Sunday, May 31, 2009

Ray Conniff and His Orchestra - 'S Marvelous (1957)

This is another of my mom's old records - one with which I'm very familiar. And, as a result, I'm a big fan of Ray Conniff. I find that I am listening a lot to my mom's old records lately. They bring a sense of comfort and and overall good feeling to me. Although my mom has been gone for 16 years now, I know she is always with me, and I especially feel that when I'm listening to her records. And since Sundays are usually family days (at least they were when I was growing up), then today is a good day to post this record.

Track listing for Ray Conniff - 'S Marvelous (link deleted - go buy CD on Amazon):

Side 1:
1. The Way You Look Tonight
2. I Hear A Rhapsody
3. They Can't Take That Away From Me
4. Moonlight Serenade
5. I Love You
6. I've Told Ev'ry Little Star

Side 2:
1. You Do Something to Me
2. As Time Goes By
3. In the Still of the Night
4. Someone to Watch Over Me
5. Be My Love
6. Where or When

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Walter Brennan - Dutchman's Gold (1960)

Here's another from my "celebrity vocals" collection. I absolutely adored Walter Brennan in all the westerns and Disney movies he was in. Of course, he didn't really sing on his albums... he spoke the lyrics with the music as background. I guess you could say he was "rapping" - wow, he was a "rap" pioneer! Who knew?

Anyway, I really do like listening to Walter's albums. Some people might say they're pretty corny, but I like corny. And you can bet that some of the songs, like "Old Shep", bring a tear to my eye. ("Old Rivers" makes me cry every time!) I think one of the reasons that I like Walter's albums is that they remind me of simpler times. I'm often nostalgic for simpler times. Sigh. Something of note for this album is that the orchestra and chorus were conducted by Billy Vaughn!

Track listing for Walter Brennan - Dutchman's Gold:

Side 1:
1. Dutchman's Gold
2. Life Gits Tee-Jus, Don't It?
3. The Shifting Whispering Sands Part I
4. The Shifting Whispering Sands Part II
5. Six Feet Away

Side 2:
1. I Believe
2. Back To The Farm
3. Tribute To A Dog
4. Old Shep
5. Suppertime

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Johnny Whitaker - Friends (1973)

Time for another "celebrity" vocal. This time it's Johnny Whitaker, who starred as adorable Jody Davis in the television series "Family Affair", and later starred in the Sid and Marty Krofft Saturday morning show "Sigmund and the Sea Monsters". He also starred in several movies such as Disney's "Napolean and Samantha" with Jodie Foster, and the musical "Tom Sawyer".

Now, I love collecting "celebrity" record albums, and it seems that the worse they are, the better I like them. Let me just say that this is not an album I listen to very often. I may have loved it when I was eleven years old, but that was a long time ago. I have to laugh when I listen to some of these "celebrity" albums because of the way they would overdub the person's vocal two or three times with their own voice. I guess it was to make it sound "better". Just another reason why I love these albums! So, take a trip down memory lane and listen to Johnny sing songs from "Sigmund & The Sea Monsters". (BTW, his name was sometimes spelled "Johnnie".)

Track listing for Johnny Whitaker - Friends:

Side 1:
1. Friends
2. Keep It A Secret
3. A Simple Song
4. The Magician
5. Monster Rock
6. It's Up To You

Side 2:
1. Can't Get You Off My Mind
2. Running 'Round In Circles
3. Lovin' Ain't Easy
4. Sigmund & The Sea Monsters
5. Day And Night

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Joe Bushkin - A Fellow Needs A Girl (1957)

This is another gem I rescued from the HPB bargain bin solely for the cover. Those are America's most famous models from back in the day - Sunny Harnett (standing behind piano), Gita Hall (leaning on Joe), Nancy Berg (the one practically lying down in front of Joe), Suzy Parker (lying on top of the piano), and Ginny Taylor (standing on the right of the piano). The only one I ever heard of was Suzy Parker, who was also an actress and was married to actor Bradford Dillman (who I love). Suzy Parker was also the first model to earn $100,000 per year. Anyway, this is a lovely "mood music" album - very soothing piano "against a rich orchestral backdrop". Give it a listen!

Track listing for Joe Bushkin - A Fellow Needs A Girl:

Side 1:
1. A Fellow Needs A Girl
2. These Foolish Things
3. How Long Has This Been Going On
4. Don't Blame Me
5. Isn't It Romantic?
6. Don't Take Your Love From Me

Side 2:
1. Falling In Love With Love
2. It's Easy To Remember
3. Then I'll Be Tired Of You
4. I'll Be Around
5. Willow Weep For Me
6. What Is There To Say

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Jackie Gleason - Velvet Brass (1957)

Here's another of my Jackie Gleason albums (I have several more that I will share as time goes on). I really enjoy the Jackie Gleason albums. They always have familiar songs and arrangements that I like, and the covers are usually pretty swell! So, without further ado, here is "Velvet Brass" - enjoy!

Track listing for Jackie Gleason - Velvet Brass:

Side 1:
1. You're Driving Me Crazy!
2. Skyliner
3. But Not For Me
4. The Man I Love
5. Cherokee
6. Me And My Shadow
7. Take The "A" Train
8. By The Beautiful Sea

Side 2:
1. Am I Blue?
2. What's New?
3. Girl Of My Dreams
4. My Buddy
5. I Can't Believe That You're In Love With Me
6. September Song
7. Out Of Nowhere
8. Chinatown, My Chinatown

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Harry James - Harry James in Hi-Fi (1955)

This is another of my mom's old albums. I definitely remember hearing this one a lot when I was growing up. Even now, when I hear the first notes of "Ciribiribin", memories of my childhood and my mom come flooding back. Those were good times. My mom loved big band music (that was her "era"), and her favorites were Glenn Miller and Harry James. But I think Harry was her particular favorite. And now, thanks to her influence, Glenn and Harry are my favorite big band leaders, and Harry is my particular favorite. I'm also a big fan of his female vocalist, Helen Forrest. "It's Been a Long, Long Time" just gives me chills - I love it so! I think my mom's favorite was "You Made Me Love You", because she marked it on the back of the album as if highlighting it. And, although this album was released in 1955 (all selections were recorded in July 1955), my mom didn't buy it until 1959 (she had a habit of dating her albums as to when she got them). Anyway, this is one of my favorites - and my mom's. Hope you like it, too.

Track listing for Harry James in Hi-Fi:

Side 1:
1. Ciribiribin
2. Trumpet Blues
3. You Made Me Love You (I Didn't Want To Do It)
4. James Session
5. I've Heard That Song Before
6. Cherry
7. I'm Beginning To See The Light
8. My Silent Love

Side 2:
1. Sleepy Lagoon
2. Two O'Clock Jump
3. I Cried For You (Now It's Time For You To Cry Over Me)
4. Jalousie
5. It's Been A Long, Long Time
6. Velvet Moon
7. Music Makers
8. Ciribiribin

Here's a clip from the movie "Bathing Beauty", where Harry James and his orchestra play "Trumpet Blues":

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Irving Fields Trio - More Bagels and Bongos (1960)

This is yet another album I rescued from the HPB bargain bin - and it was the title that caught my eye. I will buy just about any album that has the word "bongos" in the title - I love bongos! And this was just such an odd title that I couldn't resist. I love the music, too! According to the liner notes, there was a prior album titled "Bagels and Bongos" (anyone have it to share?) and these are Yiddish songs to a Latin beat. What a great idea! I read on the Internet that Irving Fields also recorded "Bikinis and Bongos" and "Pizzas and Bongos" - if anyone has these, please do share!

Track listing for Irving Fields Trio - More Bagels and Bongos:

Side 1:
1. Mama's Mambo
2. I'll Always Be Yours
3. Hora Merengue
4. Say You Love Me, One More Time
5. Wedding Merengue
6. What Used To Be, Used To Be

Side 2:
1. I Want To Play
2. Spark Of Jewish Pride
3. The Green Cousin-Merengue
4. Papirossen
5. My Hometown Girl
6. Bublitchki

Wednesday, May 06, 2009

Cheryl Ladd - Dance Forever (1979)

Here's one I've had for quite awhile. A couple of years ago I posted Cheryl Ladd's first album, so here's the other album of hers that I have. Cheryl Ladd, of course, was "Kris Munroe" on the TV show "Charlie's Angels", and later became a fixture on the Lifetime channel TV movies. I only recently found out that her daughter, Jordan Ladd, attended SMU here in Dallas some years back. I wish I had known at the time. Maybe I could've caught a glimpse of Cheryl at the Galleria or something. Oh, well. Anyway, about the album... if you're a Cheryl Ladd fan or like celebrity vocals, you should like this one. I think I liked the first one better though, although she looks awfully cute on this cover! Oh, and one of the songs from this album was in my first podcast episode!

Track listing for Cheryl Ladd - Dance Forever:

Side 1:
1. Dance Forever
2. Better Days
3. Still Awake
4. On The Run
5. Teach Me Tonight

Side 2:
1. You're The Only One I Ever Needed
2. Thunder In The Distance
3. Missing You
4. Whatever Would I Do Without You
5. Rock And Roll Slave

Here's a clip from Cheryl Ladd's 1979 TV special:

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Annette - Muscle Beach Party (1963)

Here is the second of the two albums I have by Annette Funicello. I bought this one some years ago at one of those record conventions (I miss the one that used to come to Dallas). Of course, I love this cover! If you didn't already know, the body builder on the right (in the blue briefs) is Peter Lupus, who was one of the stars of the TV show "Mission: Impossible". This album has some fun songs by Annette from the "Muscle Beach Party" movie, plus some from "Merlin Jones". I hope you enjoy this! (BTW, does anyone have "Danceannette" or "Italiannette" that they would like to share?)

Track listing for Annette - Muscle Beach Party:

Side 1:
1. Muscle Beach Party
2. A Girl Needs A Boy
3. Surfer's Holiday
4. I Dream About Frankie
5. Muscle Bustle
6. Merlin Jones

Side 2:
1. Custom City
2. Draggin' U.S.A.
3. Rebel Rider
4. Waikiki
5. Shutdown Again
6. The Scrambled Egghead