Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Campaign Records and (mostly) Presidential Singles

As I mentioned the other day, I've been fairly busy lately...and I've neglected Ye Olde Zorche Bloggue. A thousand pardons to those who follow this...Anyway, we're in the home stretch of Campaign 2008 (thank goodness!!). I suppose it's time for me to post some more-or-less forgotten items from previous campaigns...
I found these two records together around 15 years ago...The first (a 12" 33) contains ten little radio spots for the C. Estes Kefauver presidential campaign of 1956.

--- Kefauver For President - 10 radio spots - Kal, Ehrlich & Merrick advertising record, unnumbered
http://www.box.net/shared/bm3vtp33zt
It's interesting that many of the same issues mentioned here are still relevant. And "delinquency" is misspelled on the label.

Of course, Adlai Stevenson got the Democratic nomination that year, but Kefauver was tapped for his running mate.
I found this 78 along with the above presidential campaign record:
DB-2084 Kefauver Is His Name Ray Charles Singers
Dot 226
http://www.box.net/shared/fil8m2ccgi

But I'm not positive when this record was made...it's obviously a jingle performed by the other "other" Ray Charles (born Charles Raymond Offenberg) and his singers. But when was this recorded?


Was this record made for his senatorial campaign (the lyrics seem to say that Estes would be great for Tennessee)? Since the fate of the country isn't mentioned, I doubt that this record would be for a Presidential campaign...besides, by 1956, most, if not all, promo singles were pressed as 45 rpm discs.
My guess is that this record dates from his 1954 Senatorial campaign.
One can guess that Kefauver's people deliberately chose Tennessee's biggest label at the time (Dot Records was based in Gallatin) for distribution. They paid for the Ray Charles Singers, but no band. Just a pianist.

Here are some more radio spots...apparently from Barry Goldwater's 1964 campaign.

133256 Go, Goldwater! 5 Radio Spots advertising recordhttp://www.box.net/shared/qe9qmc0325
As I said before, these are probably for the 1964 campaign...the presence of a Zip code indicates that it's no earlier than that.

But we skipped the 1960 campaign, didn't we? I saved it for last.

Here's a curious record (7-inch, red vinyl), featuring recorded highlights of campaigns of the past...evidently issued in conjunction with CBS-TV's production The Right Man.

---The Right Man (2 parts) issued in advance of CBS 24 October 1960 telecast special unnumbered pressing.
http://www.box.net/shared/szlzzi3cik

Garry Moore introduces the whole thing...the other emcee is probably J. Doyle DeWitt, the owner of this collection of voices of 14 celebrities/candidates. The last two were those of the 1960 campaign, JFK and Nixon.

As we know, JFK won the election...here are a couple of records connected to his campaign.

The first of these records has always been a little mystery to me. John Redmond is probably best remembered for being co-composer (lyricist) of I Let a Song Go Out of My Heart (with Duke Ellington and Harry Nemo...Duke's agent and publisher Irving Mills got his name listed as well).

Anyway. it seems that Redmond wrote Kennedy for the campaign, but it's not quite clear who the Pioneers of the New Frontier were. In any case, the 20th Century Fox label pressed it (Note...the label was called "20th Fox" until 1963, when the word "Century" was finally added.).

I wonder how many copies of this record were pressed (I've never seen another copy). It's numbered SP-1...my guess that SP stood for Special Purpose or something like that.

L9OW 9524-2 Kennedy (K-E-Double N-E-D-Y) Pioneers of the New Frontier
20th Century Fox SP-1http://www.box.net/shared/9tkui9rje8

There's a nice paragraph on Redmond here
http://www.jazzhistorydatabase.com/blog-chet/?p=31 , although it says that his song Massachusetts, My Home State had never been recorded. It was...it's on the flip side of this.

Oh, what the heck...here it is!

L90W-8504 Massachusetts My Home State Linda Bowe and the Neighborhood Kids 20th Century Fox SP-1
http://www.box.net/shared/1lzu3m607j
Aha! Not only was the song recorded, the melody was recycled for Kennedy (or was it the other way around?)!

24 APRIL 2013 UPDATES: Mary (the grandneice of John Redmond) wrote in to say she heard John's voice on the Kennedy side.

Ron mentioned that Fox did issue Massachusetts commercially (with Tony Spumoni The Ice Cream Man on the flip side.

Thanks a lot!


The next record is fairly common up here in Massachusetts, probably given to Kennedy supporters...I've been told that this side was played on area jukeboxes as well.

Those are Sammy Cahn's special lyrics...sung by a formerly skinny kid from Hoboken.

kb-2077 High Hopes - Jack Kennedy Frank Sinatra unnumbered special 45
http://www.box.net/shared/vbm1d1mdl5
The flip side is kind of cute too, but Ol' Blue Eyes has stepped out.
kb-2078 All The Way Unidentified Chorus unnumbered special 45
http://www.box.net/shared/o4a8fneoy2

That's enough of the campaign songs.

I realized I had a couple of other JFK-related 45s. Now would be a good time to share them...it's been 45 years since that fateful day in Dallas.

Record collectors need no reminder about just how popular the young president was in the early 1960s...we're always running into Vaughn Meader's First Family LP and the Premier Records memorial album, each of which at one time held the record for being the fastest-selling LP of all time.

In 1962, Sinatra's label, Reprise, issued an odd LP featuring Hank Levine's chorus and orchestra called Sing Along With JFK. It consisted of sampled bits of JFK's speeches, followed by the chorus singing the words.

The question is...is this record serious? Or just a bit tongue-in-cheek? Or blatantly sarcastic and satirical? I'll leave the verdict up to you.

1876 The Trumpet Sing Along With JFK Reprise 20,154
http://www.box.net/shared/vda3f5dpv6

The Trumpet was apparently the A-side...it has a nice early-1960s pop feel to it. But I've always been partial to the flip side. A bossa nova piece honoring the Alliance For Progress seems so unlikely...and one has to love the pseudo-Spanish accent of the chorus...("To our sister repooblics" indeed!)

1874 Alliance For Progress Bossa Nova Sing Along With JFK Reprise 20,154
http://www.box.net/shared/e6xj3ss95n
More of the LP is here: blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2005/10/sing_along_with.html
Is Hank Levine the Henry Levine that hosted the Chamber Music Society of Lower Basin Street radio program in the 1940s? I suspect that it is.

In 1963, Nigerian drummer Babatunde Olatunji and his Drums of Passion ensemble recorded this lively bit of High Life, dedicated to the First Lady.
JZSP 58876 Lady Kennedy (Babatunde) Olatunji and his Drums of Passion Columbia 4-42667http://www.box.net/shared/6vpge66d4z
I heard that this song was premiered at a Democratic fundraiser, but I'm not quite sure.

And, as a postscript, I'll add this...2008 marks the 40th anniversary of RFK's assassination.

ZSP 138584 Battle Hymn Of The Republic Andy Williams Columbia 4-44650
http://www.box.net/shared/j342cgiltf
ZSP 138585 Ave Maria Andy Williams Columbia 4-44650
http://www.box.net/shared/68z6zc5rsf

Andy Williams sang (with the St. Charles Borromeo Choir) at his friend's funeral. Columbia issued this 45. Apparently, it never was reissued in an LP.

Well...that's it for this installment...

VOTE!!!!

9 comments:

ZorchMan said...

It appears that some clown named "enjoy-rs" thinks that it's all right to use my blog for advertising the UGG footwear website. Twice.

This kind of crap will not be tolerated.

Both unwanted comments have been deleted.

Anonymous said...

AH WHERE'S YOUR SENSE OF HUMOR! SO HE WANTS PEOPLE TO KNOW ABOUT HIS FOOTWEAR! BIG DEAL!
LAUGH A LITTLE ZORCHMAN!

ZorchMan said...

HAR, HAR, HARDY-HAR-HAR!!!

WHY ARE YOU YELLING AT ME?

Actually, my sense of humor is quite well-developed...and I can, and do, laugh just as hard as the next person...provided that there is something genuinely goofy or funny.

There's nothing all that amusing about footwear, unless it's worn by clowns or elves.

What's on YOUR feet?

If someone wants to advertise his shoes, there are plenty of legit ways to do so. Sneaking an ad into my blog isn't the way to do it.

I stand by my decision.

Ron Newman said...

Hi! Because of your blog, I found a song I heard as a kid on 'Captain Kangaroo', and then could never track down again (M-A-double-S-A-C-H-U-S-E-double-T-S).

Were there TWO recorded versions of this song, one on the B-side of K-E-Double N-E-D-Y and the other, the one you provided the MP3 for?

ZorchMan said...

Ron, the two sides I put in the blog were released back-to-back on the same record.

I don't know if there are any other versions of these songs on any other records. There could well be another version of M-A-S-S, but I doubt there's another version of the Kennedy song.

Ron Newman said...

Thanks for your reply. How do I e-mail you directly? I can't find your contact information anywhere in your blog. Also, why do the blog comments show only the time of day, and not the date of each comment?

It looks like 'Massachusetts My Home State' by Linda Bowe and the Neighborhood Kids was released as a 45 at least once before, as an 'A' side (with 'Tony Spumoni The Ice Cream Man as 'B' side):

http://audiopreservationfund.org/acquisitionsdetail.php?collection_id=COL_00013&table=Singles&id=25

http://www.boogiebobsrecords.com/component/page,shop.product_details/flypage,shop.flypage/product_id,23156/category_id,164/manufacturer_id,0/option,com_virtuemart/Itemid,53/vmcchk,1/

and here is sheet music for it, including the "Extra Special Chorus" for Kennedy & Johnson:

http://www.oldpoliticals.com/LotDetail.aspx?lotid=10490

You can blow each image up to full size and print them out if you ever want to resurrect and perform these songs.

ZorchMan said...

I posted my email once in the comments for "It Was Eighty Years Ago Today... " (it's buried a bit, but it's there) and you can get me there...

Mary Depew said...

Thanks so much for sharing and posting the songs by John Redmond, he's my Grand Uncle - I haven't heard it since I was a child - maybe on Capt Kangaroo....and I had never heard the Kennedy Song somehow but knew of it. I think that my Uncle John is singing on the Kennedy one -Mary

Boursin said...

The guess of 1954 is completely correct for "Kefauver Is His Name". The "DB" in "DB-2084" means that the record was pressed in 1954 by Capitol, just like the "KB" on "High Hopes" means 1960 (Capitol changed the first letter every year).