Thursday, April 30, 2009


Artist: Sandro
LP: Espectacular
Song: "Dame el Fuego de tu Amor"
[ listen ]
Song: "Porque es Amor y Mucho Mas"
[ listen ]

Argentinian heartthrob Sandro (real name Roberto Sánchez) was born August 19, 1945. He was the first singer to do a televised concert via satellite from Madison Square Garden (in April of 1970) and he's starred in a number of Argentinian films, including "Quiero Llenarme de Ti (I Want to Fill Myself With You)." You can read more about Sandro in English here, watch some titillating Sandro performance videos here and here, and click here to visit "A Todo Sandro," a lively Spanish-language website where you'll learn everything you've ever wanted to know about the singer. The Spanish-language notes from Sandro's 1971 "Espectacular" LP are
included below, with an English translation provided by BabelFish.

Con: Jorge Leone y su Orq.

5 de Setiembre de 1971. Por primera vez en el año Sandro
hacia su esperada presentación en televisi
ón, presentación
dilatada por múltiples giras a través de América y Europa y
por su intenso trabajo cinematográfico. Durante una hora y
medina las pantallas de T.V. mostaron a un Sandro en la
plentitud de su fantástica carrera artistica, con

todo su fibra, su ternura, su misterio.

Fueron presentados a modo de adelanto, algunos de los
temas que integran este Long Play, temas que según pudimos
apreciar, tuvieron notable repercusi
ón en el público que estaba
esperando sus nuevos creaciones. Una de las que caus
mayor impacto fue "Es el Amante," totalmente recitado con el
único acompañamiento de la guitarra de Hebert Orlando, integrando
un cuadro, de reminiscencias, españolas. Ello nos movi
ó a incluir en
esta larga duraci
ón la banda de sonido directamente tomada "en
vivo" de su interpretaci
ón de "Es el Amante," realizada en los
estudios de televisi
ón de Canal 11, rodeado de cámaras,
reflectores y público prefiriendo el "clima" que todo eso
involucra a la perfecci
ón técnica de un solitario
estudio de grabación.

* * * * * * *

5 of September of 1971. For the first time in the Sandro year
towards its awaited presentation in television, presentation
expanded by multiple tours through America and Europe and
by its intense cinematographic work. During one hour and
medina the T.V. screens mostaron to a Sandro in plentitud

of its fantastic artistic race, with all their fiber, its
tenderness, its mystery

They were presented/displayed as an advance, some of
subjects that integrate this Long Play, subjects that according
to we could to appreciate, they had remarkable repercussion
in the public who was waiting for its new creations. One of
that it caused greater impact was "She Is the Lover," totally
recited with the unique support of the guitar of Hebert Orlando,
integrating a picture, of reminiscences, Spaniards. It moved
to us to include in this long duration the band of sound directly

taken "in vivo" of its interpretation of "She Is the Lover,"
realised in the studies of television of Channel 11, surrounded
by cameras, reflectors and public preferring "clima" that all that
it involves perfectly technical of a solitaire recording studio

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Marjorie Meinert

Artist: Marjorie Meinert
LP: Hi-Fi and Mighty
Song: "A Song of India"
[ listen ]

There's not much info about Ms. Meinert on the web, but I did find a page here that includes a link where you can watch her perform "Flight of the Bumble Bee" on a brand new Wurlitzer on Ken Griffin's 67 Melody Lane television program. Marjorie isn't much of an actress, but she does possess plenty of charm and zip and would probably be the perfect date for a barn dance. A nice drawing and some notes from the back of Meinert's "Hi-Fi and Mighty" LP are included here:

Marjorie Meinert at the Allen Organ

"Meinert may be her name, but major are her talents!"

So wrote an important music critic recently about the musical
skills of Marjorie Meinert, one of the nation's best-loved organists.
And surely when you listen to HI-FI AND MIGHTY, her latest RCA
Victor release, there is no doubt that you too will hail her as an
artist of unsurpassed technique, unhampered expressiveness, and
the uncommon ability to make each one of these beautiful melodies
strike a very personal chord in the hearts of all who hear them

A native of Clinton, Iowa, Miss Meinert has won renown as a
composer and arranger, one who is as much at home with jazz
as she is with the classics. She began her musical career at
the tender age of three, and gave her first recital when she
was only five. After graduating from the Dubuque (Iowa)
Conservatory of Music and the Sherwood College of Music
in Chicago, the talentetd youn miss was promptly engaged
by radio station KROS in Clinton. Later she joined the staff
of WOC-AM-FM-TV as organist and pianist, and for the past
two years her program, "Musical Moods," has been voted
the top local show by TV Guide

In addition to performing on her own show, Miss Meinert has
been seen recently as featured soloist with many of television's
most popular personalities, including Arthur Godfrey, Lawrence
Welk, Fred Waring and Kate Smith. Away from the recording and
television studios, she has had the distinction of performing
her own composition, "Dream and Awakening" with the Buffalo
Symphony Orchestra. Other "in person" appearances have
been at Disneyland and at the Lincoln Sesquicentennial
Celebration in Washington, D.C

[ Marjorie Meinert, 1953 ]

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Felipe Rodríguez

Artist: Felipe Rodríguez
LP: Insaciable
Song: "Alma"[ listen ]

Commonly known as Felipe "La Voz" Rodríguez, Felipe was the most popular male singer in Puerto Rico in the 1950s. You can read about his life and career here and watch a wonderful video clip here where "The Voz" performs "Sigue Lloviendo" with a smart-looking trio while an elderly gentleman resembling Albert Finney in the late 1980s looks on.

[ Felipe "La Voz" Rodríguez: May 8, 1926 — May 26, 1999 ]

Monday, April 27, 2009


Artist: Lime
LP: Lime 3
Song: "Angel Eyes"
[ listen ]

Speaking of itsy bitsy teenie weenie yellow polka dot bikinis... you can read about Lime and see their picture here.

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Paul Vance

Artist: Paul Vance
LP: Ma Vie - My Life
Song: "Sexy"
[ listen ]

I picked up this album for $5 in SoHo just before the end of Record Store Day last Saturday. There was no listening station at this particular shop and I didn't know who Paul Vance was, but I figured it would be good since he was lighting a cigarette on the cover and some of the songs are in French. Turns out Mr. Vance co-wrote "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini" and a bunch of other neat songs. There were evidently widespread news reports of his death in 2006, but he's actually still alive and resides in Florida. You can read more about him here, and these notes are from the back of the record:

Paul Vance didn't sing his way to fame; the first thing he did
was write his way to fame. The behind-the-scenes story of
how this hit songwriter is now singing with marked success
is fit material for a Hollywood scenario writer. Paul and his
partner of a decade, Lee Pockriss, recently penned a
warm and wistful ballad called "Dommage, Dommage."
As he had done on previous occasions, he cut what the
record trade calls a "demo," a recording of a new song
(or artist) that is designed not to go beyond the ears of
music publishers, Artist & Repertoire men or performers.
After Paul sang the final note of "Dommage, Dommage,"
icians and engineers on the site, normally a jaded lot,
burst into spontaneous applause. The "demo" originally
intended to be heard by Barbra Streisand, among others,
was scrapped in favor of an actual record release by a
suddenly crowned "new" artist, Paul Vance.

Paul's work, both as a singer and collaborator (with Lee
Pockriss), delighted Florence Greenberg, the guiding
light of Scepter Records to whom it was submitted,
and she decided to release it on her label

Paul's persuasive reading of the lovely song has been
greeted with a great deal of attention, proving once
more that songwriters can be more than frustrated
singers, but as fully capable of doing their own songs
as the performers for whom their creations may be written
for! Paul sees a very practical reason why songwriters often
record "demos" of their songs. "It gives us the opportunity
to perform them in the style that we had in mind when
we first wrote them," he explains

Paul, as "Dommage, Dommage" and other songs on this
LP demonstrate so well — including "Ma Vie," a poignant
follow-up to his first hit as an artist — can blend meaningful
interpretations of his own works and that of others with
the flair of a total professional. Although his career as
a singer is growing with each spin of his record, he is
quick to emphasize that he will continue to write with
Pockriss. This gives the worlds of singing and song a
double-barreled lift: a singer with "heart" and a writer
who will undoubtedly continue to supply the better
pop material of our time
-- Irv Lichtman, Cash Box Magazine

Friday, April 24, 2009

Emilia Conde

Artist: Emilia Conde
LP: In a Pop Mood / In a Latin Mood
Song: "Where, When & How"
[ listen ]
Song: "Mi Calle Triste"
[ listen ]

Here are a couple tunes (one in the pop mood, one in the Latin) from a wonderful 1970 Emilia Conde record I picked up for $3 in NYC's East Village on Monday. Sadly, there's very little info on Ms. Conde on the web—ie. nothing on Wikipedia, Google turns up no images, etc.—which is surprising, considering her resume outlined in the LP's liner notes and the fact that the Puerto Rican Cultural Association presents an "Emilia Conde Award" to an outstanding young artist every year. I did find an autographed copy of this same LP available for $10 here, if anyone's interested. I'd say it's worth it just to experience the "sense of discovery" and for the chest full of sparkly gems you'll end up with. Read the LP liner notes here:

Stunning! Masterful! Glamorous! Exciting! Beautiful!

The preceding exclamations are just a random sampling of the
superlatives with which concert, night club, radio and television
critics, and record reviewers, greeted the extraordinary artistry
of Emilia Conde as a classical vocalist and musician

But if such response has exhausted the critics' bag of adjectives,
this new Audio Fidelity album in which Miss Conde reveals a new
dimension of her astonishing talent, is surely going to provoke
the necessity to invent new adjectives

Although she has been singing popular songs for several years
now, it was not until very recently that Emilia made the decision
to enter the popular music idiom in a total way. "Something,"
she says, "was missing in classical music. With so much
discipline I could not express myself freely."

But if Emilia has freed herself from the restrictions of classical
music in order to involve herself full time in a style that permits
her the greatest opportunity to express herself, the expert
musicianship and the sophistication which she acquired in
the classical field has not been abandoned. Indeed, while
Miss Conde makes it abundantly clear, in this album, that
she can out-"now" the most "now" of contemporary pop singers
(that is, be responsive to and draw upon all elements of current
popular music from the cabaret genre to rock), there is nothing
shallow or ephemeral about her work. She brings to popular
music a high artist's grace, intelligence and polish that makes
everything she sings substantial and enduring

In this album, one side of which is devoted to songs sung in
Spanish, her native language, and one side of which is in
English (she can sing, incidentally, in nine languages), Emilia
demonstrates an authority, vocal range and emotional
depth that makes of each song a true experience whether
you are familiar with the language in which it is sung or
not. Go immediately to Sunburst or I Can't Forget San
or Mi Calle Triste or Dia Tras Dia for the most
outstanding examples of her versatility and impact

Born in Puerto Rico of French and Spanish parents, Emilia,
when she was just fifteen, received a government scholarship
to the renowned Eastman School of Music where she studied
classical piano, harmony, theory and voice. She began her
singing career as a protege of Pablo Casals and was
encouraged to develop her voice by such luminaries
as Jose Iturbi and Alexander Schneider

Upon graduating from the Eastman School, Emilia played piano
concerts at New York's Carnegie and Town Halls and later
appeared as a soloist with various symphony orchestras
throughout the country. Extensive tours of Europe and Latin
America were followed by twenty weeks as singing star of
the Folies Bergere at the famed Tropicana in Las Vegas.
Immediately after that she was moved to the club's
Fountain Room as the star of a one-woman show. Also
among Emilia's credits are smash night club appearances
in Madrid, Mexico city, San Juan, Aruba, Curacao, Trinidad,
Lisbon, London and Toronto. Among her American triumphs
are an eleven week booking at Bimbo's 365 club in San
Francisco and an engagement at Act IV in Detroit which
prompted the Detroit Free Press critic to remark, "She
sends you away with a sense of discovery."

This "sense of discovery" with which the Free Press critic
left the Act IV that evening is something which everyone
who owns this recording can now share. And it will be a
"sense of discovery" that is repeated many times over,
for the multi-dimensional talent of Emilia Conde has a
weight and substance which gives forth
new gems with each hearing

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Jerzy Połomski

Artist: Jerzy Połomski
LP: Szeptem Malowane
Song: "Uwierz Dziewczynie Chociaż Kłamie"
[ listen ]

Edwardo and I took our first trip to New York City together this past weekend. I was fairly certain the Big Apple would offer lots of exciting records from all around the globe that were sitting in dusty bins, just waiting for my fingers to find them. Here's something wonderful from Poland circa 1980 that I picked up for only 50 cents. You can read about Jerzy Połomsky here (translated from Polish) and watch some terrific YouTube videos of the singer from the 1960s here and here and here.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009


Overheard when: 11:26pm on Sunday, April 19, 2009
Overheard where
: in Chelsea at the New Venus Restaurant, located at 252 8th Avenue in New York, NY [map]
Overheard who: two white, well-dressed gay men in their late 20s or early 30s—one with short dark hair and the other with blond spiky/messy hair—conversing at great length about penises in the booth directly behind me as Edwardo and I and our friend Laraine enjoyed late-night coffee and desserts.

Overheard what:
"...I actually really liked him, but he's uncut and I just don't think I can handle that.

Brownie: "Really?"
Blondie: "Yeah, I don't know why but I just can't get into that. Do you like guys who are uncut?"
Brownie: "Well, I wouldn't say it's a preference, but... it doesn't really bother me. I think that I like the surprises it reveals sometimes."
Blondie: "But some guys don't clean themselves very well so you can get some pretty nasty surprises."
Brownie: "Well that I'm not into. But I had a threesome with Steve and... um..."
Blondie: "With Steve and Doug?"
Brownie: "No, it was with Steve and some little Italian guy, but I forget his name."
Blondie: "And they were both uncut?"
Brownie: "Yeah, but it was cool..."
Blondie: "I don't know why, but I'm just not into uncut guys. I think it looks like an anteater."
Brownie: [laughs]
Blondie: "But I feel kinda' bad that I won't date a guy just because he's uncut."
Brownie: "Don't worry about it, it happens."

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Summer and Smoke

I just finished reading a book about various films adapted from the works of Tennessee Williams—including SUMMER AND SMOKE and BABY DOLL, which I watched for the very first time. They're both terrific films. These songs aren't really related to any of that, but the book did put me in the mixing mood and provided me with a pretty title.

side one:
01. Hey - Elvis Perkins
02. What Will My Mary Say - Johnny Mathis

03. Mexican Oil - Stephen Whynott
04. Remember - It Hugs Back
05. Chicken Outlaw - Wide Boy Awake
06. La Mia Libertà - Pupo

07. Yard Stylee - Musical Youth
08. Onukpa Shawarpo - Bokoor Band
09. Kokorokoo - Osibisa
10. Five Minutes More -
Jackie Davis
11. Fantastic Voyage - Takako Minekawa
12. It's Raining Today - Scott Walker
13. Don't Cry Out Loud -
[ listen ]

side two:
01. Three Hundred Pounds of Heavenly Joy - Smokestack Lightnin'
02. Pig Will Not -
P.J. Harvey & John Parish
03. Wake Up to Me Gentle - Claudine Longet
04. She Left Without Words - Bob Siller
05. The Starlit Hour - The George Shearing Quintet w/ String Choir
06. Já Passou - Chico Buarque
07. Ame Caline - Raymond Lefevre & His Orchestra
08. Hallelujah, Goodnight! - Richard Swift
09. Formidable -
Syl Sylvian and the Teardrops
10. Rollin' Up My Mind - Goodthunder
11. Dancing Maiden of Port Said - Sonny Lester & His Orchestra
12. My Yiddishe Momme -
Connie Francis
13. Rockslide - Andrew Pekler
14. Ragged Tint - Benoît Pioulard
15. Theme to Robert - Francis Lai
[ listen ]

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Sandy Posey

Artist: Sandy Posey
LP: Born a Woman
Song: "Born a Woman"
[ listen ]

Sandy Posey had a string of #12 hits in the 1960s, but never quite managed to launch anything into the top ten. "Born a Woman," in which she uses her sweet little voice to romanticize and rationalize the horrible treatment of women, was the first of Sandy's three singles to reach #12—this one in the summer of 1966. You can read about Sandy Posey's life and career here and the notes from the back of her debut LP are included below.

It is inconceivable that hazel-eyed beauty Sandy Posey was
born to suffer, or born to cry—or born to do anything other
than sing in her own exciting and inimitable way

Not long after the born singer's birth 21 years ago in Jasper,
Alabama, relatives noticed Sandy singing almost before she
could talk...and by five, harmonizing to records she
heard on the radio

But Jasper's music world was limited to church choirs and
a handful of jukeboxes scattered throughout town so Sandy's
career stood still until her late teens and she moved to West
Memphis, Arkansas. Just across the Mississippi River sits
Memphis, home town of many music business greats and
one of the top recording centers in the south

Before long Sandy had been invited to attend a recording
session. One of the background singers failed to show up
and she was asked the last minute to "sit in." Literally
hundreds of record dates followed in Memphis and the
nearby recording centers of Nashville and Florence,
Alabama with Sandy doing vocal group work backing
up other singers. She worked with such names as
Bobby Goldsboro, Tommy Roe and Percy Sledge.

She was then discovered by independent record
producer Chips Moman and she did her first solo
recording "Born a Woman" for MGM Records

This perfect mating of singer and song has taken
Sandy Posey to the top of the national best-selling
charts. Sandy Posey is an exciting artist who was
not only "Born a Woman" but born a star
--Notes by H.H. Cowen

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

LaToya Jackson

Artist: LaToya Jackson
LP: LaToya Jackson
Song: "If You Feel the Funk"[ listen ]

Here's something I picked up for 99 cents at the King of Pop's pre-auction yard sale this past weekend. I also got a really good deal on this white jacket that belonged to LaToya, but was told by a young British manservant that Michael had put it in the yard sale pile by mistake, that his sister was furious and that I had to give it back.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Teardrop Explodes

Artist: The Teardrop Explodes
LP: 7" single
Song: "Colours Fly Away"
[ listen ]

When asked if his former group The Teardrop Explodes would ever be getting back together, singer Julian Cope evidently replied, "Would you ever return to having your mother wipe your asshole?" You can read more about this post-punk British band on Wikipedia here.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Jackie Davis

Artist: Jackie Davis
LP: Hi-Fi Hammond
Song: "Time Was"[ listen ]

Jackie Davis is my favorite of the organ-players I've collected from the 1940s, '50s and '60s. Not only is his fingerwork pretty darn fancy, but he does some spectacular work with the Hammond's volume pedal to create interesting rhythmic effects and exciting dynamics. You can read all about Jackie Davis in the liner notes I've included below from his 1960 "Hi-Fi Hammond" LP and on the Jackie Davis website here, where you'll find his discography, more photos and music samples, an interview with Jackie Davis and lots of other great things.
inventive, and melodious music. Here's the master
of the electric organ in remarkable Hi-Fi performances

"Man," says Jackie Davis. "I feel like I'm playing an orchestra!"
And anyone listening can readily understand. A Hammond
electric organ is, technically speaking, nothing more than
a Hammond electric organ. But with Jackie Davis at the
keyboard, many unusual, sweet-sounding and
full-swinging things begin to happen
This talented fellow has turned its sound into something
considerably more than background music for cocktail-
bar glass-clinking. He has a rare sense of dynamics, unfolding
the organ to its full orchestral richness or paring it down to
a delicate solo quality that can duet gracefully with a guitar.
And in addition to his technical mastery, Jackie Davis has
succeeded in developing a very legitimate and solid jazz
style on what is essentially a non-jazz instrument
Jackie's interest in music started when he was still a young
boy. Enchanted with his grandmother's piano, he spent hours
solving the mysteries of "Chopsticks." By the time he was
eleven, Jackie had forty-five dollars, lots of talent and
unlimited determination. So he spent the money on his
first piano. From then on, when he wasn't playing, he
was listening. And much of his listening was centered
around Art Tatum. He idolized the master, but couldn't
help thinking to himself, "If he can do that much with
a piano—wow—
what he could do with an organ!"
Comparatively speaking, the piano had such limitations;
for Jackie had found out that an organ had some two
million potential sounds. (As of today Jackie figures he's
still on his first million, but he's young yet and
doesn't tire easily.)
Graduating from Florida A & M with a B.A. degree in music,
Jackie became an accompanist for Billy Daniels, Nat Cole, Ella
Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington and Sarah Vaughan—a sort of
postgraduate course in the fine art of how to interpret a song
Then came the war and the Army, and afterwards Jackie
returned to his professional career, playing singles, and being
a part of various vocal and instrumental groups. But his eye
was still on the goal of making a name as an organist. In
1951 he bought his first Hammond and shortly after opened
at the Club Harlem in Philadelphia. His engagement lasted
twenty weeks and set up Jackie Davis as a new attraction
for night spots and theaters everywhere
During these past few years Jackie has been a busy boy,
criss-crossing the country to plya his engagements, pausing
periodically to make records, and never ceasing to develop
his own artistry on the electric organ
In this, his first album for Capitol, Jackie's splended sounds
are recorded in High Fidelity. But there's still another kind
of high fidelity that's caught in the record—Jackie's discriminating
taste in material and his easy ability to handle everything from
sweet and lovely to good-humored and swinging. Here are
the melodies of Harold Arlen, Vernon Duke, Harry Warren and
other topflight popular composers. To each Jackie gives
his special attention, his special interpretation
Complementing Jackie and his organ are the substantial
rhythmic contributions of Ernest L. (Fats) Clark on drums
and the guitar etchings of Irving Ashby

[ Jackie Davis: December 13, 1920 — November 15, 1999 ]

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Buddy Bregman & His Orchestra

Artist: Buddy Bregman & His Orchestra
LP: This Band Swings
Song: "My Buddy"
[ listen ]

Here are some hip-swaying swing sounds from a 1967 Buddy Bregman LP I picked up on Vashon Island with all those Burt Kaempfert LPs a while back. Fred Astaire's poorly-written and generally lackluster accolades from the back of the record are included below... but I wonder: How was Fred able to deduce, just from listening to the record, that all the men in Buddy Bregman's orchestra are tops?


Buddy has hit a consistently individual style. It is to my
mind, an album in which every item is a special attraction.
His treatment of some Cole Porter tunes stood out to me;
and the great Ellington's "In A
Mellow Tone" incited a dancing
mood. One can tell he loved doing the job, and the same can be
said of the entire band. All of his men, from the brilliant trombones
to the powerful drums, are tops—and you hear them individually
more than usual. To me, there is a plus value to the whole
package. All of Buddy's special arranging and conducting
comes out in full force. It's a fine dance album.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


Artist: Rejoice
LP: Rejoice!
Song: "Spring Flew In Today"
[ listen ]

Actually, spring flew out today. I chose this song last night to celebrate the warm and sunny weather we've been having in Seattle lately, so of course I wake up to gray skies and a chilly breeze this morning. But I'm sure that somewhere else... like, Tennessee... spring flew in today.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sergio Franchi

Artist: Sergio Franchi
LP: The Golden Voice of Italy
Song: "I Tuoi Occhi Verdi"
[ listen ]

According to AltaVista's Babel Fish translation, this song is about "Your Green Eyes." With a voice as big as Italy, it's unfortunate that Sergio Franchi, who would have turned 83 yesterday, never got to tackle one of the Bond-film theme songs of the 1960s. Notes about Franchi from the back of the LP are included below; you can also read about the singer here and watch a wonderful medley of Sergio Franchi television performance clips on YouTube here (the 1969 clip of "Granada" is pretty great). My thoughts are with the people of Italy, who just went through a horrible earthquake.

Sergio Franchi is a name we will be hearing a lot of in the
near future. As a very young man his dreams were to be an
electrical engineer and to sing in the opera. Up to a certain
point he followed his aims and graduated school as an
electrical engineer. During this time he also studied opera

After graduation he went to Johannesburg, South Africa with
his parents. Asked to sing at a charity show given by the
Italian Consulate he was approached by a producer who
happened to attend the performance. He was immediately
offered the lead role in Strauss' operetta "The Gypsy Baron."
This lucky experience led to many other parts, among them
leads in "Vagabond King" and "New Moon."

Encouraged by the success in Johannesburg, Sergio made up
his mind to return to his native Italy and try to find the same
success that he had found in South Africa. The first few months
were hard but finally he was heard by the right people and was
signed up to an exclusive contract to record the songs he
loved best—the songs of Italy

Franchi toured the Continent and had triumph after triumph.
S. Hurok, the famed American impresario was told of this
magnificent new voice that was being heard on the
Continent and after hearing some of his recordings proceeded
to sign Sergio to an American tour for the 1962-3 season

London Records is extremely proud to present Sergio Franchi
to the American public via his recordings. These recordings are
songs which Sergio loves and sings with more feeling since
these are the songs of his homeland. Listen and enjoy
this gifted young singer

[ Sergio Franchi: April 6, 1926 — May 1, 1990 ]

Monday, April 6, 2009

Juan Torres

Artist: Juan Torres
LP: Juan Torres y su Organo Melódico—Volume 18
Song: "Jesusita En Chihuahua"
[ listen ]

Over the past few weeks I've been corresponding with Alan Ashton, host of Organ 1st Radio, a monthly hour-long radio show filled with wonderful organ music [you can listen to this month's program here]. His enthusiasm for organ music inspired me to dig through my collection for some of my organ favorites and post them here. This and several other Juan Torres records were found at a Seattle store that received a bunch of lovely and exotic LPs formerly owned by Walter R. Hatch of Seattle. According to the sticker on the back of this particular record, it was purchased for $4.99 at Tower Records on December 11, 1978. Hatch had (I'm assuming the man has passed away; surely no-one would part with these records unless it was over their dead body)... Hatch had incredible taste in music, an amazing record collection and a mysterious system of rating each track on his LPs with a seires of plus signs and lines. "Jesusita En Chihuahua," for example, was rated +IIII. If anyone reading this knew Walter R. Hatch and can tell me more about him or how to decode his rating system, please send me an email. Or, if you are Walter R. Hatch and you are still very much alive thank you, I'd love to hear from you. You can read about Mexican organist Juan Torres' career, listen to more of his music and become his friend on MySpace here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Bette Davis

Born on April 5, 1908, Bette Davis would be turning 101 if she were alive today. My favorite actress from the movies of the 1930s and '40s, Ms. Davis holds the record for the longest consecutive run of Best Actress Oscar nominations. And the nominees are: Jezebel in 1938 (she won); Dark Victory in 1939; The Letter in 1940; The Little Foxes in 1941; Now, Voyager in 1942. She sat the next year out but was back for another nomination in 1944 for Mr. Skeffington. Davis wasn't much of a singer (imagine Marianne Faithfull as a speech therapist) but she did record several tunes later in her career and, typically, she gives them everything she's got. Using a few of those songs, here's a mix I made last year in honor of Bette Davis' 100th birthday.

side one:

01. Now, Voyager [theme ] - National Philharmonic Orchestra w/ Charles Gerhardt
02. Loneliness - Bette Davis
03. Hands Across the Sea - The Nickelodeons at Paul Eakins' Gay Nineties Village

04. Singin' In the Rain - Gus Farney
05. Purple Rose - Bette Davis and Hiram Sherman
06. Hollywood Baby - Lost Acapulco

07. Smích - Bittová & Fajt
08. Until It's Time For You to Go - Bette Davis

09. Horses of Instruction - The Gentlemen Losers

[ listen ]

side two:
01. Horses of Instruction [continued] - The Gentlemen Losers
02. And Here You Are - Stuff
03. All About Eve [dialogue from the car scene] - Bette Davis
04. Cherokee - Jo Ann Castle

05. The Merry-Go-Round Broke Down - The Sande & Greene Fun-Time Band
06. I've Written a Letter to Daddy - Bette Davis

07. Jennifer's French Movie - Johnny Williams & His Orchestra
08. Bað -
Jóhann Jóhannsson
09. Thäis I - This Mortal Coil
10. Life Is a Lonely Thing - Bette Davis

11. The Letter [theme] - National Philharmonic Orchestra w/ Charles Gerhardt

12. El Capitan - Jack Dorsey w/ the Mammoth 89 Key 'Gavioli' Fairground Organ
[ listen ]

[ Bette Davis: April 5, 1908 — October 6, 1989 ]

Saturday, April 4, 2009


Overheard when: 6:11pm on Friday, April 3, 2009
Overheard where
: the ice-cream aisle at the Ballard Safeway supermarket located at 1423 NW Market Street in Seattle, WA [map]
Overheard who: a semi-handsome, slightly plump, dark-haired white guy in his late 20s or early 30s talking on his cell phone in front of the freezers as I was trying to decide what flavor of ice-cream to buy.

Overheard what: "...Ok, well... let me talk to my wife first because one thing Cheryl really values is having snuggle time in bed together when we wake up in the morning ... but if I can snuggle with her tomorrow morning, then I can probably get an early start on Sunday morning and I should be able to get all the work done then ... Mm-Hmm ... Ok ... Ok, well let me talk to my wife and then I'll let you know ... Ok, bye." (removes cell phone from ear, then exclaims aloud) "Shoot!"

Friday, April 3, 2009

Doris Day

Artist: Doris Day
LP: You're My Thrill [10" EP]
Song: "When Your Lover Has Gone"
[ listen ]
Song: "You're My Thrill"
[ listen ]

My favorite singer, Doris Mary Anne von Kappelhoff (aka. Doris Day) was born in Cincinnati, Ohio on April 3, 1924. Her music, movies and TV show have given me many, many hours of joy... so if you happen to be reading this, Clara Kappelhoff, thanks! In honor of Doris Day's 85th birthday, I'm posting two songs from her very first solo LP, which I picked up a few weeks ago for only a dollar. You can read about Doris Day's incredible career in music and film here, see her complete discography here, find her complete filmography and film info here and you can visit and contribute to the Doris Day Animal Foundation here. If somehow you've never seen a Doris Day movie before and you'd like to check one out, why not start with this one, or maybe this one or this one or this one? These nice biographical notes are from the back of the "You're My Thrill" 10" long play record, which was released on August 1, 1949:

When Doris Day was named as Success of the Year by a
musical magazine, there was no question whatever about
the correctness of the choice. For in 1948, she zoomed
from the equivocal position
of a highly promising singer to
that of one of the country's top recording artists and an
established movie star on the strength of a handful of
records and a single motion picture. This was partly
because Doris brought to music and films a quality that
had too long been missing, a sort of breezy freshness
and an intimate directness of appeal. More important,
it was suddenly discovered that she was a superlative
songstress and an ingratiating performer.

Not that Doris hadn't been heard before: for several years
she was featured vocalist with Les Brown and his orchestra,
and built up a considerable reputation among musicians for
her deft and intelligent way with a popular song. A number
of the recordings she made with this orchestra—notably
Sentimental Journey
fondly prized by collectors. Doris
landed with Les after a short engagement with Bob Crosby
and his orchestra and a series of programs over Station
WLW, Cincinnati. Her early enthusiasm for a career as a
dancer was somewhat dampened by a broken leg, and
she began studying singing with the vocal coach at WLW,
which led to her initial broadcasts and her tours with the
orchestras. Toward the end of 1947, Doris left the Brown
organization to go out on her own, opening at the Little
Club on New York's East Side. A recording contract of her
own followed, then a movie contract, a spot on the Hit
Parade with Frank Sinatra, and eventually a star spot on
the Bob Hope radio program, again singing with Les Brown.
All this in something less than eighteen months.

To rhythm numbers she brings a brisk, sparkling enthusiasm
that lights up even an ordinary song, while to ballads Doris
brings a sort of husky grace and an impression of genuine
sincerity that has captivated an imposing number of listeners.
For her first collection of songs, she has chosen a group of
established favorites that are regularly but infrequently heard,
songs with a rather more sophisticated touch, both lyrically
and musically, than is
generally found. In them is some of
her finest singing, brilliantly phrased and beautifully keyed
to the mood of the song. With the assistance of a vocal
group, Doris conjures up a series of exceptional romantic
interludes, and concerned, as most of these songs are,
with love requited and otherwise, they offer her an
opportunity to display her remarkable talent for distilling
the intimate magic that characterizes her singing. Here
is popular artistry of a high order, applied by Doris Day
to popular songs of the first rank.

[ Happy Birthday, Doris Day! ]