Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy Hallowe'en 2009

A few weeks ago, I found a duplicate copy of Zombie Jamboree, the Columbia 45 by the Calypso Carnival. I posted the song last year for the Hallowe'en season (and the friend I gave it to was tickled plaid). I thought I'd dig out the LP the other day...

And here it is, the long out-of-print LP, The Calypso Carnival (Columbia CL 1003). The Carnival features four or five solo vocalists, a guitarist, a percussionist, and maybe a few other voices for the chorus. The small horn section or violinist that usually show up on calypso sides aren't on this album at all. I think the exuberance of this troupe more than makes up for the lack.

Here's the rundown of the songs, along with the featured vocalist:

The Calypso Carnival Columbia CL 1003.
1. Honey Man featuring Sammy Heyward
2. Victoria Market featuring Irene Lusan
3. Small Island featuring Irene Lusan & Lord Zebedee
4. Better Woman Than You (Gal, Tell Me That Again) featuring Irene Lusan & Amy Goodwin
5. Union Street featuring Sammy Heyward
6. Ministre A Zaca featuring Massie Patterson, Theresa Merritt, & Alfred Earle
7. Trinidad Blues featuring Lord Zebedee
8. Miss Emmalina featuring Sammy Heyward
9. Solas Market featuring Massie Patterson
10. Chicken Gumbo And The Okra Water featuring Lord Zebedee
11. Shimmy Like A Lady featuring Massie Patterson & Lord Zebedee
12. Zombie Jamboree featuring King Flash
13. Choucounne featuring Irene Lusan
14. Mama, Looka Boo Boo (Boo Boo Man) (Bonus Track) featuring King Flash
Oh, by the way, Track 14, Mama Look-A Boo Boo (Boo Boo Man) was not on the LP...but it was the flip side of the Zombie Jamboree 45, so it belongs here.

Also Choucounne was quickly adapted into the easy-listening favorite Yellow Bird.

Since I was unfamiliar with the names of the vocalists, I Googled their names and found that Massie Patterson, in addition to being a veteran Broadway performer (The Hot Mikado and two editions of Green Pastures, among others) was codefendent with calypso legend Lionel Belasco against Paul Baron, Jeri Sullavan and Morey Amsterdam over the trio's song Rum And Coca-Cola, which was found to contain elements of Belasco's 1906 song L'Annee Passee. More on that fight is here and here .

Massie Patterson also compiled several volumes of calypsos with Sammy Heyward.

I also noticed that most of the songs on the LP were composed by S. C. Patterson. Perhaps S.C. was related to Massie.

If the reprise of Zombie Jamboree hasn't sated your appetite for brains zombie songs, here are a couple of frantic instrumental sides:

1906-2 Zombie Harlem Rascals Varsity 6014
NYC, October 1932: Large studio orchestra.

This interesting side, issued in Varsity's 6000 Race series, was originally issued on Crown 3413 as White Zombie in late 1932 (Probably just after the Bela Lugosi movie with the same title was released). The label credit went to Joel Shaw's Orchestra, but this is essentially the Gene Kardos orchestra, under the nominal leadership of Kardos's pianist.

A year and a half later, Kardos redid the chart for several ARC dime-store labels. My copy is on Melotone:

15367-1 Zombie Gene Kardos Orch Melotone M-13081
NYC, 36 June 1934: Large studio orchestra.

This time around, the tempo is quite a bit faster and that somewhat annoying spooky laughter is (mercifully) missing. Also, the tuba on the Crown has been replaced by a string bass. Notice he drops out for two bars in the same place each chorus.

There is a rum and vodka-based cocktail called a Zombie...probably named for the aftereffects of overindulging in them. The recipe is here: . It was this drink that Fats Waller had in mind when he sang the immortal Abercrombie Had A Zombie:

057086-1 Abercrombie Had A Zombie Fats Waller and his Rhythm Bluebird B-10967
NYC, 6 November 1940: Thomas "Fats" Waller, vocal, piano and leader; John Hamilton, trumpet; Gene Sedric, clarinet; Al Casey, guitar; Cedric Wallace, bass; Slick Jones, drums.

All this Zombie stuff and the calypso LP reminded me of the terrific 1943 movie, I Walked with a Zombie, directed by Jacques Tourneur and produced for RKO's B-movie unit by Val Lewton.

It's one very spooky movie, full of unexpected images and drums. Lots of drums!! And there's a scene that takes place in the island's main village, with famed calypsonian Sir Lancelot singing the following:

Fort Holland Calypso Song , part 1 Sir Lancelot I Walked With A Zombie soundtrack

After the James Ellison character (the Rand mentioned in the song) drinks himself into a stupor, Lancelot comes back and, slowly walking towards the nurse (Frances Dee), finishes his song:

Fort Holland Calypso Song, part 2 Sir Lancelot I Walked With A Zombie soundtrack

Here's the Wiki...
If you haven't seen this movie, you're in for a treat. And it's short (69 minutes) so you can sneak it in before another longer feature on your next Movie Night.

Around fifteen years ago, I found this neat album of 78s:

Calypso Sir Lancelot with Gerald Clark Keynote album K-126

1947: Sir Lancelot, vocal; others unidentified.

1. A Night In Central Park
2. Ugly Woman
3. Scandal In The Family
4. Young Girls Today
5. The Century Of The Common Man
6. Trindad Is Changing

And the third cut, Scandal In The Family, is a retitled Fort Holland Calypso Song (also known as Shame And Scandal)!

What the heck, here are a couple of other semi-spooky sides for your enjoyment:

TB 2266-2 The Night Ride Ambrose and his Orchestra Decca 992

London, 29 June 1936: Large British orchestra, with (American) Danny Polo on clarinet.

21700 Skeleton Jangle Original Dixieland Jazz Band Victor 18473

NYC, 17 July 1918: Nick LaRocca, trumpet; Eddie Edwards, trombone; Larry Shields, clarinet; Henry Ragas, piano; Tony Sbarbaro, drums.

Here's another tune originally associated with the ODJB:

66606 Satanic Blues Bud Freeman Summa Cum Laude Orch Decca 2781

NYC, 18 September 1939: Max Kaminsky, trumpet; Brad Gowans, trombone; Pee Wee Russell, clarinet; Bud Freeman, tenor sax; Dave Bowman, piano; Eddie Condon, guitar; Clyde Newcomb, bass; Danny Alvin, drums.

I wonder how many people got nervous when they saw the first three digits of the matrix number...

15663 Goblin Market Joe Venuti Orch OKeh 41586

NYC, 17 August 1934: Joe Venuti, violin and leader; unknown personnel.

That was a hot little side...but the discographies list the personnel as unknown. The OKeh label, by the way, issued only two more records in the 40000 general series before being phased out for a while. It reemerged in 1940 as Columbia's cheaper label for a few years, until all of the thirty-five cent labels vanished during the war. Eventually it came back again as a (mostly) R & B label.

Well, that'll do it for this installment...I'll replace the so-so pictures with good-quality scans when I get a chance.

...and I finally did it (29 May 2010)!

Friday, September 25, 2009

Ludovic Lamothe: Fleurs d'Haiti

This was originally past of the last post. After a bit of thought (not that much) I figured that this music was important enough to merit its own posting.

Quite a few years ago I found this five-record album...
It's Fleurs d'Haiti, an album of music composed and played by Haitian pianist Ludovic Lamothe (1882-1953). It seems to have been recorded in the late 1930s sometime. Unfortunately I can't find a lot of information about this set. If it's mentioned at all, it's as a footnote, sometimes with a "(78 rpm?)" postscript.

This seems to be the best page available about Lamothe:

Here are the liner notes...I hope you parlez francais.

Here's one of the labels as well. The usual patent information around the circumference of the label is in Spanish, although this appears to be an American pressing. Perhaps it was pressed for export.

And here's the complete list of the sides:

83065-A 1. Feuillet D'Album
---------B 2. Sous La Tonnelle
83066-A 3. Loco
---------B 4. Sobo
83067-A 5. Valse Romantique
---------B 6. Habanera
83068 A 7. Valse De Concert En La Bemol Majeur
---------B 8. Libellules
83069 A 9. Gavotte Dans Le Style Ancien
---------B 10. Tango
And you can download the album here:
This album was a bit under-recorded on a piano that sounds like it could have been tuned a bit better. But the music is quite sounds like Chopin with a touch of voodoo thrown in.
Oh...did I mention that I'll be selling it? I'm digitizing and liquidating some of the records I seldom listen to. This is one of them. I'll post the eBay link once it's up.
Thanks for the plug, Bill...hope you and your readers enjoy this rare treat!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

A weekend with the tie-dyes...

An old friend and I attended a small music festival (Elemental Energy Clean Energy Expo) over the Labor Day Weekend...

...and it reminded me a little of the old Cajun and Bluegrass fests at Escoheag, RI (before the Powers That Be sold out and turned it into the overblown Rhythm And Roots thing...too much rhythm and not enough roots, if you ask me. And having to walk twice as far to the campsite is for the birds.). There were perhaps 200-300 happy, smiling people...and hardly any of the corporate crap that spoiled the old fest for me and quite a few others.....

Regardless of the strange look on my face (I didn't have much sleep Saturday), I had a fairly good time...some of the music was pretty good, too. More on that in a minute.

There were a few pooches out there...I made friends with a Chow/Akita cross named Foxy. I didn't quite get her owner's name though. Maybe he'll write in. Too bad the pics we took of her didn't come out too well.

I mentioned Foxy to my brother (who once had a really sweet Akita)...and he said "oh, a Chakita!"

Well...I have to come up with a cute song for a cute Chakita, right?

Chiquita Banana The Mariachi Brass! Featuring Chet Baker World Pacific WP 1842
Los Angeles, CA, April, 1966: Chesney Henry Baker Jr., trumpet; lost in a sea of studio musicians.

It's a pleasant track, but it's sad to think that Chet was reduced to doing commercial work like this...

I made another I didn't want.

It's on my left shoulder...I'm not particularly afraid of bees or wasps, but I don't like them invading my personal space, either.

I'll take a little interspecies liberty and dedicate the following to it:

59993-2 Bumble Bee Blues Memphis Jug Band Victor V-38599
Memphis, 26 May 1930: Will Shade, harmonica; Charlie Burse, guitar; Memphis Minnie, vocal & guitar; Hambone Lewis, jug.

This was the third time Minnie recorded a version of this rather naughty song ("stinger as long as my arm" indeed! I guess she didn't know that it's the female bee that stings)...the earlier versions were on Vocalion. I chose this one to go with the other Memphis Jug band song below.

Oh...I'm wearing the same old Blind Lemon Jefferson shirt from my puddytat days (see the 31 May 2009 post)...

When the music got a bit much for us, we retreated to the van for an invigorating game of Scrabble.

That's my pal Jawn (he was soundman for one of the groups that played that day...that's why we were there in the first place) trying to melt into the background. And, yes, that is a little Mugato watching the game.

Saturday night, there was a lovely sunset.

And we had the zap and crackle of those wires overhead to keep us company.

Sunday morning, we were up with
ooops...I had to post this pic for Choc and PMan, wherever they are...

Anyhoooo...I did mention the music. There was some fine semi-traditional pickin' on a lot of old chestnuts...most of which seem to have been learned from Jerry Garcia and friends. I think I'll post the original versions for those who haven't heard them.

I heard at least two bands perform Stealin', Stealin'...

47037-2 Stealin', Stealin' Memphis Jug Band Victor V-38504
Memphis, 15 September 1929: Will Shade
, harmonica; Ben Ramey, kazoo; Charlie Burse, guitar; Vol Stevens, guitar; Jab Jones, jug & lead vocal; band chorus.

I also seem to recall a version of Walk Right In...

56319=2 Walk Right In Cannon's Jug Stompers Victor V-38611
Memphis, 1 October 1929: Gus Cannon, banjo, jug & vocal; Noah Lewis, harmonica; Hosea Woods, banjo & vocal.

...and a version of White House Blues too. This time around, I'll bypass the original (and great) recording by Charlie Poole and go with a more obscure version (with a different title, but it's the same song) by Pop Stoneman:

N-218 The Unlucky Road to Washington Ernest V. Stoneman Edison unissued
NYC 25 April 1928: Ernest Stoneman, vocal, harmonica & guitar; Hattie Stoneman, fiddle; Bolen Frost, banjo.

This was one of many electrically-recorded lateral records that Edison produced in 1928 and 1929...only a handful ever were issued. This one wasn't...but another take was issued on cylinder and Diamond Disc. Does anybody out there have that one? I'd love to hear it.
That'll do it for now...I'm in search of a Mahko root.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Hey...the quiz is still alive!

I know, I has been a while.

Summers are busy times. That's why I thought I'd put out a little quiz for y'all to think about for a spell. mdcelio got 3 correct hits in late June. But I hadn't seen any guesses/answers/feedback on the quiz since then. Until tonight.

My ol' pal metalmuncher added the following:

04 - Nice coloured vinyl 45 on the Deccagone label.

Well...he's right...that was probably the first (semi-legitimate) issue of this record. I know he knows what it is...His description will be in the list until someone gives me the title and artist...oh, the spelling of the word "coloured" is another little clue.

He also got the following right:

05 - Henry Thomas - Bull Doze Blues

Yup, that's the original version of the song that eventually became Canned Heat's classic Goin' Up The Country (oddly enough, I just got the picture sleeve to that a few weeks ago).

He got the title and the year right here:

#24 The Music Goes Round and Round - 1936 --- but no artist was listed.

So, this is where things stand as of now...

#4 "Nice coloured vinyl 45 on the Deccagone label." (metalmuncher 8/28)...but what is it?
#5 Bull Doze Blues - Henry Thomas (metalmuncher 8/28)
#6 Calliope Pete - Morey Amsterdam (mdcelio - 6/17)
#8 Crucifixion - Arizona Dranes (D. Burns - 9/15)
#11 Song of the Sewer - Art Carney (mdcelio - 6/17)
#12 One Of These Days--Pow! - Jackie Gleason (
mdcelio - 6/18)
#13 The Fat Man's Prayer - Victor Buono (metalmuncher - 8/30)

#17 In The Mood - Artie Shaw Orch (gimme!)
#23 Stack O'Dollars Blues - Charlie Jordan (D. Burns - 9/14)
#24 The Music Goes Round and Round - 1936 - ??????(no artist listed)
(metalmuncher 8/28)

I know a lot of you can add to this...some of these sides are fairly easy to least to the record collectors out there. But as we know, summers can be crazy. I know I won't post any new music until at least Labor Day.

But some Sunday after then we're due for another Grits/Zorch hour...when things settle down a bit...the answers to the quiz will be announced then.

Also, here's hoping Mrs. Grits gets super-well, super-soon. We all love ye.

By the way, I want to thank Bruce, David Federman , John & walter, J.F.B. and Ernie for their kind comments about the problems that befell this blog recently. (By the way, our little saboteur seems to have slithered off, like a putz in the night...)

And I also got a nice comment from Carrie Laby, saying that she has a picture of her grandfather Neil Laby, who seems to be the guitarist on the Arty Hall sides I posted a long while back. Well, if Carrie'll send in the pic, I'd be delighted to post it, and put the music up again for a while. These are enjoyable sides.

So...'til we get another quiz answer or two...

Oh, here's that quiz again...the third time is a charm. Or something. .

30 August update...Munch went through a backlog of old Dr. Demento tapes to refresh his memory and finally came up with the skinny on track #13. Hmm...maybe "skinny" wasn't quite the right word...but his entry has been added to the above list, in red. And, yes, that was King Tut on the old Batman show...Victor Buono.

15 September young friend and fellow record collector D. Burns correctly guessed track's Stack O'Dollars Blues by Charlie Jordan. I've added it to the list above, in blue.

16 September update...D. Burns also recognized track #8 as Crucifixion by gospel pianist Arizona Dranes. The list above has been updated again.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Weird, weird, weird

Gentle readers:

Within the last couple of days I have received a couple of weird form letters from, who do a fine job of hosting my music...somebody complained (to Box, not me) about three of the records I posted...these are:

Bob McFadden and Dor: The Mummy
Robert Parker: All Nite Long (part 2)
Johnny Horton: The Battle of New Orleans.

These files were yanked by Box...who sent me a form letter stating that I violated copyright laws by sharing these sides. Oh well. Things like this happen sometimes.

Here's where things start to get weird...why on earth did someone complain about Part Two of the Robert Parker record...but not Part One? Surely the same copyright law applies to both sides of the same record.

Then, when I went to check on the status of the Horton and Parker files, by going to my blog and clicking on the offending files, I find that my Some Scarce Seven-Inchers posting has gone...Vanished! Kaput! Joined the Choir Invisible!

Gone is the Blossom Dearie record! The rare Columbia seven-inch singles! Those great New Orleans 78s from 1959!


It seems that this blog is under attack by someone. Some dirty little coward who probably has nothing better to do than create havoc...and run away.

Thank goodness that Google has cached an old copy of the post somewhere...I've reconstructed the page as well as I could, with the original posting date and original comments. And a few new comments of my own (in green).

It's too bad that this kind of thing is happening. If much more damage occurs, then I'll just pack the blog up and let it vanish. I have far too many other things to worry about.

Monday, July 20, 2009

It was forty years ago today...

It's been a bit busy at the Zorchstead...I have a couple of LPs that had to be digitized for friends, a few DVDs that needed to be burned, and I recently met another 78 collector...the last couple of Sundays have involved running down to Providence for lots of good coffee and even better conversation.

This cat's 28...I know a couple of other (even younger) collectors...our hobby (er, obsession) will be in good hands as the Old Guard passes.

This weekend was fairly eventful...the fortieth anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission coincided eerily with the passing of TV news icon, Walter Cronkite at the age of 92. Cronkite, of course, was anchorman at CBS from 1962 to 1981 and covered the moonflight.
Cronkite also narrated this little seven-inch record:
Man On The Moon Walter Cronkite and others CBS News special record

It's quite thought-provoking...the voices of astronauts Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins, and President Nixon interspersed with Cronkite's reassuring baritone (and no unnecessary music or other such hoopla) make this a most interesting twenty minutes.

This record evidently was given as a premium by several companies...I've seen one in a special outer sleeve that advertised Corning Glass. This copy has no outer sleeve, but has the sticker with the record's title printed over the logo for International Paper.


As I mentioned before, the last couple of Sundays have been rather busy at this end...and Grits has a couple of Sunday gigs to attend. We couldn't broadcast. Ah well...the answers to the audio Quiz will eventually be properly aired, but at an unspecified later date. Keep watching this space as information becomes available.

Oh...that quiz. I posted it a few weeks ago...and there have been only three guesses (all correct, I might add), all from the same person. There are still 21 cuts waiting to be identified.

I know there are more of you out there, downloading my little tidbits of music. Some cuts have had an enormous amount of activity (The Whoopee Hat Brigade and that Blossom Dearie record especially). Some people are kind enough to leave a quick comment. Others...well...

We bloggers thrive on shows us that somebody out there enjoys what we're doing.

So, if you read our blogs, download our music, and enjoy them, please drop us a line. We love it.

And I'd especially love to see more people check out my goldurned quiz...the link is here . I'd really like to hear from the jazzers and bluesers out there...there are quite a few not-so-difficult cuts just waiting to be properly identified...and a few that are a bit more challenging (although these may have clues elsewhere in the blog).

If you want to participate, but don't want to go through the Blogspot initiation (and why not? It's painless, and they don't spam!), you can email me at . If, for some reason, you don't want to be identified in the blog or broadcast, that's cool too. Just let me know.

Well, that'll do for now...I think I'll have a green cheese sandwich.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Grits/Zorch Show #3 (and a repost!)

I watched a few episodes of the late 1960s Dragnet TV series the other day. They're still quite entertaining, if sometimes a bit hokey. The silliest one (to me, anyway) seems to be the first episode of the 1967 series...The LSD Story. Michael Burns (formerly Barnaby West on Wagon Train) plays Benjie Carver, aka Blueboy, who has a sweet tooth...he just can't leave those sugar cubes alone! Of course, the episode ends with Blueboy taking a final trip to oblivion.

Benjie Carver's original facial painting reminded me of a particularly heavy-handed late episode of Star Trek... Let That Be Your Last Battlefield. Frank Gorshin is pretty good here (he was nominated for an Emmy), but I've never been very fond of this episode.

This gem was first telecast 10 January 1969...two years (almost to the date) after the 12 January 1967 Dragnet.
Hmmmm...two similar paint jobs...same week (but different years), same network (NBC). Coincidence?

You can watch the Star Trek episode here (as Bela Lugosi once said...BeVare!) and the Dragnet one here: .

There are other blue boys out there...the Gainsborough painting (of course), The Blue Man Group (older Blue Boys, I suppose), Smurfs, and the duet that performed this wonderful side:

400242-B Easy Winner The Blue Boys OKeh 45314
Memphis, 15 February 1928: Nap Hayes, guitar; Matthew Prater, mandolin.

I've always been intrigued by this's called Easy Winner, but it's actually a version of The Entertainer. Both titles were from Scott Joplin's famous Red Back Book collection of rags. I wonder if these guys learned The Entertainer some time in the 1910s, but somehow cross-titled it with The Easy Winners (the actual title of the other rag).

Some collectors may notice that this record was issued in OKeh's 45000 country series...two more of their sides were there as well, and two more were issued in OKeh's 8000 race series.
Last Sunday, as promised, Grits and I broadcast our little tributes to Fathers' Day. He did the first hour, and I did the second. Here's my half of the program:

1. Dad's Getting Fuzzy Red Whitehead & Dutch Coleman
2. Runenae Papa Zutty (Singleton) And His Band
3. My Dad's Dinner Pail Ada Jones
4. Slide, Daddy, Slide Allen Brothers (Austin & Lee)
5. Elevator Papa, Switchboard Mama Butterbeans & Susie
6. Chiselin' Daddy Sweet Violet Boys
7. Papa Loves Mambo (gag!) Perry Como & Zorch
8. Daddy I'm Coming Back To You Leadbelly (doing a Jimmie Rodgers song!)
9. I've Written A Letter To Daddy Debbie Burton (Baby Jane Hudson again!)
10. Can We Keep Him Daddy Red Sovine
11. Segue
12. Song For My Father Horace Silver
13. You Need Us Gilligan's Island Women
14. Come Back, Sweet Papa Louis Armstrong Hot Five
15. I'm A Ding Dong Daddy Light Crust Doughboys
16. Papa's 'Bout To Get Mad Pink Anderson & Simmie Dooley
17. Dad From Trinidad Paul Kosty
18. Wobble It A Little Daddy Lillian Glinn
19. Field Mouse Stomp Minnie Wallace
20. Papa Wants A Cookie Leroy Carr & Scrapper Blackwell
21. Fado de Bacalau Troupe Gounod
22. Everybody Works But Father Bob Roberts
23. Big Daddy Blues Jimmie Revard Oklahoma Playboys
24. You Run And Tell Your Daddy Charley Jordan
25. Old Dad Frank Jenkins' Pilot Mountaineers
26. We Shall All Be Reunited Alfred Karnes
27. Signoff

This is actually a slightly altered version of the show...we had a couple of phone calls while the music played. Both of these calls were amusing (at the time, anyway), but they were rather personal. I figured that my readers would rather listen to the music (more or less) uninterrupted, so I substituted the original recordings. There were a couple of other titles that had technical imperfections (at least on my copy of the show...I recorded it as it was aired, but my connection sometimes hiccups). These were repaired as well. I redid the spoken intros if the tracks in the broadcast had them. Otherwise, the show is just as it was aired.

There were a couple of non-daddy ditties thrown into the mix...for leavening. Or something.

Grits posted both his half of the show and the unedited, raw version of mine in his blog...
I occasionally check through the comments left on some of my older posts...I sometimes find spammers (advertising footwear or a porn website), but usually it's something positive left by readers.

Cait, a recent subscriber, reminded me that we just went through another broadcasting change...the switch to Damitall Digital TV. She'd like me to repost the AM Frequency Re-Allocation Spots'll be my pleasure!

Here 'tis!

And here's the original posting

...and thanks to all!

Oh...there haven't been any more guesses on my mystery quiz since mdcelio got the first three. And one of those three was a bit obscure. Some of the others should be fairly easy to identify.

All are welcome to participate...hope to hear from you...
...and you...
and YOU!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Another radio show...and a contest!

Next Sunday, 21 June, Grits and I shall do another show...this time over the usual Grits Radio station ( and just click "listen live.") and Area 51 shortwave radio (5.110 MHz)...we have the 6:30-7:30 PM EDT time slot. We'll tear Fathers' Day apart this should be interesting.

Update...Grits worked overtime throwing together a wild Fathers' Day show...we'll let that run for the above shortwave broadcast. After we sign off, we'll stay on at Grits's station for a Zorchariffic hour or so. Yes, I'll have a few daddy ditties of my own to share, too, but there'll be a few other things as well.

Hear you then.


Forgive the slight raunchiness of the label...I did it for my own amusement several years ago. The picture of Nipper at the top was borrowed from the Kauf Man of Arvada...

It's amazing (to me, anyway) that that old counter crept up another 500 notches over the last couple of weeks. I'm tickled plaid to see here's something more to amuse y'all:

It's a little contest for you...consisting of 25 selections. There's a little jazz, a little blues, a little country, and lots of who-knows-what. There's even one spoken-word item.

There are also two separate pairs of cuts somewhere in the playlist...each item of a pair will be connected somehow to the other in its pairing. To make it a bit easier, the items in each pair are next to each other.

Here's the quiz (in a convenient .zip file):

You can leave your guesses in the Comment box below (yeah, you have to join Blogger to do so, but that procedure is easy and harmless. And they don't spam you, either!). As correct answers roll in, I'll post them (along with the first correct guessers' names). You'll have until midnight Saturday, 18 July 2009 (over a month from now!) to submit your guesses.

If all goes well, Grits and I should be back on the air the following day (Sunday, 19 July) and I will play the cuts in order, this time properly identified. And the first correct guesser of each cut will be mentioned on the air as well (so make your nicknames polite, eh?).

There won't be any prizes...unless you'd want one of Uncle Eugene's special aged peanut-butter sandwiches. My Komodo Dragon waddled off and was in the news recently:

Oh...the solution will be posted here sometime shortly after the contest ends, just in case you miss the broadcast (and you should listen, y'know...).

This should be fun for all of us...good luck.

I just happened to notice that for some reason, Track 17 isn't really a mystery...I failed to remove the identifying tags from it. Oh, well! Consider it a "gimme."

And here are the correct they roll in (along with the guesser and date)

#6 Calliope Pete - Morey Amsterdam (mdcelio - 6/16)
#11 Song of the Sewer - Art Carney (mdcelio - 6/17)
#12 One Of These Days--Pow! - Jackie Gleason (mdcelio - 6/18)
#17 In The Mood - Artie Shaw Orch (gimme!)

And mdcelio recognized one of the two pairs...#11 and #12 are sides by two stars of The Honeymooners, both in character!

There's still another pair of related cuts in here somewhere...

Monday, June 01, 2009

Thufferin' Thuccotash! (Updates!)

Last time around, I posted a few highlights from the second Grits/Zorch show, aired on Mothers' Day.

One of those cuts was the Missourians's incredible Swingin' Dem Cats. I dedicated it to Annie, Elvis and the other feline residents at Chez Grits. After I posted that blog chapter I was reminded of this rather silly picture:
It goes back a few the old Cajun and Bluegrass Festivals at Escoheag, RI. On this particular weekend (in the late 1990s), I kept invoking the spirit of the Warner Brothers cartoon character, Sylvester. Yeth, I wath lithping and thputtering...all weekend. I'm sure that my companions were beginning to get a bit sick of the whole thing...

Anyway, late Sunday afternoon, I noticed a couple of volunteers painting the faces of the youngsters...I dropped a few bucks into their kitty and they put a puss on my puss. My friends loved of them snapped the looks like I'm trying to scratch him.
By the way, I still have that Blind Lemon Jefferson shirt somewhere...and it's still able to be worn! It's got to be around fifteen years old.'s the other side of Cats...Two Hundred Squabble. Note that the number in the title is spelled out. For some reason, when Charles Delauney and friends were compiling the original Hot Discography, they must have written the number in Arabic numerals...which somehow got misinterpreted as Latin it was printed in the book as Loo Squabble.
59173-2 Two Hundred Squabble The Missourians Victor V-38145
NYC 17 February 1930: Lockwood Lewis, conductor; R. Q. Dickerson, Lammar Wright, trumpets; De Priest Wheeler, trombone; William Thornton Blue, George Scott, clarinets & alto saxes; Walter Thomas, clarinet, tenor & baritone sax; Earres Prince, piano; Morris White, banjo; Jimmy Smith, tuba; Leroy Maxey, drums.

A couple of days ago, while proofreading the last entry (sometimes it takes me a couple of days to tighten the wording and check the various links) , it occurred to me that I omitted a couple of fairly important titles...

April 29, 2009 was the 110th anniversary of the birth of my favorite musician, Duke Ellington...I had to play something great for a mini-tribute!

I decided to play a couple of my favorite cuts from one of my favorite albums...the legendary Fargo (North Dakota) dance.

Jack Towers and Dick Burris asked Ellington if they could record a complete show the next time Duke and the band came around. Ellington assented. So, in early November 1940, they set up two mics and a recording turntable at the Crystal Ballroom in Fargo. The results were extraordinary...we now have an idea of what the Ellington band was really doing during this important stage in their history.

Supposedly, this was a slightly "off" night...the trumpet section was minus Cootie Williams, who had just departed a few days before. Duke was trying out his replacement for the first time that night. That was Ray Nance, who stayed with the band for over 25 years! (If this was an "off" night, imagine what a good night must have sounded like!)

The dance went on for five sets...Towers and Burris recorded the whole night. Occasionally, the disc needed to be changed in the middle of a song. The vocals are a bit off-mic (when they were recorded...a couple of minor songs didn't get preserved). But the sound is quite good, and much of the music is amazing...even at the end of the night when everything was a bit ragged around the edges.

The two cuts I chose were Ko-Ko, a somewhat fuller arrangement than the one that Victor had recorded a few months earlier (probably my favorite side from the 1940s), and a fantastic version of their current radio theme, Sepia that features extra choruses by bassist Jimmy Blanton (who died less than two years later) and Ben Webster's tenor sax.

Ko-Ko Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra
Sepia Panorama (long version) Duke Ellington and his Famous Orchestra
Crystal Ballroom, Fargo, North Dakota, 7 November 1940: Rex Stewart, cornet; Wallace Jones, Ray Nance, trumpets; Lawrence Brown, Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol, trombones; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Otto Hardwick, Ben Webster, Harry Carney, reeds; Duke Ellington, piano; Fred Guy, guitar; Jimmy Blanton, bass; Sonny Greer, drums.

Oh yeah...the Duke picture above was signed to my parents...and it's framed on my wall.

My old pal Metal-Muncher went on an Atlantic Records label kick this month...he scanned a few of my labels for his blog: .

Since the bottom two 45s in his scan are my records, I think I'll show them here too...and I'll have to play them too, right? They're not exactly easy 45s to find:

The first one is a bit of a mystery to's not in the online Atlantic discography (no, I don't have the Lord jazz discography. Anybody out there want to donate their old version?), and it's in a strange 15000 series. Actually, I've never seen another in this series. But the black-and-silver label is quite striking!

A-1100 Vaya Con Dios Wingy Manone and his Orchestra Atlantic 45-15001
A-1101 The Song From Moulin Rouge Wingy Manone and his Orchestra Atlantic 45-15001
July/August 1953: Wingy Manone, trumpet & vocal; others (Orchestra and Town Criers) unidentified.

Both sides are quite pleasant...worthy successors to the many "jazzing the pop hits" records that Wingy recorded for Bluebird in the late 1930s.
This blue-and-silver "Jazz Series" label lasted a few years, adding the pinwheel to the bottom of the big "A" within a year or two...

This example is originally from the Blues and Roots album by Charles Mingus. It still amuses me to see and hear this great recording on a 45 rpm single. Here it is...with that consarned fadeout at the end of the first side!

4732-3 Wednesday Night Prayer Meeting, Pts. 1 & 2 Charles Mingus Atlantic 5006
NYC, February 4, 1959: Willie Dennis, Jimmy Knepper, trombones; John Handy, Jackie McLean, alto saxes; Booker Ervin, tenor sax; Pepper Adams, baritone sax; Horace Parlan, piano; Charles Mingus, bass; Dannie Richmond, drums.

The pride of my Atlantic 45 rpm collection is this:
Joe signed this at the original Lupo's Heartbreak Hotel in Providence in early 1981 (I think!).

Big Joe Turner might not have been able to read...but he most certainly could sign his name (even if it was a bit of a chore)!! I watched him do it ...he wrote out "Joe Turner" rather slowly (he was crippled up by arthritis, after all), and he then added the "BIG" at the top.

A-1209 Shake, Rattle And Roll Joe Turner Atlantic 45-1026
NYC, February 15, 1954: Joe Turner, vocal; with unknown, trumpet; Wilbur De Paris, trombone; Sam "The Man" Taylor, tenor sax; Haywood Henry, baritone sax; Jesse Stone, piano; Mickey Baker, guitar; Lloyd Trotman, bass; Connie Kay,

Oh, what the's the flip side (from an earlier session):

A-1220 You Know I Love You Joe Turner Atlantic 45-1026
New Orleans, LA, December 3, 1953: Joe Turner, vocal; with Lloyd Lambert's Orchestra: John Girard, trumpet; Worthia Thomas, trombone; Gus Fontenette, Joe Tillman, Alvin "Red" Tyler, saxes; Edward Frank piano; Lloyd Lambert, bass; Oscar Moore, drums.
Here's another great yellow Atlantic, also recorded in the Crescent City...and Red Tyler's on this one too!

A-1308 Jam Up Tommy Ridgley and his Band Atlantic 45-1039
A-1200 Wish I Had Never Tommy Ridgley and his Band Atlantic 45-1039
New Orleans, 1953-4: Tommy Ridgley, piano & vocal; Lee Allen, tenor sax; Red Tyler, baritone sax; others unknown. (It seems that these are from separate sessions.)

Jam Up has been a favorite for a long time...apparently it was a good seller in 1954. In 1962, Atlantic dusted it off and issued this:

A-1308 Jam Up Twist Tommy Ridgley Atlantic 45-2136

Hey...wait a minute! It's not the same! The "twist" effects were dubbed in over a different take! My guess is that Jam Up Twist was the earlier take (notice that Red Tyler's baritone sax solo is somewhat buried...he's better miked on the earlier-released version).

A-1200 Wish I Had Never (2) Tommy Ridgley Atlantic 45-2136

Interesting...even the flip side is a different take! Notice that Tommy sings "...touch your devilish lips" on the first version. Here he kisses them.

Another weird thing about this 45...every copy I've seen is black and white, like a promo...but there's nothing on the label that says that it's not for public sale. And the record omits any mention of Ridgley's band.
I recently traded a very early goodie (you can see and hear the piece I traded here ) for a piece that I wanted...very badly!

Here 'tis...hope you like it. You know I do!

HAT-141-2 Dangerous Woman Mississippi Jook Band Melotone 6-12-71
HAT-145-3 Barbecue Bust Mississippi Jook Band Melotone 6-12-71
Hattiesburg, Mississippi, 20 July 1936: Blind Roosevelt Graves, guitar; Uaroy Graves, tambourine; Cooney Vaughn, piano...who the vocalist and "kazooer" are remain unknown.

Here's another item I got the other's not jazz or blues, or country...but it is a pleasant dance record with a Latin flavor, and a touch of humor. It's on an early Gennett Electrobeam, too!
X0388A El Ucuyali (Fox-Trot) Orquesta de Los Toreros Musicos Gennett S-6014
X0389 El Picaflor (One-Step) Orquesta de Los Toreros Musicos Gennett S-6014
NYC 10 December 1926: Don Alvaro(?), Orquesta de Los Toreros Musicos
I've seen a couple of listings that imply that Don Alvaro was the conductor of this orchestra.

This record is dedicated to those people who say that the hot jazz I love sounds like cartoon music. Sure, there were many Max Fleischer 'toons that used popular jazz bands for their soundtracks (and most of the other animators had a few jazz-related cartoons as well), but that "cartoon music" observation always bugged me a bit.
I think these sides are a bit more "cartooney" than the average record...maybe it's the whistle on El Picaflor.
And, last but not least, I promised a picture of Our Lady of Backyard Divots, Lily! Here she is...
Not the best pic, but it'll do for the time being. The way her eyes reflected red for this pic is amusing...we don't think she's possessed, though.

...and here's a cool song I dedicate to her. It's an Ellington one too!

061318-1 Chocolate Shake Duke Ellington Orchestra Victor 27531
Los Angeles. 26 June 1941: Same personnel as Fargo date above.

********************************************* more thing...I just checked the counter (the one for the blog...not the one made of Formica)'s up to 6510! The Sanctum gets something like 25 hits every day now! Thanks! I'm glad to see that so many people out there have such exquisite taste! ;->)