budget or not at the cash register.  However, I was greatly pleased with this album and the other Irish one I bought.  I have not listened to any of the other albums I got that day.  I am about 100 records backlogged for things I have not listened to at the moment.harry-hibbs-1971-colour

If you are not from Canada, it is not apparently obvious that this album is from Newfoundland.  The bottle of Newfie Screech is the dead giveaway.  While technically not 100% Irish, the music of Newfoundland has strong Celtic ties.  It does have more of an Irish influence as compared to other maritime provinces which are more Scottish in nature.img_0095

Harry Hibbs was born on Bell Island on 1942.  An accident in a plant left him unable to perform strenuous work.  As a result, he took up music as his father was an accomplished fiddle player.  Hibbs himself played the button accordion.  He released 26 albums according to Wikipedia, several of which would go Gold.  He also appeared on many Canadian TV programs, including his own, The Harry Hibbs Show.  Hibbs would pass in 1989 of cancer.

Canadian Encyclopedia entry on Harry Hibbs

This would have been his 5th album on Arc Records, hence the title.  It was released in 1971.  Listening to it, there is no mistaking it for Newfoundland music.  The button accordion is prevalent.  There are is also a lot of Irish influence as well.  The songs are fast and driving.  Highlights include “Roddy McLury”, “The Orange and the Green”, “Erin’s Green Shore”, and “All for Me Grog”, all traditional Irish tunes.R-4330428-1409441547-2106_jpeg

For samples, I went with the instrumental “Paddy O’Regan” and the Irish favorite, “The Banks of the Roses”.  Both tracks illustrate the frenzied button accordion.  The latter also features Hibbs’ vocals.harry-hibbs-1971

This is a satisfactory record for me. Would buy another album if I ran across it.

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Hank Snow- Songs I Hadn’t Recorded Til Now

DSCN3627Happy 2016! This was $3.00.  Being a good Canadian and old school country fan, I had to get this album.

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Hank Snow’s Museum

Born in Nova Scotia, “The Singing Ranger” himself, Hank Snow (1914-1999) is a legend of country music and deserves more on this blog than I am willing to give him today.  As you may have guessed, my internet is still down.  Do not fret, however.  I have more Hank Snow albums so I expect a more detailed post next go around.hank-snow

If you can not wait, here is his Wikipedia Page

This was released in 1961 by RCA records, with whom he stayed with his whole career.  It seems to be a collection of popular country tunes that Snow, as the title suggests, had not done until now.  Overall it is a good collection and has trademark Hank Snow vocal style.DSCN3628

The sample I am posting is one of my favorite songs and it is also the reason I got the album.  Here is Hank Snow with his version of the Hank Locklin classic, “Send Me The Pillow That You Dream On”.

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Satisfactory Record.  Have a good 2016!!

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Bob and Doug McKenzie- The Great White North

DSCN3519This was $5 and certified by the CCIC to be 100% Canadian content.  I had the cassette of this as a kid so I was amused to read the insert, The Daily Hoser, included in the album.  For record it also came with a merchandise flyer.  $7 USD for a Bob and Doug toque.DSCN3521

I am not sure why the CCIC label is on here as this is clearly marketed to the American audience.  But it is here, letting the media know that this can be broadcast to meet content obligations.  DSCN3520

I liked this album as a kid and it is still kind of funny today although I am kind of tired of the stereotypes associated with Canada. geddy_and_bob_and_doug

There are many comedy gems on this album.  There is also Bob and Doug’s collaboration with Geddy Lee.

This album also includes their Christmas tune, “The Twelve Days of Christmas” which is a classic of sorts.

 

Glamorgan Elementary School Choir- World Today, Hello Tomorrow

DSCN2255This was a dollar.  It had decent songs on it , plus it was Canadian. It was also sealed.bannerGlamorgan Elementary is a public schools serving the Glamorgan community, a south-western neighborhood of Calgary, AB.  It was opened in 1958.

Glamorgan Community Association

This is a collection of songs sung by the school choir augmented with monologues from kids.  While most of the credits on the album go to Mr Kuzmar, the conductor, I wondered more about Mrs Slaught, who I assume is the overworked and underappreciated music teacher who played the piano on this.  Poor Mrs Slaught.

The theme of the album is peace and unity between all people.  It is strange now, just how optimistic this album is.  I am not sure when this came out.  I am guessing late 70’s/ early 80’s.  Regardless, this was made during the Cold War and it sort of makes one misty thinking about the kids’ message of peace.  On the other hand, how could we live thru the threat of nuclear annihilation only to have these current times, where despite the threat of mass extinction being diminished, the dream of unity among people is now further than ever?  That is because there was no internet during the Cold War. If there was, we would most likely have nuked the planet silly.

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For a sample, I went with two popular Broadway numbers which were put together; “Sunrise, Sunset” from Fiddler on the Roof and “Impossible Dream” from Man of LaMancha.  These are combined with a monologue from a Valerie Miller and one from a Kathy Buck.  Additionally, “Sunrise” has a solo from Heather Gargan.

This is satisfactory for the price and for a kids record.  I have heard a lot worse.