Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra

Artist: Andre Kostelanetz and His Orchestra
LP: Carnival Tropicana
Song: "No Taboleiro de Bahiana"
[ listen ]

This past Sunday I was playing the organ for a church (long story) up in the Seattle suburb of Shoreline, and on my way home my car automatically turned into the parking lot of a large GoodWill Thrift Store a few blocks the church. Their records were just .99¢, and one of the things I found was this Columbia LP by Russian conductor Andre Kostelanetz, one of the pioneers of easy listening music. I'm not a huge fan of Kostelanetz's music, since the listening is a bit too easy for me (how can you record Latin-American songs without any percussion?) but I still picked this one up, mainly for the great cover art. "No Taboleiro de Bahiana" is one of two songs on the LP that does actually have a bit of percussion and isn't just strings and woodwinds. The record's inner sleeve features helpful tips (with drawings!) from Columbia Records on how to take good care of your LPs, so that alone was worth the 99¢. I'll have to include Columbia's tips later, as I'm putting this up during my lunch break at work, and I've run out of time. You can read about Andre Kostelanetz here, where you'll also see his long discography, but for some reason they left this one out.


[ Andre Kostelanetz: December 22, 1901 — January 13, 1980 ]

Saturday, May 28, 2011

The Deputies

Artist: The Deputies
LP: Ringo
Song: "Ringo"
[ listen ]

Here's yet another .50¢ record from last week's foray into the "as is" bins at Everyday Music on Capitol Hill. The particular deputy who handles lead vocals on "Ringo" sounds lethargic and even a little bored, so I tried playing it at a faster speed, which turns this gloomy gunfighter ballad into a chirpy Frankie Laine song that you can actually dance to. I like that the album's title has been riddled with bullets.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Eileen Donaghy

Artist: Eileen Donaghy
LP: Let's Sing With the Irish!
Song: "Galway Bay"
[ listen ]

Here's another neat record I found while rummaging through the "as is" discount bins last weekend. Born in the town of Brackaville in Northern Ireland in 1930, Eileen "Maisie" Donaghy worked as a darner in a weaving factory before singing "The Boys From the County Armagh" to a packed stadium at the Ulster Football Final in Clones in 1958, which set her on a path to become one of Ireland's most popular and beloved singers. Eileen's "Let's Sing With the Irish" LP, on which she sings with Johnny Gregory and His Orchestra & Chorus, was released simultaneously in the USA and the UK in 1961. You can get your own copy of the record, with fewer scratches, right here. You can read more about the life and career of Eileen Donaghy on Wikipedia here, and find the LP liner notes included below.

[ Eileen Donaghy: July 16, 1930 — October 26, 2008 ]

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Manolo Otero

Artist: Manolo Otero
LP: Sus Grandes Éxitos
Song: "Maria Nomas (María Ninguem)"
[ listen ]

My other recent record-buying relapse was late one evening last week when I stopped in at Half Price Books on Capitol Hill to see if they had any old copies of Sinclair Lewis novels that I haven't found yet. They didn't, but they did have some neat old European records, including this Grandes Éxitos LP from Spanish singer Manolo Otero. You can read a bit about him here, translated to English from Spanish, and visit Otero's official website here, where you will find hardly any information at all. Sadly, someone wrote to say that Manolo died in São Paulo, Brazil just a few days after I posted this.

 [ Manolo Otero: June 25, 1942 — June 1, 2011 ]

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Carla Thomas

Artist: Carla Thomas
LP: The Queen Alone
Song: "When Tomorrow Comes"
[ listen ]

I've been trying not to buy more records until I get rid of some of the ones I've got, since I'm running out of room in my apartment. But last week I had an hour to kill before meeting a friend for a drink and I was near a record store, so I couldn't help myself—I went in. In order to get my fix while still hopefully leaving empty-handed, I decided I'd only dig through the low-budget "as is" bins, which usually just contain hundreds of records by Kenny Loggins and Barbra Streisand. Unfortunately, not only did I find a Julie London record for the Deface Value site (her expression is perfect for having just been splashed across the face with mud while wearing one of her most exquisite gowns), but I also found this terrific 1967 LP from Carla Thomas—The Queen of Memphis Soul. Carla's father Rufus helped her get started in the music business, and it wasn't long before young Carla had stepped into "the magic circle of pop stardom." Ever the arbiters of good taste, U.S. servicemen in Vietnam chose Carla Thomas as their queen, whatever that might mean. My budget-priced copy of "The Queen Alone" does indeed have a few scratches and scuffs, but only enough to give it a bit of character. Released as a single in 1967, Carla's lovely "When Tomorrow Comes" somehow only made it to #99 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles charts. You can read more about the life and career of Carla Thomas on Wikipedia here, and the notes from the back of her record are included below.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Eddie Kendricks

 Artist: Eddie Kendricks
LP: Eddie Kendricks
Song: "Can't Help What I Am"
[ listen ]

I was going to surprise my four-year-old nephew this past weekend by showing up at his t-ball game out on Vashon Island at 10am Saturday morning. Unfortunately I was the one surprised, since nobody else was at the t-ball field when I arrived. The game had evidently been canceled because of rain. Still, I enjoyed a nice visit with my sister, my niece, and my nephew—but only after checking out Granny's Attic, the Vashon Island thrift store right next to the rain-soaked t-ball field. I can usually find something interesting there, and this time it was a brand new copy of this solo record by Temptations vocalist Eddie Hendricks. Born in Union Springs, Alabama in 1939, Kendricks was known for his lead falsetto vocals on The Temptations hits like "The Way You Do the Things You Do" and "Just My Imagination." Kendricks left The Temptations in 1971 and put out two other solo records prior to the release of this self-titled LP in 1973. Eddie's favorite food was cornbread, he was wardrobe manager for The Temptations during his 11-year stint with the group, and sadly, he died from lung cancer at the tender young age of 52. You can find more interesting facts about Mr. Kendricks and read all about his life and career on Wikipedia here.

[ Eddie Kendricks: December 17, 1939 — October 5, 1992 ]

Monday, May 23, 2011

ADC Band

Artist: ADC Band
LP: Long Stroke
Song: "Long Stroke"
[ listen ]

This debut LP from the Detroit funk group called ADC Band (well, I assume they're from Detroit, since that's where photos and recording for their first album were done) is one of the neat things I found at Grooves in San Francisco last year. The AllMusic website gives this record only two stars, but it seems more like a four-star record to me. I'm probably biased since I like nasty songs ("Long Stroke" was a #8 hit on the R&B singles charts back in 1978), and also because it features one of the sexiest fellows I've ever seen on the front of a record.

Friday, May 20, 2011

The Latin Souls

Artist: The Latin Souls
LP: Boo-Ga-Loo & Shing-A-Ling With The Latin Souls
Song: "Hey Lulu!"
[ listen ]

Here's a bunch of boogaloo, with a side of shing-a-ling, for a sunny and warm Friday morning in Seattle. Not to be confused with the Mexican street gang of Chicago, these Latin Souls were a group of musical teens who helped spread the boogaloo dance craze across North America in the 1960s—which you can read about here. The English and Spanish-language notes from the back of this 1967 record are included below, and I'm pretty sure that's Melanie Griffith shing-a-linging on the front cover.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Eavesdroppings

Overheard when: 12:45pm on Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Overheard where: on sidewalk at Olive Way and 7th Avenue, on north side of Pacific Place Mall in downtown Seattle, WA [map]
Overheard who: one handsome male 20-something road worker in orange vest and hard-hat, yelling from the truck to his handsome 20-something male colleague who was about to lay down "turning lane" stencils for painting a giant sign on the street.

Overheard what: "Hey! Did you get the arrow too, or just the only?"

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Breakwater

Artist: Breakwater
LP: Splashdown
Song: "Splashdown Time"
[ listen ]

I think I've just decided on my Halloween costume for this year. Formed in Philadelphia in 1971, Breakwater released just two LPs during their stint together, including this one from 1980, the year the band called it quits. You can read more about the group on Wikipedia here—and speaking of water breaking, I hear the swollen Mississippi River will be cresting at a record 57 feet in the historic town of Vicksburg, Mississippi tomorrow. Good luck you guys.

I just showed this record to Matilyn, my colleague at work. She said it looks like the guys are about to clean a really big bathroom.