Sunday, June 17, 2018

Madison Bargain Hunt: Oh And The WNBR 2018

For the third straight and final year I took part in the World Naked Bike Ride held in Madison this weekend.  This time they changed the meeting place and the place to strip.  We had about the same amount of riders that we had last year, about 120 but I think we had more women participating.

The bike route was different this time out.  It was more around Park Avenue and we didn't have that many hills to compete with.  The 89 degree temps and 70 degree dew point was bad enough that we lost 10 bikers due to heat exhaustion.  I didn't plan well but did take about three bottles of Gator Aid provided by the hosts and they were luke warm by the time we got done.  However they did come in handy.  I didn't cramp up till later when I went up to State Street after the bike ride.

For the most part I started out early but ended up staying holding up the rear as they say.  More or less riding around 10 to 15 miles an hour and taking it easy.  If you need to know, I did strip down for the whole bike ride but the hot weather and humidity made me sweat to the point I was sliding off the seat of the bike.  That's why people have a towel on the seat.  Even with SPF 50 suntan on, I still got burnt to a crisp.

This was my third bike ride and there were the usual suspects there.  The bike ride was over two hours long, longer than the one last year.   Outside of the heat exhaustion from a few folks, no incidents happened.  The downtown whooped and hollered, I high fived a few folks taking pictures and made some casual talk with some bike riders but I didn't chat with many others.  Once we finished there was the group photo, to which by then I dressed myself up, I did take my t shirt off so I didn't stand out like a sore thumb.  Once the bike ride is over, there's not much left to do but wish everybody the best and ride out into the daylight, off to the next record store.  I'm sure there's pictures of this trip is up somewhere, perhaps I'll go investigate them when I get time.

If last November was the one of the best finds of forty fives, this year was a different story.  I found 8 at the St Vincent De Paul, but the pickings were slim.  A lot of good forty fives were too scratched up and Half Price Books and Mad City Music X didn't have much to make me invest in any.  The grim realization is becoming clear that I'm reaching to the end of what I can find.  I did find some cool CDs that made the trip somewhat better.

Anyway-the 45's of note

1)   I Can See For Miles-The Who
2)   Mister Can't You See-Buffy Saint-Marie
3)   Hot Rod Hearts-Robbie Dupree
4)   Old Kentucky Moon-Jim Weatherly
5)   Floy Joy-The Supremes
6)   Burning Bridges-Mike Curb Congregation
7)   Do It Again (Just A Little Bit Slower)-Jon And Robin
8)   Jimmy Olsen Blues-Spin Doctors

This probably due cause for me to finally call it a day on the search for 45s.  There were some I thought about, I Found Someone Of My Own-Free Movement, Butterfly-Charlie Grace come to mind, even Solo Flight from Cat, with the b side We're All In This Together but I don't look at those songs are essential.  Charlie Gracie's 99 Ways does step in Marty Robbins' rockabilly territory but in in the final analysis, I could live without that song.  Nobody needs any Mike Curb Congregation in their collection but I do have a fondness of Burning Bridges.  And it's hard to find anything by the Supremes that isn't chewed up but Floy Joy was their final decent single, which Smokey Robinson produced. Jimmy Olsen Blues is the most interesting song from this batch, since singles from the 1990s were regulated to jukeboxes and it is my favorite Spin Doctors song.  But the overall find was I Can See For Miles, everything else doesn't come close.

The weather was hot, and we had a major monsoon Saturday Morning which gave Madison about 2 inches of rain in two hours and caused some flash flooding, by the time the bike ride started  the creek was high and there was standing water in low lying areas but it was a normal ride.

It was road construction hell in Wisconsin, and the trip didn't start out very well.  151 became a two lane road around Ridgeway and some farmer pulled out in front of me in his tractor and caused a big traffic jam for five miles.  That put me in a real good mood.  It didn't get much better when my Cracker Barrel order was 30 minutes late while they were cooking up chicken and dumplings but they did give me a free dessert.   And then I had to deal with some bimbo hogging the computer at my hotel, which gives a great argument about finally getting a smart phone and avoid the tie ups.  Then the hotel didn't serve Sunday Breakfast.  Between that and the old lady at Hardees trying to pass off an expired coupon made me decide that perhaps I should have stayed home or support my girlfriend's band efforts.

Gas prices were around 2.74 a gallon.  Surprisingly I didn't have much issues with the Madison drivers.  The thrift store finds at Goodwill didn't impress me much.  Strictly Discs had better used stuff, even the new Essential Eric Andersen was in the used section already.   Pre Played has focused their act on vinyl to the point that I wondered if I wondered into a museum.  I just don't see the need to pay 20 dollars for used LPs, or 24.95 for the Moby Grape Omaha LP that Harmony sold for 3.98 years ago, or 39.95 for 20 Granite Creek.  The problem with the vinyl revival:  the stores have jacked the price up big time.  Still I find it annoying to pay high prices for what used to sell for 5 or 10 dollars new.  I didn't check the PrePlayed east store but I did pick up the Steven Wilson remastered Thick As A Brick and Iron Butterfly Heavy and was disappointed that Thick As A Brick remains a two part CD and not the whole 43 continuous song.  Oh well, the way it goes.

Anyway, my life is changing more since the last time we touched base.  I found myself missing Julie and wishing she could have join me on the bike ride.  It seems when you find somebody who changes you and turns your world upside down that you find you can live without the bargain hunts.  The record stores are different now, most are dying, Best Buy don't sell CDs anymore. And what is found at Shopko or Wally World are meh.  While Strictly Discs and Mad City Music X and B Sides still put out new releases, I tend to find if I need the latest, Moondog Music in Dubuque has most of them.   Last time Barnes And Noble had plenty of Wounded Bird 3.99 cutouts to check out, this time out they only had Show Of Hands (formerly Anthrax, no relation to the thrash metal pioneers) , Jay Boy Adams, Thirty Days Out and Rose Royce and I had the Jay Boy Adams and Thirty Days Out.   I toyed with getting The Who At 50 and Show Of Hands but decided against it and hearing the You Tube stuff, I made a wise decision.  I also thought it wasn't cost effective to buy the 2 cd Who Live At The Fillmore at thirty one dollars, which is why nobody buys CDs anymore.  31 dollars for 2 CDs???  Universal's greed is boundless.   From here on out, this life will revolve around Julie and where we'll go from here.

The World Naked Bike Ride 2018 Madison Style is over.  I had fun, I got sunburned and I got heat cramps and roasted nuts and I got to ride along with other naked strangers for another year.   At this point, I have run my course of biking in the nude to promote body positive and promote more bike riding and less dependence on fossil fuels.   I don't think I made any difference but for two and half hours in the biking sun, I burned myself for the cause of the good.

Whatever that means.

Madison Bike Ride Photo from Douglas Otto.

https://www.flickr.com/photos/papa_razzi/albums/72157696445981831/with/29012628708/

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Singles Going Steady-Moondog Music In May

The old hippie from Moondog Music has retired but he still had a cache of 45s yet to be discovered.
The focus is the music from the late 60s and early 70s.


1)   Bicycle Morning-Billy Sans (Atco 45-6945)  1973

Somewhere along the way, this song managed to fall past the eyes of the compilers that put together the Have A Nice Day Series for Rhino in the 1990s but even K Tel in the 70s overlooked this power pop gem that owes a lot to Daniel Boone's Beautiful Sunday.  Sans recorded a couple of 45s for Invictus and Abnak but neither charted.  Sans is somewhat active in the Nashville area with his band but this is the first time I actually came around.  B Side is For Ever, which sounds like something Billy Vera would cover.

2)  What Have They Done To The Rain-The Searchers (Kapp K-644)  1965  #29

One of the underrated British bands of all time, The Searchers have always put together some great singles and What Have They Done To The Rain is one of their all time best songs.  B side This Feeling's Inside is a group original akin to a uptempo Gerry And The Pacemakers song, but the Searchers were somewhat a better band.  I think I hid this 45 up there on a previous bargain hunt and forgot all about it till I came across it in a out of the way box of 45s.  Record is pretty good shape.

3)   Sally Can't Dance-Lou Reed (RCA Victor PB-10081)  1974

In Lou's record history he only had one single that made it to the top 20 (Guess which one) and anything else was bubbling over.  I always liked the single version better than the album cut.   Another single found in the far corner where The Searchers single was at.

4)  Thank You Anyway  (Mr. D.J.)-Lou Johnson (Big Top 45-3115)  1962

Another obscure R and B 45 that didn't chart on the top 100 (although it was a regional hits at mom and pop AM stations).  Basically in a style like Ray Charles when Ray was doing modern sounds in country music at that time.  But with better chart action.  B Side If I Never Get To Love You is one of an early song from Burt Bacahrah and Hal David team.  A bit more uptempo.  BTW, Burt just turned 90 this weekend.  And still going strong.

5)   Casino-Jack Eubanks (Monument 45-809)  1963

I have more fun with instruments of the 60s than anybody else around.  Bob Moore recorded Mexico for Monument around this time so the label thought why not another instrumental for another person right?  Didn't work, but it's makes nice background music.  B Side  Te Juana features the unmistakable sound of Boots Randolph on sax.  Professionally done right but it's still background music.

6)   Bend Me, Shape Me-The American Breed (Acta  45-811)  1967 #5

Fifty years on, singles that made the top ten and what I found at thrift stores have been played to death and I try not to torture my stereo needle by playing scratchy records, but even sometimes finding 45s that look new sound like shit since the previous owner didn't change his needle. Thankfully who donated these 45s to Moondog managed to take good care of these record and I managed to find finally a decent copy of Bend Me Shape Me, a great top 5 single.  B side Mindrocker bridges Paul Revere And The Raiders and Ohio Express together.  The origins of bubblegum?

7)  Freedom Blues-Little Richard (Reprise 0907)  1970  #47

Richard Penniman could play the blues just as well as rock and roll as this song suggest.  When he puts his mind to it, Little Richard could be considered the king of rock and roll (although that Reprise album of King Of Rock And Roll was a total borefest).  B side Dew Drop Inn, rocks! Sounds like Earl Palmer on drums, and Lee Allen on sax.  Told you it rocks!   Freedom Blues is also a classic song too.  Co written with Eskew Reeder aka Esquerita, who could rival Little Richard for outrageous antics.  Probably the find of the day.

8)   I Ain't Got To Love Nobody Else-The Masqueraders (Bell 733)  1968  #57

One of the longest lasting but yet unknown groups of the 1960s, This band recorded for Chips Moman and American Group Productions for a series of singles, this one originally on Wand but issued later on Bell Record that charted at number 57.  Charlie Moore is the lead singer on this single.  While they owed their sound to the Temptations, I think they're more gritter than the Temps, more in line with the Four Tops.  B Side I Got It, is another soul shouter, complete with cowbell.

9)   I'm Afraid To Go Home-Brian Hyland (ABC Paramount 45-10452)  1963  #63

Brian's last charted hit for ABC Paramount.  Out of all teen idols, Brian's output have actually still stood the test of time especially on this single produced by P.Udell, G. Geld team. B side Save Your Heart For Me would become a hit for Gary Lewis And The Playboys.   It could have been a hit for Brian as well had ABC promoted it.

10)   I Get The Blues When It Rains-The Saloonatics (Bethlehem 45-3096)  1969

The Banjo Barons meet Homer And Jethro and Johnny Bond.   Nothing is much known about this band, they made an album for Bethlehem Records, originally a jazz blues label before King/Gusto bought them out and put this country band on it.  If you use a search engine you will find six other bands that use the Saloonatics name, one even in Eastern Iowa.  None are associated with this forgotten band.  B side Sweet Georgia Brown, is even more weirder.  Go figure.

11)  Backtrack-Faron Young (Capitol 4616)  1961  #89

Faron's last top 100 pop single. Co written with Alex Zanetis who would write hits for Charley Pride and Jim Reeves later on.  B Side I Can't Find The Time is written by Willie Nelson, to which Faron was very instrumental in helping Willie's music career in the early years.  A honky honk ballad.  Note how Faron phases the word like Willie used to do back then.

12)  Ballad Of The Green Barets-Sgt. Barry Sadler (RCA 47-8739)  1966 #1

So we end this with a number 1 single.  I had the picture sleeve but not the single itself.  The ones that I did find were scratched up but this single was in fairly decent shape.  Sadler would have a number 28 single with The A Team.



Sunday, April 8, 2018

Singles Going Steady-Your 45 Donations At Work

Just when I think I heard it all.  I haven't.

45s remain the ultimate outdated music storage units for cavemen like us to enjoy how life was before streaming.  When I think I reached the end of looking for music, I haven't.  It's like being in a mine shaft and falling till you hit the next round of debris, then everything falls taking you deeper in the music vaults of Crabb Music.  It really does feel like the big black hole.

So once again I go up to Half Price Books and seek out things, go to the Salvation Army and find even more and even Goodwill had a couple of 45s.  Sad to say there was a DJ 45 of The Nice America, with a crack in the record.  Making it utterly useless.

I do miss BDW Records in town come to think of it.


1)    The New Year Song-23 Skidoo  (Mercury 72874)  1968

One of two singles found the batch of cracked records when I visited Goodwill yesterday, here's another underground garage rock song from a one and done band.  Psychedelia was beginning to fade out but this song brings elements of a clarinet and a vibe that is one part New Vaudeville Band, one part When I'm 64 and another part of bubble gum, complete with a freak out ending.   The main singer songwriter is Dick Toops, who along with Joel Cory recorded a variety of songs under different alias and band names for Mercury, Fontana, Phillips, Polydor and Barnaby as The Clean Sweeps, The Daisy Chain, Elgin Watchband and Toad Hall.  Toops is best known for writing Delia's Gone, which Johnny Cash would make a hit during his comeback of the 1990s with Rick Rubin.  B side Courtesy, adds a bit of The Buckinghams pop sound.

2)  Caribbean-Mitchell Torok (Guyden 2018)  #27 1959

Originally on Abbott, this song topped the country charts in 1953 at number 1.  If you research the internet, you will find many people trying to explain that this version is the 1953 session speeded up or an alternative take.  Torok was a songwriter by trade, and the story goes that he wrote Mexican Joe for Hank Snow but Fabor Robinson gave the song to Jim Reeves and that became a big hit for Jim. Mitchell thinking that the song would be a bust and would later submit the failed demo to Hank Snow later on but Mexican Joe became a big hit for Gentleman Jim Reeves.   It seems that the melody would inspire Chuck Berry to write You Can Never Tell a few years later.  Torok would record for Decca and Guyden and would revisit Caribbean once again when he remade it for RCA Victor in 1965, Chet Atkins producing.  One of the more underrated recording artists that nobody remembers much anymore.  But I do.

3)   Feeling Of Love- Al De Lory (Capitol 2374)  1969

This is the guy that made Glen Campbell well known for the version of Gentle On My Mind.  Somewhat polished but more slanted toward MOR pop muzak at times.  Here Al tries for a hit on a song written by Mort Garson (Muzak inspired arrangements)   which probably get played on muzak stations at that time.  B side is lively instrumental take on Wichita Lineman, which might have been the better song.  I can listen to both sides but I doubt if you could.

4)  The All American Boy-Bill Parsons (Fraternity F-835)   #2  1958

Bobby Bare under an alias. Brings up memories of The Big Bopper and Boyd Bennett's Boogie Bear. B side Rubber Dolly is probably done by the real Bill Parsons.  Doesn't sound like Bobby Bare to me.

5)   California Sun-The Rivieras (Rivera R-1401)  #5 1964

One of the songs that would become a influence in my musical taste, a combination of surf and garage rock complete with Vox organ with twangy guitar.  Found a decent copy of this at Moodog Music last weekend during the snowstorm that Dubuque never got but we got a foot of the white crap.  I had two Apple 45s to which the old hippie wanted to look up on the internet and priced accordingly but I deferred the records over in exchange for California Sun.    I don't see the need to complete my Apple Record collection and break the band.  The Ramones would cover this later.  B side H B Goose Step, echoes Johnny And The Hurricanes's Down Yonder.  I'm surprised Steve Hoffman didn't include this on Beach Party, a CD that came out 30 years ago.

6)   Some Things You Never Get Used To-Diana Ross & The Supremes (Motown M-1126) #30 1968

Basically ignored on various best of The Supremes compilations I remember this song playing on KWWL AM in Waterloo and it was a rare song written and produced by the Ashford/Simpson team. By then, Barry Gordy was readying Diana Ross for a solo career,  Probably not one of the better songs that they did but looking at the archives I noticed that The Composer made it to number 27 and that song never gets much airplay anymore, if any.   B Side You Been So Wonderful To Me was produced by George Gordy and one of the writers was another Gordy, Anna who was married to Marvin Gaye at the time.  This might have been a decent A side.

7)   The Weight-Aretha Franklin  (Atlantic 2603)  #19  1969

Featuring the slide guitar work of Duane Allman before he broke big with brother Gregg in the Allman Brothers, the Queen Of Soul really delivers big time on this Band cover version.  The other side The Tracks Of My Tears, is a bit more overblown than what the Miracles would have liked.  While Franklin had the bigger hit with The Weight than The Supremes, Motown still wins on Tracks Of My Tears.  Can't win them all.

8)    Friends-The Beach Boys (Capitol 2160)  #47 1968

The spotty late 60s sound of The Beach Boys and as far as I'm concerned this title track was the best thing off that album. Of course this has Brian Wilson fingerprints all over it. Another find at Moondog Music.  And I thank the old hippie for letting me sort through a lot of scratchy forty fives.  I could use a decent clean copy of Do It Again.  B side Little Bird, even for a minute fifty, is still boring.

9)   Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep-Mac And Katie Kissdon (ABC 11306)  #20  1971

A one hit wonder written by Lally Stott, whose version made number 92 in the US (on Phillips 40695), the record label didn't think it would sell in the US and offered it to two other bands, Middle Of The Road and Mac and Katie Kissdon, a brother-sister duo who had the highest chart.  However Middle Of The Road would get the last laugh and their version made number 1 in the UK and Ireland and a few other countries, Mac And Katie's version only made number 41 in the UK.  Still the song is very bubblegum pop.  When I was growing up, it was one of those songs that didn't make much sense to me but 47 years later on, I admit it is a guilty pleasure.  I think I like Mac and Katie's version over Middle Of The Road, which sounds a bit more cheesy.  BTW, Middle Of The Road version was issued by RCA 74-0407 and didn't make the top 100.

10)   Where Evil Grows-The Poppy Family (London 148)  #45 1971

The only thing that Terry Jacks ever wrote that is worthy of hearing.  The Poppy Family was Terry and Susan Jacks and their best known hit was Which Way Are You Going Billy? which made number 5. B side I Was Wondering made it to 100 for a week.  Terry Jacks would have his big hit with Seasons In The Suna few years later.   I Was Wondering sounds just as bad as Season In The Sun.


Thursday, March 29, 2018

Passings: Mike Harrison, Tom Rapp, Mars Cowlings

This week.  Mike Harrison, lead singer of Spooky Tooth passed away from cancer. He was 72
http://www.thatdevilmusic.com/2018/03/spooky-tooths-mike-harrison-rip.html


Tom Rapp, was one of those oddball singers that was once part of the ESP Disk roster of motley crew bands too weird to be on any other labels.  I later found one of his albums for Reprise which I still have but don't play too often.  He passed on Valentine's Day from cancer.  He was 70  https://www.nytimes.com/2018/02/14/obituaries/tom-rapp-the-voice-of-pearls-before-swine-is-dead-at-70.html


Peter "Mars" Cowling, best known for Pat Travers' bass player, died from leukemia on Wednesday.  He was 72.  I got to see Peter play at Big Dogs in Cedar Rapids in the early 1990s when Pat was promoting a new album and he was part of the band that also featured Jerry Riggs (Riggs) on rhythm guitar.  While people say that Go For What You Know was the definitive Pat Travers live album, I like the Castle 1993 live album of Boom Boom which sounded much more heavier than Go For What You Know.   Anyway I got to shake Pat's and Peter's hand while they were coming off stage (Pat had such a death grip handshake, great guy to discuss music with), I think Jerry as well (the drummer was too full of himself) but it was a fun show.   Pat Travers gives his eulogy here.

Ok, so Mars passed away last week. It was sudden and very sad. He had been diagnosed with leukemia less than a month earlier. Went into the hospital on Thursday and he was gone by Tuesday morning. 

Man oh man, this is a tough one. I met Mars in the early Fall of 1975 in London England. I was a very young 21 year old only recently arrived in the country from Canada. I had been lucky enough to get a record deal and a manager in the short space of a couple months. Now I needed a band. My Manager at the time, David Hemmings (David deserves a lot more mention and credit than he ever gets for helping my career get started), David knew Mars personally and arranged a social meeting for us at a wine bar in Richmond, Surrey (awesome area of London then as now). So Mars shows up and right off I knew he was a different kind of dog. He was handsome and very sincere in the way he spoke. I liked that about him immediately. Mars's accent took some getting used to, he had Lincolnshire, Liverpool, and Birmingham all mixed up in it. He also had a great sense of humor and so we instantly got along. David Hemmings arranged an audition session at Manny's rehearsal studios on the Old King's Road and I was under the impression that there would be a number of bass players there to try out. So Mars is there first and we start jamming. I had Nicky "Topper" Headon playing drums for me at the time. I was having such a blast playing and jamming with Mars that I didn't notice that, like an hour had gone by. I suddenly wondered if we should try another bass player. So we took a break and I went out to see if there was another bass player waiting to try out. David Hemmings told me that he was so sure that Mars was the bass player for me that he hadn't bothered to ask anyone else to audition for the gig. I was very excited to have someone of Mars' abilities as a player but a lot more than that. He was like an older brother in a lot of ways and he helped me navigate my way round for the first couple of years. Mars also conceived and performed some of the most unique and cool bass parts for my songs. Still to this day, when I listen back to stuff we recorded, I still surprised that I hear bass parts that Mars played that I didn't notice when we recorded them.

Peter "Mars" Cowling was an artist, a sea captain, a dive master and one of the most special persons I ever had the privilege to know. Mars was a private guy and he didn't like people making a fuss over him. He told his wife, Victoria, before he passed that he did not want a huge deal made out of it, That was very typical of Mars and so I have tried to respect his wishes. However, the fact is that a lot of folks really loved and appreciated Mars and his passing has saddened us all. I've attached "Dedication" from the Putting It Straight album. That was a big album for us and I thought that Mars, Nicko, and myself played some timeless music on it and the production by Dennis MacKay is exquisite and high in fidelity. You can really hear Mars at his finest on this track. Thank you Mars! PT

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Singles Going Steady Part Toot Toot

Continuing to document what's left of the 1963 Half Price Books 45s and yes.  we are scraping the bottom of the barrel.


1)    There's A Boy Who's Crying-The University Four (Chairman 45-4406) 1963

Clinging to the past, this particular band was The Lettermen, The Crew Cuts and The Hi Los all in one.  Basically, Google came up nothing upon this unknown group but they did record two singles, if they were the same guys.  The first one was on Laurie, called the Anvil Rock, a Public Domain song arranged by Ross, who could be Jerry Ross, later of producing Spanky And Our Gang.  The guess is that was a instrumental.  There's A Boy Who's Crying is vocal and probably a different band.  The songwriting tandem of Rubin/Koppelman who later produced Bobby Darin's If I Were A Carpenter and The Lovin Spoonful.   Not exactly memorable but brings memories of a bygone era of pop vocal groups in the style of Lettermen, Four Freshmen, Hi Lo's and so forth.  The other side Buena Suerte... well I've heard it but don't think it's worth your time to seek it out. A product of its times.

Upon further listening, Anvil Rock is not the same University Four but rather a instrumental band.  And just as forgettable too.

2)   Full Moon Above-The Hawkeyes (Capitol F-3813)  1957

They were from Iowa City, Iowa  (of course) and they made two singles for Capitol, to which the songs were written by Tom Ecker.  Dixie Davenport was the lead singer. A white Doo Wop band that was influenced by The Platters so to speak, certainly on the B side I'll Be There.   The record has seen better days but it's the first I ever came across anything from the band The Hawkeyes, which shouldn't be confused with Hawks, who made two albums for Columbia in the 1980s and were more rock and roll.  Full Moon Above was more of a bossa nova number.  Upon research it's revealed that Dixie Davenport was born in Anamosa in 1936 and married Don Nacke and they were married for 58 years.  She died January 1, 2017 at the age of 80 from heart problems.  http://doo-wop.blogg.org/hawkeyes-c26505620

3)   My True Love-Jack Scott (Carlton 462)  1958  #3  Leroy #11

So nice of Alverda Kelley to donate her 45 to the Salvation Army for me to take home and listen to.  Jack  Scott, even in ballads, had a rough and tough tenor to go with the songs and The Chantones are a great backing band.    Scott has always had a place in my heart and on the turntable for his songs and My True  Love is a ballad you can listen to over and over.  The B side Leroy (originally known as Greaseball before Scott re recorded it as Leroy) is better.  First rate rockabilly rock and roll.   Probably the find of this batch of 45.  Too bad Alverda Kelley didn't take better care of her records, she had about 30 others, most were trashed or just plain crappy pop easy listening garbage.

4)    Garzackstahagen-The Keymen (ABC Paramount 45-9991)  1958

An instrumental band that recorded a few sides for ABC Paramount.  One of those instrumentals that was used a minute before the top of the hour broadcast on AM stations.   So so instrumental.  B side Miss You, a Billy Vaughn type of MOR fluff that your grand parents might go for.  Both songs are out there on You Tube.

5)   Speedy Gonzales-David Dante (RCA 47-7860)  1961

To which the cover version sold better than the original.  Dante issued Speedy Gonzales in March of 1961 only to see it not do anything but Pat Boone must have heard it and covered it.  It made number 6 in 1962 for Mr. White Shoes Boone. RCA then decided to release it again (47-8056) and for the second time around, did not chart.   Dante would never be heard from again.  B side K K K Katy is not associated with the KKK but rather another pleasant pop song that didn't differ much from Speedy Gonzales.

6)   Black Land Farmer-Frankie Miller (Starday 45-424)  1959

Starday Records, to me remains the best hillbilly record label. If King Gusto ever decide to issue the complete Starday singles on a 50 CD box set, I'd buy two.  Frankie Miller (no relation to the Chrysalis recording star) made this ode to farming, one of the more sought off singles and I did find a fairly decent copy despite it being out in the elements.  Sleepy LaBeef covered it for Plantation in 1971, but Miller's version is downright real hillbilly music.  The B side True Blue was in poor shape, couldn't play it.

7)    Tiger-Fabian (Chancellor  C-1037)  1959  #3

He was probably more of a plastic teen idol, like Bobby Rydell or Frankie Avalon and Rolling Stone Mag called him The Asphalt Elvis....whatever that means.  It's a cheese cake of a song but it's one of those fun songs that you can sing along with.  Rock and roll is supposed to be fun right?  A fun song and it's still rock and roll to me. (to quote a certain piano man....)

8)    Anytime (Part 1 and 2)-Mr. Bass  (Felsted 45-8694)  1963

Jimmy Ricks aka Mr. Bass has a little fun at the expense of Brook Benton on this light soul number.  Part 2, is a more jazzier take.  Fun Stuff although very slight.

9)   Car Wash-Rose Royce (MCA 40615)  #1 1976

The song that bridges funk and disco and perhaps Norman Whitfield's last shining moment.  Plenty of fond memories of roller skating to this, but now the introduction to the song can be heard at any sporting events.  Even in the grave, Norman is still making money.

10)   You Make Me Happy-Val Martinez (RCA 47-8218)  1963

Produced by Lester Sill (Lee Hazelwood, Phil Spector) and Bobby Darin's production team, this lounge ballad didn't get many buyers.  Martinez recorded a couple other sides for RCA and Groove and disappeared from sight after 1963 anyway. B Side My Souvenirs (or was it the A Side, I couldn't even finish listening).was more blander than You Make Me Happy.  It even bores me to type this out.

Meltdown-The Rest

She's Got My Name-Earther Doss Jr (ABC Paramount 45-10496)  1963
Ain't Gonna Cry No More-Gwen Stacey  (RCA 47-8306) 1964
That's Life-John Gary (RCA 47-8292) 1963
Papa I'm Sorry-Don Schroeder (Sound 7 Stage 45-2509) 1963

Gwen Stacey's single was written by David Gates (Bread) and Papa I'm Sorry was written by Earl Sinks of The Crickets fame (after Buddy Holly).  That's Life is not to be confused with Frank Sinatra and who in the heck is Earther Doss Jr? I'm curious if the B White who wrote She's Got My Name is Barry White.  Doss does have a Ben E King sound to his voice.  A very minor Popcorn classic although the next single I'll Do Anything was a much better song.  Nevertheless these four singles will be available at your nearest St Vincent De Paul in Madison soon (with a few others I can do without).  

Saturday, March 10, 2018

Singles Going Steady-From The Vaults Of KISU 1963

It seems to me that March is one of those idea months for finding 45s of the lost cause.  Granted, I'm not going to take much stock into finding rock and roll 45, unless they are jukebox copies and scratched and played to death.  So I hold my breath and try to find the alternative sort of stuff, you know forgotten Northern Soul songs that Half Price Books have for 49 cents, or selective country or even pop songs.  God knows I have seen a lot of the latter and documented them in the past.  Last year at this time, somebody dumped a bunch of pop 45s at the Salvation Army and I bought about 20 and wrote out the results.  Laughed at most of them and donated them back to the St Vincent De Paul.  It's what we call recycling baby!

Between the good and the bad and the forgettable, lies a diamond in the rough, a single from a forgotten artist that makes you rediscover the music in the grooves. Some pop music has surprised me a bit, most didn't. I have actually liked a couple of Margaret Whiting's London 45s, Wheel Of Hurt but the B Side Nothing Last Forever was much better.  Even in my bargain hunts of 45 hunting, I cannot bring myself to buy Frank Sinatra's 45s or even CDs;  Waterloo's St. Vincent De Paul actually had four CDs in pristine shape including Ring A Ding Ding, but outside of the first Greatest Hits, I wasn't interested.  But I did waste a quarter on a Mantovini's 45 Clair De Lune just to hear what the fuss was all about.  The King of Muzak he was and forever will be, even though he did influenced Brian May.

At 57 years old and with time winding down, I'm have become more obsessed with finding the obscure 45 and longing for the days of when the label sent boxes of records out to radio stations and let the DJ's dictate what to play, instead of Corporate interests and radio playing the same 57 songs over and over.  In reality the 50's through the 80s were a vast goldmine of music to be discovered through vinyl records and of course, those box set of mystery 45s that let me discovered High School USA (Washington DC Area), Piano Nellie, and Ben E King's Let The Water Run Down. Let's face it, I am not going to get wowed by bad rap, oversung R and B and modern rock that doesn't rock.  I really doubt if my girlfriend will be impressed by Tony Roma or Jack Jones, but as long the music keeps me occupied she won't care at all and still love me for the record hoarder collection that I am.

Why continue to collect and hear oldies from artists nobody cares about you ask.  Well, it's a way to remember the ones that made singles that time and radio have forgotten.  Unless you look hard for them on You Tube before that goes away, you won't hear much if at all from a Melody Condos or Donald Hines or Teri Allen. And Grandpa Jones could sing a mean hillbilly number as well.  Who's Len Snider?  Hell I don't know but he made a single called I'll Be Coming Home Tonight.  And it looks unplayed.

The selections of this Singles Going Steady came from Half Price Books but from a Ames radio station called KISU, which is the Iowa State University radio station.   And I think will be a two part SGS blog.  While sorting through the records yesterday, I forgot to pick up a couple 45s since there was a woman wanting to check out the ones that I didn't buy, I think she did buy Alley Cat from Bent Fabric and Garden Party from Rick Nelson but I had both of those 45's and didn't needed them.  What I thought I had Bobby Day's Joe Blon I had Melody Condos instead.  And sad to say that TD Boogie Woogie by The Crusaders, which would have been the find of the day, had a crack in the 45 making it unplayable.  But at least I got a decent 45 record sleeve out of the deal.

On paper (or vinyl) I have some interesting finds. Boudleaux Bryant, who wrote the big hits for the Everly Brothers, had a EP of some of his best known songs.  Joe Melson, songwriting partner to Roy Orbinson had a single for Hickory and Paul Desmond had a 45 of Take Ten, the answer record to Take Five, a song he made famous for Dave Brubeck.  Thankfully that record is not broken or cracked.   In some ways, this blog does give a peek inside of what would going on at KISU in the mid 60s although I'm sure these 45s were stuffed in a box and donated somewhere till somebody picked them up, thought they sucked and got a few cents out of them at HP Books.  I tend to have a good judgement about 90 percent of the time and I do believe these selections are the pick of the litter.  But I do know I have been known to be wrong at time and finding crappy singles and donate them back to charity after the results.   But I make sure I document the good and the bad and reserve judgement till I need to clear space.  And we all know I'll be doing that before my next trip to Madison.



1)   You Were On My Mind-Ian & Sylvia (Vanguard VRS-35025)  1964

Of course We Five did a version of this with a few years later (Chet Powers alterated the lyrics a bit but melody still remains strangley familair)  but the duo of Ian Tyson and Sylvia Fricker did score a Canadian hit this lively folk number.  B side Someday Soon, would be a minor hit for Judy Collins and is only 2 minutes long.  I like this version better than Judy's.

2)   High Is Better Than Low-Melodye Condos (RCA 47-8234)  1963

What I thought I had the Bobby Day single, turned out to be this one instead and by the time I raced back to Half Price Books, that record was long gone.   Condos has a Doris Day styled vocal to this dated pop song that nobody bought but it's only a minute forty five. More of positive Connie Francis style I guess, but not exactly memorable.  B side Lonely People Do Foolish Things would have worked better for Brenda Lee or Lesley Gore, or Connie Francis for that matter.

3)   Can't Run To Daddy Anymore-Teri Allen (ABC Paramount 10482)  1963

Unlike Melodye Condons, Teri Allen benefited from better production and songwriting from Paul Vance which sounds like  He's A Rebel.  Perhaps the Wrecking Crew might had a hand in playing the music.  B side Her Or Me, with the screaming MAKE UP YOUR MIND opening intro line grabs your attention.  Kinda a minor Lesley Gore vibe.Make up your mind?  I'll pass.

4)   I'll Be Coming Home Tonight-Len Snider (All Boy 45-8507)  1963

Turning our attention to the lesser known teen idols nobody heard about comes from Len Snider which adds a bit of British backback to Len's Bobby Vee vocals. Or is it Bobby Rydell?  B Side Everybody Knows is a more of teen ballad, somewhat like Dion.   But a good chance you'll never hear it, unless somebody posts it on You Tube.

5)   TD's Boogie Woogie-The Crusaders (Cameo 285) 1964

A shame this record had a crack in it, but it's a teen version of the old boogie woogie number Pinetop Perkins played back in the 1920s. No relation to the Jazz Crusaders of Put It Where You Want It fame.  B side At The Club is a jazzier number but basically background music regardless.

6)   Trouble Is My Name-Donald Himes (Hi-2068)  1963

Early soul music from the folks at Hi Records and one can detect the genius of Willie Mitchell and the Hi Rhythm Section although this would be the only single that Donald put out. One of those actual one hit wonder would have happened if the label would have promote this better but this does sound like a one take demo.  B side You Had To Pay is more straight lined blues, something that Bobby Bland would have done.  I do know Willie Mitchell has his fingers all over the production.  A Northern Soul classic before it's time.

7)   Your Goose Is Cooked-Little Rose Evans (Tahoe Records 45-2357) 1963

Did you ever by a record simply of the fact of the title make you want to check it out?  Case in point this hard charged R and B number complete with a mumbling bass vocal as the hook. A call and response between Little Rose and the chorus shouting back the title line. The other side Minutes and Hours probably was destined as the plug side.  A bit more polished the Goose Is Cooked but not as much fun although I still get a kick out of hearing Mr. Bass mumbling along.  Ray Ellis on the arrangements.

8)    Reassure Me-Eddie Bo (Cinderella 1203)  1963

From New Orleans Eddie Bo recorded for a variety of labels (Chess, Ric, Ace) and this was one of two singles that he recorded for the NOLA based Cinderella label to which London Records picked up distribution.  Best known for Check Your Bucket that Duke And The Drivers covered later.  Reassure Me owes a bit to Professor Longhair but with a soul beat and Chris Kenner too.  The guesswork is that The Meters might have been the backing band.  B side Shake Rattle And Soul is more of the same NOLA R and B.  But it doesn't really excite me that much.

9)  Hot Biscuits And Gravy-Marvin & Johnny (Felsted 45-8681)  1963

Another soul biscuits jammer, Marvin And Johnny recorded sides for Speciality (Day In And Day Out) and Modern (Ko Ko Mo) and Aladdin before doing this one off single for Felsted about the joys of hot biscuits and gravy.  Thank you guys, you just made me hungry on that one. B Side I'm Tired Of Being Alone is doo wop blues soul and the better side.

10)   My Little Lady-Grandpa Jones (Monument 820)  1963

He was more than the novelty act on Hee Haw, Jones had some very good country sides for RCA, King and Monument and he does a cool take on the Jimmie Rogers number, with a little help from Nashville's finest musicians, most notably the ones who played on the RCA recordings of other artists. You can tell by that polished and echoes sound (Floyd Cramer, Jerry Reed, Murray Harman, Anita Kerr).  Grandpa Jones needs a good overview album for his accomplishments to country music.  B side  Away Out On The Mountain continues that Nashville sound complete with Jones' Yodel.  They don't make em like that anymore.

11)   Stay Away From Her-Joe Melson (Hickory 45-1229)  1963

Melson is better known for co writing songs with Roy Orbinson but he did strike out on his own.  This was his final single on Hickory. A more bouncy and uptempo number I gather this fell under too rock for country department since it didn't take off.   B side His Girl sounds eerily like Only The Lonely if Buddy Holly would have sang it.

12)   Take Ten-Paul Desmond (RCA 47-8264)  1963

Perhaps the find of the batches of 45, was Paul's update on Take Five.   And one of the reason I continue to search of the obscure and elusive 45s that time has forgotten.  Desmond has one of the coolest sax sound in the jazz era, which would perfectly in Dave Brubeck and at times on his own,  Even his old Columbia producer George Advirian on board too. B side Embarcadero  is more of a bossa nova type of jazz that Desmond and Jim Hall trade leads.  Tastefully done.


Part 2

13)   Tommy Makes Girls Cry-Kelly Garrett (Ava C-137)  1963

More of the pleasant but forgettable Lesley Gore vibe.  Less interesting on the B side Baby It Hurts.

14)   Dreamy Moon-Boots and Idaho (RCA 47-8211)   1963

WOW, this is hillbilly music, even for RCA standards, this is much rougher than the smooth sounds they got out of Jim Reeves and the others.  This song inspired me to Google Boots Faye and it turns out she recorded two singles for Capitol with Idaho Call, her singing partner and husband.  Originally on Callfrye, RCA picked it up in 1963.  A honky tonk hillbilly waltz with an accordion for lead instrument this is the oddball single find of the day. B side Tip Toes shows off Boots' guitar playing skills. She was actually quite good. http://www.hillbilly-music.com/artists/story/index.php?id=14759

15)   What Do They Know-Carol Montgomery (Sound 7 Stage 45-2512)  1963

More girl pop, to which Ray Stevens produced under the Ahab Productions banner. Carol was married to Bob Montgomery (Buddy Holly) and they did a few singles for Warner Brothers under Bob And Carol.  One of two singles she released on her own name with Bob writing the songs. She was also a in demand background singer (Elvis, Jimmy Buffet, Bob Dylan, Dolly Parton).  B side Wish I Didn't Love Him is a fun little girl pop romp, which is over and done in under two minutes.

16)    A Week In The Country-Ernest Ashworth (Hickory 45-1237) 1963

While 1963 may have not been a ideal year for Rock n Roll, country was doing quite well, even for the minor artists.  Usually Hickory Records could be relied upon putting out good to great music, after all they had access to the Acuff-Rose Publishing Company but on this song Ashworth records something from Baker Knight and 4 Star Publishing.  Baker Knight wrote a few hits for Ricky Nelson at that time but Week In The Country didn't do much on the charts, although it might have skirted the bottom reaches of the top 100.  B side Heartbreak Avenue is a country weeper which sounds like Big Al Downing is playing piano or Floyd Cramer.  Whoever is playing piano has that perfect honky tonk tone.

17)   A Statue In Windows-Lorry Peters (Hickory 45-1228) 1963

Lorry made two singles for Hickory, this one was written by Boudleaux Bryant (Bye Bye Love) and is a country weeper.  B side she tackles What About Me, which is written by Don Gibson and is the better song.  Sounds a lot like Let's Think About Living.

18)   I Had To Run Away-Jimmy Elledge  (RCA 47-8241)  1963

His biggest hit was a cover of Ain't It Funny How Time Slips Away but Elledge had more of pop shine than actual country, his vocals are more like Narvel Felts and Chet Atkins actually steered him more towards pop than country. There's Nothing Left For Me is a torch ballad.  The next to last RCA single Jimmy would issue, he would move over to Hickory Records for more of the same. Singles nobody bought.

19)   As Long As There's A Sunday-Justin Tubb  (Groove 58-0024)  1963

The son of Ernest Tubb, Justin made recordings for Decca and later Groove/RCA,  This song is the template of the Nashville Sound of the 1960s for RCA, Anita Kerr backing singers and Chet Atkins polished productions made it a first rate song.  Again, like most of these 1963 singles that I've been playing, none made the charts and if they did they didn't chart too high. B side When Love Goes Wrong was written by Dottie West.  Just for the record I do enjoy the RCA Nashville Sound at that time.

20)   Day Dreamin-Norm West (Hi 45-2073)  1964

Back to the early soul of the Memphis sound, West was a journeyman soul singer that made two singles for Hi Records and with Willie Mitchell producing. Minor Northern soul ballad.  B side Angel Of My Dreams, more of the same, or rather less.

21)  You Can't Stop Me From Dreaming-Betty O'Brien (ABC Paramount 45-10461)  1963

Popcorn soul as they call it. One of two singles Betty recorded for ABC.  Not exactly impressed with this song.  B side I Don't Feel A Thing is rocking R and blues. Probably would have better as a A side.

22)  I Don't Stand A Chance-Rosco Gordon (ABC-Paramount 45-10501)  1963

As we close this Singles Going Steady blog about the finds of the month, I think this is the first time I ever had most of the songs come from the same year. Which goes to show that 1963 wasn't exactly a memorable year but at least we didn't have to contend with Broken Wings or Sweet Chile O Mine, but thank your lucky stars The British Invasion turned things around. Rosco Gordon recorded for many labels, best known hit was Just A Little Bit for Vee Jay in the 1950s.  But on his final ABC single he goes more a more soulful strut with a bit of Motown thrown in to appease the kiddies. Which still didn't sell.  B side That's What You Did, Rosco duets with Barbara Gordon, who adds a bit of something extra but not enough to remember this song after you played it.

23)  She's No Lady-Lyle Lovett (Curb/MCA 53246)  1988  #17 country

Lyle has been a outside country legend  since he broke in 1986 but I find him to be acquired taste although I did like the easy swing of She's No Lady but the B side Pontiac is boring the hell out of me as I write this.

24)  If I Were A Carpenter-Johnny Cash & June Carter (Columbia 4-45064)  #36 1970

They were perfect together.  B side is Cause I Love You







Monday, March 5, 2018

Russ Solomon RIP

The guy who founded Tower Records, passed away from a heart attack watching the Oscars Sunday.  He was 92.

Even though Tower Records wasn't close by, I went to the stores when I was out in Seattle, Las Vegas and Phoenix. They might have been pricey but I can't think of any other stores that had the complete Status Quo remasters as Tower Records did.  http://www.sacbee.com/entertainment/music-news-reviews/article203542104.html

Van McLain, was the de facto leader of Shooting Star, a Kansas City based band that made a few albums for Virgin Records in the 1980s but one of those bands that simply were forgotten in the age of classic rock.  Run For Your Life was a cult best selling album that I usually bought and sold to the folks at Relics Records.  Virgin Records at that time, did distribution deals, and Shooting Star was assigned to Epic, to which their second album was done under the infamous 5.98 emerging artists series.  Their first album was produced by Gus Dudgeron (Elton John) and Shooting Star was like a more lighter Journey or Styx.   I really wasn't that into that band, but in my last trip out to Arizona, the Goodwill Casa Grande store had about 10 copies of their first album on CD (as well as Burning) and I picked it up and played it once.  Since I still have that copy, I play it in tribute to Van who died complications from the Nile Virus.on Saturday.

After 40 years of rocking Chicago. The Loop has been sold to a Christian Broadcast Company for 21 and a half million dollars, which means the rock will stop sometime in the future.  Well Corporate Classic Rock has been in the shitter for about 20 years anyway and with Corporations not interested in breaking new acts and just focusing on the Pink Floyd/Zeppelin/Guns N Roses overplayed songs it basically had to end.  Gone are the days of Album rock stations promoting the new music but if there's a chance they'll find a way to celebrate older albums, such as Dark Side Of The Moon released 45 years ago last week.  But then again, the world needs another Christian Contemporary Station right? http://wgntv.com/2018/03/06/the-loop-sold-to-christian-broadcasting-company/

Tom Waits now owns the Elektra/Asylum masters to his albums and will be reissuing them via Anti-Epitaph.  Which means they'll be in glorious digipack.

Anyway, since you're all here.  I have reviewed a few cds along the way.  Here goes.

Moonshine Sorrow-While You're Drinking (self released 2016)

Let's face it, there will always be a band that plays three chord Rolling Stone inspired songs and song about drinking and fucking and paying for it the next day.  As long as I'm alive I'll be happy to hear what they have to say.  In the grand style of the bar bands of our lifetime (The Brains lost Tom Gray, gained Dan Baird and became the Georgia Satellites, Blackberry Smoke even Uncle Tupelo) my favorites were the most simple and to the point.  The Randy Cliffs made the best bar rock album of this century and if you look hard enough in Madison you can still find a dollar copy of Trixie's Trailer Sales.  Closer to home, Waterloo for that matter, we have Moonshine Sorrow, a band that had two different personalities, one is the legendary Rush Cleveland who writes all but two songs on this EP, the best song Walking In Waterloo is about as true as it gets if you live in that hell hole (I did about five decades ago) and Wild N Crazy to which pass the bucket rhymes with Fuck it!. Cleveland has a voice that echoes Jerry Lee Lewis, which does stick out like a sore thumb in the hard country bar rock of M.S.  The other is Jason Surratt who echoes Brian Henneman from The Bottle Rockets and gives us  Feed Me, Fuck Me, Buy Me Weed, a concert favorite and my favorite track Houser South a little story about a guy who can't get laid but is ready to kick your ass if need be.  Knowing that, he's probably a regular at Spicoli's in Cedar Falls.  In some ways, While You're Drinking mirrors Trixie's Trailer Sales from The Cliffs, sloppy drums, sloppy guitar leads but a whole rock and roll attitude that is missing from most new bands that get touted on Pitchfork.  It may not be pretty but it does sound pretty to me.
B+


The Pipettes-We Are The Pipettes (Cherrytree/Interscope 2007)

British pop girl rock that has a charm of its own at times, and with a Ramones like 16 songs at 39 minutes, most past by without much melody of forethought and the recording is loudness overblown.  The favorite is ABC 123 and XTC to boot.  A shame they didn't go more into this direction.
B-

Bette Midler Sings The Peggy Lee Songbook (Columbia 2005)

One of those albums that Sony Music decided to copy protect the CD, but Bette has been the subject of a few thrift store finds, basically on the strength of her It's The Girls album from a few years ago.  I love Bette for her sassy and spunk on Big Spender and Fever and the Barry Manilow cameo is camp fun too.  But it's those ballads that turn this record from great to good. Mr. Wonderful ends things on a blah note, but for tribute albums she makes Peggy Lee proud.  I'll see about her Rosemary Cooney tibute album in the future.  In other words another uneven Bette album.
B

Jim And Jessie-Dixie Hoedown: The Complete Starday Recordings (Starday/King 2002)

A stop gap along the way for the McReynolds boys but still a important document.  Hard Hearted was the best known hit single but the secular songs have a certain amount of charm to them, the title track a hard driving instrumental. Jim and Jesse only did three recording sessions for Starday, two in 1958 and the 1959 session was all gospel material and all of it is worth hearing once.   Even for 14 songs the album barely clocks over a half hour.  Jim and Jesse had a good backing band featuring Vassar Clements on fiddle, Bobby Thompson on banjo and Don Mchan on bass and backing vocals. Once their tenure at Starday ended, they would move on to Epic Records and their glory years featuring Diesel On My Tail, to which Sony Music left off their best of.  No accounting for major label taste it seems.  This compilation, thrown out by the indifferent Highland Music company, managed to put some thought into this and provided liner notes and recording sessions.  The CD is hard to find but worth a listen
B+

Carrie Underwood-Storyteller (19/Arista 2015)

If you have been a follower for my record review and top ten consortium, you know my love and hatred of the all time best selling American Idol.  Yes she can sing but what she does is oversing and throughout her decade of being a part of Nashville music scene she has battled Miranda Lambert head to head on country albums, for myself Miranda always wins of the fact that she doesn't oversing. On the recommendation of Robert Christgau, I decided to listen to her last album.  And just as I figured, she oversings on the majority of the songs.  But Storyteller is her best album to these battered ears but in the age of Nashville Music the songs tend to borrow way too much of the Mumford and Sons arrangements and overuse of the worthless Chris DeStefano, HOWEVER, was responsible for the two most memorable numbers of this album, the failed single Smoke Break and Clock Don't Stop.  She is getting better on the revenge numbers, Church Bells, a interesting story about a woman marrying a rich oil dude, who beats her up and she gets back by poisoning the dude.   To be honest, Storyteller is coming of age Carrie, who managed to find some decent numbers, and of course this record beats anything she released beforehand, including her best of.  I'll take Christgau's word that she's beginning to relax and not oversing but in my case she still has a long way to go before I decide on taking another chance with her again.   Nevertheless, for the first time ever in her record career, she made a better record than Miranda's 2 CD album, which still hasn't wowed me.  And probably never will.
B

I think we have had this talk before about Dark Side Of The Moon, my opinion will not waver.  I'll never look at The Great Gig In The Sky as anything but fast forward to the next song but some people love it.  In this day and age I can tolerate it better than Daniel Powter's Bad Day or Mr Mr. Broken Wings or A ha's Take On Me or Sweet Child O Mine or anything FGL puts out.  Another opinion on why Dark Side Of The Moon continues to sell, 45 years after the fact and still used copies aren't that easy to find.  I have never owned that on any format but perhaps a day will come when I will succumb to that and buy it for a dollar at St Vincent De Paul http://only-solitaire.blogspot.com/2018/03/pink-floyd-dark-side-of-moon.html

Music from  my youth:  John Cale-Guts (Antilles 1976)

Originally on Island, it was a small summery of John's tenure with that label, but not a greatest hits since Cale never had any.  But a good mix tape so to speak.  Again Robert Christgau had issues with two songs, Mary Lou and Helen Of Troy but for myself I liked them a lot and still do.  As well as the title track which might be most insane thing Cale ever wrote.  Cale has been an acquired taste even on the good days. I do have the 2 CD Complete Island albums that Polygram Island issued years ago but don't play it as much (if at all) than Guts.  Life after Island, Cale became more of a cult artist that fell in terms of overrated, the only album that worked for me was the 1985 John Cale Comes Alive, which also welcomed him back to Island (via the ZE sub-label), and his take on Hallelujah, and his version remains the best, even more than Jeff Buckley's version and his 1990 album with Brian Eno, Wrong Way Up, after that, meh.  Phil Collins plays drums on Fear Is A Man's Best Friend along with the likes of Chris Spedding, and the rhythm section that backed up Linda and Richard Thompson  at that time.  Not a bad track on this album, the deadpan Pablo Picasso is more smart ass than Jonathon Richman's version, and Heartbreak Hotel, is the book of Revelation coming true before your eyes and ears.  Instead of Guts, Island should have named this  Dirty Ass Rock And Roll.  Which nails the spirit of this album.
A



Mud Bowl Memories:  Cleveland 24  New York 7 (12/9/56)  Yankee Stadium

A tale of one dynasty ending and another beginning, Cleveland dominated the early and mid 50s in making to the title game, but in 1956, the New York Giants with Frank Gifford, Charlie Connerly and Kyle Rote would win the division title and a blow out of the Chicago Bears and the infamous sneaker game but on this rain and snow mudfest, the Browns upset the Giants on two Tommy O'Conner touchdowns and throwing a TD pass to Fred Morrison who wore number 32 at that time.  The next year, Jim Brown would be the next and last Brown to wear number 32 but that's a different story for another time.