Monday, April 22, 2019

South Street

Fran Cooper

Twin Hits 5009

South Street

Twin Hits
was operated by Barney Young and Gloria Parker.   Barney was a music publisher, composer, personal manager, lawyer, and song plugger.  Gloria, who was his co-composer, star performer, and fiancee, was a versatile bandleader, contralto, marimbist, and musical glasses virtuoso.  
Covering the hits of the day, the recordings by pseudonymous artists were produced by Ed Chalpin for his PPX Enterprises set-up.
Barney Young died in 1969. Miss Gloria Parker's official website is here

Tuesday, April 9, 2019

Please Don't Leave Me

Tommy "Skinny" Ellsworth

"Please Don't Leave Me"
(Antoine Domino, Reeve Music, Inc. BMI)

Baro Record #2627

Tommy Ellsworth, birth name Thomas E. Nazziola, also recorded with his Rockin' Jesters on the Oklahoma, Scot and Romaine labels.  He is also quite possibly Ray Ellsworth singing "Rock And Roll Show" on his own Ellsworth label.

"Rock And Roll Show" has been available on several compilations, but a label to see is still elusive.

Friday, April 5, 2019

I Cried

Baker Knight
& The Knightmares

I Cried

Kit Records, Inc. SO 901
Al Bubis Productions

Thomas Baker Knight, Jr.

Baker Knight's songwriting has overshadowed his long career as a singer of rock 'n' roll, pop and country. Born of Scots ancestry in 1933, Knight grew up in Birmingham, Alabama, where he attended high school, spent one year at the University of Alabama (after serving in the US Air Force for three years) and became a technical illustrator after a course at a local art school. He had learned to play guitar in the school orchestra, B.B. King being his first idol. In 1955 Knight formed a rock 'n' roll band, Baker Knight and the Knightmares. Soon they recorded their first single, "Bop Boogie To the Blues"/"Little Heart", for the Nashville-based Kit label, owned by Alan Bubis. A second Kit single, "Bring My Cadillac Back" (1956), sold well enough to be picked up by a major label, Decca, and might even have become a national hit, had it not been banned by many radio stations that saw the disc as a free commercial for Cadillac.
...more reading...

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Chew Chew Chew!

Hollygley Records

From Blibber-Blubber (Smack!)
to Dubble Bubble (Thwack!)
Dedicated to all who have chewed it, detonated it,
swallowed it, left it underfoot, parked it under tables
and stored it used in the refrigerator

With thanks to Robert Hendrickson, author The Great American Chewing Gum Book (1976)

Tuesday, April 2, 2019

Sam Pan Sue

John Osborne and band

Stepping Out To

Sam Pan Sue
Every sign on this "High-Fi  / C & W /Made in Detroit" record says "song-poem record" :

–  the label : previously active in 1963-1965, the Lectron issued at least four records, all pressed by Rite Records in Cincinnati (Cara Stewart, The Cones, Mary Kaye)
–  Margie Bish,  songwriter of both sides, had few songs issued on the Preview label
–  Active Music (ASCAP) was the publishing wing of Jack Curry's Air label, operating from 3170 SW 8th Street, Miami, Florida

But the otherwise unknown John Osborne doesn't sound to me quite like a song-poem singer ?

Archer Record Pressing from 1968.  

Monday, April 1, 2019

Putzie Putz The Octopus

Geene Courtney
MGM 12712

Putzie Putz The Octopus

Geene Courtney, Miss Sausage Queen (1955)

Geene Courtney was born Geene Radko in Pennsylvania in 1921. Model, starlet, entertainer and singer, Geene was also an advertising-oriented beauty queen whose titles included New York Miss Cheesecake of 1951 and Miss Sausage Queen of 1955. 

Geene passed away on July 6, 2000 in a nursing home in Saxonburg, Pa.

Her only record (I think)

Que Dor Eu Sinto [What A Pain I Feel]

From Wikipedia (edited):

Damião Ferreira da Cruz (1935?-2016), better known by his stage name Damião Experiença,was a Brazilian singer-songwriter, lyricist, multi-instrumentalist, record producer and compulsive hoarder. Considered to be a major name of the Brazilian countercultural scene and one of the country's most famous and prolific outsider musicians, he was praised [and] constantly compared to schizophrenic outsider artist Arthur Bispo do Rosário and musicians Frank Zappa, Moondog, Captain Beefheart, Sun Ra, Jandek and Father Yod.  His albums, usually sold by him in the streets or even handed out for free when he felt like it, became much-sought collector's items, and his reclusive, eccentric and unpretentious personality has attained him a passionate cult following.

He experienced an unhappy childhood and was constantly mistreated by his parents, which led him to run away from home to Rio de Janeiro when he was between 10 and 13 years old. As a youth he served as a radar operator for the Brazilian Navy; while in the Navy he allegedly fell off a ship's crow's nest, hitting his head on the floor, which could have provoked his erratic mental state.

After his precocious retirement from the Navy in 1963, he went on to live with a prostitute in a stilt house in the vicinity of the bairro of Estácio, became a pimp and was able to produce his records thanks to money obtained via procuring

Damião's musical style is impossible to categorize accurately, since he experiments with numerous genres, more prominently freak folk, psychedelic rock, reggae and experimental rock. His songs have no logical sense at first sight, and mostly of them are sung in a dialect created by him, the "Planet Lamma dialect" (spoken in his eponymous "home planet"), with improvised lyrics.

He usually plays different instruments and sings at the same time. In his earlier releases, Damião used exclusively guitars with different numbers of strings (e.g., his debut Planeta Lamma was played with an one-string guitar), harmonicas, shakers and occasionally marimbas, mixing Portuguese with his own dialect in his lyrics.

Full album available here

Sunday, March 31, 2019

St. James Infirmary

Dean Jones
Joe Leahy Orchestra

St. James Infirmary

88 Brand Records

Dean Carroll Jones (1931-2015)

After serving in the U.S. Navy during the Korean War, Dean Jones got a job acting in a melodrama at Knott's Berry Farm. He was spotted by veteran composer Vernon Duke, who was planning a musical. The musical project fell through, but Duke enabled Jones an audition with Arthur Freed, the famous producer of MGM feature film musicals such as "Singin' In the Rain." It did not go as planned. "He's an actor, not singer!" Arthur Freed exclaimed.  Still, the studio signed Jones, and in his first credited role, he found himself acting opposite James Cagney in the 1956 drama "These Wilder Years." 

Dean had mostly small roles of a far grittier nature than his later Disney fare. "I played drug addicts, pimps, hard-cased killers, ex-cons and angry young men," he told The Times in 1995.

Beginning with 1965's "That Darn Cat!," Dean became closely identified with Disney family fare. In addition to the "Love Bug" and "The Ugly Dachshund," he was the leading man in "Monekys, Go Home," "The Horse in the Gray Flannel Suit," "The Million Dollar Duck," "The Shaggy D.A.," "Herbie Goes to Monte Carlo" and other Disney feature films.

But in the late 1960s and early 1970s, he was leading an off-screen life contrary to his wholesome image. He had numerous affairs and was drinking heavily. "I had thought if I became a star I'd be happy," he said in a 1976 L.A.Times interview. "I had thought if I had a fairly large amount of money I'd be happy. I thought if I had a house on a hill I'd be happy. I thought if I had a Ferrari I'd be happy. One goal after another was accomplished. And with no fulfillment." Jones was able to keep his torment largely separated from his work life. Even the head of the studio was fooled. "I remember having lunch with Walt one day, and he told me, 'Dean, you're a perfect fit for these pictures. You're such a good family man!'" Jone's told the Pantagraph. "I wasn't a good family man," Jones said. "I was showing up at home smelling of perfume that wasn't my wife's.".

........More on Dean Jones at IMDb   

Friday, March 29, 2019

Walkin’ the Dog

The "Yes It Is"
Studio City Records SC 1046

Walkin’ the Dog

Little Boy

From Duluth, Minnesota on Lake Superior, the Yes It Is do a cover of Rufus Thomas’ “Walkin’ the Dog”, backed with a melancholy folk number, “Little Boy”, written by Mike Settle.

They have a second 45 on Studio City “Lovely Love” / “That Summer”.  One of the "Yes It Is" was named Nolan Craig Killebrew (1948-2018)

Acknowledgments : Garagehangover

Monday, March 25, 2019

The Jayne Mansfield Story

The Opposable Thumb

The Jayne Mansfield Story
Starring Loni Anderson & Arnold Schwartzenegger

Transitional Records

The Opposable Thumb is John Schnall, an animator from New Jersey, who was involved with a  project at WFMU called Midnight Matinee, for over ten years. It was a radio show, mixed live, using samples from primarily film and television. There are tons of mp3s available at his website, if you'd like to learn more about the project, which ran until 1998 at the popular free-form New Jersey station.

Saturday, March 23, 2019

The Impeachment Blues

Ray Weems & All Stars
Green Mountain Express 103

The Impeachment Blues

Words and music by Charles Cruce & Ernest H. Wells.© on June 21, 1974 by Ray Weems Music. Obscure Huntsville, Alabama label.  A previous release (#101) was by Glenn Shell (Mr. Hobo b/w Charleston West Virginia) also published by Ray Weems, who possibly  owned the label.

I'm Not A Crook
A Poignant Portrait from all of his Most Memorable Speeches
Albatross Records

Friday, March 22, 2019

Sarah! Sarah!

Martha Davis

Born 14 December 1917, Wichita, Kansas
Died 6 April 1960, Mount Vernon, New York

MARTHA DAVIS (By Dave Penny)

At the mid point of the 20th Century, the success of the jolly fat lady at the piano was a universal phenomenon. To name a few: Julia Lee, Nellie Lutcher, Rose Murphy, Winifred Atwell and even Mrs Mills.and, one more, Martha Davis.

Born in Wichita, Kansas, on 14th December 1917, and raised in Chicago, Martha Davis attended the famous Du Sable High School, and counted Dorothy Donegan and Nat Cole among her class mates. She met Fats Waller in the 1930s, who allegedly taught her some of his piano skills, and by the mid 1930s she was frequenting the lively Windy City jazz clubs and sitting in at all-night jam sessions. At one such in 1939, she met and subsequently married a Mississippi-born (17th October 1917) bass player named Calvin Ponder, but as he would enjoy a lucrative career with, notably, Earl Hines' big band, the couple did not work together regularly until 1948. By this time, the couple had moved to California and Martha had made her impressive recording debut on the tiny West Coast independent, Urban Records and had even enjoyed a substantial movie role in the Monogram Films featurette, Smart Politics, alongside Gene Krupa's Orchestra.

In 1948 Martha and Calvin recorded together for Ben Pollack's Hollywood-based Jewel Records, and it was to be her most successful year chart-wise, with a cover of Dick Haymes' pop hit Little White Lies reaching #11 on the Billboard R&B listing in July. This was followed by her duets with Louis Jordan - Daddy-O c/w You're On The Right Track, Baby, the former of which climbed to #7 later in the year. The patronage of Jordan provided an entrée with Decca Records, and Martha recorded six tracks for the label in December 1947. Surprisingly, she would not record again until 1951 when Bob Thiele signed her to Coral Records, although Herman Lubinsky reissued the 1948 Jewel sides in 1950 when he purchased the recording masters from Pollack.

Martha and Calvin's nightclub act, Martha Davis & Spouse, became hugely popular in the early to mid 1950s, and several of their joyous performances were filmed by Snader Telescriptions for the company's video jukeboxes. They also broadcast over AFRS from their L.A. home and were much in demand for a series of network TV Shows, particularly Garry Moore's CBS show. The Snader film footage was later used for inclusion in the variety films Rhythm & Blues Revue, Rock 'n' Roll Revue and Basin Street Revue during 1955/56, and videos of the performances such as Vippety Vippety Vop, Martha's Boogie and Goodbye have been doing the rounds among rock 'n' roll collectors for decades.

Surprisingly, despite their raised profile in the mid 1950s, the couple's commercial recording career was put on hold between 1951 and 1957 until they resumed recording for the brand new ABC Paramount label, with whom they cut two LPs, including a tribute to Martha's mentor, Fats Waller. Sadly, there is little to report after this; Variety reported that Martha died from cancer on 6th April 1960 in Mount Vernon, New York - where the couple stayed during their long residencies at the Blue Angel cafe - while "spouse" Calvin passed away back at home in Los Angeles a decade later, on 26th December 1970.

Recommended listening:

The Chronological Martha Davis (Classics 5123) - This CD features Martha's entire recorded output except for her late 1950s LPs for ABC Paramount and, strangely, her biggest hit "Little White Lies", since a satisfactory copy could not be found for dubbing.

Thursday, March 21, 2019

Since I Met You Baby

June Mason Spencer and Harvey Russell

Since I Met You Baby

Recorded at the Columbia Studio in Nashville, Tennessee. June Mason Spencer, on this Jade label owned by Harvey Russell, is unknown to me.

Harvey Russell

Singing Cop - was all you needed to say in 1960s Akron. Harvey Russell was a cop, and a singer, and in the polarized world of the mid-late 60s, a cop who sang rock-n-roll.  See buckeyebeat

Harvey had started singing in local pop vocal groups including the Wonders (who recorded a 45 on Reserve). In the early 60s he continued to sing 'solo'. He had a local hit with "Out of My Teens" on the Vicki label.

Monday, March 18, 2019

Call Off The Wedding

Nancy Oxley, her husband Ralph, sons Jimmy, David and Joey Oxley, daughter Donya and her husband Clay Claxton formed Country Touch who has performed country music favorites and original songs around Tennessee for a number of years.  All seven in the group grew up in Lavergne, Tennessee and later moved to Lebanon. But they still considered Lavergne their home.

Nancy Oxley passed away in May 2002

Custom recording from 1974, mastered by Nashville Record Productions. NRP became the first independent mastering studio in Nashville (competing with Columbia and RCA), and was a huge success with independent labels.

Saturday, March 16, 2019


Peggy Anne Ellis
with Milt Kaye Orchestra and chorus
Wr. Shelley-Kaye
Pub. by Spiral Record Corp. (ASCAP)
Journal #3552


Born LaBlanche Pafford Metz in Georgia circa 1925, Peggy Anne Ellis was a Broadway actress, chanteuse, radio personality. She made a name for herself with radio audience as a "blues singer" when she was only six years old.  She performed in two Broadway musicals : Best Foot Forward (1942) and Billion Dollar Baby (1946) before recording for Signature/Hi Tone, Charles (1952-1953), Journal (1958) and Cue-P (1958).

From 1947 to 1971 Peggy Anne Ellis was married to Art Fleming, the quizmaster of NBC's "Jeopardy". 

She died in 2014 in Englewood, New Jersey.