Saturday, May 31, 2008
Sunday funnies for your Saturday, including the 1970 Wendy Bagwell smash (Christian) hit, Here Come the Rattlesnakes!
The Cathedral Quartet's Laughing Song is actually the much older laughing title Ticklish Reuben, which the Internet credits to Cal Stewart, though I wonder if the song didn't predate Stewart. I do not know....
Click here to reach the rib-tickling sounds: Sunday Funnies for Saturday!
HERE COME THE RATTLESNAKES--Wendy Bagwell, 1970.
FRIED CHICKEN REVIVAL--The Lewis Family, 1976.
LAUGHING SONG--The Cathedral Quartet, 1970.
TIPTOE THROUGH THE TITHERS--Dan McBride, c. 1968.
THREE BITS FROM "THIS OLE BOY" LP--Tim Stivers, 1975.
THIS OLE HOUSE(Hamblen)--The Cathedral Q., 1975.
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
If this isn't a representative MY(P)WHAE playlist, what is? A Bell label cover version of The Old Philosopher, Durward Kirby narrating a cool vinyl noir called Crime Doesn't Pay!, the theme from the Mr. Peepers TV show, as played by Jack Pleis and His Orchestra, Three Llamas from Lima, and... oh, so much more.
Listen for a brief parody of Vaughn Monroe that pops up around the middle of In the Middle of the House. (In the middle of The Middle of the House! I made a funny!) Monroe did the hit version of the song, hence the parody. My one other cheap-label cover of this song features a singer sounding in earnest like Monroe. And I have no idea what I just typed.
My main memories of Durward Kirby are his appearances on laundry detergent commercials of the Sixties and Seventies. MAD magazine once featured a photo of Kirby, surrounded by TV-ad-style housewives, holding a box of laundry detergent and saying, "What the hell do I know about laundry?"
At the time, "hell" seemed edgy. To the strange music:
Click here to reach zip file: Peter Marshall, Durward Kirby, more!
MR. PEEPERS (Bernard Green)--Jack Pleis Orch., 1953.
TWO LLAMAS FROM LIMA--Paul Alencar O., v: Burton Sisters, 1953.
THE OLD PHILOSOPHER--Peter Marshall, Tommy Farrell, 1956.
IN THE MIDDLE OF THE HOUSE--Peter Marshall, Tommy Farrell, 1956.
A 2-D GAL IN A 3-D TOWN--Chuck Murphy w. Pee Wee Erwin, 1953.
CRIME DOESN'T PAY!--Durward Kirby w. The Patriots.
COWBOYS AND INDIANS--The Patriots.
THE LITTLE WHITE CLOUD THAT CRIED--Nancy Brookes and The Toppers.
RUMANIA-RUMANIA--Sy Oliver Orch., v: Jimmy Fox, 1953.
ON THE TRAIL (Grofe)-Sy Oliver Orch., v: Sy Oliver, 1953.
Monday, May 26, 2008
Memorial Day is a time for both remembrance and emotional release. The two should go together, really. Recently, a friend's teenage daughter traveled with her class to Washington, D.C., where her teacher had everyone stand in a row on a hill overlooking Arlington Cemetery. The students were instructed to remain completely silent for ten minutes. By the end of those ten minutes, every child was in tears.
Voice from the Arizona, the fifth selection on today's playlist, lasts a little less than half that long but evokes a similar response from your blogger. It's not the easiest selection to get through unmoved, so... you've been warned.
The 10" picture disc (top photo on this page) shows the USS Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, where we can almost be sure it was purchased. It showed up for me several years ago in one of our big city thrift shops. The late Jack Lathrop, a retired Navy Chief Petty Office, wrote the featured poem. Linda Chandler is the Voice.
This is followed by the comparatively joyful P.T. 109, which in turn leads us into a second helping of Morton Gould's American Salute. Working backwards to the first four selections, we have three big band goodies (I've always wanted to type "big band goodies") preceding a recorded-in-Europe American Salute, which I rescued just today from a typically terrible Varsity/Royale label pressing. The 10" LP in question couldn't decide which logo it wanted to feature, so it opted for both (on the jacket, anyway), one atop the other. Ah, the Record Corp. of America. Sheer quality. What kind, we won't say.
The Salute performance, on the other hand, deserves one.
Click here to reach zip file: Memorial Day 2008, Pt. 3
THIS IS THE ARMY, MR. JONES (Berlin)--Hal McIntyre, v: Jack Lathrop, 1942.
THEY'RE EITHER TOO YOUNG OR TOO OLD--Jimmy Dorsey, v: Kitty Kallen, 1943.
WHEN JOHNNY COMES MARCHING HOME (Arr: Bill Finegan)--Glenn Miller Orch., 1942.
AMERICAN SALUTE (Gould)--Elliot Everett and His Orch.
VOICE FROM THE ARIZONA (Jack Langham)--Linda Chandler.
P.T. 109 (M. Wilkin-F. Burch)--Jimmy Dean, 1962.
AMERICAN SALUTE (Gould)--National Symphony O., c. Howard Mitchell.
Sunday, May 25, 2008
Aaron Copland's Lincoln Portrait was one of three concert works commissioned by Andre Kostelanetz during WWII--it premiered on May 14, 1942, with Kostelanetz conducting the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra. We'll be hearing Kostelanetz' 1958 recording with the New York Philharmonic.
Copland, describing his piece in 1943, wrote: "I worked with musical materials of my own, with the exception of two songs of the period: the famous Camptown Races and a ballad that was first published in 1840 under the title The Pesky Sarpent but is better known today as Springfield Mountain. In neither case is the treatment a literal one. The tunes are used freely, in the manner of my use of cowboy songs in Billy the Kid.The composition is roughly divided into three sections. In the opening section I wanted to suggest something of the mysterious sense of fatality that surrounds Lincoln's personality. Also, near the end of that section, something of his gentleness and simplicity of spirit. The quick middle section briefly sketches in the background of the times he lived in. This merges into the concluding section where my sole purpose was to draw a simple but impressive frame about the words of Lincoln himself."
This 1958 recording is, by far, the best one I've heard. The narration, though, leaves much to be desired in any version. Not that Carl Sandburg doesn't do an awesome job--rather, it's Copland's writing that sucks, in spite of all the wonderful Abe quotes. Each section of text takes the form of "Abe Lincoln was a tall man--a very, very tall man. And this is what he said about freedom. (Insert quote)" The actual examples are just as inane. Why didn't he have someone write the non-Abe portions for him? Like, say, Carl Sandburg. For instance.
But I love the thing, anyway.
Our zip file also includes Ferde Grofe's Over There Fantasie, written circa 1929, in a 1975 recording by The United States Army Band.
Click here to reach zip file: Memorial Day 2008, Part 2
A LINCOLN PORTRAIT (Copland)--Andre Kostelanetz, conducting the New York Philharmonic; Carl Sandburg, narrator. 1958, from Columbia LP.
OVER THERE FANTASIE (Grofe)--The United States Army Band, conducted by Col. Samuel Loboda, 1975.