January 17, 2011
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.
December 24, 2010
Twas the day before Christmas, with nothing to do,
so I went to the Goodwill, to waste an hour or two.
The used crap was stocked on the shelves with care,
And, as per usual, I hoped that some good thrift store vinyl would also be there.
The records were stacked all snug in their place,
while a look of hope enveloped my face.
And while the little Hispanic kids around me played with used toys,
I perused the vinyl with determined poise.
When up on the top shelf, what did I see?
A friggin 3-record Terry Baxter box set, starin’ right at me!
I could not fathom my luck at this find,
For several weeks Baxter’s “The Best of 71“ had been on my mind.
And in the midst of the joy that good thrifting brings,
I espied a near mint LP of Ruben Rodriguez and his Guadalajara Kings!!
“How could this be? What miracles are these?”
But my good feelings departed, when I saw a record by Rick Dees.
I continued to look. I was in no hurry,
“Why did so many people listen to Anne Murray?”
Country, Praise, and some bad Helen Reddy,
“Wait! Look at that! I think it’s Duane Eddy!”
And wouldn’t you know, on this Christmas Eve day,
More Christmas miracles were coming my way.
For within a few minutes, as I sifted through the pile,
I uncovered a 3-LP box that would make anyone smile.
The London Sound 70, Orchestra and Chorus,
The vinyl thrifters’ Christmas dream, one made just for us.
A welcome addition to any Christmas LP stable.
So if you don’t think miracles are true,
I’ve got something to say to you.
I’ve proved that they’re real, and my word is final.
The proof is right here, at Thrift Store Vinyl.
Goodwill To All!!
December 3, 2010
I found another White Gospel Group Tour Bus (WGGTB) LP when I scrambled to catch the last half-our of business at one of the country’s more pitiable Goodwill stores in Middlesboro (Middlesborough), Kentucky. More on the store in a later post; lets get on to the prolific LeFevres and their WGGTB!
I would have appreciated a larger photo of The LeFevres and their tour bus on the cover (talk about bad cover design), but it meets the criteria for a WGGTB LP. It will take some Intar-Webs sleuthing to confirm the year, make, and model of the bus, so stay tuned.
The LeFevres may seem obscure to some, but they were a HUGE success in The South and commanded their own gospel music empire with a big recording studio in Atlanta. You can see the latter behind them and their bus on the cover above. Talk about your large, modern curtain wall!
The bus on this LP was just the most recent bus for The LeFevres; they had others in their long career:
The above bus was brand-spanking new in 1959. The bus on the featured LP is from 1964.
OK. Now it’s time to give The LeFevres a look and listen with two of dozens of YouTubes that feature the group. White Gospel Music is much more tolerable than, say, Christian Rock, and at times it’s even enjoyable.
Wouldn’t you know it. Right before I was gonna post the above piece about The LeFevres, I took a ten-minute stroll through my local ATL Goodwill and picked up this:
Raymond LeFevre provides a nice, more secular antidote to the overt Christianity of the gospel LeFevres.
Raymond LeFevre created one of my favorite easy listening “sounds,” a thoughtful fusion of orchestra with now sounds. Lush strings mixed with solid beats and gentle chorus. This sound tends to divide people, with many declaring it schlock while others, like myself, close their eyes and let the LeFevre music wash over them like a comforting and warm waterfall. He can also produce some dramatic, Morricione-inspired movie music. And it’s always well-recorded. You probably have heard one of his most famous arrangements, but in case you missed it, here it is:
November 27, 2010
I’m sure most of you have some TV commercial jingle tunes in your head, you know the ones; they strike a nostalgic chord when you hear the tune and you say to yourself “I know I’ve heard that before…what was it? Some cereal? Some kinda new gasoline? Some cigarette?
Now, with the Intar-Webs, you can immediately sate that desire to know the associated product with a few clicks.
I heard one of those tunes today as I was continuing to catalog some of my LPs. I came upon one of my favorites in the form of Phil Bodner’s famous Dis-Advantages of You on the Dunhill label. Give it a listen before you go on to the commercial clips:
Phil Bodner is the little guy on the cover. He was no schmuck, let me tell ya. He could make fun of his short self because he was a real mover in the NY studio music scene; he was also an accomplished musician (mostly woodwinds/reeds). The tune is from what were in the late 1960s the new Benson & Hedges 100s cigarette commercials. These commercials reveal a simple playfulness that seems lost today.
There’s something very comforting about cigarette TV commercials; they’re so self-assured, so confident, so pre-WARNING message.
July 30, 2010
March 27, 2010
This weekend’s TSV acquisitions range from the obscure to the mainstream, with some space grace in between.
First we have this creepy-sounding LP on the very obscure Scottie label out of Seattle:
Whatever reveries Elden Chapman experienced during the recording of this LP, they manifest themselves musically as a torturous mixture of Lowrey Organ noodling and occasional (thank goodness) chimes. This author has NEVER heard a Lowrey played in such a twisted manner. The liner notes mention how Chapman produces a “steel guitar sound” with his Lowrey Lincolnwood, but that is clearly a misnomer as it sounds more like a cat in heat than anything else. This is a classic “so bad it’s good” find, if you could ever find it. The Google did not produce much on Mr. Chapman or Scottie Records.
Next up is one of those “buy it for the cover” LPs. This cover illustration for Jack Holcomb’s gospel album expresses what one might call Big-Bang Theology, with “God” lighting the fuse:
My Father is omnipotent
And that you can’t deny;
A God of might and miracles;
‘Tis written in the sky.
It took a miracle to put the stars in place;
It took a miracle to hang the world in space.
But when He saved my soul,
Cleansed and made me whole,
It took a miracle of love and grace!
Hey, TSV is not gonna let religion get in the way of a great space illustration.
Now on to the mainstream:
Art Van Damme is one of the more underrated jazz musicians out there in TSVland. Like most of his dozens of LPs, Accordion A La Mode has that classic white-guy jazz quintet sound. It swings in a very safe way and is good background music for making Spam sandwiches. Below is an awesome YouTubes of Art’s Quintet. It’s both visually and musically interesting. ENJOY:
March 21, 2010
The “Talking Guitar,” in one form or another, has been around since the 1930s. Big Band pedal steel guitarist Alvino Rey was one of the first to electrically impart his voice into the output of his chosen instrument, creating a “gimmick” that others would take to great heights. And although most of America thinks of Peter Frampton when they hear a talking guitar, it was actually Georgia’s own Pete Drake that made a career out of the “talk box,” years before Frampton made teenage girls swoon with his plastic tube (whoa, that sounds kinda weird).
Yours truly picked up a clean stereo copy of the above Drake album on Smash Records at his local Goodwill. And he found a gem of a YouTube featuring the talk box master playing his big hit Forever. This is one of those videos that takes on a surreal quality that really can’t be beat; watch it before it disapears when the money grubbers claim it:
The links above will do a good job of putting the whole Rey/Drake/Frampton/Talk Box nexus together. It’s a decidedly American story that one should know. If you find a Pete Drake LP, you should consider yourself lucky as they don’t show up a lot.
March 3, 2010
The IP said he would find some more praise music group bus tour LPs, and this past weekend he was truly blessed.
First we have the above bus tour LP from Bob Wills & The Inspirationals. The IP is gonna give this group a coordinated polyester outfit waiver; maybe that rule was a bit too optimistic. But one would think that if you go to effort of having your own praise music tour bus you could at least go to Sears and get a good set of matching polyester outfits. How hard could that be?
The second praise music bus tour LP is also a bit problematic:
It looks like the GHBC are using leased busses; they don’t have the group’s name emblazoned on the side. Oh well. At least they have some coordinated polyester outfits. The GHBC are straight outta Decatur, GA boi!!
Among the vein of PM LPs uncovered at this particular Goodwill were a couple of “guitar gem” covers. The IP has no other way of describing these PM LPs that feature a way-cool guitar on the cover; these LPs tend to attract “indie” guitar player hipsters. It is yet another sub-genre of vintage PM LP:
As The IP was going through his first selection of PM LPs, a shoulder-surfing, Atlanta-area hipster dude commented on the above guitar held by Richard Lee. Hipster guy was sure that it was a Gibson and, after a little Intar-Webs research, it indeed proved to be a Gibson Hummingbird. The IP should note that the hipster verbally bemoaned the inside-the-perimeter thrifts because they were usually “picked over” by…you guessed it, “HIPSTERS.” He even had the full-hipster, ironic mechanic’s jacket and pants along with some thick mutton chops. He who lives in a hipster house should not throw disparaging stones at other hipsters. Maybe his comment, like his outfit, was MEANT to be ironic? Regardless, the guitar IS sweet, and that Swiss suspender dress on Miss Lee sure is purty.
The other cool guitar PM LP also featured a cool-ass Gibson:
Meet Mr. Dwayne Friend and The Goodmans. It looks like Dwayne is playing some sort of Gibson Citation, but if any of you pithecanthropes can help specify the exact model, well, that would be swell.
Turns out that Dwayne Friend and his friends the Goodmans made a big name for themselves on the PM circuit in the 1960s: WATCH
Heck. Dwayne Friend still gets out there and plays a good guitar: WATCH
No, Dwayne Friend ain’t no Jimmy Hendrix. But he’s not supposed to be. Friend was a fan of Chet Atkins which is clear if you listen to their playing.
Learning about these folks is what makes collecting Vintage Praise Music LPs a worthy endeavor.
February 20, 2010
Once he got over the whole notion of “praise” music, a notion that still can make him kinda squirm, The IP started realizing that many of the praise music LPs he sifts through every weekend have some of the best covers EVER! The matching polyester outfits of the singing groups alone make many praise LPs praiseworthy for a unique, albeit at-times tacky, aesthetic sensibility. Over time, The IP started noticing sub-genres of praise LPs and he chose to start collecting two of them:
Stone Mountain Praise Music LPs
Bus Tour Praise Music LPs
First, let’s look at two examples of the Stone Mountain Praise Music LP category.
It’s hard not to appreciate how much folks around here have idolized their local geologic wonder, Stone Mountain. Regardless of your attitude toward overt, Polyester Christianity, one has to admit that Stone Mountain IS a pretty amazing thing in and of itself. That it was the birthplace for the second-generation KKK revival and remains a tribute to White Southern Solidarity adds a creepy cultural layer on top of the great quartz monzonite (one should never take Stone Moutain for granite) monadnock. And that creepiness really comes through as you can see above.
Wanna take a guess when the last cross burning took place at Stone Mountain? Maybe some time in the 1920s? 1930s? Try 1962. Yep. That’s right. That’s why the very notion of posing in front of such a monument to Confederate Christian values is (to some) a somewhat dubious act; it’s obviously not to the people above.
The most tainted form of Stone Mountain-style Christianity is represented in the history and rhetoric of once-Georgia governor, Lester Maddox. Much like the giant relief sculpture of Confederate heroes on Stone Mountain, Lester was a piece of work, to say the least. Ironically, The City of Stone Mountain, where the inselberg of the same name protrudes, has slowly become more black over the years
OK. On to the Bus Tour Praise LP type.
The required criteria for achieving Bus Tour Praise Music LP status is simple: The LP MUST feature the actual tour bus of the group with the latter posed in front of the same, and the group must have coordinated outfits. Most important, the music contained on the LP must be Christian Praise or Gospel music. If members of the group pose with their awesome, slate-blue American Tourister suitcases, well, that’s just icing on the cake; or the bus. And check out that modernistic, concrete “carillon” tower behind the Calvary Choir. WTF? It probably houses a Schulmerich.
The IP kicks himself in the ass for having passed up several Bus Tour LPs like the above in the past; he might have had a collection of ten or twelve by now. Thankfully, there are still plenty of LPs out there, and hopefully the Bus Tour Praise LP collecting niche will remain small enough to collect some more.
Check out those Blackwood Brothers on the YouTubes; they totally rock:
January 30, 2010
Hello from “Thrift Store Vinyl,” The IP’s specifically LP-related blog. The IP went out this cold rainy morning and uncovered some hot thrift store LPs, one of which he features here:
It was an obvious choice to snag this LP by Barry White. 1974 was a formative year for the author, and he sure remembers hearing Barry White’s Love Unlimited Orchestra in his adolescent musical background. He wasn’t “makin’ love” as implied in the music, but it got him thinking WTF Barry was talkin’ about.
And one has to give it up to Barry for creating his own “sound” and persona. Comin’ straight outta South Central LA, Barry was a lover, not a gangsta; not that his raps weren’t unique:
Certain things turn me on
Like the way you might say a word or
The way you wear your hair
You have a certain smile on your face
By just the way you’re standing there right now
Now you really, really, really, look good to me, baby
In your baby blue panties, yes love, you look good to me right now
In your baby blues, them baby blues and you
That’s from “Baby Blues,” a song from Rhapsody In White, the LP that also includes the Barry White and Love Unlimited Orchestra’s “Love’s Theme,” Barry’s first #1 hit. Lots of “chicki-wick chicki-wick chew-wah” guitar and funky drumbeats. And those strings! Those smoove strings!! Some say “Love’s Theme” was the very first disco song. Irregardless, it captures 1974 better than any other song.
Barry’s fare is definitely background music, a musical background more than ostensibly engineered for various acts of “love” or modeling of panties. Barry’s got [had] unlimited amounts of love.
Listen to LUO and Barry White below: