Dick Van Dyke, Songs I Like, Command RS-860-SD, 1963
I almost didn’t buy this one. Even at $2, I have way more easy listening records than I will probably ever listen to. If it was just The Ray Charles Singers with Enoch Light and his Orchestra, I would have passed. But because it’s Dick Van Dyke seemingly from the era of his eponymous TV show, I took a chance. I’ve been wanting to do a theme week of TV records (that I think actually began yesterday!), and this one would certainly be a part of it.
Generally, when a TV star gets a record deal, it’s on a label affiliated with the network the show aired on. With The Dick Van Dyke Show airing on CBS- The Columbia Broadcast System- I don’t know how this record came out on the relatively unknown independent Command Records. There’s scant information out there about the album, but there is a lot on Enoch Light and Command Records. Learning how this tiny label made revolutionary advances in recording technology under the guidance of Light makes me now a fan of Command Records. I knew that he had huge selling albums like Persuasive Percussion in the late 50s and very early 60s, but I just assumed they were oddities that were meant for people to experience the sound benefits of stereo. I was wrong.
You really can hear a depth of clarity on this record. Despite this not really being my first choice of music to listen to, I listened to both sides twice because of how great this record sounds. The music is what you might expect of a 60s game show or variety program, but it’s still pretty fascinating. This was obviously a super-premium package, with a gatefold cover (another Enoch Light innovation) and extensive liner notes from Carl Reiner. I’m sure it sold at a high price, meaning it was purchased by an audiophile who took care of it. Command Records was sold to ABC in 1965 who promptly deleted record like this from the catalogue. But they kept the technology alive, pressing Quadrophonic records well into the 80s.
Cost: $2, $362 Remaining