Monday, February 8, 2016

Billy Larkin & the Delegates

Artist: Billy Larkin & the Delegates
LP: Hole In the Wall
Song: "Agent Double-O-Soul" 
[ listen ]

These past few days I took another little getaway to Oregon—this time to Cannon Beach, over on the coast. Honestly, record stores were the last thing on my mind, since my friend Trevor and I would be passing through nothing but small towns and countryside—and yet, like a month drawn to the flame, I somehow managed to sniff one out! I gasped when I caught sight of Classics & Oddities on the historic main street of downtown Longview as we made our way through town to find some big bridge that would reportedly lead us into Oregon. They had some neat stuff at the store, including this 1965 Billy Larkin & the Delegates LP. Not a lot of info on the web about Mr. Larkin, but it seems he may have made music in Portland in the early 1960s. There's also a bit to read here, and liner notes from Richard Oliver (this might be his son!) are included below.
[ Classics & Oddities — Longview, WA ]

Thursday, February 4, 2016

The American Breed

Artist: The American Breed
LP: Pumpkin, Powder, Scarlet & Green
Song: "Welcome, You're In Love" 
[ listen ]

Vancouver is now a two-record-store town! Once again, a local small-town paper annoyingly reports a vinyl store's opening as if nobody has ever seen or heard of records before. I mean it's not like records are one of these. Do Scott Hewitt's readers know nothing of the world in which they live? I guess it's quite possible that they don't. Anyway, I've heard of records, thankfully, so I stopped in at the fabulous new 1709 Records (at 1709 Broadway Street) in Vancouver and found all sorts of interesting artifacts. 

One of them was this terrific 1968 LP by '60s Chicago pop group The American Breed. Formed in 1962, the band was called Gary & the Knight Lites until 1967, when they picked a new name by pulling it out of a hat. You can read more about The American Breed here. Sadly, singer Gary Loizzo (on the cover in blue) died a few weeks ago of pancreatic cancer; he was 70 years old.

[ The American Breed ]

 [ 1709 Records — Vancouver, Washington ]

Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Julie London

Artist: Julie London
LP: Julie
Song: "Don'cha Go 'Way Mad" 
[ listen ]

"Emergency!" was one of my favorite TV shows when I was a kid, so it's crazy that I never realized until just now that it was Julie London I was watching as nurse Dixie McCall all those years ago! Anyway, I stopped by Jackpot Records in Portland's Hawthorne District (the downtown store is gone!) and picked up something there I hope I won't be posting for at least another decade...

[ Jackpot Records — Portland, Oregon ] 

...but I didn't really hit pay dirt again until I stopped off at Everybody's Music in Vancouver, WA on my way back to Seattle. Amongst other vinyl treasures, I found this 1957 LP by smokey-voiced crooner and TV nurse Julie London, accompanied by jazz pianist Jimmy Rowles, a native Washingtonian from Spokane. Everybody's Music has lots of great stuff in their $1 bins; I'd recommend stopping by if you're ever in the neighborhood. Notes on the TRANSISTORIZED-Spectra-Sonic-Sound process and a letter from the office of Si Waronker are included below.

[ Everybody's Music — Vancouver, Washington ]

[ Julie London: September 26, 1926 — October 18, 2000 ]

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Los Impalas

Artist: Los Impalas
LP: Regresan Los Impalas
Song: "Cada Vez Que Vienes a Mí"
[ listen ]
Song: "Todo Gira" 
[ listen ]

I swore I'd stay away from record stores when I was visiting my brother in Portland two weekends ago. But of course we all know how that goes. The first store I ended up at was Music Millennium. It's a super cool shop with lots of nooks and crannies, but they mainly sell CDs and new vinyl. I picked up the new David Bowie CD there.

[ Music Millennium — Portland, Oregon ]

Once I stopped pretending I wouldn't be going record shopping in Portland, I was eager to check out Crossroads Music, which, according to people on the Internet, held a collection of vinyl inventory supplied by more than 20 different dealers. I was not disappointed, it was sublime. This 1975 release by Los Impalas from Venezuela is one of the things I picked up there. I'm guessing it's a retrospective collection, since, according to their Wikipedia entry, Los Impalas were active from 1959 to 1970. Plus, from looking at the cover, I'm pretty sure bands weren't still wearing duds like these and recording Beatles covers in 1975, not even in Venezuela. But who cares. It's good stuff. You can read more about Los Impalas and listen to some of their other songs on the Barraezo website here.

 [ Los Impalas de Venezuela ]

 [ Los Impalas de USA ]

[ Crossroads Music de Portland, Oregon ]

Sunday, January 31, 2016

#9 - El Barril

I went to visit my brother down in Portland, Oregon last weekend for his 49th birthday. We had El Barril of fun.

side one:
01. Scratch, Scratch, Scratch - Vic Chesnutt
02. Sometimes When We Touch - The Reycards
03. Sun Can't Be Seen No More - David Lynch
04. Black Star - David Bowie
05. Cossacks' Parable (Stenka Razin's Dream) - Zhanna Bichevskaya
06. Serotonin - Nine Horses
07. Ups - Cocteau Twins
08. That Old Feeling - Dorothy Lamour
09. The Puppet - Echo and the Bunnymen
10. Dream Song - Sparrow
11. Serenata: Andante Grazioso - Moritz Moszkowski (v: Nazrin Rashidova; p: Daniel Grimwood)
[ listen ]

side two:
01. Bubble Gum (I Chewz You) - Captain Sky
02. Rodéo - Mickey 3D
03. Knock Me On the Head - Stornoway
04. Wine, Women and Song - Luv'
05. Luz Verde - Maria Victoria con Rafael De Paz y su Orquesta
06. Holy Man - Diane Kolby
07. River of Love - The Sensational Alex Harvey Band
08. Red Balloon - Rita Moss
09. Sæglópur - Sigur Rós
10. Air Is Nothing - Anni Rossi
11. Barbie - Bill Cunningham
12. Seven Minutes In Heaven - His Name Is Alive
13. Jeanne - Gato Barbieri and His Orchestra
[ listen ]

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

Dolly Parton

Artist: Dolly Parton
LP: My Blue Ridge Mountain Boy
Song: "Evening Shade"
[ listen ]

Just as I was waking up this morning I heard on the news that it's Dolly Parton's 70th birthday! Hope she's been having simply the best day ever. Here are ten good reasons to fall in love with this super-duper lady, in case for some crazy reason you haven't fallen yet. I picked up this 1969 LP at Dr. Music in Fairhope, Alabama on my Southern Road Trip back in April of 2014. According to what I just read here, that handsome man Dolly's daydreaming about on the cover is her husband, Carl Dean. They've been married since 1966.

[ Happy Birthday, Dolly Parton! ]

Monday, January 18, 2016

Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five

Artist: Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five
LP: Greatest Messages
Song: "The Message"
[ listen ]
Song: "Freedom" 
[ listen ]

In "The Message," released in 1983, Grandmaster Flash and His Five were Furious about poverty, racial inequality, and the general state of American society. It's regretful (more than regretful—it's incomprehensible!) that we can only report that things are really not much better here 30+ years later. On the bright side, we haven't given up yet. People now carry little cameras with them everywhere they go and are able to record and bring to light via the Internet crimes and injustices that before would have been swept under the rug. The conversation about social inequality and racism now seems to be louder and more direct than it's been in years. 

I have some hope.

My favorite of the "Greatest Messages" included on this LP is the opener, "Freedom," in which Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five envision life as great big party—a party with no VIP section and where everyone's invited. We're all just gonna' be dancing together and having fun, if that's alright with you. Happy MLK Day

[ Grandmaster Flash and The Furious Five ]

Sunday, January 17, 2016

Princess Ramona and Buddy Kemp

Artist: Princess Ramona and Buddy Kemp
LP: Talk About Jesus
Song: "His Name Is Jesus"
[ listen ]
Song: "I've Got It Bad, That's Good" 
[ listen ]
Song: "A Tribute to Mom and Dad"
[ listen ]

As you may have guessed, I've been cleaning out my LP bins again to make more room. I was about to tell Buddy and the Princess to hit the road since their "Gospel Liner" motor home was taking up three parking spots in the religious music section. But then when I heard them perform—especially Princess Ramona's whispering in "His Name Is Jesus" and the yodeling in "A Tribute to Mom and Dad"—I decided to let them stay. Music pays the rent around here. 

I was excited that I'd found an autographed copy of Buddy and The Princess' 1978 "Talk About Jesus" LP...until I realized that all copies of this one were equally autographed by the time they left the printer. There's some interesting information about Princess Ramona and Buddy Kemp—along with links, videos, and more music—on the Clean, Nice, Quiet blog here. And if you're wondering where in the world Trail, Oregon is, you can find out here

[ Buddy Kemp and Princess Ramona ]