Wednesday, June 13, 2007
I want to start with a pair from Ray McKinley, recorded on the Majestic label. Why, oh why does it seem like 90% of the Majestic 78s get pressed off-center?? These are, so excuse the warble... the first one I picked up at the thrift store because of the A-side title, Red Silk Stockings and Green Perfume. Interesting title, but not too interesting of a recording, plus it has the grunge factor in the grooves. I did use the filtering plus noise reduction to get this thing listenable, and it is a cute little tune about the Old West (Movie version, since the song sounds like it was rejected from a bad B-move musical) and lady luck. Not the greatest, but hey, it's Ray McKinley, and it kind of swings. What REALLY swings is the instrumental B-side, Jiminy Cricket. This is a Ray McKinley original, and WOW this JUMPS. Also, with the grunge gone, you can hear some VERY subtle nuances in the recording itself, like the VERY muted cymbal work, and you can actually hear the acoustics of the recording studio. A rare thing in most Majestic pressings. Good Swingah!
Keeping up with the acoustical wonderments of just how GOOD a 78 can sound, we hop over to Jolly Olde for a pair from Mantovani, with vocal work by Lita Roza. These are UK pressings, and they sound so soo sooo good, even if it is a string section trying to sound like a Wurlitzer theater organ. If Someone Had Told Me (written by DeRose & Tobias, from the production "About Face") and the old crooner, Stars Fell on Alabama (a Parrish & Perkins tune). I may have put up the Phil Harris version either here or on another one of the sites, but this is a credible version of the tune. Not as good as Phil's, but quite servicable. And, yes, this is the same song that Jimmy Buffet covered on his "Cocoanut Telegraph" LP (which is a great LP).
Continuing with the sonic goodieness, we get to a pair of Harry Belafonte 78s, on the RCA Victor label, that I do not believe were released on any of his later LPs. These feature Harry with the Hugo Winterhalter Orchestra (I can see you cringe already...), and are quite quite good, both musically and sonically. Hold 'Em Joe, and I'm Just a Country Boy are diametrically opposite in tempo, but equally great songs. The first is from a Broadway show, "John Murray Anderson's Almanac" and is written by Harry Thomas. It tells of a stubborn, thirsty mule, and Harry Belafonte has a little fun with Hugo's boys in it. The second song is a ballad about unrequited love, written by Fred Brooks and Marshall Barer... it's a heartbreaker, but shows Harry B at his soul-calypso best.
And, for those of you that like the older acoustical-era recordings, here's a pair for you. We start with a Harmony label 78, which has an honest-to-goodness Irving Berin song on it, Roses of Yesterday, as recorded by Harry Trimble and His Oklahomans, with vocals by Robert Wood. If you hear a faint reprise of "Blue Skies" in there, you aren't alone (grin). The second song is a Gottler, Clare & Pinkard tune entitled Come On, Baby! It's done by Lou Gold and His Orchestra, with Jim Andrews on the vocals. A nice pair of flapper tunes for those who flapper, pretty indicative of the dance music of the 1920s.
Well, it's late, I have a bunch of stuff yet to do, and the hour long commute is awaiting me in the morning, so I had better post these and let y'all enjoy 'em. Keep the cards and letters coming, folks, and thanks for the support!
Until next time......
Been looking for you every day since April 11 and looking forward to more great posts.
Still, there is a difference between having the equipment working and having the time to actually do anything with it.