April 7, 2017 Latin Ala Whoa No!

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Peggy Lee, Latin Ala Lee, Capitol T-1290, 1960

I love a good Peggy Lee album, and this is one of her best.  I already had this album, but when I saw it a a store with a bulk purchase scheme, in this case 5 albums for $10, and I had 9 chosen, I added it to my pile and quickly left.  The jacket is in such good shape that I thought I could compare the one I had with this one and sleeve shift to create the best one from the two,

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I’m not the only one who liked this album.  Paul McCartney did too, and he learned The Beatles’ version of Till There Was You from this very record.  While it’s hard to imagine The Beatles covering a Broadway show tune, Peggy Lee showed how to completely rearrange one into something uniquely hers.  The Queen Mother herself applauded for The Beatles’ version when she heard it played live for her at the Royal Command Performance at the London Palladium.

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Unfortunately, this was the record I spent $2 on.  About 1/3 of its missing and it’s a cruel irony to read the original Capitol Records inner sleeve about “This Protective Envelope”.  At least I got that and a near mint jacket.  Sometimes one grades both sides of a record for how it plays, in this case, I would say that the right 2/3rds play much better than the left 1/3 does.  As for me, I’m off to the tattoo parlor have “always look at a record before you buy it” placed on my arm.

Today’s Summary:
Cost: $2, $243 Remaining

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June 26, 2016 Let’s Get The Party Started

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Bumps McGhee & His Twisters, Music To Strip By, Oscar OS-138, 1962(?)

Remarkably, there is virtually no information for an artist named Bumps McGhee and His Twisters.  Because of the Academy Awards and their nickname, there’s nothing I could discover about Oscar Records.  The songs selected here are based on a theme, even if they seem like a random collection.  It’s almost as if the most intriguing thing about this record is the cover…

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Oscar records didn’t even bother to come up with a second picture for the other side, or bother to give any songwriting or publishing credits.  The whole production seems to be a cash-in on the popularity of David Rose’s surprise 1962 #1 hit single The Stripper.  It was worthy to listen to once or the novelty, but this is most definitely a record I bought for the cover.

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I even got a neat 1965 RCA inner sleeve to swap out for my next Chet Atkins or Floyd Cramer discovery!

Today’s Summary:

Cost: $3, $957 Remaining

June 15, 2016 New Routes To Goodwill

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Lulu, New Routes, Atco SD33-310, 1970

I really almost didn’t buy this record.  Lulu is close to one hit wonder status in the US, and this record came out three years after the hit.  The bottom seam is shot, and the record didn’t appear to be in great shape.  But as a blog writer, I was looking for a great example of ring wear to highlight for my reader(s), and this record has some of the most perfect ring wear I’ve ever seen!  So, yes fan(s), when you lay albums flat on their back instead of standing them up on their sides, the weight of the upper records presses their round shape into the covers of the lower records.  Usually the artwork presents a perfect circle from forming, but here, even the slightly raised center label ring was pressed into this cover!  I therefore present perfect ring wear for your enjoyment.

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I didn’t expect much, but I LOVED THIS RECORD!  I grabbed it in haste, so I missed the back’s liner notes telling me that not only was this the same Lulu who sang “To Sir With Love”-Duh!- but that it was recorded at the same Muscle Shoals record studio that turned out some of America’s best records of the late 1960-70s-Whoa!  Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett and Lynyrd Skynyrd all made their hits there using the same backing band as Lulu did.  A guy named Dwayne Allman was the guitar player.

Arco is short for Atlantc Record Company, and the label was founded for records recorded for Atlantic that strayed from the R&B and Jazz that the parent company released. In the 1950s, the label you were on reflected the kind of act you were.  Bobby Darin was Atco’s first major star, while Ray Charles released records on Atlantic.  The back liner notes add that Lulu had just become Mrs. Maurice Gibb of the Bee Gees, Atco’s leading act of 1969.  Perhaps getting signed to the label was no coincidence.

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The album contains songs that went on to become hits for others, namely Mr. Bojangles, and Feelin’ Alright, and there are two pretty cool Gibb Brothers originals included.

True to my suspicions, the record was in bad shape.  But at $1, I’m not really upset financially, and I’ll begin a search for a nicer copy online or at a shop.  This is a record I plan to really listen to.  I look forward to putting it one and having people say they really like it but have no idea who it’s by.

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It came with a nice period sleeve from Warner Brothers too.  I had no idea they had Don Rickles and Van Dyke Parks signed to them at the same time!  Still, this sleeve will probably end up one a later Perer, Paul & Mary record…

Today’s Summary:

Cost $1, $974 Remaining

June 7, 2016 How Sad.

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Polly Bergen, All Alone By The Telephone, Columbia 1300, 1959

The idea for this blog came from being at a party the day after I’d been to an amazing record show in Portland.  There was a turntable going and everyone was talking about records and what I found, when a very smart grad student asked me “How do you know where to put the needle when you want to hear a particular song?”  Aside from suddenly feeling older than rocks, I was also validated for possessing knowledge that suddenly seemed en-vogue.  Buying a record in 1993 was uncool, but buying them if you were born in 1993 is Broad City Cool.

I’ve been waiting to find the right way to tell that story here, and today’s album seems like the perfect chance.  I’ll bet there are a lot of people out there that just can’t conceive of a time where you would have to wait by the telephone to hear form someone.  Imagine it’s 1959, your Studebaker is in the shop, and you’re all dolled up in your pink negligee.  But the phone isn’t ringing.  There is literally noting you can do but put on a Polly Bergen record.  And wait.

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I know The Beatles get all the credit with Sgt. Pepper for inventing the “concept” album.  I think that isn’t exactly true.  Sure, many teen oriented albums before The Beatles came along featured a hit single or two and were then filled by rerecording other people’s hits.  But almost all adult oriented albums had a consistent theme like this one.  It might seem like a  campy idea now,  but people in 1959 would have related to this album’s sentiment.

I just wish I enjoyed it more!  The orchestra is incredibly lush and the songs are just so bad that it took a real effort to listen to both sides.  Still, I’ll never get rid of this record, just because of the cover!  Miss Bergen was a gravelly-voiced actress first, and a torch singer second, hung around with The Rat Pack, and last acted in a memorable in a cameo in The Sopranos.  This $1 record is like a mini poster and it’s still a win for me.

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The VG+ record also came in a great Capitol Records inner sleeve.  There will be a posting on “sleeve shifting” just as soon as I find a Columbia inner sleeve holding a Capitol record.

Today’s Summary:

Cost $1, $982 Remaining