Friday, March 5, 2010

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The Sounds Of A Man Alone

She's A Lady
The Sounds Of A Man Alone
By Dean Del Ray
Private Press 197?

Great low budget lounge pressing out of Clarksburg WV.

Jacket notes: "he (Dean) had designed his own guitar and had it special made in – would you believe Japan! No wonder American industry is receiving heavy competition from Japan because that "axe" was beautifully constructed with craftsmanship that would be hard to duplicate."

Apparently the title The Sounds Of A Man Alone refers not too Dean sobbing alone in a hotel room... but to Dean doing his act alone in a Sheraton Hotel lounge.

It's hard to choose a sample to feature. But I'll have to go with a classic lounge number, She's A Lady.

The Magic Islands

Sweet Leilani
The Magic Islands
Alfred Newman and his Orchestra with the Ken Darby Singers
DL 79048  196?

I can't pin point the date of this project. Decca invested a lot of money into the album jacket.  I suspect Decca decided that is was time cash in on the "Tiki" craze (which began in the late 50s) with a big splashy project.

The jacket is a gate fold with a die-cut. The die-cut is through the white cover, the rectangle shape around the model's head. This is very expensive to do. There are a number of full color spreads on the inside of the gate fold with bleed. Also expensive.  A very elaborate press job.

The music, by Alfred Newman is all at once, exotica, easy listening and soundtrack.  Newman is known for scoring numbers of well known soundtracks.  The music has that nice melting otherworldly exotica flavor, but the vocals weight the record down and seem "old fashion" or as if they were lifted from a soundtrack. Possibly the creators thought Denny's work was too weird and they hoped to appeal to a more conservative market?  Hard to say.  This is only my opinion, but the LP would have been wonderful without the lyric treatments.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

The Sound Of Tomorrow Today!

The Sound Of Tomorrow Today!
Ferrante and Teicher
Westminster Records WP 6014 1956

No hidden treasure of course. But I wanted to pile on and say this is a great space age pop record! From the cover (the photo is "courtesy MGM Pictures – producers of Forbidden Planet") one of my all time favorite movies and soundtracks.

I can't find any back story on how Ferrante and Teicher came to acquire rights to the cover image while not having any direct connection to the film. Could be as simple as ask and you shall receive!

Great space age pop flavor, but there are nice touches of exotica on this LP as well. The cool thing is that you feel like you are sitting in the studio while they play through these songs. The sound is very natural and very human-like for "space" music.

My favorite tune is on side B: Dark Eyes.  A very haunting piece that is very exotica.

The Walters Quartet

Sorry I Never Knew You
The Walters Quartet
When He Reached Down His Hand For Me
Rite Records, Cincinnati, OH 196?

Another lost to history country gospel group.  From the jacket notes: "The Walter's Quartet hail from Williamstown, Kentucky, a town of approximately 2500 population."

This album is another treasure. Refreshing from start to finish. From the well done low budget cover to a collection of great tracks (three of them written by The Walters).  I'm forever complaining that typical gospel harmonies grind away at me like an orbital sander. But these folks somehow manage to make the harmonies work for me.  I'll post the last track from the A side which is a nice blend of solo, harmony and spoken word. Stick it out to the end when Mary Walter sings a bit. The song is a long, complicated and well controlled piece of vocal work

The World Of Laverne Tripp

The World Of Laverne Tripp
I'll Get My Reward
Canaan Records, Waco, TX 1973

Again, Canaan strikes with a competent artist captured on a well engineered album.  Of course, I had to have the LP for the cover art. The album contents do not live up to the cover of a crazed looking Tripp inviting you to visit his planet.  His world is a rather pleasant one and not all that whacky!

Out Of This World

God's Little People
Out Of This World
The Watkins Family Gospel Singers
Nashville Record Factory NRF LP-541

I think these folks are out of Crossville, TN. Hard to tell from the jacket notes.

This is one of the best titles for a gospel LP. And I mean that in a good way. You can tell many gospel artists struggle to find a gimmick name or something fresh as there are tons of LPs out there and dreaming up a "unique" title has to be difficult.

I was also attracted to the awful low budget cover. You would hope that the printer should have suggested to these folks that this image was going to print like crap.  Oh well... it would not be the treasure that it is if it was all slick looking.   The rear cover sports this quote from the record company: "Quality Recordings at the Lowest Price in Nashville".

The music is poorly recorded. There are some nice vocal treatments on a few tracks. But I was waiting through side one for the little girl to sing something. And she does on the first track on the B side.  This song put this project "Out Of This World"!


B + B = A+

Gospel Music's Instrumental Formula
B + B = A+
Miss Beckie Miss Brenda
Songs Of Spirit And Light By The Action Players
Master Recording/Jewel Recording Studio, Cincinnati, OH 21223

Private/Vanity Press. 

There are no words for the cover.

The organ/piano combo is fun.

Jewel Records was a record label which discs were pressed by the Scranton Button Company. Jewel is one of the big three record companies out of Cincinnati, Ohio. The two most famous, King Records and Fraternity Records, were responsible for several hits over the years from a wide range of genres. Two prominent figures who recorded for Jewel were Lonnie Mack, who did two singles for the label in 1970, and Albert Washington.

The Exotic Sounds of Arthur Lyman - Taboo Vol. 2

The Exotic Sounds Of Arthur Lyman
Taboo Vol. 2

I was very excited today to run across this MINTY fresh copy of Lyman's follow up to Taboo (1958).

The record has been released as a CD, so I won't post a sample here.

The record is a wonderful example of Tiki/Exotica and I loved it from start to finish... and how can you resist a cover like this. Especially considering it was produced in 1959!  Very cool stuff my friends! 

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

The Great Imposters

The Great Imposters
You Asked For It
A Triple Crown Production GI 2027
Recorded Live at The West Omaha Holiday Inn

When a cover is worth more then the music.  What do I need to do to buy a suit like this?

You're thinking... 70s disco group?  No... think SHA NA NA and 50s covers.

And they don't, much to my dismay... suck.  70s haircuts and Elvis suits? Where is my horrible music?

Oh well... the cover is great!

Danny and Chris

So Small Am I
Introducing Danny and Chris
Gospel Song Stylists Singing Solos and Duets
SMC Records / Rite Records, Cincinnati, OH

Private press treasure. Unbelievable really.

The By-Standers - Let Me Walk With You Jesus

Let Me Walk With You Jesus
The By-Standers
I Met Jesus In The Aisle
Lincoln Jamboree Records 197?
Recorded at Backstage Sound Studio Lincoln Village, Hodgenville, KY

The By-Standers

I Met Jesus In The Aisle
The By-Standers
I Met Jesus In The Aisle
Lincoln Jamboree Records 197?
Recorded at Backstage Sound Studio Lincoln Village, Hodgenville, KY

Can you pass up a record with this LOW of a low budget look?  I can't! More often then not these jackets contain treasures. And this is no exception!

The By-Standers worked out of The Shiverly Baptist Church, Shiverly, KY (as best as I can make out from the jacket notes). The cover photo is actually credited to a Louisville, KY photo studio (there is a photo on the back cover that is actually worse).

The jacket notes were written by Rev. Willie Buckingham & Sis. Lola Buckingham, Clarksville, IN.

This is a private press project and I can find no information on the group or the record company. The album dates itself with a cover of a Kris Kristofferson song, Why Me Lord which was recorded in 1972. So, I suspect, this LP was record shortly thereafter.

Normally I gravitate towards female vocals. There is something about the quality of the female voice doing county/bluegrass/gospel that appeals to me more than male vocal treatments.  I was in for a nice surprise when I listened to the first track (title track) on the A side: I Met Jesus In The Aisle.  This guy is amazing! There are also several songs sung by the woman on the cover that are wonderful. I'll upload one in a my next post.

At Home WIth Bob Ward

Star Dust
At Home With Bob Ward At The Hammond Organ
Encores - Music To Live By
Continental Records Of California 196?

As far as I can tell, this artist and record company is lost to history.

I bought this album for the great cover art.  The image smacked of "space age bachelor pad" art. The LP is pressed on a great translucent yellow plastic which also gives the package a "high-tech" look.

But I'd be completely wrong to assume a "space age" look is what they are going for here.  The album notes indicate that the photo was actually taken in Bob's home in Monterey Park, CA. The notes go on to list, by full name, all the folks in the photograph... including the people in the mirror reflection!  This photo is a simple snap shot of Bob, the ladies man, in his living room.  Pass around the Highballs folks! Let's get this party started.

Side A will most likely put the party on the couch. The B side will then lull the party to sleep. Sleep is a part of life and this is "music to live by".  The last track is a medley of songs titled "Let's Get Dreamy". See... it was OK for me to say this album will put you to sleep!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Evangelist Gertrude Patrick - A Million Years From Now

A Million Years From Now
Evangelist Gertrude Patrick
I Sing Because It's In My Heart
Rite Record, Cincinnati, OH 197?

I gotta offer up one more track from this LP. On side B someone decided to toss in a xylophone (sounds like a xylophone to me) on the first two tracks. This is the first time that I've heard this instrument on a gospel LP. Again, the mistakes just make the album more endearing.


Evangelist Gertrude Patrick

Every Day With Jesus
Evangelist Gertrude Patrick
I Sing Because It's In My Heart
Rite Record, Cincinnati, OH 197?

This LP is another one of the four records (that I know of) that Patrick made.

On this LP we find out that Patrick was based out of The Eastern Church Of God (I assume located in Cincinnati, OH).

All the tracks are amazing. Patrick just belts it out of the park. Every Day With Jesus is a great tune because the studio musicians are not entirely on cue, the engineering is faulty and there are some harmonies mix in to break up the belting out.

There are a number of musician whoops on the LP. But all the goofs just seem to ice the vocal cake!


Singtime For Childern

Singtime Children
Singcord Recordings 1975

I'm all for faith, religious freedom and believe that if you follow the 10 Commandments you'll have a lot less crap to deal with in your life.  There's a lot of good stuff to religion. With that said... many of the Christian albums I have in my collection are marketed towards "children". The projects often deal with very "adult" concepts. They deal with these concepts in a sugar coated way, that to me, sounds odd, and sometimes down right scary.

On side one there are at least three songs that deal with the death of Jesus.

Take "Do You Wonder Why" for example.  How does a child digest the concept of death, let alone another person dying for you?  I'm just asking.  I'm sure someone, at some point, will try and educate me. 

Remember, I was a Sunday School going boy when I was growing up.  And I can't say as I remember ruminating over finer points of crucifixion while I was eating Ritz Crackers and drinking Kool-aid during Summer Bible School.

Tiny and The Bondsmen

Boogie Fever
Tiny and the Bondsmen
Camaro Records 1977

Here's a private press "request" band. The jacket notes: "This album consists of songs from all fields of music that we receive many requests for. We try to play music the audience wants to hear."

Exactly... no one (in the band) likes it when the audience hates you and throws beer bottles.

All of the tunes are overlaid with crowd cheering, in and out of the track. Simulated adoring fans!

Tiny doesn't actually seem to be the front person of the band even though the group is named after her.

Ther LP leads off with a number of country songs and so forth and then we are treated with Boogie Fever! Duck!  Here comes a beer bottle!


Monday, March 1, 2010

The Parker Family

Working On A Building
The Parker Family
Just A Real Nice American Family
King Records, Inc. Cincinnati, OH 932 1965

Here's an unusual treasure!  First off, this is the first King record I've run across.

Founded by Syd Nathan, King Records was one of the most influential independent labels of the 1940s and 1950s. By the end of the latter decade, it had become the nation's sixth largest record company, with more than 400 employees. Nathan's policy of employing whites and African Americans side-by-side in various capacities made King Records one of the first integrated industries in Cincinnati, and, perhaps, the first integrated record company in the country. This diversity was reflected in its marketing. King Records was unique among independent record companies in that it recorded and sold both country and R&B music, filling two different niche markets neglected by the major record companies.  King was owned by Nathan until his death in died in 1968.

To those folks who wonder how I managed to come across so many area gospel albums, King Records is probably the reason. With such a large record company in town, Cincinnati was bound to be a draw for talent and the smaller companies whose work I feature here probably sprung up in an effort to grab a piece of the pie and to meet the demand for lesser acts/private/vanity press that King won't touch.

That assumption aside... take a look at this TERRIFIC jacket photo. Great vintage instruments! And the album name, Just A Real Nice American Family is wonderful. I can't find one lick of info on The Parkers. So I don't know where they are out of.

The music is an outstanding blend of gospel, bluegrass, country and rockabilly. Very old time fresh and honest.

I choose the first track on the B side because it features some great vocal work. 


The Liberty Gospel Singers

Keeper Of The Door
The Liberty Gospel Singers
Just Any Day Now
Glory Land/Rome Records GLP3267 197?

Another lost area bluegrass/county gospel group. And another great low budget cover.

There is one song on this LP that has a unusual steel guitar in space sound.