Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Eddie Dean

Artist: Eddie Dean
LP: Eddie Dean Sings
Song: "I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven" 
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Song: "Katmandu" 
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Song: "Impatient Blues" 
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The country western section of my record collection has reached full capacity, so I've started sorting through it to see if there's anything I can get rid of to make more room. One of the gems I discovered in the process is this collection of songs by Eddie Dean, released on the Crown label—which of course means no liner notes, since they've got a bad habit of filling the entire backside of their album covers with Crown Records catalog listings. 

Born in the rural Texas community of Posey in the summer of 1909, Eddie got his start performing on radio in Chicago and South Dakota with his brother Jimmy. He then moved to Hollywood and appeared in movies throughout the 1940s, where he was usually called upon to present a few numbers. "I Dreamed of a Hillbilly Heaven" was a hit for Eddie in 1955, though the song gained even more favor with the public when Tex Ritter released his version in 1961. All ten songs on this LP are terrific, but my favorite is "Katmandu," on which the handsome Texan crooner warbles on about the exotic mysteries of far-away places, a musical sub-genre I think ought to be termed 'country eastern music.'

Eddie Dean, whom both Roy Rogers and Gene Autry named as the best cowboy singer of all time, passed away at age 89 on March 4, 1999, after which he was finally able to march forth into Hillbilly Heaven, taking his place amongst the stars. There's more to read about the life and career of Eddie Dean on Wikipedia here and I've included a clip from one of his movies below. 

Eddie Dean on YouTube:
[ "Ain't No Gal Got a Brand On Me" ]

[ Eddie Dean: July 7, 1909 — March 4, 1999 ]

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Daliborka Stojšić

Artist: Daliborka Stojšić
LP: 7" single
Song: "Moja Čežnja Za Tobom" 
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When I picked up this 1975 single by Daliborka Stojšić at Georgetown Records a few months ago, I had no idea that the lovely singer had been a runner up in the 1968 Miss Universe pageant and that she was voted "Most Photogenic" in the interplanetary contest. In fact, she was the first-ever contestant to represent Yugoslavia in one of these pageants! Obviously, Daliborka went on to a singing career, but she eventually retired from public life when the time seemed right. Nowadays she is active on the computer, has mastered four languages, and enjoys hanging out with friends and listening to all kinds of metal music. You can read more here. Admittedly, it's been quite a few years since I myself mastered each of the Slavic languages, but I think "Moja Čežnja Za Tobom" translates to English as "Why Are Gay Men In Seattle So Fucking Boring?"

[ Daliborka Stojšić — most photogenic woman in the universe, 1968. ]

Sunday, August 16, 2015

The Equals

Artist: The Equals
LP: Baby, Come Back
Song: "Laurel and Hardy" 
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I've got my good friend Ryan, as well as R&B singer/guitarist Barbara Lynn, to thank for leading me to this 1968 LP by The Equals. Ryan, who's way more connected to what's going on in our city than I am, invited me to join her and a few other friends to see Barbara Lynn perform at the Light In the Attic label's warehouse just a few blocks from my place. It was a sensational show—Ms. Lynn was fantastic! Not only that, but she's a real sweetheart. It was her very first time in Seattle!


The show was part of Light In the Attic's Second Annual Summer Spectacular, for which they'd arranged food trucks to surround the place and had vendors on hand for a record fair too, which is where I found The Equals. The group features Eddie Grant, aka. Eddy Grant, who's the same guy who rocked down to Electric Avenue about 15 years later, in 1983. "Laurel and Hardy," which peaked at #35 on the British singles charts, was the group's follow-up to "Baby, Come Back," a #1 hit in Britain that peaked at #32 in the USA. You can read more about The Equals here. Thanks again, Ryan, for inviting me to the show. I would have really missed out without you!

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Boobie Knight & The Soulciety

Artist: Boobie Knight & The Soulciety
LP: Soul Ain't No New Thing
Song: "Ego Tripping" 
[ listen ]

There's not much info on the web about funktastic group-leader Boobie Knight—only this brief biography on allmusic.com, written by someone called Steve Huey. But Boobie, if you're reading this, know that "Ego Tripping" from your debut 1972 LP is helping me start my morning on this grey and rather pedestrian Saturday in Seattle. Of course I've also employed a hot cup of coffee. 

[ Boobie Knight ]

Thursday, August 13, 2015

Jean-Jacques Goldman

Artist: Jean-Jacques Goldman
LP: 7" single
Song: "Envole-Moi" 
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And the award for Cutest Guy With Most Disturbing Hairdo goes to French pop star Jean-Jacques Goldman. In spite of his distressing coiffure, J.J. Goldman is one of the highest-grossing French pop stars who's still living. My French is a little rusty, but I'm pretty sure "Envole-Moi" means "Fix My Hair."

Monday, August 10, 2015

Eavesdroppings

Overheard when: 3:35pm on Monday, August 10, 2015
Overheard where: Ticket booth at the Regal Lakewood 15 Cinemas 2410 84th St. South in Lakewood, WA [map]
Overheard who: An elderly gentleman, dressed entirely in khaki, at cinema ticket booth in front of me and my father as we were waiting to buy tickets for Mission: Impossible — Rogue Nation
.
Overheard what: 
"One senior for The Fabulous Four."

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Fred Lowery

Artist: Fred Lowery
LP: Fred Lowery Whistles Your Gospel Favorites
Song: "Whispering Hope" 
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Song: "Shall We Gather At the River?" 
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Song: "Sweet Hour of Prayer" 
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Fred Lowery, who was born in Palestine in 1909 (no, not that Palestine, this one), lost his sight after coming down with scarlet fever when he was only two years old. But though Fred Lowery may have been blind, he still had his vision. When he was around 19 years old and in school, Fred met a bird imitator who encouraged him to take up whistling. Fred did, and soon he was performing with the likes of Vincent Lopez and Horace Heidt and their respective orchestras and he starting scoring hit records like his 1939 rendition of "Indian Love Call." This 1967 LP, on which Lowery whistles some of my gospel favorites, seems like the perfect thing for a wonderfully cool, sunny and  breezy Sunday morning—my first as I enter my 47th year on Earth. You can read more about Fred here and in the liner notes below.

[ Fred Lowery: November 2, 1909 — December 11, 1984 ]

Saturday, August 1, 2015

Jon Thomas

Artist: Jon Thomas
LP: Big Beat On the Organ
Song: "Hot Tip" 
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Song: "Hard Head" 
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Lately I've been trying to reorganize stuff in my apartment, and I thought it would be good if I bought some reorganizing music to help me get with it. Golden Oldies came through in spades, as usual, and I found way more there than I'd bargained—or budgeted—for. There's not a set of complete biographical information about jazz organist Jon Thomas that I could find on the web, but according to AllMusic, he was born in 1918 and someone on e-bay says that happened in Mississippi. Jon went on to become a session musician at King Records, says our e-bay contact, where he composed "Heartbreak," a hit for Little Willie John (I bet that's Jon on organ!). According to last.fm, Jon Thomas' "Big Beat On the Organ" LP was released on the first day of 1958; AllMusic says Jon died at the end of October, 1994. The photo below shows what Jon looked like, according to last.fm. I don't know how reliable any of that information is, but there is one thing about Jon Thomas we do know for sure: He was a talented jazz organist extraordinaire!

[ Jon Thomas: 1918 — October 28, 1994 ]

Friday, July 31, 2015

Maureen McGovern

Artist: Maureen McGovern
LP: Nice To Be Around
Song: "Nice To Be Around" 
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Song: "Put a Little Love Away" 
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Maureen McGovern has one of those big, dramatic, fabulous singing voices just like her sprawling, exploding hairdo—it's perfectly suited to the big, dramatic, fabulous theme songs from gigantic disaster movies like THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and THE TOWERING INFERNO, which is where she got her start. (McGovern's "The Morning After" from the famous 1972 sinking boat movie went to #1 on the charts and earned her a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist.) The title track on Maureen's 1974 "Nice To Be Around" LP peaked at #101 on the US singles charts, whereas another single from the album, "Give Me a Reason to Be Gone" peaked at #71. I learned all of this and more from the Maureen McGovern Wikipedia page here, and for even more info you can visit the official Maureen McGovern website here

I was perplexed at first why the Wikipedia entry made no mention of Maureen McGovern's lovely rendition of "Torn Between Two Lovers," from the 1979 film of the same name. But then of course I realized I was getting Maureen McGovern mixed up with Mary MacGregor—and I also began to realize how grateful I am that Marilyn McCoo, Marlee Matlin, Melissa Manchester, Mary McDonnell, Melba Moore and Marilyn Manson didn't each also release powerful theme songs to explosive '70s dramas or I'd never have been able to sort out whose which was what.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bae Ho (배호)

Artist: Bae Ho (배호)
LP: Ten Hit Songs (힛트가요 10)
Song: "Who's Crying (누가 울어)
[ listen ]

It took some crafty online sleuthing to figure out who this handsome Korean singer is, and what his album and songs are called. Google Translate actually says the track posted here is called "Who Cry," so I took some minor liberties with that one. Other titles on this 1972 posthumous release of ten Bae Ho hit songs include "돌아가는 삼각지" (Triangle Back), "안개속에 가버린 사람" (People Went Away In the Fog), and "능금빛 순정" (Genuine Gold Performance). You'll find a complete track list in Korean here. According to the limited English-language information I found online here, Bae Ho's pop star began to rise in the 1960s as a singer who blended the sounds of Korean folk songs, Japanese Enka, and the large pop ensembles of the West to create a lush, lovely sound for his deep baritone voice. Sadly, Bae Ho died of nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys; I had to look it up) in 1971, when he was only 29 years old. The website linked to above says that only the elderly in Korea remember the singer nowadays, but this sketchily-translated Wikipedia page seems to indicate that Bae Ho was voted one of the top favorite Korean singers of all time. I can now say with confidence that he is definitely one of mine.

[ Bae Ho: April 24, 1942 — November 7, 1971 ]

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Capital City Chorale

Artist: Capital City Chorale
LP: Teens On Parade
Song: "My Heavenly Father" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Follow, I Will Follow Thee" 
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Song: "Teens Leading the Way" 
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Speaking of people who seem a lot older than they actually are, why is it that when Midwestern teenagers turn to Christ and then start singing, they suddenly sound like they're pushing 40?

[ 1960s Teen Hairdos On Parade ]

Friday, July 24, 2015

Karen Young

Artist: Karen Young
LP: Hot Shot
Song: "Bring On the Boys" 
[ listen ]

I was initially drawn to this 1978 Karen Young record by the fact that she looks a little long in the tooth to be performing disco. (She brought to mind Disco Sally from Studio 54.) Based on the cover, I guessed Karen was somewhere around 50 when this LP was released, and that she had probably also been a guest star on "The Love Boat" at least twice (her frumpy '70s hair/dress combo practically screams Captain Stubing love interest). I was shocked to learn that Karen was born in 1951, which means that she was only 27 when this record came out. Sadly, Karen never made it to 50; she died at age 39, possibly from a bleeding ulcer. You can read more about Karen Young here, and watch her perform "Hot Shot," which peaked at #67 on the US singles charts, by clicking the link below.

Karen Young on YouTube:
[ "Hot Shot" ]

[ Karen Young: March 23, 1951 — January 26, 1991 ]