I own a total of one Floyd Cramer record, and this is it. 1966’s Only the Big Ones (RCA Victor), contains some pretty heavy-hitters: The Summer Wind, You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away, Yesterday, What’s New Pussycat?, and a personal favorite, Hang on Sloopy. Only the Big Ones is a bit more groovy to be considered elevator music, but like “yesterday’s” addition, is a very good representation of uplifting, happy-time instrumental piano-jazz music.
This 1958 demonstration record is something of stereophonic lore. Capitalizing on the space age pop theme of the time, RCA Victor took it upon themselves to showcase, complete with narration, the dramatic differences between the older, far-less superior monophonic, single-channel sound recording (this, of course, depends on who you ask), and the brand-spanking-new stereophonic technology. Sounds in Space is a wildly fun journey through these vastly-differing recording techniques, and if you’re a fan of classic, space age pop covers, this record is a no-brainer.
So, as it turns out, the lesser-known Hugo Winterhalter was an arranger for such household names as Tommy Dorsey and Count Basie back in the 1930s before branching out into his own easy listening jazz career. This 1959 album, Hugo Winterhalter Goes… Latin features 12 tracks of Latin fury, and owns classic, mid-century cover art. With RCA Victor’s Living Stereo, you’re sure to experience Isabel’s Dream and Ectasy Tango in high quality fidelity.
A nifty little find for $2.94 is this Stereo Action record from Marty Gold and His Orchestra titled, It’s Magic. Purchased for the die cut sleeve, as well as being a part of RCA Victor’s Stereo Action series, we took a plunge into the deep end as I’m not familiar with Mr. Gold and his orchestra’s work, but for under $3, why the hell not?!
1973 was a good year for a lot of people. I wouldn’t know, personally, but Mr. Harry Nilsson released an album of 20th-century standards for his 10th studio album, whimsically titled, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night, so 1973 couldn’t have been all that bad. Using Sinatra arranger Gordon Jenkins, A Little Touch clocks in at just over 36 mins over 12 songs, and though praised for Nilsson’s prominent vocals, it only received modest chart success. Regardless, A Little Touch is well worth the price of admission, and is a perfect spin for those foggy, Southern California days, or anywhere you can plug in a turntable.
Oh, what wondrous adventures await within the mysterious and elegant Fire & Spice by Los Chavales de Espana. I picked up this amazing piece of Hi-Fi Fiesta for a cool $1 over the weekend, and am eagerly anticipating the marvelous exploits that lay within this striking cover. If you’ve ever wondered what a visual interpretation of fire and spice could be, look no further.
… to these recent RCA Victor releases. This is a command, not a suggestion. Top tier entertainment advertising from 1960, right before your very eyes. Como Swings (LSP-2010, 1959), Chet Atkins’ Teensville (LSP-2161, 1960), and Elvis is Back!, presumably from that hip-swingin’ clam bake (LSP-2231, 1960). These titles and many more are “now available in NEW ORTHOPHONIC and LIVING STEREO versions.” Contact your dealer for more details.
1964 and RCA Victor proudly present, The Best of Jim Reeves. LSP-2890 for you catalog nuts out there, this country music classic from the country music legend, Mr. Jim Reeves, features a stellar 12-track lineup. Adios Amigo, Anna Marie, Four Walls, He’ll Have to Go, Danny Boy, and, what Best of ANYTHING would be complete without Billy Bayou. Though Mr. Reeves met his demise in a fatal plane crash the same year, his legend knows no limits. RIP Mr. Reeves.
We’re happy to (finally) bring home, into the collection, Harry Belafonte’s 1957 album of Caribbean lullabies, Belafonte Sings of the Caribbean. She was once the black hole among the early Belafonte releases, the only missing LP from Harry’s first five years, and is arguably one of his all-time greatest records, aside from 1956’s Calypso and 1961’s Jump Up Calypso. Anyway, I was happy to find it for a cool $4 this weekend. Cheers.
Like something straight out of the opening credits to North by Northwest, this, the original cover to Henry Mancini’s 1959 The Music From “Peter Gunn” aptly packages the swiftly-infused late 50’s power jazz within. Spy Hunter has nothing on Peter Gunn, clearly, and this original sleeve runs high-speed laps around its reissue, which was (im)perfectly showcased here. Word on the street (via Internet Ave) is that John Williams was part of Henry Mancini’s orchestra during this time, so hit your local brick and mortar first thing tomorrow and track this down this jazzy jamboree.
“In your home… in your car… or wherever you roam!” So true is the versatility that RCA stereo 8 cartridge tapes bring to, (well placed comma, don’t you think?) your home, your car, your jet, and your cruise ship (icon to specify, just in case you can’t determine between the options).
The new and exciting way to enjoy Eddy Arnold and Perry Como on virtually any extended day travel situation. With “up to 60 minutes playing time,” your 8-track stereo cartridge tape will get you from Wilshire west to Burbank, in only 4-full cartridge flips (only 19 miles). RCA knows your need for portable, cumbersome libraries, and having been “adopted by all major U.S. auto companies,” your mundane trips to and from the unemployment office will feel like a warm, summer’s breeze… if that warm summer’s breeze came complete with the entire back catalog of Mr. Floyd Cramer.
Roam, to the blissful, warbling sound, of RCA stereo 8 cartridge tapes.
Spice up your mundane Monday with a splash of enthusiasm with Mr. Harry Belafonte and his 1961 smash hit, Jump Up Calypso. The follow-up to 1956’s straight-shooting Calypso, Jump Up is a hurricane in all kinds of weather. Aside from offering both Angelina AND Jump in the Line, Jump Up Calypso was the unofficial soundtrack to the 1988 Tim Burton comedy, Beetlejuice. Listen to this, then watch that, and count how many times this album pops up. I count five, but I haven’t seen the film in a few years.
Monday’s don’t have to be banal. Sprinkle in a dash of Calypso, and your feet will feel as light as Caribbean air.
Also, if you’re in the states, don’t forget to vote tomorrow!
Slap a cap on the man, and give him a trombone, because RCA Victor Presents, Glenn Miller Army Air Force Band. Released in 1955, the five disc collection of patriotic big band hits serve God, country, and an eager ear with a cold shower, discipline, and a swingin’ good time.
As the 16-page informational booklet boasts:
“We didn’t come here to set any fashions in music. We merely came to bring a much-needed touch of home to some lads who have been here a couple of years. These lads are doing a hell of a job – they have been starved for real, live American music.” – Mr. Major Glenn Miller
Serving as leader of the 50-piece Army Air Force Band (from 1942 – 1944), Mr. Miller’s voluptuous, and international success was met with a stormy cloud of pouring despair when the plane he was occupying went missing on December 15th, 1944. The clouds of sadness would eventually depart, but the resulting flood has never receded.
Oh, and fyi, if you Google “Glenn Miller,” the photo that pops up (to the right) is of Jimmy Stewart, PLAYING Glenn Miller. Here’s a link, oh curious Curtis.
The year, 1958… the legend, The Mick, aka Mickey Charles Mantle. RCA Victor compiled a list of jazz-pop, country, easy listening, and ballad-type hits which were “allegedly” personal favorites of The Commerce Comet on this listenable baseball card, My Favorite Hits – Mickey Mantle.
Whether these tracks by Glenn Miller, Hugo Winterhalter, Artie Shaw, Duke Ellington, and The Sons of the Pioneers were actually Mantle favorites is a topic of endless debate, but My Favorite Hits is a great, OLD, sports collectable with an amazing cover and a great soundtrack to a warm, summer, Tuesday evening.
God love the low, low prices at Discogs.com.
RCA Victor, with their Popular Collector’s Issue series, and their motto, “The Stars who make the Hits are on RCA Victor Records,” have manifested an abnormally eloquent designed 45 sleeve, as evident by these shoes on the feet of this Glenn Miller box of singles.
His Master’s Voice was certainly not in need of top-of-the-line design, as evident by their continued, timeless, design.