Thursday, March 23, 2017

Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So)


Bill Darnel and Betty Clooney
with Sid Bass and orchestra

Ko Ko Mo (I Love You So)
Wilson - Porter - Levy
Meridian Music

X Records 4x-0087
1955

Cover of the Gene and Eunice [Forrest Gene Wilson and Eunice Levy] song first issued by Combo Records in 1954.

According to the always knowledgeable mickey rat at 45cat.com regarding the copyrights intricacies :
Theoretically "Ko Ko Mo" should have funded the futures of Gene Forrest and Eunice Levy and hopefully healthy royalties trickled down to them. The initial Combo label issue added label owner Jake Porter as a joint songwriter and his Combo Music as publisher, meaning he personally would have got a much larger cut of publishing royalties than either Gene or Eunice. They were all lucky that at that time the major labels were flirting with R&B and rock& roll and this song fit the bill for established white artists to record. Every man (and woman) and their dogs recorded the song, notably Perry Como. The song was a big hit. E.H. "Buddy" Morris's Meridian Music bought the publishing from Jake Porter and sheet music was published.

 
Picture credit :  Second Hand Songs

Bill Darnel was a band singer in the 1940s. By the end of that decade he started a solo career recording for a variety of labels in the 1940s and 1950s : Coral, Decca, X,  Rex, London ,Jubilee and Paris.

Betty Clooney was a singer and television performer from Kentucky. With her older sister, Rosemary Clooney, she sang with the Tony Pastor band in the 1940s. In the 1950s she appeared on network television shows and made solo recordings (Coral, Columbia and X Records)
 

Friday, March 17, 2017

Mack The Knife


Jeff Gray

Mack The Knife
-

From the LP  'Live...In Concert At Saltair' issued by Kall 910, a local radio station in Salt Lake City, Utah.  In the mid/late 1970's they released a number of LP oddities.

From the liner notes :
Those who witnessed Jeff's Farewell Concert at Evergreen Junior won't forget him, and neither will owners of this Album, his parents, the truant officer, the drum teacher (who is now in a Home), nor I.

Jeff has a rare talent, that magic spark, for doing the dumbest thing at the worst possible time.  I see his creative genius on a giant Caterpillar Tractor perched at the top of a huge hill.  It could sit there forever.  But let's look at the bright side of it. Jeff doesn't have any inspirations to medical school.

And if you want to start a Jeff Gray Fan Club, go right ahead.  Jeff's favorite color is carrots, he likes to ride his motorcycle inside empty swimming pools in the winter, and he likes medium-sized crowds

Lee Barker



Thursday, March 16, 2017

He's My Bag


Connie Saul

He's My Bag
Oscar B. Gilley, Benosan Music

Koremagma Records
Box 2132, Martinsville, Virginia
1971

Connie Saul had a second release on the same label the following year : A Wedding Ring / Fifty Cents Down.  There was at least one more recording : "Coal Miner's Daughter" which can be found on a various artists LP on Outlet Records (a 1973 release) titled Bluegrass on Campus. Vol. 1.

Oscar Gilley, I'm guessing, owned the Koremagna label, who also issued "The Tender Touch" by Brenda Pratt.

Obscure label, for sure.



Saturday, March 11, 2017

People Are Talking About Watergate


Sons of Truth
 (Bill Spivery)

People Are Talking About Watergate

version1
version2

Agency Recording Studios
Cleveland, Ohio
1973
(issued on Dee-Jay Records)

The Agency Recording Studios 1730 East 24th Street, Cleveland, Ohio were located above the Agora Theatre and managed by William C. Noyes

Gospel, r&b singer-songwriter, Bill Spivery, whose song “Operator” was made famous by the Manhattan Transfer, died in 2004. He was 73.

He wrote “Operator” in the 1950s. It had the catchy refrain: “Operator, information, give me Jesus on the line.” The song was featured on the soundtrack of the 2002 film, “Phone Booth.”

Spivery lived in the Cleveland area since the early 1950s. He held various day jobs while pursuing a musical career.   He performed with three groups: the Friendly Brothers, the Sons of Truth and Bill Spivery and the Operators. He also sang at churches throughout the Midwest and appeared on show bills with Diana Ross, Leslie Gore and Bobby Womack.

In 1964, Spivery wrote and recorded “Mr. John” in honor of the late President John F. Kennedy. It became a regional hit, reaching No. 3 on local charts behind the Beatles and the Dave Clark Five.

He also wrote “Non-Violent Man,” a musical tribute to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.


Sons Of Truth
From the book Cleveland's Gospel Music by Frederick Burton




Dee-Jay Records discography (Bill Spivery own label)

Friday, March 10, 2017

Rock 'n Roll Music


Bob Lenox
with the Promenade Orch. & Chorus

Rock 'n Roll Music

 1957


Budget label, a product of Synthetics Plastics Company of Newark, New Jersey.
Bob Lenox, whoever he really was, got his assumed name when he did first a Hula Love cover, originally a hit for Buddy Knox, for Promenade Records.

That was the gimmick often used at Promenade, recording sound-a-like covers of the hits of the day, and billing the singer-for-hire with a moniker vaguely reminding the original.  That's how you can find on Promenade such artists as John Garrison (Wilbert Harrison, Kansas City), The Grasshoppers covering The Crickets, Dottie Gray covering Doris Day, Dick Stetson (Stood Up, Ricky Nelson), or even Eli Whitney (Elvis Presley)

Bob Lenox, who are you really?



Thursday, March 9, 2017

Jukebox Hula


Allen Greenfield

Jukebox Hula

Dyson - Poynter, Tubb Music, BMI
Goldenrod 201
1956

Western Swing out of Scottsville, Kentucky.  Artist's 2nd release on the label.  One of the songs from his first record, "The Kentucky Shuffle" has been recently compiled by El Toro Records, a spanish label.

No info on the artist. 



Wednesday, March 8, 2017

What About Me


Lorry Peters

What About Me
Don Gibson, Acuff-Rose, BMI

A Statue In A Window
Boudleaux Bryant, Felice Bryant

Hickory 45-1228
1963

Hickory Records signed Lorry Peters to a recording contract in a move taking the traditonally country label further into the pop field.  Lorry Peters recorded just one 4-songs session for Hickory in Nashville in late January of 1963. This is her second single.



Brown-eyed and brown-haired, Lorry (or Lorrie) Peters was born in Middletown, Conn., May 30, 1932. She was graduated from Syracuse University where she majored in radio.  Singing was her earliest ambition. She took coaching lessons when she was three and appeared on kiddie talent shows for several years afterwards.

Miss Peters, while working as a secretary in New York, recorded a jingle for the Ansco Company. Ray McKinley, director of the New Glenn Miller Orchestra, heard the commercial and asked who had recorded it.  Later, when he was looking for a female vocalist, he remembered the girl and the voice and he signed Miss Peters immediately.  She can be heard on several tracks from a couple of Glenn Miller Orchestra albums released by RCA Records at the end of the fifties.  
 
Note : I've added "Lady Is A Tramp" from her big band period to the Hickory single in the following archived file :

Lorry Peters.zip






Thursday, March 2, 2017

Waxmate of the month : Mitzi Mason

Mitzi Mason

According to a trade paper, Mitzi Mason, a lass from a Bronx bakery, [was] the newest MGM recording "find"  was "discovered" by composer Larry Douglas, who heard her humming as she wrapped a dozen rolls for him and felt she had "a sound."   He asked her to sing, and the result was a disc contract with MGM Records, with her first release scheduled for June 1954. 

M-G-M
06 54 — K11760 : So Much More/Who Can Say?
09 54 — K11823 : Don't Drop It/I Don't Want Your Pity
04 55 — K11978 :  Me! /  You All You
10 55 — K12097 : Bring Me A Bluebird/But I Was Wrong

ABC-PARAMOUNT
03 56 — 45-9696 : The World Is Mine  / Hearts Weren't Made For Breaking 

M-O-S-S
12 56 — 001 : You Can't Come Back / I'll Go Way Up On A Mountain

VIK
05 57 — 4X-0278 : Hickory Dickory Dock  / For The Last Time
10 57 — 4X-0301 : Fair Winds And Full Sails  /Autumn On The Campus 

EMBER
04 60 —1062 : My Heart Belongs To You / Dance, Dance, Dance

STRAND ?

Mitzi Mason has signed with Strand Records in April 1961, but no records were issued as far as I know

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

Skippy Roberts

 





Ohio RnB rocker Skippy Roberts had two singles released in 1958 and 1959.  Both were probably recorded in Cleveland, Ohio, despite a Gardena, California address for his second release. A release on Lark would be explained by the fact that the eastern distributor for the Hugh Jensen's Lark label happened to be Sandy Beck's Custom Distributors in Cleveland who also headed Reserve Records (note the publisher name on the Pett single : Reserve Music)

1958 Pett
Skippy Roberts/ Barrett Singers /Jack Price And Orch.    
Rock 'N Roll 'N 45 / Little Pumpkin

1959 Lark
Skippy Roberts And The Four Jacks
Holy Mak'ral Andy /  Brown Sugar

Zipped Skippy file contains 3 of the 4 songs.  Brown Sugar has been on the Harvey Leisure's Interstellar Interruption playlist for 10/07/2016, but I can't find a way to dowload the archive? Anyone?


Monday, February 27, 2017

I Got Rhythm


The Trowells

I Got Rhythm
(Gerschwin)

La Ru Ha Records
819 Brookhurst Drive
Charlotte, N.C. 28205
1974

Here it is :  the La Ru Ha Records response to Tamla-Motown produced at Arthur Smith Studios.  Karen, Edith and Ellen Trowell are three sisters from the Carolinas singing the old Gerschwin classic song from 1930.  That's all about I known. 


Sunday, February 26, 2017

Rockroleville


Lynn Taylor

Rockroleville

Lincoln Chase, Music Of Today, Inc. (BMI)

Coral 9-61726



Lynn Taylor was born Patricia Elaine Foutty (or Fowdy) in 1937.

Lynn Taylor had sung in public as a teenager in Philadelphia; she had just this single on Coral in 1956 and frequented jazz clubs during the 1950s, performing at popular nightspots like the Village Vanguard in Greenwich Village and Birdland in the heart of N.Y., in addition to singing for the Benny Goodman and Buddy Rich bands in '57 and '58.   
Strictly speaking, Taylor---aside from her recordings with the Rooftop Singers--- made one-and-third LPs, for she appears as a guest jazz vocalist on a recording by US TV comedian Ernie Kovacs. 

There was one full album which came on "Grand Award Records" ("I See Your Face Before Me") in 1957 as a result of the son of songwwiter Arthur Schwartz.   Jonathan Schwartz was friends with Taylor and it was he who introduced her to his father's music and caused the album to be recorded. 

In November 1961 Lynn Taylor married Skip Weshner a radio DJ prominently involved in early 1960s New York folk scene.  In 1962,  she was a founding member of The Rooftop Singers: the other members being Erik Darling and Bill Svanoe.   The trio were an American progressive folk singing group   best known for the hit "Walk Right In". Even though the Rooftop Singers were a trio, the real star here, at least in the sense that she sets them apart from scores of other guitar picking folkies, is Lynn Taylor.

After the group's hit single "Walk Right In" in early 1963, Lynn moved with her husband to California and never recorded again, as far as I known.

Lynn Taylor, according to her daughter, shot herself in the head April 21rst 1979.  But biographical details are scarce and vague, notably the exact circumstances of her suicide.

What was your secret, foxy lady?

Note: Lynn Taylor on Clock, Hawk and Jua-Thel Records is a different artist




The Rooftop Singers : Froggie Went A Courting



Saturday, February 25, 2017

Come On Way Down South



Elzworth Brooks
Come On Way Down South

Enterprise Records

1963

Houston recording.  1963 is a late date for a label whose all other recordings were released between 1957 and 1959 . I've seen the label frequently listed as a Beaumont, Texas label, but I've also seen the following address :Enterprise Records, 6158 Westheimer, Houston, Texas

All songs released by the label were published by Adair (BMI).  Is there a possible label ownership by oil well firefighter.Red Adair ?


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

With The World At My Feet



Gini Eastwood

With The World At My Feet
Arthur Resnick, Kris Resnick
T.M. Music, Inc.

Prod & arr  Richard Wolfe
Tower 249 (1966)



Gini Eastwood, biography from IMDB :
Lovely and captivating brunette actress and singer Gini Eastwood had an interest in acting and singing ever since she was a little girl. Gini made her stage debut at age four as a bonbon to the Sugar Plum Fairy in a dance school production of "The Nutcracker Suite." She took dance, violin, guitar, and acrobatic lessons while attending this school. Her parents sent her to a drama camp summer theatre run by Columbia Pictures at age twelve. Eastwood was added to the Talent Farm Stable and spent two additional summers perfecting her craft with lessons, performances, and a backstage apprenticeship. Gini released the modestly successful single "With the World at My Feet" on the Tower Records label while still in high school in upstate New York. Eastwood went on to tour with the 60s folk group the New Christy Minstrels and recorded a couple of albums with the psychedelic rock band the Hobbits [Decca Records].   Moreover, she portrayed Mary Magdelene in the original concert tour of the hit musical "Jesus Christ, Superstar," acted in a May, 1972 Broadway stage production of the rock opera "Hard Job Being God," and worked as a studio session singer (she was even the golden voice for McDonald's). Eastwood made her film debut in the obscure feature "The Wanted Ones," which was shot in Spain in 1968. Gini gave an excellent and compelling performance as intense, brooding and mysterious hippie chick Maureen in the wonderfully offbeat and original one-of-a-kind 70s drive-in cult oddity "Pick-up." After tackling her sole lead role in "Pick-up," Eastwood did more session work in the music industry as well as sung and wrote commercial jingles. Gini Eastwood still occasionally acts in community theatre and works as a singing aerobics instructor.


Sunday, February 19, 2017

Let's Face It



Joe and Ursula

Let's Face It

Imperial 5371
1955

This is Joe Morris and Ursula/Ursala Reed

Ursala Reed was discovered by band leader and R & B arranger Joe Morris when she was a promising sixteen year old singer hoping to go out on her own in the music business.  Her first big break came as part of the New Year's Eve, 1953 show in New York City. The show was a combination of R & B and modern jazz performers that included Thelonius Monk, J.J. Johnson & His All Star Combo, The Orioles, and the Joe Morris Blues Cavalcade with whom Ursala vocalized. She appeared intermittently with the Joe Morris band for much of the year. Her very first record session did not take place until mid 1954 when the new Old Town label paired her with the label's new singing group The Solitaires on #1001 (the label's second release) and "Ursala's Blues" and "You're Laughing Cause I'm Crying". In late September of that year Reed records for Herald Records, the label that Morris had moved to after leaving Atlantic. Their first release for the label was #440 - "Tying Up The Time" and "Blue And Lonely". Ursala goes out on the road with the touring Rhythm & Blues Hall of Fame Show which does a series of one nighters throughout the Midwest. Besides Morris and his band which also features Al Savage and Faye Adams, The Orioles, Amos Milburn, and The Spiders are part of the show. The tour stops in Chicago and becomes part of the "Jam With Sam" show with local deejay Sam Evans.

During 1955 Ursala continues to be part of the Joe Morris company touring the country and recording. In March Herald #444 is released. The songs are "All Gone" and "You Hurt My Pride". Ursala Reed as a recording artist does not do well nationally and so Herald drops her and Joe Morris follows suit. They continue to tour and make in person appearances throughout the country, and by the latter half of the year find themselves on Imperial Records in Los Angeles. Imperial #5371 is issued late in the year as by Joe and Ursala, and the songs are "The Good Book" and "Let's Face It". The following year finds Ursala continuing on with Joe Morris and his band. They join Charlie & Ray, The Diabolos, and Manhattan Paul for a week's stay in Cleveland in March. During the summer a touring unit consisting of Joe, Ursala, and singer Larry Birdsong embarks on a series of one nighters in the South including an extended stay at The Palms in South Florida. Reed continues for a few months into 1957 with Morris, but by now she has realized that the music world has greatly changed and that her possibility of success is severely limited by the new Elvis / American Bandstand driven 'latest things'. Not too much more is heard from Ursala Reed, and in less than two years Joe Morris would pass away. But - the evidence remains - Ursala Reed was a part of the passing parade during the R & B fifties.

Source : http://home.earthlink.net/~jaymar41/ursala.html
Ursula/Joe picture from Marv Goldberg

Friday, February 17, 2017

You Mention My Name


Terri North

You Mention My Name
Willie F. James - Gene Brooks
Arthur Music (ASCAP)

Preview 1501
1968

This is actually Teri Thornton, a jazz singer turned song poem singer at the end of the sixties after her career was seriously damaged when she started to lose an ongoing struggle with alcohol addiction.  Only decades later she was discovered to have been singing on records in Los Angeles under various pseudonyms for the Preview Records and MSR labels, where she was the Rodd Keith label mate for a couple of years.

On MSR she was Teri Summers.  I've collected for you ten of her songs issued on various MSR albums.  The archived file can be found HERE
Tracklist
Teri Summers & The Librettos  
A Dreamy Waltz 
City's Hospital Patients      
I Cross My Heart
Lonely Heart
Nativity
Season's Greetings
The Evening Is Approaching

Teri & The MSR Singers
I've Found My True Love
More On Ode To Billy Joe


Teri Thornton, born Shirley Enid Avery in 1934 (or 1936).

She was born in Detroit, where her parents, Robert Avery, a Pullman porter, and Bernice Crews Avery, a choir director and singer who was the host of a local radio show, encouraged her to study classical music. Thornton began her singing career in 1956 with an engagement at Cleveland's Ebony Club before going on tour and playing and recording in Chicago. Her debut recording session in the winter of 1960/1 found her teamed with several notable jazz musicians including Clark Terry, Britt Woodman, Earle Warren, Seldon Powell, Wynton Kelly, Freddie Green, Sam Jones, Jimmy Cobb, and Sam Herman.  

 She had a 1963 hit with "Somewhere In The Night", the theme from a popular television show, The Naked City. Her popularity opened doors for her but an opportunity to tour Australia as an accompanying artist to Frank Sinatra was mishandled and lost. Her early success was still further and more seriously damaged when she started to lose an ongoing struggle with alcohol addiction. Apart from damaging her career, this also blighted her personal life and she went through three divorces, a long and arduous spell outside music, during which she drove a cab for a while, and a term of imprisonment.


She had records (including four albums) on Riverside (1961), Dauntless (1963), Columbia (1963-1965) Mother's (1967) and Verve Records in 1999, her first album (on CD) for more than 30 years.  In 2000, few months later, after her last release, she died, finally losing her battle with cancer.