Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Righteous Brothers - Just Once in My Life (1965)

I got this record as a birthday present a year and a half ago and, I hadn't listened to it until now. Truth is that I'm not a big Righteous Brothers fan, although I do like their recording of "Unchained Melody", which is on this record. I was really surprised when I saw that Phil Spector was the producer (Bill Medley was also producer) and that this record was on his record label, Philles Records. Those were better days for old Phil. Those were also better days for the Righteous Brothers, since Bobby Hatfield sadly passed away in 2003 due to a cocaine overdose. Anyway, enough of the sad stuff. Give a listen to some good music and good vocal performances by Bill Medley and Bobby Hatfield - the Righteous Brothers.

Track listing for The Righteous Brothers - Just Once In My Life (link has been deleted. Go buy CD on Amazon):

Side 1:
1. Just Once In My Life
2. Big Boy Pete
3. Unchained Melody
4. You Are My Sunshine
5. The Great Pretender
6. Sticks And Stones

Side 2:
1. See That Girl
2. Oo-Poo-Pah-Doo
3. You'll Never Walk Alone
4. Guess Who?
5. The Blues

Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Norman Paris Trio - The Cocktail Hour (1956)

This is an album I've had for quite some time - bought it for the cover and had it hanging on my wall for almost as long as I've had it. I really love that cover - very simple, yet elegant and sophisticated. I'll probably end up hanging it back up because I like it so much! The album itself is good background music - nice, unobtrusive, good to read by or have a quiet dinner. If you like music performed by this kind of trio (piano, guitar, bass), then you'll like this one.

Track listing for The Norman Paris Trio - The Cocktail Hour:

Side 1:
1. I'll Remember April
2. Lullaby Of The Leaves
3. Lover
4. Hello, Young Lovers
5. I'll Take Romance
6. Someone To Watch Over Me

Side 2:
1. This Nearly Was Mine
2. Can I Forget You
3. Right As The Rain
4. Oh, What A Beautiful Mornin'!
5. Pavanne
6. Fascinatin' Rhythm

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

101 Strings - Million Sellers From The Movies (1972)

Here's another 50-cent gem I picked up out of the HPB bargain bin - and it was still sealed! I must admit that it was the cover that caught my eye. Nice, er, uh...scarf - on her head. Yeah, yeah. That's it. The music itself is familiar - themes from movies from the early 1970s (although I've only heard about half of these myself), and it's played "with the Big Sound of the magnificent '101' Strings orchestra". I was a little surprised that 101 Strings could rock a little on "Superstar". The next time I watch "Jesus Christ Superstar", I'm sure that the 101 Strings version of the song will be the one that sticks in my head. Really, I do like 101 Strings. I just wish I had more of their albums! Anyone out there want to share some?

Track listing for 101 Strings - Million Sellers From The Movies:

Side 1:
1. Theme From Shaft
2. Summer Of '42
3. One Tin Soldier
4. Fiddler On The Roof
5. Samantha's Theme

Side 2:
1. Superstar
2. Theme From Sherman's Heroes
3. Ghost Riders
4. Elvira Madigan Theme
5. Prairie Trails

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Henry Mancini - Mr. Lucky Goes Latin (1961)

Here's a great album from one of my favorites, Henry Mancini. In my opinion, he can do no wrong. I got this for only 50 cents from the HPB bargain bin - what a steal! Besides the great music on this album - what a great cover! Love the cat! (For those of you who want to know, the cover was designed by Don Peters.) I really don't have much to say about this album except that it is really great! So, without further ado, go get it now!

Track listing for Henry Mancini - Mr. Lucky Goes Latin:

Side 1:
1. Mr. Lucky (Goes Latin)
2. Lujon
3. Tinpanola
4. Rain Drops In Rio
5. Siesta
6. The Dancing Cat

Side 2:
1. Cow Bells and Coffee Beans
2. The Sound of Silver
3. Tango Americano
4. No-Cal Sugar Loaf
5. Blue Mantilla
6. Speedy Gonzales

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Steve & Eydie - Two On The Aisle (1962)

Time for my favorite singing husband and wife team - Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme. These two always bring a smile to my face! And this album will bring a smile to your face because it's full of great songs from great Broadway shows such as "Camelot", "Bye Bye Birdie", "Music Man", and "Li'l Abner". Once again, I picked this up from the HPB bargain bin. I only wish this was the stereo version; this is the mono version but still has great sound. Unfortunately, several of the songs do have some skips, most of which are barely noticeable except for "Til Tomorrow", which has several noticeable skips. If anyone out there has a better rip of this album (stereo, and no skips), please do share!

Track listing for Steve Lawrence and Eydie Gorme - Two On The Aisle:

Side 1:
1. Two On The Aisle
2. Til There Was You
3. Make Someone Happy
4. The Party's Over
5. If Ever I Should Leave You
6. Namely You

Side 2:
1. A Lot Of Livin'
2. Language Of Love
3. It's Love
4. Til Tomorrow
5. Just My Luck
6. Put On A Happy Face

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Bert Kaempfert and His Orchestra - Bert Kaempfert's Greatest Hits (1966)

This is another album I've had for a number of years, ever since I was into the ballroom dancing thing. Every song on this album is great. But then again, it's Bert Kaempfert! What did you expect? It is quite delightful to listen to, and a great dance album, too! These are all instrumental fox trots, for those of you who know how to dance the fox trot or want to learn. About half the songs were written by Bert Kaempfert, and the other half are well-known arrangements of his. All trumpet solos are by Fred Moch, excepting for selection "Wonderland By Night," trumpet soloist is Charles Tabor. The album also says "Recorded in Europe". Start dancing!

Track listing for Bert Kaempfert's Greatest Hits:

Side 1:
1. Wonderland By Night
2. Afrikaan Beat
3. Red Roses For A Blue Lady
4. Spanish Eyes (Moon Over Naples)
5. L-O-V-E
6. Magic Trumpet

Side 2:
1. Danke Schoen
2. Strangers In The Night
3. Bye Bye Blues
4. That Happy Feeling
5. Wiederseh'n
6. A Swingin' Safari

Thursday, February 05, 2009

The Jonah Jones Quartet - Swingin' At The Cinema (1958)

Here's another treasure I picked out of the HPB bargain bin for the cover. The two girls look quite, uh...perky! Well, I'd never heard of Jonah Jones, but I liked the songs listed and I liked that it was performed by his quartet. I like quartets. Don't ask me why because I don't know. I think I just like the sound of the word. Anyway, I like the album! I'd never heard these songs performed this way before - very snappy! I cleaned it up as best I could, but you'll still here some surface noise and clicks - the record didn't have a paper sleeve and is pretty scratched up, especially the second side. But it's still great to listen to, and there are no skips. Here's a little of the liner notes:
Jonah Jones - the trumpet man with the catchiest sound of all - goes rompin' on the Hollywood sound stages, swingin' the cinema's greatest songs.... In Swingin' at the Cinema, the Jonah Jones Quartet has gathered a perfect set of songs to display the rich repertoire of Hollywood film music. And with Jonah's revealing handling the melodies stand out in sharp relief, becoming new evidence of the wealth of music the films have produced. They're all brilliantly showcased by the quartet's approach and, in particular, by that jaunty man at the helm, Jonah Jones.
Track listing for The Jonah Jones Quartet - Swingin' at the Cinema:

Side 1:
1. True Love
2. Tammy
3. A Gal In Calico
4. Around The World
5. Love Is A Many-Splendored Thing
6. Colonel Bogey March

Side 2:
1. An Affair To Remember
2. Secret Love
3. Three Coins In The Fountain
4. Fascination
5. All The Way
6. Lullaby Of Broadway

Monday, February 02, 2009

Lionel Hampton and His Orchestra - Jivin' The Vibes (1957)

How about a little jazz tonight? This is an album I've had for a number of years but never listened to until now. I bought it for the cover, framed it, and had it hanging on my wall up until about a year ago, when I finally switched out some of my framed albums. Anyway, if you like Lionel Hampton, you should like this album. This was released in 1957, but the songs were all recorded from 1937 to 1939, per the liner notes. And there are all sorts of other famous musicians that accompany Lionel on these songs - mostly from other famous orchestras of the day. Enjoy!

Track listing for Lionel Hampton - Jivin' The Vibes:

Side 1:
1. I Know That You Know
2. Drum Stomp
3. Muskrat Ramble
4. Baby, Won't You Please Come Home
5. Piano Stomp
6. Jivin' The Vibres

Side 2:
1. High Society
2. It Don't Mean A Thing (If It Ain't Got That Swing)
3. Shoe Shiners Drag
4. I'm In The Mood For Swing
5. The Object Of My Affections
6. Buzzin' 'Round With The Bee