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.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

International Pop Orchestra / 110 Musicians: Christmas Favorites

One Last Shot Before Santa Get's Here!

Boy Howdy! I've had a Hoot here on Earth over the last few weeks. I got to go to some cool places and see some cool stuff!

This is the barn in Traitor Vic's backyard. I think it looks pretty nice at Christmas Time.

This is the wreath that hangs on the barn at Christmas Time.

I also got to visit a place called Tiny Town (which, of course, we on Mars were already aware of because of it's Extreme Incandescence). It was Marvelous! It was Horrifying! It was Awful!

Now, sadly, it comes to an end.
I'll be letting Traitor Vic out of the closet that I've had him locked in in just a few moments. We'll sling up in the den, waiting for that fat dude to tumble down the chimney, and get to work on the remainder of the 12-pack of Yuengling from which Santa's beer was chosen.

This is what we did last year and it didn't turn out so well. Santa arrived to find that I had consumed his beer and eaten his "patè on a cracker" treats and, to say the least, was not happy. He immediately announced that he found me to be "Bad", tossed a lump of coal into my stocking, yanked it from the mantel and began pounding me in the head with it.

I'm learning the Respect that comes with the Fear of that dude. Santa Claus is not to be messed with.

Hope all of you have been good little boys and girls this year! And, whether you have or not, here is my final present to you for 2009. It's a good ol' Wyncote record, so you know it's just perfectly mediocre, but in a marvelous way!

It's 10:10PM, Eastern Standard Time, on Christmas Eve now and NORAD has just reported that Santa has just arrived on the East Coast of the United States, so I need to run now. I've got a long drive tomorrow. Hope to see you all again next year!

  1. O Come All Ye Faithful
  2. Hark the Herald Angels Sing
  3. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  4. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  5. Joy to the World
  6. Deck the Halls
  7. The First Noel
  8. Good King Wenceslaus
  9. O Holy Night
  10. We Three Kings of Orient Are
  11. Silent Night

Monday, December 21, 2009

Ken Griffin: The Organ Plays at Christmas

Gettin' all ORGANIC at Christmas Time!

This Album Is Good for the Planet! If you Download It, and listen to it, You'll Be Less Likely to Purchase a "Environment Destroying Product".

Ken Griffin was HUGE in the 50s (probably the most popular and biggest selling Organ Player of all). I've never found him to be nearly as interesting as Lenny Dee, but I do like his Holiday Offerings.

I think you will too!

Ken Griffin: The Organ Plays at Christmas
  1. Joy to the World
  2. Silent Night
  3. Silver Bell
  4. Rudolph, the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  5. Away in a Manger
  6. The First Nowell
  7. Adeste Fideles
  8. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  9. Kringle's Jingle
  10. Here Comes Santa Claus
  11. I'll Be Home for Christmas
  12. White Christmas

I gotta admit… This record just Dries Me Right the Hell Out! It makes me Thirsty as Can Be!

I allowed Traitor Vic to come out of his closet earlier tonight and he hit a HOMERUN, boy howdy! We enjoy this drink, too, around The Holidays on Mars. Of course, the Holidays we enjoy it around are different from yours, but that's okay. We call this one The Thing Attached to The Side of The Supersonic Space Rocket. It's a cultural difference.

The Sidecar
Here's how you make it:

2 oz. brandy
½ oz. cuantreau

Juice of ½ lemon

Shake and serve in a Cocktail Glass with a Sugar Rim.

Various Artists: The 2009 Tuna Melt Christmas Mix

Another Big Ol' Pile o' Christmas!

Okay. I've been bad, I suppose. I told Traitor Vic that I'd let him come out of his closet for good if he helped me put my 2009 Christmas Mix together. I lied. I pushed his butt back into the closet and locked the door the second we got done with this. I'll let him come out and stay, though, when it's time for me to leave.

In the meantime, here's our 2009 Christmas Mix! Hope you enjoy some of it!

Various Artists: The Traitor Vic 2009 Christmas Mix
  1. We Three Kings of Orient Are - The Boxmasters
  2. Santa Claus Is Back in Town - Canned Heat
  3. Blue White Christmas - Barely Pink
  4. Rasta Reindeer - The Bobs
  5. Merry Christmas James Brown - The Peanuts Gang
  6. Gettin' Down for Xmas - Milly & Silly
  7. Christmas Time All Over the World - The Smithereens
  8. Psycho - Thirsty Dave's Western Caravan
  9. Squat - Shelby Lynne
  10. Please Daddy Don't Get Drunk - Kelly Willis & Bruce Robison
  11. Merry Christmas from a Bar - Mike Ireland & Holler
  12. Santa's Out of Rehab By Christmas - Adam's House Cat
  13. Black & Blue Christmas - Unknown Hinson
  14. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer - Rocket Park
  15. Something Horrible
  16. Hark! The Helter Skelter - Dave aka Tuco
  17. Here Comes Santa Claus Back in Black - Elvis vs AC/DC (a Voicedude Mashup)
  18. Away in a Manger - Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra
  19. Inglejay Ellsbay - A Pig Latin Christmas
  20. The Little Drummer Boy - Kenny Burrell
  21. Jingle Bells - Wing
  22. Everything's Gonna Be Cool This Christmas - Eels
  23. Chrismastime - The Nourallah Brothers
  24. Christmas Boy - The Spongetones
  25. Fruity-Cake Fruitcake - Bah & The Humbugs
  26. Christmas Rhapsody - Pledge Drive
  27. Happy Kwanzaa - Teddy Pendergrass

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Ames Brothers: There'll Always Be a Christmas

Back to Mono for the Holidays!

Here's one that it is possible to find on Compact Disc, but I highly doubt you're gonna run out this week and get it at your local record store. It's one of Traitor Vic's favorite Christmas Records of all time and he's been listening to and loving this monophonic copy for over 45 years.

  1. The Christmas Song (Chestnuts Roasting on an Open Fire)
  2. Deck the Halls
  3. O Holy Night! (Cantique de Noël)
  4. Silver Bells
  5. What Child Is This (Greensleeves)
  6. Jingle Bells
  7. Good King Wenceslas
  8. The Night Before Christmas Song
  9. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  10. C-H-R-I-S-T-M-A-S
  11. Go Tell It on the Mountain
  12. There'll Always Be a Christmas
I have found that some of the tracks on this album can cause one feel a bit dry. If this happens while you're listening to it, I would suggest quenching your thirst with one of these.

The Candy Cane Martini
1½ oz. vodka
1 tsp. peppermint schnapps
1 oz. club soda

Combine all ingredients in a shaker filled with ice.
Shake once or twice. Stir. Strain into cocktail glass and garnish with small candy cane.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Various Artists: Happy Sparkly Christmas 2007

More Old-Timey Christmas!

Okay. This isn't THAT Old-Timey, but it IS the Christmas Mix that I made back in 2007. That was only about a year ago on Mars, but its Two Years on Earth and that is A Long Time.

It's silly. It is, just as the one from 2008, the collection that I put together to show my friends on Mars how silly you Earthlings get around the holidays. I think you will enjoy it.

Various Artists: Happy Sparkly Christmas 2007
  1. S. Claus Files Unusual Flight Plan - North American Air Defense Command
  2. Linus n Lucy - Ursula 1000
  3. Santa Claus Done Brought Himself to Town - Justin Wilson
  4. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear - Michael Doucet
  5. Santa's Got a Bag of Soul - The Soul Saints Orchestra
  6. Hang on Rudolph - The Ebenezer Scrooge Appreciation Society
  7. Do You Hear What I Hear? / You Really Got Me - Bobby Lloyd & The Skeletons
  8. Sock It to Me, Santa - Marshall Crenshaw
  9. Santa Had a Wreck - Terry Anderson & The O.A.K. Team
  10. Santa Claus Wants Some Lovin' - Mack Rice
  11. Soul Christmas - Graham Parker (with Nona Hendryx)
  12. Noël - Kees Kraayenoord
  13. The Little Drummer Boy - The Dandy Warhols
  14. In the Bleak Mid-Winter - Shawn Colvin
  15. Boas Festas - Joyce
  16. We Three Kings - Cuba L.A.
  17. Candy Cane Madness - Lowell George & The Factory
  18. Boogie Woogie Christmas - Ricky Godfrey & Rudy Blue Shoes
  19. I Hate Christmas - Oscar the Grouch
  20. Ho Ho Ho & a Bottle of Rum - The Cucumbers
  21. S.A.N.T.A. - The Christmas Jug Band

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

William Wright & John Reiman: A Christmas Present

It's an Old-Timey Christmas

This record consists of Christmas Tunes played in the Old-Time Music style. Old-Time Music is a term used to refer to real Appalachian Folk Music of the Pre-Bluegrass era and is, actually, just old White Folks' Folk Music. It is the type of music that was made by early Anglo-Celtic settlers in America. The instruments used on this album are Guitar, Fiddle, Mandolin, Bells, Triangle and Tambourine.

This album was released on Rooster Records of Bethel, Vermont, in 1980 and includes several "newer" songs (such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" from 1948, and "Frosty the Snowman" from 1950), but the musical arrangements remain true to the Old-Time style throughout.

For more info on Old-Time Music see David Lynch's Old-Time Music Home Page.

  1. Good King Wenceslas
  2. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  3. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer / Frosty the Snowman
  4. O Tannenbaum
  5. God Rest ye Merry Gentlemen
  6. Oh, Holy Night
  7. Jingle Bells
  8. Angels We Have Heard on High
  9. We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  10. We Three Kings
  11. Deck the Halls
  12. Joy to the World
  13. Wassail Song
As you're listening to this Old-Time Music, allow me to suggest an Old-Time Heartwarmer:

Hot Toddy
1 oz. bourbon
4 oz. boiling water
1 tsp. sugar
3 whole cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon slice, thinly sliced
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Put sugar, cloves, cinnamon stick and lemon slice into a mug or Irish coffee glass.
Add 1 oz. of boiling water. Stir. Let stand for 5 minutes.
Add bourbon and 3 oz. of boiling water. Stir well. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Last Year's News: The 2008 Christmas Mix

I Wish He Would Shut Up!!!

Traitor Vic is raisin' all kinds of hell in that closet I keep him in. He's not tryin' to get out. He's just ticked off 'cause he knows that each year, upon visiting your planet for the Holiday Season, I put together a Mix of Holiday Enjoyments to share with my buddies back on THE RED PLANET. He's pissed 'cause I have not been sharing them with all of you Earth Morons.

I gotta admit… He doesn't like the fact that I'm taking his lousy Earth Music back to Mars and telling all of my friends how coo… uh… I mean Interesting it is, and not sharing such information with Earthbound Humans. He thinks I should begin sharing these items with you! Just to shut him up, I think I'll do it. I prefer a Silent Bartender, for Pete's Sake!

That being said… Here is last year's mix. I'll probably share the one from the year before pretty soon, but don't think that's going to slow the irregularity with which I post Christmas Stuff otherwise.

1. Big Red and Cool Yule - Jimmy Bowman
2. Funky Funky Christmas - Electric Jungle
3. Black Christmas - Rose Graham
4. Noel - Smokey Robinson & The Miracles
5. The Little Drummer Boy - The Soulful Strings
6. Santa's Got a Brand New Bag - Gary Walker & The Boogie Kings
7. Xmas Twist - The Twistin' Kings
8. Rock 'n' Roll-Y Poly Santa Claus - Lillian Briggs w/ O.B. Masingill & His Orchestra
9. Rockin' Santa Claus - The Martells
10. Christmas Is Pain - The Foremen
11. O Little Town of Bethlehem - Bob Rivers
12. Kill a Tree for Christ - Celtic Elvis
13. Psychedelic Santa - Buzz Zeemer
14. The Little Drummer Boy - The Screaming Santas
15. Jingle Bells - The Fab Four
16. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen - The Legendary Shack-Shakers
17. What I Really Want for Christmas - Brian Wilson
18. Purple Reindeer - Steve Altman
19. White Christmas - Corporal Blossom
20. What Child Is This? - Jorma Kaukonen
21. Some Children See Him in Houses of the Holy - James Taylor / Not Led Zeppelin

Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Mexicali Brass: Christmas with The Mexicali Brass

Santa's Goin' South of the Border!

This record has been shared numerous times on several sharity sites and blogs over the years, but I thought I'd toss this copy out because, as technology and internet bandwidth have improved, the ability to post files of a higher bitrate has expanded. This is a pretty darn clean copy at 360kbps. I also gave in to my more prurient desire to post this cover on The Tuna Melt. Hubba Hubba!

I have no information whatsoever on The Mexicali Brass except that they were, apparently, created by Crown Records (a subsidiary of the Bihari Brothers' Modern Records) in order to cash in on the popularity of Herb Alpert & The Tijuana Brass and The Baja Marimba Band.

All of the budget labels had these bands but The Mexicali Brass put out quite a few albums. This was one of three Christmas collections by them. The other two are called "Jingle Bells" and "Winter Wonderland". Search around the blogosphere and you'll probably be able to find them. Also, get over to Easy Listening World to check out "Tijuana Christmas" by the Torero Band.

Get this one first, though, if you want it.

  1. Jingle Bells
  2. O' Little Town of Bethlehem
  3. The First Noel
  4. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  5. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  6. White Christmas
  7. O' Come All Ye Faithful
  8. Deck the Halls
  9. Joy to the World
  10. Silent Night
Traitor Vic got to come out of his closet again this evening because it got COLD OUTSIDE! I needed something to warm me up and he helped out with a Hot Buttered Rum.

Hot Buttered Rum
1 tsp. brown sugar
4 oz. boiling water
1 whole clove
2 oz. dark Jamaican rum
1 tsp. unsalted butter
1 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg

Combine the brown sugar with the boiling water in a mug or Irish coffee glass. Stir until sugar is dissolved. Add the clove and the rum and float the butter on top. Dust with freshly grated nutmeg.

Saturday, December 05, 2009

The Popular Players' Orchestra: The Pop Christmas Melodies

POP goes the Holiday!

Here's one that's a bit lighter and more casual than the Heavy-Handed Sound of Organs and Chimes.
It's from 1959 on the Rondo-lette label (an even lower budget division of Rondo Records). It's a nice, simple record that makes for good listening by the fireplace on a cold night.

The liner notes refer to this music as: "popular jazz style with a slight beat, with a little feeling of the intimate jazz, but always in good taste." I don't know about you, but I can't stand intimate jazz that's done in bad taste!

  1. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
  2. Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  3. Let it Snow
  4. White Christmas
  5. Little Jack Frost
  6. The Christmas Song
  7. Silent Night, Holy Night
  8. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  9. Oh Come All Ye Faithful
  10. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  11. Happy Holiday
  12. Jingle Bells
I decided to allow Traitor Vic to leave the closet that I've had him in for a few minutes in order to help me get in the mood for this record. I put him to work at the bar and this is what he came up with.

He got the recipe from the packaging on a CD by Jaymz Bee & The Royal Jelly Orchestra (1996, Milan Records 7313835820-2) called "A Christmas Cocktail". It's a great record and was sponsored by Smirnoff, who also supplied the included cocktail recipes.

Rudolph's Martini 2¼ oz. Smirnoff vodka
3 oz. cranberry juice cocktail

Pour ingredients into Cocktail Shaker filled with ice and shake.
Strain into Cocktail Glass and garnish with Cranberries.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Robert Eason & Gerald Knott: The Spectacular Organ & Chimes of Westminster

Chime on In for Christmas!

There are, of course, about 5,792,478 (give or take a few) "Organ & Chimes" Christmas Records out there. It was an incredibly popular format from the 30s through the 60s. Since the music on these records was performed on traditional "church instruments" the songs contained tend to be, primarily, the more traditional and religious of the Christmas choices (no "Frosty the Snowman" or "Up on the Housetop" here).

Amazingly, the range of sounds available within the "Christmas Organ & Chimes" catalog is wide and deep. Some records feature the organ over the chimes and others the chimes over the organ. Some records include an orchestra or choral group in addition to the primary instruments while others do not. You could easily fill an entire 160GB iPod with nothing but "Organ & Chimes" Christmas music and have enough variety to hold your interest for at least an hour or so.

The music on this record tends to remain very similar throughout and features the chimes playing the melody with the organ backing. While it may not be the most exciting holiday music ever heard, it is lovely traditional music for the season.

  1. Silent Night
  2. O Little Town of Bethlehem
  3. Good King Wenceslas
  4. Angels We Have Heard on High
  5. It Came Upon a Midnight Clear
  6. O Tannenbaum
  7. We Three Kings
  8. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  9. O Come All Ye Faithful
  10. O Holy Night
  11. Hark! The Herald Angels Sing
  12. God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen
  13. The First Noel
  14. Joy to the World
  15. Deck the Halls with Boughs of Holly
  16. Away in a Manger
  17. What Child Is This
  18. Angels from the Realms of Glory

Friday, November 27, 2009

Tex Johnson and His Six Shooters: Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

Stick 'em Up, Earth Pardners!

Okay, boys and girls. Get ready for some Rootin', Tootin' Holiday Cheer of the Country & Western variety. This record, as a matter of fact, contains several songs that have not a darn thing to do with Christmas or Holidays at all. It remains, however, a sentimental favorite for many of the American Baby Boomer Generation.

For an album released by such an obscure group/artist, there is an amazing amount of discussion concerning this one out there in Cyberville. There's not much actual information available, but there's a great deal of discussion. Just do a search on "Tex Johnson & His Six Shooters" and you'll find out everything that anybody knows about it.
I have tagged the Christmas songs as being such (in the Genre tag category), and tagged the non-Holiday material as Country & Western, in order to assist in keeping them separate.

  1. Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer
  2. When Santa Claus Gets Your Letter
  3. Fum Fum Fum
  4. Wait for the Wagon (On Christmas Day)
  5. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day
  6. Cheyenne
  7. A Merry Merry Christmas to You
  8. Pride of the Prairie Mary
  9. The Night Before Christmas Song
  10. San Antonio
  11. Just as the Sun Went Down
  12. Go Tell It on the Mountain

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Liberace: A Liberace Christmas

Voldar Returns!

Yes, silly Earth People, I am back! I have traveled the entire 48,678,972 or so miles in my tiny personal interplanetary shuttle in order to spend the holiday season with you. I hope you are all enjoying your silly Earth holidays and are ready to listen to some of the extraordinary sounds that I have gathered (mostly from thrift stores) in my cosmic travels. Traitor Vic, as usual, will not be spending the holidays with us. I am planning to ambush him when he returns from his Thanksgiving Feast Celebration tomorrow and to lock him in a closet until the first of next year. Don't worry, though. He's used to it by now. He'd probably be disappointed if it didn't happen. In his absence, I'll plan on sharing with you a pile of Holiday Tunage guaranteed to put you right into the Holiday Spirit.

I'm also going to allow Traitor Vic to emerge from his closet, on occasion, to mix for me a Festive Holiday Cocktail or two (or seven). I will be posting photos and recipes as time and sobriety allow.

Now lets get started with our Holiday Celebration, shall we?

For starters I present a record that I rescued from an organization calling themselves The Salvation Army. I am somewhat familiar with this group as Martian Intelligence Agencies have identified them as the employers of many of your planet's Santa Claus Wannabes during the Christmas season. I also rescued a really cool Blender from them and plan to return for more goodies before I leave your stupid planet.

This record is by a man who wears very beautiful clothes. He, like myself, goes by only one name. Traitor Vic has told me that he passed on in what you know as 1987. I know little about him otherwise, but I feel he must have been a very decent human being. I do not understand what Traitor Vic meant when he told me that Liberace was a "flaming queen".

  1. Medley: O Tannenbaum / We Wish You a Merry Christmas
  2. What Child Is This?
  3. Medley: Jingle Bells / White Christmas / Adeste Fidelis / Silent Night
  4. Coventry Carol
  5. Jesu Bambino
  6. The Little Drummer Boy
  7. Medley: O Little Town of Bethlehem / It Came Upon a Midnight Clear / Joy to the World
  8. Ave Maria
  9. Silver Bells
  10. O Holy Night
  11. Medley: Santa Claus Is Comin' to Town / Here Comes Santa Claus

Monday, November 23, 2009

Nelson Riddle: The Joy of Living

Reasons to be Thankful

"The Joy of Living" is an album from Nelson Riddle released, on Capitol Records, in 1959. Riddle was
one of the greatest arrangers in the history of American popular music and was involved in the production of hundreds of albums between 1953 and 1985. He worked directly with such giants as Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Tommy Dorsey, Nat King Cole, Les Baxter, Julie Andrews and 101 Strings.

He was also very involved in television and film music, contributing to the soundtracks of programs such as The Man From U.N.C.L.E., Tarzan, Emergency! and Batman. He composed and conducted the soundtrack to the 1966 Batman movie. He wrote the theme songs to television's The Untouchables and Route 66. I could go on, of course, but you can find out more here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nelson_Riddle.

He was best known, perhaps, for his "Swingin' Sound". Most of his records are uptempo and energetic compared to this one, which is rather relaxed and laid back by comparison (described, in the liner notes, as "restful yet zestful"). I dig it quite a bit and hope you do as well. It is presented here in all of it's Monophonic, High Fidelity Wonderfulness.

  1. Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries
  2. You Make Me Feel So Young
  3. Makin' Whoopee!
  4. Bye Bye Blues
  5. It's So Peaceful in the Country
  6. The Joy of Living (Know the Real Joy of Good Living)
  7. It's a Big Wide Wonderful World
  8. June in January
  9. Isn't This a Lovely Day
  10. Indian Summer
  11. It's a Grand Night for Singing
  12. I Got the Sun in the Morning
Here in the USA we'll be celebrating Thanksgiving Day this coming Thursday. Thanksgiving is a harvest festival holiday devoted to giving thanks for the year's harvest and expressing gratitude in general. I thought this record fit the season because of the statement, posted on it's back cover, that reads "Nelson Riddle presents twelve danceable, gently swinging reasons why it's great to be alive."

Friday, September 11, 2009

Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau / Hui Ohana

The Real Music of Hawai'i

As summer winds down and the temperature begins to drop the moments spent in the backyard with a Mai Tai or a Tonga Punch become fewer and farther between. That's why the right music is so important during this time of year. Don't let the end of summer be ruined by limiting yourself to continued listenings of that same old "Reparata & The Delrons" album you've been listening to repeatedly since 1964.

Allow The Tuna Melt to, once again, whisk you away to a magical place where the sun shines bright, the palm trees sway in a warm breeze and you live in constant fear of being struck in the noggin' by falling coconuts; Hawai'i!

This is the REAL music of Hawai'i. Of course, I realize that Reggae is Huge in Hawai'i these days, and I remain a large fan of good ol' Hapa Haole hits with which we're all so familiar as well as Exotica (perhaps my favorite of all these genres). But Slack-Key Guitar is a truly original Hawai'ian art form. This is really beautiful music.

The first group represented here is "Makaha Sons of Ni'ihau". The group was founded in 1976 and led by Skippy Kamakawiwoʻole. It's best known member, however, was probably Skippy's brother Israel , who later became enormously famous (as well as, due to a genetic disorder, simply enormous) as a ukulele player of great creativity and virtuosity. "No Kristo" is their premier album, from 1976 on Poki Records, and is guaranteed to send your thoughts to ports of pleasure.

Makaha Sons of Ni'iahau: No Kristo
  1. Hanakeoki
  2. Pua Tubarose
  3. Waikiki Hula
  4. Morning Dew
  5. Manu Kolohe
  6. Hele Mai
  7. E Nonoi I Ka Haaku / Kanaka Waiwa
  8. Po'e Koa
  9. Freedom of Makaha
  10. Nane
  11. Papalina Lahilahi
  12. No Kristo
Next are two albums by one of my favorite Slack-key groups of all time: Hui Ohana. Led (no pun intended) by Ledward Kaʻapana and featuring his brother Nedward and cousin Dennis Pavao, Hui Ohana were at the forefront of the Hawai'ian Music Renaissance of the 70s.

Hui Ohana: Young Hawaii Plays Old Hawaii
  1. Nani Waimea
  2. Salomila
  3. E Liliu E
  4. E Mama E
  5. 'Ulupalakua
  6. Sweet Lei Mokihana
  7. U'i Lani
  8. Kaloaloa
  9. Pua Lililehua
  10. Nanakuli
  11. Pua Maeole
  12. Hula O Makee
  13. Pui Lilia

Hui Ohana: Ono
  1. Hele On to Kauai
  2. Magic Island
  3. Punahoa Special (Slack Key Instrumental)
  4. Kaulana Kawihae
  5. Hanalei Moon
  6. Ke Kali Nei Au (The Hawaiian Wedding Song)
  7. Ka'a Ahi Kahului
  8. Pili Aloha
  9. Kaulana Na Pua
  10. Wai Ulu
  11. Granada (Ukulele Solo Instrumental)
  12. Blue Darlin'
Onipa'a E Na Lei O Hawai'i

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Divine Horsemen: Handful of Sand & Snake Handler

Rock & Roll: American Style

As Rock & Roll is a completely American invention, I thought it appropriate to post some Rock & Roll music as part of my July 4th celebration. Divine Horsemen were the brainchild of Chris D(esjardins), who had previously masterminded The Flesh Eaters. Whereas The Flesh Eaters were, as I suppose the name implies, a magnificent Punk Rock outfit, Divine Horsemen took a Punk Attitude and conveyed it through straight-ahead, Hard Rock rhythms and tunes. It was a powerful combination.

These were the bands final releases. Both are from 1987 on SST Records. "Handful of Sand" is a 6-song EP.

Divine Horsemen: Handful of Sand
  1. Handful of Sand
  2. Curse of the Crying Woman
  3. Tenderest Kiss
  4. Frankie Silver
  5. Past All Dishonor
  6. Sanctuary

"Snake Handler" is a full length LP.

Divine Horsemen: Snake Handler
  1. Snake Handler
  2. Kiss Tomorrow Goodbye
  3. Stone By Stone (Fire Is My Home)
  4. Curse of the Crying Woman
  5. Someone Like You
  6. Fire Kiss
  7. What Is Red
  8. Blind Leading the Blind
  9. That's No Way to Live

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Accelerators: Leave My Heart

One of the Best!

There were quite a few bands in the Carolinas that were quite good back in the 80s and these guys were among the best of all of them. They grew from an outfit known as Moon Pie, from Greenville, SC, and became The Accelerators just before this record was released. Soon after, the band's leader and front man, Gerald Duncan, moved to Raleigh, NC, and, following a few personnel changes, took the band into a less Rockabilly and more Hard Rock direction (leading to the album that I've posted previously here - The Accelerators: The Accelerators).

Moon Pie once rented a former Church building in Greenville as a practice space. It became rather well known as The Church of Rock & Roll throughout a good part of the 80s and was a place where we could all congregate after the local bars closed at 12:00am on Saturday nights (as a result of South Carolina's legal condemnation of "Drinking on The Lord's Day"). I still have special (if a bit Foggy) memories of this place, and of the authentic Electric Chair that they kept in one of the Sunday School rooms.

It's Good! Git It!

  1. Leave My Heart
  2. Tonight
  3. She's the Only Girl I Can Stand
  4. Terminal Cafe
  5. The Alien Way
  6. Regina
  7. She's Fifteen
  8. Stiletto
  9. Tore Up
  10. Two Girls in Love
  11. Jenny

This is a video that was released in promotion of this record:

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Slavdik: Turk

I Ride My Camel, It's an Ugly Mammal

I've seen some pretty f^ck$d up Rock'n"Roll shows in my day (The Cramps, The Butthole Surfers, Conway Twitty...). But some of the most bestest shows I ever witnessed were put on by Slavdik!!!

Okay... Slavdik didn't have some butt-ugly naked girl with rubber bands hangin' out of her braces dancin' naked in front of a projector that was showin' "Hamburger on the Highway" (or some other Driver's Ed film), but That's Because Slavdik Didn't NEED IT! All Slavdik Needed was All Slavdik Had! And That, Brothers and Sisters, is All Slavdik Gave!

The band's name (pronounced \ˈslāvˈdik\, it sounds like Slave Dick) is taken from the true last name of it's founder and front man, Rudi Slavdik. He changed it, after bringing his Albanian Roots Rock Band to the US, to King Cotton. He's also the primary songwriter and, I must say, the tunes on this little EP from 1986 are simply gems. I'm especially fond of "The Turk" and "Karl Marx (He No Dead)." I heard a DJ, in Atlanta, compare King Cotton's vocal stylings to David Byrne once. That's not bad, if you ask me.

  1. The Turk
  2. (I Hate) Party Talkin'
  3. Karl Marx, he no dead
  4. Barbecue Hut (Live in Prague)
To quote The King (King Cotton, not Elvis): "The Mighty, Mighty SlavDik had its day, but a new Magog has risen from the ashes. Check out King Cottton and The Remnants."

Yes, King Cotton, along with what is left of the original Slavdik personnel, have released a new collection of Weird-Ass Southern Country Soul on CD. You can get it HERE.

Friday, March 06, 2009

The Three Suns: Having a Ball with The Three Suns

It's Tuna Melt Party Time in Sunshine Land!

The Three Suns (brothers Al and Morty Nevins along with their cousin Artie Dunn) were said to have been Mamie Eisenhower's favorite group. They were an amazingly prolific outfit, in terms of the amount of music they produced, and amazingly diverse, in terms of the range of musical styles that they recorded. Now considered to be near the top of any expert's lists of Easy Listening, Vintage Lounge, Exotica and/or Space Age Bachelor Pad performers, they were a staple of the RCA Victor catalog from the mid-forties through the mid-sixties.

There are a handful of their albums that are considered to be heads and shoulders above the average product available at the times of their release. This is not one of those (and those are, or have been and will again be, available at other outposts in The Blogosphere).

This one is, however, a prime example of their average offerings. Released in 1958, it was tossed out into a world filled with Exotica and Space Age Hi-Fi Demonstration Records but remains unaffected by either of those faddish affectations. It is, purely, (as the name would suggest) the perfect record for a PARTY!!!

So fix yourself a tall stiff one (or two), set a few tidbits about to nosh upon, grab your gal (or guy, as the case may be) and get on down with The Three Suns!

  1. You Are My Lucky Star / How About You? / Hello! My Baby / Stompin' at The Savoy
  2. I'm in the Mood for Love /
    I Wonder, I Wonder, I Wonder / That Old Feeling / A Kiss to Build a Dream On
  3. Linda Mujer (You Never Say Yes – You Never Say No!)
  4. Hi Lili, Hi-Lo
  5. You Were Meant for Me / Just You, Just Me / Doll Dance / Elmer's Tune / Johnson Rag
  6. I Cried for You / Something's Gotta Give / Coquette / Don't Be That Way
  7. If I Had You / I Don't Know Why (I Just Do) / Honey / Should I
  8. Three O'Clock in the Morning
  9. Walter Winchell Rumba
  10. I Never Knew (I Could Love Anybody Like I'm Loving You) /
    When You Wore a Tulip / Sing, Sing, Sing / Tiger Rag
And for more info on this marvelous group go to:
The Three Suns @ Space Age Pop Music
The Three Suns Universe

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Anita Kerr Quartette: For You, For Me, For Evermore

You Need Another Anita Kerr Record

Even if you, like myself, have reached the point at which you must back-up and remove files from your hard drive in order to load even one more song into your music player, this one is an absolute necessity.

"For You, For Me, Forevermore" (released in 1959 or 1960) shows the beginnings of the "Countrypolitan" Nashville Sound that helped Country Music cross over into the American cultural mainstream in the 60s. You may recognize, in some of the arrangements, a style of harmony that would later be utilized extensively as The Anita Kerr Quartette (as well as the 8-voice Anita Kerr Singers) provided background vocals to many of Country & Western's biggest stars. This is definitely not at Country Music album, however, and is filled with beautiful arrangements of classic love songs.

My only complaint is that, despite the number of times throughout the album the promise is made that they're going to stay with me Forever and Ever 'Til the End of Time, the record is only about 30 minutes long.

  1. For You, For Me, Forevermore
  2. Till the End of Time
  3. Forever
  4. I'll Always Love You (Querida Mia)
  5. Never Leave Me
  6. All My Life
  7. Why Can't This Night Go on Forever
  8. I'll Always Be in Love With You
  9. This Is Always
  10. Always
  11. Everyday
  12. Twelfth of Never

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Andre Kostelanetz: Stereo Wonderland of Sound

Tuna Melt Pops Into the Space Age!

This record is a prime example of what has since become known as a Stereo Demonstration Album. These were records produced to exhibit the range of capabilities available using the new, at the time, Stereo Hi-Fi Systems and are otherwise known as Space Age Pop, or Space Age Bachelor Pad, records. Many were created by the manufacturers of these systems and given away with the purchase thereof. Others, however, were produced to demonstrate the latest recording techniques being utilized by different record labels and to convince customers that their products sounded wonderful on the new Stereophonic playback units.

This one is from Columbia Records, in 1961, features Andre Kostelanetz and is one really groovy record. The arrangements are, apparently, designed to showcase the recording technique more than they are to make a whole lot of sense. This results in some really strange combinations (such as "Unchained Melody" with a sumptuous Exotica background rhythm and featuring Italian Restaurant-style Mandoline along with a standard Big Band Brass Section). Weird as some of the juxtopositions may seem at first, however, the overall effect is spectacular.

Check it out!

  1. Be My Love
  2. Everybody Loves a Lover
  3. Wonderland By Night
  4. Volare (Nel Blu Dipinto Di Blu)
  5. Greenfields
  6. It's Not for Me to Say
  7. Vaya Con Dios
  8. Round and Round
  9. Are You Lonesome Tonight?
  10. So Rare
  11. Unchained Melody
  12. Marianne
You may note that I identified the record as being named "Stereo Wonderland of Sound" whereas the album jacket say's "wonderland of sound" (as well as "TODAY'S GREAT HITS"). Well… The BACK of the jacket says "Stereo Wonderland of Sound". So does the label on the record. Also, the jacket, front and back, and the label all read "The New Andre Kostelanetz" and, since I don't believe that anyone ever actually got rid of "The Old Andre Kostelanetz" and replaced him with a new one, I just left the name as plain ol' "Andre Kostelanetz". Taggin' this bugger could'a been a real pain if I'd let it be, boy howdy. Sorry for any confusion.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Spencer Collingwood, His Saxophone & Orchestra: Cool Sounds

Easy Jazz at The Tuna Melt!

My usual criteria for judging the value of any Easy Listening record is how well the music on it pairs with a Dry Martini (or, in the case of any Exotica collection, a Mai Tai). I usually find discs from this particular Hollywood Records label (there have been several with the same name) to go better with Grape Kool-Aid than any adult beverage whatsoever. I suppose, then, that it makes sense that the name Hollywood Records is currently used by a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Corporation and has released albums by Aly & AJ, The Jonas Brothers and Hillary Duff.

This Hollywood Records, though, was among the Budgetiest of Budget Labels in the 50s. Their catalog is filled with relative nobodies (such as Harry Arnold & His Orchestra, Chuck Farone & The Polka Larks, The Bengt Hindberg Trio and Uncle Bill Wiley & His Tall Corn Boys) churning out uninspired collections of pop standards and current hits, usually in jackets adorned with a photo of a female model of equal obsurity. With only a few exceptions, records on this label are often barely worth the prices (10¢ to $1.00) currently being charged by Charity Thrift Stores.

This is one of those exceptions. I have no idea who Spencer Collingwood is/was and assume, actually, that the name is a pseudonym since it appears on the label but is nowhere on the jacket. I do know that his "Orchestra" is simply a quartet. The saxophone on this record, though, is nice, relaxing and jazzy. While there's nothing here that might cause you to jump up and scream it is, at least, a pleasant enough album for kicking back and enjoying a nice beverage with. Perhaps not a Dry Martini but a blended Scotch or a snifter of cheap-ass Brandy.

  1. Stomping at The Savoy
  2. This Can't Be Love
  3. Willow Weep for Me
  4. Just You Just Me
  5. Sweet Loraine
  6. Harlem Nocturne
  7. Get Happy
  8. Perdido
  9. What Is This Thing Called Love
  10. Off Shore
  11. Lover Man
  12. Come Rain or Come Shine
You can find a great deal more information regarding Hollywood Records and lots of other old budget labels at the Both Sides Now Publishing web site.