Dienstag, Oktober 31, 2006

Ray Conniff - Happiness Is (1965)

THE man who popularized vocal choruses and light orchestral music in a mix of popular standards and contemporary hits of the 60s is Ray Conniff. And this is the classic Ray Conniff, just as we all love him: Nostalgic, bright, happy and a little kitschy. I like him for bringing light music to me, he´s constantly making me happy and helping me feeling relaxed. If you too want to know what happiness is, just check out this album, it will show you...

Montag, Oktober 30, 2006

Si Zentner - The Swingin´ Eye!!!!!!!! (1960)

Man, this is a crazy cover, isn´t it? And it features some crazy song titles as well, like e.g. "Yes! We Have No Bananas". And it has 8 (eight!) exclamation marks on the cover. Weird, that is... Germans might know the banana-song from the post-war era as "Ausgerechnet Bananen", younger ones might know it from the "5-Minuten-Terrine" commercial...

Trombonist Si (Simon) Zentner was born in 1910. He is best remembered for leading a quality big band, beginning in the late 1950s long after the big band era had ended, when many of the nation's ballrooms were closing down. Si began recording for Liberty in 1959, and after assembling a large touring swing outfit, toured steadily. A great PR man and promoter, Zentner's bands won an amazing 13 straight Down Beat polls for “Best Big Band.” Perhaps the most important among the regular members of the bands Zentner formed was pianist Bob Florence, whose arrangement of a twist-version of Hoagy Carmichael's "Up a Lazy River" crossed over into the top 50 pop charts, winning a Grammy for Best Instrumental, and gave Zentner his biggest hit. Mr. Zentner died in 2000 from leukemia...

Actually, here you´ll get some great swingin´ private-eye music here, some excellent spy sounds. The cover alone is worth this post...

I just found out that this one is still available, so I don´t post the link. Please get this one at your trusted record dealer...

Donnerstag, Oktober 26, 2006

Lester Lanin - Plays for Dancing (1964)

First of all I must apologize to you, the visitors. I changed my email due to continuous spamming, but I forgot to change my notifying address on blogger. Therefore I did not receive any comments over the past four weeks. Sorry for the inconvenience, but it´s fixed now. If you want to leave a comment, please feel free to do so. But now on to the music:

Born in 1907, Lester Lanin had a career as a bandleader spanning over 70 years. His grandfather, father, and six of his nine brothers were all bandleaders as well. He was called the "High Society Band Leader", because he played at the White House to Buckingham Palace to the grand ballrooms of the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers, and played at every presidential inauguration since Eisenhower except for two: Jimmy Carter thought he was too expensive and George W. Bush didn´t ask him. Lester composed the music for Grace Kelly's engagement party with Rainier and the wedding of Prince Charles and Lady Diana. You see, you can hardly get higher in society than that, right?

Here´s your chance to get a piece of the cake: Even though Mr. Lanin himself died in 2004, you can book his band under 212-265-5208. Just give them a call and hire them for your next wedding or birthday-party. Remember: Your society party without Lester Lanin is not a society party! If you can´t afford it, here´s a cheaper way to be a perfect host for your High Society guests: Just play this record...

Montag, Oktober 23, 2006

Fritz Schulz-Reichel - Man müßte Klavier spielen können (1964)

First I want to draw your attention to the post on top of my page, called "My lacking lasts". I added a link which leads you straight to my wishlist on "RateYourMusic". I would be glad, if you happen to have one or the other record and consider uploading it. Thanks, and now on with the music:

Fritz Schulz-Reichel was one of Germany´s best piano players. He was born in 1912 and played so called "bar-music", for sitting in a small bar, sipping your Martini, nibbling some peanuts and making your move on the lady next to you. He also was a great composer, most Germans will know his tunes, like "Bon Soir, Herr Kommissar", "Im Café de la Paix in Paris" or "The Man with the Banjo". But the success came with playing songs on a mistuned piano and calling himself "Der schräge Otto", to the rest of the world: "Crazy Otto".
The title of this LP means something like "you should be able to play the piano", to score with women, that is... He also had a TV-show with the same title.
This little gem is real bar-music from 1964, and now you can order a Martini or a Creole´s Cream with 1 or 2 olives, depends on your style. Fritz died in 1990, to salute him, you should order a beer for the piano man...

Donnerstag, Oktober 19, 2006

Frank Valdor - Live in Rio (1972)

Frank Valdor. Hmm. Very little is known about Frank, except that he´s from Hamburg and still touring with his topless and non-topless costumed girls and a band of 9 to 16 musicians. I hope, that he changed his girls in the last 30 years... But if you look at the back-cover, you´ll see him in his legendary seventies-Elvis-like-suit, that he still wears on stage. The music is not as bad as it looks, on the contrary! Very good arrangements and surprisingly good orchestrations. And this is not a Live-recording, the title may be a little deluding. It´s a great record of Brazilian music plus it´s got some good-looking girls on the cover. Who could ask for more? And now fetch yourself a mulatto girl (or boy, depends on your taste) and start to dance...

Dienstag, Oktober 17, 2006

Roberto Delgado - Letkiss (1964)

Do YOU remember this dance? Well, I don´t, ´cause I wasn´t on this earth at that time. It was good old Germany´s Roberto Delgado, who made this popular back in 1964. It´s an adapted dance from Finland and it had a lot of successors with names like "Letjanka", "Letjulischka", "Letvodka" and "Letborschtsch" or something like that. The dance itself is with some turning and hopping, you know, like "you put your left foot in, you put your left foot out" etc.

Now please enjoy Mr. Delgado, or plainly "Horst" as we know him with a very fine piece of unusual hop-and-dance-music.

Montag, Oktober 16, 2006

Bert Kaempfert - Ssh! It´s... (1967)

Ssh! Don´t you dare to talk! It´s Germany´s greatest composer again...

(I just discovered that only the back-cover is contained in the file. As front-cover please take the one above.) SSSSHHHHHH!!! (Yes, sorry...)

Donnerstag, Oktober 12, 2006

Dick Schory - Re-Percussion (1957)

This album is credited to Richard Schory, who is not the brother of Dick, it´s in fact his alter ego, or just his nickname. Well, Dick is the nickname, not Richard. Or was his real name Dick and his nickname was Richard? Anyway... Dick (or Richard) was a percussionist at the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. His popularizing of percussion music in 1957, when this album was released, paved the way for an entire movement in pop music in the late 50's and early 60's that lasted up to 1969. I posted the fantastic "Music for Bang, Baaroom and Harp" earlier, so here is it´s predecessor from 1957. Please enjoy Mr. Schory´s percussion ensemble...

Montag, Oktober 09, 2006

Bobby (Boris) Pickett - The Original Monster Mash (1962)

Yep, why not join other people´s traditions? Especially when they´re fun... There´s been no such thing as Halloween in Germany, but lately you can buy Halloween-equipment to stuff your house. I cought myself scooping a pumpkin and preparing pumpkin-soup yesterday, that´s when I thought I could post a Halloween-album. Even if it´s not instrumental. Well, you can´t say "singing", that´s going a bit too far, but let´s call it "vocal"...

Anyway, this is my contribution to this years Halloween-craze, it´s a long play record, but it features only one smash-hit (for further details see title). Now fetch your costume and listen to Bobby Pickett and his Crypt-Kickers. If you don´t have a costume, you can disguise yourself as a mummy with a few rolls of toiletpaper. Or even cheaper, but not necessarily healthier (depending on where you live) the classical "Adam" disguise. All you need is a leaf, the size depends on... well, you know what...

Freitag, Oktober 06, 2006

Sonny Bono - Congratulations, Mr. Hammond (1967)

No, not THAT Sonny Bono! Not the guy who was married to this native American singing sensation, who starred in the Airplane!-movie and who became the mayor of Palm Springs later on. Or is it really him? Did he play the Hammond organ as well? Hmm, I don´t know. And I couldn´t find out either. But there is "Cinderella Rockefella" on it. Wasn´t that Sonny & Cher? Oh, no, that was that couple from Israel, what were their names again? Oh, yes: The Ofarim Family. Or was is just a duo? Abe and Es? What about Gil? Isn´t that their son? But that´s going a bit too far... This is a record from the year 1967, pressed in Austria. Austria is well known for its exports, especially since they brought the Gouvernator to California. So, if you like Hammond-sounds, you should get this record, since this is definitely without Cher. I promise... :o)

Dienstag, Oktober 03, 2006

James Last - Around the World (1970)

Wow, I almost started a discussion on another blog about sharing files that are not your own. A few people joined this discussion, some pinheads as well, but it was only meant as a comment. So, here are my thoughts concerning this topic:

If you are planning on re-uploading my files and putting the post on your blog, I cannot and I won´t prevent it. It´s good to share music with other people, that´s why I´m doing this, because other people are sharing with me. And to save mankind some everlasting sounds. But please don´t adorn yourself with borrowed plumes (I got that phrase from the LEO dictionary). You may re-tag the files if you want, because mine aren´t tagged at all. But it should be a point of honor to mention the person who gave it to you, because he did the work to bring it to you. He bought the record, he ripped it, he remastered it, he took the pictures of the cover, he edited them, he uploaded the file (which alone takes me about 90 minutes per 50 MB, due to my slow internet-connection!) and he wrote the post on his blog. That should be enough for a little "Thank you", don´t you think?

For those peabrains, who still don´t get my point, here´s a vivid example: Imagine this situation: It´s your birthday and your beloved uncle gives you a Mercedes, which he has bought and restored in many days. Now, whom do you thank: Your uncle for giving it to you? Or Mercedes-Benz for manufacturing the car? Well, I wonder how many letters Mercedes has in their archives...

And another one: Now imagine that you are the beloved uncle. You bought an old car, you´ve restored and refurbished it in many days, and now somebody steals it. The thief gives it to your nephew, because it´s the nephew´s birthday. He doesn´t even mention your name, or where he got this car from, he just tells the nephew: "Hey, nephew, I don´t know where I got this car from, but you should thank Mercedes-Benz for building such a fine car!" Now, if you were the uncle, would you feel happy?

Well, I wouldn´t. To me, it takes a lot of fun out of blogging, seeing other people giving away my work without mentioning my name and / or website. Now, to optimize the sound is a lot of work too. I won´t do it anymore, so you´ll get the real vinyl sound with all the crackle, pops, hisses and other surface noises. Of course I´ll still restore and clean the record itself, but if there´s someone out there who will do the work to remaster this gem, I´d be thankful and I would certainly download it. But now on to the music:

Every real friend of instrumental music should own this James-Last-Box, but it´s pretty rare and therefore very hard to find, especially in a good condition. It contains 3 LPs with one country on each side. That´s in fact 6 countries, Mr. Last has visited musically in 1970: Spain, Mexico, Russia, Italy, France and England. Is your home-country among them? Well, mine isn´t, but Hansi put out a few dozens of other LPs interpreting the music of Germany. This box set resides way up there with a handful of other outstanding records he made, like "Well Kept Secret", "Voodoo Party", "Happyning", his version of "Hair" and many others. Just wait ´til you´ve heard his "Sabre Dance", "Kosaken-Patrouille" or his about 7.5-minute-version(!) of "Greensleeves". And now, sit back in your armchair and take the tour around the world with Sir Hansi and his Orchestra...