Monday, October 29, 2012

Hallowe'en 2012 (repost of Hallowe'en 2010)

I'm sorry for not posting in a while...
Things have been somewhat hectic at Chez Zorch...I sold a couple of goodies on eBay (I had to...), and my mom passed on in May. 
Anyway, we've got the first gusts of Hurricane Sandy  up here in the Northeast Corridor. There's not a lot of things that I can do at the moment, but I do still have electricity. Now's the perfect time to get around to reposting my Hallowe'en post from a couple of years ago, with new MediaFire links replacing the old MegaUpload ones. The last time I checked (just before MegaUpload went belly-up), the Buddy Morrow LP had been downloaded over 1000 times (wish I had a buck for every time someone downloaded it, but enough of that!). Somebody else wanted the Brother Theodore to be reposted as well.

This should please a bunch of readers...turn your way-back machine to this time two years ago...

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 

12. 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 a 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).

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Irving Szathmary - Moods For Moderns

I'm sorry for my long lapse in writing...I've been busy with my usual seasonal doldrums (my less-than-rosy financial status also contributed to my latest blue funk). The Megaupload shutdown didn't help, either. I'll try to reload the LPs that were thrown out with the Megaupload bathwater sometime in the near future. I've switched to Mediafire for the time being.

Anyhooo...back to the present...

Here's a somewhat unusual ten-inch contains eight whimsical instrumentals arranged and conducted by Irving Szathmary (1907-1983), best remembered today for his incredibly catchy theme for the 1965-1970 TV show Get Smart!
You've probably noticed that the composer left the "S" off his surname for this LP (and the autograph). He also recorded versions of two of the songs included here (Irish Washerwoman and Polly Wolly Doodle) in 1927 for Grey Gull, also as "Irving Zathmary." I don't have that record, and would love to compare those sides with these.

He also recorded some Lang-Worth transcriptions as "Szath-Myri."

Szathmary was the older brother of comic Bill Dana, and contributed much of the music to Dana's 1963-1965 TV show.

There's a good article on Mr. Szathmary here ... for the album itself, it's a lot of fun! The arrangements run the gamut from posh easy-listening to cute novelty to out-and-out swing, with some rather nice solos thrown in for good measure. I don't have personnel on this LP yet...maybe someone out in Blogville will supply it.
MOODS FOR MODERNS Irving (S)Zathmary Orch 10" Madison MA-267 
1. Dick-Dockery
2. Pitter Patter Polka
3. Irish Washerwoman 

4. Ay, Ay, Ay
5. Billy Boy 
6. Polly Wolly Doodle 
7. Oh Dear, What Can The Matter Be
8. Sailor's Hornpipe 

And now for something completely different: It's a pair of Burmese 78 rpm sides! I found this record at a yard sale in Providence a few months ago. Maybe someone in Blogville can transliterate the label info, and perhaps give a rough translation of the song.

They're jaunty, very western-sounding sides...a pleasant female vocal backed by a violin, slide guitar,  muted trumpet, and clarinet. There's also a piano with some flabby-sounding bass notes too.
This record is quite similar to one posted a couple of years ago at Haji Maji ...I think it's the same ensemble.
As pretty as the label is (Nipper must be at the vet's), it's the sleeve that really got me, even with the Scotch tape!

By the way, the sleeve opens on the side, instead of the top (like most 78 sleeves).
That's all for now, folks.
I have a batch of singles I want to post soon. And I do mean soon!