Various Artists, Cruisin’ 1965, Increase INCM-2010, 1973
Scour piles of cheap old records long enough and you’ll eventually find one from the Crusin’ series. It may seem to be a decent enough retrospective of the hits of a certain year, 1965 in this case. But really it’s much more than that. Each one of the 16 albums (1955-1970 inclusive) features a mock radio show from each year. A top local DJ mimics what he -they are all men- would have done in a typical show that year. Naturally, all of the radio station jingles and commercials are included.
The covers also tell the tale of “Eddie” as he appeared in each year, from high school through college and Vietnam. They’re all done in a Roy Liechtenstein comic book style of artwork. The back cover has a write up on all the artists and the DJ who plays the host. For 1965, it was Los Angeles’s turn. Or should I say “Boss” Angeles, as KHJ morning drive host Robert W. Morgan calls it.
I can’t imagine how hard it must have been to get all of the rights to do this project. Where in 1973 did Increase Records’ attorneys go for permission to release a 1965 Studebaker radio ad? There’s no Beatles, Beach Boys or Rolling Stones, but there are some major records on each album. These records aren’t for someone looking to enjoy the music, every song is talked over or fused together with a jingle, but they are really fun to listen to them. They are like finding an air-check from the golden age of Top 40 AM radio.
Cost: $2, $220 Remaining
Unknown. Media Music Release No. 2, Capitol Custom MEDI-1, 19??
If you look in enough record stores with huge MISC sections, you’ll eventually run into records like this. I had no idea what this was when I first saw it, but I had a pretty good idea that this would something that Capitol Records sent out to radio stations along with some promos. I was right. This fascinating little record was probably the source for thousands of radio spots, jingle beds, and station IDs.
It would have probably been sent to smaller market stations, the kind that would probably have no budget to spend on a custom jingle package. With this record, a tiny station would only need an announcer to record the voice over needed, and viola! Instant new sound for the station!
Despite the 29 tracks, this record only plays for about 6 minutes, good jingles don’t take that much time away from the program. This mint condition record (things like this usually have only been played 3-4 times since being pressed) also came with a custom protective sleeve from Sacramento, CA. It certainly did its job to keep the sleeve in perfect shape. Obviously, I don’t know how long it was on the job because I could find no information about this record online. Nothing from the producer, the artists or the date could be established by me, but I’d date it from the sound to the the 50s-early 60s.
Cost: $2, $241 Remaining
Various Artists, Rock & Roll Evolution Or Revolution, Laurie SLP-2044, 1964
It’s not often that I buy compilation records. Usually they are very cheaply or filled with some really odd choices. If anything, I tend to go for hilarious covers or really crazy themes. Like this record. It tries to be a history lesson for Rock music, even though it came out in 1964, just 9 years after Bill Haley’s Rock Around The Clock..
In typical record company fashion, Laurie Records in this case, virtually all of the selections come from Laurie or some other small New York based independent label. While Elvis Presley and The Beatles get a mention on the back cover, a low budget record like this could never have afforded the rights to re-relrease a song from either of them.
Not that the record plays more than a verse of each song. It’s really a documentary, written and announced by Norm N. Night. Anyone familiar with that name knows that he made a career around trying to be an authority on Rock music on radio. It’s this record where he got his start doing that, and it’s a pretty great bit of radio as well as music history.
Cost: $2, $647 Remaining
Various Artists, American Top 40 With Casey Kasem, Watermark Inc, 1983
Quick: What was the number one song today in 1983? If you’re like me, and I doubt you are as far as this blog post subject goes, you’d know that the new #1 hit all across America is Bonnie Tyler and her smash hit Total Eclipse Of The Heart. Welcome to one of the stranger finds a discount record shopper can hope to find.
Most people who listened to US radio between 1970 and 1990 remember Casey Kasem and his weekly Top 40 countdown show. What most people probably never though much about was how that program was able to be broadcast at random times by thousands of radio stations across the country. As labor intensive as it sounds today, the production company would rush Casey into the studio on a Monday morning just as soon at they had the chart information from Billboard Magazine, to record the show. They they would press a few thousand vinyl records and overnight them to every station that would air the show. The records were usually only played once, and then they were supposed to be destroyed.
But, of course, and thankfully, the poor minimum wage radio station employees who had to sit there and do basically nothing for 4 hours except flip the records over now and then sometimes kept the records to listen to at home. And why not? Everyone knows that a Sheena Easton record is always made better when a Dannon Yogurt commercial plays right after it! These box sets are really rare today, and sometimes shops ask extraordinary prices for a complete set (meaning not just the whole show on record, but also the original box and program listing guide). I’ve paid as much as $25 for some myself, so finding this treasure for $2 made me feel like I actually touched the stars.
Cost: $2, $684 Remaining
Maureen McGovern, The Morning After, 20th Century Fox T-419, 1973
The Poseidon Adventure was a huge picture. Big enough to be nominated for eight Oscars. One of them was for Best Original Song, even though in the final film The Morning After is only heard for about a minute. Naturally, there was a soundtrack album that also featured John Williams’ nominated score. The studio had a singer who sounded like the actress who played the singer record the song, but 20th Century Fox had a better idea.
Get that new girl, the one with the demo. Have her record it and we’ll put it out around Oscar time! Maybe if the song wins, the record will catch on! It worked. The song peaked at #1 around the world and this album was rush released to capture on it. It shows.
The best part, though, is not the quality of the music, but the promotional copy I found. It was obviously sent-and used!- by a small market radio station. Someone had the job of listening to this record and describing the tempo of each song (Don’t try To Close A Rose– MED.). Radio Station copies generally mean the record will be in good shape because it was professionally handled, but small time stations that lacked the ability to record hot records onto a tape loop actually used records like this on the air. That’s what happened here as the lead in to The Morning After is very worn out from multiple “cueing” of the record. Luckily, I’m not in the music collecting business, but the record collecting business, because this is a nice record to have despite the condition of the one listenable song.
Cost $1, $855 Remaining