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Category Archives: Big Band

Vinyl Records Refuse To Die

A 45 vinyl single of the Beatle’s song I Feel Fine.

 

The first flat disc record was invented by Emil Berliner in 1888. 125 years later the technology may have improved, but vinyl records have survived, because vinyl fans continue to buy and play vinyl records today.

Singers are still making vinyl records today. The late Johnny Cash has a vinyl album American IV: the Man Comes Around, that will be released on February 4, 2014. The vinyl version is advertised for $33.89, while the audio CD is being sold for only $8.49.

Bruce Springsteen’s new album High Hopes will be released on January 14, 2014 and it will be released on vinyl for $29.46, while the audio CD will be sold for $15.99. Meanwhile the Beatles are releasing Live at the BBC, which will be sold for $49.99 on vinyl, but consists of three vinyl records, while at the present time no CD version is being released.

Vinyl was first used in 1948, after shellac had been used in the early years of record production. So vinyl records have been around now for 65 years and going strong. 1949 would bring music fans the 45 single records, which usually had one song on each side, which were sometimes called the A and B side.

 

This was one of my first vinyl record albums bought in 1967. I still have that same record album 45 years later.

 

The  popularity of vinyl records waned, after the invention of eight tracks, cassettes and compact discs. This was about the time, that I decided to sell my vinyl albums for a quarter each. At that price my collection of about 100 records was gone in a couple of days.

The Electro Brand phonograph which we currently own.

 

The Electro Brand phonograph has served us well, since my wife bought it for me in 2009. It doesn’t play cassettes or record, but it plays records and we can listen to the radio and can plug the MP3 player into the back and hear the old-time radio shows and music, that had been downloaded into the MP3 player.

 

We no longer had a record player, so decided to sell them, which was a huge mistake. One of my sisters found my Frank Sinatra album (pictured above) and returned it to me, about three or four years ago. My wife surprised me by buying me a $45 record player at Big Lots. Then a local book store in Knoxville, Tennessee had tons of vinyl albums for only a quarter each. Sometimes I would splurge and buy 10 albums at a time for a total of $2.50.

It didn’t take long to find that there were very few southern gospel or country music albums, among the vinyl records for sale. I found loads of Johnny Mathis albums in the bargain bin, along with the music of many orchestras. So I bought some Mantovani, Henry Mancini, Harry James, Guy Lombardo and Lawrence Welk albums.

So now my record collection is up to about 30 albums. It is great hearing Christmas music emanating from a record player.

 

This is one of many record players for sale today, that have a retro look.

 

You can buy a basic record player today, or you can buy the models, that not only play vinyl records, but have the ability to copy the music from the vinyl onto a CD. Some players also record from the radio and from cassettes. Some players also have docks for I-Pods or a connection for MP3 players. So those players are capable of playing the radio, records, compact discs, cassettes and the music from a MP3 player.

 

There is little chance of being stuck with vinyl records again, since so many manufacturers are not only making the vinyl records, but also are making the record players to play them on.

 

For instance, Amazon.com has a total of 1,338,799 vinyl records for sale as of today. Ebay.com has even more records listed with 3,857,050 vinyl records for sale. That is a total of over 5 million vinyl records for sale combined at amazon.com and Ebay.com. Over 493,000 of the vinyl records at sale at Ebay.com are new.

 

Remember Jimmy features Bob Eberly, Helen O’Connell and the great Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.

 

I bought the Jimmy Dorsey album Remember Jimmy pictured above at a thrift store in Sulphur, Louisiana for $2.98. That same album is being sold on ebay.com today for $40.49.  The main reason I bought the album was because it included the classic song Tangerine, which was one of my all time favorite big band songs.

Helen O’Connell later would be known for being the host of the Today show.

 

It looks as if vinyl records will be with us for a long time to come. Ebay.com lists a 1982 John Cougar album for only 99 cents. Not bad for a 31-year-old vinyl record. The most expensive album for sale, at Ebay is a $125,000 Michael Jackson album that is autographed and is ultra rare, according to the description. 91 offers have been made for the album, but none have been accepted yet. It is listed at $125,000 or best offer. The album is the first album released by Michael Jackson and titled You Got To Be There.

 

Technology has changed over the years, but we can still hear music, from a phonograph 136 years, after Thomas Edison invented the phonograph in 1877, which was only 12 years after the Civil War ended.

 

 

 

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Doris Day Classic Song: Again

Doris Day

I have the Doris Day album: Golden Girl Columbia Recordings 1944-1966 in my collection. The two CD set contains 48 songs, but the one song that I play the most is Again which to me epitomizes the meaning of easy listening and I never tire of hearing the song.

http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Girl-Columbia-Recordings-1944-1966/dp/B00000J7RW/ref=sr_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1342445229&sr=8-11&keywords=doris+day

This YouTube video shows why I keep playing this song on my MP3 player:

 

 

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Off the Beaten Path Music Websites: Passions of Patchy

Passions of Patchy may be off the beaten path, compared to mega music sites like Pandora and Spotify, but that in no way means the content is not as good. There may not be as much musical content as the afore named sites, but this is not just a musical site.

Before you even scroll down to the music icons, there is a CLICKS icon for links, which take you to some very interesting sites, including a link to make your own license plate, then emailing it to someone, that is just one of many links.

The CHUCKLES icon provides a plethora of jokes like this:

I am not offended by all the blonde jokes, because I am not dumb and I am not blonde – Dolly Parton

You see a lot of smart guys with dumb women, but you hardly ever see a smart woman with a dumb guy. – Erica Jong

Six year old Del says the best way to have someone to fall in love with you is to tell them you own a bunch of candy stores.

The section is broken down to 27 categories. Caution: It is addictive and time-consuming, once you start reading the jokes.

TOUCH SOMEONE -This  is the first of the music sections and includes Bette Midler’s Wind Beneath My Wings and the REM classic Everybody Hurts. Rock Around the Clock seems to be out-of-place on this page, but it really doesn’t matter when you can hear Johnny Mathis sing his standard Misty.

The bottom row of icons is where you find most of the music on the page in jukebox format with list of songs to choose from.

BLUES IN MY EYE JUKE JOINT – This page consists of three jukeboxes consisting of songs like I’ve Been Loving You Too Long sung by the late and great Etta James which reminds us again of how great of a singer she was. The jukebox also includes current singers like Susan Tedeschi, singing  It Hurt So Bad.  Jonny Lang has his clothes in his matchbox and is heard singing Matchbox, a driving blues number that really jumps. There is an option at the bottom of each jukebox to play all the songs in jukebox. A lot of the songs may not be recognizable, due to them being sung and played by some of the blues pioneers of the past.

LOST IN THE 50’S AND DOO-WOP – Having grown up during this era, this is my favorite music on the entire website. The Lost in the 50’s page has six jukeboxes, filled with the songs, that baby boomers like me grew up with.

Some of favorites from the jukeboxes:

I Heard It Through the Grapevine – Marvin Gaye

Locomotion – Little Eva

Harbor Lights – The Platters

Shotgun – Jr. Walker and the All-Stars

Hurt – Timi Yuro…..one of the most emotion packed songs ever.

Lost in the 50’s…..this song takes me back to the 50’s, like no other song can do.

You next will find the DOO WOP jukebox on the bottom row of the Lost in the 50’s page. When you go to the Doo Wop page, there will be three speakers holding the doo wop music including songs like:

Blue Velvet – Clovers….This is nothing like the Bobby Vinton version as it gets the full doo wop treatment.

A Thousand Miles Away – Heartbeats….Doo wop music at its best.

Earth Angel – Penguins….A classic doo wop song that will live on forever, as long as there is music.

In The Still of the Night – Five Satins….This song was so well-known that it was included, as part of Ronnie Milsap’s song Lost in the 50’s.

SATIN SMOOTHIES -  Is   next as you return to the home page where you find two jukeboxes, where you can find the songs my parents grew up with, plus some we remember as teenagers. These songs were the chart-toppers, before Bill Haley and the Comets and Elvis Presley changed music forever in the middle 50’s.

These are just a few of those songs:

Old Cape Cod – Patti Page….You will be very fortunate, if you can find a song like this being recorded today.

Unforgettable – Nat King Cole….This has to be the best of Nat King Cole’s hits that has become a standard.

In The Mood – Glenn Miller Orchestra…. When you think of the big band era, this is one of the first songs, that come to mind and it sad we lost Glenn Miller during the war.

Lazy River – Mills Brothers….This was one of the premier groups of this era, who epitomized the music of the era.

SUNRISE GOSPEL – This page has only one jukeboxes but will bring back memories, to those of us who grew up in church in the 40’s, 50’s and 60’s, plus some more recent songs. The artists are not listed, but that sounds a lot like Dolly Parton on Farther Along.

Some of my favorites from this page:

Beyond the Sunset….song written by a blind person after a group of people were viewing a sunset together and thus the title of the song, since the blind writer said they looked beyond the sunset. The reading that goes with this song makes it even more special.

Family Bible….Willie Nelson wrote this song, but sold the rights to it for only $50 to Claude Gray, the country music singer.

Precious Memories….sang this at funeral once for a lady who attended our church. What a great thought to think of the precious memories, even though the loved one is gone.

TWO STEPPIN’ JUKE BOX - Last but not least, Patchy’s Passion includes three jukeboxes for country music fans.

The list includes:

Don’t Rock the Jukebox – Alan Jackson….This song really rocks out and tells the story of a man, who is too sad over his breakup with his girlfriend and doesn’t want to hear the Rolling Stones  on the jukebox, but wants to hear George Jones instead.

He Stopped Loving Her Today – George Jones….This song has been chosen as the best country music song ever, on many lists of Top 100 songs.

Sweet Dreams – Patsy Cline…. also recorded  by Tommy McLain of Pineville, Louisiana, who attended my high school in the 60’s. His recording of Sweet Dreams outsold Don Gibson, the writer  of the song and the immortal Patsy Cline. His version went to No.15 on the Billboard chart.

For the Good Times – Ray Price….Has it really been 42 years since Ray Price recorded this country classic? It is true and also it is true that Ray Price is still actively singing at the age of 86. The 2010’s started his eighth decade of being active in country music.

Passions of Patchy was created on March 17, 2000, which she dedicated to her mom Candy, who was dying of cancer. This page tells  about the last months of her mother’s life. If this doesn’t make your eyes tear up, then it may be time to have your pulse checked:

http://dapatchy.com/gospel/journal.html

You could spend hours at this website listening to the music and going to some of the links at the website.

Most of all though it is all about the music.

To go back in time to hear some of the music from the past that we never became tired of:

http://dapatchy.com/

 

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Jackie Gleason: From Pool Hustler To Smokey and the Bandit

Jackie Gleason was best known for portraying Ralph Kramden on The Honeymooners but also appeared on the big screen from 1941-1986.

Jackie Gleason grew up in Brooklyn, New York and didn’t have much of a childhood, with his father abandoning the family, when Gleason was eight years old. His mother died when he was 16. His brother Clemence had died when he was three, so Jackie was an only child during most of his childhood.

Behind the counter it's Jackie Gleason

Jackie Gleason as he appeared in Larceny Inc. movie in 1942 at the age of 26.

Gleason’s first foray into the movies lasted only two years, but he appeared in nine movies in those two years, including Orchestra Wives and Larceny, Inc. Then he performed in nightclubs and appeared in some Broadway plays till he received his first television starring role in Life of Riley, portraying the title character. He was not really suited well for the role and it was cancelled, but revived when William Bendix, the voice of Riley on radio became the star of the show.

Jackie Gleason Orchestra Formed

Jackie Gleason saw there was a place for romantic music and formed the Jackie Gleason Orchestra. I have read that there was never an actual traveling Jackie Gleason Orchestra but this article proves that assumption is incorrect, since this review of a performance with Gleason proves they did travel to different venues. Music showed there was a serious side to Jackie Gleason. I was surprised to read that Gleason actually was conducting the orchestra. Bobby Hackett is the one playing the trumpet solos on most, if not all of his albums.

http://www.bigbandsandbignames.com/gleason.html

Music For Lovers, the debut album for the orchestra was a tremendous hit and showed their was a market for romantic music:

Gleason’s first album, Music for Lovers Only, still holds the record for the album staying the longest in the Billboard Top Ten Charts (153 weeks), and his first ten albums all sold over one million copies.[19]

I have his Best of Jackie Gleason and His Orchestra album and it includes these songs:

http://www.cduniverse.com/search/xx/music/pid/1015597/a/Best+of+Jackie+Gleason.htm

The now defunct Dumont Television network hired Gleason as summer host of Cavalcade of Stars. He handled the hosting duties so well, that he was named permanent host. He introduced his Ralph Kramden character during the series and the sketches would evolve into The Honeymooners in 1955.

Jackie Gleason and Audrey Meadows in a scene from The Honeymooners television series 1955-1956.

There is no doubt that The Honeymooners television series is what made Jackie Gleason a household word. The show centered around his character Ralph Kramden and the show was clearly focused on whatever hare-brained scheme, that he was planning at the time.

The Jackie Gleason Show was telecast from 1952-1957 and then revived again to run from 1966-1970. In between he also hosted the Jackie Gleason: American Scene Magazine from 1962-1966.

You’re In The Picture Bombs

Jackie Gleason did have one colossal failure, when he was the host of a new game show named You’re In The Picture in 1961. This article details the failure of the show the first week and how Gleason came back the second week with a new format:

http://www.tvparty.com/picture.html

1961 would see Gleason also have one of his biggest triumphs on the big screen in The Hustler. He played Minnesota Fats the pool hustler and was nominated for an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor but did not win. It was an awesome achievement, considering that he hadn’t appeared in a movie, since appearing in Desert Hawk in 1950.

He is seen with Paul Newman in this pool room scene from The Hustler:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5TC3kqFUmqQ

The next year Gleason would return in Gigot, in which he played a mute and would be nominated for a Golden Globes Award as best actor. Gleason wrote the screenplay, starred and wrote the music for Gigot. Gleason was the only recognizable name in the entire cast of this movie.  He is seen in this clip from Gigot:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=la5tyq9gblk

Gleason also appeared in Requiem For A Heavyweight in 1962. He acted well in the movie, but failed to garner any nominations or awards, for his performance.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=54kM1mY86Mc

He appeared in Papa’s Delicate Condition and Soldier in the Rain in 1963 and wouldn’t appear in another movie, till he appeared in Skidoo in 1968. It is strange that he appeared in so many successful movies, than stopped his movie career for the next five years. He could be that filming his American Scene Magazine television show and appearing in movies was too much for him.

Next he appeared in How To Commit Marriage and Don’t Drink The Water in 1969, then took an eight year hiatus from making movies till 1977.  He appeared in Mr. Billion and Smokey and the Bandit in 1977.  I was going to include some clips of Gleason portraying Sheriff Buford T. Justice, but the dialogue was filled with so much bad language, that I decided not to use it, in case some kids were to watch it. He would go on to appear in Part II and Part III of the Smokey and the Bandit movies in 1980 and 1983.

Gleason also appeared in The Toy in 1982 and The Sting II in 1983, before appearing Nothing In Common in 1986, which would be his last movie. His movie career spanned 45 years from 1941-1986.

It is ironic that Gleason only won a Tony Award in his long career for Take Me Along, while never winning a Emmy, Grammy or Academy Award.

Jackie Gleason died of cancer in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 24, 1987 at the age of 71. Gleason left his mark on Broadway, in the movies, on television and music. He truly was an entertainer of the first magnitude.

His obituary from the New York Times:

http://www.nytimes.com/1987/06/25/obituaries/jackie-gleason-dies-of-cancer-comedian-and-actor-was-71.html?pagewanted=all&src=pm

A road sign with his famous catch phrase:

The burial place of Jackie Gleason in Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Cemetery in Miami, Florida.

Jackie Gleason kept his sense of humor in death with his famous catchphrase.

 

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American Idol: Scotty and Lauren Alaina Sign Record Contracts

It is now official: Scotty McCreery and Lauren Alaina have both signed with the Mercury Nashville record label. The recording company’s ad announcing the signings is included in the link at the end of this article.

With the Lauren Alaina signing, it should signal that she will be recording almost exclusively country music. To me, her voice is better suited for country music. However, time will tell if she will crossover into pop music from time to time.

One thing that can be said for American Idol is that it is great training for new artists, since they have to keep an exhausting schedule during the season.

It is a shame that Scotty and Lauren Alaina can’t hit the road now with their own tour, instead of being tied down to the American Idol tour most of the summer. When they do tour, it wouldn’t surprise me to see them both appearing together in concerts as a package deal.

I want to be one of the first to wish them successful recording careers and that they will be singing country music for many years to come.

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/2011/06/american-idol-scotty-mccreery-and-lauren-alaina-sign-with-mercury-nashville.html

 

 

 

AMERICAN IDOL UPDATES

American Idol producer Nigel Lythgoe and Season 9 winner Lee DeWyze continue to conduct their “tweeting” war, over when DeWyze was told he would be presenting the American Idol trophy to the Season 10 winner.

Lythgoe contends it was a week before the finale night, while DeWyze said he wasn’t told till the last few moments of the show. I tend to believe Lythgoe since it is a more believable scenario that DeWyze was told a week before. It is unlike American Idol to have asked DeWyze the last-minute to present the trophy. I am not saying it didn’t happen that way, just not the way the well orchestrated finale would likely to have been handled by the producers. If DeWyze was lying as Lythgoe charged, it will only hurt his career. I realize he was upset at not being asked to sing on the finale, but it still doesn’t excuse his behavior if he had agreed a week before to present the trophy, then back out the last-minute.

James Durbin has tweeted that he is close to signing a record deal….Haley Reinhart has told Digitalspy.com that she was very comfortable singing with Tony Bennett, because of his demeanor and that she felt at home singing with the jazz quartet backing them….Casey James a contestant on Season 9 opened for Sugarland earlier this year and has been signed by Sony Records and is in the process of putting a band together.

Aaron Kelly also from Season 9 is working on an album and will be opening this summer for Rodney Akins and Little Big Town….Another Season 9 contestant Siobhan Magnus will be singing in concerts this summer singing songs from her alternative-grunge debut album.

The following USA Today article gives more updates on all 12 of the Season 9 contestants:

http://www.usatoday.com/life/music/news/2011-05-31-idol-season-9-catch-up_n.htm

 

 

 

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American Idol: Is Summer Tour Slowing Down American Idol Careers?

It seems like the summer tour is slowing down the start of the career by American Idols, by keeping them too busy to finish albums.

The summer tour is apparently a huge money maker for the American Idol franchise, plus it pays the singers who participate well, but it slows down those singers who have recording contracts. Traveling from city to city for two months is not conducive to starting a career.

When the American Idol typically doesn’t release their debut album till November most years, it robs them of the chance to release an album during the summer and probably selling many more albums before so much time passes.

For instance right now Scott McCreery is as hot as a firecracker on the Fourth of July, but by the time the summer is over and November comes around the hotness diminishes over time.

By November, the next season of American Idol is only two months away and fans start anticipating the new season and by then have tired of waiting for an album to be released.

Scotty McCreery may be the exception, but it can’t help his career not having an album in the stores and available for download six months after the last confetti has hit the floor on finale night. Then there is another three month wait after the tour is over.

Pia Toscano could possibly have an album ready much sooner since she is already working on an album and should be the first American Idol contestant to have an album released.

The only way to take advantage of the new American Idol’s name recognition is to cancel the summer tour and release their debut album sooner, but can’t see it being canceled since it is too much of a money-maker for American Idol’s corporate ownership.

So American Idol fans will likely have to wait six months before actually having a CD of the new American Idol in their hands.

 

 

Tony Bennett: I Wanna Be Around – Newport Jazz Festival 2002

The video below will only work by copying and pasting but is worth the trouble to hear Tony Bennett sing in an HD quality video:

http://www.wolfgangsvault.com/tony-bennett/video/i-wanna-be-around_2146595811.html

Tony Bennett singing I Wanna Be Around at the Newport Jazz Festival on August 20,2002.

This video shows Tony Bennett at his best singing one of his standards that has been around for years. Those wanting to see more of his videos during the Newport Jazz Festival will be able to see Tony singing many of his hits including his signature song I Left My Heart in San Francisco in other videos also available at Wolfgang’s Vault website.

Tony is still active nine years later as he sang last Wednesday night, August 25 with Haley Reinhart of American Idol. He will be 85 years old later this year.

Voters are welcome to add their own favorites to list if they are still singing today, not necessarily recording music today.

 

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