Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Another movie post~!

I posted a few songs from the movies the other night...okay, so Forbidden Planet wasn't actually used in the movie, but it was "inspired" by it.

Here's another movie-related song, by the original Kaleidoscope (David Lindlay and friends) from around 1970...inspired by Richard Widmark's character in Kiss of Death (1947), Tommy Udo. Gotta love a psychotic gunsel who ties a stool pigeon's mom into her wheelchair, then throws her down the stairs! And his laugh...it has to be the inspiration for Frank Gorshin's laugh as The Riddler.

Enjoy it, or I'll have Tommy shoot you in the belly! ("You know what I do to squealers? I let 'em have it in the belly, so they can roll around for a long time thinkin' it over")

This is for the squirts and big men I know who'd appreciate this.......

Monday, June 25, 2007

Some 45s....

I was playing some 45s the other day and some were just so cool...at least the pic sleeves were (and still are, in my not-so-humble opinion. Just ignore the ancient creases)...

Forbidden Planet David Rose Orch M-G-M K12343

Link killed 2 June 2009, downloaded 33 times
A great one-sided record...the flip, The Swan, is pleasant, but undistinguished. This record was sampled for a Lucia Pamela record...and served for several years as the theme song to WMUR-TV's yuletide Santa Claus show, featuring a thinly-disguised Uncle Gus Bernier.

In the immortal words of Scotty, the next one..."it's green!"
A great sleeve...and one of the coolest sides ever on a 45...imagine this coming out of a Seeburg wall unit at your soda fountain...
There are no credits on this record...just a plug for the movie and the composer credits (Ervin Drake and Paul Durand).

Intrigue (Unidentified) Orchestra M-G-M K12281

Link killed 2 June 2009, downloaded 55 times
There's a June Christy vocal version of this song out there...I like how the spooky bits from the Concerto are incorporated in this arrangement...

Intrigue June Christy Downloaded

Link killed 2 June 2009, downloaded 31 times

The flip, Foreign Intrigue Concerto (by Charlie Norman...the composer gets credit, but the orchestra and pianist don't) the finale, with spooky French horns restating the theme against an even spookier string chord, used to creep me out as a young child (five or six years old).

Foreign Intrigue Concerto (Unidentified) Orch M-G-M K12343
Link killed 2 June 2009, downloaded 33 times

MGM K13107

Debbie Burton sings a tearjerker...

I've Written A Letter To Daddy Debbie Burton M-G-M K13107

Link killed 2 June 2009, downloaded 52 times

And Bette Davis joins her (in character!!!)http://www.box.net/shared/87ef3vosv1 .

Whatever Happened To Baby Jane? Debbie Burton and Bette Davis M-G-M K13107

Link killed 2 June 2009, downloaded 57 times

And yes, this catchy ditty does show up in the movie...as an instrumental played on a transistor radio in the final scene at the beach.

Whew...that'll do it. I've got to go for popcorn.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Anatomy of a Forgotten Fad

When I was transferring those four NYC country novelties a couple of weeks ago, I noticed one of the characters on the Manning record counting up...but with a twist...he substitutes the syllable "uh" for the number seven.

Well, that tickled me, for I knew what the joke was.

This reminded me that there was a Warner Brothers cartoon from 1936 or so that also contained an "uh" for the number seven...and a "woof woof" for ten. It's an early Tex Avery WB cartoon, Porky the Wrestler, from early 1937: http://video.aol.com/video/porky-the-wrestler/1789305 and the sequence is in the final minute. The wrestler actually says "uh-uh" which throws 8 and 9 off by half a beat. But the audience "woofs" twice and that joke ends.

Anyway, I've never seen anybody else pick up on the joke...and I've checked the standard Warner Brothers cartoon books and websites. The "uh-uh, woof-woof" fad seems to be completely forgotten among the general public, although there are several record collectors who'd notice the cartoon reference, if they were reminded of the records that I've cited below:

It all started in February of 1936, when Hezekiah Leroy "Stuff" Smith and his Onyx Club Boys recorded their I'se A-Muggin' routine (I can assume the song and musical counting game were quite popular at the Onyx and the Brunswick/Vocalion brass smelled a hit record).

18654-1 I’se A-Muggin’ Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys Vocalion 3169 (link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 45 times)
18655-1 I'se a Muggin' Musical Numbers Game Stuff Smith and his Onyx Club Boys Vocalion 3169
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 49 times)

NYC, 11 February 1936: Jonah Jones, trumpet; Stuff Smith, violin & vocal; Raymond Smith, piano; Bobby Bennett, guitar; Mack Walker, bass; John Washington, drums.

Apparently this sold well...for the next month there were no fewer than five more versions recorded within a few days of each other (and two of those are two-sided recordings)

Interesting note: Bud Freeman plays on both Victor/Bluebird versions...recorded 2 days apart.

99447-2 I’se A-Muggin’ – Part 1 The Three T's Victor 25273
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 29 times)
99448-1 I’se A-Muggin’ – Part 2 The Three T's Victor 25273
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 28 times)
(for the record, the full credit on the record reads THE THREE T’S (Paul Whiteman Presents the Teagarden Boys & Trumbauer Swing Band)
NYC, 10 March 1936: Charlie Teagarden, trumpet; Jack Teagarden, trombone & vocal; Jack Cordaro, clarinet; Frank Trumbauer, c-melody sax; Bud Freeman, tenor sax; Roy Bargy, piano; Carl Kress, guitar; Art Miller, bass; Bob White, drums.

In my opinion, this was the best of the copy versions of Muggin'. Then again, any band that had both Jack and Charlie Teagarden, Tram, and Bud Freeman couldn't be too bad. One wishes there had been more recordings by this Whiteman-sponsored group, but there weren't...although some broadcast material has recently surfaced.


99776-1 I’se A-Muggin’ – Part 1 Mezz Mezzrow and his Swing Band Bluebird B-6321 (link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 18 times)
99777-1 I’se A-Muggin’ – Part 2 Mezz Mezzrow and his Swing Band Bluebird B-6321
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 21 times)

NYC, 12 March 1936: Frank Newton, trumpet; Mezz Mezzrow, clarinet; Bud Freeman, tenor sax; Willie "The Lion" Smith, piano; Al Casey, guitar; Wellman Braud, bass; George Stafford, drums.

Recorded at the RCA studios two days later for RCA's 35-cent Bluebird label. When the musicians are playing, all is great, but during the numbers game on side two, the musicians seem a trifle bored. Maybe it's because they waxed four other titles at this session. Bud Freeman returns after the less-than-inspired counting to rescue the record.


On 11 March 1936, Decca got into the act by recording Andy Kirk's version (with his Clouds of Joy, of course)...but I don't have that recording yet.

The RedHotJazz website aparently has a copy at
http://redhotjazz.com/cloudsofjoy.html , but the link seems to be dead at the moment.


Also on the 11th, ARC waxed a cover version of Muggin' for their dime-store labels...my copy is on Melotone:

18806-1 I’se A-Muggin’ Joe Haymes and his Orchestra Melotone 6-05-09
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 28 times)
NYC, 11 March 1936: Cliff Weston, trumpet & vocal; Gordon (Chris) Griffin, Zeke Zarchy, trumpets; Mike Michaels, Frank Llewellyn, trombones; Leo White, Edgar Sarrason, Freddy Fallensby, Ben Harrod, reeds; Bill Miller, piano; Brick Fleagle, guitar; Jack Fay, bass; Charlie Bush, drums.

A rather hot version, with a more-or-less rhymed list of instructions...and they trim around 30 numbers out of the counting game.

B-18809-1 I’se A-Muggin’ Hal Kemp and his Orchestra Brunswick 7636
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 28 times)

NYC, 12 March 1936: Hal Kemp, clarinet and alto sax, leader; Earl Geiger, Russ Case, trumpets; Wendell "Gus" Mayhew, Eddie Kusby (Kuczborski), trombones; Harold Dankers, Ben Williams, Saxie Dowell, reeds; Dowell, vocal; John Scott Trotter, piano; Phil Fent, guitar; Jack Shires, bass; Skinny Ennis , Maxine Grey, speaking roles only .

Recorded the next day (and only three matrixes later), ARC's more expensive label, Brunswick, gets a version too. This was first version of the tune I ever had...I've had this copy for around 35 years. This was the only version that did a takeoff on "oh no, sir" bit that Stuff did on his record...and they got a full chorus of the song and a whirlwind count too. It's also a lot hotter than most of Kemp's post-1934 sides...his records usually were safely catalogued in the sweet/Mickey Mouse section.


OLA-1057-1 I’se A-Muggin’ Quintet of the Hot Club de France HMV K-7704, Vi JA-874 (link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 24 times)
Paris, 4 May 1936: Stephane Grappelli, violin; Django Reinhardt, Pierre Ferret, Joseph Reinhardt, guitars; Lucien Simoens, bass; Freddy Taylor, vocal.

The Muggin' fad finally had hit Europe, and Freddy Taylor (black tap-dancer and vocalist) does a fair vocal, even if he does mangle the names of his supporting musicians..."Dango" and "Steven" must have loved that. Mercifully, they don't count on this version..

I think there might have been other versions recorded in Europe at around the same time...but will I look for them?

(Image borrowed from the WB Cartoon Filmography website)

DisConundrum update

Well…not many guesses to why the number 7 was replaced by the syllable “uh” in the Manners record…Ron L came closest (he’d have to…he was the only one who guessed anything)…and he was almost on the money: “To answer the Uh question, is there not a tune where the singer tells us to count and put the Uh sound in instead of a seven? There are more sound substituions for other numbers and combinations.”

Ron’s right, of course, but he didn’t produce he title. He gets the First Runner-Up prize, a Komodo Dragon (and he now knows the song title I’m looking for). Uncle Eugene's Special Aged Peanut Butter Sandwiches will have to age a little longer.

And the song (several versions!) will be posted by Saturday night.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

A DisConundrum!

I have a question for all y'all:

On one of the Zeke Manners records I posted (Organ Grinders Swing, at 1:20), when somebody starts counting up (they're going to the toy shop on the eighth floor), he says "five...six...uh...eight."


Hats off to all correct answerers...and a lifetime supply of Uncle Eugene's Special Aged Peanut Butter Sandwiches to the first correct one.

I'll have the correct answer up someday soon...I'll give y'all a couple of days to think about it.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Keep 'Em Singin'! (Grind 'em up!)

Have you ever wondered why many 1930-1935 blues and country records have attained a mythically rare status? Why some of these exist either in single copies, if they’ve been found at all? (And, yes, there are a few records that are still being searched for…no copies of them have surfaced. Yet.)

While abysmally small pressing runs (sometimes as few as 15-20 copies) certainly helped, and the state of finances was just as low (in 1932, would a sharecropper shell out 75 cents for the latest hit record, or would he rather eat?) the wartime shellac regrind program ensured that much of the unsold stock in warehouses (and used records in patriotic Americans’ attics and cellars) would be ground up and used as scrap material (to serve as the wretched material that postwar independent labels used to press their records. Even new copies have pimply surfaces and were far more prone to wear than virgin shellac 78s)

--- Five O’Clock Drag
Duke Ellington Orchestra
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 15 times)
Broadcast 28 June 1942: Duke Ellington, piano & leader; Wallace Jones, Ray Nance, Rex Stewart, trumpets; Tricky Sam Nanton, Lawrence Brown, Juan Tizol, trombones; Chauncey Haughton, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwicke, Ben Webster, Harry Carney, reeds; Fred Guy, guitar; Junior Raglin, bass; Sonny Greer, drums.

An interesting curiosity: During a broadcast of the Ellington band, an unnamed announcer interrupts Ben Webster’s solo with a PSA for the American Legion’s record recycling program (Our normal source for shellac had just been taken by the Japanese). When the announcer finally shuts up that's Rex Stewart you hear on cornet, squeezing out freak notes with his half-valve trick.

Johnson Wax Ad
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 12 times)
Broadcast 2 February 1943: From the Fibber McGee and Molly radio show, an integrated commercial for Johnson’s Wax. In this show, Fibber and Molly (Jim and Marion Jordan) had just opened their famous closet. This time, in the wreckage, they find a box of old phonograph records. Harlow Wilcox steps in for a quick plug for Johnson’s Wax. The regrind program is mentioned in passing, but it’s the records that they pull out of the box that may interest the 78-collecting community out there…there’s somebody's version of Tell Me, Pretty Maiden (from 1902), an Uncle Josh record
(http://ia311515.us.archive.org/0/items/CalStewart_part2/CalStewart-UncleJoshInaChineseLaundry.mp3 originally recorded in 1901, but available for many years), and Cohen on the Telephone (http://www.raeproductions.com/music/cohen.html from 1913) .

It occurred to me that the records in the closet go back to around 1913 or so...or around thirty years before this commercial. That'd be like me finding a stash of disco and heavy metal LPs in my closet. However, I wouldn't feel too nostalgic about finding that dreck...it'd go to the nearest thrift shop and donate them.

You can find the virtually complete Cal Stewart (Uncle Josh) catalog at the Internet Archive:
http://www.archive.org/search.php?query=creator:%22Cal%20Stewart%22 .

Friday, June 15, 2007

Grayson & Whitter cuts (for another friend)

Recently, I had mentioned to another friend that one of my favorite country records was being sold on eBay...and he had (more or less) forgotten what the record sounded like. So I thought I'd post it for him (and for you, dear readers).

The record in question is Grayson & Whitter's He Is Coming To Us Dead. It's about an older gentleman who comes to a telegraph office, looking for his son who is due to arrive shortly. When reminded by the clerk that passengers arrive at the station across the way, he softly replies that his son will arrive at the express office...he's in a coffin. And as a kicker, he adds that Mama had predicted that their darling Jack would come home that way when he went off to join the Boys in Blue. It's a bouncy tune that camouflages fairly morbid lyrics. (
http://sniff.numachi.com/pages/tiCOMEDEAD;ttCOMEDEAD.html and http://www.playingbyear.com/songs/he-is-coming-to-us-dead give slightly different versions of the lyrics, and both sites offer quick audio samples as well.)

40303-1 He is Coming To Us Dead Grayson & Whitter Victor 21139
Atlanta, 18 October, 1927: G. B. (Gillam Bannom) Grayson, fiddle & vocal; Henry Whitter, guitar.

(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 32 times)
Grayson was the nephew of Col. W. M. Grayson, who arrested Tom Dula in 1868 for the murder of Laura Foster. The arrestee's surname is actually pronounced "Dooley;" it's a regional quirk similar to the reason the Grand Old radio show is pronounced "Opry." So...while I was in a posting mood, I thought I'd include the first recorded version of Tom Dooley as well...by the nephew of the guy that brought him in. It's quite different from the Kingston Trio's version.

56312-2 Tom Dooley Grayson & Whitter Victor V-40235
Memphis, 30 September 1929: Same personnel.
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 27 times)
More info on Dula can be found at http://www.mce.k12tn.net/johnson/legends/tom_dula.htm and http://www.wilkesnc.org/history/tomdula/

Quite a few of their records are cautionary tales, either songs about husbands/fathers who are drunkards or old murder ballads like Omie Wise and Rose Conley (I may get around to posting those sometime...there are many musical variations on the 1808 murder of Naomi Wise, the subject's the same, but the treatments are quite different.)...most have G. B. yelling out "take warning!" somewhere. Their I'll Never Be Yours is another take on The Banks of the Ohio (complete with a drowning murder, of course...).

All of their works are available...I have them on 2 Document CDs, but there's a single volume that contains the cream of the crop, and probably in better sound. HICTUD is seldom found in really great condition...my 78 of it sounds about as worn as the one that Parth used on his CD.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Happy Fiftieth...some novelties

An old friend (over 30 years) of mine celebrates his half-century mark today...I thought I'd post a few novelties that he (and you) should enjoy:

This cut, by Robert Maxwell, his harp and orchestra, was originally entitled Solfeggio on the original 78 rpm issue. Ernie Kovacs apparently liked the record well enough to use it...regularly! A few years later, M-G-M reissued it, under the title of Song of the Nairobi Trio:
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 18 times) People in the Boston area (of our generation, anyway) will recognize the music as being played behind the "mailbox" section of the old Major Mudd show on WNAC-TV. (link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 32 times)

While I'm on a Kovacs kick, here's the Leroy Holmes Tug Boat Eight doing Hey Taxi! The voice is Kovacs himself...
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 18 times)
Let's flip the Holmes record over for another Kovacs-related number, Oriental Blues.
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 14 times)
And. finally, a weird item...a 7-inch one-sided 33 rpm single, with a special Pillsbury label (and a blurb saying "A Life Presentation 1961." Apparently there was a tie-in with Life Magazine...more to come on the connection as the info becomes available). It's called Hey There, Pillsbury! and it's by none other than the Old Philosopher himself, Eddie Lawrence.

(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 21 times)

Is that enough, Bunky?

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Country Novelties recorded in NYC 1937

Recently, there was a request from a fellow 78-L member who was looking for recordings by a few obscure novelty country acts that were rcorded in NYC in 1937. Oddly enough (well, maybe it’s not so odd), I happened to have a record apiece by two of the requested acts. They are posted below, with the discographical info, such as it is (a lot of musicians who remain unknown):

Zeke Manners and his Swing Billies recorded four sides (all issued) for Irving Mills’s Variety label in March 1937…the instrumentation is a bit complex, so I’ll list it exactly the way it is listed in Russell’s Country Discography:

M-242-1 Organ Grinder’s Swing Zeke Manners and his Swing Billies Variety VA 640
–1, 3, 5, 8
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 53 times)
M-243-1 Blow The Whistle Zeke Manners and his Swing Billies Variety VA 640 –2, 4, 6, 7, 8
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 37 times)
NYC March 1937: Zeke Manners, piano-accordion –1; unknown, electric steel guitar; unknown, guitar; unknown, string bass; unknown, ocarina –2; unknown, bazooka or slide whistle; possibly unknown, xylophone –3; possibly unknown, washboard – 4; unknown, traps -5; unknown, bell –6; unknown, train whistle effect –7; Band, vocal and speech.

Members of the band are addressed on Mx M-242 as Ed, Hank, Bob, Bill and Ace. Hank appears to play the bazooka or slide whistle, and Ed may play electric steel guitar.

For what it’s worth, the other two sides in the session may have Elton Britt’s yodeling on them.
Arty Hall and His Radio Rubes did two sessions for ARC in 1937, six were recorded at the first session and all were issued. The second session produced six more sides, but only one was issued.

21495-1 Conversation With a Mule Arty Hall and His Radio Rubes Melotone 7-12-54

NYC 11 August 1937: Arty Hall, speech; unknown, fiddle; unknown, accordion; unknown,
guitar. (link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 40 times)

21830-2 Sara Jane Arty Hall and His Radio Rubes Melotone 7-12-54
NYC 8 October 1937: Arty Hall, two unknown, vocal trio; unknown, fiddle; unknown, accordion; unknown, guitar; unknown, harmonica & Jews harp.
(link killed 23 February 2009 - Downloaded 32 times)

I think these sides are rather fun, in a Hoosier Hot Shots vein...light novelty fare without the bombast that Spike Jones would offer in a few years.

Oh...before I get any nasty comments, I do like Spike, and have a couple of unusual items that I'll post sometime in the future.

Shoooot...I'd settle for any comments, actually. I've had only one (from a friend) since I launched this furshlugginer blog......

(My labels scanned by my good friend, neighbor, and fellow 78-L member...you know who you are. Many, many thanks!)

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Another Music Post! ~Calcutta, 1902!

Finally, I'm finally posting a picture of the 7" G & T 78 I found recently...

It was made on the first recording expedition to India by Fred Gaisberg and was recorded on Sunday 16th November, 1902.

The title in English is "Oma Din Chalena".

E1052 is the matrix number and 10010 is the catalogue number.

(thanks to Ross for the info)

You can download the record here:

(Link killed 23 February 2009 - downloaded 311 times!)

This mp3 has no enhancement/noise reduction or anything...it's the raw file (so the person interested in this record has a better idea of how it actually plays).

I hope this works...it's another first here.

Testing again

Yup...testing again...this time to see how to load pix. Methinks this one looks okay, if a bit silly.