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


radioboy1950 said...

Hi Esther...just downloaded and copied to CD the Randy Carlos might consider re-recording it with a lower level...a bit overdriven...unless you cannot adjust your input sounds like a great album. Been digging out this type as well as exotica and lounge.

Esther said...

Hi, radioboy!

I listened to the recording on my computer, and it sounds fine. But I'll burn it to CD and see how it sounds that way. I've tried messing with the input levels on the software I have, but I don't really notice any difference. Got any suggestions as to some good software?

Thanks for visiting! I have more of this type of music, plus exotica and lounge. If you have any requests, let me know and I'll see if I have it!

shadrac blintz said...

I love this stuff too.
Anything you feel like putting up is appreciated.

Esther said...

Hi, Shadrac!

Thanks for visiting!

radioboy1950 said...

I just listened to it from the folder I unzipped it to, and it sounds almost like it was a "dirty" vinyl recording right out of a second hand bin...I use a CD deck to burn vynil to you have any software to "clean up" music? I may do another download...could have been some junk in on the download from the provider...

FromParisWithLove said...

Hi Esther,
Congratulation for your choices. Randy Carlos is a great mambo maker, one of the best.
In 1968, Richie Ray & Bobby Cruz have made a song named "Tin marin", but it's diferent, it's like a boogaloo. I can give it to you, by email, in mp3 format, and all kinds of latin grooves you want. I have a lot of this music: salsa, mambo, boogaloo, cha cha, bolero, cumbia, merengue...
Thank's a lot for all the nice things I've got on your blog, and all these hours of Hi-Fi pleasure.
Apologize for my -very bad- english.
All the best.
Bobbo from Paris

Esther said...

Hi, radioboy,

Well, I listened to my original recording on my computer, and I downloaded my upload and listened to it - and they both sound fine on my computer. I had a friend download it on his Mac, and he said it sounds okay to him. The software I use is Audacity, and I always run the recordings through the click removal, etc. But, I also get most of these records from the bargain bin at Half-Price Books, and a lot of them have lots of scratches, so even after "cleaning" the recording, there's still a lot of clicks, pops, etc. That may be the case with this one. I'm sorry it sounds so bad on your machine. If I should find another copy, I'll be glad to record it and send it to you!

Esther said...

Hi, Bobbo!
Glad you liked this record! I do love the Latin grooves very much - they're the best for dancing! I'd love it if you shared some of your music! Do you have a site where you post your music?

Thanks for visiting! (And your English is just fine!)

Ernie said...

What a surprise to find a Randy Carlos record here! I shared out a record by him last week that I thought was awesome, so I'm looking out for more. I've got three (!) more in the pipeline already that I want to record, but this one is completely new to me. Thanks!!!

Esther said...

Hi, Ernie!

Glad you liked this one! How did it sound to you - did you have any problems with it like radioboy has had? I'm at a loss as to what could be wrong with it when he downloads it.

Thanks for visiting! I'll check out your Randy Carlos record, too!

xulio said...

Hi Esther! thanks for good post

R. said...

Hi Esther :) I understand the enthusiasm over this post. This record is quite popular and sells quickly from second hand mailorders online. I've trying to get it the last six months...

As for the audio quality, I hear the same as Radioboy describes. I use audacity for vinyl recording myself and would - if I may - recommend not to use audacity's declicking or its other noise reduction functions. Applying them moderately reduces audio and noise insignificantly - and when applied to a greater degree the result is invariably sound distortion.

However, I picked up a great tip in the Sound of X blog. This blogger uses a software called "ClickRepair" (see: and I've recently tried tested it myself. It doesn't perform impossible miracles, because badly damaged vinyl equals audio with large amounts of noise incorporated into the music. And by removing noise one also inevitably removes chunks of music. However, the "ClickRepair" softwares allows for only partial removal in music files, meaning locally where the noise is at. Hence for records with moderate noise or less "ClickRepair" is a smashing solution, leaving most of a record intact and few - if any - audible traces of noise removal.

If this sounds interesting, I can really recommend the "ClickRepair" software.

As for recording with audacity the recording volume should have no importance because it automatically readjusts itself to the correct level. Having said that I have a few times experienced this to be untrue. Personally I therefore prefer to have my recording volume set to 5 or 6 as opposed to 10. If the recording comes out as too low and maximising the volume or turning it up at least results in no distortion, I then maximise / turn up the volume manually afterwards.

Sorry, I don't mean to interfere with your recording preferences. But I've long looked for pointers myself, so I thought I'd share my experience in the troublesome matters of vinyl recording (which sometimes drives me nuts!).

All the best :)

R. said...

Sorry, it's me again - R. from the last comment. I just ran a test with audacity declickling on a song from a cd. I think I can say with accuracy that's where the problem lies with the Randy Carlos rip - and not the sound level (which looked alright).

I can send you some brief samples (of pure recording, recording with audacity declicking and "ClickRepair" click removal) to compare the differences if you're interested.

Again, sorry for meddling and best regards from Norway :)

Esther said...

Hi, R!

I had no idea that this Randy Carlos album was so popular! Wow!

I certainly do appreciate any tips you (or anyone else) can offer on making better rips of my vinyl. I've been doing this since last August, but still have a lot to learn! I'm going to go check out "Clickrepair" and try it out.

Thanks for visiting - and for the tips!

rickey456 said...

Randy Carlos had a great group of musicians in the 50's. He used to play at a place called the Monkey Bar/Hourglass Bar in Newark NJ. All of his music is very danceable. My folks used to go there to dance. Went there a couple of time with them and met Randy Carlos and other members of the group. I have at least 2 more records of his - Makin' Whopee Cha Cha Chá [RCA Victor LPM-1689] and a later Fiesta recording Hot Cha Cha [Fiesta FLPS-1245]. These were some of the first records I burned to CD when I got my first stand alone burner many years ago.

salsa fantastique! said...


I have been a Salsa collector for the past 20 years, with over 3000 rare to find Latin collectables, from the 60's and 70's.
I have 4 lp's from this Venezulan born artist, Hot Cha Cha, Swingin' with Randy, More of Randy and Having a ball.
I would like to invite all to visit my personal collection web page, here you can view over 400 photos of from my Salsa collection.