Ask yourself, was Command Records the, quote, unquote, World Leader in Recorded Sound? By 1963, the label certainly had its hands in the modern design pie, and the ink-wealth to produce brilliantly displayed, throwaway inserts for its lavish releases. Featured here is an insert to Dick Hyman’s
Let us, on the 13th day of August in the year of our Lord, 2015, give homage and respect to Mr. Henry Mancini and his unforgettable and ravishing work on the 1963 film, Charade. Often touted as “the best Hitchcock movie that Hitchcock never made” (by uncredited sources), Charade is a forceful little tart of a film with just the proper amount of Cary Grant schtick spliced with just the right amount of 1963 Technicolor Audrey Hepburn. It’s great for a nonchalant Thursday viewing, but doesn’t measure up to any of the Sunday Hitchcock classics. None of this, however, in any way takes away from the overpowering Henry Mancini brilliance. Good day.
For some wholesome, gut-busting, brilliant hilarity, it really doesn’t get much better than the Smothers Brothers. If you don’t believe me, or are on the fence concerning legitimate blood-brother comedy duos, have a listen to Swiss Christmas. If I had prepared, I’d have had the mp3 ready… but I didn’t, so you’ll have to seek it out yourself. I’m sure I’m sorry. “Excitement!”
Robert Gerard Goulet is many thing to many, many people. Vegas crooner, housewife heart-throb, and of course, uncompromising supernatural connoisseur à la Beetlejuice. But before his mustache-swaggered role in Tim Burton’s 1988 classic, Mr. Goulet released his first live album, 1963’s Robert Goulet in Person: Recorded Live in Concert. Jam packed with a medley per side, Mr. Goulet’s sugar sweet wails covers, including the medleys, 17 poppy jazz favorites, and is perfect mood setting music for dress-up play dates with your cocktail wielding significant other. Mr. Goulet comes highly recommended from the Groove. Happy Friday!
Whenever I’m feeling nostalgic, I tend to turn to the roughneck, blue-collar grit of Johnny Cash. While I’ll prefer Mr. Cash’s work with the Tennessee Two during their Sun Records days, there was something about Blood, Sweat and Tears that stuck out like a rusty spike awaiting its inevitable drive into the cold, hard Earth that grabbed my sleep-clouded eyes this morning. Since it’s Monday morning for all of you hard working pencil pushers, the inevitable start to yet another inevitable workweek, Blood, Sweat and Tears seemed desperately appropriate.
A collection of working man ballads, this, Mr. Cash’s 15th album, was released in 1963 on Columbia Records and features the soulful accompaniment of the Carter Family, the same legendary folk ensemble he’d become a part of some five years later, in March of ’68, when he married June Carter.
So, welcome to the working week, and if you find yourself daydreaming for an era without redundant meetings, corner-cutting executives, or inner-office politics, book some time with the musical spokesperson for the hardworking everyman, Mr. Johnny Cash.
This is a bit awkward considering we’ve never met, but I can’t help but feel an eternal connection with you through our shared love for Johnny Cash. Like you, I enjoy his baritone voice, his uncanny ability to create timeless soundscapes, and this, a convenient collection of his greatest hits circa: 1963.
I must say Mr. Suman, your overall care for this copy of Ring of Fire – The Best of Johnny Cash has rendered this record in rather adequate condition. The disc has a few scuffs, but doesn’t skip, and the sleeve is in better than average condition considering she was released 51 years ago. No, overall she was an exciting find at a Wisconsin thrift store some years back, and although I own many of these songs on their respective albums, it’s nice every once in a while to spin a collection of someone else’s favorites.
I do, however, have one quick question for you, Mr. Suman. Respectfully, I can’t help but ask, WHY THE HELL DID YOU WRITE YOUR EGG-SUCKIN’ NAME ON THE MOTHER-LOVIN’ COVER… IN PEN?!?!??!1!? Couldn’t you haves scribbled your deteriorating title on the back, or on the inside label? Why did you feel the need to piss your inscription square on the cover like a yippy dog to a low hanging pant leg? I question your judgment, good sir.
51 years ago, you made a poor decision, one that will forever live as a blatant symbol of your irresponsible and shortsighted character. I hope you feel an eternity of shame, that which you justly deserve.
Sincerely, your pal,
The Prudent Groove
There is something distinctly haunting that unjustly fills the room when I listen to the fortuitous desperation that surrounds Tim Hardin when he sings the lyrics, “I’ll never get out of these blues alive” on the Fred Neil classic, Blues on the Ceilin’ from Tim’s 1963 recorded, 1967 released (third) album, This is Tim Hardin. For you see, he didn’t. Escape those blues, that is. Mr. Hardin, my current crutch, passed on December 29, 1980. The cause of his untimely death? The blues… in the form of diacetylmorphine.
Other monumental iconic phrases from this track are:
– I’d do it all over, but I’d rather not
– Love is just a dirty four-letter word to me
– The bitter the blues, the better they keep
– The toast was cold, the orange juice was hot
White. Boy. Blues. As prolific an oxymoron as it is, has its fair share of respectable highlights. Tim Hardin isn’t known for his blues-driven ways (and that’s painfully unfortunate), but instead, for his often covered and heart-tuggingly sweet If I Were a Carpenter.
When I drink whiskey, alone, I subconsciously gravitate towards Tim Hardin. Like a beaming source of intellectual and soul-bearing light, Mr. Hardin asks only one favor of us while we enjoy his personal blues-documenting catalog, and the favor is that we must share in this man’s heartfelt dismay. Pain manifests itself in many forms, up to and including a soulful voice accompanying sincerity projecting from the blackened heart.
J. R. Cash was seldom shy about his faith. He was brought up on Baptist beliefs, was quoted 17 ways from Sunday commenting on his personal relationship with God, and wife June was inducted into the Christian Music Hall of Fame back in 2009. This 1963 album on Columbia Records stands as a shameless appreciation of this rugged man’s enormous heart, and shows that everyone, from Timbuktu to Kalamazoo, has a little classic country in them. Titled The Christmas Spirit, Mr. Cash masters that warmhearted holiday sentiment perfect for sitting fireside while heavy winds fight trees outside closed windows, and looming clouds sift a heavy helping of blanketed snow.
For me, anytime of year is a great time for Johnny Cash, but for some reason, maybe it’s his deep, fearless tone, the holidays are the best days for enjoying a little Man in Black. Don’t expect Brenda Lee or Chuck Berry on this album, they are more part of the sparkling, bubbling lights on the holiday music tree. Johnny Cash on the other hand, is the one shining star that rests atop this tree, creating that perfect, musical glow of holiday comfort and joy .
We the jury find the accused, Phillip Harvey Spector, guilty on all counts… of spreading holiday cheer! What was originally dubbed as A Christmas Gift for You from Philles Records back in 1963, was re-released in 1972 on Apple Records with 1) a new title, Phil Spector’s Christmas Album, and 2) a new, Christmas-killing cover depicting the legendary producer dressed as a drunken Santa Claus. Personally, I feel Art Carney’s role as loaded Santa in the Twilight Zone episode, The Night of the Meek was a little more convincing, but ol’ gunslinger Phil does a decent job.
These 13 re-imagined Christmas classics by the likes of The Ronettes, The Crystals, Darlene Love and Bob B. Soxx and the Blue Jeans are all produced by Phil Spector (obviously), and make for a fantastic, and well-rounded Christmas album. If you don’t already own it, or its 1963 original, seek it out. One can never have too many quality Christmas songs, even if their producer is a convicted murderer.
My “Jesus Rose from the Dead” records must be on loan, so I’m reluctant to write about rabbits. My only Bugs Bunny record is a Christmas album, so I’m forced to inundate myself with Peter Cottontail Plus Other Funny Bunnies and Their Friends.
That Pete Cottontail was a sly one, wouldn’t you say? I mean, just look at that face… deep in profound thought. Released in 1963 by the racist, homophobic granddaddy of greed and deceit, Walt Disney Productions, Peter Cottontail Plus Other Funny Bunnies and Their Friends is a heavily produced, fantasy-inducing, rabbit nightmare that’s sure to linger inside your head long after the point of discomfort.
Weaving between catchy kid tunes and one-woman interpretations of classic rabbit stories, Peter Cottontail Plus Other Funny Bunnies and Their Friends does NOT come recommended by The Prudent Groove.
On the plus side, the back sleeve offers an eye-catching display of previously released Disney “Musical Highlights” (I shudder to think) in the shape of the letters, “LPs.” For only $1.89 in 1963, which would be $13.99 today, you could pollute your ears with everything from Little Toot to Savage Sam. Save your money, and your sanity, and skip any and everything Disney related. Your soul will thank you.
Happy Easter, everyone!
On my quest to find the perfect portable phonograph (the Triple P, as I call it), I stumbled across this weathered insert from who-the-hell-knows-when. A quick Google search reveals that Philips began manufacturing these beauties in 1963, so I guess, now-we-all-know-the-hell-when.
This insert features two, distinctly different looking players. First is the AG-4026. This compact player is perfect for annoying your temporary beach neighbors with your controversial Lenny Bruce albums, and plays 4 speeds on 7”, 10” and 12” record. Operating on easily accessible flashlight batteries, this lightweight (8 pounds) transistorized phonograph offers distortion-free response from 80-16,000 cps from its new 7” TICONAL speaker. The word around the waves is that it’s the “Big Set Sound” so, there you go.
The second is the AG-9115. Think of the AG-4026 as being the “Four” series and the AG-9115 as being the “Nine” series. This is NOT a kids toy. This portable Hi-Fi STEREO phonograph provides two TICONAL speakers, separate tone and volume controls, a new “auto-manipulator” tone arm and weighs a slender 24 pounds. Alright, that may be a little heavy to tote around on a bike trip or on a romantic picnic, but I’d still love to see the AG-9115 in action.
Made in Holland by Philips, these two portable players, one mono and the other stereo, would be perfect for my everyday record-listening mobile needs… if, you know, it were still the early 60’s. My hunt for the Triple P marches on.