November 26, 2016 Here I Come!

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Jay & The Techniques, Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie, Smash SRS-67095, 1967

The Thanksgiving weekend is coming to an end.  I’m almost out of pie.  Thankfully.  But while doing dishes, I got to listen to my new favorite album from Jay & The Techniques.  They’re just one of those groups that made the most of the sub-par material that they had to record, and broke a ton of barriers along the way.  They we’re done of the first interracial groups to break through and have big success.

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Hailing from Allentown, PA, they had two million sellers, and both are on this album.  Along with the title track, Keep The Ball Rollin’ didn’t hit the top ten, but does still get played.  Both hits “test well” with audiences, unlike 1000 similar records from the era.

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Smash was the second label for Mercury Records.  It was a common practice for decades for the label to mean something to the record buying crowd as to the kind of music they could expect to hear from them.  Mercury would feature the company’s best, A-List kind of music, while Smash might release records from second rate acts, like, say, an interracial college aged group from Pennsylvania.  Capitol Records had their Tower subsidiary, while RCA released records on Camden (named for the New Jersey town where their factory was).  It doesn’t mean the music was second rate, some of the most collectible records of the 60s were on these labels, it just means that the parent company didn’t think much of them at the time.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $5, $619 Remaining

 

August 14, 2016 Blame It On Paul Winter

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The Paul Winter Sextet, Jazz Meets The Bossa Nova, Columbia CL-1925, 1962

Paul Winter won a collegiate Jazz competition in 1961.  First prize included an invitation to perform the first Jazz concert at The White House, a Columbia Records contract, and a goodwill tour of Latin America.  The timing was spectacular, as the band reached Brazil just as a “new wave” of Bossa Nova was becoming a really big deal on the world’s music scene.  This was their second, and probably best selling album.

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The lengthy liner notes (I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a longer set) detail the tour.  The band met and played with all the greats of the genre like  Joao Gilberto and covered songs by Antonio Carlos Jobim.  It’s not the most authentic or impressive bossa nova album I have, but for a young American combo, it’s pretty darned good.  The fact that they were integrated also leads to its aura.

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At $2, I’m happy I got it.  I always get great finds in Jazz bins, International bins, Vocal bins, or Soundtrack bins.  Records like this are why I love records.  As for Paul Winter, he’s still out there in his late 70s, with 50 albums to his credit.  I had never heard of him before now, but call me a fan.

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $2, $841 Remaining