Thursday, September 27, 2012

Turley Richards

Artist: Turley Richards
LP: Turley Richards
Song: "But Came the Dawn, and Then Goodbye"
[ listen ]
Song: "I Heard the Voice of Jesus"
[ listen ]

After listening to this self-titled 1970 LP by Turley Richards, it's hard to understand why he isn't as well known and revered as similar singers of the era like Tim Buckley and Nick Drake. Born in Charleston, West Virginia in 1941, Turley was blinded in the left eye in an archery mishap when he was just four years old (his friend was supposed to shoot the arrow into the pillow that the bent-over Turley was holding over his ass...don't askthis is West Virginia, remember). Though he eventually lost sight in his right eye too after the infection spread, Turley still had his voice. And what a voice! He's pure liquid velvet on "But Came the Dawn, and Then Goodbye," which he wrote himself. Turley then shows off his dynamic 14-octave range in "I Heard the Voice of Jesus," wherein he leads listeners over vocal peaks and valleys before finally shooting straight for the moon. The song peaked at #99 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in 1970. You can read a little about Turley Richards on Wikipedia here, and then visit his website here to find a brief preview of his life story before his autobiography, "BlindSighted," hits the shelves. There are photos of Turley Richards performing with friends earlier this month here, and if you're fortunate enough to live in Louisville, Kentucky, you can catch this incredible singer/songwriter performing at Chubby Ray's this Saturday night, or on Saturday, October 6th at Clifton's Pizza.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Los Telefonistas

Artist: Los Telefonistas
LP: Cancion de un Estudiante Enamorado / Cuando Quieras Regresar
Song: "Jesse de Teran"
[ listen ]

You're the winner! You're the viewer of my 1,000th blog post! When I was looking at the cover of this 1981 record by Los Telefonistas earlier today, I noticed the different ways that the two estudiantes enamorados were holding their libros. It reminded me of an incident at the end of one particular summer many years ago, when I was about to enter junior high school. My mom noticed I was holding my schoolbooks in my arms folded across my chest, and she warned me that I was carrying them like a girl.

She instructed me that the way boys carried their textbooks was to hold them against their side at the hip, cradled in one of their hands.

I was grateful, since I certainly didn't want to make my Wilson Junior High School debut carrying my books like a girl! I wanted to carry them like a boy! I hadn't really thought about that little bit of parental advice over the years until today, but I have to say that it seems pretty damn messed up that there are actually gender-specific ways of carrying textbooks! I'm starting Spanish classes at North Seattle Community College next week, and not only will I finally find out what a "Telefonista" is, but I'm also going to make a point of carrying my schoolbooks like a girl.

[ Los Telefonistas ]

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Kaye Ballard

Artist: Kaye Ballard
LP: Boo Hoo-Ha Ha
Song: "Nobody's Heart"
[ listen ]
Song: "Little Kid Sister"
[ listen ]

As the flip-floppable cover of her 1961 LP implies, versatile entertainer Kaye Ballard presents two opposing moods on this recordboo-hoo and ha-harepresented by "Nobody's Heart" and "Little Kid Sister," respectively. Everybody knows Kaye Ballard. Maybe you've seen her on Match Game or The Muppet Show. You might know her from The Mothers-In-Law with Eve Arden, or maybe you remember her early days with Spike Jones. Perhaps you caught her cabaret show, Doin It For Love, which premiered at the historic Paramount Theater in Austin, Texas earlier this year. But, of course, I know Ms. Ballard best as Angie Pallucci, who, with her husband Louie, owned the Italian restaurant downstairs from Doris Martin's San Francisco apartment on The Doris Day Show. You can read about this fantastic lady's life and career on Wikipedia here, and visit her website here to read even more, buy her autobiography and new CD, look at lots of neat Kaye Ballard photos, and a whole lot more! For the legendary and elusive Angie Pallucci Hungarian-Italian stuffed cabbage recipe, click here.


Saturday, September 15, 2012

Isabelle Aubret

Artist: Isabelle Aubret
LP: Isabelle Aubret
Song: "Les Moulins"
[ listen ]

I wasn't familiar with this charming chanteuse before stumbling across her self-titled 1966 LP down in Tacoma several months ago. Born in the summer of 1938 in Lille, France, Isabelle Aubret won the French national gymnastics championship at age 14, she won the Eurovision Song Contest for France ten years later, and then fifty years after that she won my heart. I'd like "Les Moulins" to be the soundtrack to my life this autumn, even if I just lay in bed the entire time. Slated to play the starring role in Jacques Demy's 1964 film THE UMBRELLAS OF CHERBOURG, Aubret had to put everything on hold after being involved in a terrible auto accident from which she took several years to recover. She suffered a similar setback after breaking her legs (all of them!) while rehearsing a trapeze act with boxer Jean-Claude Bouttier in 1981. She came through it all though, and she's still going strong. You can read about the life and career of Isabelle Aubret on the Radio France International website here, and if you parlez-vous français you can find more info on her official website here. Click the link below to see Aubret performing her 1962 Eurovision award-winning hit. 

Isabelle Aubret on YouTube:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Ray Conniff

Artist: Ray Conniff
LP: I Will Survive
Song: "I Will Survive"
[ listen ]

I was going through my albums again this weekend, clearing out the "ho-hum" to make way for the "wow!" when I came across a secret stash of Ray Conniff LPs. I figured I'd chuck them all, since there's a GoodWill up the street where I could easily acquire multiple copies of any of Ray's 90+ albums released between 1956 and 2000 if I ever really began to miss them. But after giving another listen to Ray Conniff and his singers' rendition of Gloria Gaynor's 1978 disco anthem, this 1979 LP ended up back on my shelf. Indeed, it has survived. (The record also includes a wonderfully terrible version of "Music Box Dancer"...with lyrics!) You can read all about the life and career of the prolific Mr. Conniff on Wikipedia here.

[ Ray Conniff: November 6, 1916 — October 12, 2002 ]

Monday, September 3, 2012

The Osmonds

Artist: The Osmonds
LP: Phase-III
Song: "My Drum"
[ listen ]

This album is kinda' scary, 'cause we all know what comes next. Anyone else suspect that "hit my drum" might be a euphemism?