Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Various Artists - Great Songs of Christmas Album Six (1966)


Here's yet another treasure from the bargain bin at HPB! I understand there were ten of these albums that were "created exclusively for Goodyear" (it's a "Collectors Album Limited Edition" by Columbia Special Products). There were two of the others in the bargain bin, but the records were in pretty bad shape so I didn't get them. If anyone has the other nine albums or knows where I can go to download them, please let me know!

I'm surprised that my mother didn't buy any of these back in the day, since she bought all the other "special" Christmas albums (the Maxwell House one, the Radio Shack one, etc.). And a lot of my Christmas presents from Santa came from our local Goodyear (Does anyone remember when Goodyear sold more than just tires - like TVs, cool toys, etc.?), so that really surprises me that my mom didn't buy at least one of these albums.

Anyway, since this is a Goodyear record, I have to share a story about my mom's shopping at our local Goodyear. Back in the day, Goodyear had some awesome toys (my red metal pedal car and my tricycle, to name a couple), and on the morning after Christmas, my dad would drop my mom off downtown on his way to work, so that she could take advantage of the after-Christmas sales. (Remember, this is in the 1960s before we had shopping malls - and when most families had one car.) Well, my mom REALLY took advantage of those sales! At the end of the day, my dad would pick her up in front of Goodyear (I guess he knew that's where she'd really hit the jackpot), where she'd be standing on the sidewalk literally surrounded by all her purchases! My mom once told me that most of her purchases were toys and stuff for me (I'm an only child). I don't ever remember my parents arriving with a carload of toys on the day after Christmas, so I asked my mom what she did with all those things so that I never saw them. Well, parents have their special hiding places, and I just never snooped around looking for stuff (Why would I? I didn't know this was happening!). Throughout the year, my mom would give me toys from this hidden stash - for bringing home good grades, for my birthday, for when I seemed a little "blue" (my mom actually said this), etc. Those were the days!

Well, now that I've shared that with you, I hope you enjoy this record and have a very Merry Christmas! (I'll be back in a couple of weeks, after the holidays.)

Track listing for Great Songs of Christmas Album Six:

Side 1:
1. Silent Night - Barbra Streisand
2. Do You Hear What I Hear - Andy Williams
3. The Christmas Song - Johnny Mathis
4. The Holiday of Love/Caroling, Caroling - The King Family
5. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring - Pablo Casals
6. O Little Town of Bethlehem/It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - The King Family
7. O Come, All Ye Faithful - Jan Peerce
8. Ave Maria - Barbra Streisand

Side 2:
1. Frosty the Snowman - Ray Conniff
2. We Need a Little Christmas - New Christy Minstrels
3. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Steve Lawrence/Eydie Gorme
4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing - Ray Conniff
5. Noel Nouvelet - Jan Peerce
6. March of the Kings - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
7. Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
8. White World of Winter - Bing Crosby
9. Il Est Ne - New Christy Minstrels
10. Still, Still, Still - Mormon Tabernacle Choir
11. Away in a Manger - Mahalia Jackson/Percy Faith
12. We Wish You a Merry Christmas - Ray Conniff

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Cool Yule Tunes - A Stax o' Wax Compilation


Well, this week I was putting together a compilation of some of my favorite Christmas tunes to burn to CD to give to my friend, Bradley, for Christmas. I finished it today (and gave it to him today so he was the first to listen to it), and now I want to share it with you all. Most of the tunes are familiar to you and you probably already have a lot of them, but you don't have them in this grouping! Anyway, I enjoy doing this so I hope this compilation brings you much joy. Hey, maybe you'll like it enough to play at your Christmas party!

Track listing for Cool Yule Tunes - A Stax o' Wax Compilation:

1. Prologue - Bobby Sherman
2. My Christmas Card to You - The Partridge Family
3. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree - Brenda Lee
4. A Holly Jolly Christmas - Burl Ives
5. Christmas Waltz - The Carpenters
6. The Christmas Song - Nat King Cole
7. Grown-up Christmas Wish - Amy Grant
8. Blue Christmas - Elvis Presley
9. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas - Judy Garland
10. Christmas Trumpets/We Wish You a Very Merry Christmas - Ray Anthony
11. Christmas Island - Bob Atcher & The Dinning Sisters
12. Mele Kalikimaka - Poncie Ponce
13. (Everybody's Waitin' For) The Man with the Bag - Kay Starr
14. Here Comes Santa Claus - Esquivel
15. Jingle Bells - Barbra Streisand
16. Jingle Bell Rock - Wayne Newton
17. Silver Bells - Doris Day
18. Frosty the Snowman - The Brady Bunch
19. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo - Billy May
20. Happy Holiday - Peggy Lee
21. (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays - Robert Goulet
22. It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year - Andy Williams
23. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow - Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme
24. Winter Wonderland - Johnny Mathis
25. Sleigh Ride - Jack Jones
26. Marshmallow World - Dean Martin
27. Little Drummer Boy/Peace on Earth - Bing Crosby & David Bowie
28. What Are You Doin' New Year's Eve - Donny Osmond

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

The Living Strings - The Spirit of Christmas (1963)


Hey, everyone! Today I'm celebrating that I've passed 100,000 hits on this blog! Woo hoo! What a great way to get in the spirit of Christmas!

And that's a perfect segue into today's Christmas music offering, "The Spirit of Christmas with the Living Strings". This is another treasure from the HPB bargain bin. I've never really listened to the Living Strings before (I can't believe my mom never bought any of their records because she would have liked them) but I really liked the cover of this album so I went ahead and bought it. (I just really like how nostalgic 60s the cover looks!) Then when I listened to it, I really liked it! Now I'm going to have to go look for more records by the Living Strings. Enjoy!

Track listing for The Spirit of Christmas with the Living Strings:

Side 1:
1. White Christmas
2. Silver Bells
3. Medley: Wassail Song; The First Noel; Angels We Have Heard on High; Joy to the World
4. Mary's Boy Child (Mary's Little Boy Chile)
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
6. Medley: We Wish You a Merry Christmas; We Three Kings; It Came Upon the Midnight Clear; O Holy Night; Silent Night

Side 2:
1. Medley: O Come, All Ye Faithful; Oh Little Town of Bethlehem; Coventry Carol; Away in a Manger
2. Introduction: Deck the Halls; It's Beginning to Look Like Christmas
3. (There's No Place Like) Home for the Holidays
4. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
5. I'll Be Home for Christmas
6. The Little Drummer Boy

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Dean Martin - The Dean Martin Christmas Album (1966)


Here's a swingin' Christmas album for all you cool cats out there! Who can resist Dean Martin crooning some yuletide tunes? I got this album from the bargain bin at my usual supplier of groovy records (Half-Price Books), and it was in good condition! I cleaned up the songs pretty well (I think), so this should be a decent download for you all. One of my very favorite songs is on this album - "The Things We Did Last Summer". I don't know why I love that song so much, but I have several versions of it (maybe I'll do a compilation of all the different versions I have). I love the way Dino sings it with that smooth way of his - definitely one of the best versions. Anyway, go fix yourselves a martini, sit back, and give a listen to this album.

Track listing for The Dean Martin Christmas Album (link has been deleted. Go buy CD on Amazon):

Side 1:
1. White Christmas
2. Jingle Bells
3. I'll Be Home for Christmas
4. Blue Christmas
5. Let It Snow, Let It Snow, Let It Snow

Side 2:
1. Marshmallow World
2. Silver Bells
3. Winter Wonderland
4. The Things We Did Last Summer
5. Silent Night

And here's a great video of Dino singing "White Christmas"!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

The Partridge Family - A Partridge Family Christmas Card (1971)


Here's one of my absolute favorite Christmas albums! Yes, I'm sure it's out there multiple times in blogland, but I'm sharing my copy anyway!

I fell in love with David Cassidy when I first saw his picture in a magazine called "Who's Who in the Teen World", just a couple of months before "The Partridge Family" came on the air. I was just a little kid, but I was completely enamored of the show! Every Friday night, I would lock myself in my parents' bedroom with my little tape recorder (I'd tell my family to be sure not to bother me or make noise), watch the show on the 13-inch TV, and would record the song they sang each week. I wanted to make sure I had all the songs before the albums actually came out. I do remember the Christmas episode, and I've included a video clip from that episode where they sing "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (video clip deleted from YouTube).

Besides the fact that I'll love the Partridge Family forever (thank goodness I learned how to digitize my albums so I can listen in my car!), and have wonderful memories of watching the show, listening to their albums, reading about them in magazines, etc., I have great memories of listening to this album at Christmas. I especially remember one occasion when my Uncle Abel, Aunt Licha, and cousins Abel and Sammy, came to our house on Christmas Day. I put this album on my little portable record player (Realistic brand from Radio Shack), and my Uncle Abe danced around the tree with us kids to "Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree" . That's really what's it all about - just family (and friends) having a great time together and making great memories such as this.

So, I hope you all make some wonderful Christmas memories this year, and that you include this album in those memories!

Track listing for A Partridge Family Christmas Card (link has been deleted - go buy CD on Amazon):

Side 1:
1. My Christmas Card to You - the absolutely BEST song!
2. White Christmas
3. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
4. Blue Christmas
5. Jingle Bells
6. The Christmas Song

Side 2:
1. Rockin' Around the Christmas Tree
2. Winter Wonderland
3. Frosty the Snowman
4. Sleigh Ride
5. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas


The back cover of the album.


The Christmas card bonus "signed" by the cast:

Sunday, December 02, 2007

The Brady Bunch - Merry Christmas from the Brady Bunch (1971)


What would Christmas be without our favorite family, the Brady Bunch? I know this album has been posted by others before, and I'm sure someone has posted it already this season, but I couldn't find a download of it, so I went ahead and recorded my record album.

One of the things I like about this album is that the kids recorded it "in character". Some of the songs say lead vocal by Bobby Brady, Jan Brady, etc., not by the actors' names. Another interesting bit of trivia, is that Marcia's name is spelled "Marsha" here, whereas the show's credits always spelled it "Marcia". "Frosty the Snowman" was the kids' first single, too, with lead sung by "Cindy Brady" (Susan Olsen is exactly one week older than I am). Well, I hope this brings back good memories for those of you who grew up with The Brady Bunch!

Track listing for The Brady Bunch - Merry Christmas from the Brady Bunch:

Side 1:
1. The First Noel - Lead Vocal by Bobby Brady
2. Away in a Manger - Lead Vocal by Marsha Brady
3. The Little Drummer Boy - Lead Vocal by Jan Brady
4. O Come All Ye Faithful
5. O Holy Night - Lead Vocal by Greg Brady
6. Silent Night

Side 2:
1. Jingle Bells
2. Frosty the Snowman - Lead Vocal by Cindy Brady
3. Silver Bells
4. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Lead Vocal by Peter Brady
5. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
6. We Wish You a Merry Christmas

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass - Christmas Album (1968)


Well, it's good to be back! And I was able to get this Christmas album recorded, cleaned up, and uploaded before Sunday!

I have to tell you how much I love Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. It brings back such good memories of growing up and listening to my mom play their records. And I tend to associate the Christmas holidays and parties with their music since a couple of my memories are of watching the grown-ups dance to this album and the "Whipped Cream" and "Tijuana Taxi" albums at my parents' holiday parties. I even remember what I wore at one of these - a little green velvet dress and black go-go boots - pretty groovy!

Well, anyway, I hope this album gets you in the holiday spirit!

Track listing for Herb Alpert and The Tijuana Brass - Christmas Album:

Side 1:
1. Winter Wonderland
2. Jingle Bells
3. My Favorite Things
4. The Christmas Song
5. Las Mananitas

Side 2:
1. Sleigh Ride
2. The Bell That Couldn't Jingle
3. Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow
4. Jingle Bell Rock
5. Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring

Monday, November 26, 2007

I'm Back!

Hey, everyone! I'm back from my absence. I just was overwhelmed with stuff (work, community volunteer activities, elderly cats dying, adopting new kitties - you know, life in general), so I took a break from recording albums and posting them. But, I'm back with renewed vigor, so be sure to check back for my next new post on Sunday, December 2. In the meantime, I've checked all my old links and all are up (had to re-up a few). Since Christmas is just around the corner, be sure to check my Christmas albums posts from November and December 2006. I'll be posting additional Christmas albums in the next couple of weeks. Oh, and thanks to everyone who kept visiting this blog while I was away and to those of you who posted comments.

As I mentioned above, I have started a new family. Shortly before my Sabrina and Mr.Spock passed away, an adorable little tortoiseshell kitten showed up on my doorstep. I ended up keeping her and named her Snickerdoodle. Then in September, I went to the city shelter and adopted a rambunctious brown tabby kitten and named him Starbuck (I have a thing about names beginning with 'S'). Both kittens will be 7 months old on December 1 and they are full of energy! Being the proud mama that I am, I have to share their pictures with you.

Snickerdoodle


Starbuck

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Live Long and Prosper


Well, this has truly been a sad month for me. Only two weeks after losing my beautiful Sabrina, my little guy, Mr.Spock, joined her in the big kitty condo in the sky (on my birthday, no less). Spock was an 18-year-old Manx, and I'd had him since he was 2 years old, when I adopted him from the Humane Society where I volunteered at the time. He and Sabrina were best buddies for 16 years, so I knew it wouldn't be long after she died that he would be joining her, especially since he'd been ill for almost 3 years. Diagnosed with chronic kidney disease, arthritis, and dementia at the end of 2004, the vet gave him maybe 2 months to live. But, Spock was quite the little fighter and just kept bouncing back after each of his crises. In the last year, he also developed some masses which most likely developed into lymphoma, which is what eventually caused his demise.

Besides the fact that he was so cute at the Humane Society, one of the reasons I fell in love with Mr.Spock was his name - I am quite the Star Trek fan. My little guy was the sweetest of my feline family - he never got into trouble and was always the most affectionate. In his later years, he was happiest when he was lying on my lap or chest, or when he was cuddled up next to his buddy, Sabrina. As with my other two cats, Stinkerbelle and Sabrina, I have made this compilation to honor him.

Most of this compilation consists of several versions of the theme from Star Trek the Original Series and some of the movies with the original cast, since those are the ones where Spock was a main character. Two vocal versions are included - and you'll understand after you listen to the lyrics why the theme was usually played as an instrumental - but the truly scary version is the one sung by Nichelle Nichols. Still, it's a must for any Star Trek collector or collector of "interesting" songs. I've also included the more sad tunes from "The Wrath of Khan", where Spock dies. Anyway, I hope you like this compilation that I dedicate to my cat, Mr.Spock. In my heart, he will always Live Long and Prosper...

Track listing for Live Long and Prosper Compilation:

1. Star Trek Main Title - from "The Cage" soundtrack
2. Theme from Star Trek - from Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr.Spock's Music from Outer Space
3. Star Trek Theme (end title) - from "The Cage" soundtrack
4. Star Trek Theme - The Secret Agents
5. Star Trek Main Title - from Star Trek the Original Series soundtrack
6. Theme from Star Trek (vocal) - Nichelle Nichols
7. Mr.Spock - from Star Trek the Original Series soundtrack
8. Theme from Star Trek - Van McCoy
9. Star Trek End Title - from Star Trek the Original Series soundtrack
10. Theme from Star Trek - The Galactic Force Band
11. Star Trek Theme - from Star Trek the Motion Picture soundtrack
12. Theme from Star Trek (vocal) - Project:Pimento
13. Spock's Arrival - from Star Trek the Motion Picture soundtrack
14. Theme from Star Trek - Jeff Wayne Space Shuttle
15. Spock Walk - from Star Trek the Motion Picture soundtrack
16. Star Trek Theme - Todd Rundgren and Utopia
17. Spock - from Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan soundtrack
18. Star Trek Main Theme - Cincinatti Pops Orchestra
19. Spock's Death - from Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan soundtrack
20. Spock's Funeral - from Star Trek II:The Wrath of Khan soundtrack
21. Prologue and Main Title - from Star Trek III:The Search for Spock
22. Star Trek TV Theme - with narration by William Shatner
23. Live Long and Prosper - Star Trek TV Quote by Mr.Spock

Sunday, August 19, 2007

For a Friend


Hey, everybody! Sorry for not posting anything in over a month but things have been pretty hectic what with working lots of overtime, working on community organizations, and dealing with my pets. I'm happy to announce that I have a new kitten that I found and rescued in July - she's an adorable little tortoiseshell which I named Snickerdoodle! She's about three months old and is a mischievous bundle of energy!

On another note, I lost my beautiful 17-year-old cat, Sabrina, on August 7. I had her since she was only four months old and she was the first member of my feline family, so her passing has been especially hard on me. She was the picture of health until a little over a month ago when she suddenly stopped eating and declined rapidly after that. Sabrina was always the queen of my household and acted that way - always held herself regally and had quite an attitude (she was half Siamese, so that explains a lot about her personality). She was my wonderful companion and best friend for a very long time, and I will miss her very much. Just as I dedicated a compilation to my cat, Stinkerbelle, who died last year at age 12, I compiled these songs which I dedicate to Sabrina, my dear and best friend...

Track listing for For a Friend:

1. Thank You for Being a Friend - Andrew Gold
2. My One True Friend - Bette Midler
3. For a Friend - The Bugaloos
4. Best Friend (Theme from "The Courtship of Eddie's Father") - Harry Nilsson
5. You've Got a Friend - Carole King
6. You've Got a Friend in Me - Randy Newman & Lyle Lovett
7. Old Friends - Ray Price, Roger Miller, & Willie Nelson
8. True Friend - Hannah Montana
9. My Best Friend - Weezer
10. The Friendship Theme - Instrumental from "Beaches" Soundtrack
11. That's What Friends Are For - Dionne Warwick & Friends
12. Anytime You Need a Friend - Mariah Carey
13. Friends (Theme from "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters") - Johnny Whitaker
14. Old Friends/Bookends - Simon & Garfunkel
15. I Will Be Your Friend - Amy Grant
16. You're My Best Friend - Queen
17. Friends Are Friends Forever - Michael W. Smith
18. Goodbye My Friend - Linda Ronstadt

Sunday, July 01, 2007

Kaptain Kool and the Kongs (1978)


How many of you watched the Saturday morning shows brought to us by Sid and Marty Krofft - Pufnstuf, Lidsville, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters, Krofft Supershow? Well, remember that groovy band, Kaptain Kool and the Kongs? I was in my early teens when they came along, but I remember I would still watch the Krofft shows, and I thought Kaptain Kool and the Kongs were great! I remember that at first they were all dressed crazy, but then looked a little more toned-down. Who was your favorite? Superchick was mine - I always thought she was really cute. I don't know what happened to any of the band members except for Michael Lembeck (Kaptain Kool), who later appeared on "One Day At a Time" and is now a well-respected TV director.

Well, I really can't remember how I found this album - eBay or Half-Price Books or a garage sale - but I was ecstatic when I found it! Plus, as you can see from the picture, this is a demo album - the ones they would give to radio stations to play, although I doubt that this one ever was played on the air. Unfortunately, the sticker that says it's a demo record covers up the adorable Superchick, but I'm not going to remove the sticker because I like to keep my records as close as possible to their original condition. But, to make up for that, I've also included a video below where Superchick (Debra Clinger) is singing lead! So, I hope y'all enjoy both this album and the video!

Track listing for Kaptain Kool & the Kongs:

Side 1:
1. And I Never Dreamed
2. This Time
3. You Put Some Love in My Life
4. When You Feel It
5. True Love is On Its Way

Side 2:
1. The Whole World Will Be Dancin'
2. Crazy Girl
3. You Saved Me
4. Melanie
5. Free
6. Sing Me a Song

Kaptain Kool & the Kongs sing "Don't Throw It Away"

Sunday, June 17, 2007

The Hawaiian Islanders - Hawaii Tattoo and Other Hawaiian Favorites (1964)


Rain, rain, rain - it seems that's all we've seen in Dallas lately. To help relieve some of those rainy day blues, I decided to listen to one of my Hawaiian music albums. It always helps me feel better when I dream about living in Hawaii someday. (BTW, I'd love to hear from folks that live in the beautiful island paradise of Hawaii!)

This album has some different songs from most of my other Hawaiian music albums. Here are the liner notes:
Each song in this album is Hawaiian music as you like it... Authentic island style using the traditional combination of the ukulele, the steel guitar and native percussion. And for an extra The Hawaiian Islanders perform the hit song HAWAII TATTOO.
Track listing for Hawaiian Islanders - Hawaii Tattoo:

Side 1:
1. Hawaii Tattoo
2. Wild
3. Hawaiian Promenade
4. Hawaiian Paradise
5. Lost Love

Side 2:
1. Aloha
2. Maoris Farewell
3. White Sands and Coconuts
4. Dark Dawn
5. Beautiful Girls and Sunshine

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Bob Gibson - Ski Songs Sung by Bob Gibson (1959)


Well, today my softball team won its first game! Woo hoo! But, boy, was it hot out there (our game was at 1 PM)! Although the first day of summer is still about ten days away, it's already getting somewhat unbearable (to some people - not to me) here in Dallas. So, to cool off a bit (at least in my mind), I decided to post this album of "Ski Songs Sung by Bob Gibson". Now, let me tell you - I don't ski (snow or water). I don't like cold weather or snow (I'm from the Tip of Texas, where the weather is somewhat tropical). I went on one ski trip many years ago and didn't even make it to the bunny slope because I got very nervous and frustrated in my little group ski lesson. I spent the rest of the trip sight-seeing instead. Needless to say, I won't be going on any more ski trips - unless I just get to hang out in the ski lodge and drink.

So, why did I buy this record? I liked the cover, and I just thought the idea of ski songs was funny. I mean, "ski" songs - who knew? Really, it was the cover - it's very nostalgic looking and I love the colors. (This picture of the guy with the cast inspired me to put on a fake cast for a ski-themed party that my friends, Dan and Bradley, had last year - it was a hit!) The songs are rather "folksy" - as the liner notes state: "Bob Gibson, who pleads guilty to writing and recording all of the SKI SONGS, has been a favorite of folk music buffs since he began singing professionally in 1953." I think the best way to describe this album - and how to listen to it - is to follow the suggestion of the liner notes:
All in all, this LP must delight any skier... beginner, intermediate, advanced or advanced-fireside-sitter. For enjoying it in utmost fidelity, we recommend a monaural sassaphras X2371-Y speaker in coordinate linkage with a bi-triennial mixless moraphan (model 17- B) and a hot buttered rum.

Track listing for Bob Gibson - Ski Songs Sung by Bob Gibson:

Side 1:
1. Celebrated Skier
2. In This White World
3. Super Skier
4. Highlands Lassie
5. Bend in His Knees
6. Talking Skier

Side 2:
1. Ski Patrol
2. Skiin' in the Mornin'
3. Super Skier's Last Race
4. What'll We Do
5. Skol to the Skier

UPDATE 12/14/08 - I have removed the download link for this album as it has now been released on CD. Please visit www.bobgibsonlegacy.com and purchase the CD there.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

The Fiesta Brass - Viva Tijuana!


Here's a lively record that capitalized on the "Tijuana sound" popularized by the great Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Herb and his band are the kings of this type of music (in my opinion), and there were many who jumped on the bandwagon in the late 1960s when this music became popular - they even played the same songs that Herb did. So why did I buy this album and decide to share it with you instead of one of Herb'? The COVER, of course! Hello! About the cover - since we can't see the girl's face, it's hard to tell if she's even alive in this photo. I mean, was someone just walking along the beach and come across this poor drowning victim and decided to photograph her? Or, was she passed out from a long night of drinking and partying? Was this photo one of the rejects for the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue of the day? One can only imagine...

Anyway, I never tire of the Tijuana sound, so whether it's Herb, or the Fiesta Brass, or the Marimba Band, or the Mexicali Brass, or whoever, I enjoy listening to this music. I hope you do, too!

Track listing from The Fiesta Brass - Viva Tijuana!:

Side 1:
1. Tijuana Taxi
2. Spanish Eyes
3. Whipped Cream
4. Spanish Lace
5. Theme from "Zorba the Greek"

Side 2:
1. A Taste of Honey
2. Spanish Harlem
3. I'm Getting Sentimental Over You
4. Michelle
5. 1-2-3

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Esquivel and His Orchestra - Infinity in Sound (1960)


Here's another find from my local Half-Price Books bargain bin. Esquivel is the epitome of space-age pop! If you listen closely to some of the songs on this album, you can imagine watching a classic sci-fi movie or even an episode of classic "Star Trek". "Harlem Nocturne" is the best example of space-age pop on this album, in my opinion (but then, it's been a favorite song of mine for many years). Unfortunately, this record is really worn and scratched up, and, despite my running it through click-removal and noise-removal several times, there's still quite a bit of noise and clicks and pops (and a couple of the songs have skips). But, I did a search for this album on other blogs and didn't come across it, so I decided to go ahead and post it (despite the bad condition) for those Esquivel fans out there who don't have this album and want it regardless of the condition. Hopefully, someone out there will post a cleaner version of it at some time. Personally, I like the "vintage" sound of some of the albums shared on these sites, so the clicks, pops, noise, and skips don't bother me that much. If you don't mind these imperfections, then you've come to the right place! Oh, and thanks to Ernie, of Ernie (Not Bert), for his tips on recording and preparing records for digital sharing!

Track listing for Esquivel - Infinity in Sound:

Side 1:
1. Softly, As in a Morning Sunrise ("Quedo")
2. Music Makers
3. My Reverie
4. Johnson Rag
5. Harlem Nocturne
6. Take the "A" Train

Side 2:
1. Macarena (La Virgen de la Macarena)
2. Autumn Leaves
3. Frenesi
4. Marie
5. Let's Dance
6. So Rare

Monday, May 21, 2007

Martin Denny - Romantica (1961)


Well, yesterday, my friend, Bradley, and I made a much needed trip to Half-Price Books to look for vinyl treasures. I came away with thirteen albums, and one was a double-album, so I got fourteen records in all! And all from the dollar bin! Plus I had a 15% off coupon - what a deal!

One of the albums I got is today's share. This album presents "the lush and exotic sounds of Martin Denny" - and lush and exotic they are! There are some great standards, as well as some Denny originals, on this record, and they are all lushly romantic. As I listened to this record, I could imagine myself being whisked away to a beautiful island paradise (Hawaii, of course - where I hope to live some day) - sigh! I never get tired of listening to Martin Denny. He is indeed one of the true masters of exotica!

Now, remember - as always, I clean up these recordings the best that I can, but due to the age and the way they were stored by their previous owners, a lot of them aren't in pristine condition. But, that just adds character to them, in my opinion! Anyway, I hope you like this one!

Track listing for Martin Denny - Romantica:

Side 1:
1. And This is My Beloved
2. Love at Sight
3. Romance
4. Aloha, I Love You
5. La Pampa y La Puna
6. My Reverie

Side 2:
1. Love, Your Magic Spell is Everywhere
2. Magic is the Moonlight
3. A Fine Romance
4. Blue Paradise
5. My Romance
6. Tenderly

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Randy Carlos and His Orchestra - Having a Ball (1958)


Put on your dancing shoes and get ready to cha cha cha and mambo! This is a great dance record! It's the kind of music we would dance to when I took ballroom dance lessons for several years in the 80s and 90s - lots of fun! Even if you don't like to dance, this is a great record to listen to if you like lively Latin music! I don't think I've ever heard any of these songs before, but I do remember that, as a little girl, I knew the rhyme that is sung in "Tin Marin". It was slightly different than what is sung, and I tried to remember it as I was recording this album, but I could only remember the first line. I'll have to ask one of my cousins if they remember it. Oh - the picture of the cover indicates that this is a mono record, but it's actually stereo. Well, go "have a ball" with this record!

Track listing for Randy Carlos - Having a Ball:

Side 1:
1. The Monkey's Guapacha
2. Pirahna - Mambo
3. Filipinita - Cha Cha Cha
4. Smoke - Mambo
5. More and More - Merengue
6. Canaima - Cha Cha Cha

Side 2:
1. Whistling Mambo
2. Tin Marin - Cha Cha Cha
3. Dancing Feet - Cha Cha Cha
4. Guitar Mambo
5. To and Fro - Merengue
6. The Kittens Cha Cha Cha

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Banjo Barons - Golden Hawaiian Hits (1963)


I've mentioned in the past how much I like Hawaiian music, and I've posted a couple of albums of Hawaiian music. But this one is certainly different because it's Hawaiian music played Dixieland style! As I listened to this I could certainly imagine watching the old "Lawrence Welk Show" - it's just the kind of music you'd hear on the show. All but one of the tracks are played as medleys, so there are a total of 37 songs that are played on this album - some are quite familiar, and some not so familiar. All in all, if you are a fan of banjo music or Hawaiian music, this one's for you.

Track listing for Banjo Barons - Golden Hawaiian Hits:

Side 1:
1. Medley 1: My Little Grass Shack in Kealakekua, Hawaii; Pagan Love Song; Hawaiian War Chant
2. Medley 2: Hello, Aloha!-How Are You?; Adventures in Paradise; I've Found a Little Grass Skirt (For My Little Grass Shack in Hawaii)
3. Medley 3: Song of the Islands; King's Serenade; The Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai
4. Medley 4: A Song of Old Hawaii; Maori Brown Eyes; It Was in Kalua
5. Medley 5: Honolulu Punch; Hawaiian Holiday; Mele Kalikimaka
6. Medley 6: Tropic Trade Winds; Lovely Hula Hands; Aloha Oe

Side 2:
1. Medley 7: Blue Hawaii; Hawaiian Paradise; The Hawaiian Wedding Song
2. Medley 8: For You a Lei; An Old Hawaiian Custom; The Hawaiian Christmas Song
3. Medley 9: In a Little Hula Heaven; Cocoanut Grove; Pretty Red Hibiscus
4. Medley 10: Hawaii Calls; Hawaiian Hospitality; To You Sweetheart, Aloha
5. Medley 11: I Want to Learn to Speak Hawaiian; When Hilo Hattie Does the Hilo Hop; On the Beach at Waikiki
6. Medley 12: Sweet Leilani; Aloha, Kuu Ipo, Aloha; South Sea Island Magic
7. Hawaii Ponoi

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Steve Allen - Monday Nights (1960)


This album has the kind of piano music I really enjoy listening to. Plus, it has two of my favorite songs, "Laura" (from one of my favorite movies of all time) and "Misty". Another plus is that it has the theme song from another of my favorite movies, "Bell, Book and Candle", which I had no idea that Steve Allen co-wrote (the song, that is). Steve Allen was a talented song writer and musician, as well as an actor and host of several TV shows (like "The Tonight Show"!). I remember he and his wife, Jayne Meadows, doing some commercials together and guest-starring together on some TV shows. Now, besides the list of songs on this album, what really drew my attention to it was the picture (gotta love those album covers!) of Steve with this absolutely awesome Plymouth! I don't know much about cars, but, for some reason, I've always liked the old Plymouth cars (like the 1956 Plymouth Fury - wow!). There's just something about them. Anyway, Plymouth was the sponsor of Steve Allen's TV show, so that's why he's photographed with the car. But, this wasn't just any old Plymouth - this was a record-playing Plymouth! I had no idea they had those - a predecessor to our CD-playing cars of today. The liner notes mention the car:

Here's an album made, frankly, to celebrate the move of the Steve Allen Show to Monday Night!!
It was also produced, of course, with the idea of providing a package of mighty pleasant music, but that goes without saying. In any event, the twelve selections in this collection add up to a typically pleasant session with the Allen piano and orchestra and that's good news any night of the week.
As his fans know by now, Steve has the Plymouth people to thank for making the move out of the Sunday TV scramble possible, and for that all TV-lovers as well as music-lovers can certainly be thankful. But whether the listener drives a Plymouth or roller-skates to work, he'll certainly agree that this pretty package of musical evergreens satisfies those who like good music for its own sake as well as those who are always saying to Steve, "We like the comedy on your show but you don't play the piano often enough!"
So whether you're listening to these recordings while relaxing in your music room, dancing by the light of your neighborhood jukebox, or driving along in your new record-playing Plymouth, lotsaluck, as Steve says, and happy listening. We guarantee it.
I bought this record in pretty bad shape - lots of clicks and pops - and I ran it through the click removal twice, but there's still a lot of clicks and pops. In my opinion, it just adds character to the record. Maybe some of you can clean it up some more. Anyway, it's still a good listen, and I hope you enjoy it. Oh - and if you're interested in learning more about those "record-playing" cars of yesteryear, check out Highway Hi-Fi.

Track listing for Steve Allen - Monday Nights:

Side 1:
1. Laura
2. Rosetta
3. You're Driving Me Crazy
4. Notre Dame Victory March
5. Impossible - written by Steve Allen
6. Houseboat - co-written by Steve Allen

Side 2:
1. Bell, Book and Candle - co-written by Steve Allen
2. Misty
3. Blossom
4. Spring in Maine - co-written by Steve Allen
5. I Want a Girl
6. And Even Then - written by Steve Allen

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bonanza - Ponderosa Party Time (1962)


Vince, a regular visitor to this blog, requested that I post any Bonanza album I might have, so this post of "Ponderosa Party Time" is for Vince (and all other Bonanza fans out there)!

I grew up watching "Bonanza". Every Sunday night, I would pull up my chair next to my dad's and watch the latest chapter in the lives of the Cartwrights. I didn't really have a favorite - I liked all of them - but I was disappointed when Pernell Roberts (Adam) left the show. I really liked his black hat. Anyway, I still watch it on reruns - just don't seem to get tired of it. I guess I just really like it now because it brings back such fond memories of my childhood.

Well, this album is lots of fun. The Cartwrights are all here - Ben (Lorne Greene), Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe (Michael Landon) - and they're having a Saturday night party. The singing isn't that bad either - I was surprised! There are a couple of songs on here that I remember learning in grade school ("Skip to My Lou" and "Miss Cindy"), so it was fun listening to those. But I think my favorite songs on this album are "My Sons, My Sons" and "The Place Where I Worship" - they literally brought me to tears because they moved me so much (yes, I'm the kind that gets all sentimental). Now, the album is recorded such that the songs flow into each other with the Cartwrights talking in between, so it's really hard to tell where one song ends and the other begins. Because of this, I did not try to break out each song individually and instead you'll get two MP3 files - one for Side 1 and one for Side 2. So, put on your dancing boots and get ready for some Ponderosa Party Time!

Track listing for Bonanza - Ponderosa Party Time:

Side 1:
1. Bonanza
2. Sourwood Mountain
3. Sky Ball Paint
4. Early One Morning
5. Ponderosa
6. Careless Love
7. Skip to My Lou
8. In the Pines

Side 2:
1. Happy Birthday
2. My Sons, My Sons
3. The Hangin' Blues
4. Shenandoah
5. Miss Cindy
6. The Place Where I Worship (Is the Wide Open Spaces)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

All American Marches (1957)


There is one reason - and one reason only - that I bought this record...the cover! I mean, just look at her! How could anyone resist her? That cute little outfit, those groovy little boots - she's adorable!

I do like marches. They remind me of a simpler time, of going to parades when I was a little girl, of attending concerts at the school cafeteria that doubled as the auditorium. Remember those days? Sigh.

There's really not much information about this record. It doesn't say anywhere who performs on it (although it almost sounds like it was a high school band). And, although the cover says "All American Marches", the label says "Famous American Marches". I'm wondering if maybe this is one of those "library records". Anyway, if these are "famous" American marches, I guess I'm just ignorant because I've only heard a couple of them. The liner notes talk a lot about parades and feelings of patriotism, but my favorite part is the following:
In recent years, many youngsters who have been thrilled by the precision of military music have turned to developing the skills of baton twirling. For those who are in the process of improving these skills, this album is worth its weight in gold. It is an excellent recording for practicing and an equally wonderful record for listening.
I dedicate this post to my friend, Greg Taylor, and hope that it brings fond memories of him twirling a baton in his backyard when he was growing up.

Track listing for All American Marches:

Side 1:
1. De Molay Commandery
2. Stars and Stripes Forever
3. The Rangers
4. The Caissons Go Rolling Along
5. Our Director
6. Blaze Away

Side 2:
1. National Emblem
2. Father of Victory
3. Officer of the Day
4. American Eagle
5. Always Ready
6. March On

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dennis Weaver - Dennis Weaver (1972)


Well, here's a real treat for you "McCloud" fans! I never even knew that Dennis Weaver had recorded any albums until I found this in the HPB clearance bin, and, of course, I HAD to buy it. Dennis passed away last year (February 2006), and I do miss him. He was just one of those guys that I could just tell was a really, really nice down-to-earth guy. I never saw the "Gunsmoke" episodes where he played Marshall Dillon's sidekick, Chester (I grew up with Festus), but I definitely watched "McCloud" with my dad in the 70s. Plus, one of my favorite movies is "Duel", one of Steven Spielberg's early films, and starring Dennis Weaver as a businessman who is terrorized on the road by a psychotic truck driver. In recent years, Dennis was a host on the Encore Westerns cable movie channel. There are a lot of interesting facts about Dennis, and you can check them out on his official website.

Back to this album... In general, I'm not a fan of country music, but I really like this album (I consider it country). Dennis has an easy-going voice that's easy on the ear. My favorite songs on this album are "Ode to a Critter" and "No Name". The lady's voice you hear on a couple of the songs belongs to his wife, Gerry. And - gotta love the cover! Oh, I tried to clean it up as best I could, but there are still audible clicks and pops - not uncommon on old vinyl. The first two songs on side 2 also have a skip each, but not that bad (in my opinion).

Track listing for Dennis Weaver - Dennis Weaver:

Side 1:
1. Another Way
2. Ode to a Critter (Fish, Bird & Cow Song)
3. Lonesome to the Lonely
4. I'd Rather Be With You Than Anyone
5. 20th Century Man (Our Man is Coming)

Side 2:
1. Where Have the Wild Blackberries Gone
2. No Name
3. Learn to Love
4. I Still Sing 'Jesus Loves Me'
5. Time
6. Work Through My Hands, Lord

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra - Music for the Golden Hours (1958)


this is
MUSIC FOR THE GOLDEN HOURS
the twilight hours
when memories are waves upon the shore
and love is fresh as sea wind on your lips...
this is music for the dancing hours, the romancing hours,
and for remembering...
Billy Vaughn is justly famous for his masterful way with a melody...for his skillful arranging that gives such unforgettable songs as these the treatment they deserve...and for his orchestra's polished performances, so perfectly suited to this album's gentle mood.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Enjoy!

Track listing for Billy Vaughn - Music for the Golden Hours:

Side 1:
1. Deep Purple
2. All the Things You Are
3. Among My Souvenirs
4. Once in a While
5. Body and Soul
6. My Blue Heaven

Side 2:
1. Miss You
2. How Deep is the Ocean
3. Tenderly
4. I Only Have Eyes for You
5. Because
6. Embraceable You

Sunday, April 08, 2007

George Shearing - White Satin (1960)


Happy Easter!

Since white is the color for Easter, today's post is the "White Satin" album by the George Shearing Quintet and Orchestra. For those of you who downloaded "Black Satin", now you can download the companion album! This one is my favorite of the two, both music-wise and cover photo-wise! I mean, like WOW! I don't think I need to say much more about our cover girl on this album! Enjoy!

Track listing for George Shearing Quintet and Orchestra - White Satin:

Side 1:
1. Your Name is Love
2. Dream
3. Laura
4. There's a Small Hotel
5. Old Folks
6. Blue Malibu

Side 2:
1. How Long Has This Been Going On
2. Love's Melody
3. An Affair to Remember
4. There'll Be Another Spring
5. Moonlight Becomes You
6. I'll Take Romance

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

George Shearing - Black Satin (1956)


Today's offering is an album by the George Shearing Quintet and Orchestra. Here's what the liner notes say:
The satin-smooth Shearing sound has never been so expressive of its creator's unique versatility as it is in this album. Augmented by rich instrumental backgrounds, here is an inspiring variety of distinctive moods: the subdued, lyrical rendering of a tender ballad set to an elegant chorus of strings; the easy swinging rhythm of a popular song; the occasional lilt of a Latin tempo. Capturing the lush sophisticated setting that distinguished his highly successful "Velvet Carpet", George Shearing with his own inimitable styling creates appealing music that will set a delightful backdrop for any romance - as suitable for the girl in blue gingham as it is for the lady in luxurious "Black Satin".
I've been a fan of George Shearing's music since I first heard "Lullaby of Birdland" playing on our local Big Band station many years ago. I really like the arrangements and style of this most excellent jazz pianist! I hope you like this album as much as I do. I did my best to clean it up but you'll still hear some clicks and pops, plus the first song on each side skips. Maybe someone out there will post a better copy. I just love the cover - don't you? I also have the "White Satin" album, which I'll post in a few days. So, those of you who want to burn this to CD - wait until I post "White Satin" so that you can burn both albums on one CD.

Track listing for The George Shearing Quintet and Orchestra - Black Satin:

Side 1:
1. The Folks Who Live On the Hill - (skips)
2. If I Should Lose You
3. Starlight Souvenirs
4. What is There to Say
5. Black Satin

Side 2:
1. You Don't Know What Love Is - (skips)
2. Nothing Ever Changes My Love for You
3. One Morning in May
4. Moon Song
5. Medley: As Long as I Live - Let's Live Again

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Rodney Allen Rippy - Take Life a Little Easier (1974)


Okay, after I listened to this album, I could ask myself only one question... "Why???" Do you ever wonder who these people are who think it's a good idea to make a certain type of record album? Or if they really think that someone is good enough that they'll sell records? Yeah, I know - they're just wanting to capitalize on the momentary popularity of someone or a product. And it sometimes works.

Nothing against Rodney Allen Rippy - I think he was absolutely adorable when he did the Jack-in-the-Box commercials and sang "Take Life a Little Easier"! And his cute little giggle at the end is completely infectious! (I really wanted to post the video of the commercial but couldn't find it anywhere.) But, somehow I remembered his singing to have been better. Well, he was only five years old at the time and not exactly a trained, polished vocalist - so if that's what you're expecting, then you'll be in for a not-so-pleasant surprise. This is just a little kid singing - sometimes on-key and sometimes off-key - and being accompanied by lots of studio musicians, who often drown him out. But, for what it's worth, this is a great piece of pop culture. That's why I bought this album (in the dollar bin at HPB, thankfully) and that's why I'm sharing it with you. Gotta love pop culture. (And, Rodney was absolutely adorable!)

Track listing for Rodney Allen Rippy - Take Life a Little Easier:

Side 1:
1. Take Life a Little Easier
2. Eenie-Meenie-Minee-Moe
3. The Birds and the Bees
4. Everybody Knows But You
5. World of Love

Side 2:
1. The Candy Man
2. It's a Small World
3. Peaches and Cream
4. Smiling
5. Never Thought I Could Be a Star
6. He's Got the Whole World in His Hands

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Paul Petersen - Lollipops and Roses (1962)


Here's a nice nostalgic celebrity vocal album by Paul Petersen, best known as "Jeff Stone", the son on "The Donna Reed Show" from 1958-1966. Prior to this role, he was one of the Mouseketeers. Paul also starred in several movies, wrote some novels in the mid-1970s, and later formed the non-profit organization "A Minor Consideration" (take a look - it's a very interesting website). I think he was a real cutie when he was on "The Donna Reed Show" - and his singing's not too bad either! As I said, this album has a very "nostalgic" feel to it - I can just imagine going to the malt shop and sharing a soda with a special someone, or going to a sock hop - makes me wish I had been a teenager during that era. (Oh, well - the Seventies were a pretty cool time to be a teenager so I really can't complain.) Hmmm, I noticed how "Lollipops and Roses" was a pretty popular tune during that time - it's also on the George Maharis album I posted a couple of weeks ago. I do really like that song, and besides it, I think my favorite on this album is "Little Boy Sad". Oh, and what a special treat to have Shelley Fabares sing with Paul on the last song of this album!

Here are the liner notes:
In addition to being one of the most popular, young performers on TV, sixteen year-old Paul Petersen is well on his way to becoming one of the nation's top recording stars. Paul, who plays Donna Reed's son on "The Donna Reed Show" made his first record for Colpix only a few months ago. "She Can't Find Her Keys" was an immediate smash, and a sparkling new facet was added to an already impressive career. Since then, Paul has followed his initial hit with "What Did They Do Before Rock 'N' Roll?" (done as a duet with his TV sister, Shelley Fabares) and his current hit, which is the title tune of his first album. Level-headed Paul Petersen is unaffected by his disk success and still plans to become an engineer. The only seeming flaw in his plans is the disapproval, sure to be registered by his legion of fans. Included in "Lollipops and Roses" are his current and past clicks, as well as a flock of attractive old and new tunes that add up to easy listening pleasure for all record buyers.
Track listing for Paul Petersen - Lollipops and Roses:

Side 1:
1. She Can't Find Her Keys - reached #19 on the Billboard charts on 3/31/62
2. Keep Your Love Locked
3. Little Boy Sad
4. Be Everything to Anyone You Love
5. Mama, Your Little Boy Fell
6. One Girl

Side 2:
1. Lollipops and Roses
2. Love Me Tender
3. Please, Mr. Sun
4. Blue Moon
5. Penny is Seventeen
6. What Did They Do Before Rock 'N' Roll - With Guest, Shelley Fabares

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Leonard Nimoy - The Touch of Leonard Nimoy (1969)


As I said in my last post, I'll be posting several "celebrity vocal" albums for these next few posts. As I've mentioned before, I'm a major "Star Trek" fan - I've been on several Trek cruises, been to several sci-fi conventions, have a tattoo of the Starfleet command insignia (am I scaring you yet?), and have quite a collection of Star Trek memorabilia, including an arcade size STNG pinball machine. I've met quite a few of the actors from the various TV shows and movies, but my most exciting meeting was that of Leonard Nimoy - Mr. Spock (oh, one of my cats is named "Mr. Spock"). After I met him and had him autograph my copy of "I Am Spock", I felt that I had attained the Holy Grail of Star Trek-dom and could die happy.

I remember watching "Star Trek" as a little girl, and Spock was definitely my favorite character. After the show went off the air, I remember watching Leonard Nimoy on "Mission: Impossible". Then he disappeared for awhile (or rather, I just didn't see anything he was in). When I went to college, I majored in computer science (of course - nerd that I am) and the first thing I saw in our department office was a huge computer print-out of Mr. Spock. My interest in "Star Trek" was renewed, and that interest eventually grew into a major dedication to all things Star Trek.

Well, anyway, Leonard Nimoy recorded some albums back during the days of STTOS. He may not be the best, but he's certainly not the worst! I rather enjoy listening to his albums and I find his voice somewhat mellowing. He did a couple of albums that were more tongue-in-cheek, but this one is not one of those. "The Touch of Leonard Nimoy" is mellow, folksy, and a nice album to listen to while relaxing in a hammock on a warm, breezy afternoon. I hope you like it as much as I do! Oh, and for a humorous touch, I'm posting the unedited version of the "Bilbo Baggins" video below!

Track listing for Leonard Nimoy - The Touch of Leonard Nimoy:

Side 1:
1. I Search for Tomorrow
2. Maiden Wine
3. Now's the Time
4. Cycles
5. I Think It's Gonna Rain Today

Side 2:
1. I Just Can't Help Believin'
2. Nature Boy
3. Contact
4. The Man I Would Like to Be
5. A Trip to Nowhere
6. Piece of Hope

Leonard Nimoy sings "Bilbo Baggins" -

Sunday, March 18, 2007

George Maharis - Portrait in Music (1962)


The next few posts are going to be "celebrity vocals" - my favorite category in my record collection. I'm a TV and movie fiend, so I particularly like record albums by TV and movie actors, no matter how good or how bad they are! Some of the albums have been pleasant surprises, as in the couple of George Maharis albums I have. This particular album is a great album to listen to on a lazy Sunday afternoon such as today - George's smooth vocals make it particularly nice! There are a lot of familiar standards on this album - my favorites are "The More I See You" and "Lollipops and Roses".

George Maharis shot to stardom as "Buzz Murdock" on the television series "Route 66". I never saw the show (I was just a baby when it was canceled) when it was on the air, and I've never seen it in reruns. But George sure was a nice looking guy! After he left the show, he pursued a movie career and was a guest star in many TV shows. He had a couple of brushes with the law (I vaguely remember one in the 1970s), and posed nude for the second issue of Playgirl magazine. His last appearance was in a movie in 1993 and he has since "retired".

Track listing for George Maharis - Portrait in Music:

Side 1:
1. Love Could Change My Mind
2. Where Are You?
3. If Love Were All
4. Here's That Rainy Day
5. Fools Rush In (Where Angels Fear to Tread)
6. I Can't Stop Loving You

Side 2:
1. Talk to Me
2. The More I See You
3. Lollipops and Roses
4. Love Me as I Love You
5. What a Diff'rence a Day Made
6. They Knew About You

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra - That Happy Feeling (1962)


Here's a totally fun album! You can't go wrong with Bert Kaempfert. "That Happy Feeling" gives me just that - a happy feeling! All the songs are upbeat and put a smile on my face. Just the album cover alone makes me feel happy! (This cover makes up for the creepy Burl Ives one in my last post.) This is great dance music, too. Several years ago when I was ballroom dancing, they would always play songs by Bert Kaempfert at the dance parties, and the dance floor would be packed. From the liner notes:
If there's a better way to find "That Happy Feeling" than through the medium of music, it's yet to be found.
...
Here is Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra...with an orchestral sound and style that is characteristically ideal for either listening or dancing, and the greatest prescription for "That Happy Feeling" ever discovered.

Track listing for Bert Kaempfert - That Happy Feeling:

Side 1:
1. That Happy Feeling
2. A Swingin' Safari
3. Market Day
4. Take Me
5. Similau
6. Zambesi

Side 2:
1. Happy Trumpeter
2. Tootie Flutie
3. Wimoweh
4. Sunday in Madrid
5. Black Beauty
6. Skokiaan (South African Song)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Burl Ives - The Wayfaring Stranger (1955)


Today's offering is an album by America's Troubador, Burl Ives. I think it's pretty safe to say that when one hears the phrase "folk songs", one thinks of Burl Ives. I've heard most of the songs on this album, mostly on old cowboy movies or TV shows. I remember learning a few of them back in grade school (do they teach kids these type of songs anymore?). It's really too bad that there aren't many folk singers like this around anymore - singers who keep "traditional" songs alive. Since there aren't too many cowboy movies anymore, we don't hear songs like "Cowboy's Lament" or "Old Paint" - makes me a little sad. But then, I love nostalgia and hate to see it fade away. Anyway, I hope y'all like this album (I know my cats did!). (I have to say though that I think they could have come up with a better cover - I think this one is a little creepy.)

Track listing for Burl Ives - The Wayfaring Stranger:

Side 1:
1. Leather-Winged Bat; Cotton-Eyed Joe
2. Sweet Betsy from Pike; On Top of Old Smoky
3. I Know Where I'm Going; I Know My Love
4. Cowboy's Lament
5. Wee Cooper O'Fife; Riddle Song
6. Tam Pierce
7. Peter Gray
8. Darlin' Cory
9. John Hardy
10. Colorado Trail; Roving Gambler

Side 2:
1. Bonnie Wee Lassie
2. The Divil and the Farmer
3. On Springfield Mountain
4. Little Mohee
5. Troubador Song
6. Robin, He Married; Lavender Cowboy
7. Green Broom
8. High Barbaree
9. I've Got No Use for Women
10. Old Paint

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Joe Harnell His Piano and Orchestra - Fly Me to the Moon and The Bossa Nova Pops (1963)


Here's a really cool album of bossa nova pop tunes! You've heard the main cover song, "Fly Me to the Moon" - Joe Harnell won a Grammy in 1962 for this recording. He received two other nominations - one for his arrangement of this song, and one in 1963 for this album. All the songs on this album are really great, and any fan of the bossa nova will surely love this album. Other than the title tune, my favorite is "Eso Beso". Enjoy!

Track listing for Joe Harnell His Piano and Orchestra - Fly Me to the Moon and The Bossa Nova Pops:

Side 1:
1. Fly Me to the Moon
2. Senza Fine
3. I Left My Heart in San Francisco
4. Early Autumn
5. You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To
6. My One and Only Love

Side 2:
1. Cry Me a River
2. One Note Samba
3. What Kind of Fool Am I?
4. Loads of Love
5. Midnight Sun
6. Eso Beso

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Astrud Gilberto - The Astrud Gilberto Album (1965)


This is one of my favorites. I absolutely love the way Astrud Gilberto sings - so easy and effortlessly! Like most folks, the first song I ever heard her sing was "The Girl from Ipanema" - well, I was immediately smitten with her singing! (I used to be able to play that song on the sax.) Also, thanks to her, I was introduced to the bossa nova sound, which I also love. Another good thing about this album is that Antonio Carlos Jobim (another favorite) is featured playing guitar (did I mention that I'm taking guitar lessons now?), and he wrote several of the songs. All in all, you just can't go wrong with this awesome record!

A few months ago, I was watching a movie on cable TV called "Get Yourself a College Girl" - one of those beach party type movies, but instead taking place at a ski resort. Frankie and Annette were not in it, but instead it starred Mary Ann Mobley, Chad Everett, Nancy Sinatra, and several others. Anyway, there's this one scene in the ski lodge where a band starts to play and I immediately recognized the song as "The Girl from Ipanema". It sounded exactly like the recording so I paid special attention. Then who walks in singing the song but Astrud Gilberto! As you see the band, it's Stan Getz playing sax! I was very excited (it's the simple things in life that make me happy!). Anyway, I've posted the video of that scene below the track listing for the album. Enjoy!

Track listing for Astrud Gilberto - The Astrud Gilberto Album:

Side 1:
1. Once I Loved
2. Agua De Beber - with Antonio Carlos Jobim
3. Meditation
4. And Roses And Roses
5. O Morro (Nao Tem Vez)
6. How Insensitive

Side 2:
1. Dindi
2. Photograph
3. Dreamer
4. So Finha De Ser Com Voce
5. All That's Left is to Say Goodbye


Astrud Gilberto & Stan Getz performing "The Girl from Ipanema" in the motion picture "Get Yourself a College Girl":

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Ferrante & Teicher - Holiday for Pianos (1963)


Here's a gem by the world's best known duo piano team - Ferrante and Teicher! This is a pretty fun album, especially since all the songs are familiar to me. I've enjoyed other albums by these two, so decided to buy this one when I saw it in the dollar bin at HPB. I think my favorite song here is "Mexican Hat Dance". I remember dancing to that tune when I was in kindergarten, but I don't think I ever heard it played the way F&T play it. Their version reminds me of a Tom & Jerry cartoon. I mean, can't you just see Tom playing the piano and Jerry dancing on the keys? Love it! So, take a trip around the world tonight and give a listen to this album!

Track listing for Ferrante & Teicher - Holiday for Pianos:

Side 1:
1. Far Away Places
2. Mexican Hat Dance
3. A Foggy Day (In London Town)
4. Arrivederci Roma
5. Japanese Garden
6. April in Portugal

Side 2:
1. Lady of Spain
2. Loch Lomond
3. Calcutta
4. Wonderful Copenhagen
5. Paris Joy Ride
6. Aloha Oe

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Duane Eddy - Twangin' the Golden Hits (1965)


Okay, so like I'm taking guitar lessons and lately I've been listening a lot to albums that feature the guitar. I even went out and bought a brand new guitar - a Fender acoustic guitar. It's just the basic kind that's good for beginners. (I already play piano, alto sax, and ukelele.) Maybe some day I'll get good enough that I can buy a really cool guitar like the one in the picture or even branch out into electric guitars! I've got a long list of songs I want to play (I've only just learned how to play "Amazing Grace" - the first song we learned in class.), most of which are ballads. Maybe in the far-off future, I'll even record myself playing a tune and post it!

Anyway, going through my albums, this one stuck out. I like the style of Duane Eddy, although I will probably never be able to play that way. I think I just like the way these songs sound - so 1950s! Most of these are quite familiar, but I think my favorites are "Rebel Rouser" (his big hit in 1958) and "Honky Tonk".

Track listing for Duane Eddy - Twangin' the Golden Hits:

Side 1:
1. Rebel Rouser
2. Raunchy
3. Shangri-La
4. Last Date
5. Honky Tonk
6. Theme from "A Summer Place"

Side 2:
1. Tequila
2. Stranger on the Shore
3. More (Theme from "Mondo Cane")
4. The River Kwai March
5. Swingin' Shepherd Blues
6. Rumble

And here's Duane Eddy playing "Rebel Rouser" on the show "Hullabaloo":

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Peggy Lipton - Peggy Lipton (1968)


This was one of the records that I had been searching for for quite some time, and I finally got it on eBay a couple of weeks ago! Woo hoo! Okay, so Peggy Lipton isn't the greatest singer, but who cares??? She was HOT as "Julie Barnes" on the television series "The Mod Squad", which aired from 1968 to 1973 (I remember I had a crush on her when I was a little girl and watched the show), was still hot when she starred as "Norma Jennings" on the TV series "Twin Peaks", and is still hot today!
Peggy married Quincy Jones shortly after the end of "The Mod Squad", and gave up acting to be a wife and mother. One of her daughters, Rashida Jones (who looks a LOT like her!) is now starring in "The Office". Peggy has also penned her memoir "Breathing Out". Oh, she wrote a couple of the songs on this album, too - not bad for a 20-year-old at the time!
So, this post is for any Peggy Lipton fans out there! Enjoy the songs, and enjoy looking at her picture - sigh. (Peggy - if you ever come across this blog - you are still HOT!)

Track listing for Peggy Lipton - Peggy Lipton:

Side 1:
1. Let Me Pass By - written by Peggy
2. Natural Woman
3. Memories of a Golden Weekend (or How I Got the Acapulco Blues) - written by Peggy
4. San Francisco Glide - written by Peggy (has a skip)
5. Stoney End
6. Who Needs It

Side 2:
1. Hands Off the Man (Flim Flam Man)
2. It Might as Well Rain Until September
3. Wasn't It You?
4. Lady of the Lake
5. Honey Won't Let Me - written by Peggy

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

James Darren - Album No. 1 (1959)


Happy Valentine's Day!!!

For Valentine's Day, I decided to share this James Darren album with you because it has some good "love" songs, and because I think he's a pretty dreamy guy. I'm sure y'all are familiar with him - he starred as "Moondoggie" in the "Gidget" movies, starred in the television series "The Time Tunnel" and "T.J. Hooker", and had a recurring role as "Vic Fontaine" on "Star Trek: Deep Space Nine", where he was a Frank Sinatra-like character and got to sing. He's still a very fine looking man! So, I hope y'all have a special someone with whom to share this Valentine's Day and can cuddle to the tunes of James Darren! I've also included a Scopitone video of James Darren singing "Because You're Mine" (LOVE the lovely ladies in the video!).

Track listing for James Darren - Album No. 1:

Side 1:
1. Let's Fall in Love
2. Sophisticated Lady
3. Let There Be Love
4. The One I Love Belongs to Somebody Else
5. Sweet Lorraine
6. There's No Such Thing

Side 2:
1. Love Among the Young
2. Emaline
3. Gidget
4. Does Your Heart Beat for Me?
5. Mighty Pretty Territory
6. Walkin' My Baby Back Home


Scopitone of James Darren singing "Because You're Mine":

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Ace Cannon - The Moanin' Sax of Ace Cannon (1963)


"Are you facing a jail sentence? Or was there no letter today from your loved one? Are you a prisoner of love, a victim of unrequited love or singing the blues? Have you had a last date with that certain one and sadly concluded it's all in the game? Have you left your heart in San Francisco, or are you sad for any reason?

If so, this album is for you."
What better way to introduce this album than by the lines above from the liner notes? They say it all. Ace Cannon is indeed one of the best alto sax players ever - he is "The Godfather of Sax"! I love sax music - I think the sax is the sexiest sounding instrument around! (That's one reason I started playing it myself about 20 years ago.) So, I hope you like this album as much as I do. Enjoy!

Track listing for Ace Cannon - The Moanin' Sax of Ace Cannon:

Side 1:
1. Moanin' the Blues
2. Trouble in Mind
3. Prisoner's Song
4. I Love You Because
5. Last Date
6. Singing the Blues

Side 2:
1. It's All in the Game
2. No Letter Today
3. I Left My Heart in San Francisco
4. I Can't Get Started with You
5. Prisoner of Love
6. Moanin'

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Frankie Laine - Hell Bent for Leather! (1961)


I was saddened to hear that Frankie Laine died yesterday at the age of 93. One of the most popular entertainers of the 1950s, he had hits with songs such as "That's My Desire", "Mule Train", "Jezebel", "I Believe", and "That Lucky Old Sun". He's also remembered for singing the theme to the television series "Rawhide" and the theme to the movie "Blazing Saddles". So, in fond memory of Frankie Laine, I share with you the album "Hell Bent for Leather!", which contains some of his most memorable western hits. (For an alternative version of "Mule Train" as played on the Hammond organ, go to my previous post.) You ride 'em, cowboy - R.I.P. - Frankie Laine (1913 - 2007).

Track listing for Frankie Laine - Hell Bent for Leather!:

Side 1:
1. Wanted Man
2. High Noon
3. Gunfight at O.K. Corral
4. Bowie Knife
5. Along the Navajo Trail
6. The Cry of the Wild Goose

Side 2:
1. Rawhide
2. City Boy
3. Cool Water
4. The 3:10 to Yuma
5. The Hanging Tree
6. Mule Train


And here's Frankie singing one of his other hits, "The Rock of Gibralter":

Sunday, February 04, 2007

The Don Baker Trio - Hammond for Dancing


What a fun album to listen to! I have to admit that I am one of those people that finds organ music pretty darn groovy - especially when played like this! You can really get down and dancin' with tunes played on the Hammond organ! I love it! I remember when I was in college in San Antonio, my friends and I would sometimes go eat dinner at this Mexican food restaurant and they would have this guy playing the organ for entertainment. He'd play tunes like "New York, New York" and "Mack the Knife" - it was great! That's what this album reminds me of - only much better. And, you haven't heard anything until you've heard "Mule Train" played on the Hammond! I don't know what year this was produced, but it's Capitol T1357, if that helps. So, here I share with you "Hammond for Dancing" - "a fine and unusual blend of Hammond organ, piano, celeste, and rhythm by the Don Baker Trio."

Track listing for Don Baker Trio - Hammond for Dancing:

Side 1:
1. I Won't Dance
2. Dansero
3. Moritat
4. Jungle Drums
5. When Day is Done
6. Frasquita Serenade

Side 2:
1. I Could Have Danced All Night
2. Carinoso
3. The Old Refrain
4. Cherokee
5. Taboo
6. Mule Train

Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Eddie Albert - High Upon a Mountain (1958)


Everybody remembers Eddie Albert as the star of the television series, "Green Acres", or movies such as "Oklahoma!", "Roman Holiday", "The Joker is Wild", and "The Longest Yard", to name a few. But, before making films and TV shows, he was a successful singer performing in clubs and theatre. This is one of about eight albums he recorded, and it contains songs of "spiritual substance - but which were still songs, not sermons". According to the liner notes, "These are songs with a soaring, top-o'-the-world feeling. 'They do something for me,' Eddie Albert says. And he, in turn, does something wonderful for them." Eddie did have a pleasant singing voice, and I think he did a very nice job on these songs. Some are familiar to me (I remember learning "Let There Be Peace on Earth" when I was in grade school), and others are not, but I liked them all. And, on the cover, Eddie looks somewhat rugged standing on that mountain in his jeans and plaid shirt!

Track listing for Eddie Albert - High Upon a Mountain:

Side 1:
1. A Still Small Voice
2. You'll Never Walk Alone
3. The Best Things in Life Are Free
4. Without a Song
5. I Believe
6. Oh, What a Beautiful Mornin'

Side 2:
1. High Upon a Mountain
2. No Man is An Island
3. Let There Be Peace on Earth
4. Look for the Silver Lining
5. Ask Your Heart to Show the Way
6. I May Never Pass This Way Again

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Me and My RC (1975)


"Me and my RC, me and my RC. 'Cause what's good enough for other folks ain't good enough for me! Me and my RC, me and my RC!"

How many of you remember those commercials from the 1970s? They were among my favorite commercials back in the day, and probably one of the best ad campaigns ever! I remember riding my skateboard (back when they were skinny little wooden things) and drinking an RC Cola as I rode along, sometimes singing the little jingle. Ah, the memories that this record brought back as I listened to it! This record is another of the gems I've found in the Half-Price Books clearance bin. (Actually, I give credit to my friend, Bradley, for finding it but letting me buy it for my collection.) Once again, the cover caught my eye - the girl just epitomizes the wholesome, girl-next-door type of the 70s! Well, this is the music from several TV commercials, but I don't know if the record was given to radio stations or what. The record only has tracks on one side and says "Not for sale, broadcast, or public performance", so I don't know what else anyone would do with it - maybe it was just part of a media kit or something like that. Whatever - it's really cool! In fact, I think I'll go have a Moon Pie and an RC right now (it's a Southern thing)!

Track listing for Me and My RC:

1. Overture; Stock Car
2. Truck Driver
3. Lawyer; Theme Music; Freckle-Face
4. Executive Decision
5. Blacksmith
6. Crop Seeder; Theme Music; Farm Girl
7. Basketball
8. Riverboat; Theme Music; Georgia Nights
9. Fiddler

P.S. For you fans of RC Cola and/or Moon Pies, check out some great collectibles at the Moon Pie website!

And here's one of the commercials for you (the one called "Executive Decision")!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

An Affair to Remember OST (1957)



One of my favorite movies of all time is "An Affair to Remember", starring Cary Grant and Deborah Kerr. And, yes, I do cry each and every time I see it. Actually, I start crying before the sad or sentimental parts even start! And sometimes even just talking about the movie and the sad or sentimental parts will start me crying. I'm as bad as Rita Wilson was in "Sleepless in Seattle" when she was describing the movie. This is one of the movies that my mother introduced me to when I was growing up, and we would often watch it together when it was on TV. I also grew up listening to this soundtrack, so this record has been played A LOT. This record belonged to my mother (I believe she bought it in 1957, when it came out), so it is now 50 years old! Wow! The cover is quite worn, and you'll still hear quite a bit of clicks and pops (especially on side 2) even though I ran it through the click and pop removal software. But, Vic Damone still sounds loud and clear on the title song (make me swoon!).

Other info about this album... Lionel Newman conducting the 20th Century-Fox Orchestra and Chorus; Music - Harry Warren; Lyrics - Harold Adamson and Leo McCary (the director of the film); Incidental Music - Hugo Friedhofer; Soloist - Marni Nixon; title song sung by Vic Damone. Harry Warren, Harold Adamson, Leo McCary, and Hugo Friedhofer were all Academy Award winners for various other works. The title song was nominated for Best Song at the 1957 Academy Awards but didn't win ("All the Way" from "The Joker is Wild" won instead). Hugo Friedhofer was also nominated that year for Best Score for "An Affair to Remember", but Malcolm Arnold won for "The Bridge on the River Kwai". "An Affair to Remember" had two other nominations - Cinematography and Costume Design - but didn't get those either.

Track listing for An Affair to Remember OST:

Side 1:
1. Main Title - An Affair to Remember (Our Love Affair) - vocal by Vic Damone
2. Continue - instrumental
3. "Villefranche" and "In the Chapel" - instrumental
4. Tomorrowland - vocal and instrumental
5. Pink Champagne - instrumental
6. Revelation - instrumental
7. You Make It Easy to Be True - instrumental
8. Proposal - instrumental

Side 2:
1. Continue - vocal and instrumental
2. Night Club Affair - vocal and instrumental
3. Empire State Montage - instrumental
4. Return to Villefranche - vocal and instrumental
5. Tiny Scout (He Knows You Inside Out) - children's chorus
6. Ballet - instrumental
7. End Title - An Affair to Remember (Our Love Affair) - chorus and instrumental