Monday, September 29, 2014

Rodriguez "Cold Fact" radio ad, KPPC-FM Los Angeles, 7/12/1970



I just watched Searching for Sugar Man and realized I've got a Rodriguez artifact to share: from Firesign Theatre's 7/12/1970 Sunday night broadcast of The Radio Hour Hour on KPPC-FM, Los Angeles, an ad for his 1970 debut album Cold Fact. Here's how Sussex Records introduced Sixto Rodriguez to the world. "He's from the street...feel the infection in his music".

So he's what, Sussex Records? He's T.B.? A polio outbreak, perhaps. Wait, here's a tagline for you - HE'S REAL.LIKE CHOLERA. Dynamite marketing, guys.

http://www.footnoteconspiracy.com/datadump/FT%20RHH%201970-07-12%20tracked%20version%20cut%2013%20Rodriguez%20ad.mp3

According to his official website, he is playing two nights at the Sydney Opera House the week of October 21, and both are sold out.

http://www.rodriguez-music.com/

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Carl Davis / George Howe / John Gielgud: We Were Happy There


English national treasure Alan Bennett produced his first play in 1968: Forty Years On, in which the retiring headmaster (John Gielgud) of an English public school is presented with and performs in an end-of-term play put on by the students: a sendup of all the myths of English cultural identity between the turn of the 20th century and the end of World War II. (The play is very much the godson of the old Beyond the Fringe sketch “Aftermyth of War”.) Besides Gielgud and the show’s musical director, Carl Davis, the cast included a number of precocious talents just out of public school, including budding lyricist George Howe. In the show’s downtime, Howe and Davis worked up an entire song cycle inspired by the themes of Bennett’s play. Somehow it became a Project, and the Project landed at MCA and became this concept album, We Were Happy There, produced and arranged by A-lister Mike Leander (hitmaker for the Rolling Stones, Lulu and Cliff Richard). Gielgud reads selected poems and prose from English writers to set the scene between each song.

1968-1969 was a hell of a good period for anti-war movies in England – The Charge of the Light Brigade and The Bed Sitting Room to name only two – but We Were Happy There is neither that savage nor that surreal; the tone is nostalgic and infused with the more naïve sense of historical irony of a young man just leaving the nest. There’s feints of cynicism, but the mod-a-go-go pop arrangements and the sentiment win out. Bennett of course has since enjoyed a long, distinguished career as a playwright and novelist, and when a Granada TV executive approached Ray Davies of the Kinks about writing a musical drama for television in early 1969, Bennett was actually Davies’ first choice for a writing partner. They didn’t end up working together, and the Granada TV project fell through, but it led to the creation of the Kinks’ album Arthur (Or The Decline And Fall Of The British Empire), which frankly is a piece of greatness that’s more worth your time. We Were Happy There is an almost-forgotten progenitor of the Big Nostalgia Kick that turned so toxic in the 1970s, and you can probably draw a line from it straight through to All This And World War II.

Pax Britannica / The Empire Builder
Nanny Hawkins / Boy
Extracts of letters from Julian Grenfell / The Lost Generation / High Wood
The Girls of Nineteen-Twenty-Six / Girls
Extract from “The Civil War in Spain” / Spain
Vergissmeinicht / Goodnight Sugar
Extract from “English History, 1914-1945” / Well Done / I Am a Paper Bag
Recessional / We Were Happy There


DISCLAIMER: To the best of my knowledge, this work is out of print and not available for purchase in any format. If you are the artist and are planning a reissue, please let me know and I’ll remove it from the blog. Also please get in touch if you’ve lost your art &/or sound masters and would like to talk with me about my restoration work.

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Tinkle, Clang, Ring and Chime! The World's Rarest Music Boxes in High Fidelity

In terms of sounds, this 1958 LP provides exactly what the title promises; it brings the clangs, the chimes, and the tinkles, y’all. While I’m not enamored of music boxes in general, what continues to blow my mind with this and similar records from the dawn of the hi-fi era is that these antique music boxes and organs are literally 300-year-old hard drives come to life. Pop favorites, folk standards, classical gas, and melodies so dead we’ve forgotten their names, these songs preserved on tuned metal filings are coming straight to your ears from the Age of Enlightenment.

Unknown Melody
Schlafe, Schlafe / Waltz (Brahms) / Schlafe Mein Prinzschen
Fidelio, Act II, Finale (Beethoven) / Gedenke Mein / William Tell
Dutch Folksong Medley
Unknown melody from an approximately 300-year-old English bracket-clock
Radetzky March (Johann Strauss) / Artists’ Life (Strauss)
Waltz from “Faust” (Gounod) / Mijn Vriend Lindeman
Onbekend Wijsje / Daisy
Whistling Bird
After the Ball (C. Harris) / Fledermaus (J. Strauss) / Danube Waves / Die Muhle im Schwarzwald
March from “Tannhauser” (Wagner) / Triumphal March from “Aida”
Auf in ’s Metropole / The Blue Danube (J. Strauss)
Waltz from “Faust” (Gounod)
Unknown melody
You Can’t Be True, Dear / Anne-Marie / Regendruppels / La Paloma
Daisy / Dan Zal de Kapitein / Moritat / Under the Bridges of Paris
Mirame por Rabill / La Clavada / Estrellita / Terry’s Theme from “Limelight”
K.L.M. March
Saint-Germain des Pres


DISCLAIMER: To the best of my knowledge, this work is out of print and not available for purchase in any format. If you are the artist and are planning a reissue, please let me know and I’ll remove it from the blog. Also please get in touch if you’ve lost your art &/or sound masters and would like to talk with me about my restoration work.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Kodak Sound 8 Volume 1

Focus, dear. Mm, Yellowstone! Remember when Edna got eaten? Heh, heh – I still think bears are cute. Ooh, look – there’s your cousin Sidney with the hydrogen device. You think he’ll ever get those stains out? I think not, haw haw haw! Don’t touch the projector, dear, that’s how babies are made.

The classic 1961 LP of obsequious instrumentals. A perfect underscore for any comedy item you’ll ever produce in your life, or just the vintage educational film in your mind.

Music for Family Fun – Main Title
Music for Family Fun – End Title
Music for Majestic Scenes – Main Title
Music for Majestic Scenes – End Title
Music for Travel Scenes
Music for Water Activities
Music for Party Scenes
Music for Vacation Fun
Music for Sports Events
Music for Children’s Activities – Main Title
Music for Children’s Activities – End Title
Music for All Kinds of Fun
Traffic
Laugh (Large Crowd)
Applause (Large Crowd)
Crowd (Large)
Children Playing Outdoors
Dog Barking (Puppy)
Dog Barking (Full-Grown)
Cat Meow
Motorboat (Start – Run – Stop)
Diving Board (Children in Background)
Slide Whistle (Three)
Automobile (Start – Pull Away)
Bo-ing! Effect (Three)


DISCLAIMER: To the best of my knowledge, this work is out of print and not available for purchase in any format. If you are the artist and are planning a reissue, please let me know and I’ll remove it from the blog. Also please get in touch if you’ve lost your art &/or sound masters and would like to talk with me about my restoration work.

Harmonicats: Peg O' My Heart

Three guys! Harmonicas! Reverb! Stereo! These guys recorded a version of the title track in 1947 and the resulting single sold three million copies. There’s a reason that spooky instrumental gem became the main title theme to The Singing Detective. Now please excuse me as I’m off to learn comedy, pantomime and stage-presence.

Peg O’ My Heart
Twilight Time
Mam’selle
Sabre Dance
Dancing with Tears in My Eyes
Galloping Comedians
Malagueña
Deep Purple
Tenderly
Perfidia
Jeannine (I Dream of Lilac Time)
Minute Waltz


DISCLAIMER: To the best of my knowledge, this work is out of print and not available for purchase in any format. If you are the artist and are planning a reissue, please let me know and I’ll remove it from the blog. Also please get in touch if you’ve lost your art &/or sound masters and would like to talk with me about my restoration work.

Big Daddy: Meanwhile...Back in the States



This may be Big Daddy’s masterpiece: they blew up from a five-piece to an eight-piece and took on Lionel Richie, Culture Club, Phil Collins and more; and in two minutes they will take you from never caring if you ever heard these songs again to wishing they could play at your wedding. In March 1985, Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” was at #13 in the U.K.; Big Daddy’s Pat Boone-ified cover version was at #25. That actually happened on this planet, and this record is going to make you very happy. Get the audio on iTunes, and be sure to visit the band’s Website for details on the full discography.


LP artwork

Big Daddy: What Really Happened to the Band of '59

Big Daddy, a bunch of crack SoCal instrumentalists/vocalists, got together in the 1970s as a nostalgia band playing hits of the '50s and '60s, and had pretty much faded from view by the end of the decade. Founding member Bob Wayne was friendly with Richard Foos and Harold Bronson, co-heads of Rhino Records, and Bronson and Foos were frequent visitors to Wayne’s studio, Sunburst Recording in Culver City. Circa 1983, Foos got into his head that it was time to take an LP that all three men had in their collections and do it one better: Take a Sad Song by Godfrey Daniel, a one-off novelty record on Atlantic from 1972 where a group of studio musicians recorded 1950s-sounding versions of the day’s hit parade – Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin, et al. In view of this mission from God to get the band back together, Bob reassembled Big Daddy and they created this 1983 self-titled album of mash-ups where some of the most ubiquitous pop hits of the early 1980s found themselves warped back to the Eisenhower administration.

It’s been a long time since any right-thinking person listened to “Eye of the Tiger” or “Ebony and Ivory” for pleasure, but such is the level of Big Daddy’s skill and love for good pop arrangements that you’ll never catch yourself thinking “Boy, these songs really got what they deserved.” Except maybe the Barry Manilow cut.

For more about Big Daddy and the rest of the classic Rhino Records artist roster, don’t miss this interview with Harold Bronson on the Fogelnest Files podcast, where Harold talks all about the history of the label and plugs his book, The Rhino Records Story.


LP artwork