Sunday, April 22, 2007

Bonanza - Ponderosa Party Time (1962)

Vince, a regular visitor to this blog, requested that I post any Bonanza album I might have, so this post of "Ponderosa Party Time" is for Vince (and all other Bonanza fans out there)!

I grew up watching "Bonanza". Every Sunday night, I would pull up my chair next to my dad's and watch the latest chapter in the lives of the Cartwrights. I didn't really have a favorite - I liked all of them - but I was disappointed when Pernell Roberts (Adam) left the show. I really liked his black hat. Anyway, I still watch it on reruns - just don't seem to get tired of it. I guess I just really like it now because it brings back such fond memories of my childhood.

Well, this album is lots of fun. The Cartwrights are all here - Ben (Lorne Greene), Adam (Pernell Roberts), Hoss (Dan Blocker), and Little Joe (Michael Landon) - and they're having a Saturday night party. The singing isn't that bad either - I was surprised! There are a couple of songs on here that I remember learning in grade school ("Skip to My Lou" and "Miss Cindy"), so it was fun listening to those. But I think my favorite songs on this album are "My Sons, My Sons" and "The Place Where I Worship" - they literally brought me to tears because they moved me so much (yes, I'm the kind that gets all sentimental). Now, the album is recorded such that the songs flow into each other with the Cartwrights talking in between, so it's really hard to tell where one song ends and the other begins. Because of this, I did not try to break out each song individually and instead you'll get two MP3 files - one for Side 1 and one for Side 2. So, put on your dancing boots and get ready for some Ponderosa Party Time!

Track listing for Bonanza - Ponderosa Party Time:

Side 1:
1. Bonanza
2. Sourwood Mountain
3. Sky Ball Paint
4. Early One Morning
5. Ponderosa
6. Careless Love
7. Skip to My Lou
8. In the Pines

Side 2:
1. Happy Birthday
2. My Sons, My Sons
3. The Hangin' Blues
4. Shenandoah
5. Miss Cindy
6. The Place Where I Worship (Is the Wide Open Spaces)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

All American Marches (1957)

There is one reason - and one reason only - that I bought this record...the cover! I mean, just look at her! How could anyone resist her? That cute little outfit, those groovy little boots - she's adorable!

I do like marches. They remind me of a simpler time, of going to parades when I was a little girl, of attending concerts at the school cafeteria that doubled as the auditorium. Remember those days? Sigh.

There's really not much information about this record. It doesn't say anywhere who performs on it (although it almost sounds like it was a high school band). And, although the cover says "All American Marches", the label says "Famous American Marches". I'm wondering if maybe this is one of those "library records". Anyway, if these are "famous" American marches, I guess I'm just ignorant because I've only heard a couple of them. The liner notes talk a lot about parades and feelings of patriotism, but my favorite part is the following:
In recent years, many youngsters who have been thrilled by the precision of military music have turned to developing the skills of baton twirling. For those who are in the process of improving these skills, this album is worth its weight in gold. It is an excellent recording for practicing and an equally wonderful record for listening.
I dedicate this post to my friend, Greg Taylor, and hope that it brings fond memories of him twirling a baton in his backyard when he was growing up.

Track listing for All American Marches:

Side 1:
1. De Molay Commandery
2. Stars and Stripes Forever
3. The Rangers
4. The Caissons Go Rolling Along
5. Our Director
6. Blaze Away

Side 2:
1. National Emblem
2. Father of Victory
3. Officer of the Day
4. American Eagle
5. Always Ready
6. March On

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Dennis Weaver - Dennis Weaver (1972)

Well, here's a real treat for you "McCloud" fans! I never even knew that Dennis Weaver had recorded any albums until I found this in the HPB clearance bin, and, of course, I HAD to buy it. Dennis passed away last year (February 2006), and I do miss him. He was just one of those guys that I could just tell was a really, really nice down-to-earth guy. I never saw the "Gunsmoke" episodes where he played Marshall Dillon's sidekick, Chester (I grew up with Festus), but I definitely watched "McCloud" with my dad in the 70s. Plus, one of my favorite movies is "Duel", one of Steven Spielberg's early films, and starring Dennis Weaver as a businessman who is terrorized on the road by a psychotic truck driver. In recent years, Dennis was a host on the Encore Westerns cable movie channel. There are a lot of interesting facts about Dennis, and you can check them out on his official website.

Back to this album... In general, I'm not a fan of country music, but I really like this album (I consider it country). Dennis has an easy-going voice that's easy on the ear. My favorite songs on this album are "Ode to a Critter" and "No Name". The lady's voice you hear on a couple of the songs belongs to his wife, Gerry. And - gotta love the cover! Oh, I tried to clean it up as best I could, but there are still audible clicks and pops - not uncommon on old vinyl. The first two songs on side 2 also have a skip each, but not that bad (in my opinion).

Track listing for Dennis Weaver - Dennis Weaver:

Side 1:
1. Another Way
2. Ode to a Critter (Fish, Bird & Cow Song)
3. Lonesome to the Lonely
4. I'd Rather Be With You Than Anyone
5. 20th Century Man (Our Man is Coming)

Side 2:
1. Where Have the Wild Blackberries Gone
2. No Name
3. Learn to Love
4. I Still Sing 'Jesus Loves Me'
5. Time
6. Work Through My Hands, Lord

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Billy Vaughn and His Orchestra - Music for the Golden Hours (1958)

this is
the twilight hours
when memories are waves upon the shore
and love is fresh as sea wind on your lips...
this is music for the dancing hours, the romancing hours,
and for remembering...
Billy Vaughn is justly famous for his masterful way with a melody...for his skillful arranging that gives such unforgettable songs as these the treatment they deserve...and for his orchestra's polished performances, so perfectly suited to this album's gentle mood.
I couldn't have said it better myself. Enjoy!

Track listing for Billy Vaughn - Music for the Golden Hours:

Side 1:
1. Deep Purple
2. All the Things You Are
3. Among My Souvenirs
4. Once in a While
5. Body and Soul
6. My Blue Heaven

Side 2:
1. Miss You
2. How Deep is the Ocean
3. Tenderly
4. I Only Have Eyes for You
5. Because
6. Embraceable You

Sunday, April 08, 2007

George Shearing - White Satin (1960)

Happy Easter!

Since white is the color for Easter, today's post is the "White Satin" album by the George Shearing Quintet and Orchestra. For those of you who downloaded "Black Satin", now you can download the companion album! This one is my favorite of the two, both music-wise and cover photo-wise! I mean, like WOW! I don't think I need to say much more about our cover girl on this album! Enjoy!

Track listing for George Shearing Quintet and Orchestra - White Satin:

Side 1:
1. Your Name is Love
2. Dream
3. Laura
4. There's a Small Hotel
5. Old Folks
6. Blue Malibu

Side 2:
1. How Long Has This Been Going On
2. Love's Melody
3. An Affair to Remember
4. There'll Be Another Spring
5. Moonlight Becomes You
6. I'll Take Romance

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

George Shearing - Black Satin (1956)

Today's offering is an album by the George Shearing Quintet and Orchestra. Here's what the liner notes say:
The satin-smooth Shearing sound has never been so expressive of its creator's unique versatility as it is in this album. Augmented by rich instrumental backgrounds, here is an inspiring variety of distinctive moods: the subdued, lyrical rendering of a tender ballad set to an elegant chorus of strings; the easy swinging rhythm of a popular song; the occasional lilt of a Latin tempo. Capturing the lush sophisticated setting that distinguished his highly successful "Velvet Carpet", George Shearing with his own inimitable styling creates appealing music that will set a delightful backdrop for any romance - as suitable for the girl in blue gingham as it is for the lady in luxurious "Black Satin".
I've been a fan of George Shearing's music since I first heard "Lullaby of Birdland" playing on our local Big Band station many years ago. I really like the arrangements and style of this most excellent jazz pianist! I hope you like this album as much as I do. I did my best to clean it up but you'll still hear some clicks and pops, plus the first song on each side skips. Maybe someone out there will post a better copy. I just love the cover - don't you? I also have the "White Satin" album, which I'll post in a few days. So, those of you who want to burn this to CD - wait until I post "White Satin" so that you can burn both albums on one CD.

Track listing for The George Shearing Quintet and Orchestra - Black Satin:

Side 1:
1. The Folks Who Live On the Hill - (skips)
2. If I Should Lose You
3. Starlight Souvenirs
4. What is There to Say
5. Black Satin

Side 2:
1. You Don't Know What Love Is - (skips)
2. Nothing Ever Changes My Love for You
3. One Morning in May
4. Moon Song
5. Medley: As Long as I Live - Let's Live Again

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Rodney Allen Rippy - Take Life a Little Easier (1974)

Okay, after I listened to this album, I could ask myself only one question... "Why???" Do you ever wonder who these people are who think it's a good idea to make a certain type of record album? Or if they really think that someone is good enough that they'll sell records? Yeah, I know - they're just wanting to capitalize on the momentary popularity of someone or a product. And it sometimes works.

Nothing against Rodney Allen Rippy - I think he was absolutely adorable when he did the Jack-in-the-Box commercials and sang "Take Life a Little Easier"! And his cute little giggle at the end is completely infectious! (I really wanted to post the video of the commercial but couldn't find it anywhere.) But, somehow I remembered his singing to have been better. Well, he was only five years old at the time and not exactly a trained, polished vocalist - so if that's what you're expecting, then you'll be in for a not-so-pleasant surprise. This is just a little kid singing - sometimes on-key and sometimes off-key - and being accompanied by lots of studio musicians, who often drown him out. But, for what it's worth, this is a great piece of pop culture. That's why I bought this album (in the dollar bin at HPB, thankfully) and that's why I'm sharing it with you. Gotta love pop culture. (And, Rodney was absolutely adorable!)

Track listing for Rodney Allen Rippy - Take Life a Little Easier:

Side 1:
1. Take Life a Little Easier
2. Eenie-Meenie-Minee-Moe
3. The Birds and the Bees
4. Everybody Knows But You
5. World of Love

Side 2:
1. The Candy Man
2. It's a Small World
3. Peaches and Cream
4. Smiling
5. Never Thought I Could Be a Star
6. He's Got the Whole World in His Hands