Kenny Rogers and The First Edition- Rollin’

Starting another month of Donkey Show with this record I got for $2.40.  A lot of good songs on this.  So we are into September. Plus it is Labor Day, so when you read this, I am at home doing nothing (or perhaps getting even further ahead in writing this blog).  That is if we still have a country when this post comes out.  Let’s see how this month plays out. I am good and ahead of the game as far as post writing goes.  However, still erring on the side of brevity so if you have any questions, I would suggest Google.

This record is from The First Edition, a band formed in 1967 from members of The New Christy Minstrels who wanted more freedom from a constricting repertoire .  Led by Kenny Rogers, who played bass and vocals, and Terry Williams, guitar and vocals, as well as Mary Arnold on vocals and occasional actor Micky Jones on drums, the band had some decent hits including “I Just Dropped In” and ” Ruby” blending the worlds of psychedelic pop and country together.    I did not realize this but when the band disbanded in 1976, there was some doubt as to if Rogers could maintain a solo career.

Well, during the height of their fame, they had their own TV Show, Rollin, produced by CTV in Canada.  As a counterweight to the Sonny and Cher Show with decidedly more rocking acts, the show began to paint the band as TV personalities rather than musicians, to the ire of certain band members.  Anyway, it ran from 1971 to 1973 with generally good ratings.

This album, released in 1973, features songs from the show as perfromed by the group.  There are songs that feature individual vocal performances by Rogers, Williams, Arnold, and guirist Jim Hassell, as well as an instrumental rocking piece on keyboards by Gene Lorenzo, Bach’s “Joy (Jeso, Joy Of Man’s Desiring), an arrangement that had been a hit for Apollo 100.  Pretty decent stuff.  A whole lot of Beatles’ content.

Well, from this record, here is the band with “Get Back”.  Also, might as well give Kenny some spotlight with “The Long And Winding Road”.

Probably could have done with some original content, but this perhaps defeats the purpose of this record, which is satisfactory.

Tom Jones- The Country Side of Tom Jones

DSCN4533This was $4.00.  I was not going to pass this up at any price, never less close to the top end of my purchasing limits.  You may have noticed this but I am trying to keep post construction down to 20 mins or less.cf16a7a69aa631c845ea9cca46e9ee94

Oddly enough, I have not come across a whole lot of Tom Jones, born in Wales in 1940.  I do not know if there is not a lot of records out there in the secondary market or if they are mostly over $5.00.  Either way, Jones had 36 Top Forty Hits in the UK and 19 in the US so he is no slouch.  He still performs here and there and was recently a judge on the UK’s version of The Voice.

Tom’s Web Page

LOS ANGELES - CIRCA 1978: Welsh singer Tom Jones poses for a portrait circa 1978 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry Langdon/Getty Images)

This album was released in 1978 as a compilation under London Records.  According to the back cover, all this material was previously released.  Many artists released country albums in the 1970’s.  I am guessing someone at the label wanted to ride the country and western fad with this release.king

The album is pretty good.  It has a decent collection of songs on it including “Little Green Apples” and “Wichita Lineman”.  The songs are mostly slower paced, taking advantage of Jones’ booming voice.  While the songs are C&W standards, the instrumentation is not.  It is safe to say that Jones puts his stamp on these and not vice versa.DSCN4534

For a sample, I went with “Cool Water” and “Ring of Fire” as I felt these were the best songs.Tom-Jones-4

Satisfactory record.

Anne Murray- What About Me

DSCN1502This was $3.00.  This is a Pickwick US reissue of Anne Murray’s first album which was initially released mainly in Canada. Kind of looks like Justin Bieber on the cover.

Screen-shot-2013-04-26-at-1_27_21-PMI understand why Americans hate Bieber and Nickleback. I can also understand why Americans hate Celene Dion.  But why must Americans bash Anne?  That is wrong.  Anne Murray is one of the smoothest voices in pop/country/contemporary.  (For the record,  there are a lot less haters out there now that everyone jumped on the Bieber/ Dion hater bandwagons).

John Lennon, Anne, Harry Nilson, Alice Cooper and Mickey Dolenz
John Lennon, Anne, Harry Nilsson, Alice Cooper and Mickey Dolenz

Anne’s Webpage

This was Anne’s first album.  Starting her career as a teacher at Prince Edward Island, Anne began for singing on TV.  After participating in a cast album for the TV show Singalong Jubilee, the show’s musical director suggested that Anne move to Toronto to cut an solo album.  This album originally was released in 1968 under the Arc label. The album and the title single were successful in Canada.  A year later, she would sign to Capital Records and release her signature song “Snowbirds”.  From there, US and worldwide fame followed as well as Grammys and a record 24 Junos.article_largeThe album itself is pretty good.  It features a good mix of songs by good songwriters.  Anne’s sound on this album is more folky pop than country.  I imagine it was hard to classify her music and she probably got lumped into the country category.  Regardless,  her confidence in her voice shines thru on this record. The title track as well as Joni Mitchell’s “Both Sides Now” and There Goes my Everything” are pretty good.  For a sample, however,  I went with Tom Paxton’s “Last Thing on My Mind”. DSCN1503

This is a satisfactory record for me.