Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christmas Jubilee: The Choir of King's College, Cambridge (1970)

London Jubilee JL 41047

One final Christmas LP before the season is over. I don't recall where I picked this one up. It is a bit crackly, but it's a good recording. It is not on CD.

From the LP label:
"The Choir of King's College, Cambridge
Directed by
David Willcocks"

Note: For this LP, I used primarily equipment that was left out on garbage night in my neighborhood. The turntable is a Technics SL-7 linear tracker I picked up about two years ago. I lubricated the tonearm rail, put on a new tonearm drive belt, and installed an Ortofon X1-MCP moving coil cartridge. It has performed flawlessly ever since. A harman/kardon CDR2 was left out this past Sunday presumably because the play side wasn't working. The record side, however, works fine. It has the same AKM 24-bit/96 kHz analog-to-digital converter as my CDR20. I installed it in my second system, which includes the Technics, and used it for digitizing this LP.

The Holly and the Ivy

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing

O Come All Ye Faithful

Monday, December 12, 2011

Christmas at St. John's (1974)

Argo ZRG 782

Another great Christmas LP. I no longer remember when I picked this up. It is in very good condition.

From the LP:
"The Choir of St. John's College, Cambridge
directed by George Guest"

Ding Dong Merrily on High

Good King Wenceslas

God Rest You Merry, Gentlemen

The First Nowell

I Saw Three Ships

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Richfield High School Varsity Chorus Christmas

I found this record in the dollar bin at a record shop in Austin, Texas. It is a bit worn, but the music is well-recorded, and the performances (with the exception of a few wavering solos) are excellent. I donated the LP to the thrift shop after I grabbed these tracks, so I don't have a pic of the cover. Instead, I offer this random photo from the Internet.

In my day, most chorus teachers accompanied their students on piano, both in class and in performance, and this record captures the simple style of those performances.

This LP was ostensibly made just for the students of Richfield High School and their families. I performed some fancy digital editing to "Silver Bells," which originally ended with an awkward key change.

Silver Bells (digital edit)

O Tannenbaum

Carol of the Drum

Thursday, December 1, 2011

An Early New England Christmas (1978)

Philo 1062

I am always on the lookout for Christmas music. This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good condition.

from the LP:
"with the University of Vermont Choral Union • James G. Chapman, Conductor"

My Dancing Day

Here We Come A-Wassailing

Good King Wenceslas


The Holly and the Ivy

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Cantares do Sul de Portugal

Orfeu Super Budget 2004

I could find no information about this record online, but it is a well-recorded, interesting record of (I presume) typical songs from the south of Portugal. As you can see, it is a Orfeu "Super Budget" release, which originally cost only 99$50, however much that was. It is in good shape, though with some pops from the occasional scratch.

Verdegaio Saloio (Rancho Folclórico de Torres Novas)

Tu És O Zé Que Fumas (Rancho Folclórico de Torres Novas)

Benavente Em Festa (Rancho Típico de Benavente)

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Freddy Fender: Before the Next Teardrop Falls (1974)


This was Freddy Fender's first album. A CD of the same name is available, but confusingly, it is not the CD release of this album. It contains six songs from this album; the remaining tracks are not on CD.

This album was a thrift shop find (99¢), still in the shrink wrap, and in excellent shape inside and out. Eugene Chadbourne, writing for allmusic, called it "the must-have Fender album in a country fan's collection."

From the LP:
Bass: Donny King
Drums: Chester Vaughn
Lead guitar: Randy Cornor
Piano: Bruce Ewen - James Lowery
Rhythm Guitar: Mickey Moody
Steel Guitar: Mickey Moody - Fred Heine
Harpsichord: Bruce Ewen

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Freddy Fender: If You're Ever in Texas (1976)

ABC Records DOSD-2061

According to wikipedia, "Living It Down" hit #2 on the US Country chart, and it appears on the CD The Millennium Collection: Best Of Freddy Fender. The rest of this LP, however, is not on CD.

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good shape, part of a haul of four Freddy Fender LPs.

It's All In The Game

Just One Time

What A Difference A Day Made

San Antonio Lady

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Freddy Fender: Rock 'n' Country (1976)

ABC Records DOSD-2050

According to wikipedia, "Rock 'n' Country" reached #3 on the US Country chart, with three hit singles: "You'll Lose a Good Thing," "Vaya con Dios," and "The Rains Came," all of which appear on the CD The Millennium Collection: Best Of Freddy Fender. The rest of this LP, however, is not on CD. Eugene Chadbourne, at, wrote of this LP, "It all works, as do the many touches courtesy of legendary producer Huey P. Meaux."

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good shape, though it's a "loud" record, and the vocals are high in the mix and sound distorted on a few songs, presumably due to a mistracking cartridge from a previous owner.

Take Her a Message! I'm Lonely

Just Out of Reach

My Happiness

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Brailowsky: Chopin: The 24 Preludes

Columbia ML 5444
This was the first classical LP I ever owned. I found it in the trunk of a Volvo I was repairing for a friend. I played it so much that I eventually had to buy another copy, which I sold in my record purge of 2005. This copy was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good condition.

Alexander Brailowsky seems to have fallen out of favor, judging by what recordings are being released on CD. His recording of Chopin's Polonaises is still very well regarded and available on CD. Some of his Chopin recordings appear on various Chopin "greatest hits" CDs. An early recording he made of the Preludes is available as an mp3 download. This recording is not on CD.

I'm not qualified to judge the merits of his playing, and critical opinions vary. Billboard wrote of this album in 1960 "Brailowsky's striking technique and particular flair for Chopin's works are brilliantly highlighted on the 24 Preludes." Others were not as kind.

No. 4 in E minor

No. 7 in A major

No. 11 in B major

No. 20 in C minor

No. 24 in D minor

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Pennywhistlers: Folksongs of Eastern Europe (1967)

Nonesuch H-2007

The Pennywhistlers were an American singing group. They specialized in Eastern European choral music, sung primarily a cappella.

This was from a record store in Davis, California, very reasonably priced at $1.99. It is in fair condition, with scratches affecting some of the tracks. It is not on CD.

From the LP: "To hear Bulgarian, Serbian, or Russian music performed so well that one forgets that one is listening to a group of American girls is ample proof of their work's high value... - Theodore Bikel"

More Pennywhistlers here.

Zaspala e Fida (Bulgarian)

Shto Mi e Milo (Macedonian)

Pastevecké "Helokanie" (Czechoslovakian)

Tudora (Bulgarian)

Will You Miss Me When I'm Gone?

Friday, September 23, 2011

Alberta Hunter: Remember My Name (1978)

Columbia JS 35553

Alberta Hunter was a renowned singer in the 1920's and 30's who left music to become a nurse but returned to performing in her eighties. There are numerous CD compilations of her early work, but only two CDs of her later work: Downhearted Blues, a live recording from 1981, and Amtrak Blues, a studio album from 1978.

This 1978 LP, which allmusic calls "her definitive late-period album," is not on CD. This was a thrift store find (99¢), in good but not great shape.

From allmusic: "Although the cover on this album makes it look as if this is a soundtrack album (the singer had written several songs for the film "Remember My Name"), this is actually an important studio set."

This album was released on CD February 12, 2013. The sample tracks have been removed.

Saturday, September 10, 2011

The Guitar Artistry of Liona Boyd (1976)

London Records CS 7068

I wasn't familiar with Liona Boyd when I saw this LP at the thrift shop, nor am I qualified to judge the merits of her playing, but this LP, her second, introduced me to some new pieces. The LP is in good shape, with the original shrink wrap. It is not on CD.

From the LP: "'...highly imaginative playing...flawless technique...' - Stereo Review"

From "All Music Guide to Classical Music":

Lauro: Andreina

Bach: Concerto No. 5 in F minor, Arioso

Mussorgsky: The Old Castle

Sagreras: Una Lagrima

Bach: Sonata No.2 in A minor, Andante

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tom T. Hall: For the People in the Last Hard Town (1973)

Mercury 0598

This album, though it contains Tom T. Hall's biggest hit ("I Love"), is not on CD. "Pay No Attention to Alice," "Subdivision Blues," and "I Love" all appear on various compilation CDs, however.

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in excellent condition inside and out. Some great musicians play on the record, including Vassar Clements, Charlie McCoy, and others.

Joe, Don't Let Your Music Kill You

Back When We Were Young

Last Hard Town

I Know Who I'll Be Seeing in New Zealand

(All selections written by Tom T. Hall)

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bonny North Tyne: Northumbrian Country Music (1974)

Topic 12TS239

Topic Records made many great "World Music" LPs back when the genre consisted of mostly ethnographic field recordings. I always pick up any LP I see on the Topic label (as well as other great "world music" labels, such as Original Music or the LPs in the Nonesuch Explorer Series).

This was a thrift store find (99¢), in beautiful shape, except for the red tape along the top of the cover. It sounds near new. It is not on CD.

From the LP:
"John Armstrong: fiddle, Billy Atkinson: mouth organ, Billy Conroy: whistle, George Hepple: fiddle, Joe Hutton: small-pipes, Donald Ridley: accordeon, Recorded and produced by Tony Wilson and Tony Eagle"

John Armstrong & Joe Hutton: The Rowan Tree/Jock Of Hazeldean

Additional tracks, by request:

Billy Conroy: Green Castle/Spot On/Corn Rigs

Billy Conroy: Jenny Bell Polka

Billy Conroy: Napoleon's Grand March/Untitled March

Billy Conroy: Liverpool Hornpipe/Steamboat Hornpipe

John Armstrong & Joe Hutton: Sir Sidney Smith's March

From the LP: "The Billy Conroy tracks were taken from tape recordings originally made by Pete Knowles for the North-East Folk Federation"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Eric Schoenberg: Steel Strings (1982)

Rounder Records 3041

Eric Schoenberg is a fingerstyle guitarist and an innovator in ragtime guitar playing. He went on to found Schoenberg Guitars, a maker of very well-regarded acoustic guitars.

Two songs from Steel Strings, "Sidh Beag Agus Sidh Mor" and "All In Good Time" appear on the CD Rounder Guitar: A Collection of Acoustic Guitar. Otherwise, his solo albums are not on CD.

I picked this LP up at a garage sale in Brooklyn along with another Schoenberg LP, "Acoustic Guitar." I paid two or three dollars for it. It is in good condition, though with an audible scratch through half of "Sunflower Slow Drag."

From the LP: "All tunes arranged for finger-style guitar by Eric Schoenberg."

Talk About Suffering

Sunflower Slow Drag

More Eric Schoenberg here.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Junior Wells: In My Younger Days (1972)

Red Lightning 007

Hoodoo Man Blues was one of the first blues LPs I ever heard. I checked it out of the university library and recorded a cassette of it to listen to at work. Not long after, I was lucky to see Junior Wells and Buddy Guy in concert in a small venue that held about 300 people.

About half of the tracks on this LP are on the CD Calling All Blues; the rest are not on CD.

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good shape except for some scuffing on side 1.

From the LP: "Most blues collectors are aware of the extreme rarity of early American fifties blues 45s and 78s, which constitute this album."

So All Alone

'Bout the Break of Day

Tomorrow Night

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Just Dave Van Ronk (1964)

Mercury SR/MG 20908 
Dave Van Ronk was a folk and blues singers whose first LP was released on Folkways Records in 1959. According to wikipedia, "Van Ronk was regarded as the friendly uncle of Greenwich Village, presiding over the coffeehouse folk culture and acting as a friend to many up and coming [sic] artists, inspiring, aiding and promoting them. Folk performers whom he befriended included Bob Dylan, Tom Paxton...Phil Ochs, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Joni Mitchell."

Richard Meyer of allmusic said of this record, "Van Ronk's understated guitar style is perfect for these intimate performances. His naturally rough voice allows him to sing these songs believably without any ethnic affectation or false energy."

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good condition. It is not on CD.
Update: This album became available on iTunes in May 2012. The sample tracks have been removed.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The Roger Wagner Chorale: Songs of Stephen Foster (1954)

Capitol P8267

I got turned on to Stephen Foster through Nonesuch Records' "Songs By Stephen Foster," so when I saw this LP in the dollar bin at an Austin, Texas record store, I picked it up.

According to wikipedia, "The world's leading conductors and musicians, among them Eugene Ormandy, Leopold Stokowski, Bruno Walter, Otto Klemperer, [and] Serge Koussevitsky, hailed Wagner's incomparable genius in the field of choral music."

This LP is in good shape. A Japanese CD, "Home Sweet Home," was allegedly produced in 2003 containing the contents of this LP as well as the Wagner Chorale's "The Negro Spiritual," however, it appears to be out of print.

Old Black Joe

Some Folks

Beautiful Dreamer

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

U Svatého Antonička: Moravian Folk Songs and Dances

Apon 2442

According to wikipedia, "The traditional music of Western Moravia is closely related to the music of Bohemia. It was influenced by folk music of Germany and other western regions as well as classical music, especially in the Baroque and Classical eras. The music is mainly written in major keys, and its rhythm and structure are regular and firm."

This was a 99 cent thrift shop find, in good shape. It sounds like a compilation made from older recordings. It is not on CD.

Ej Od Buchlova Větor Věje

Trajdavá Píseň

Vinohrady, Dobré Vínko Dávate

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Bill Doggett: Fingertips (1963)

Columbia CS 8882

I had never heard of Bill Doggett when I saw this LP in the thrift shop for 99¢. It was in such good shape that I took a chance on it. According to allmusic, "With his instrumental hit "Honky Tonk" in February 1956, Bill Doggett created one of rock's greatest instrumental tracks. Although it generated scores of offers to perform in rock & roll clubs throughout the United States, Doggett remained tied to the jazz and organ-based R&B that he had performed since the 1930s." Amazon says "Doggett probably did more to popularize the organ as an instrument in rock and pop than any other artist."

Fingertips is an album of R&B instrumentals. It is not available on CD.

If You Need Me

Hot Fudge

Without Love

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Jonah Jones: Jazz Bonus (1962)

Capitol ST-1773

I had never heard of Jonah Jones when I saw this LP at the thrift shop. According to allmusic, Jonah Jones was "a talented and flashy trumpeter [who] hit upon a formula in 1955 that made him a major attraction for a decade; playing concise versions of melodic swing standards and show tunes muted with a quartet." Their misuse of the semicolon does not necessarily mean their information is untrustworthy.

There is some quite tasty trumpet playing (muted and unmuted) on this album that somewhat makes up for the inclusion of an organ in the combo. Though some of the organ backing is listenable, I would have nixed the organ solos.

This LP is in good shape. It is not on CD.

Jersey Bounce

Lady of Spain

Cool Mute

June Night

Monday, June 20, 2011

Vaudeville: Songs of the Great Ladies of the Musical Stage (1976)

Nonesuch H-71330

Joan Morris & William Bolcom have never made a bad record that I've heard. This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in excellent condition. Six songs from this LP appear on the CD "After The Ball plus Highlights from Vaudeville." The remainder are not on CD.

From the LP:
"Joan Morris - mezzo soprano
William Bolcom - piano"


When You Were Sweet Sixteen

The Yama-Yama Man

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Traditional Songs & Dances from the Soko Banja Area (1973)

Selo Records LP-1

From the Internet: "Traditional Songs & Dances From the Soko Banja Area is the first of a promised series of Balkan traditional music edited and produced by Robert Henry Ləibman. The album is directed at both American folk dancers who want to learn some Balkan dances and something about them and also folklorists and ethnomusicologists. The material, all recorded in 1971-72 in a small region of East Serbia (Yugoslavia), is divided between dances played on bagpipe and songs. An elaborate 92-page booklet text and music transcriptions and translations, detailed dance..."

From the LP: "Field recordings from Yugoslavia with notes edited by Robert Henry Ləibman"

This LP was a thrift shop find (99¢), in acceptable condition. The 92-page booklet was not enclosed. It is not on CD.

Maramica Od Bela Fulara


Sta Se Sjaji (Resnick)

Lepa Pava U Kovilje Spava

Sinoc Ovaj Doba


Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Sing Children Sing: Songs of the British Isles (1979)

Caedmon TC-1598, UNICEF 5054

I picked up four LPs from the Sing Children Sing series at the thrift shop: USA, British Isles, France and Austria. They were either new and sealed, or open and near new. None are on CD.

USA was quite good, but the British Isles features a larger chorus, recorded in a way that renders the voices less distinct, consequently the singers are hard to understand at times. Still, several classic songs are given good treatment.

From the LP: "The Ambrosian Children's Choir (trained by June Keyte) and Ambrosian Players • Music arranged and conducted by John McCarthy"

The Ash Grove

Road to the Isles

London Pride

All Through the Night

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The Great Hudson River Revival (1980)

Flying Fish 214

I just picked this LP up a few minutes ago because it contained a live version of "Steamboat Whistle Blues" by John Hartford. It is not on CD.

John Hartford: Steamboat Whistle Blues

Monday, May 23, 2011

John Hartford: Headin' Down Into the Mystery Below (1978)

Flying Fish FF-063
(image from wikipedia)

For my money, the two greatest John Hartford records are Aereo-Plain and this LP, which is not on CD. Aereo-Plain got a nice CD reissue a few years back, as did 1976's Mark Twang, which is similar to this record in style and theme.

Two songs from this LP, On Christmas Eve and Natchez Whistle appear on the anthology CD Me Oh My, How the Time Does Fly.

I sold all my John Hartford LPs when I liquidated my LP collection in 2005, but not before I burned a CD of all my favorite tracks. These samples are from that CD.

Headin' Down Into the Mystery Below

Kentucky Pool

Mama Plays the Calliope

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Songs from the Carpathians (1965)

Fiesta FLPS 1430

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in good shape. I generally don't buy records that are "electronically re-recorded to simulate stereo" unless they are unique, which I presumed this one was.

From the LP:
"Carpathian Folk Choir and Orchestra
Director: Mikhailo Krechko
Uzhorod, Carpathian Region of Soviet Ukraine"

Hey, In the High Mountain Valley (Hey, Na Visokee Poloniniy)


My Darling Bought Me a Silken Shawl

Monday, May 16, 2011

These Charming People (1978)

RCA ARL1-2491

I first heard William Bolcom and Joan Morris on the ubiquitous After the Ball, a great record which turns up at the thrift store a lot. I really enjoy Bolcom's piano playing, so I pick up their records whenever I see them. Joan Morris's "theatrical" singing style is an acquired taste, one that I have acquired for the most part.

This copy of These Charming People was a thrift shop find (99¢). Side 2 is pretty crackly, but who knows if I'll ever see another copy. It is not on CD.

William Bolcom is also a composer of note. His "Graceful Ghost" is a personal favorite.

from the LP:
"Vocal duets by Gershwin, Kern, and Rogers & Hart
Joan Morris
Max Morath
William Bolcom"

Till the Clouds Roll By

The Half of it, Dearie Blues

There's a Small Hotel

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Sing Children Sing: Songs of the United States of America (1977)

Caedmon TC-1558, UNICEF 5045

I picked up four LPs from the Sing Children Sing series at the thrift shop: USA, British Isles, France and Austria. They were either new and sealed, or open and near new. You never know with this kind of record whether it will be tastefully done or not. But I noticed the performers were "The New York Opera Children's Chorus," so I figured it couldn't be too bad.

I was right. Though I would have preferred most of these songs performed by just the chorus, the instrumental arrangements are good, and the banjo and guitar playing are by Eric Weissberg. The singing is just right - it sounds accomplished but not excessively polished. A couple of soloists come from what I call The Annie School of Singing, but most of the tunes get everything just right. One of the singers, Vanessa Williams, went on to be a successful actress.

From the LP:
"The New York Opera Children's Chorus
Mildred Hohner, Director
Arranged and Conducted by Robert DeCormier
Produced by arrangement with the United States Committee for UNICEF
Eric Weissberg (guitar, banjo)"

Wayfaring Stranger

The Farmer is the Man (written circa 1877)

Gentle Annie

The Erie Canal

Stars Shining By and By

Simple Gifts

Additional tracks (by request)
Ol' Dan Tucker

The Singing School

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Vassar Clements, John Hartford, Dave Holland (1988)

Rounder 0207

John Hartford is a personal favorite. He is one of the most musical people I've ever heard. Hartford is ostensibly a bluegrass musician, but he does something unique with the genre, and this LP is unique in his oeuvre. It is not on CD.

Vassar Clements: violin
John Hartford: banjo, guitar, voice
Dave Holland: bass
Mark Howard: guitar, mandolin

Memories of Home

Till Something Better Comes Along

Bonus Track, from Hartford's not-on-CD You and Me at Home (Flying Fish 228, 1980):
Imagination Fired by Books

Monday, April 18, 2011

Andrés Segovia: The Intimate Guitar (1975)

RCA ARL1-0864

This is one of Andrés Segovia's last recordings. I'm guessing these later records haven't been released on CD because Segovia recorded plenty of material when he was in his prime. Though he was 83 years old when he made this record, his playing is still enjoyable.

This was a thrift shop find (99¢), in excellent condition. From the LP: "George Benda was one of the first to use the musical form known as the melodrama - the passage of a drama or a poem that is recited with a musical background. The sonatinas of Benda, therefore, are background music for the spoken word."

[sample tracks have been removed]

More Andrés Segovia.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Merv Griffin & Arthur Treacher In London: 'Alf & 'Alf, Songs of the British Music Hall

MGM Records SE 4381

I picked this up on a whim at the thrift shop (99¢), based mostly on the cover photo (and its great condition). I don't think of Merv Griffin as especially knowledgeable about the British Music Hall, and I picture him meeting Arthur Treacher at a party, and the two of them deciding to make this LP on a lark. During my formative years, there were apparently 800 Arthur Treacher's Fish and Chips franchises in the US, though I just heard about it today.

From the album: "Music Hall is irreverent but basically good-natured, brassy, raucous, obvious, sentimental and fun." Merv Griffin only sings on five tracks, which is fine, as Treacher's performance seems more in the spirit of the Music Hall. Maybe it's the English accent?

A couple of tracks use rock-and-roll instrumentation, to disappointing effect.

I'm Shy, Mary Ellen, I'm Shy

Wot Cher! (Knock'd Em In The Old Kent Road)

Who's Got The Suitcase

My Old Dutch

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Tumba Cuarta & Ka'i (1982)

OMC 202
(photo courtesy of yoyo at listentoyourears)

Original Music was one of the great record labels for "world music." Here's an excerpt from the New York Times obituary for Original Music's co-founder, John Storm Roberts:

"In choosing what to release on the Original Music label, Mr. Roberts did not disdain modern, popular numbers: by his lights, a song simply had to be good. This distinguished him from musicological purists who, in ceaseless quest for the authentic, recorded only material seemingly untouched by modernity."

In the 1990s, a friend alerted me that Original Music was selling off all its vinyl stock for (I think) $2 a record. There were six titles left in stock on LP, and I bought them all. The CDs are all out of print, and this title appears to be totally unavailable on CD, even used.

I sold all the LPs during my record purge of 2005, but not before transferring my favorite tracks to CD.

Bari (recorded in Rincon, Bonaire)

More tracks from the album are here.

Original Music Discography

Thursday, March 31, 2011

A Heritage of Folk Song from Old Russia

Nonesuch H-2010

This record is from the Nonesuch International Series. Some recordings from this series, such as Music of Bulgaria, were re-released on CD, but not this one.

I used to own this record, but I sold it in my LP purge of 2005. This copy, which is in good shape, was a thrift shop find (99¢).

This LP contains some very old Russian songs, from as early as the 11th century, as well as two Bashkir melodies that "only exist in oral form and are textually untranslatable." From the LP notes for the Bashkir melody Konï-Liap: "Its poetry is of an exotic nature; no story is related - only brief thoughts and sayings reflecting Oriental philosophy, symbols representing the swift passage of time and the futility of earthly things."

Oh My Green Willow

Konï-Liap (Bashkir melody)

For My Sins I've Got a Man

On the Edge of the Lake

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Greek Folk Songs and Dances (1962)

Counterpoint/Esoteric CPST 5527

This was another 99¢ thrift store find. The record is a little beat up, and fairly noisy, but the recording of traditional Greek folk music is very good. It is not on CD.

From Gramophone: "...a record both for the connoisseur and the layman."



Zervos Karpathou

Monday, March 21, 2011

The George Sanders Touch (1958)

ABC-Paramount 231

Normally I abhor kitsch in all its forms, but George Sanders is such a compelling figure that, when I saw this LP in the dollar bin of an otherwise unremarkable record store in Austin, Texas, I picked it up.

Sanders is one of my favorite actors (Foreign Correspondent, All About Eve), and on this LP he showed that he had the pleasant voice of someone who might entertain friends at a dinner party (when people had dinner parties and made their own music). The orchestra direction by Don Costa, who was the arranger on Sinatra with Strings (among many others), makes for an enjoyable listening experience.

The LP is in good condition. It is not on CD.

Update: This album is now available as mp3s from Amazon UK.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Monty Python: Matching Tie and Handkerchief (1973)

Arista AL-4039 (1975)

This recording is on CD, but the CD can't capture one aspect of the experience of listening to the record.

My father bought this record new in 1975 and, over the next few days, we listened to it several times. About the third time we heard it, we both had the impression that we were hearing some bits we hadn't heard the first time and that some of the bits we'd heard before were now missing from the record. We knew that was impossible, but something still seemed strange.

Upon investigation, we found that one side of the record (both sides are labeled Side 2) contained two completely different sets of tracks, and depending on where the needle landed, you heard either one set or the other. That side of the record was cut with two concentric grooves, effectively giving the record three sides. It was a great trick, something you'd expect from Monty Python.

The CD release handles this with two tracks called "Side 2" and "Side 3." What fun.

I got this copy at the thrift store for 99 cents. It is a bit worn, but it's a comedy album, so the sound quality isn't that important to me.


Novel Writing

Monday, March 14, 2011

Andrés Segovia: My Favorite Spanish Encores (1974)

RCA ARL1-0485

Recorded in 1974 when Segovia was 80 years old, this LP contains many compositions that Segovia had recorded before. His playing is still very good. From the LP: "The short selections on this record are among those with which I choose to reward the audience when ... they ask for encores"

This was a thrift store find (99¢). It is in very good condition. The original recording was excellent. It is not on CD.

Tarrega: Capricho Arabe

Torroba: Nocturno (Dedicated to Segovia)

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Folk Songs of England, Scotland and Wales (1958)

Delyse ECB 3144

This LP has an interesting history. I bought it used in the 1990's, and I liked it a lot, but it was pretty noisy, so I returned it to the record store (the great, but now defunct, Flat Plastic Sound in San Francisco). I guess I thought I'd find another copy, but I never did. The mp3s below come from a tape I made of the original record. The image of the cover is courtesy of Jacob Whittaker. I was lucky to find it.

The LP features folk songs in English and Welsh. It is not on CD.

From Gramophone, August 1958, Page 71: "Freshness of voice is one of the many attractions of "Folk Songs of England, Scotland and Wales." This choir, made up of girls from the local schools, shops and works of Llanelly, has made a name for itself in several European countries. The famous lament Dafydd Garreg Wan, All through the Night, and Under the Greenwood Tree are among the plums of this enormously enjoyable collection."

Suo Gan

Morag's Cradle Song

Y Bore Glas

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop Album (1977)

Kicking Mule KM-128

This LP was a gift from a friend who was getting rid of his records.

From the LP: "The Puget Sound Guitar Workshop was started in the spring of 1974 by Larry Squire, Flip Breskin, and...David Auer. The idea was to have a week long session of teaching, learning and sharing guitar at a camp facility."

Eric Schoenberg, Eric Park, Flip Breskin and Rick Maedler all contribute multiple tracks. It is not on CD.

The LP is in good shape. Many of the tracks were recorded in the field, and the sound quality varies.

Eric Schoenberg: Fishing Blues

Flip Breskin: The Mickey Mouse Club Theme Song

Eric Schoenberg: Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out

Additional Eric Schoenberg tracks (by request):

Way Down Yonder in New Orleans

Just a Closer Walk with Thee

Then Came the Children

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Siberian Russian Folk Chorus (1969)

Мелодия, C-01669-70

This was a thrift store find; they'd just got in several LPs of Russian music, on labels I'd never heard of. When in doubt, I usually buy the LP, since they are only 99¢. If I don't like it, I can donate it back to the store. The record is in good shape, inside and out. It is not on CD.

It contains both traditional Russian folk songs as well as popular songs by Russian composers.

Age-old Pines Above the Shusha

Twas My Beauty (folk song)

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Michoacan Sones de Tierra Caliente (1982)

instituto nacional de antropologia e historia, inah 7, MC-0617

I wasn't familiar with this record label, but my friend Doug was. INAH recorded traditional music from all the Mexican states, and this LP is #7 (of 24) in the series. I was familiar with two songs from this LP, "Los Tiradores" and "El Perro," which appear on the excellent Nonesuch Explorer LP The Real Mexico in Music and Song, which is available on CD. This LP, however, is not on CD.

This was a thrift store find (99¢), still sealed (!).

Conjunto "Los Gavilanes" del Palapo: La Negrita

Conjunto "Los Caporales": El Gusta Apatzingereno

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

The Pennywhistlers: A Cool Day and Crooked Corn (1965)

Nonesuch H-72024

This album was released as part of the Nonesuch Explorer Series. Unlike most LPs in the series, it was not an ethnographic field recording. The Pennywhistlers were an American singing group, and though they have names like Alice, Deborah, and Shelly, their performances of mostly Eastern European songs sound nearly as authentic as those on the Topic album "Folk Music of Bulgaria" which presumably inspired them.

The first CD by the Pennywhistlers is being released today by Smithsonian. It is their 1963 eponymous record on Folkways Records. This LP, however, is not on CD.

I owned a used copy for many years. I sold it when I liquidated my LPs in 2005; my current LP collection is composed almost entirely of records from thrift shops and junk stores. This copy was a thrift store find (99¢). It is in good condition.

From the LP: "Francine Brown, Shelly Cook, Joyce Gluck, Alice Kogan, Deborah Lesser, Ethel Raim, Dina Silberman. Ruth Ben Zvi, tupan & tambourine; Arthur Rose, dobro & mandolin; Billy Vanaver, tambura - & guitar"

Vido Vido Byala Vido

Bre Petrunko

More Pennywhistlers here.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

The Persuasions: We Still Ain't Got No Band (1973)

MCA Records, MCA-326

The Persuasions are an a capella group with more than two dozens records to their name. Their early albums are a mix of gospel, soul, and pop songs, but in the aughts, they began recording a series of tribute albums (The Beatles, Frank Zappa, U2, The Grateful Dead). Many of their albums are on CD, but this 1973 release is not.

I haven't heard a bad Persuasions record, so I pick them up whenever I find them. I bought this LP at Antone's in Austin, Texas for around $4. The cover is a bit worn, but the record is in great shape.

From the LP:
"Jerry Lawson - Lead, Baritone
Jimmy Hayes - Bass, Tenor
Joseph Russell - Tenor, Lead
Jayotis Washington - Tenor
Herbert Rhoad - Baritone"

Chapel of Love

Dance with Me