Thursday, August 03, 2017


I was into music really early. One of the earliest pictures of me as a toddler has me hanging on the side of a record player. As I got older my Mom (RIP) would sometimes bring home random 45s for me when she was shopping at Sears (which sold cheap former jukebox discs). Sometime in the early 1970's she sent off a coupon or two from the packaging of the Solo Cozy Cups that were popular then (sort of an upscale Dixie Cup) and received this disc. I believe that you could specify the genre that you wanted to receive (i.e., rock, country, pop, show tunes, etc.)

I had completely forgotten that I ever owned this disc until I discovered it in a pile of sleeveless 45s that had been stored in an old citrus bag behind a shelf. It literally fell out of the pile all by itself and landed in my lap. (Hi Mom!)

Now, what is it? Well, thanks to the magic of the internet, I now know the story. As I kid I suspected that Dora Hall must be some sort of show-biz/Broadway actress/singer who branched out into "something for the kids" - her voice has a little of that brassy quality that you sometimes hear in folks like Ethel Merman. Turns out that the story is much more interesting: Dora was sort of a Florence Foster Jennings of the pop recording world, in that her wealthy husband (owner of the Solo Cup corporation - ah, now the lights go on!) funded her extensive music and television career. When no regular record company would take her on, he simply created his own labels to issue her recordings. When no one would distribute them, he gave them away via the Solo Cup company products.

There are good stories about her out there, as well as video clips of her C-list star-studded TV specials. Here are some good blog entries:
and an entire blog dedicated to her:

Now, about the disc. "All Shook Up" is allegedly the A side, but it seems like a tossed-off trifle that passes by in a quick 1:33. "Roll Over Beethoven" on the flip, however - OK, I actually like this one a lot, unironically. It's groove is a little slower than the original (or the well-known Beatles cover) which it allows it to relax and stretch out a bit. The intro guitar sidesteps Chuck Berry imitation for flat-out seventies jammin', and the horns work well (at least until one errant trumpet forgets to end the song when everyone else does). Dora reworks the lyrics a bit to fit her gender.

DORA HALL-Roll Over Beethoven/All Shook Up

Sadly, Dora passed in 1988 before the internet and ironic hipsterism could rediscover her. Perhaps it's for the best.

And how about that great label logo of the Victrola with the Cozy cup replacing the horn? Genius.