Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Happy Crickets - Christmas with the Happy Crickets

Well, I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! I ended up not cooking my first turkey dinner. One cousin got sick and wasn't able to come over, so my other cousin convinced me to go out to eat instead of me cooking for just the two of us. So, we went to Black-eyed Pea where, it seems, a lot of other people had the same idea. So, the turkey breast is back in the freezer and will make the trip "home" with me for Christmas. That'll be my donation to the family gathering - and the good thing is that I won't have to cook it.

So, now we're into the Christmas season - the shopping frenzy has begun, people are putting up their Christmas trees (which will be all dried up by the time Christmas day rolls around), the electric companies are happy (thanks to all the lights). I bought a vintage aluminum Christmas tree for my cool mid-century modern house, so I'll be putting that up. Now that I bought two pet scram alarms (to scare the cats away when they approach the tree), it's safe for me to put up the tree. I don't have the color wheel though - I'm going to order it via catalog but it probably won't get here in time. Well, on with the first of this season's Christmas albums...

I bought this at my favorite place (the HPB bargain bin) and it was the cover art that caught my eye - love the graphics. I figured that this would be a knock-off of the the Chipmunks, and it is a rather cheap and bad knock-off. The Happy Crickets are nowhere near the same league as the Chipmunks! I grew up with the Chipmunks Christmas album and never heard of the Happy Crickets, but some of you may have listened to this album back when you were tiny tots and loved it. So, really, this album is dedicated to those of you who have some sort of fond nostalgic memory of listening to this album. This is also a good album for little kids, especially since little kids usually haven't developed a good ear for music, and they tend to like voices that sound like the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz. So, this album is worth downloading to entertain your kids or grandkids. (Or, if you just like to collect bad record albums, then this one is for you!)

Track listing for Christmas with the Happy Crickets:

Side 1:
1. Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer
2. White Christmas
3. Jingle Bells
4. Christmas Is For The Family
5. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
6. The Chipmunk Song

Side 2:
1. Away In A Manger
2. The First Noel
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
5. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
6. Silent Night

BTW, does anybody know when this album came out? I'm thinking the mid-1960s, but would love to know the year if anyone out there knows it!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Patti Page - 3 Little Words (1955)

I have several Patti Page albums and previously posted "The Waltz Queen". I think waltzes are probably what one thinks of at first when one thinks of Patti Page. Well, this album is no waltzing album - it is swingin'! These are my favorite types of songs as sung by Patti - the woman can swing! This copy of the album is in stereo, so it really sounds great! And, it's got some really great songs - "Heart" and "Whatever Lola Wants" are my faves. I highly recommend that you add this album to your playlist at your next swingin' cocktail party.

BTW, I won't be posting another album until after Thanksgiving (and it'll be my first of several Christmas albums), so I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving Day! I'm cooking my first turkey dinner (always went to someone's house before), so wish me luck!

Track listing for Patti Page - 3 Little Words:

Side 1:
1. Heart
2. Why Don't You Do Right (Get Me Some Money Too)
3. To Know You Is To Love You
4. I Still Get A Thrill Thinking Of You
5. My Prayer
6. Will You Still Be Mine

Side 2:
1. Whatever Lola Wants
2. Jim
3. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)
4. I'm Just Wild About Harry
5. Three Little Words
6. I Get A Kick Out Of You

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

101 Strings - Plays Hit Songs for Girls (1967)

101 Strings was another of my mom's favorites, but this is not one of her albums. I bought this one from my favorite place - the bargain bin at HPB. And, once again, it was the cover that caught my eye. For some reason, the girls at either end remind me of Sharon Tate and Barbara Parkins in "Valley of the Dolls" (one of my favorite movies). Anyway, I don't think that there's anyone who hasn't heard of 101 Strings. The easy-listening orchestra put out tons of albums and covered just about everything you can think of. Well, this is a pleasing album with some familiar tunes. Go get it now!

Track listing for 101 Strings - Plays Hit Songs for Girls:

Side 1:
1. Music to Watch Girls By
2. Gigi
3. Avalita
4. Marie
5. Always a Lady

Side 2:
1. Georgy Girl
2. Mame
3. Flirt
4. Fifi
5. Adios Mariquita Linda

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Henry Mancini - Mancini Plays the Theme from Love Story (1970)

Here's another album that belonged to my mother, and I do remember her playing this one quite a bit. I remember that she never liked the theme from "M*A*S*H" and would always skip over that song (I'm indifferent to that song - neither like nor dislike it). Anyway, thanks to my mother's influence, I am a fan of Mancini (who isn't?). Interesting album cover, too. (This is actually an image I found on the internet - my mother had written all over the album cover so I didn't want to use it.)

Track listing for Henry Mancini - Mancini Plays the Theme from Love Story:

Side 1:
1. Theme from "Love Story"
2. Song from "M*A*S*H"
3. Theme from "The Night Visitor"
4. Theme from "The Hawaiians"
5. Tomorrow is My Friend
6. The Harmonica Man

Side 2:
1. Whistling Away the Dark
2. Theme from "Borsalino"
3. Theme for Three
4. Loss of Love
5. Thank You Very Much

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mario Lanza - Mario! (1959)

Today's album is a bit of a change of pace for me. I don't listen to opera or classical music very much, but I came across this Mario Lanza album (which I got for free when I bought a couple of other albums from a seller on eBay), so I decided to go ahead and share it with y'all. I do like Mario, and I love anything Italian, so here we have Italian songs sung in Italian by an Italian-American! The most fun song is, of course, "Funiculi' Funicula'" - everyone has heard this one. It's just fun saying it! So, pour yourself a glass of red wine and listen to Mario serenade you! (BTW, one of the things I really like about this record is that it's red vinyl - cool!)

Track listing for Mario Lanza - Mario!:

Side 1:
1. Funiculi' Funicula'
2. Dicitencello Vuie
3. Maria Mari'
4. Voce 'E Notte
5. Canta Pe' Me
6. O Surdato 'Namurato

Side 2:
1. Come Facette Mammeta
2. Santa Lucia Luntana
3. Fenesta Che Lucive
4. Tu Ca Nun Chiagne
5. 'N Sera 'E Maggio
6. Passione

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Jack Jones - The Best of Jack Jones (1977)

Today's sharity is a greatest hits album by Jack Jones, one of my favorite singers. This was a "special priced 2-record set" released by MCA Records in 1977, although the songs were all recorded in the 1960s. What can I say about this album? I love every one of the songs, and Jack's smooth voice is absolutely dreamy! If I had to pick out just one as my favorite, it would have to be a tie between "Lollipops and Roses" (recorded on a very special day for me) and "Wives and Lovers" (I don't care if some people say it is sexist - I love it!). But this entire album is wonderful and a must have! Unfortunately, this is before Jack recorded the theme song for "The Love Boat", which I think needs to be included in a "best of" album. Enjoy this double album!

Track listing for Jack Jones - The Best of Jack Jones:

Side 1:
1. The Mood I'm In (recorded 12/17/63)
2. The Shadow Of Your Smile (recorded 4/1/66)
3. What Now My Love (recorded 4/18/66)
4. A Day In The Life Of A Fool (recorded 8/26/66)
5. I Will Wait For You (recorded 4/18/66)
6. Lollipops and Roses (recorded 8/21/61)

Side 2:
1. Call Me Irresponsible (recorded 2/5/63)
2. Yesterday (recorded 11/1/65)
3. Brother, Where Are You (recorded 12/2/66)
4. Dear Heart (recorded 4/10/65)
5. Lady (recorded 12/7/66)
6. People (recorded 7/8/64)

Side 3:
1. Wives and Lovers (recorded 8/13/63)
2. Strangers In The Night (recorded 4/4/66)
3. My Best Girl (recorded 4/4/66)
4. Alfie (recorded 4/1/66)
5. Our Song (recorded 7/19/67)

Side 4:
1. The Impossible Dream (recorded 4/4/66)
2. Somewhere, My Love (recorded 9/8/66)
3. Michelle (recorded 4/3/67)
4. After Today (recorded 4/3/67)
5. If You Go Away (recorded 1/5/67)

Here's a video clip of Jack singing "Lollipops and Roses" on the Judy Garland show - how dreamy!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hawaiian Moonbeams - Hawaii Goes Percussion (1961)

I'm feeling especially happy tonight, so it's time for another album of Hawaiian music. This is another treasure I found recently in the HPB bargain bin, and again I bought it for the cover art. I like the cover so much that I'm going to frame this one and hang it on my wall. Like other albums of Hawaiian music that I've posted, you'll find several of the songs to be quite familiar and enjoyable. So, without further ado, here it is!

Track listing for Hawaiian Moonbeams - Hawaii Goes Percussion:

Side 1:
1. Hawaiian Blues
2. Serenade
3. Lovely Guitars
4. Hawaiian Bounce
5. Swinging Palm Trees

Side 2:
1. Sunset
2. Guitar Chant
3. Hawaiian Light
4. South Sea Island
5. Luau Lei

Sunday, November 02, 2008

John F. Kennedy - A Memorial Album (1964)

Since Election Day is only two days away, I decided to post this JFK album that belonged to my mother. My mother was a big JFK fan, and I vaguely remember her listening to this album a couple of times. This is the first time I've listened to it (I'm not exactly crazy about spoken-word albums or speeches). But for you all that like to listen to political speeches (as if you haven't had enough of them lately), I gladly share this album with you.

This album is a compilation of JFK's most famous speeches, and also has comments by Barry Goldwater, Adlai Stevenson, LBJ, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and others. Not only do we have Election Day in two days, but this month also marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of JFK (not a good day for us Dallasites). But this album hold some pretty historic moments, so it's worth a listen.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917-1963

(Because there were no track separations, I only have this broken down into Side A and Side B.)

Track information for John F. Kennedy - A Memorial Album:

Side A:
Pre-Election speech of Senator Kennedy
Oath of office for presidency by J.F.K.
Inaugural address by J.F.K.
Presidential press conferences
J.F.K. speech on space flight
J.F.K. speech on Cuban crisis

Side B:
J.F.K. speech in Houston, Texas
Newscast of assassination
Eyewitness account of assassination
Ambassador Adlai Stevenson
Senator Barry Goldwater
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Prime Minister Sir Alec Home
His Holiness Pope Paul VI
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Eulogy - Taps

Here's a video of a political ad for the JFK Presidential Campaign Song: