Thursday, March 21, 2013

Al Hirt: "Cotton Candy"

Released in 1964,
this is one of the best-loved recordings
from a long career of much-loved projects
from Al Hirt.

As always, fun to listen to,
here is a sample:

Read more about the Al Hirt HERE.

Roger Williams: "With These Hands"

Released in 1959,
this is one of many Easy Listening recordings from the pianist
Roger Williams.

Read more about the life and times of Roger Williams HERE.

Terry Snyder and the All-Stars: "Persuasive Percussion"


Released in 1959,
this is a terrific "modern" mid-century offering
from Terry Snyder and the All-Stars.

Here's an audio sample:

Minimalist cover art by Josef Albers.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Vince Guaraldi: "A Charlie Brown Christmas"

Released in 1965
with the television airing of this
first of many Charlie Brown specials,
this became Vince Guaraldi's signature work.

He went on to compose and record seventeen
Charlie Brown specials before he passed away
at the age of 47 from an apparent heart attack.

Read more about Vince Guaraldi HERE.

Read more about the Charlie Brown specials HERE.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Ralph Carmichael and Kurt Kaiser: "I'm Here. God's Here. Now We Can Start."

Released in 1973
in the heyday of "summer musicals"
for church youth groups,
and during the height of the 
"Jesus Movement."

This type of "contemporary musical context"
was the mainstream church's response
to the advent of what would soon 
come to be called 
"Contemporary Christian Music."

Evangelistic in nature and content,
these types of musicals
were very popular
and hugely successful.

This one also involved
Andrae Crouch and Danniebelle Hall.

Cover Art: Thel Eichmann

Al Hirt: "Sugar Lips"

Released in 1964,
this is one of dozens
of fantastic recordings
from this New Orleans Jazz icon.

Always uplifting and fun listening.

Read more about Al Hirt HERE.

The Mills Brothers: "The Very Best of..."

Released in 1977,
this is a wonderful retrospective
compilation of their most beloved tracks.

Unbeatable swingin' harmonies!
I love these guys.

Read more about The Mills Brothers HERE.

Friday, March 8, 2013

BeeGees: "Greatest"

Released in 1979,
this was a compilation album
commemorating the huge sensation
that was the BeeGees
in the late 1970s.

All the great songs from "Saturday Night Fever,"
plus "Jive Talkin'"
"Nights On Broadway"
"How Deep Is Your Love"

Admit it.
You love it.

Pete Fountain: "Swing Low, Sweet Clarinet"

Released in 1962,
this is one of many enjoyable recordings
from one of America's best-loved jazz musicians.

Read more about Pete Fountain HERE.

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Roberta Flack: "Quiet Fire"

Released in 1971,
this was Roberta Flack's third (3rd) studio LP.

When this album hit the stores,
Roberta Flack was not yet a household name.
But in 1972, Clint Eastwood decided to use her song
"The First Time Ever I Saw Your Face"
(from her first album, "First Take")
in his movie "Play Misty For Me,"
(Eastwood's directorial debut).

That song became a mega-hit,
and was awarded a Grammy for Record of the Year in 1973.

The only song from "Quiet Fire" to make the charts,
 peaking at #76, was
"Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow,"
the Carole King tune first recorded by The Shirelles in 1960,
the first recording by an "all-girl group" to hit #1.
The song had already been covered by several other artists,
including Brenda Lee, Lesley Gore, Cher, Ben E. King,
Linda Ronstadt, The Four Seasons, Dusty Springfield,
Jackie DeShannon, and others - even Carole King herself,
on her classic "Tapestry" LP.
One of the most recorded songs ever,
this song has been taken up by dozens of artists
over the years.

Photography: Rod Bristow
Cover Design: Ira Friedlander

Monday, March 4, 2013

Si Zentner: "Presenting..."

Released in 1962,
this is one of at least thirty (30) LPs
recorded by Si Zentner,
a great contributor to the Big Band Sound.

Read more about Si Zentner HERE.

Henry Mancini: "Mancini Concert"

Released in 1971,
this Mancini LP
reveals how much Mancini often tried
to stay in tune with popular musical expressions.

Here, besides a medley tribute to Simon & Garfunkel,
he also includes the overture from The Who's rock opera "Tommy"
and a medley of tunes from Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's
"Jesus Christ Superstar."

Simon & Garfunkel had just broken up in 1970
after the release of their last album together:
"Bridge Over Troubled Water"

was released less than two years previously
and had not yet made its way
to stage or film.

"Jesus Christ Superstar"
had been released
as a concept album
less than a year previously
and was months
away from its opening
on Broadway.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Byrds: "Ballad of Easy Rider"

Released in 1969,
the was The Byrds' eighth (8th) LP.

The story of the song and the movie
are classic American tales
especially typifying the way it was
in the late 1960s
in the good ol' U.S.A.

Read more about it HERE.

Inner Sleeve
A mini-gallery of a tiny slice of the late '60s music scene.

Wings: "Venus and Mars"

Released in 1975,
this was Wings' fourth (4th) studio LP;
a relatively successful follow-up to their
"Band on the Run" LP.

Includes the hit
"Listen to What the Man Said"

This is recording during which
Joe English joined Wings
(after Geoff Britton left).

101 Strings: "World of Romance"

Released in 1961,
this is an easy listening compilation
of tracks from previously recorded 101 Strings albums
representing exotic locations from Baghdad to Ohio.

Read the story of "101 Strings" HERE.