Sunday, January 29, 2012

George Maharis - Sings! (1962)

I love celebrity vocals. And I love my George Maharis albums! In case you are not familiar with him, he starred in the TV series "Route 66" along with Martin Milner. George was a singer before he became an actor, and switched to acting due to overuse of his vocal chords. As it seemed to be the thing to do back in the day, he recorded several albums while he was a popular TV star. I found this album in the HPB bargain bin and was very excited and surprised that the 5x7 b&w "autographed" picture of George was still in the record sleeve! (The picture is just a b&w version of the album cover.) All the songs are familiar pop standards, and I like all of them, but I really like his jazzy version of "Route 66". As the liner notes sum up:
George Maharis' interpretations of the ballads in this album reflect the highly creative and individual nature of a young actor who is seeking, and finding, new means of self-expression.

Track listing for George Maharis - Sings!:

Side 1:
1. I Want to Be Wanted
2. It's All in the Game
3. I'll Never Smile Again
4. Moon River
5. Can't Help Falling in Love
6. Hurt

Side 2:
1. Teach Me Tonight
2. You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby
3. (Get Your Kicks on) Route 66!
4. My Kind of Girl
5. Witchcraft
6. After the Lights Go Down Low

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Jerry Murad's Harmonicats - Fiesta! (1962)

Who doesn't love some good harmonica music??? And the Harmonicats are awesome! It's kind of hard to believe that all the music on this album is just three guys - Jerry Murad, Al Fiore, and Don Les - playing their harmonicas. I grew up listening to most of these songs (performed by others), and these versions are just great! I would definitely play this album at my next fiesta themed dinner party!

Track listing for Jerry Murad's Harmonicats - Fiesta!:

Side 1:
1. Guadalajara
2. The Peanut Vendor (El Manisero)
3. Espana Cani
4. La Golondrina
5. Siboney
6. Adios Muchachos

Side 2:
1. Adios
2. Les Filles de Cadix (The Maids of Cadiz)
3. La Virgen de la Macarena
4. La Cumparsita
5. Mexican Hat Dance
6. Granada

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Jackie Gleason - Music, Martinis, and Memories (1954)

This is the last of my Jackie Gleason albums. The best way to describe it is by its liner notes:
Music, martinis, and memories... each creates a wonderfully soft, romantic haze. Put them all together and you have a very special effect - a mood whose warmth and tenderness are irresistibly appealing.
The memories and martinis should be yours, of course; the music may be provided by someone else - and nobody can do that more expertly than Jackie Gleason. His famous album presentations - lovely ballads richly orchestrated and featuring the lyric trumpet of Bobby Hackett - are remarkably conducive to that intriguing sentimental spell.
It's really quite possible, in fact, to omit the memories and martinis; but with or without them, you'll find this collection of Jackie Gleason interpretations to be romantic music at its very best, an ideal setting for your most delightful listening moments.

Track listing for Jackie Gleason - Music, Martinis, and Memories:

Side 1:
1. Once In a While
2. I Can't Get Started
3. I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good
4. My Ideal
5. Yesterdays
6. I Love You
7. Unforgettable
8. How High the Moon

Side 2:
1. I'll Be Seeing You
2. Shangri-La
3. I Remember You
4. It Could Happen to You
5. Somebody Loves Me
6. Time On My Hands (You in My Arms)
7. The Nearness of You
8. The Song is Ended

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Fats and the Chessmen - Let's Twist (1962)

I really didn't expect much from this album when I bought it, as I really only bought it for the cover art. But, boy, did I love it when I listened to it! This album was obviously recorded to capitalize on the popularity of the Twist dance craze, as there were many Twist records that came out around that time. And I have no idea who Fats and the Chessmen were (no, it's not THE "Fats"). But this album will certainly get you up and dancing! It's quite enjoyable and a fun one to play at your next dance party! If one of your new year's resolutions was to exercise more, then I suggest playing this record and dancing to it - a lot more fun than any of the Wii Fit exercise routines!

Track listing for Fats and the Chessmen - Let's Twist:

Side 1:
1. Twistin' U.S.A.
2. An Odd Twist
3. Lemon Twist
4. Ooh Poo Pa Doo
5. Organ Twist
6. Peppermint Twist

Side 2:
1. Let's Twist Again
2. Old MacDonald Had a Twist
3. Big Ben Twist
4. Insistin' On Twistin'
5. Honkin' the Twist
6. The Twist

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Everly Brothers - A Date with the Everly Brothers (1961)

Today's offering is an album by those famous singing brothers, Phil and Don Everly (and, I am sorry to say that, to this day, I can't tell which is which). I think the first song by them that I remember hearing was "Bye Bye Love". And I remember that I liked all their big hits. So when I saw this album calling to me from the HPB bargain bin, I just had to rescue it! I also just really liked the cover and the nifty shirts that the brothers are wearing. This album also has their big hit, "Cathy's Clown", which I like a lot. So, I hope this takes some of you down memory lane!

Track listing for A Date with the Everly Brothers:

Side 1:
1. Made to Love
2. That's Just Too Much
3. Stick with Me Baby
4. Baby What You Want Me to Do
5. Sigh, Cry, Almost Die
6. Always It's You

Side 2:
1. Love Hurts
2. Lucille
3. So How Come (No One Loves Me)
4. Donna, Donna
5. A Change of Heart
6. Cathy's Clown

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The "Sensational" Guitars of Dan & Dale - The Nearness of You

Here's another great little gem that I rescued from the HPB bargain bin. It features some great old standards, and is great to play as background music while reading a book, eating dinner, or surfing through the internet! From what I've read, there was no "Dan & Dale", but if anyone out there knows any different or has more info, please let us know! There was also no date on this album, but I'm figuring it's from the 1960s. From the liner notes on this album, and from pictures of other D&D albums, the "Sensational" Guitars of Dan & Dale were previously known as the "Sleepwalk" Guitars of Dan & Dale. I'll try to keep an eye out for those albums next time I'm browsing through the HPB bargain bin.

Track listing for Dan & Dale - The Nearness of You:

Side 1:
1. The Nearness of You
2. Heart & Soul
3. Innamorata
4. Stella by Starlight
5. Only a Rose

Side 2:
1. I Don't Want to Walk Without You
2. Out of Nowhere
3. Call Me Irresponsible
4. Just One More Chance
5. In the Cool, Cool, Cool of the Evening

Sunday, January 08, 2012

Vikki Carr - Don't Break My Pretty Balloon (1968)

I love, love, love Vikki Carr! I just can't seem to get enough of her beautiful voice lately! And I lucked out recently when I found three of her albums at my favorite little resale store down the street! I know she still performs and am hoping she'll make a trip to Dallas so that I can go see her (she went to San Antonio last year, so why not Dallas?). "With Pen in Hand" always puts a lump in my throat, especially since Vikki puts so much emotion into it. Well, that song is not on this album, but you'll find some familiar songs as Vikki does her covers of them. Plus, "Vikki Carr unveils 'Your Heart is Free Just Like the Wind,' 'She'll Be There' and other vocal delights."

Track listing for Vikki Carr - Don't Break My Pretty Balloon:

Side 1:
1. Don't Break My Pretty Balloon
2. Tears On My Pillow
3. It's Not Unusual
4. Happy Together
5. Just for You
6. Your Heart is Free Just Like the Wing

Side 2:
1. All My Love
2. She'll Be There
3. The Glory of Love
4. Nothing to Lose
5. The Magic of People
6. Honey

Wednesday, January 04, 2012

Pearl Bailey - The Best of Pearl Bailey (1961)

This is a great album of some of Pearl Bailey's best songs, along with some of her humor thrown in. My favorite is "Ma, He's Making Eyes At Me" - a really fun song! This album also brings together for the first time on record Pearl with Louis Bellson, his drums and his orchestra. So, "here then is Pearlie Mae, as always, the irrepressible and delightfully irresistible performer and personality."

Track listing from The Best of Pearl Bailey:

Side 1:
1. Takes Two to Tango
2. That's Good Enough for Me
3. Row, Row, Row
4. Legalize My Name
5. Fifteen Years (And I'm Still Serving Time)
6. Old, Tired and Torn

Side 2:
1. St. Louis Blues
2. Tired
3. Ma (He's Making Eyes at Me)
4. Ac-Cent-Tchu-Ate the Positive
5. Toot Toot Tootsie! (Goodbye)
6. Cherry's at the Top of the Tree

Sunday, January 01, 2012

Rex Allen - Sings Melodies of the Plains (1962)

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Prosperous New Year!

To start off the year, I chose this album by Rex Allen. After my dude ranch experience last year, I became quite the fan of "cowboy songs" and yodeling (well, I already liked yodeling). And today I was just in the yodeling mood. I really enjoyed this album, too! I am thinking about going back to the dude ranch this year and staying for a week instead of just three days. If I do go back, I will definitely ask for my favorite horse, Bob. I've got my boots ready...

Track listing for Rex Allen Sings Melodies of the Plains:

Side 1:
1. Melody of the Plains
2. My Dear Old Arizona Home
3. I'll Go Ridin' Down That Old Texas Trail
4. I Won't Need My Six Gun in Heaven
5. The Girl I Left Behind Me

Side 2:
1. Dreaming of the Western Plains
2. Cowpuncher's Blues
3. Cowboy's Heaven
4. A Cowboy's Story (Strawberry Roan)
5. Little Puncher