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! ;->)