Carole King- Music

This little gem was $1 and thus too cheap to pass up.  As a kid growing up, my best friend’s mom used to play Tapestry religiously, like many folks from that era I assume.  So far, 2018 has been pleasant for the blog.  Nice crisp posts with no more than 10- 20 minutes of prep time.

Carole King is one of the great song writers of the last century. having worked on 118 pop hits in the US as well as 61 hits in the UK.  When she set out to record on her own, her second album, the earlier mentioned Tapestry was a massive success as well as her best seller. So I beg the question: as every career has an apex, how does one follow their highest achievement? (As a side note to this question, shortly after writing this post I watched The Man Who Wasn’t There, and much like The Hudsucker Proxy, The Big Lebowski, Burn After Reading, and the wonderful Hail, Caesar!, it had the ominous distinction of being a Coen Brother movie that followed right after a critical high point for the duo and in all probability did not get the treatment that they deserved. At least Lebowski eventually gained a cult following.)

Well, I think that is why I bought this album.  To answer that question. King released this, her third album, in 1971, which was the same year of Tapestry.   It sold very well, quickly going Gold then Platinum.  In fact, both albums stayed together in the Top Ten for a considerable amount of time. Musically, it is very similar in the laid back vein of its predecessor and it that respects it is quite good.  Is it as good as Tapestry? No, but I think that is an unfair benchmark and besides, the record sales really speak for itself.

For a sample, I went with the last track “Back To California” which I thought was a real driving number,  I did think the fade out was a tad pre-mature though. Also, one of my pet peeves is a track listing on the album cover that does not match the actual record.  Oh well, when you are the master song writer with tons of hits, I guess you can do things your way.

If you feel you are missing something with the brief posts, I invite you to Google the subject and fill in any blanks.  Other than that, Satisfactory.

Toni Carroll- Sings The Hits Of The Roaring 20’s

Here we are with another album from the beginning of the last century.  The 1920’s to be exact.  I am not sure why I keep buying these as I am largely disappointed with the 20’s records I purchase.  In most cases, they are too campy for my liking.  Well, despite my constantly being burned by these, works, I bought this.  Not sure why other than the girl on the cover (who still looks campy).  This was $1.  I am sure the low price helped.

As this was from the prestigious Longines Symphonette Society, I did not look at the track listing until I got home.  When I did, I was presently surprised and started to warm up to the idea of this record, most likely because they had a good number of songs from One Froggy Evening.  I thought about those tin pan writers from the period and wonder how they would feel about the fact their legacy lives today because of a cartoon frog.

This was released by the Society in 1964.  From what I cam tell of Toni Carroll, she was born in St Louis MO, became a Copa Girl as well as  a Latin Quarter Singer.  She put out a few records as well as various appearances on stage and TV, including the Joe Franklin Show.  According to the now defunct Houston Post, she was the first American singer to perform at the Moscow Art Theater.

Link to her page

I really did enjoy this album.  I mean there is an element of camp but it is quite manageable.  And I did like a lot of the song.  Carroll is a pretty talented singer.  I ma guessing she is an equally talented dancer which is an aspect missed since this is a record.  Anyway, I can proudly say that this is the first 20’s album that I really liked.


For a sample, I was tempted to go with something from the cartoon I had previously mentioned but instead I was really taken aback by “Five Foot Two” so here it is .

Satisfactory Record.

Loretta Lynn- I Like ‘Em Country

Here is one from Ms Loretta Lynn.  I imagine a paid somewhere in the ball park of $3 for this.  I am going to buy it since it is early Lynn but the light blue backdrop which was popular on country albums of the time kind of subconsciously made sure this purchased happened.  I wonder of somebody in Nashville designed the records that way.

As reported on this blog (as well as everywhere else), Lynn suffered a stroke this May.  However, I believe she is still making a good recovery.  she has still postponed public performances and has delayed her new album until next year, but according to her daughter, she is progressing positively thru physical therapy.

This effort was Lynn’s 6th studio album.  Released in 1966, the album would peak at #2 on the Billboard Country Charts.  With songs by Ernest Tubb, Hank Williams, and Johnny Cash among others, it was a pretty good effort which spawned two Top Ten singles, Betty Sue Perry’s “The Home You’re Tearing Down”, and Lynn’s own composition ” Dear Uncle Sam” which was about the Vietnam War.

For a sample, I went with the catchy “Hurtin’ For Certain”.

Great record.  Satisfactory.

Judy Collins- Wildflower

Hey, hey, it is another Saturday, the day that I like to keep these brief.  Here is this effort from frequent blog guest Judy Collins.  It was , am I reading this right, $1?  Too cheap.

This 1967 effort was Collins’ seventh and highest charting record, going to #5 on the US Pop chart.  A lot of that was based on the strength of her single, the Joni Mitchell penned “Both Sides Now”, which went to #8.  The album also featured songs by the now dead Leonard Cohen and Jaques Brel along with a 14th century piece by Francesco Landini.  It also featured for the first time on record, three of Collin’s own pieces.

By the time this came out, Collins’ folk career was over and she had moved more into a pop vein.  On this subject, I am mixed as I absolutely adore her folk work. But I understand, you have to evolve  as well as make money so although this is not among my favorite of Collins’ work, I must acknowledge that this is a very good album.  And despite note being folk, Collins would still be able to present a diverse group of work  on it as evidence by the songwriters above (something she did on earlier albums) . Besides, the record would eventually go Gold in 1969.

For a sample, I went with the Brel piece, “La Chanson Des Vieus Amants”.

Great little piece which was the commercial high point of Collins’ career.  Satisfactory.

Melanie- Candles In The Rain

This gem of a record was only $1.  One freaking dollar.  Are you crazy people?  Anyway, looking at the cover and listening to this, I had a hard time believing this came out in 1970 (and was in great part, a product of the 60’s).  It looks and sounds like a much more modern record.

But this did come out in 1970 and was Melanie’s third album.  With the lead single “Lay It On Down (Candles In The Rain)” based on her experience performing at Woodstock (in which a bunch of spectators light up candles while see played).  I probably mentioned this on the last post I wrote on her, but you really do not hear much about Melanie’s performance at Woodstock which is probably a shame.  Anyway, this record and that single in particular, brought the artist her first Top Ten hit in the US.  “Ruby Tuesday” as well as “What Have They Done To My Song, Ma” were also hits.  The album sold well in the US, UK, Canada, and Australia.

Overall, I think this is an excellent album and really showcases Melanie’s talent. With the exception of “Ruby Tuesday”, the rest of the songs are written by the artist.  She is also backed up vocally in places by the Edwin Hawkins Singers.

For a sample, I decided to go with “Left Over Wine” which was one of the songs I picked from the live album I posted last year or so but did not use. I think because it skipped.

Great little record.  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.

Lolita-Schlager Erinnerungen mit Lolita

This was $2 and purchased for use during Oktoberfest, which is on going this week. Over the last two years of doing Oktoberfest posts on this blog, I have really covered most every detail about the festival which started in 1810 in Munich to celebrate the marriage of the future King Ludwig to the Princess Therese of Saxe-Hildburghausen.  Apparently she was also on the short list of possible brides for Napoleon.  Anyway, I would suggest you check out some the past posts to learn more fun facts about this festival.

Link to a search of Oktoberfest posts on this blog 

Well, I guess I should just straight up point out that this next artist is nor German and is in fact Austrian.  Do not want to get accused of trying to pass this off German or for lumping Austria and Germany together.  But as I did not do my research before selecting this album, we are moving full steam ahead with this record by Edith Enzinger, better known by her stage name, Lolita.  Born in ST Polten in 1931, Lolita had her only Gold Record in 1959, “Seeman” or “Sailor” in English.  Not only did it sell well in German speaking parts of Europe, it sold well in Japan went to #5 in US making at the time one of the few successful records in the US not recorded in English. She remained popular in Austria and Germany. She would pass of cancer at age 79 in 2010.

Since this came out in 1973 on Polydor International, I am guessing that this is a greatest hits compilation.  Well, it is pretty good.  All the songs are in the schlager style that I have been espousing for the last week.  Lolita had a pretty good voice.  A few of these songs really hit it out of the park.  The rest are still pretty good.

For a sample, I decided to pick “La Luna’ and “Was Ein Mann Alles Kann” or what can a man do.  I am not sure if this means what can a man do about a certain situation or what can a man do for me, mainly because I saw Raw last weekend.

Good little record.  Satisfactory.

Connie Francis- Live At The Sahara In Las Vegas

This was one dollar.

Concetta Rosa Maria Franconero, born in that beautiful part of the world that is known as Newark, New Jersey in 1938, became a pop star in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. I believe she was one strike away from giving music for medicine when she scored a hit with “Who’s Sorry Now”.  Despite not liking the end result, the song eventually became a hit and Francis became an international star. Her career has been marked by several tragedies as well as Francis’s ability to bounce back from them. She is still relatively active today with an autobiography coming out this year.  She also works with various US Veteran groups.

Connie’s Webpage

This album came out in 1966.  Recorded at the Sahara Casino,  this was oddly enough released by MGM.  The Casino was one of the last Rat Pack Casinos in Las Vegas and closed briefly in 2011 before reopening as the SLS Hotel & Casino. They had a real cheap steak and lobster combo there for a while.  I went one year with friends and we walked all the way down their from our hotel until we got there and found it was closed.  I had been talking about the combo for some time and my friends did not have the heart to tell me it was closed. I wish they did.  It would have saved me the walk.

But here is this record, which is a pretty decent collection of tunes.  Francis’s skill is pretty evident on this disc, both singing and ad-libbing between songs.

For a sample, I went with something that details both of these with “La Bamba”.

Decent album.  Satisfactory.

Loretta Lynn- One’s On The Way

This was $4.00.  A bit later in years than I like my country, being from the seventies and all, but there were a couple songs I liked on this.  Kind of all over the place with these posts this month.  At first I complain about doing these too much in advance and not being able to keep posts fresh.  Then I complain about having to write these on the fly.

This was the first of three albums that Loretta Lynn put out in 1972.  That is what makes singers like Lynn an icon.  Country music changes but her sound remains constant.  This record went to #3 on the Billboard country chart, and the lead single, written by creepy child author, Shel Silverstein, spent two weeks at #1.  According to Bill Monroe, the song helped Lynn become “the spokeswoman for every woman who had gotten married too early, pregnant too often and felt trapped by the tedium and drudgery of her life”.

Pretty good album, again, considering the era in which it came out.  I really enjoyed it.  A lot of good songs including covers of “Blueberry Hill” and “He’s All I Got”.  This album could easily been weighed down with string sections.  Instead, steel guitars do reign supreme on this.

For a sample, I went with the title track and the dark “I’m Losing My Mind” which is pretty racy for Lynn.  Not that she did not already flirt with adult themes in her work.

Good album.  Again, I was surprised by it. Satisfactory.

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.