Thursday, December 18, 2008

Liberace - 'Twas The Night Before Christmas (1981)

Tonight's post is my last one for this year - I'll be "on vacation" for the Christmas holidays!

Well, I picked this up from the HPB bargain bin and I really expected more of this album. I was actually disappointed and found it rather boring - not what I'd expect from the King of Bling. But, I was already recording it so I'm sharing it with you. Besides, I know there are some Liberace fans out there! Really, if anything - download it for Liberace's narration of "'Twas the Night Before Christmas" - I thought it was rather good. The date on the album says 1981, but I'm sure it's a reissue of a reissue, and on a budget, budget label. And - no, you're not mistaken - "O' Holy Night" is on there twice. I have no idea why they did that because I couldn't find any difference between the two - they sound exactly the same. Maybe it was a mistake or they just couldn't find another song to put on this album. Or, they thought that someone who really loves that song could listen to it no matter what side of the album was being played.

Anyway, y'all have a very MERRY CHRISTMAS and a HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! See you in 2009 with more cool albums!

Track listing for Liberace - 'Twas The Night Before Christmas:

Side 1:
1. 'Twas The Night Before Christmas
2. The Rosary
3. O' Tannenbaum
4. O' Holy Night
5. What Child Is This

Side 2:
1. Christmas Medley (O' Little Town of Bethlehem; It Came Upon A Midnight Clear; Joy To The World)
2. O' Holy Night
3. Beauty of Holiness
4. Ave Maria
5. Gesu Bambino

Here's Liberace - and all his bling - playing a Christmas medley:

Sunday, December 14, 2008

The Mistletoe Disco Band - Christmas Disco (1978)

Here's yet another treasure from the HPB bargain bin (I can't believe people get rid of some of these records!). I got this one at a different store than my usual and was delighted to find that the records in that store's bargain bin are only 50 cents instead of a dollar! Wow! I even bought a double album for 50 cents!!!

Anyway, this one should take some of you back to the days when you wore the platform shoes and white polyester suits to go dancing at the disco. I had no idea there were disco Christmas albums! Boy, they think of everything! And I really liked this album - it's a new way to listen to those traditional Christmas carols. They've got a beat and you can dance to them! Plus, it's got "joyous disco versions of great Christmas classics!" Well, this post is dedicated to my old friend from high school, Cecil, who was the disco queen of our class.

Track listing for The Mistletoe Disco Band - Christmas Disco:

Side 1:
1. Sleigh Ride
2. Jingle Bells
3. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town
4. Jingle Bell Rock
5. Silver Bells

Side 2:
1. Winter Wonderland
2. Little Drummer Boy
3. Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer
4. Joy To The World

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Cool Yule Tunes 2008 - A Stax o' Wax Compilation

Hey, all! Well, I finally finished putting together my Christmas compilation for this year. I was going to let iTunes randomly pick the songs for me, but I was never happy with the choices so I decided to just go through all my Christmas songs and hand-pick the songs. This is a little different from last year's Cool Yule Tunes - I think it has more less-traditional Christmas and holiday songs. But it's great to play in the car, or add to your iPod, or play at your Christmas party! And if you go download last year's compilation, you'll have double the fun! This is basically "my Christmas card to you" (as the Partridge Family would sing), and I hope that you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed putting it together!

Track listing for Cool Yule Tunes 2008 - A Stax o' Wax Compilation:

1. Happy Holiday/The Holiday Season - Andy Williams
2. Sleigh Ride - The Ventures
3. Santa Baby - Eartha Kitt
4. Joy To The World - The Mistletoe Disco Band
5. Merry Christmas Darling - The Carpenters
6. It Happened In Sun Valley - Glenn Miller Singers
7. Suzy Snowflake - Rosemary Clooney
8. You're A Mean One Mr. Grinch - Thurl Ravenscroft
9. O Tannenbaum - Vince Guaraldi Trio
10. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Ella Fitzgerald
11. Little Saint Nick - The Beach Boys
12. The Christmas Song - Mel Torme
13. We Wish You A Merry Christmas - Ray Conniff & The Singers
14. I've Got My Love To Keep Me Warm/I Love The Winter Weather - Tony Bennett
15. It's The Most Wonderful Time Of The Year - Amy Grant
16. Mistletoe And Holly - Jack Jones
17. Pine Cones And Holly Berries - The Osmonds
18. Rockin' Around The Christmas Tree - The Partridge Family
19. Here Comes Santa Claus - Esquivel
20. Frosty The Snowman/Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer - Henry Mancini
21. The 12 Days Of Christmas - The Sinatra Family
22. Carol Of The Bells - Leonard Bernstein & The New York Philharmonic
23. That Holiday Feeling - Steve Lawrence & Eydie Gorme
24. Cha-Cha All The Way - Capitol Studio Orchestra
25. Baby It's Cold Outside - Carmen McRae & Sammy Davis Jr.
26. Here We Come A-Caroling - The New Christy Minstrels
27. We Need A Little Christmas - The Golddiggers
28. I Want A Hippopotamus For Christmas - Gayla Peevey

Sunday, December 07, 2008

The Sinatra Family Wish You A Merry Christmas (1968)

Here's a real treasure that I found at HPB - and I didn't get it from the bargain bin! I didn't even know about this album, so you can imagine my surprise when I found it and for so cheap ($3.98). Does anyone know if there's any other record that Frank and his kids recorded together? Well, I think it's just dandy that we get to hear Tina and Frank Jr. each sing a song on this. Nancy was already recording hit records, so she gets two solo songs on this album, plus a duet with Tina. But my favorites are the songs where Frank Sr. and the kids all sing together. I especially like their version of "The 12 Days of Christmas".

So, better hurry and download this one before it goes away!

Track listing for The Sinatra Family Wish You A Merry Christmas:

Side 1:
1. I Wouldn't Trade Christmas - The Sinatra Family
2. It's Such A Lonely Time Of Year - Nancy Sinatra
3. Some Children See Him - Frank Sinatra Jr.
4. O Bambino (One Cold And Blessed Winter) - Tina and Nancy Sinatra
5. The Bells Of Christmas (Greensleeves) - The Sinatra Family

Side 2:
1. Whatever Happened To Christmas - Frank Sinatra
2. Santa Claus Is Coming To Town - Tina Sinatra
3. Kids - Nancy Sinatra
4. The Christmas Waltz - Frank Sinatra
5. The 12 Days Of Christmas - The Sinatra Family

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

Midnight String Quartet - Christmas Rhapsodies For Young Lovers (1967)

Today's share is one of my mother's Christmas albums. I grew up listening to this album, and I remember that, as a child, I thought it was really boring, although I liked the cover (especially the girl's dress and hairdo). I preferred the Chipmunks to this, but as I was recording this album the other day, I really liked it! I guess I've grown up. Sigh. It was bound to happen sooner or later. Anyway, the cover scan is one I found on the internet because, once again, my mother wrote our last name all over the cover. (Mom was a schoolteacher and often took her records to play for her class or for the Christmas pageant, so she had to make sure and label her stuff to get it back.) So, go listen to this record because, as it says in the liner notes, "The Midnight String Quartet presents the Christmas album of the year, and for every year to come!"

Track listing for Midnight String Quartet - Christmas Rhapsodies For Young Lovers:

Side 1:
1. Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas
2. Silent Night
3. White Christmas
4. The Little Drummer Boy
5. Oh, Holy Night
6. The Christmas Song

Side 2:
1. Sleigh Ride
2. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
3. Blue Christmas
4. First Noel
5. Winter Wonderland
6. Christmas Rhapsody

Sunday, November 30, 2008

The Happy Crickets - Christmas with the Happy Crickets

Well, I hope everyone had a happy Thanksgiving! I ended up not cooking my first turkey dinner. One cousin got sick and wasn't able to come over, so my other cousin convinced me to go out to eat instead of me cooking for just the two of us. So, we went to Black-eyed Pea where, it seems, a lot of other people had the same idea. So, the turkey breast is back in the freezer and will make the trip "home" with me for Christmas. That'll be my donation to the family gathering - and the good thing is that I won't have to cook it.

So, now we're into the Christmas season - the shopping frenzy has begun, people are putting up their Christmas trees (which will be all dried up by the time Christmas day rolls around), the electric companies are happy (thanks to all the lights). I bought a vintage aluminum Christmas tree for my cool mid-century modern house, so I'll be putting that up. Now that I bought two pet scram alarms (to scare the cats away when they approach the tree), it's safe for me to put up the tree. I don't have the color wheel though - I'm going to order it via catalog but it probably won't get here in time. Well, on with the first of this season's Christmas albums...

I bought this at my favorite place (the HPB bargain bin) and it was the cover art that caught my eye - love the graphics. I figured that this would be a knock-off of the the Chipmunks, and it is a rather cheap and bad knock-off. The Happy Crickets are nowhere near the same league as the Chipmunks! I grew up with the Chipmunks Christmas album and never heard of the Happy Crickets, but some of you may have listened to this album back when you were tiny tots and loved it. So, really, this album is dedicated to those of you who have some sort of fond nostalgic memory of listening to this album. This is also a good album for little kids, especially since little kids usually haven't developed a good ear for music, and they tend to like voices that sound like the Munchkins from the Wizard of Oz. So, this album is worth downloading to entertain your kids or grandkids. (Or, if you just like to collect bad record albums, then this one is for you!)

Track listing for Christmas with the Happy Crickets:

Side 1:
1. Rudolph, The Red Nosed Reindeer
2. White Christmas
3. Jingle Bells
4. Christmas Is For The Family
5. I Heard The Bells On Christmas Day
6. The Chipmunk Song

Side 2:
1. Away In A Manger
2. The First Noel
3. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen
4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
5. It Came Upon A Midnight Clear
6. Silent Night

BTW, does anybody know when this album came out? I'm thinking the mid-1960s, but would love to know the year if anyone out there knows it!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Patti Page - 3 Little Words (1955)

I have several Patti Page albums and previously posted "The Waltz Queen". I think waltzes are probably what one thinks of at first when one thinks of Patti Page. Well, this album is no waltzing album - it is swingin'! These are my favorite types of songs as sung by Patti - the woman can swing! This copy of the album is in stereo, so it really sounds great! And, it's got some really great songs - "Heart" and "Whatever Lola Wants" are my faves. I highly recommend that you add this album to your playlist at your next swingin' cocktail party.

BTW, I won't be posting another album until after Thanksgiving (and it'll be my first of several Christmas albums), so I want to wish you all a Happy Thanksgiving Day! I'm cooking my first turkey dinner (always went to someone's house before), so wish me luck!

Track listing for Patti Page - 3 Little Words:

Side 1:
1. Heart
2. Why Don't You Do Right (Get Me Some Money Too)
3. To Know You Is To Love You
4. I Still Get A Thrill Thinking Of You
5. My Prayer
6. Will You Still Be Mine

Side 2:
1. Whatever Lola Wants
2. Jim
3. We Three (My Echo, My Shadow And Me)
4. I'm Just Wild About Harry
5. Three Little Words
6. I Get A Kick Out Of You

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

101 Strings - Plays Hit Songs for Girls (1967)

101 Strings was another of my mom's favorites, but this is not one of her albums. I bought this one from my favorite place - the bargain bin at HPB. And, once again, it was the cover that caught my eye. For some reason, the girls at either end remind me of Sharon Tate and Barbara Parkins in "Valley of the Dolls" (one of my favorite movies). Anyway, I don't think that there's anyone who hasn't heard of 101 Strings. The easy-listening orchestra put out tons of albums and covered just about everything you can think of. Well, this is a pleasing album with some familiar tunes. Go get it now!

Track listing for 101 Strings - Plays Hit Songs for Girls:

Side 1:
1. Music to Watch Girls By
2. Gigi
3. Avalita
4. Marie
5. Always a Lady

Side 2:
1. Georgy Girl
2. Mame
3. Flirt
4. Fifi
5. Adios Mariquita Linda

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Henry Mancini - Mancini Plays the Theme from Love Story (1970)

Here's another album that belonged to my mother, and I do remember her playing this one quite a bit. I remember that she never liked the theme from "M*A*S*H" and would always skip over that song (I'm indifferent to that song - neither like nor dislike it). Anyway, thanks to my mother's influence, I am a fan of Mancini (who isn't?). Interesting album cover, too. (This is actually an image I found on the internet - my mother had written all over the album cover so I didn't want to use it.)

Track listing for Henry Mancini - Mancini Plays the Theme from Love Story:

Side 1:
1. Theme from "Love Story"
2. Song from "M*A*S*H"
3. Theme from "The Night Visitor"
4. Theme from "The Hawaiians"
5. Tomorrow is My Friend
6. The Harmonica Man

Side 2:
1. Whistling Away the Dark
2. Theme from "Borsalino"
3. Theme for Three
4. Loss of Love
5. Thank You Very Much

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Mario Lanza - Mario! (1959)

Today's album is a bit of a change of pace for me. I don't listen to opera or classical music very much, but I came across this Mario Lanza album (which I got for free when I bought a couple of other albums from a seller on eBay), so I decided to go ahead and share it with y'all. I do like Mario, and I love anything Italian, so here we have Italian songs sung in Italian by an Italian-American! The most fun song is, of course, "Funiculi' Funicula'" - everyone has heard this one. It's just fun saying it! So, pour yourself a glass of red wine and listen to Mario serenade you! (BTW, one of the things I really like about this record is that it's red vinyl - cool!)

Track listing for Mario Lanza - Mario!:

Side 1:
1. Funiculi' Funicula'
2. Dicitencello Vuie
3. Maria Mari'
4. Voce 'E Notte
5. Canta Pe' Me
6. O Surdato 'Namurato

Side 2:
1. Come Facette Mammeta
2. Santa Lucia Luntana
3. Fenesta Che Lucive
4. Tu Ca Nun Chiagne
5. 'N Sera 'E Maggio
6. Passione

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Jack Jones - The Best of Jack Jones (1977)

Today's sharity is a greatest hits album by Jack Jones, one of my favorite singers. This was a "special priced 2-record set" released by MCA Records in 1977, although the songs were all recorded in the 1960s. What can I say about this album? I love every one of the songs, and Jack's smooth voice is absolutely dreamy! If I had to pick out just one as my favorite, it would have to be a tie between "Lollipops and Roses" (recorded on a very special day for me) and "Wives and Lovers" (I don't care if some people say it is sexist - I love it!). But this entire album is wonderful and a must have! Unfortunately, this is before Jack recorded the theme song for "The Love Boat", which I think needs to be included in a "best of" album. Enjoy this double album!

Track listing for Jack Jones - The Best of Jack Jones:

Side 1:
1. The Mood I'm In (recorded 12/17/63)
2. The Shadow Of Your Smile (recorded 4/1/66)
3. What Now My Love (recorded 4/18/66)
4. A Day In The Life Of A Fool (recorded 8/26/66)
5. I Will Wait For You (recorded 4/18/66)
6. Lollipops and Roses (recorded 8/21/61)

Side 2:
1. Call Me Irresponsible (recorded 2/5/63)
2. Yesterday (recorded 11/1/65)
3. Brother, Where Are You (recorded 12/2/66)
4. Dear Heart (recorded 4/10/65)
5. Lady (recorded 12/7/66)
6. People (recorded 7/8/64)

Side 3:
1. Wives and Lovers (recorded 8/13/63)
2. Strangers In The Night (recorded 4/4/66)
3. My Best Girl (recorded 4/4/66)
4. Alfie (recorded 4/1/66)
5. Our Song (recorded 7/19/67)

Side 4:
1. The Impossible Dream (recorded 4/4/66)
2. Somewhere, My Love (recorded 9/8/66)
3. Michelle (recorded 4/3/67)
4. After Today (recorded 4/3/67)
5. If You Go Away (recorded 1/5/67)

Here's a video clip of Jack singing "Lollipops and Roses" on the Judy Garland show - how dreamy!

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Hawaiian Moonbeams - Hawaii Goes Percussion (1961)

I'm feeling especially happy tonight, so it's time for another album of Hawaiian music. This is another treasure I found recently in the HPB bargain bin, and again I bought it for the cover art. I like the cover so much that I'm going to frame this one and hang it on my wall. Like other albums of Hawaiian music that I've posted, you'll find several of the songs to be quite familiar and enjoyable. So, without further ado, here it is!

Track listing for Hawaiian Moonbeams - Hawaii Goes Percussion:

Side 1:
1. Hawaiian Blues
2. Serenade
3. Lovely Guitars
4. Hawaiian Bounce
5. Swinging Palm Trees

Side 2:
1. Sunset
2. Guitar Chant
3. Hawaiian Light
4. South Sea Island
5. Luau Lei

Sunday, November 02, 2008

John F. Kennedy - A Memorial Album (1964)

Since Election Day is only two days away, I decided to post this JFK album that belonged to my mother. My mother was a big JFK fan, and I vaguely remember her listening to this album a couple of times. This is the first time I've listened to it (I'm not exactly crazy about spoken-word albums or speeches). But for you all that like to listen to political speeches (as if you haven't had enough of them lately), I gladly share this album with you.

This album is a compilation of JFK's most famous speeches, and also has comments by Barry Goldwater, Adlai Stevenson, LBJ, Dwight D. Eisenhower, and others. Not only do we have Election Day in two days, but this month also marks the 45th anniversary of the assassination of JFK (not a good day for us Dallasites). But this album hold some pretty historic moments, so it's worth a listen.

"Ask not what your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country."
John Fitzgerald Kennedy 1917-1963

(Because there were no track separations, I only have this broken down into Side A and Side B.)

Track information for John F. Kennedy - A Memorial Album:

Side A:
Pre-Election speech of Senator Kennedy
Oath of office for presidency by J.F.K.
Inaugural address by J.F.K.
Presidential press conferences
J.F.K. speech on space flight
J.F.K. speech on Cuban crisis

Side B:
J.F.K. speech in Houston, Texas
Newscast of assassination
Eyewitness account of assassination
Ambassador Adlai Stevenson
Senator Barry Goldwater
General Dwight D. Eisenhower
Prime Minister Sir Alec Home
His Holiness Pope Paul VI
President Lyndon B. Johnson
Eulogy - Taps

Here's a video of a political ad for the JFK Presidential Campaign Song:

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

The Girlwatchers - Music To Watch Girls By (1967)

This is my new favorite album! And I found it in my favorite place - the bargain bin at HPB! I LOVE IT! Once again, it was the album cover that caught my eye. Isn't it great?! Don't you just love the vinyl dress the girl is wearing? Sigh. I wish I had been old enough in 1967 so that I could have worn a dress like that. I would've been stylin'!

Well, this album is lots of fun. It's all instrumental, but not Percy Faith type of instrumental (I love Percy Faith, too). This is swingin' and the kind of music you might hear in one of those 1960s movies with groovy chicks and happenin' guys. You know... the kind where there's a coffee house or club and the band never sings - only plays hip instrumental dance music. A couple of the songs on this album sound like what would be played for a striptease. What can I say - I love it!

Track listing for The Girlwatchers - Music To Watch Girls By:

Side 1:
1. Music To Watch Girls By
2. Pretty Petti-Pants
3. Tight Tights
4. Funny Fun Coat
5. Transparent Dresses

Side 2:
1. Fish-Net Stockings
2. Tiny Mini-Skirt
3. Nude Lipstick
4. Paper Clothing
5. Green Eye Liner

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Percy Faith - Percy Faith Plays Romantic Music (1953)

Time for another of my several Percy Faith albums. Most of the ones I have belonged to my mother, but I picked this one up from the HPB bargain bin just the other day. And, once again, it was the album cover that first caught my eye - makes me yearn for the days of yesteryear. Sigh... Well, this is another great album by Percy Faith and his orchestra - wonderful songs, great orchestrations. If you haven't got this in your Percy Faith collection, then you need to download it right now!

Track listing for Percy Faith Plays Romantic Music:

Side 1:
1. While We're Young
2. I'll Take Romance
3. Invitation
4. The Girl That I Marry
5. Valse Huguette
6. If I Loved You

Side 2:
1. Carousel Waltz
2. Easy to Love
3. One Night of Love
4. When I'm Not Near the Girl I Love
5. Caress
6. Beautiful Love

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

The Diamond Head Beachcombers - Aloha from Hawaii (1959)

It's dreary and drizzly here in Dallas, and a cold front has come in. So, what better time than to post some music from that island paradise, Hawaii! Just listening to this album as I recorded it made me feel a whole lot better! Aahhhh!

I really liked the liner notes on this album, so I'll share them with you:
After Mark Twain visited the Hawaiian Islands, he described the grass shacks, the horse and sailboat travel, and the girls who would toss off their muu muus and jump into the water naked - although, Twain insists, he wasn't really looking. The American humorist's sense of Stateside propriety may have kept him from looking, but could also have been that he was kept busy listening to the haunting and exotic music of the Islands.

In the days since Mark Twain's visit the grass shacks have been replaced by modern houses, notels and motels; the horses by U-Drive cars; and the girls have become a bit more modest. The music, however, remains as magical as it ever was, creating pictures of exotic flowers, sun-drenched beaches and year-round springtime.

So, sit back and close your eyes, and let this album take you away to Hawaii...

Track listing for The Diamond Head Beachcombers - Aloha from Hawaii:

Side 1:
1. I'll See You in Hawaii
2. Beyond the Reef
3. Lovely Hula Hands
4. I Will Remember You
5. Blue Lei
6. For You a Lei

Side 2:
1. Song of the Islands (Na Lei O Hawaii)
2. Across the Sea
3. Keep Your Eyes on the Hands
4. Love Song of Kalua
5. A Song of Old Hawaii
6. To You, Sweetheart, Aloha

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Chad Everett - Chad (1976)

Here's another great album by the grooviest TV doctor ever - Chad Everett! I know y'all just didn't get enough of Chad when I posted "All Strung Out", so here I am sharing the other album of his that I have. (I don't think he recorded any more albums after this one.) There's nothing like having Dr. Joe Gannon from "Medical Center" crooning some tunes on a rainy evening... sigh. His version of the Bee Gees' "Nights on Broadway" makes this album worth it! Plus, I love his leisure suit and his perfect hair!

Track listing for Chad Everett - Chad:

Side 1:
1. Leave It to Love
2. You Set My Dreams to Music
3. Satisfy Me One More Time
4. Rock Me Away
5. My Eyes Adored You

Side 2:
1. You're All I Need
2. I Got Love for You Ruby
3. At Least You Could Have Said 'Goodbye'
4. One More Time
5. Nights on Broadway

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Frank Chacksfield - Presenting Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra (1954)

I bought this album in the late 1980s, soon after I discovered a local radio station that played big band music and old easy listening stuff. My mom really liked this album because of the "Theme from 'Limelight'" - one of her favorite instrumentals. I still have the cassette recording of this album that I made for my mom - good to have in case the record player, CD player or computer goes on the blink. It's a very pretty album - very lush and glorious sounding. Besides 'Limelight' and "Ebb Tide" (the other big hit), my favorite is "Waltzing Bugle Boy". Enjoy!

Track listing for Presenting Frank Chacksfield and his Orchestra:

Side 1:
1. Theme from "Limelight"
2. Limelight Incidental Music
3. Golden Violins
4. A Girl Called Linda
5. High Feather
6. Glorious

Side 2:
1. Ebb Tide
2. Waltzing Bugle Boy
3. Golden Tango
4. Song of Canterbury
5. Dancing Princess
6. The Pied Piper

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Harry Belafonte - Calypso (1956)

Back in June, I posted one of Harry Belafonte's early albums (not sure if it was his first), and tonight I'm posting the one that was probably his breakout album - "Calypso". This is the one that has the song "Day O" on it. It is a great album! Many of you probably already have it, and there were several copies in the HPB bargain bin (this was the best copy) when I bought it. So, it's not exactly a rare or hard-to-find album, but I wanted to share my copy with you. Hope you enjoy it!

Track listing for Harry Belafonte - Calypso (link has been deleted - go buy CD on Amazon):

Side 1:
1. Day O
2. I Do Adore Her
3. Jamaica Farewell
4. Will His Love Be Like His Rum?
5. Dolly Dawn

Side 2:
1. Star O
2. The Jack-Ass Song
3. Hosanna
4. Come Back Liza
5. Brown Skin Girl
6. Man Smart (Woman Smarter)

Here's Harry singing "Jamaica Farewell":

Sunday, October 05, 2008

Nestor Amaral and His Continentals - Holiday in Brazil (1957)

Well, the last post was some music from Mexico, so today I decided to go all the way down to South America and take you on a "Holiday in Brazil". I love the sound from Brazil - the baias, sambas, and bossa novas. And I would love to go visit Brazil some day - especially during carnaval!

This is a pretty cool album. Nestor Amaral introduced "Baia" in Walt Disney's "Three Caballeros", and "Brazil" in "The Gang's All Here". From what I read about him on the internet (and in the liner notes), he had a pretty full career. I'm sure that some of you know all about him and can educate me further on his music (I had never heard of him until I bought this record). Also from what I read, this album was originally released as an eight-song album and was simply called "Brazil". This particular version contains eleven songs, was renamed "Holiday in Brazil", and was released on one of the budget labels, Mayfair Records. The record itself is not black - it's yellow, and probably the reason I bought it. Most of it was in really good shape, as you can hear, except for several songs on Side 2 have more clicks and noise than the others, and one has a skip in it. But, it's still great music that'll get you dancing!

Track listing for Nestor Amaral - Holiday in Brazil:

Side 1:
1. Brazil
2. Pra Que Discutir
3. Currupaco
4. Porto Alegre
5. Ba Tu Ca Da
6. Tico Tico

Side 2:
1. Playtime in Brazil
2. Baia
3. Nossa Amizade
4. Belem Bayonee
5. Bamba No Samba

Here's the "Baia" number from Walt Disney's "Three Caballeros":

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Tito Guizar - The Gay Ranchero (1960)

No - not that kind of gay! Although, I must admit that I bought this record for the name and cover alone! I couldn't help but laugh hysterically when I found this record in the HBP bargain bin. I mean, he does look a little flowery - don't you think?

Actually, Tito Guizar was a very well-known and well-respected Mexican singer and actor. He appeared in the movie "The Gay Ranchero" with Roy Rogers in 1948, and I'm sure that's how this album got its name. And - for those of you who may not know - the outfit he's wearing on the cover is a charro (Mexican cowboy) outfit. Charro outfits can be pretty expensive depending on how fancy they are. Back in my hometown of Brownsville, Texas, we have an annual festival called "Charro Days" full of music, dancing, parades, jalapeno-eating contests, and other festivities. Some people dress up in their charro outfits or other traditional Mexican garb - it's very colorful and lots of fun. Anyway - back to this album... Most of the songs on this album are popular Mexican and Spanish melodies of that era, but you'll recognize two of them as Spanish versions of "Fascination" and "Around the World". I've also translated the song titles to English, in case you want to know what they mean. My favorite one is "Uy Uy Uy!! Mariposa" - but I think it's because I just like saying, "Uy uy uy!"

Track listing for Tito Guizar - The Gay Ranchero (1960):

Side 1:
1. Yo No Me Caso Compadre (I Will Not Marry, Friend)
2. Te Estare Esperando (I Will Be Waiting For You)
3. Tu y Mis Refranes (You and My Proverbs - not too sure about this one)
4. Fascinacion (Fascination)
5. Yo El Aventurero (I, The Adventurer)
6. Llorare Manana (I Will Cry Tomorrow)

Side 2:
1. Agraciada Golondrina (Attractive Wanderer - not too sure about this one)
2. Uy Uy Uy!! Mariposa (Uy Uy Uy!! Butterfly)
3. La Malaguena (The Malagan)
4. La Higuera (The Fig Tree)
5. Mi Barrio Alegre (My Happy Neighborhood)
6. La Vuelta Al Mundo (Around the World)

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Greatest Hits From The Movies (1972)

Today's offering is one of my mom's old albums - a 1972 Columbia release called "Greatest Hits From The Movies". I do remember my mom playing this album a lot. It's a compilation of familiar themes from familiar movies. I think the only two movies represented here, that I've never seen, are "Z" and "Such Good Friends". Anyway, I don't really have any "story" to accompany this post - and I'm kind of in a hurry because tonight is the season premiere of "Dexter" - so I'll just let y'all grab this album and give it a listen!

Track listing for Greatest Hits From The Movies (1972):

Side 1:
1. Love Theme from "The Godfather" - Andre Kostelanetz
2. (Where Do I Begin) Love Story - Johnny Mathis
3. Suicide is Painless (Main Title) - The MASH
4. Theme from "Summer of '42" - Peter Nero
5. Theme from "Z" - Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra
6. Electronic Prelude - R. Strauss: Also Sprach Zarathustra, Op. 30 (Opening) - Eugene Ormandy and The Philadelphia Orchestra

Side 2:
1. Mrs. Robinson - Ray Conniff and The Singers
2. Love Theme from "Romeo and Juliet" - Percy Faith, His Orchestra and Chorus
3. Theme from "Shaft" - Percy Faith and His Orchestra
4. If I Were a Rich Man - Topol
5. Suddenly, It's All Tomorrow - O. C. Smith
6. Purcell: Music for the Funeral of Queen Mary - Maurice Peress and The Columbia Brass Ensemble

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

The Original Music from Dark Shadows (1969)

I thought I'd do a little change of pace today and post one of my soundtracks. I know that Halloween is still a little over a month away, but I thought I'd start getting in the mood by posting "The Original Music From ABC-TV's Dark Shadows". This is the first album of music from the show (I think there were four, because I also have number 4), from 1969. This album originally came with a poster of Barnabas and Quentin, but I bought this at an estate sale, and unfortunately, the poster was long gone - probably hung in some 1960's teen-age girl's room until she moved on to other faves.

The show started in 1966 and it was my absolute favorite TV show when I was a little girl. I became a horror movie/show fan at the tender age of 4, when I saw "The Brain That Wouldn't Die" on TV, so when "Dark Shadows" came on the air, I was ecstatic. All my friends liked the show - we would even play "Dark Shadows" during recess at school (this was first through third grades). I had the honor of being "Barnabas" - it was all girls (it was a co-ed school, but at that age, we didn't play with boys) so we played both the male and female parts. Oh - the reason I got to be "Barnabas" was because I had the pointiest teeth (the cuspids or bi-cuspids - I don't know which). Problem was that the girl who was "Josette" was much taller than I was (I was one of the "pee wees" of the class), so it was a little difficult to bite her neck (I really got into character). I also sometimes would be "Quentin" - don't remember what qualified me for that role...maybe my wild hair. But, hey - I got to be the main characters - pretty good!

I have many memories of the show and the two movies (of course, I went and saw them at the theatre when they came out!), and I have many favorite characters (my mother was even impressed because Joan Bennett was in the show). Besides Barnabas and Quentin, my favorite was Angelique. What a beautiful woman - and so evil! I also liked the werewolf a lot (can't remember who that was). Note to self: I really need to buy the DVD collection.

Anyway, I can go on and on about this show, but I'll stop (for now), and let you download the album. It'll be great to play as background music for your Halloween party! BTW, the two "Blue Whale" tunes are pretty groovy and you can dance to them!

Track listing for The Original Music from Dark Shadows:

Side 1:
1. Opening Themes: 1. Dark Shadows 2. Collinwood
2. I'll Be With You, Always - Narration by Jonathan Frid
3. Josette's Theme
4. A Darkness at Collinwood
5. Meditations - Narration by Jonathan Frid
6. Night of the Pentagram
7. When I Am Dead - Narration by Jonathan Frid
8. No. 1 at the Blue Whale

Side 2:
1. Shadows of the Night (Quentin's Theme) - Narration by David Selby
2. The Secret Room
3. Epitaph - Narration by Jonathan Frid
4. Seance
5. I, Barnabas - Narration by Jonathan Frid
6. Back at the Blue Whale
7. The Old House
8. 1. Epilogue 2. Dark Shadows

And, just to remind you of the opening sequence, here's the color one used from 1967 to 1971:

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Sessions Presents 26 Original Hits (1978)

As we count down the last few hours of summer, I've decided to share a double-record set with you today. Remember those TV commercials that would advertise record compilations by a company called Sessions? Well, this is one of those albums - and I got it for $1 in the HBP bargain bin! It's a great album with some wonderful familiar hit songs from the late 1950s and early 1960s. And I really like the cover - with the old record player and 45s. Remember how fun it was to buy the latest record and invite your friends over to listen to it? And you would have an impromptu dance party after school? Kids today don't know what they're missing since they don't do that anymore!

I like all but one song on this double-album (I've never liked #3 on Side 1, and I particularly don't like this version - I've always found it annoying with his "oh, yeah!"). But the one song that I think I really, really like is "Born Too Late". The first time I heard it was around the time that David Cassidy became a big teen idol. He was 20 when "The Partridge Family" first came on TV, and I was 9. I developed a huge crush on him, and "Born Too Late" became the song that I would dedicate to him every time I listened to it. I still think of him when I hear it. Sigh.

Well, anyway, I think you should definitely download this and play it at your next Saturday night sock-hop! It'll bring back lots of wonderful memories!

Track listing for Sessions Presents 26 Original Hits:

Side 1:
1. My Happiness - Connie Francis
2. Tom Dooley - Kingston Trio
3. I'm Gonna Sit Right Down and Write Myself a Letter - Billy Williams
4. Teenager in Love - Dion & The Belmonts
5. Born Too Late - Poni-Tails
6. Wayward Wind - Gogi Grant
7. Young Love - Sonny James

Side 2:
1. Bye Bye Love - Everly Brothers
2. Why Do Fools Fall in Love - Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers
3. It's Just a Matter of Time - Brook Benton
4. Tonight You Belong to Me - The Lennon Sisters with Lawrence Welk
5. I Hear You Knocking - Gale Storm
6. Don't Forbid Me - Pat Boone

Side 3:
1. Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu (Volare) - Domenico Modugno
2. To Know Him Is to Love Him - Teddy Bears
3. Smoke Gets in Your Eyes - The Platters
4. Ivory Tower - Cathy Carr
5. 26 Miles (Santa Catalina) - Four Preps
6. Green Door - Jim Lowe
7. Allegheny Moon - Patti Page

Side 4:
1. Tammy - Debbie Reynolds
2. Love Is a Many Splendored Thing - Four Aces
3. Broken Hearted Melody - Sarah Vaughan
4. Honeycomb - Jimmie Rodgers
5. Morning Side of the Mountain - Tommy Edwards
6. A Sweet Old-Fashioned Girl - Teresa Brewer

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pia Zadora - I Am What I Am (1986)

I don't remember the first time I heard Pia Zadora sing. I think I must've heard her cover of an old standard on my local radio station, KAAM - 770 on the AM dial. I can't think of any other way I would've heard her sing. Well, anyway, I was amazed that this was the same Pia Zadora that had turned in such awful acting performances in some very forgettable movies. You gotta hand it to the lady for reinventing herself as a singer of old pop standards. Plus, she didn't just record with some studio musicians - she recorded with the London Philharmonic Orchestra! That's the way to do it!

I was so impressed by these recordings of Pia's, that I bought three of her albums (I'll probably post the others at some point) and taped them on cassette for my mother. She loved them (and these were songs from my mom's era). In fact, she loved them so much that she in turn made tapes for several of her friends. My mom has since passed away, and so have some of her friends, but those that are still around still listen to those tapes she made of Pia Zadora's albums! Well, as I mentioned, I was so impressed by Pia's albums, that I went to see her in concert in the late 80s. She came to Dallas and performed at the Fair Park Music Hall. None of my friends were into the kind of music that I liked, so I bought a ticket and went by myself to see her - sat dead center in the fourth row - perfect seat. The show was fabulous! She was as good in person as she sounded on the albums, plus she had a great personality. She even brought her little girl and boy out to sing something - they were adorable. So, give Pia a listen on this album - all the songs are great!

Track listing for Pia Zadora - I Am What I Am:

Side 1:
1. I Am What I Am
2. All of Me
3. I Got It Bad and That Ain't Good
4. A Foggy Day (In London Town)
5. Day by Day
6. I'm Beginning to See the Light
7. If He Walked into My Life

Side 2:
1. For Once in My Life
2. How About You
3. I Had the Craziest Dream
4. The One I Love
5. Time After Time
6. Pennies from Heaven
7. It's Been a Long, Long Time
8. The Lady is a Tramp

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Weavers - The Best of The Weavers (1959)

How about listening to some familiar folk songs tonight? Here's an album I forgot I had - and it's got some great songs that you can sing-along to! You may even remember learning a couple of these in elementary school, and hearing a couple of others in versions recorded by the Beach Boys. It's a good album that takes their (The Weavers) biggest hits from the Decca years.

On this record the quartet is comprised of blues and ballad soloists Ronnie Gilbert and Fred Hellerman, the youngest members; Pete Seeger, whose considerable research knowledge of folk music, styles and instruments has been invaluable to the group; and Lee Hays, the senior member, and a former preacher, school teacher, fiction writer, and highly skilled singer and arranger.

Track listing from The Best of The Weavers:

Side 1:
1. Goodnight Irene
2. Kisses Sweeter Than Wine
3. So Long (It's Been Good to Know Yuh)
4. Old Paint (Ride Along Little Dogies)
5. Around the Corner (Beneath the Berry Tree)
6. Wimoweh

Side 2:
1. On Top of Old Smokey
2. The Wreck of the John B
3. Midnight Special
4. The Roving Kind
5. Lonesome Traveler
6. When the Saints Go Marching In

Here are The Weavers singing "So Long":

Sunday, September 07, 2008

Sarah Vaughan - Dreamy (1961)

What a better way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon than to listen to the Divine One, the one and only "Sassy". Of course, I'm talking about the wonderful Sarah Vaughan. What a voice - what talent! Sigh. I'm speechless - I really don't know what else to say about this awesome singer. So, instead I'm going to just let you listen to her sing on this album - singing such favorites of mine as "Crazy He Calls Me", "The More I See You", and "I'll Be Seeing You". With songs like that, how can you go wrong?

Track listing for Sarah Vaughan - Dreamy:

Side 1:
1. Dreamy
2. Hands Across the Table
3. The More I See You
4. I'll Be Seeing You
5. Star Eyes
6. You've Changed

Side 2:
1. Trees
2. Why Was I Born
3. My Ideal
4. Crazy He Calls Me
5. Stormy Weather
6. Moon Over Miami

Here's a video of Sarah Vaughan singing "Perdido":

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The Three Suns - On a Magic Carpet (1960)

Been abroad lately? Well, here's your chance to fly now and be enchanted forever. You'll be traveling first class all the way, on a magic carpet borne aloft by the artistry of the inimitable Three Suns.
So begin the liner notes on the back of this album. This is a great album! I can't believe I had never heard it before until I bought it (once again, from the bargain bin at HPB)! I had a few songs by the Three Suns, but this is the first album of theirs that I've bought. And, as usual, it was the cover that caught my eye - it's pretty crazy, and I love the girl's hairdo! And, the album is great - full of familiar songs! So, get on your magic carpet and give it a listen!

Track listing for The Three Suns - On a Magic Carpet:

Side 1:
1. Canadian Sunset
2. Lisbon Antigua
3. Terry Theme
4. High Noon (Do Not Forsake Me)
5. Moritat
6. The Poor People of Paris (Jean's Song)

Side 2:
1. Blue Tango
2. Meet Mr. Callaghan
3. The Song from Moulin Rouge (Where is Your Heart)
4. Ruby
5. The 3rd Man Theme
6. Fleur de Paree

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Telly Savalas - Telly (1974)

Time for another celebrity vocal - from none other than "Kojak" himself, Telly Savalas! And can you believe that I found this in the dollar bin at HPB?! Telly Savalas?! What were they thinking to put him in the dollar bin?! This is priceless! I mean, this is almost as good as any Mrs. Miller album (I have all four of her albums). And Telly was The Man! What charm - what masculinity - what a nice shiny head! Actually, I was a big "Kojak" fan back in the day - used to watch it every week with my father. They made a new "Kojak" show a couple of years ago with Ving Rhames - should never try to make new versions of hit TV shows. I like Ving Rhames, but there just isn't any other "Kojak" except for Telly.

Now, this is the first of four albums that Telly recorded. As you listen to this album, a question may come into your mind - "why?". Sometimes I wonder what agents or producers (or whoever these people are) are thinking when they suggest that a celebrity NOT known for his/her singing should record an album. Yeah, I know they're just trying to make more money off the celebrity because they know that people like me will buy the album! So, really - thank goodness that there are so many celebrity albums like this! The liner notes on this album say it best:
Telly describes himself as "the only virgin recording artist there is". He also has a fairly simple philosophy for making a record. He presents himself honestly. "People know that singing is not my bag, but if I say 'Hey, this is how Telly feels about this or that song,' I can't make mistakes. I can only make mistakes by pretending to be a great singer." First, you'll ask, what is an actor doing making a record? Well, when you hear Telly's dramatic interpretation of "You're a Lady", "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'", and "Rubber Bands and Bits of String", you'll stop asking those silly questions and fall in love. Telly answers this question by modestly stating, "I was asked to make a record."

Track listing for Telly Savalas - Telly:

Side 1:
1. Rubber Bands and Bits of String
2. A Song for You
3. You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'
4. How Insensitive
5. You're a Lady

Side 2:
1. If
2. You and Me Against the World
3. Something
4. Without Her
5. Help Me Make It Through the Night

Here's a video of Telly "singing" his hit from this album - "If". It kinda brings a tear to my eye - sniff...

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Peter Ricardo and His Calypso - Hi-Fi Calypso (1957)

Yesterday, my friend, Bradley, and I went to Half-Price Books and had a very productive afternoon! I came away with two of the Retro series cookbooks ("Retro Diner" and "Retro Pies"), and fifteen records! Of course, I will share these albums with y'all on this blog!

Today I am sharing another gem from the HPB bargain bin (but not one of yesterday's finds). I bought this one some years ago for the album cover, and had it framed and hanging on my wall until recently. I just love that cover! And, the music is pretty good, too. According to the liner notes, Peter Ricardo was a "true 'calypsonian' - geographically because he was born on the island of Grenada in the British West Indies; musically because he composes his own calypsos, unlike the artist who is known simply as a 'calypso singer' and sings the songs of others exclusively." Well, this album was recorded in England, and I think this was England's idea of calypso music. Personally, I prefer Harry Belafonte's style of singing calypso, but this is still a fun album to listen to. You'll recognize several of the songs, too!

Track listing for Peter Ricardo - Hi-Fi Calypso:

Side 1:
1. Let's Go Calypso
2. Grenada (Land of Spice)
3. Mama Look a Booboo (Shut Yuh Mouth - Go Away)
4. Dohbi Day-Oh (The Native Washerwoman)
5. Caribbean Love Song (Ramona and Ricardo)
6. Rum and Coca Cola

Side 2:
1. Marianne
2. Capullito de Aleli
3. The Banana Boat Song
4. Calypso Beat
5. Don't Ever Love Me
6. Jamaica Farewell

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Patti Page - The Waltz Queen (1955)

Today's post is by one of my favorite female vocalists - the Singing Rage, Miss Patti Page! The very first song I heard on my favorite Dallas radio station, 770 KAAM, when I discovered it by accident in 1987 (it was 1310 KAAM then), was "How Much is That Doggy in the Window" by Patti Page. It brought back so many childhood memories, and I can honestly say that it is my favorite of all the songs Patti ever recorded. But, I love all her songs. I even got to see Patti perform back in the late 1980s at the Venetian Room at the Fairmont Hotel here in Dallas. (Unfortunately, the Venetian Room no longer showcases talent that performs this kind of music.) It was a fabulous show - reminiscent of the shows that you see in old movies, where people would go to a nice club for dinner, dancing, and a show. Patti was absolutely wonderful, singing all her wonderful hits. Then she wove her way among the tables, greeting some of the audience as she sang. I even got to shake her hand while she sang "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte"! It was fabulous!

Patti Page is probably known for singing so many waltzes, so this album is aptly titled "The Waltz Queen". I actually have two versions of this album - this stereo one from 1955 that I'm posting, and a mono version from 1957. It appears that when the album was re-released in 1957, there were two songs that were different from the original 1955 version. The mono version that I have has "Whispering Winds" and "That's All I'll Ever Ask of You", whereas this 1955 stereo version has "While We're Young" and "You Will Find Your Love (in Paris)". If anyone out there would like the two songs from the 1957 mono version, just post a comment and I'll upload them, too. But, for now, here is the original 1955 version of the album for you to waltz by.

Track listing for Patti Page - The Waltz Queen:

Side 1:
1. What'll I Do
2. Memories
3. Till We Meet Again
4. While We're Young
5. Remember
6. Now is the Hour

Side 2:
1. You Always Hurt the One You Love
2. The Boy Next Door
3. Falling in Love With Love
4. Let the Rest of the World Go By
5. You Will Find Your Love (in Paris)
6. Wondering

Here's Patti singing my favorite, "How Much is That Doggy in the Window":

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Reg Owen and His Orchestra - Coffee Break (1958)

Here's a real gem I found in the HPB bargain bin - and, once again, I bought it for the album cover - it's just so 1950s! The music is really great, too - very soothing and melodious. I'd never heard any of the songs before, but I like all of them.

The liner notes on this album are pretty long (talks a lot about coffee breaks), but I thought the following really describes this album:
The selections chosen for this recording were hand-picked especially for your coffee break. Of course, the musicians who made the record also took time out for their coffee breaks. That accounts for the little blank parts you'll note on the recording between selections.

There are songs here for every coffee break mood. Some are just right for vigorous stirring. Others are perfect for languid stirring, or for pouring sugar out of a container on a damp day. There are some songs absolutely incomparable for taking first sips by. There are even several songs by which you can ask for seconds, or rinse out your cup, if you happen to be through.

Now, hasn't that pot perked about long enough?

Track listing for Reg Owen - Coffee Break:

Side 1:
1. Oh But I Do
2. Ask Anyone Who Knows
3. Was That the Human Thing to Do
4. Every Day
5. Please Don't Talk About Me
6. Twenty-four Hours of Sunshine

Side 2:
1. When Hearts Are Young
2. Keep Smiling at Trouble
3. Have a Little Faith in Me
4. Love Will Find a Way
5. A Little Kiss Each Morning
6. Suddenly

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

Wayne Newton - The Best of Wayne Newton (1967)

How about some early Wayne Newton tonight? I LOVE Wayne Newton - especially his early stuff, before his voice changed. I like his singing now, too, but being the nostalgic that I am, I prefer listening to him when he was just a young lad. (BTW, how old was he when his voice finally changed?) Well, by 1967, Wayne had already had several hits and had recorded several albums, so this is his first "greatest hits" album. It's great because it's got all the early favorites, including his signature song "Danke Schoen". (Of course, every time I hear this song, I think of Ferris Bueller.) I love how the liner notes describe Wayne as "an apple-cheeked young fellow with a big, wide grin". What a great description! And, you gotta love the photo on the album cover - the hand up by his face and the perfectly coiffed hair! And Wayne still has the perfectly coiffed hair! I'm one of the few people on this earth who has yet to go to Las Vegas, but when I do go, I definitely plan to go see Wayne! I've heard he puts on the best show. But, for now, I will just have to listen to "the great songs by the great young singer known as MR. EXCITEMENT!"

Track listing for The Best of Wayne Newton (1967):

Side 1:
1. Danke Schoen
2. Bill Bailey
3. Laura Lee
4. I'm Looking Over a Four Leaf Clover
5. After the Laughter
6. Wiederseh'n

Side 2:
1. Summer Wind
2. Days of Wine and Roses
3. Apple Blossom Time
4. Games That Lovers Play
5. You're Nobody 'Til Somebody Loves You

Here's a fun video of a very young Wayne Newton with the Newton Brothers:

Sunday, August 03, 2008

George Maharis - Just Turn Me Loose! (1963)

Time for another celebrity vocal! This time around it's an album by George Maharis, one of the stars of the television series "Route 66". Not only was he a handsome man, but he was also a good singer (unlike many of the other celebrity vocals). George is in his seventies now, but I'm sure he's still a fine-looking man, and probably can still croon a tune or two! Speaking of tunes, this album has some familiar ones - and you won't be disappointed at George's take on them. My favorite is "Don't Fence Me In", which has a line in it that says "Just turn me loose" - which is where this album's title came from! Anyway, give this album a listen and enjoy!

Track listing for George Maharis - Just Turn Me Loose!:

Side 1:
1. Don't Fence Me In
2. Little Girl
3. I Remember You
4. I Can't Believe That You're in Love With Me
5. Take Me in Your Arms
6. Alright, Okay, You Win

Side 2:
1. I Wanna Be Loved
2. Laughing on the Outside
3. What Kind of Fool Am I?
4. Baby Has Gone Bye Bye
5. Little White Lies
6. All of You

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Frankie Laine - Rockin' (1957)

Wow! Frankie Laine was an awesome singer, but this album of his just knocked my socks off! It is really fabulous - Frankie at his best! Plus, he recorded it with Paul Weston and his orchestra - one of my favorite bandleaders. For this collection, "Rockin' Chair" was arranged by Russ Case, and Paul Weston made the arrangements for "That's My Desire", "West End Blues" and "Give Me a Kiss". All other arrangements were made by the great Billy May. So, how could you go wrong with that? I've heard many of these songs before, and it's really hard to pick a favorite. I guess, for tonight, my favorite is "Shine" - I'm just in a "Shine" kind of mood. But this whole album is great! Listen for yourselves!

Track listing for Frankie Laine - Rockin':

Side 1:
1. By the River Ste. Marie
2. So Black and Blue
3. That's My Desire
4. Blue Turning Grey Over You
5. That Lucky Old Sun
6. Baby, That Ain't Right

Side 2:
1. Shine
2. Rockin' Chair
3. We'll Be Together Again
4. West End Blues
5. Give Me a Kiss
6. On the Sunny Side of the Street

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sammy Kaye and his Orchestra - Music for Dancing (1957)

Here's one for you big band enthusiasts. This was released on the Camden label, which was the budget label for RCA, in 1957. But, after listening to it, I think these songs must've been recorded a lot earlier - they kind of have a 1930s sound to them. It could be, too, that they just sound that way because this is a mono recording. Regardless, there are a lot of familiar tunes on this album that are sure to bring a smile to your face. I like how Sammy would introduce the vocalists, like - "and now here are the Kaye-dettes to sing..." or "to sing this beautiful song is so-and-so..." Anyway, enjoy!

Track listing for Sammy Kaye - Music for Dancing:

Side 1:
1. Baby Face
2. Miss You
3. Let's Have Another Cup of Coffee
4. Begin the Beguine
5. Pretty Baby
6. You Call It Madness

Side 2:
1. Amapola
2. You Always Hurt the One You Love
3. Taboo
4. Taking a Chance On Love
5. South of the Border
6. I Understand

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Pepe Jaramillo - Mexican Fiesta (1960)

Here's a very enjoyable record of Latin American rhythm! This is one of those records that I have no idea if it belonged to my mother, or if I bought it - I just don't remember. But, I like it. I would even call it a "lounge" or "exotica" record. One of the things I really like is that, on the back cover, it tells you what kind of dance that song is. I only know how to dance two of the dances listed (bolero and cha cha cha), but I'm willing to give the others a try. Now, this record was pretty beat up, and I ran it through the click removal several times, but there's still some clicks and pops, and several of the songs have skips (not that obvious) in them. But it really is still a nice album to listen to, and you'll find many of the songs quite familiar. If there is anyone out there who happens to have a better recording of this album, please do share it with us!

Track listing for Pepe Jaramillo - Mexican Fiesta:

Side 1:
1. Bolero: Green Eyes
2. Baion: Cachito
3. Bolero: The Breeze and I
4. Guaracha: Cachita
5. Cha Cha Cha: Amor
6. Beguine: Siboney
7. Cha Cha Cha: Sway

Side 2:
1. Bolero: South of the Border
2. Baion: El Choclo
3. Bolero: Stairway to the Sea
4. Cha Cha Cha: Torero
5. Beguine: To Be Or Not To Be
6. Son Mambo: Capullito de Aleli
7. Baion: The Man Who Plays the Mandolino

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Bill Haley and The Comets - Rock 'n' Roll Revival (1971)

"One, two, three o'clock, four o'clock, rock!"

How many of you remember those first words of one of the greatest rock 'n' roll songs ever? Some of us remember that song from the movie "The Blackboard Jungle", others from 1950s AM radio, others from the first season of the television series "Happy Days". I was not around in the 1950s, but I was introduced to the 50s rock in 1973 by my seventh grade Texas history teacher, Brother Joseph Scanlon. I remember that it was the day before a holiday (Thanksgiving, I think), when no one has their mind on school work, and he brought in a portable record player and a record. He played it while the class did busy work - and I was completely blown over by the music. A short time after that, I watched "The Blackboard Jungle" on late night TV with my mom, and I thought I was being such a rebel because I listened to that crazy 50s rock. Isn't it great the way kids' minds work? And then, several years later, "Happy Days" came on the air and I was ecstatic.

Anyway, I think I must've bought this record from the HPB bargain bin a while back, because it's a promotional DJ copy (and where else would I be able to find a promotional DJ copy?). Bill Haley and the Comets are required for any rock 'n' roll collection, in my opinion. This album was released in 1971, when there was a resurgence or "revival" of 50s rock. I think Bill and his band must've rerecorded all these songs, because they sound a little different from the way I've heard them on other (older) albums. So, dig out those saddle shoes and poodle skirts and get ready to dance to this album!

Track listing for Bill Haley and The Comets - Rock 'n' Roll Revival:

Side 1:
1. Rock Around the Clock
2. Blue Suede Shoes
3. Whole Lotta Shakin' Goin' On
4. Kansas City
5. No Letter Today
6. Shake, Rattle and Roll

Side 2:
1. Crazy Man, Crazy
2. There's a New Moon Over My Shoulder
3. I'm In Love Again
4. Detour
5. Blueberry Hill
6. Stagger Lee

And here's a great video of Bill Haley and The Comets singing their signature song!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Geraldo and his Orchestra - Dance, Dance, Dance! (1958)

Woo hoo! As of today, I have passed 150,000 hits on my blog! Thanks so much to all of you who visit regularly, and welcome to those who are only now finding this blog! I love music and I am glad that I am able to share my records with you all!

Well, ever since I brought up my entire record collection from my other house, I have shared several records that once belonged to my mom. This is another one, and it was a gift from my Uncle Abel (my mom's younger brother) to my mom in the summer of 1959 (my mom scribbled this on the back of the album). My uncle also shared my mom's love of music, and I even have some of his old records (my aunt gave them to me after he died). Anyway, this album is great for dancing as each track is actually a medley of several songs lasting about 5 minutes or so. According to the album cover, there are "36 Dance Favorites in Hi-Fi". Geraldo was actually Gerald Bright, a British bandleader, who adopted the name "Geraldo" in 1930 to become one of the most popular dance-band leaders of the 1930s with his "sweet music" and his "Gaucho Tango Orchestra". He died in 1974 while on holiday in Switzerland.

So, put on your dancing shoes and "Dance, Dance, Dance!" to the music of Geraldo!

Track listing for Geraldo and his Orchestra - Dance, Dance, Dance!:

Side 1:
1. Dance Little Lady; All the Things You Are; Button Up Your Overcoat; The Way You Look Tonight; The Lady is a Tramp
2. The Merry Widow Waltz; Falling in Love with Love; The Blue Danube Waltz
3. Long Ago (And Far Away); Dearly Beloved; You Were Never Lovelier; Love Walked In
4. Nice Work If You Can Get It; The Best Things in Life Are Free; Shall We Dance; A Fine Romance; You're the Cream in My Coffee

Side 2:
1. It's Delovely; Easy to Love; I Won't Dance; I Love Paris; In the Still of the Night
2. Lovely to Look At; We'll Gather Lilacs; Can I Forget You; There's a Small Hotel
3. Carioca; Cherry Pink Mambo; April in Portugal; Mu Cha Cha; My Heart Belongs to Daddy
4. The World is Waiting for the Sunrise; Why Do I Love You; I'm Old-Fashioned; On Your Toes; You'd Be So Nice to Come Home To

Here's a video of Geraldo and his Gaucho Tango Orchestra in 1932:

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Percy Faith - Viva! (1957)

Hola, amigos! (Yes, I am fluent in Spanish, but I'll continue the rest in English.) Today's offering is another album of my mother's that I grew up listening to. My mom belonged to the Columbia House record club (I later belonged to it - the apple doesn't fall far from the tree), and she bought lots of cool records, most of which I have now. My mom loved Percy Faith, so I have several of his records. Although this album was released in 1957, I don't think my mom bought it until 1959 because on the back of the album cover she wrote her name and '1959' (my mom liked to scribble notes on the backs of her record albums). So, take another trip down memory lane and give a listen to this "Music from Mexico" album from Percy Faith and his orchestra!

Track listing for Percy Faith - Viva!:

Side 1:
1. Granada
2. La Golondrina (The Swallow)
3. La Cucaracha (The Mexican Cockroach Song)
4. Chiapanecas (The Mexican Hand-Clapping Song)
5. Estrellita (My Little Star)
6. El Rancho Grande (My Ranch)
7. La Paloma (The Dove)

Side 2:
1. Be Mine Tonight (Noche de Ronda)
2. Mexican Hat Dance (Jarabe Tapatio)
3. Guadalajara
4. Zandunga; Jesusita en Chihuahua (The Dancing Donkey)
5. Cuanto Le Gusta
6. Solamente Una Vez (You Belong to My Heart)

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Rick Ely (1970)

Does anyone out there remember a very short-lived television series called "The Young Rebels"? Or the handsome star, Rick Ely (wasn't he just dreamy?), who played "Jeremy Larkin" on the show? Well, here's a record from my celebrity vocal collection that I forgot I even had! I searched for this for a long time and finally found it on eBay a few years ago (sealed!), listened to it once, and forgot about it. So, I thought this would be a real treat (depending on how you look at it).

I never watched an episode of the show - it came and went pretty fast - but I do vaguely remember watching commercials for it. And I do remember Rick Ely from the teen magazines like Tiger Beat and 16 (okay, I still have a few of those). He wasn't one of my "faves" back then (I was more in the David Cassidy and Donny Osmond crowd), but when I bought some old teen magazines on eBay a few years ago, and some of them had pictures and articles about him, I developed a bit of a crush on him - well, a crush on the guy in the pictures from 38 years ago anyway (I'm thinking he must be in his early sixties now). I don't know what happened to him after that except that he was on a soap opera for a while. But then... nothing. So, if anyone out there can give me an update on Rick Ely (also went by Richard Ely and Richard K. Weber), I would love it! I know there are other Rick Ely fans out there who would like to know whatever happened to him.

This album is the only album he recorded, that I know of. He did release a single off it - "Circle Game" - but it wasn't a top-40 hit, although I think I read that it enjoyed some modest play in Hawaii. His voice reminds me a little of Bobby Sherman - easy, laid-back, mellow - and I find it rather pleasant. You'll recognize most of the songs, too, as it's mostly covers (I think just about everybody has recorded "Your Song"). I even have a suggestion for a double-play - download this one and the album by Peggy Lipton (who is still HOT), and you'll have a nice double-album to burn to a CD. So, go back to 1970 and listen to Rick sing.

Track listing for Rick Ely:

Side 1:
1. Circle Game
2. Up On the Roof
3. The Other Side of Life
4. Something
5. Make It With You

Side 2:
1. Morning Girl
2. Your Song
3. The Last Thing On My Mind
4. The Fool On the Hill

Sunday, June 29, 2008

De Vol - The Theme from Peyton Place and 11 Other Great Themes (1965)

This is yet another treasure from the HPB bargain bin! I think most of us are familiar with the music of Frank De Vol. We've heard it in lots of movies and lots of television series. Well, this album has some great movie and TV themes as played by Frank De Vol and his orchestra (but couldn't they have thought of a better, shorter album title?). He co-wrote three of the themes on this album - "My Three Sons" (one of my all-time favorites), "Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte", and "Give Me a Souvenir". And I absolutely love his arrangement of the theme from "Peyton Place" - one of my favorite TV shows when I was a very little girl (I barely remember it). And "Combat" - I LOVE this TV show, and watch it every evening on the ALN channel. When I was a little girl, my father bought me a plastic tommy gun and I used to play "Combat" in our backyard, hiding behind the bushes and waiting to ambush the enemy. "Bewitched" - always loved Elizabeth Montgomery as Samantha! Anyway, I hope you enjoy this album as much as I did!

Track listing for De Vol - The Theme from Peyton Place and 11 Other Great Themes:

Side 1:
1. Theme from Peyton Place (For Those Who Are Young)
2. The Addams Family
3. The Rogues Theme
4. Sunday Night at the Movies
5. Show Street
6. Combat

Side 2:
1. Bewitched
2. General Hospital
3. My Three Sons
4. Give Me a Souvenir
5. Hush, Hush Sweet Charlotte
6. Hollywood Palace (Put On a Happy Face)

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Frankie Carle - The Golden Touch (1960)

Well, this album really brought back memories for me. This is one of the albums that my mom played a lot when I was growing up. I'd forgotten about it until I started going through my albums to see which one to post tonight. As soon as the first song started playing, I was taken back in time to my living room in my childhood home (which I still own, but it's been remodeled so it doesn't look the same). Once again, I was a little girl playing with my Barbies or coloring in one of my coloring books, while my mother listened to this record. I even remember that I would always ask her which one of the serenades (Sunrise or Penthouse) was which - I always got them mixed up. I was also pleasantly surprised at how well this album sounded - very little clicks and pops considering that my mom played it a lot. She even marked the back cover - there are plus (+) signs by "Deep Purple" and "Diane", a note by "Diane" that says "from Seventh Heaven" (a movie), and two check marks by "Falling Leaves" (I guess she really liked it). So, it was kinda neat to listen to this, and to see my mom's scribbles on the back cover. I hope you like this album as much as I - the songs are great and it's wonderful piano music to listen to!

Track listing for Frankie Carle - The Golden Touch:

Side 1:
1. Roses in the Rain
2. Deep Purple
3. Diane
4. Falling Leaves
5. Missouri Waltz
6. The Golden Touch (of Love)

Side 2:
1. Sweet and Lovely
2. Sunrise Serenade
3. A Lover's Lullaby
4. Penthouse Serenade
5. If You Were the Only Girl
6. Rumors Are Flying

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Summer Compilation Vol.2 (2008)

Happy Summer! I know it doesn't officially start until Friday, but I wanted to make sure that you start off your summer right with this new compilation I put together. I actually meant to post it last year (my first summer compilation was in 2006), but for some reason (that I don't know or remember), I didn't. So, I dusted it off, made some changes, and am now presenting it for your listening pleasure!

Summer is my very favorite time of the year. I have great memories of it from my childhood, and I love the hot weather. I know lots of people can't stand the heat, but it doesn't bother me at all. I remember as a little kid, we used to be just fine with fans in the house. My house didn't have central air, and it wasn't until we'd lived there a few years when my parents finally bought a couple of window units. Of course, those were also the days when it was perfectly safe to sleep with your windows open and leave your front doors unlocked. Those were also the days when it was perfectly safe for a little kid to walk (or ride a bike) alone down to the neighborhood candy store. We really had it made in those days, didn't we?

Anyway, I hope you like the songs I selected for this compilation. To download the first one I made, just click on the "summer" label and it'll bring it up. The link is still good.

Track listing for Summer Compilation Vol.2:

1. Summer Days - The Partridge Family
2. Can't Wait for Summer - Steve Lawrence
3. The Things We Did Last Summer - Jo Stafford
4. All Summer Long - The Beach Boys
5. Hot Summer Night - Les Baxter
6. Lazy Summer Night - Claudine Longet
7. The Green Leaves of Summer - The Brothers Four
8. Summer (The First Time) - Bobby Goldsboro
9. Summer Samba - Astrud Gilberto
10. The Door Into Summer - The Monkees
11. Summertime Dream - Gordon Lightfoot
12. Summertime - Sarah Vaughn
13. Groovy Summertime - The Love Generation
14. Summer Holiday - Cliff Richard
15. In the Good Old Summertime - Connie Francis
16. She's My Summer Girl - Jan and Dean
17. Summer Rain - Johnny Rivers
18. Summer Wine - Nancy Sinatra
19. Theme from 'A Summer Place' - The Lettermen
20. Summer Wind - Wayne Newton
21. Lost Summer Love - Shelley Fabares
22. Summer Means Fun - Bruce and Terry
23. Summer Love - Neil Diamond
24. Summertime Blues - Olivia Newton-John
25. Summer Means New Love - The Beach Boys
26. Summer Kisses Winter Tears - Elvis Presley
27. Summer is Over - Dusty Springfield

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Father's Day Compilation

Happy Father's Day to all you dads out there! I know the day is almost over, but I hope you get a chance to download this and listen to the songs before the day is over. And for those whose dads have passed on (like mine), then I hope these songs bring back some happy memories of your time with your dad.

Most of my memories of Father's Day are either of my parents and me going to my uncle's house up valley, or my uncle and his family would come to our house. Whichever house we were at, we always had a cook-out (my father's favorite thing to do). After a meal of yummy steaks cooked on the grill, potato salad, and other delicious side dishes, my father and uncle would open their presents - usually ties, Old Spice or Brut cologne, and Arrow shirts. Those were the days...

Well, I hope you enjoy the songs I picked for this compilation. Some are very sentimental and moving, but there are also some fun ones. Enjoy!

Track listing for Father's Day Compilation:

Oh Dad, Poor Dad - Children's Chorus
Oh, My Pa-Pa - Eddie Fisher
Don't Cry Daddy - Elvis Presley & Lisa Marie Presley
That Silver Haired Daddy of Mine - Everly Brothers
A Father's Love - George Strait
Cat's in the Cradle - Harry Chapin
Papa's Got a Brand New Bag - James Brown
Daddy's Home - Jermaine Jackson
My Heart Belongs to Daddy - Julie London
Dance with My Father - Luther Vandross
Daddy - Pat Suzuki
My Dad - Paul Peterson
Papa Loves Mambo - Perry Como
Daddy Don't You Walk So Fast - Wayne Newton