Jimmy D.

Mom and pop Dorsey must have been proud parents. Jimmy, older brother to Tommy, enjoyed an immensely successful career as band-leader and musician (clarinet and saxophone). He teamed up with his brother in the late 20s and early 30s to form The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra. The commercially successful brothers would go separate ways on separate labels, and would each find several years of critical acclaim. The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra would reunite in 1945, and again in 1954 to perform on Jackie Gleason’s Stage Show, a successful weekly hit television show centered on The Dorsey Brothers Orchestra (at this time, a new incarnation from the original). Both brothers would be dead by the end of 1957, but with the power of music, their legacy lives on.

Break the Blues, not the Bank

breakers1966’s Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton, aka The Beano Album, is John Mayall’s first studio album, and his second overall. Featuring a comic-reading, and marginally defiant Eric Clapton, Blues Breakers with Eric Clapton is widely considered John Mayall’s most popular, although not best, output, and is ranked by Rolling Stone magazine at number 195 of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Also, I found it at my local brick and mortar for only $1 (hence the title of this post).

– Now!

nowOh, Wayne Newton. I’ll be the first to admit that I don’t get enough solid Wayne Newton time these days. It’s a shame, really. The voice of a songbird dressed as a Native-American Las Vegas crooner, Carson Wayne Newton is known to many people by many names. Mr. Entertainment and The Midnight Idol to name a few, Mr. Las Vegas is still performing at the young age of 74, and has a series of upcoming shows in Vegas starting on 11/28 and going through the end of the year. If you find yourself pulling slots and huffing secondhand smoke in the middle of an air conditioned desert, spend a few intimate hours with this Sin City legend.

Sham-Woah!

ShamStarting any viable discography with a Greatest Hits album is both shameful and amateur… but I did it anyway. I couldn’t find either of Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs’ first two albums, Wooly Bully and Their Second Album, so I settled for this shameful, yet strikingly enjoyable Best of. As a child of the 80s, it’s painfully difficult to listen to Wooly Bully and not think of the opening scene in 1984’s Splash. I try, desperately, but to no avail. Be that as it may, I’m more than pleased with my disgraceful $7 purchase, I just wish it wasn’t my first by this clever, off-beat outfit. Anyway, happy Friday.

The Ballads and the Beat!

BalladsHarry James was a music making machine throughout his illustrious career. Having put out five studio albums between 1965 and 1966 alone, this trumpet-pumping, band-leading barbarian gathered a ton of much deserved respect throughout the swing scene, and his timeless music has pushed him to the front of this historical genre. Dot Records was Mr. James’ fourth label, having released several other noteworthy albums for Columbia, Capitol, and MGM, and as you can clearly see, knew how to design an album cover circa: 1966. Enjoy a bit o’ the swing, now n’ again.

Treat Yourself

TimAs a general rule of thumb, it’s often and widely understood that starting with the first album by any new artist as an appropriate and logical decision to make. Not the case with Tim Hardin’s first album, Tim Hardin 1 I’ll have you know. His 1966 debut was officially his first record, but it wasn’t his first, or even the second recorded. 1967’s This is Tim Hardin and 1968’s Tim Hardin 4 were both recorded prior to the release of Tim Hardin 1, and I’ll say again (like a broken record), both are by far his best outputs. Sure, Tim Hardin 1 has Reason to Believe, a song in which he wrote, but that which Rod Stewart made famous, and sure it has Smugglin’ Man (a personal favorite), and of course How Can We Hang On to a Dream (another which he wrote), that was covered by Emerson, Lake & Palmer and Fleetwood Mac, but newbies to the Tim Hardin carnival should start at the beginning, with This is Tim Hardin. Thank yourself now, and thank yourself later. You’ve had a rough week… treat yourself.