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.

Iron Butterfly- Ball

This was $3.  I got it at the SW-Hilton record show some time back.  Probably had a Saturday post in mind for it when I bought it.

This was Iron Butterfly’s third album, released in 1969 hot on the heels of their Inna Gadda Da Vida success. It went Gold and spawned to minor singles. This would be the last studio album from what was considered their classic lineup.

Not feeling typing anything more and will probably go out to buy a new mouse tomorrow.  I know what you are saying, you don’t type with a mouse but trust me, a lagging  mouse makes putting these posts together almost miserable.

Well, no need to feel any more misery with this post.  Here as a sample is “Real Fright” which combines a snappy drum, a poppy bass line, a snarling guitar and the intricate keyboards the band is known for.

If you want to know more about the album or the band, I would suggest your search either.  Critics called it an ambitious album.  Obviously, when you follow your biggest hit, there is going to be some critical response.  That being said, I think it is quite good myself. Satisfactory.

Jerry Lee Lewis-Rockin’ Rhythm & Blues

Woo hoo!! Saturday.  Let’s fly thru this.  This was $2.  Too many good songs to pass up.  Also after 2-1/2 years of doing this blog, I still hate typing the word rhythm.  I mis-spell it every time. Anyway, you can not go wrong with ending the week with Jerry Lee Lewis.

This record, released by Sun in 1969 was a repackaging of songs recorded earlier with Sam Phillips.  At the time, The Killer was going thru his county period (which I felt was even better than his rock and roll days). He was very hot during this period and the new owner of Sun, Shelby Singleton, wanted to capitalize on this so they put out a series of compilation records like this.

A lot of good rock and roll/ rockabilly songs on here. Most of these songs weer made famous by others including Chuck Berry, Little Richard, and Ray Charles.  Also, I kind of do take offense for taking songwriting credits for “C.C. Rider”.  But other than that, every song is pretty much a classic.  So I went with “Little Queenie”.

Top Rated Record.

The Dave Clark Five- I Like It Like That

This is the last post of the month, which by default gets the least love.  Trying just to get it done.  This was $3.00. Yes, I fully realize that today is the 150th birthday of Canada, yet, I picked out this record ahead of schedule without consulting my calendar.  So unless I change my mind between the time this is written and when you are reading this, well, sorry.

I had mentioned how I felt shortchanged by the DC5’s movie Catch Me If You Can (Having A Wild Weekend in the US), which payed again on TCM last night.  I mean, it was very well received and really good in the way it dealt with heavy themes as compared to other pop vehicles but the failure to include any footage of the band playing instruments that I can remember as well as casting the band members as other people other than the musicians they were kind of broke it for me.  As a side note, Dave Clark was the drummer of the band.  For someone who likes their albums, I am slightly embarrassed not to know that.

This was the 7th album released in the US as well as 7th in two years.  Coming out in 1965, pretty straight forward British Invasion rock and roll.  Showcasing their Tottenham Sound, the album is pretty good.  Really killing it with the boiler plate adverbs today.

For a sample. I went with the soulful ” I Need Love.”  Satisfactory record. And with that another month of Donkey Show is in the can.

The Moody Blues- Days Of Future Passed

This was unbelievably only a dollar,  which is strange to me considering it was in pretty good shape.  I mean it was one of the biggest records of its period, at least the biggest one for the Moody Blues, I believe.  At the time of writing this, I am watching Game 7 of the Oilers-Ducks so I may be in and out of this post.

This was The Moody Blues’ second album. After not finding a lot of success as a R&B band, a few members shuffled and a new larger sound was formed with a more symphonic edge. Essentially, it was the beginning of prog rock. In order to capitalize on this sound as well as payback the debt the band owed the Decca on advances, the band agreed to make a record of Dvorak’s “Symphony No 9”.  It would be released on new subsidiary, Deram and used as a model to showcase the new Deram Studio Sound format.

The band was given creative control of the project but decided to abandon it for a different project, a pop record with orchestral interludes based on the concept of a day(Note”:  this story has been disputed). Anyway, the band recruited Peter Knight and the London Festival Orchestra to provide the interludes.  The result was this record, which was a huge success for the band.  “Nights in White Satin” also became a massive hit and was the only instance of interplay between the Blues and the orchestra.

Pretty good album.  Kind of dated concept now, but in 1967, I imagine it was pretty radical.  I liked the album.  I went with “Lunch Break: Peak Hour”, mainly because it is brief, but also because it is a good example of both Orchestra and band.

Good album. Satisfactory. Well, the Oilers, sadly enough did not make it.  I know to a reasonable person, just making it as far as the did was a big accomplishment, given their record in recent years. Well, I guess I was just expecting a Cup this year after the way they played.  Losing Game 5 hurt.  But, still, got to give credit to a good young team who will be a force to reckon with next year.

Lloyd Price-Come To Me/ Misery

Hey it is Saturday.  This was $5.  I got it a Vinyl Edge.  The clerk did not think it would be $5 or under when he was looking up the price but surprise , surprise.  He might have also shaved a buck off the price and applied it to a $2 record.  Hey that counts.

Lloyd Price was born in Kenner, Louisiana in 1933.   He is best known for “Lawdy Miss Clawdy” and one of the more violent songs of early rock and roll as well as one of my favorites, “Stagger Lee”.  He is still alive and was inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1988.  That is all I want to say on  a Saturday.

This was released sometime in the 1960’s on Guest Star recordings.  I am unsure if it was new material or a culmination of previously recorded tracks and quite frankly, I am too lazy to look into this any further.I am guessing it is the latter.

To make up for my shortcomings today, here are two samples, “Lonesome Valley” and “Come to Me”.  You are welcome.

Satisfactory Record

The J Geils Band- Hotline

  1. Guitarist J Geils, the name sake of the J Geils Band was found dead yesterday at age 71 in Groton Mass, most likely of natural causes. I believe I paid a dollar for this.

Born in New York in 1946, he formed the band in the late 60’s while attending Worcester Polytechnic Institute.  The band had a good following in the 1970’s as a touring band.

Obit on CNN

Obit on Variety

Obit on Billboard


The band’s biggest hit (and 1980s’ staple), “Centerfold” brought them the commercial success which proved a bit elusive in the prior decade.  Most people assumed J Geils was the singer.  He was not.  That was Peter Wolf.

This album was the band’s 7th studio effort, released in 1975. This was another DJ promotion copy, stamped with not for sale, yet here it is purchased on the secondary market. Decent record.  Kind of rock, rhythm and blues.  Side two really has more of the guitar work, but regardless, this album definitely showcased the band and stood out from the other music of the decade.

In tribute to J Geils, here is with “Mean Love” with a blistering guitar solo.

RIP J Geils


The Coasters- Greatest Hits

Keeping Black History Month going with this records from one of the great vocal groups of the 50’s and early 60’s, the Coasters.  This was $1.60.

The Coasters hailed from the Los Angeles area and burst on to the scene in 1955.  The group consisted of Carl Gardner, Bobby Nunn, Billy Guy, Leon Hughes, and Adolph Jacobs.  Their biggest hits, now early rock and roll standards, include “Charlie Brown” and “Yakety Yak”. The vast majority of these hits were written by the team of Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller.  Various lineup changes occurred thru out the years but the band was among one of the first to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.  All the principle founders are dead but a version of the group continues today.

Link to Webpage

As the title would suggest, this is a collection of greatest hits, released by Atco Records in 1959.  I am not sure how or why, but this album produced six charting singles including the two listed above.  It featured songs from their first album along with some new ones I believe. So I am not sure if this is a traditional Greatest Hits package. Nor do I really fell like digging too much into the subject today.  The album also features the saxophone of King Curtis.  

For samples, I had many choices but decided to go with “Along Came Jones” and “That is Rock and Roll”.

Top rated album for sure.

The Revillos- Tell Him 45

Ending this week’s theme of Scotland as well as this month’s theme week with a rocking number from Edinburgh’s own the Revillos.  Although I enjoyed doing theme week, I found it really took away from the diversity of sound which is this blog.  Well to make up for that, there is this, which I bought for $5.

The Revillos were formed in 1979 out of the ashes of the Rezillos.  Led by Rez singers Eugene Reynolds and Faye Fife, the band expanded on their former sound with some space age/ new wave flare.  Does that even make sense or am I just rushing to get this post done?  Well since it is Saturday, I would suggest the latter.

Oddly enough, this is not the first time I have used the group to punctuate a rather somber week of music.  I posted the Rezillos’ “Destination Venus” previously when I need to jazz the site up.

So then, there is this which was released in 1982.  Both sides have the Bert Bern penned track, which was first popularized by the Exciters in 1962.  The original 1982 release shows a different B side so I am not sure what the story is nor am I inclined to research it much further.

So here it is.  Satisfactory record.

Bo Diddley- In The Spotlight

So I get home after a challenging yet rewarding week of work, looking forward to relaxing the rest of this evening, when I was reminded by a conversation with my dear mother, that I have a post to write tonight.  So this should be quick. Oh yeah, I got this from Big Al.

I have been using this month to write about last month’s trip to Amsterdam.  This is the last such post.  I enjoyed doing it but they were long to write and the pictures were long to load.  But anyway, I am ending this series with one of my favorite spots in Amsterdam, Vondelpark .  Voldelpark’s greatest feature is that it is free.

Vondelpark is a 120 acre of public green in Amsterdam-Zuid, close to Museumplein. It opened in 1865 under the name Nieuwe Park .  However, a statue was put up shortly thereafter for Dutch playwright Joost van den Vondel and people started referring to the park by its current name. It currently is home to a few bar/restaurants, an open air theater, a rose garden, and bike paths.

Lot of dogs in the park and a lot of dogs off their leashes.  And for the most part, the dogs seem to behave and follow.  There were a number of old men walking the park with their small dog walking off the leash.  This blew my mind.  All my dogs were runners.

I did not know this, but apparently, in 2008, they were going to let adults be legally allowed to have sex in Vondelpark as long as they limit themselves to evening and night, don’t do it near a playground, and pick their trash when they were done.  However, Amsterdam police stated that they were not going to tolerate this and so the people who believe in common sense and the folks who believe in public fornication are at an impasse.  Either way, it is a win for those proud Dutch citizens who believe in fighting litter.

I wondered if this duck would be the same one I would be eating in three days. I thought about it hard for awhile but still ate it anyway.

So back to my trip, I found myself many mornings, starting off in Vondelpark, trying to plan out my day on a park bench.  I also brought an I-Pod with me with the songs from this month.  I recorded about 3-4 songs per album and then proceeded to listen to them until I picked out the one I would post.  They were particularly cold mornings, made even more so by the wind whipping the lake water by my favorite park bench.

It was during this when I was particularly struck by the tracks off this album.  The Bo Diddley rhythm, for one reason or another seemed to really complement the park on an overcast chilly morning.  “Travelling West”, in particular. Now that I think about it a bit, I recall during this song, the sun came up for a brief 5 minutes so this song was like a burst of joy.

This was Diddley’s fourth album and his second released in 1960.  It seems to be pretty blues heavy.  The album features “Road Runner” which was somewhat of a hit for Diddley. I believe that is Peggy Jones/ Lady Bo on rhythm guitar.

Maybe not so much as his other hits, but it got some play. There are a lot of other great songs n the album, “Live My Life”, “Craw-dad”, and “Deed and Deed I Do”  all come to mind.

I am amazed to be reminded that Diddley opened for the Clash in 1979.  If you are keeping score at home, that is to things I am amazed by in this post.  I came across this clip where Diddley kind of talks smack about them.  This is actually pretty cool. Joe’s not deaf, Bo.  He’s dead like you.

Anyway, for samples, I went with “Story of Bo Diddley”.  That is one of the things I liked about the guy; he put his own name in songs. Shameless self promoting.  There is “Hey Bo Diddley”, “Bo Diddley is a Gun Slinger”, and 1978’s little known “Bo Diddley files a Form 4868 Tax Extension”.  All joking aside, I also included “Travellin’ West”, since I mentioned it in my story earlier in the post.

Top Rated Record.  Wow, it seems that this turned out longer than I thought.  That’s the third thing that amazed me with this post.