Thursday, October 28, 2010

Hallowe'en 2010

It's Hallowe'en season again! Here's a triple-decker spook-tacular...with a little chaser!

The first album is a lot of fun...I'm dedicating it to the memory of the trombonist/bandleader Buddy Morrow (born 1919 as Muni Zudekoff, aka Moe Zudekoff) who passed on about a month ago (27 September 2010).

This album is often quite reminiscent of Morrow's previous Impact! and Double Impact! LPs, both of which sold like hotcakes. There are a couple of poems narrated by Keith McKenna, as well as a couple of twistaroos sung by The Skip-Jacks.

POE FOR MODERNS Buddy Morrow Orch RCA Victor LSP-2208

1. The Murders In The Rue Morgue
2. Annabel Lee (Keith McKenna, narrator)
3. The Gold Bug
4. A Descent Into The Maelstrom
5. The Bells (The Skip-Jacks, vocal)
6. The Fall Of The House Of Usher
7. The Pit And The Pendulum
8. Ulalume (Keith McKenna, narrator)
9. The Black Cat
10. The Raven (The Skip-Jacks, vocal)
11. Quoth The Raven
The Tell-Tale Heart

The other day, I stumbled across another adaptation of Poe's The Raven here:'s a 1966 garage rocker from Brooklyn.

And you can hear Fred Astaire's Raven-inspired Me And The Ghost Upstairs here self-promotion, eh wot?).

The second LP is a rare one, indeed!

It's one of the strangest spoken-word albums I've ever heard...and one of the best. It's by "stand up tragedian" Theodore Gottlieb (1906-2001), who was usually billed as Brother Theodore. There's a very good website about him here , so I'll get out of the way and let you listen.

Oh...the first cut is a somewhat Lorre-esque adaptation of Poe's necro-dontal tale Berenice, and The Willow Landscape is from a story by Clark Ashton Smith.

CORAL RECORDS PRESENTS THEODORE Brother Theodore Gottlieb Coral CRL 57322
1. Introduction and Berenice
2. The Willow Landscape
3. Curse of the Toad
4. Quadrupedism

Some may recognize Theodore's distinctive voice from this:

You'll see a much more recent snippet of his Quadrupedism monologue (along with some other diversions) here:

You can also hear a "straight" reading of Berenice here

My third album isn't really spooky at all, but there is a neat black cat on the cover:

It's a musical adaptation by Alan Rawsthorne of six of T. S. Eliot's poems from his Old Possum's Book Of Practical's short and sweet (and a helluva lot easier for me to enjoy than that Webber thing on Broadway that drew from the same source). The narration is by Mr. Chips, Robert Donat (mmmmm....doughnuts).

Six Poems by T. S. Eliot
Musical Setting By Alan Rawsthorn
Robert Donat, speaker.
The Philharmonia Orchestra conducted by the composer
1. Overture
2. The Naming Of Cats
3. The Old Gumbie Cat
4. Gus, The Theatre Cat
5. Bustopher Jones: The Cat about Town
6. Old Deuteronomy
7. The Song Of The Jellicles

This LP came in a deluxe box and has a four-page booklet (included in the .zip file).

Since Track 5 is about as cat named Bustopher Jones, and it's on a (big) ten-inch LP, I think I'll give my good friend Buster's blog another plug.

And here's a little lagniappe, borrowed from my good pal, D Burns:

78264 A Cat-Astrophe Columbia Band Columbia A 2855
NYC, January 1919.

The flip side is dedicated to my neighbor, Ronster:
78285-3 Slim Trombone Columbia_Band Columbia A 2855
NYC, 3 February 1919.

And that'll do it for now...hope you dug it (up).

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

A Helpin' Of Selvin!

My, my, my...things are hoppin' with the Blog...the Wilmoth Houdini Calypsos album has generated a LOT of traffic, thanks to fellow bloggers at and (he also loved the Calypso Carnival LP...maybe Sony ought to reissue it?). And my humble blog is in the list at the bottom of the page at .

So, I'm a bit more inspired than usual!
Every now and then, we 78 collectors find strange items like that oddball Ambrose test pressing I posted last month...the matrix number on the label doesn't match the one in the wax. And the title wasn't listed.

Sometimes we find oddities in the discographies, like the following four sides. They're labeled as being performed by three different orchestras, but they're actually all led by the ubiquitous Ben Selvin...and all recorded the same day!
This French Odeon has two Selvin sides, issued in the States on Harmony and Velvet Tone (on consecutively issued records, not back-to-back as they are here).

The first side is of a rather pretty De Sylva-Brown-Henderson composition, If You Haven't Got Love.
351074-2 If You Haven't Got Love Phil Hughes High Hatters (French) Odeon 250.092
NYC, 21 July 1931: Ben Selvin, conductor; large studio orchestra.

There's an interesting clip of Gloria Swanson singing the song here

The flip side is a perky Irving Berlin song, Me. The muted trumpet solo is by Manny Klein.
351063-2 Me Frank Auburn Orchestra (French) Odeon 250.092, 21 July 1931: Ben Selvin, conductor; large studio orchestra.

Oh...there were a couple of other future "big names" in this session, as you'll see momentarily. I'm keeping them up my sleeve for the time being.

You might notice that the above two sides are in the mysterious 350000 matrix series that Columbia used for many sides issued by their dime-store labels (Harmony, Diva, Velvet Tone and Clarion) at the time. The following sides are in the conventional Columbia 140000-150000 series.

Here's another version of the same tune...again, it's recorded on the same day with the same orchestra, but with a completely different arrangement.

151695 Me! The Knickerbockers Columbia 2502-D
NYC, 21 July 1931: Ben Selvin, conductor; large studio orchestra.

Notice that the Columbia adds an exclamation point to the title! I think this version is the better of the two, but I'm partial to BG solos.

Also, you'll hear this particular record as part of a Skinner’s Romancers transcribed radio show here

I'll finish this section with the flip side, a fluffy bit of froth (or is it a frothy bit of fluff?):

151694 Slow But Sure The Knickerbockers Columbia 2502-D

I found this recording in another Skinner show:
And here's the complete (more-or-less) scoop on the previous four sides:
NYC, 21 June 1931: Ben Selvin, conductor; large studio orchestra featuring (among others) Manny Klein, trumpet; Tommy Dorsey, trombone; Benny Goodman, clarinet; Hymie Wolfson, tenor sax; Dick Robertson, vocal.

While I'm a-Selvin', I think I'll play this's in Columbia's short-lived 18000-D Longer Playing Series. Forgive the's very rough at the beginning and is a little blasty on certain high notes. But records in this series are quite rare...this is the only one I own.

255000-1 Medley - "Face The Music" Ben Selvin Orch, with Kate Smith, Jack Miller, and The Three Nitecaps Columbia 18000-D

I've included pictures of both labels...mainly because I'm too lazy to type out the individual songs...

255001-2 Medley - "Hot-Cha" Ben Selvin Orch, with Kate Smith, Jack Miller, and The Three Nitecaps Columbia 18000-D
NYC, 22 March 1932: Ben Selvin, conductor; large studio orchestra; Kate Smith, Jack Miller, and the Three Nitecaps, vocals.

I have a couple of other single items from other rare this Cajun piece from 1929:
110552-2 Poche Town Joe Falcon with Clemo & Ophy Breaux Columbia 40506-F
110553-2 Osson Joe Falcon with Clemo & Ophy Breaux Columbia 40506-F
Atlanta 18 April 1929: Ophy Breaux, fiddle; Joe Falcon, accordion & vocal; Cleoma Breaux (Falcon), guitar.
This was in the rare Columbia 40500-F Arcadian-French Series...all were reissued in OKeh's 90000 series, which are probably just as rare as these are.

Osson is awesome (sorry!)...this one's in such great condition I didn't need to use any noise reduction or other enhancement.


This lovely record is in the strange Columbia 40000-D series...which was apparently used only on the West Coast...outside of a couple of extraordinarily rare jazz/dance pieces (The Curtis Mosby record in this series is particularly sought-after), it consisted mainly of Hawaiian sides by the likes of Sol Hoopii and Benny Nawahi.

This one features Tau and Rose Moe, recorded in Japan in 1929:

32265 Lei I Ka Mokihana Madame Riviere's Hawaiians Columbia 40005-D
32258 Paahana Hula Madame Riviere's Hawaiians
Columbia 40005-D
Tokyo, 1929: featuring Rose Moe, vocal; Tau Moe, guitar.

Let's stay with Hawaiian music (and return to French Odeon) for this favorite of mine:
According to the liner notes of Tickling the Strings (Harlequin HQ CD 28), not much is known about the husband-and-wife team of Kanui and Lula. They were based in Paris at the time of the recording, and Lula danced the hula and played ukulele.

The Parlophone issue of Oua Oua apparently sold quite well in the UK. Brian Rust mentions it in his book on record labels.
My copy is on French Odeon...
KI 6090-2 Tomi, Tomi Kanui & Lula
(French) Odeon 166.670

KI 6089-2 Oua Oua Kanui & Lula (French) Odeon 166.670
Paris, 21 June 1933: Kanui, guitar & vocal; Lula, ukulele.

A few years ago, the Max Brothers did something very weird with this record (which is rather weird me it sounds like a demented Elvis channelling Lassie)...

I'll finish up with a couple of sides by the "French Bing Crosby," Jean Sablon.
Looking at the label, you'd never guess that this record has some splendid guitar work by Jean-Baptiste Reinhardt...that Django cat.

CL-5487-3 Cette Chanson Est Pour Vous Jean Sablon (French) Columbia DF 1847
CL-5518-1 Rendez-vous Sous La Pluie Jean Sablon (French) Columbia DF 1847
Paris, 12 July 1935: Jean Sablon, vocal; Stephane Grappelly, violin & piano; Django & Joseph Reinhardt, guitars; Louis Vola, bass.

Monsieur Grappelli hadn't changed the spelling of his surname yet, so I'll use the original spelling here.

...and that'll do it for this installment.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

10 October '10!'s the tenth of October 2010!!! Or 10/10/10!!

Here's a little pop-oriented Ellington item with three Tens in the title...

64812-1 Nine Little Miles From Ten-Ten-Tennessee Duke Ellington Cotton Club Orchestra Victor 22586
NYC, 21 November 1930: Freddy Jenkins, Arthur Whetsel, Cootie Williams, trumpets; Joe Nanton, Juan Tizol, trombones; Barney Bigard, Johnny Hodges, Harry Carney, saxes; Duke Ellington, piano; Fred Guy, banjo; Wellman Braud, bass; Sonny Greer, drums; Smith Ballew, vocal.

Let's get a "unRaveled" with two unusual adaptations of a familiar classic:

81369-1 Bolero Jacques Fray & Mario Braggiotti Victor 24563
NYC, 7 February 1934: Jacques Fray & Mario Braggiotti, piano duet.

63369-1 Bolero Nat Shilkret / Victor Orchestra Victor 22571
NYC, 3 October 1930: Nat Shilkret, large studio orchestra.

Why those Boleros?

Hardy, har, har....

Now for something completely different...a rather late entry in Columbia's 15000-D Old-Time Tunes (country) catalogue:

151987-1 I'm Tying The Leaves Hinkey Myers Columbia 15725-D
Atlanta, 30 October 1931: Hinkey Myers, vocal; Sarah Dye, piano
Oh well, so the song's a bit maudlin, and she sounds like Annette Hanshaw with hiccups.

But the flip side is something extraordinary...a nice semi-jazz offering:

W151993-1 Memphis Peggy Parker Columbia 15725-D
Atlanta, 30 October 1931: Peggy Parker, vocal; with Perry Bechtel's Orchestra: Perry Bechtel, guitar; Jean Egart, trumpet; others unknown.

Sadly, both of these sides represent the only issued performances of these singers...I suppose we could be grateful that Hinkey Myers's I'll See You Again remained in the can, but someone should try to locate Peggy Parker's You're Not The Same.

And that's "thirty" for now...or is that "three tens?"