Welcome to The Tuna Melt Music Sharity Blog!

It is here that I post old records that I've ripped
to Mp3 format (and grouped in .ZIP files) via File Sharing Sites,
album cover scans and, sometimes,
somewhat coherent ramblings related to said shares.

None of the shares here are "borrowed" from other blogs.
All of the items shared are rips of Out-of-Print
(or, at least, very difficult to get)
Vinyl Records from my own collection.

Come on in. Look around.
Scroll downward to find available links.
I hope you find something you like.

If you don't,
you can always come back later, as the variety
of what is made available should be pretty wide-ranging.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Wayne Cochran: Wayne Cochran!

The Hardest Working White Man in Show Business!!!

Wayne Cochran was alternately known as "The White Knight of Soul" and "The White James Brown." Both names were perfectly accurate. He wore a pompadour that was larger, higher and wider than anything James (or even Esquerita, for that matter) had ever dreamed of. The flamboyance of his onstage outfits knew only the bounds of his wild-ass imagination. He put together, managed and directed an incredibly good, tight band of White musicians knowns as the C.C. Riders. And on top of all of that, he could sing like nobody's business. His was one of the best voices of Soul at a time when White People just didn't do that.

To claim that he was discriminated against by the "Soul Music" scene would be like claiming that Hank Ballard could have, if he had wanted to, joined The Augusta National Golf Club in 1963. It is important to note, though, the degree to which discrimination can eventually hurt everybody. Wayne Cochran and the C.C. Riders, though, were able to play some of the largest and most influential Black R&B clubs in the country and were always accepted and appreciated as the great band that they were.

Wayne, like Louis Prima, was also able to take Rock & Roll and Soul music in the Nightclubs where Lounge Music was usually played. He was always a big hit.

He became friends with Elvis, Ann-Margaret and Robert Conrad (having appeared in an episode of "Wild Wild West"). Conrad was inspired by Wayne and the Band to begin the creation of the 1970 film "C.C. Rider," which starred Joe Namath (as C.C. Rider) and Ann-Margaret and featured Wayne and the C.C. Riders in one scene.

Wayne attributes the inspiration for his Big Hair to two brothers, named Johnny and Edgar Winter, who were in a band called "It & Them" (further proof that Big Hair was, in fact, Not Invented at Hammerjacks!).

This really is a great soul album (almost more Bluesy than a lot of other soul records of the time). I would say I'm sad that I only have a Monophonic copy but I'd be lying. This sounds really fine to me.

Wayne Cochran: Wayne Cochran!

  1. Get Ready
  2. Boom Boom
  3. The Peak of Love
  4. You Don't Know Like I Know
  5. Some-A' Your Sweet Love
  6. I'm Leaving It Up to You
  7. You Can't Judge a Book By the Cover
  8. Big City Woman
  9. Little Bitty Pretty One
  10. I'm Your Hoochie Coochie Man
  11. Get Down With It
  12. When My Baby Cries

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Have a Cocktail and Pal Around at Tuna Melt!

I present here two spectacular posts from other blogs that are directly related to items that can be found here on the Tuna Melt.

First up is another of the series of records put out by RCA Victor, back in the very early 60s, to promote their new mastering technique called Dynagroove. "Supercussion," by Dick Schory's Percussion Pops Orchestra, is presented by our buddy Lounge Tracks, operator of the magnificent Zip Your Rip.

Be sure to go get it, leave a nice "Thank You" and look all around at his other generous and wonderful offerings.

Dick Shory's Percussion Pops Orchestra: Supercussion

Next is a post from last month on one of the newer blogs to enter into Vinyl Sharity Lounge, 's Marvelous Distro, which is run by a lady named Annie D. who has already, in the short time since the blog popped up in February, exibited very fine taste in Out-of-Print Vinyl Music.

Here you'll find a 4 disc set from Reader's Digest called "South Sea Island Magic." It's similar to the 5 disc set that I posted back in February, "Hawaiian Paradise," and is filled with extremely nice music of the Islands. The link I include here is simply for the month of March (as each disc was posted separately), so I hope you'll use this as an introduction to the quality work that Annie D. puts out every Friday. Note, too, the logo in the lower right hand corner of the album jacket. This Too is a Dynagroove Recording!

Various Artists: South Sea Island Magic

I'll be the first to admit that The Tuna Melt is hardly a Strictly Lounge Music Blog and it ain't gonna become one any time soon. At the same time, though, I'll also admit that the Lounge Music Blogs are the ones that I pay the most attention to. Statistics show, too, that The Tuna Melt's regular readers pay a tiny bit more attention to the Lounge Music posted here than to any other type (only a teeny tiny bit, though).

That being the case, I can't help but take this opportunity to turn you guys on to some really incredibly cool stuff out there on the web. These are the places where I find the most interesting and inspirational music to listen to while sipping a cocktail or two (or three... or...). Yep! These are the places that Drive Me to Drink! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!! Hic!!!

There's been an Explosion of new Lounge Music Blogs lately and the new ones deserve to be pointed out. Also... I'm going to list the blogs that have been around for a few years for those of you who may be new to this scene.

I present them here in Alphabetical Order.

36 15 Moog: The Moog was Really Big in the Seventies, and was never embraced by most Rock Groups, so it was up to the former purveyors of Space Age Bachelor Pad Music, and those that followed them, to pick up the ball and run with it.

Basic Hip: One of the Grandest of Grandaddies of the Vinyl Sharity Scene (and one of the few remaining), this site is home to all sorts of amazing stuff. Be sure to check out the Basic Hip Digital Gold section.

Bongolong Land: This one does not necessarily concentrate on "Lounge Music," but it has offered up some really great Lounge posts in the past.

Bryan's Lounge: Another new one (I'm adding this to the list in January, 2009). This fellow has a really interesting collection of records and compilations of music of both the Lounge/Easy and Library Music varieties. Nice Stuff!

The Crime Lounge: This one IS ALL LOUNGE MUSIC. But it is ALSO, ONLY LOUNGE MUSIC of the SPY, PRIVATE EYE and CRIME varieties. And really... Who in his right mind wouldn't like to have martinis with James Bond?

Dr. Forrest's Cheeze Factory: Obsessed with Funny (and Just Plain Weird), this Comedy-centric Sharity Blog has been known post some of the stranger records of the Cocktail and Lounge genre.

Easy Listening World: Lots of Beautiful Music and Television Tunes from England.

Easy Music: Georgy shares Lots of Light and Easy Music for your Listening Pleasure. He's in Russia, so a lot of this is stuff you ain't never gonna get at Best Buy.

Fear and Loathing with... ElCrowley: Not only Lounge and Exotica, but lots of it.

Grooves of Delight: Absolutely Fantastic! Go NOW!

Hall of Records: INACTIVE since APRIL, 2007. Still some good stuff (Arthur Lyman anybody?) there, though.

Higher Than Fi: The New Kid on the Blog-Block! If you've ever heard Jet Set Planet you're sure to look forward to what the future holds in store. If you haven't, go here now and get into the groove.

The Hot Sauce Lounge: I tend to put Hot Sauce (of one type or another) on just about everything I eat, so this one holds a special place in my heart. Or maybe it's because he digs The Rat Pack so much. Hmmmmmmmmmmmm...?

J. David Williams' Sharity: Not a Blog so much as a Sharity Page on his Personal Site. Posts (from Vinyl and Reel-to-Reel Tapes) rotate out after a while, so check back every so often.

Junkyard Sparkle: NO POSTS since JUNE of 2007, but there's still some good stuff there.

Kelly's Lounge Sounds: Another New Lounge Blog! I say "The More the Merrier!," especially if they're all as good as this one. Kelly has some really nice stuff posted already (Peggy Lee & George Shearing, Sarah Vaughan, Les Baxter, Matt Monro, etc...) and promises much more from his years as a radio DJ. Get over there now and check it out.

Kono Tiki Island: INACTIVE since JANUARY, 2007. If there are holes in your Exotica collection, though, you might be able to fill them here.

Licorice Pizza: Without a Doubt one of my all time faves. An amazing collection of some of the best stuff I've ever sipped to.

Loronix: The Smooth Sounds of Lounge from Brazil. Lossa Bossa Nova!

Lounge Legends - Instrumentals Forever: I got two words for ya - Hugo Montenegro. Here... Two More - Horst Jankowsi. Got it? Go get it!

LP's Vinyl Lounge Hut: The Name Pretty Much Say's It All! An astounding collection of Thrift Store Gems.

Mexicovers: A great supplier of Easy Pop with a South of the Border slant.

morghini.net: Five mixes of great NOW Sound Pop.

Music and Memories: Ultra-Lounge, Henry Mancini & Lots of Soundtracks

Música do Bem: Classic Lounge Sounds.

Phil Musical's Lounge Corner: Bossa Nova, Mambos, Cha Cha Chas, Easy Listening, Lounge, Space Age Pop, etc... Really Great Stuff!

Psychotic Leisure Music: Okay. He post's a lot of other stuff, but Kevin's got a great deal of Esquivel and The Three Suns and that makes him okay with me!

Rangeraver's Departure Lounge: Great Shares and Tremendous Custom Compilations.

Rato Records Blog: Lots of Loungey Stuff in the mix. Shares are posted for one week only, so visit regularly.

RockOverGraceland: NO POSTS since January, but it's gotta be back sometime. It Just Has To!

Shoddity: NO POSTS since Four Months Before The Wedding, but still some great shares.

Singin' and Swingin': A remarkable collection of some of the smoothest sounds you'll ever let caress your eardrums.

Snow Day: Thrift Store Vinyl Sharity. One Month at a Time.

Sounds of Champaign (Side 2): Great Stuff! Much from Europe.

Stax o' Wax: Esther (with help from Starbuck and Snickerdoodle) pulls great stuff from the Thrift Bins!

TAM TAM & Mélodie: INACTIVE since FEBRUARY, 2007. This blog posted great Easy Shares from Exotic Locales. Many are Still Available.

Third Island: Mr. Snookles shares remarkable finds from Australia.

Thrift Store DJ: Some of my current favorites were found here!

Ultra Swank: Great Shares, Architectural Nostalgia and Custom Compilations from The Netherlands.

Vinyl Room: The Easiest of Easy Listening. Lots of great stuff here!

Whoops: Lounge, Easy and Library shares as well as Custom Compilations from France.

The Wild Palms: Extremely nice and easy shares from a fellow in The Netherlands.

Xtabay's World: He's calmed down a bit as of late (and begun posting items that aren't as Exotic[a] as the ones he used to specialize in), but Xtabay is still the King of Exotica Sharity!

Your Pal Doug: He Really IS Your Pal! And he's got a Record of the Moment Page Dealy.

Note: There are plenty of other blogs that share Lounge Music, but these are the ones that do it most consistently to my knowledge. If I've missed any that you know of, please let me know of them so that I can add them to my list of current obsessions.

So there! Ya'll get out there and get some good stuff! And, while you're there, show them your love and your appreciation.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Mike Melvoin: Keys to Your Mind

Open Your Mind Up to Tuna Melt!

Mike Melvoin is well known nowadays as "The Plastic Cow," being the artist who released 1970's "The Plastic Cow Goes Moooooog," and for playing the keyboards on The Beach Boy's "Good Vibrations."

On top of that, he's arranged for and worked with such greats as Lou Rawls, Bill Henderson, Peggy Lee, Joe Williams, Billy Ekstine, Barry Manilow, Pat Boone, The Four Freshmen, Jon Davidson, The Partridge Family, Tom Waits and Wayne Newton.

This is a "pre-Moog" record from 1966. It may not have an actual synthesizer on it, but on top of standard keyboard instruments such as the Concert Grand Piano, Electric Piano, Harpsichord, Hammond Organ and even a Tack Piano, he also includes an Ondioline (which he refers to as his "Secret Weapon"). The Ondioline was a vacuum-tube powered keyboard instrument, invented in France in 1941, that was built on springs so that an artist could shake and wiggle it in order to achieve an actual vibrato.

Lots of wiggly jiggly Beatles and Bacarach on this one!

Mike Melvoin: Keys to Your Mind

  1. Sweet Talkin' Guy
  2. Looking with My Eyes
  3. Eleanor Rigby
  4. Here, There and Everywhere
  5. Paperback Writer
  6. Along Comes Mary
  7. Summer in the City
  8. Are You There
  9. For No One
  10. You Are My Sunshine
  11. I Want to Tell You
  12. Keys to Your Mind

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Sid Ramin & Orchestra: New Thresholds in Sound

No Way! That's Even More Dynagroovy!

Okay. It might not be MORE DYNAGROOVY, but it is Definately MORE of the DYNAGROOVE EXPERIENCE!

This one, by Sid Ramin, rocks just as hard as the one by Marty Gold but it's not quite as inventive. There's very little Tuba action here. Still, it's a really great record and I'm sure it helped make a lot of dudes really happy with their recently purchased console stereos back in 1963.

Speaking of which... Remember that in 1963 there weren't that many Stereo systems out there. The amazing Stereo Action series that RCA produced in 1961 and 1962 was aimed at a Very Tiny, but Well Heeled, audience that was made up, mostly, of single men with enough disposable income to shell out for a stereo system (hence the tag "Space Age Bachelor Pad Music").

I had a roomate who worked at a record store back in about 1985. He had all these goofballs who knew not a damn thing about music coming into the store and asking him which CDs they should buy, as CDs were the New Perfect (and, at the time, rather expensive) Thing. He would offer his recommendations and they would purchase a huge load of good music. A week later, they would come back into the store wanting to sell the CDs back and asking which new ones they should get this time. It wasn't that they didn't like what they'd heard, it was just that they had Tiny Brains and Big Fat Wallets.

Too bad that the Record Companies had forgotten how to sell Demonstration Records by that point.

I know that there were at least three others in this series (and I swear I've got a copy of Dick Schory's "Supercussion" around here somewhere), as well as several compilation releases designed to demonstrate the amazing capabilities of Dynagroove, so if any other bloggers offer them you need to grab them up! I'll keep my eyes open in the Thrift Stores around town for 'em. Don't Worry!

Sid Ramin & Orchestra: New Thresholds in Sound

  1. Strike Up the Band
  2. Granada
  3. The Sweetest Sounds
  4. April in Paris
  5. Varsity Drag
  6. Embraceable You
  7. Spring Is Here
  8. Swanee
  9. I Believe in You
  10. Life Is Just a Bowl of Cherries
  11. Hernando's Hideaway
  12. Bewitched

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

Marty Gold & His Orchestra: SOUNDPOWER! Music to the Limits of Audibility

Man! That's Dynagroovy!

The Wikipedia entry on Dynagroove reads as follows:

"Dynagroove is a recording process introduced in 1963 exclusive to RCA Victor that, for the first time, utilized computers ("electronic brains") to modify the audio signal fed to the recording stylus (chisel-shaped) of a phonograph record to make the groove shape conform to the tracking requirements of the playback stylus (ball-point shaped). RCA claimed that Dynagroove had the effect of adding brilliance and clarity, realistic presence, full-bodied tone and virtually eliminated surface noise and inner groove distortion. In addition, Dynagroove recordings were mastered on RCA Magnetic Tape. Hans H. Fantel (who wrote liner notes on the first Dynagroove releases) summed it up with, "[Dynagroove] adds up to what is, in my opinion, a remarkable degree of musical realism. The technique is ingenious and sophisticated, but its validation is simple: the ear confirms it!"

"The process was not received well by some industry commentators, such as the founder of Stereophile magazine, J. Gordon Holt, who in December 1964 wrote a highly unfavourable article entitled "Down with Dynagroove!". Dynagroove was also sharply criticized by Goddard Lieberson of the competing label Columbia Records, who called it "a step away from the faithful reproduction of the artist's performance;" and by Harry Pearson, founder of The Absolute Sound, who termed it "Dynagrove, for that wooden sound." Holt, a noted audio engineer and writer of the 1960s and 1970s, slammed Dynagroove as introducing "pre-distortion" into the mastering process, making the records sound worse if they were played on high-quality phono systems.

RCA discontinued Dynagroove without fanfare in the late 1970s."

Whether it was a step forward or a step backward can (and, I'm sure, will) be argued by the experts 'til they're all blue in the face. The fact is that RCA created an entire slate of releases produced specifically in order to show the extreme dynamic capabilities of the Dynagroove process and those records are treasured to this very day for the music more than the recording technology involved.

One such recording (my personal favorite of the lot) is "SOUNDPOWER! Music to the Limits of Audiobility" by Marty Gold and His Orchestra. This is one killer record. Marty uses it as a opportunity to stretched his highs and lows as far apart as possible using the entire orchestra in dramatically inventive and creative ways.

If you've never heard "I Concentrate on You" performed on a Tuba, now's your chance!

Marty Gold & His Orchestra: SOUNDPOWER! Music to the Limits of Audibility

  1. I'll Remember April
  2. Stella By Starlight
  3. The Moon Was Yellow
  4. The Terry Theme from "Limelight"
  5. Without a Song
  6. Harlem Nocturne
  7. Shangri-La
  8. A String of Pearls
  9. I Left My Heart in San Francisco
  10. I Concentrate on You
  11. Till There Was You
  12. Misty