Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Martin Denny - Exotica Volume II (1958)

Gotta love that exotica! After Martin Denny's success with the album "Exotica", it was inevitable that there would be another one to follow. So the following year there was "Exotica Volume II"! (There's also an "Exotica III", but I don't have that one.) If anyone has the third one, please share! I really don't think I need to say anything about Martin Denny - you all are quite familiar with his records! So... enjoy!

Track listing for Martin Denny - Exotica Volume II:

Side 1:
1. Soshu Night Serenade
2. Island of Dreams
3. Japanese Farewell Song (Sayonara)
4. Singing Bamboos
5. The Queen Chant (E Lili Ua E)
6. Wedding Song (Ke Kali Ne Au)

Side 2:
1. Escales
2. When First I Love
3. August Bells
4. Bacoa
5. Ebb Tide
6. Rush Hour in Hong Kong

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Ray Conniff Singers - So Much in Love (1961)

Just as much as she loved anything Percy Faith, my mother loved anything Ray Conniff - and I inherited that. This album is by the Ray Conniff Singers, which was the chorus that often accompanied the orchestra on the other Ray Conniff albums. I think this was the first album that the Singers got top billing (please correct me if I'm wrong), because the liner notes say "This time, the Ray Conniff singers step out from the orchestra..." There are actually twelve songs, but they are sung as six medleys of two songs each. "Each medley tells a musical story about people who are 'so much in love'." I love albums by choral groups like this! This album was supervised by Frank De Vol, and the Conniff cover girl is Linda De Vol - his daughter perhaps?

Track listing for Ray Conniff Singers - So Much in Love:

Side 1:
1. Autumn Leaves; Just Walking in the Rain
2. I Fall in Love Too Easily; My Heart Stood Still
3. Dancing On the Ceiling; Dancing in the Dark

Side 2:
1. I Wish I Didn't Love You So; Bewitched
2. Whatever Will Be, Will Be (Que Sera, Sera); True Love
3. Chances Are; It's Not for Me to Say

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Baja Marimba Band - Rides Again (1965)

I can't believe my mother never bought any albums by the Baja Marimba Band, especially since she liked Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass so much, and it kind of goes along those lines. To tell you the truth, I had never really listened to any of their albums either until I bought this one sometime last year at my favorite supplier of used records, Half-Price Books. And I really like this album! I will definitely be buying more of their albums next time I go to HPB or to a flea market or estate sale. I've decided that I like almost any music from A&M Records during that time - Herb Alpert, Baja Marimba Band, Sergio Mendes & Brasil '66... all those folks! Herb knew how to pick the artists for his label! Well, all I can say about this album is that it is delightful! Enjoy!

Track listing for Baja Marimba Band - Rides Again:

Side 1:
1. Brasilia
2. Walk On By
3. Guacamole
4. More
5. Dear Heart
6. Majorca

Side 2:
1. Red Roses for a Blue Lady
2. Hecho En Mexico (Made in Mexico)
3. The Woody Woodpecker Song
4. A Spanish Rose
5. Juarez
6. Goin' Out the Side Door

Here they are playing "Brasilia":

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Louise Akeo and Her Royal Hawaiian Girls - Authentic Music from the Kodak Hula Show (1956)

Oh, how I wish I could be in Hawaii right now! Sigh... But, since I can't be there right now, I'll have to console myself by listening to one of my Hawaiian music albums. This album is "Authentic Music from the Kodak Hula Show". The Kodak Hula Show was a free show sponsored by Kodak that ran for many, many years in Waikiki. Unfortunately, Kodak pulled out its sponsorship in 1999 due to rising costs (it cost around $400,000 to $500,000 a year to put on this free show). A private family trust took it over for another three years or so, but they pulled their sponsorship as well due to the cost. I went to Hawaii in 1997 to participate in the Honolulu Marathon, and if I had known about the Kodak Hula Show I most definitely would have gone. Oh, well. Anyway, since I am so in love with all things Hawaii, I had to buy this album when I saw it in the HPB bargain bin. The first side is by Louise Akeo and her Royal Hawaiian Girls, but the second side just says "Instrumental Music for Your Hawaiian Pictures and Parties". So, at least you now have background music to play when you show your friends your pictures from your Hawaiian vacation - because that's what the record says.

Track listing for Louise Akeo - Authentic Music from the Kodak Hula Show:

Side 1:
1. Hilo E
2. Hoonanea
3. Haole Hula
4. E Liliu E
5. Nani Wale Na Hala
6. Ula Noweo
7. Lovely Hula Hands
8. I Alii No Oe
9. Thus Pounds the Poi
10. Cockeyed Mayor of Kaunakakai
11. Kawika
12. Hanohano Hanalei

Side 2:
1. Song of the Islands, "Na Lei O Hawaii"
2. Dargie Hula
3. Moana Chimes
4. The Wedding Song, "Ke Kali Nei Au"
5. Farewell Song, "Aloha Oe"

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Mame OST (1974)

When I was growing up, we first got cable TV in my hometown in the mid-1970s. At that time, it was called Casa Cinema and consisted of two channels, one of which was a movie channel and the other was a Spanish channel (I think). I loved the movie channel because they showed movies in their entirety without commercials, including R-rated movies (which was a big deal for a 12 or 13-year-old) - movies that they just didn't show on the late movie on the three networks. Being a major movie buff, I watched as many as I could even though there weren't many choices. I think they showed maybe four movies a month and they were repeated all month long. But those were simpler times and we were all happy to have that cable movie channel. Well, one of the first movies I saw on Casa Cinema was "Mame" from 1974 starring Lucille Ball. I don't remember this showing at the movie theatre at all, and I think I would've gone to see it because it was a musical and I loved musicals. Well, I loved it. In fact, I think I saw it every time it was shown on Casa Cinema that month. Even though she couldn't really sing, Lucille Ball was always one of my favorites so I didn't care. I do have to laugh a little today as I remember how every close-up of Lucy was with a filter to "soften" the aging star. Anyway, I bought the soundtrack as a cut-out when I came across it a few years after seeing the movie. I still think it's a fun movie, even if the critics hated it, and the musical did spawn a couple of favorite songs that have been recorded by several people. I think you'll know which songs I mean when you listen to the album!

Track listing for Mame OST:

Side 1:
1. Main Title... including 'St. Bridget' - Jane Connell
2. It's Today - Lucille Ball and Chorus
3. Open a New Window - Lucille Ball and Kirby Furlong
4. The Man in the Moon - Beatrice Arthur and Chorus
5. My Best Girl -Lucille Ball and Kirby Furlong
6. We Need a Little Christmas - Lucille Ball and Cast
7. Mame - Robert Preston and Chorus

Side 2:
1. Loving You - Robert Preston
2. The Letter - Kirby Furlong and Bruce Davison
3. Bosom Buddies - Lucille Ball and Beatrice Arthur
4. Gooch's Song - Jane Connell
5. If He Walked Into My Life - Lucille Ball
6. Finale - Lucille Ball and Chorus