Friday, April 07, 2006


Patti, Patti, how COULD you....

Home from work early enough to encode a few more various & sundry things from the shellac stack...

I have a couple more German sides, but I won't inflict them on you. Instead, we're going to go DIRECTLY to the Clanker of the Week. This one should have been recorded on Don't-ium (Hit of the Week records were on Durium... sound it out... OK, so it ISN'T funny...). And, although it is supposed to be some kind of Winter Yule Holiday release, one of those that make you want to sip that hot chocolate as you curl up to the warm toasty log fire in the fireplace, after hearing this record, I wanted to double-slam-inject some insulin, hurl my Christmas cookies, and vehemently throw this disc into the cheerily burning fire. I'll explain in a bit why this disc was saved from that cruel fate reserved for Jesse Crawford 78s.

The Clanker of the Week is..... Patti Page (with the Hugo Peretti Orchestra, and a bunch of kids screaming at the top of their itty-bitty screeching lungs) performing (or mayhaps, suffering through)
"Where Did My Snowman Go". Have your most cringing expressions at the ready, my friends. I would give this one a solid 8 on the Clank-o-meter. Or the Cringe-o-meter. Patti, Patti, Patti, was this actually in your contract?

Now, as to the reason why this disc is not in a kajillion pieces on the floor: "Changing Partners". This is the B-side of this Mercury 78, probably recorded in the 1950s, definately with a different orchestra (Joe Reisman), and a WHOLE LOT more feeling. As bad as the kiddie record is, this one is just so much..... BETTER. It is good to find a side that restores one's faith in a singer, no?

While we're on love songs, a couple of them popped up on the Hawaiian stack I am going through, and these would definately qualify as late-early Exotica. Recorded in the late 30s, and on Decca (but with decent shellac quality for the blue-label variety), Ray Kinney offers up "Wahini U'i", or "Beautiful One". Written by James Kahale, and featuring George Kaniapau on the vocals, this is a truly beautiful number. Add in the tasty Hawaiian steel guitar, and you're ready for an evening with a drink with an umbrella in it on the lanai at the Royal Hawaiian, watching the surf roll in and out as the sun sets.

The reverse side, "Mi Nei", or "How About Me?" is even that much better. I truly got lost in this one. Vocal duties by George Kaniapau and Henry Paul, and written by Charles E. King, this is soooo silky and sooo smooth, you should be on your several-th umbrella drink by now. My goodness. Decca sure knew how to get the good stuff. These two sides are actually from an album (which I don't have the jacket for), and I sure hope there's more like these in the Hawaiian stack-o-shellac. Looking down at the next few discs, there is. Yay-ness!

Anyone up for some Armenian crooning? Sure ya are :) I found this in a stack of Soviet LP recordings of Armenian folk songs and stories, and it is actually the best record of the bunch. Imagine my surprise when I opened the sleeve (yes, it has a cardboard sleeve), and the disc came out all nice and shellac-y. I was surprised, to say the least. I was even more surprised when I got done remastering it! The LPs are a lot of Armenian folk tales in spoken-word format, so I didn't give them too much consideration (they're here though, awaiting the day when I start up a THIRD music blog...). But this I had to get posted, because it is a neat little bit of Armenian language crooning. "Karine", sung by Karo Tonikyan, with appropriate backing by the Armenian State Variety Orchestra, conducted by A. Alvazyan, who also composed the selection. Yes, the MP3 tag reads Armenian State VARSITY Orchestra (my oopsie), which was going to lead to the comment about wondering about the Armenian State Junior Varsity Orchestra and all that, but, as usual, I digress yet again.

The recording, I would place as being done in the late 50s or early 60s... I'll have to consult with some of my friends on the 78rpm mailing list as to when the Soviet State Recording Ministry quit pressing 78s. The B-side, "Karavan", ain't half bad, either. Almost a tango feel to it, but with the Armenian flavor. Not to be confused with the Ellington version of "Caravan", but still a nice piece. And I have the correct info on the MP3 ID tag, too. This one has a bit more of the crackle to it, and try as I might, I could not get all of it out.

Never mind, I fixed the first bad tag.

Six selections, will that hold you over for a day or two? I surely hope so ... I should have some more for you for the weekend, hopefully some more domestic stuff... but the Hawaiian stuff is just sooOOOooo good........ and I'm sure we all in the Northern Hemisphere could use a little warming up from the snow and bleak of winter.

As always, right-click on the link to download & enjoy!

(because I fixed the comment dealie)

I've heard Snowman before (i think T&D have played it). It's cute, for about a half-minute; then it becomes quite annoying.

Me Nee! ... Oh, Mi Nei. ;)
"Snowman" is charming and funny and timeless. Just kidding.

Ugh! I have a high tolerance for such records, but there are limits. Yikes.

I'd planned to find a copy of that for my XMas posts, but I think I'll pass!

heh, it's nice to know that I have 'field-tested' something for a fellow musiblogger... I'll take the bullet for the good of humanity :)
Well, at last I can comment your pages on your pages, and not on Lee's!
Will be back to check all the music more throughly.
Have a nice afternoon,
Golly, that was brutal, though I like her voice, those out of tune kids and the sappy insipid lyrics are gag-awful.

The Armenian stuff was great, both of em, and Caravan is pretty dirgelike, in a good way. I like the comrades voice. The sound is pretty good to me, no complaints.

Sweet Hawaiian sides, esp the second one.

Thanks... I have literally a stack of neat Hawaiian sides to encode. I'm sure some of them will find their way on here :)

I was surprised by the Armenian 78 (it came up on shuffle-play on the way to work today on the mp3 CDR) as to how neat it sounded. As soon as I get the scanner going again I'll post somewhere the jacket for the 78 and the label.

Yea, "Snowman" rates right up there on the Cringe-o-meter... I have others that are not QUITE as bad, but I guess I'll let you all be the judge.

Hint: Next week's Clanker will blow away any street credibility the artist ever had (and he had quite a lot)...

Thanks for the 'splaination - the Columbia Konzert Orchester is terrible!
Lady Domi. Peter Schickele once said about a similarly bad recording: "That was... a classical piece... performed by an orchestra... under the direction of a conductor with a baton..."

I have been running into a lot of good material, but there's always the icky ones out there too...

Be thankful I don't start up my Home Recordings blog... some of those are re-e-e-eally bad...
I remember hearing an otherwise flawless cover of Ravel's 'Boléro' once - one of the guys, a trumpet player if I remember well, hits the wrong note in the finale, and he hits it with a good deal of might and enthusiasm. Great.
The Shickele quote is fine too. I may use it in a future CD review for the French 'Jazz Hot' magazine...
Ouch. There are few things more unpleasant than making a wrong turn at full throttle. :s
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