The Best of Jim Reeves

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.

Sings of the Caribbean

caribbeanWe’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.

Henry Get Your Gunn

GunnLike 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.

Stereo 8

Stereo_8“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).

Insert_15The 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.

Jump Up

Jump UpSpice 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!

Army Air Force Band

Air_ForceSlap 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.

My Favorite Hits – Mickey Mantle Circa: 1958

MantleThe 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. Mantle_back

God love the low, low prices at Discogs.com.

When Music Wasn’t Enough

RCA Victor 45RCA 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.

The Treasury of Immortal Performances “45” rpm

Mr. MillerIt’s difficult not to get excited about Glenn Miller. There’s something about the profound purity of a child’s smile behind a raging trombone, and, of course, the eternal Jimmy Stewart icon-association that makes this, or any Glenn Miller recording, an endless treasure.

This 4x 7” (45 rpm, naturally) set has yet to make its legendary entrance into the prolific discogs database, but if the winds of fate blow favorably, this weekend will truly unveil the Treasury of Immortal Performances.

A (Short) Evening with Belafonte

EveningDerived from the LP of the same name, this 4-track EP 7″ is perfect for those hurried evenings when a little romantic nudge is required, but the depth of a fully hammered out album is the LAST thing on your mind. As far as I’m concerned, any Belafonte is better than no Belafonte, and after a quick, 2-track flip, your planned, erotic evening will be swiftly underway, thanks to the nimble, intoxicating seduction of this unforgettable evening, with Belafonte.

In a Relaxation Como

In a ComoRelax… you’ve earned it. But even if you haven’t, disguise your bourbon in a dainty tea cup, bathe yourself in the lavish frills of your favorite evening gown, close your rose-markered book and enjoy the provocative exclamations of the one, the only, Perry Como.

Better make it quick, as this is just a violent tease of Como-inspired relaxation. With only four tracks, your momentary break from the chaotic endeavors of everyday life will swiftly blow away, like the cool, lamenting breeze from the relaxation King, Mr. Perry Como.

A Split in the Swivel, A Warp in the Whirl

Pay no attention to the crack at 11 o'clock.

Pay no attention to the crack at 11 o’clock.

Cracked grooves break my heart… especially Oscar nominated cuts from the 1940s. The 1940 film, Second Chorus, featured both this shellac track, Love of My Life, as well as a clarinet-yielding Artie Shaw, masterfully (I assume) portraying himself up on the big, flickering dream-screen. Never saw it, but with a score and on-screen performance provided by Mr. Shaw himself, this little entertainment blip just spun onto my radar.

Chalk this oversight up to adrenaline, heat, or simple fatigue, all of which were raging through my withered carcass at the initial moment of this record’s discovery. Unplayable, but never-the-less pretty to look at, I’m thumbing my creative button to figure out what the hell to do with this glaring example of deplorable sadness. She’ll rest, having had her last 78rpm go around until I can figure out a decent and respectable way to upcycle her.

Dead records are never easy to stomach.

Introducing, the Color Purple

Stereophonic PurpleBy now, we’ve all been schooled in the revolutionary ways of stereophonic sound (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3), but there have been significant advances since mid-March that will set the standard in audio technology. Ladies and Gentlemen, stereophonic sound is now available in the color PURPLE! That’s right! At no additional cost to you, the color purple has been integrated into the RCA Victor demonstration insert. Discount blue RCA Victor stereophonic sound demonstration inserts are currently on sale to make room for this year’s fall fashion purple extravaganza. With the holidays coming up, why not give the gift of blue, or if you’re one of the lucky ones whose ship has come in, why not spring for the new purple model? Discounts on the discontinued blue will be applied at the register.

New from RCA Victor Circa:1958

Enjoy1958 was a riveting year for RCA Victor Records, and this (Moon juiced) insert proves that the late 50s were a swinging, boisterous time for the 2nd oldest recording company in the United States. This prolific insert promotes everything from Frank Sinatra & Tommy Dorsey, to Perry Como, to the twins… you know the twins, Jim and John Cunningham (apparently Teenagers Love the Twins… who knew?), to the King, Elvis Presley, to a personal favorite, Glenn Miller, and finally to a little album called, My Favorite Hits, which is simply described as, “Mickey Mantle picks his favorites.” This last little number just made my Discogs Wantlist.

It’s enthralling to write about (barely touch upon) 1958 while listening to 1987’s Love an Adventure by Pseudo Echo, but things need to be kept into perspective, am I right?

In conclusion, here’s a little Thursday, mid-morning (or Friday, early morning in Australia) mind-melting math for you to digest:

     Love an Adventure: 1987 – (minus) My Favorite Hits: 1958 = 29 year gap

     Present Day: 2013 – (minus) Love an Adventure: 1987 = 26 year gap

If you’re like me, and you remember the Funkytown residing Pseudo Echo, than you, my friend, are old… you’re welcome.

Did He Just Say “Supersonic Honeymoon?”

Ames BrothersI’m a sucker for vintage space and/or rocket-themed cover art, and you can imagine (it’s okay, I give you permission) my excitement when the spaced-out, black hole of vintage music behind the interstellar cover art is actually magnetic and borderline whimsically enchanting.

I’m on the hunt for another copy of Destination Moon, as the bottom left corner has a bit of Moon juice spilled on it (as you can plainly see). This album was released in 1958, so I’m going with the (by no means made up) story that the Ames Brothers ACTUALLY traveled to the moon to record AND press this album, but in their hurried attempts to jettison back to Earth to disperse their space-rock discovery amongst the lemming-like Earth creatures, they accidentally spilled a large amount of Moon juice on a few boxes containing Destination Moon, packed and ready for worldwide distribution. Yeah, that’s it…

Destination MoonLate 50s Jazz Pop with a theme that’s… I’m sorry; I have to… out of this world. I don’t own anything else by the Ames Brothers, but my intergalactic curiosity for more, good-time, secretly wholesome, space-themed 50s music will undoubtedly point me to the direction of the orbiting cluster of space debris called, the Ames Brothers.

Just in Case You Suffered A Swift Blow to the Head

Take Care of Your RecordsBack by unpopular demand, and just in case you suffered a swift blow to the head, presented here, with all its painstakingly careful glory, is yet another “How to Take Care of Your Records if You’ve Never Owned Anything That You’d Like to Keep for More Than a Day.” This round… Columbia Records.

This is the third installment in mind-numbingly obvious, and exhaustively basic record care. First we heard from Mercury Records (Mercury Records Think You’re An Unmitigated Muttonhead), followed by RCA Victor (RCA Victor’s Simple Suggestions for Proper Record Care…). What sets Columbia Records a notch or two above the previously mentioned labels, when it comes to overtly apparent proper record usage, is the “live action” snapshots used to demonstrate each of the four (apparently) easy to forget steps to ensure proper record care. Mercury Records went with the casual, artist sketch look, while RCA Victor went with a more fiesta meets basic minimalist approach. It’s amusing to see how different labels tackle the same tedious (and did I mention obvious?) steps of proper record care. By the looks of these amazing stock footage shots, Columbia Records was doing well for themselves in 196?

By now you (should) know the dos and don’ts of proper record care, so I won’t waste your time by breaking it down for you. I will, however, waste your time by returning tomorrow with the third and final panel from this Columbia Records ad-sert. Here’s a little hint: It’s called Listening in Depth.