Monday, September 16, 2019

Various Artists: Taking Off (Original Sound Track Album)

MiloŇ° Forman's first American feature is a sweet, sweet delightthere's a Blu-ray, you should own a copy!and a record DEFINITELY needed to be made from it. That being said, it did NOT warrant a full LP. This scarce 1971 vinyl contains several songs that are unmissable for any aficionado of pop/folk of the early 1970s, and practically every song was recorded live at a series of cattle call auditions that Forman set up (auditions for what? was the talent even told what they were auditioning for?) and filmed, much of which went straight into the film. It's NYC in 1970 and most of the people who showed up to sing and play were never heard from againand then again some of them were, including Carly Simon ("Long Term Physical Effects") and "Bobo Bates", aka actress Kathy Bates, who performs a devastating original ballad ("And Even the Horses Had Wings"). Without a doubt, though, the reason this record needed to be made was to preserve Mary Mitchell's immortal performance of "Ode to a Screw", an olde medieval ballad about a good-for-nothing New York City boyfriend. (This gem was co-written by Peter Cornell and Tom Eyen; Eyen was the playwright/lyricist/TV writer/director who gave us the Oh Calcutta! parody The Dirtiest Show in Town in 1970 and a whole slew of other dirty, satirical way-off-Broadway entertainment in the 1960s and 1970s before he won a Tony in 1981 for Dreamgirls.)

Anway, this soundtrack REALLY deserved an EP or something. It didn't rate an LP, though. There's a lot of filler here. A lot of it is charming (witness Buck Henry's ridiculous, attenuated performance of "Stranger in Paradise"). A lot of it is grabbed from outside sources ("Air", "Stabat Mater"). The rest of it is really just there to get the runtime up to 17 minutes on each side. But oh, how you need the good stuff!

Nina Hart "Love"
Susan Chafitz "Fields of Green and Gold"
48 Girls "Let's Get a Little Sentimental"
Bobo Bates "And Even the Horses Had Wings"
Carly Simon "Long Term Physical Effects"
Mary Mitchell "Ode to a Screw"
Tschechische Philharmonie Prag "Stabat Mater Opus 58"
Catherine Heriza "Lessons in Love"
Susan Cohen "Nocturne"
Ike and Tina Turner Revue "Goodbye, So Long"
Incredible String Band "Air"
Jinx Rubin "He's Got the Whole World in His Hands"
Buck Henry "Stranger in Paradise"
Caren Klugman "Feeling Sort of Nice"

Album audio & artwork

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.

John Simon: Last Summer - Original Motion Picture Soundtrack

One of the results of listening to the complete run of Firesign Theatre Radio Hour Hour shows from 1970 was the realization that John Simon was a guy whose discography I'd need to check out. I've bought and strongly recommend the first album of material marketed under Simon's name, the 1970 Warner Bros. LP The John Simon Albumand for the curious you'll want to check out this soundtrack he did for Warners the previous year for the Frank Perry feature Last Summer with Barbara Hershey, Richard Thomas, Bruce Davison, and Catherine Burns. Apparently it's about a happy little boy-boy-girl threesome knocked out of orbit by another girl, one summer on Fire Island. Haven't seen it. (Want to? There's an ancient VHS, and apparently a bootleg DVD too.) Circa 1969 everyone in Firesign lived on The Farm, an artist community living in houses, shacks, and teepees between Barham Blvd. and Cahuenga Point in Griffith Park, and many of the folks credited on this album lived on the Farm or were otherwise part of Firesign's sewing circle, including Mr. Simon, Cyrus Faryar, and Henry Diltz.

Last Summer Theme
Temptation, Lust and Laziness
Drivin' Daisy
Cordelia
Sonuvagun
Hal, the Handyman
Beach Romp
The Subtle Evanescence of Now
Lay Your Love on Me
Magnetic Mama
Safari Mary
Firehouse Blues

Album audio & artwork

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.

Sunday, September 15, 2019

Yale Dramatic Association: Tom Jones

60 years ago this week the Yale Dramatic Association was just seven months shy of the premiere of their production of an original musical based on Henry Fielding’s Tom Jones. It had already been in preproduction for over a year, and May 1959 auditions were about to give way to more October auditions. Heading the creative team were Austin Pendleton (book), Robert Archer (music), and Joseph Mathewson and Peter Bergman (lyrics). Phil Proctor played the leading role. Bergman was a Junior and Proctor was a Sophomore, and it was the first time these two future members of Firesign Theatre ever worked together. This original cast recording has been rescued and restored from a copy in the collection of Phil Proctor.

Archival detritus in the enclosed PDF includes artwork for the LP, original ads from the Yale Daily News from the week of the premiere (April 1960), Peter Bergman’s original Yale Record playbill signed by Pendleton & Mathewson & Archer, a full-page article from the New Haven Register on 5/1/1960, a handbill for the 1963 revival at Trumbull New Theatre in Youngstown Ohio, and an original Trumbull program.

Overture
Bubble Bubble
Under The Allworthy Roof
Sir Thomas
We Seagrim Clan
Sophia's Son
She Was A Maid
Get That Will
Charity
Infamy
Bright Moon Above & Quintet Finale
The Homecoming Cantata
Sunlight
The Trunk Packing Song
Battle For The Western Name
Captain Tom
Finale


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.

Nelson Riddle: Original Music from The Untouchables

Get in touch with your inner Ness-ness with this 1960 soundtrack to the original ABC-TV series composed and conducted by Nelson Riddle.

The Untouchables—Theme
Tender-Ness
Dauntless-Ness
Ebony and Ivory
The Loop
Speakeasy Blues
Reckless-Ness
Wistful-Ness
Linda
Eliot Ness
Dejected-Ness
30-30
Suspenseful-Ness


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.

David Ossman & Phil Proctor at Sasquan, 2015

Recorded live on August 21, 2015 at the Worldcon SF convention, "Sasquan", in Spokane, Washington, here’s an interview I did with David Ossman and Phil Proctor via phone in front of a crowd of Fireheads as our very own Lonesome Beet and Uh Clem talk about how science fiction intersected with the Firesign Theatre's oeuvre. Subjects talked about include Everything You Know Is Wrong, Firesign’s predictive nature, “One man one channel”, Ray Bradbury, “Empire of the Air”, Steve Jobs and bozos/hackers/viruses, how science and SF are both about what we want and don’t want, Norman Corwin, Disneyland as a story framework, the ELIZA program, deprogramming and liberation, the Mark Time awards, and their lost 1970s chapbook The Apocalypse Papers.

The Buddies: Duckman (parts 1 & 2)

Phil Austin talks about The Buddies' 1966 single "Duckman" in an interview edited from his chat with Fred Wiebel for Firezine Vol. 1 #4 (winter 1998):


PHIL AUSTIN: I had been in the Army and I got involved in a Psychological warfare unit. That’s where I met the guys who I started recording with; a guy named Lee Bernhardi, who later used to direct Barney Miller, and married one of the Lennon Sisters—Janet—and a guy named Ron Budnick. Out of that we started doing this thing called “Duckman”, which because I forget why exactly but Gary Usher of Decca Records cut a single on. We were theoretically a group called The Buddies. “Duckman” Part 1 and Part 2 died a quick death. It was based primarily on the fact that Lee Bernhardi could do a really killer duck voice. It’s sort of a parody of the Batman television show, which must have been on the air at that time. Ron Budnick was a San Bernadino DJ. Ron really didn’t do voices, he was a disc jockey and he plays the police chief or something. Lee and Ron, the two other guys, are really good I thought, very bizarre. Lee plays just the duck voice, that’s all. I do almost all of the voices. I play the worst voice on it too, which is the wimpy side-kick voice. Gary was very good about the music. That music must have been actually composed for the record. He had at his time there as a house A&R man at Decca and later Columbia Records, access to symphony orchestras, if you wanted to put it on a budget. That music is not canned, he had that music played. In fact I believe a friend of mine from high school wound up doing the arranging for it... It’s just so odd. It’s really simple-minded and good-hearted. It was such a nice piece of work really. It could have been just awful.


Record audio & artwork

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.

Sunday, August 4, 2019

The Don Cossacks conducted by Serge Jaroff: Don Cossacks On Parade

The fifth Columbia Masterworks album of songs by Serge Jaroff’s Don Cossacks was a 12” LP, Don Cossacks on Parade (ML 4473).

Green Grass; Kalinka
In the Don Valley
Dark Eyes; Two Guitars
Along the St. Petersburg Road
Old Waltz
Selection from Gretchaninoff Songs
Scenes from “Life of the Czar”


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.