Saturday, April 15, 2006
Some talking records and some good news
Now, ON TO THE RECORDS!
I loaded up for you a while ago a Cal Stewart "Uncle Josh" disc, but today we have something a bit different in the spoken-word vein. Charles Ross Taggart recorded these two poetic recitations from Holman Day's writings of "Up In Maine". "Plain Old Kitchen Chap" (subtitled "Farmer Jones Prefers a Corner by the Kitchen Stove to the "Best Room"") tells a story of how Farmer Jones reacts to his Missus going all a-fancy on the Parlour, so that the place can be 'cultured up'... It is a good recitation, done in what is supposedly a Maine accent by Mr. Taggart, acoustically recorded for Victor in the early 20s. The record itself was VERY worn, and had a multitude of fairly deep gouges on it, as well as a bunch of surface noise. This took a couple of days to 'get right', and it still isn't perfect, but with a lot of material from this period, you have to pretty much work with what you have. At least the file is playable, and listenable now, whereas before it was pretty munged.
The reverse side features Mr. Taggart reciting from the same collection "The Stock in the "Tie-Up"", subtitled "Farmer Jones Talks on Cow Comfort". The recording, labelled "Humorous Dialect Story" on both sides, has Farmer Jones talking about his day and how he feels about his livestock faring the Maine winters. He also goes on about those who stand pious on Sunday yet leave cracks and holes in their barn walls, leaving their poor cattle far less than comfortable. This side is more worn than the other, and it shows, unfortunately. Again, a lot of work went into getting this one playable, but you'll probably notice a lot of artifacting when it gets noisy towards the end. My apologies, but this is a case of preserving the content as much as possible over getting the "perfect transfer". At least with my meager equipment :)
I promised you all a cat-realted recording, and here it is: "The Kitten With the Big Green Eyes". Recorded on a later (for Vocalion) blue label, Ronnie Kemper goes into a good bit about how the eternal war between kitties and mousies progresses over cheese... granted, it's not "Dingbat, the Singing Cat", but it has its' cuter moments... kinda... rough recording, the shellac quality makes Decca's blue-label stuff look good, and I'm sure Domi will give me a better idea on the dates for this side. For which I am eternally grateful :)
The A-side to this little novelty is a nice little sweet song, "Make-Believe Island". Harry Cool does the vocal duties on this ditty, and even though it pales against the efforts of Ray Kinney and the other Hawaiian bands, you gotta give 'em an 'E' for Effort... also another 'E' goes out to Helen Forrest for her nicely done rendition of "I Heard You Cried Last Night". This song touched a chord within me because of the week's events, so I recorded it into the computer... well, that's ONE reason anyway...
The OTHER reason, is that it is the reverse side of a very favorite platter of one of my listeners, Brian (Fool on Hill). A long time ago, he had asked me if I had this side, and I thought I did, but the recording I had was either someone else's transfer which they shared, or it was from a CD. Well, I finally have a copy of Columbia 36677 here in the Shanty, so, here is "James Session". Domi, you're gonna have to help me on who the session men were, but I *think* it is Krupa on drums, although I could very well be mistaken. Harry does a darn fine job on the solo as well. Brian seems to remember this being more "hot" and "swing-y" than it was, but I think this one rates right up there with "Tom Foolery" for a straight-out swing session. I had a bit of bother with the remastering, as CoolEdit has a problem with raspy-toned brass in the click reduction, which I haven't figured out how to fix... The other remaster I have is different than this one, mine sounds more muddy than I'd like, I guess I'll have to play with it at a later date to see if I can clear it up some more...
I promised you a Clanker of the Week, one that would blow away any credibility the artist had, and I think this one delivers. Oil up the Cringe-o-meter and prepare yourself for "Rice, Red Beans, and Turnip Greens", performed (probably under duress) by none other than Little Richard Penniman (as frontman to the "Tempo-Toppers"). This goes past a multitudes of "Oy Vey" to a heightened level of "GEVALT!" The story on this one is: when Little Richard got his start recording, he was under the production of one Don Robey (who, apparently, has had a multitude of stories written about him, none of them very flattering). Robey had, among others, the Peacock label in the mid 1950s (this was recorded in 1954), and was, to his credit, one of the pioneers of getting the R&B artists released and onto the radio stations that would play such music. This was, obviously, done before Penniman's very successful stint on the Specialty label, and, to its' credit has some nice sax work on the solo (completely cancelled by the organ break)... but just the sheer concept of someone who made his fortune singing about how "She's Got It" and many others that just plain ROCKED.... well, I'll give it a 7 on the Cringe-o-meter.
A bit of administratia before we close this post, I discovered that on a couple of things last time I forgot to put on the MP3 ID3 tags... these should be fixed, but if you run into any more, please let me know, and I'll remedy that.
Next time, we'll have a few more Hawaiian things, somoe more acoustical recordings, and well, STUFF! Hopefully, I can get a mid-week posting in, even if it means that I give you some old encodes that are laying about (with over 3/4 of a terabyte in MP3 files, I think I can find SOMETHING...)
Again, thaks in advance for all your thoughts and prayers, we appreciate them all.
Right-click on the link to download the tunes, you know the drill :)
Until next time,
These are such good news that I had to drop a line even before listening to the music! I'm so happy to read that your daughter seems to be on her way to recovery... I'll keep sending all the good vibes I can find in your direction - well, let me save a few for my Dad, though, who got out of the hospital last week after a one month stay...
I'll be back sometime today or tomorrow to listen to the music - the clanker of the week looks terrific. By the way, I posted a little something on my other blog this morning, but I wasn't too inspired I'm afraid. Or is it because I'm still a rookie at English-bloggin'?
Peace and happiness to you + family,
Great to hear that the offspring is springing back. It's unfortunate that intelligence brings such emotional baggage. We've lost too many good people that way. And we came too close to losing another. Beaming the contructive thoughts your way!
Domi, your english is nearly spotless. ["This is" would have been more normal than "These are".] At the risk of embarrassing myself with my limited command of french, ton anglais est magnifique! ;)
Brian: yes, it is the version, all right... and I agree, the brilliant can burn out too easily and it takes special care to teach them how to trim their mental and spiritual wicks so that their candle can burn bright throughout their (hopefully long) lives.
My French skills are so bad, I had to use babelfish to post a couple of comments on Lady Domi's French blog, but I think she (and her readers) got the idea :)
I'm working up some more stuff for the SS and AO blogs, even though some of it may be older encodes... don't want you to go without!
Cheers & have a Blessed Holiday, whichever one you may celebrate
Thank you for sharing this news with us, Brad. I will continue to send positive thoughts to you and yours. This is a problem many people deal with on a day to day basis, I for one have a longstanding problem with depression, but, with love and understanding comes peace. I know you will stay close to her and keep her thinking about tomorrow.
Winter is over. Time to celebrate Ostara!
Sorry... no Gene!
Very glad to hear things are going better. That must make for a happier Easter. Your family remains in my prayers.
And don't miss Google's touching Easter greeting, which moved me almost to tears: http://www.google.com/ The "TM" part, especially, got to me. "Time to Medidate," that must mean. Yes, Easter Sunday is a time to meditate.
Oh, well. Vernacular rituals just aren't cool, I guess.
As opposed to your line-up, which looks retro-hip in the extreme. I plan to enjoy it in whole when our afternoon rush-a-thon is over.
Re the problem of music freqs being hurt by declicking, etc.--I set my settings low enough to last the entire file without harming the music. Then I isolate (via splicing) the problem sections and pour on the declicking, decrackling, hiss filtering, or whatever is needed for that section, and that section only. I've doctored single notes/chords with this method. Of course, you end up with a file sliced into scores of pieces, but what people don't hear, they don't notice....
Dunno if that's any help. Selective editing, I call it. Tedious, but loud (and or high-freq) passages fare much better.
The clanker of the week may not be quite as clankery as the Patti Page side, but, well, it's well worth listening to. Sounds like the tenor man was beginning to choke on the last note, uh?