VA- Six Pack Vol1

There were many reasons I would buy this record.  It was only $1. It also contained two Willie Nelson songs as well as being produced(or compiled?) by the man himself.  Finally, it is a good little collection of outlaw / oddball country.  All these reasons aside, I got is as I never heard Ray Wylie Hubbard’s original version of “Up Against The WallRedneck Mother”.

Like most people in this state who spent time in bars, I was very familiar with Jeff Jeff Walker’s version (which was posted some time ago on this site).  So, when I saw the original on this, buying it was a done deal.  This record, released by Lone Star Records in association with Mercury, in 1978, also features Nelson, Cooder Browne, novelty country singer Don Bowman, Steve Fromholz, and the Geezinslaw Bros.  Apparently, Lone Star was Nelson’s own label.

For a sample, I really liked the instrumental, “Lonesome Rider” as performed by Cooder Browne, which is the name of the group and not a person.  I also wrongly thought that this was a Bob Wills’ standard. So I was wrong on two counts with this today. The band featured Larry Franklin on vocals and fiddle. who also recorded with Asleep At The Wheel. This is from the one album they released (on Lone Star).

I also really liked the Geezinslaw Bros.’ “Who’s A Fool”.  Hailing from Austin Tx, the Bros are really the comedy/musical duo of Sammy Allred and Son Smith.  They were active musically from sometime in the 50’s up into 2005.

Finally, you got to go with the girl you brought to the dance so here is Ray Wylie Hubbard’s classic, “Up Against The Wall Redneck Mother”. Hubbard, born in Soper, OK in 1946 is still active today.

Good Little Record.  Satisfactory.

The Four Freshmen- Voices In Latin

This was $3.  I got it for my favorite song “Brazil” which undoubtedly will be posted here.  If you have been reading this blog and did not expect that, I worry for you.

The Four Freshmen were and still are a vocal group who had hits in the 1950s. Formed in 1948 from other vocal groups in Indiana, they were discovered by Monday’s post subject, Stan Kenton. The group put out around 30+ records.  The last original member retired in 1993, but an incarnation still exists and tours.

Current Incarnation Web Page

This album, released by Capitol Records in 1958, features original members Bob Flanigan, Ross and Don Barbour along with Ken Albers.  As the title would suggest, this is a collection of latin flavored songs.  Arranged and conducted by Kenton associate Pete Rugolo, this is a pretty decent collection of songs.  The vocals are good but the music is pretty swinging as well, at least for a vocal group.  This record also features the flute of Herbie Mann.

Lot of choices to chose from. I liked “Frenesi”,  “Tangerine”, “Granada”, and “Chelsea Bridge”.  But ultimately I went with “The Breeze and I”.  Of course as mentioned above, I am also posting “Brazil” which is one of the few vocal versions I have put up on this site.  It is interesting to note that both songs feature trombone solos from vocalist Flanigan. Flanigan would pass on in 2011.

Pretty decent album.  It kind of grew on me so satisfactory.

Al Dean- Mr Cotton Eyed Joe Plays For Urban Cowboys

If you would think about what are my most popular posts, they are not the big names or the popular records.  In contrast, they are the local and regional artists. The smaller a footprint one has on the web, the more hits my blog gets.  So among the top 5 posts was an album I had posted from this artist, Mr Cotton Eyed Joe himself, Al Dean. This was $4, by the way.

My earlier post on Dean.

I was saddened to hear that Dean had passed away from cancer in October of 2016 at the age of 85.  It was happy to hear though, that he was posthumously(just last month) inducted into the South Texas Music Hall of Fame.  There is an excellent story about Dean and this event from this blog below.

Blog post about Mr Cotton Eyed Joe

Yet another blog post.

As Dean’s bands have been family affairs, at times including his brothers, this album features his sons, and his wife Maxine.  This record , released by Kik-R Records from Houston, was obviously a marketing attempt to capitalize on the popularity of the movie, Urban Cowboy.  It is also my belief (which the blog above somewhat confirms), that Dean is responsible for the version of the song that most of us who grew up in this state remember. This is no small accomplishment and I can state without any sign of hyperbole, that this puts him in a signifcant place among Texas musicians.     They don’t play it anymore, but it was common place at sporting events, along with the crowd hollering “Bull Shit”.

Pretty good record.  All instrumentals though. If I knew this, I would have posted a few of the singing songs he did on the first record I posted, (Hell, if I knew he past, I would have posted “Roughneck Paycheck”, which was one of my favorites.  Anyway, this is a collection of popular country instrumentals.  I will have to note, however, that the hole on my copy is off center and as a result, the record’s sound is a tad off.  Other than that, great little album.

 

For a sample, I went with “Release Me”. I did not go with the namesake song (which is among one of my favorites) as I posted it from the last album.

Good little album. Satisfactory.  My respects to Mr Dean and his family.

 

OST-My Fair Lady

This was $1.  I had seen a spot on TCM of Andrew Lloyd Weber discussing the importance and significance of this work, based on Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion with book and lyrics by Alan Lerner and music by Fred Loewe.  I took it quite a compliment that an Englishman would give such reverence to an American musical about British Class-ism.  At the time, it was the longest running Broadway musical at 2,717 shows. Now it is #20.  Oddly enough, Cats is at #4 with 7,485 shows. As the number 1, 2, and 3 spots are Phantom of the OperaChicago, and The Lion King, I think the longer run of more recent productions is due to advances and cost reduction of travel allow more people to see productions for a longer run of time.

Despite being a fan of Broadway, I never particularly like My Fair Lady which Weber and critics have called the perfect musical (which is amazing given the fact that early stagers of this adaptation thought the source material was not structured to produce a proper musical).  There are  various reasons.  partly because of the movie version which stars Audrey Hepburn (whose voice was overdubbed for the movie for all songs except “Just You Wait” ).

This was done as Warner Brothers wanted a big name star and at the time, Julie Andrews, who originated the role on Broadway, was not a big name.  Despite being nominated for a Tony, and delivering what many felt was a perfect portrayal of the character, Hepburn got the job.

Andrews had the last laugh, winning an Oscar that year for her role in Mary Poppins and therefore setting her self up for major big screen stardom. Her success in MFL also led to her work in Lowe and Lerner’s Camelot. Also, Andrews got her own chance to screw a broadway actress out of work when she took the lead role in the movie version of Sound of Music.   And finally, on AFI’s list of greatest movie musicals, Sound of Music rates 4th, Mary Poppins rates 8th, and My Fair Lady ranks 10th.  So take that, Audrey Hepburn’s corpse.

 

Also, among my criticisms of the musical, is that I did not find Rex Harrison (as a uptight confirmed bachelor who when not making bets with other bachelors, sings songs about how he does not need women) as a believable love interest.  This point was made light of in an episode of the Simpson when they were in London.  Harrison, himself was a bit of a ladies man, marrying 6 times and driving Carole Landis to suicide.  He is also noted for his flatulence.  In one antidote, during rehearsals, he apparently ripped one of the loudest farts in the history of Broadway.

 

But that being said, I gave this record a spin with an open mind and was quite taken back with Andrews’ performance.  And the songs are quite good. The musical won a Tony as did Harrison. Harrison also won an Oscar for the movie version.  Coincidentally,  this album, was the number one seller of 1956.  Due to its success, this work has been parodied quite a bit, again most notably on the Simpsons.

Anyway, for a sample, I wanted to highlight Andrews’ work so I went with the vengeful “Just You Wait”.  I also went with “The Street Where You Live” as it has always been a favorite of mine.

Okay, I will give credit where credit is due and so this is a satisfactory record.

Michel Legrand and his Orchestra- Strings On Fire

This gem was only $1.00.  Michel Legrand is the genius behind the music of Demy’s musical films as well as The Thomas Crown Affairs‘ theme “The Windmill’s of You Mind” which just happened to be on TV 5 mins ago while writing this.

Legrand has been on this blog before so less burden of writing on this on.  He is still alive as of the time of this writing.  Not much to say over things I have posted in the post from Legrand. Weekend is coming, so keeping this brief.

This was released by Columbia Records in 1962.  It is a good collection of standards with an emphasis on the strings.  Highlights include “Perfida”, “El Choclo”, “Boulevard of Broken Dreams”, and “All or Nothing At All”.  The arrangements are pretty swanky.  Good album.

For samples, I went with two songs that I normally post, “Jezebel”, and “Temptation”. But truth be told, I could have put any song on this post.  The album is just that good.

Great little album.  Top Rated.

The Monkees- Headquarters

This was $2.  I liked the Monkees when I was young.  Still do to an extent. Why you may ask.  I may have answered that question on this site before but for the sake of this post, I will answer it again.  Because on the TV show, they always stuck together.  Mostly through the bad times.  And on the show, they were always one step away from making it.  Despite always falling just one step short, they stuck together.

This was a huge album for the band.  After fighting hard to write and perform their own music, the Monkees got their break with this album.  It is kind of funny how it played out.  Mike and Peter wanted to be musicians.  Mickey wanted to be a director.  All Davy wanted to do was make money and as shown in the made for TV movie about the band, he appeared frustrated with his bandmates’ ambitions.

But here this is, the Monkee’s third album, with music performed by the members, rather than the session musicians used on the previous two records (the main exception was Chip Douglas for provided bass among other things).  The Monkees also contributed a good chunk of song writing to this album although others such as Boyce and Hart are present as well.

It is Mike Nesmith’s influence that gives the album a country-folk-rock sound, but one particular exception is Mickey Dolenz’s “Randy Scouse Git”, which is a British slang that is quite unpleasant.

This was meant to be the Monkees’ crown achievement and they were rewarded with a #1 record spot upon its release in May of 1967.  However, as fate would have it, Sgt Peppers was released the following week, changing music as it was known at the time, knocking Headquarters to an eleven week run at the #2 spot,overshadowing the accomplishments of the made for TV band. IN a way, it was very fitting and followed the TV show’s plot lines; the band fought so hard to make this great little album, just to fall a tad short in the end to one of the most important albums of the 60’s.

Anyway, here this is.  For a sample, I was torn in several directions but ultimately went with the Nesmith penned/sung country flavored “You Just May Be The One”.

Great album.  Top rated.

The Melachrino Orchestra- Music For Two People Alone

This was originally 50 cents but with discount, came out to a lean 40. Why did I get it?  Can not remember anymore.  Most likely price.  

This record, released by RCA Victor in 1954, is from the Melachrino Orchestra, led by George Melachrino.  Born in London from Greek and Italian roots, and proficient on a variety of instruments, he worked in bands before becoming an army musician in WWII.  After the war, he lead his own orchestra with records, performance, and soundtrack work. His series of  “Moods” albums became pop staples but may be better known today for their covers rather than the actual content. Melachrino died in 1965 but the string orchestra under his name continued after his death for another decade at least. He also has a star on the Hollywood Walk Of Fame.

Melachrino’s Space Age Pop Page

Anyway, this is a collection of songs for two people alone and draws from a diverse source of material including Hammerstein-Kern, Rodgers-Hart, Gershwin, Gonzalo Roig, Lew Pollack, and Hoagy Carmichael.  

It is Carmichael’s selection that I used for a sample.  Here is his composition, “Two Sleepy People”. On the whole, this record put me to sleep.  Meh.

Ray Price- Sings Heart Songs

Woo hoo!! Friday.  Here is a subject I have completely exhausted on this blog.  That is because he is one of my favorites.  This was $4 and despite the cover being beat, was actually in decent shape.  I like the title.  Sounds like it was written by Thor.

This was Ray Price’s first album, released in 1957.  Pretty good little way to start one’s career.  I don’t think it made a whole lot of noise chart wise. but Price did have a slew of top singles including “Crazy Arms” under his belt when this was released.

A lot of good songs but of course, I am drawn to my favorites and Price’s version of “Faded Love” is no exception.  Therefore here it is as a sample.

Great album- Top Rated.

VA- Curtains Up! Music and Plunk, Tinkle, Ting-A-Ling

This was a dollar.  I like percussion-esque albums as well as orchestra pops.  This combined both. Internet service is still intermittent at best in my apartment.  This leads to brevity for today’s post.

This is a collection of various symphony orchestra’s conducting various numbers with a focus on various mood effects, mostly percussion.  The conductors on this album include Howard Hanson, Antal Dorati, and Frederick Fennell.  The composers on the record include Leroy Anderson, Percy Faith, Cole Porter, John Phllip Sousa, and Bela Bartok among others.  It was released by Mercury Records in a series of Curtain Up! Releases.  My guess is it was released sometime around 1958 to 1960.

I really liked this album.  A bunch of good interpretation of songs.  Musically, it covers a large span of sounds.  A lot of goods spots.  I had to pick two.  I went with Anderson’s “The Typewriter” and Porter’s “My Heart Belongs To Daddy”.  But I did like a whole lot of other songs on this album including “From The Diary Of A Fly”, “The One-Hoss-Shay”, and “Butantan”.  But I felt Porter’s song was the best on the album and “Typewriter” has that gimmicky appeal that I do love so.

Great little record.  Satisfactory. Probably deserves more writing on this post but not happening this week.

VA- Cotton Eyed Joe & Other Texas Dance Hall Favorites

This was $4.  I got it for good ol’ Cotton Eyed Joe, which is sort of a rite of passage in Texas.  I am reminded of the words of a friend of mine, Cullen, who told me if you are going to pay music in Texas, got to know “Cotton Eyed Joe” and “Jole Blon”, which is also on this record.

This record was released in 1979 by producer/ engineer David Stalling’s Delta Records.  The label, based in Nacogdoches, I believe put out records by various country musicians as well as other genres.  This album was recorded at ACA Studios in Houston and features Ex-Texas Playboys Herb Remington on steel guitar and Bob White on fiddle.  Eddie Nation, from Houston, handles the lead guitar.  Apparently, he also played on some of Freddy Fender’s albums.

This record is what the title implies, a collection of Texas dance hall favorites.  No vocals on here. Instead, it is all instrumentals.  A lot of classics on here besides the two mentioned above, including ” Faded Love” Whiskey River”, “San Antonio Rose”, “Waltz Across Texas”, and “Maiden’s Prayer”.  Probably would have liked some vocals on this, but the songs are quite technically good country playing.  Decent album.

For a sample, as I always go with the same tunes, here is “Cotton Eyed Joe” along with “Faded Love”.

Good Record. Satisfactory.