There is, I admit, a certain level of frivolity associated with TSV; after all, much of the music associated with these LPs IS frivolous, existing in the throw-away world of temporarily popular music; that’s why it (thankfully) ends up in thrift stores.
But every once and a while a band and its creator represent an interesting intersection in popular music that is worth a little more digging.  And with the Intar-Webs, the digging usually provides some good context for a band that seems, at first, utterly ridiculous. I present here a group from a recently purchased thrift store LP: King Richard’s Fluegel Knights:
The “King Richard” of this Tijuana Brass-with-a-twist band was Dick Behrke. His name won’t ring any chord unless you are really into Bobby Darin, for it was Dick Behrke, Darrin’s high school buddy, bandmate, and eventual arranger, that helped to launch the latter to astounding and rapid success.
As the name and “family” crest of the Fluegel Knights suggest, this is a band with a slightly medieval shtick, with Baroque-like trumpet intros and bridges throughout, and some medieval-related song titles like “Camelot” and “Castle Holiday.” But most of the music is that happy, bouncy “now sound” that evokes the world of TV game shows Like Celebrity Bowling.  Try out this YouTube of the Fluegel Knights instrumental rendition of the well-worn tune “Everybody Loves My Baby:”  
Gotta love an instrumental tune that clocks in at 1:54. For a lot of people, that is probably all they could take; for me, however, I could listen to this stuff all day. Evidently, a lot of people did listen to the tune as it reached #11 in 1967 on the easy listening charts.
But “King” Richard Behrke was no fly-by-knight (sorry) slacker trying to ride the coattails of the Great Herb Alpert and his TJB. Berhke was active in many areas of music, including composition, arranging, and teaching, not to mention being a competent horn player and pianist. And his work with Darin was pivotal for both artists. You can go here to read more about the partnership of Darin and Behrke.
There is also that movie with Kevin Spacey playing Darin that elicited a pretty divided criticism.  I think I’ll watch it just for heck of it, and because maybe the Dick Behrke character may show up.  Have any of you folks out there seen it yet?
There are plenty of free download sites with Fluegel Knights LPs out there, but there is nothing like holding that nice, Thrift Store Vinyl.   Mmmmmm.  Smells so good.


Balanced For Broadcast

January 17, 2011


I picked up my second Capitol Records promotional sampler LP this past weekend: 


This recent one is “June 1965“ and is part of a “Balanced For Broadcast” series of sampler LPs that Capitol distributed to radio stations (later called The Capitol Disc Jockey Album); each sampler represents a selection from Capitol’s huge stable of musical talent at that particular time. These LPs are great audio history, even if you don’t like a particular artist.
The covers, in particular, have great vintage feeling and association, along with stylistic continuity.  Sure, they’re “sexist” and male-oriented, but they still have some design integrity.  Check out this impromtu gallery of some “Balanced For Broadcast” LPs that can be found on The Ebays.  August 1967 is my favorite. (click on the image for a larger version):


Here’s the playlist from the BFB LP I scored:
Balanced For Broadcast 1965 LP

Capitol Records, 1965 (#PRO-2879)


Nancy Wilson – Reach Out For Me

Nat King Cole – Blue Gardenia

Wanda De Sah – So Danco Samba

George Shearing – Quiet Nights

King Family – Little Grass Shack

Marlene Dietrich – A Little On The Lonely Side

Don Scaletta – Bitter Wine

Georgia Brown – Riding On The Moon

Nat King Cole – They Can’t Make Her Cry

Wanda De Sah – Once I Loved

Dean Martin – Carolina In The Morning

Don Scaletta – Chim Chim Cher-EE

Vicky Autier – A Quoi Ca Sert L’Amour

Seekers – Water Is Wide

Stan Kenton – Tampico

Liza Minnelli – For Every Man There’s A Woman

As you can see, some of the artists you know, and, I’ll bet, there are several you don’t. That’s one of the things to love about these sample LPs: you’ll usually find an artist that you somehow missed in all your years of LP thrifting, or you’ll find one you never thought would be on a big American label like Capitol. Such was the case on this post’s featured LP, when I noticed two songs from one of twelve different artists. Her name at that time was Wanda de Sah (later to become simply Wanda Sa), and I was impressed with how Capitol recorded her simple singing to some classic Bossa Nova tunes.

Wanda de Sah was taught by, and mixed with, some of the legends of Brasilian Bossa Nova.  Think of her as a thinking man’s Astrud Gilberto.  The Japanese are nuts for bossa nova, and they were the ones to re-release her first LP on CD.  Here’s a good example of some early Wanda de Sah (Wanda Sa):