Thursday, April 29, 2010

Ask Not For Whom The Bell Toils...

Today we get a one-sided 7" 33 1/3 rpm promotional single from Bell Telephone Labs showing off their state-of-the-art (for 1963) speech synthesis computer. You may recognize a clip midway through from its appearance in a seminal science fiction film. Sadly, fifty years later speech synthesis doesn't sound extraordinarily better, though it's nice not to have to use punch cards these days. 

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

The Anatomic Bomb

Though I'm sometimes called a socialist (mostly by those who have no idea what the term means) I must really be a capitalist, because I really dig (daddy-o) cash-in/knock-off records, and today's selection is one of many twist craze cash-ins. From 1962, it's a group of anonymous studio cats adapting old standards to that new beat that's so hep with the kids. Speaking of beat, the drummer plays the exact same snare drum cadence through the first four songs, deigning to hit the cymbals finally on the fifth cut. I've listened to the album a dozen times and I rarely notice the transition between songs, they sound so much alike.

Most of the tracks were arranged by well-known session guitarist Billy Mure, who probably provides the hot licks on a couple of tracks. There's a nice article about him over at spaceagepop.

The back of the sleeve notes are a bit of a hoot, as well.
The whole shebang gets in and out in about twenty minutes.

Twist With The Lions

Sugar Blues Twist
The Darktown Strutters Ball
Rye Twist
Ballin' The Jack
My Bonnie Twist
Banana Twist
Lazy River
Summertime Twist (In The Good Old Summertime)
Flying Twister (Man On The Flying Trapeze)
Happy New Year Twist (Auld Lang Syne)

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Saturday Night Pickin' Party

I'd like to think that every track on here (and in fact the whole album concept) was completely the idea of the artists, but something makes me think that there was probably more than a little label suggestion involved: some of the tracks sound fairly inspired, while a few have that "contractual obligation" feel [any Flatt and Scruggs scholars feel free to chime in if you have more details].

This album is available as part of a two-fer: you can get it at Amazon.

Flatt and Scruggs - Nashville Airplane

Like A Rolling Stone
Folsom Prison Blues
Gentle On My Mind
If I Were A Carpenter
Freida Florentine
I'll Be Your Baby Tonight

Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
Catch The Wind
Long Road To Houston
The Times They Are A-Changin'
Universal Soldier

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

These Are Places That Are Gone...

I think that this is my first music performance saved for posterity on video, barring a bit of silent Super 8 that my parents shot in 1980. Despite the metalicy of this performance, both Chuck and I became more well-known for our power-pop bands (Who Hit John, in his case, and Sea 7 States and Major Nelson in mine). This particular ensemble rehearsed weekly and played out three times that I can recall: this battle of the bands, a big assembly in the Maryville High School gym, and Caroline Moore's 16th birthday party. This venue is the since-demolished Wilson Chapel at Maryville College (TN).

I believe that we came in second or third in this contest, winning a (Peavey?) high impedance mic (which I think that I still have) and a stand, and maybe something else.

Chuck Tate - guitar
Scott Sherrod - drums
Kevin Crothers - bass

Sorry about the pants.

Part 1 (2 songs)

Part 2 (3rd song)

See, Smootz, this is your failt: this is what happened when you left town.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Music for the Work Week

Raymond Scott's "Powerhouse" is the classic music for scenes of industry in cartoons (a hens-laying-eggs assembly line comes immediately to mind) but he had other compositions that were more popular at the time of their introduction.

Today's 10" LP gathers eight of his well-known tracks together as "Raymond Scott's Drawing Room."

Raymond Scott Quintet - Raymond Scott's Drawing Room (Columbia cl 6083)

In An Eighteenth Century Drawing Room
Business Man's Bounce
The Peanut Vendor
Huckleberry Duck
Pretty Little Petticoat
Boy Scout in Switzerland
The Toy Trumpet

Friday, April 02, 2010

Shaking the Trees

The Mountain Youth Singers was a late 1970's youth choir from Maryville, TN that I was associated with (I joined too late to be involved in this recording). This post is really just Google bait to see who from the list below has an alert set for their own name. :)

Former members, please leave a comment!

The album "art" is one of the stock covers available from the RPC custom record-pressing plant in Camden, NJ. Mine still has the shrink wrap on it, so the picture is a bit wavy.

Mountain Youth Singers - "Singing Their Favorites"


Missy Reed
Cathy Headrick
Amy Jones
Denna Tipton
Kim Nuchols
Jimmy Webb
Tracy Butler
Maria Polster
Lisa Martin
Martha Viall
Ena Shuler
Betty Woodruff
Vickie Adams
Teresa Robinson

Terry Headrick
Debbie Riddle
Debbie Sands
Jerry Headrick
Tony Nelms
Jimmy Riddle
Cindy Hmielewski
Susan Sterling
Carolyn Enos
Greg Rodriguez
Chris White
Greg Pack
Annette Burnette

Gilbert Rodriguez
Terry Byrd
Jim Rodriguez
Billy Adams
Steve Sterling
Heath Johnson

Randall Keith "Randy" Bassett