Somewhere in-between the space-age bachelor pad sounds of Esquivel and the gimmicky novelty of Spike Jonze sits Mel Henke, one of the most overlooked originators of the mid-century lounge sound. While most famous for versions of All That Meat, 77 Sunset Strip, and Pennies From Heaven, his largely instrumental wink-wink-nudge-nudge album La Dolce Henke is considered his masterpiece - The Lively Ones - The Twisters - You're Driving Me Crazy - Woman In Space - Farmer John - Old McDonald Had A Girl - See The USA In Your Chevrolet - Last Night On The Back Porch (Warning, historical sexism, erotic car metaphors)
When the Andean exotica singer Yma Sumac became famous in the United States for her supposed Inca heritage and five-octave voice, her fellow Peruvians called her a sellout. UC Davis professor Zoila Mendoza, however, knew Yma Sumac as her mother’s childhood friend.
The Baseballs are a German rock and roll band founded in Berlin in 2007. They became popular with 50s and 60s style rock cover versions of modern hits such as "Umbrella","Hot n Cold","Call Me Maybe", "Tik Tok", and "Poker Face".
The moment you've been waiting for... I give you the winners of the talent contest held under the auspices if the Westchester County Recreation Commission... The Continentals! Click for the music, stay for the dancin'! [more inside]
Do you know The Treniers? Back in the 40s and 50s, they straddled the lines between jump blues, swing, early rock'n'roll, jazz dance, hep jive and comedy. They were a whole hella fun, and they happened to be the backing band for what must be the best dance performance Jerry Lewis ever gave the world. That particular clip, BTW, from a Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis "Colgate Comedy Hour" in 1954, is purported to be the first rock'n'roll performance on national television, and it may well have been.
Fender Factory Tour 1959 - Leo Fender in the second shot. Freddie Tavares at 7:26. A day when "everything was done by hand... It is amazing to realize that every guitar made that year is now worth a small fortune." The 1959-63 era Stratocaster is called one of the 50 guitars to play before you die. (via the q-ster)
It was music to be heard, not listened to. It was the soundtrack to the relaxed, sophisticated, mature vision of the good life. It was music for lovers. It was upbeat, elaborately arranged, chart-toppingly popular, and yet has been almost written out of the popular music history books, dismissed as “elevator music”; soulless, toned-down, pre-chewed, limp cover-versions of popular songs for old people. So sit back, put aside the politics and angst, slip into something comfortable (preferably with someone of similar description), and allow yourself to experience The Joy of Easy Listening [2, 3, 4, 5, 6]
In the late 90s EMI's Songbook Series released an album, "Where Were You When The Fun Stopped" with tracks chosen by author Hunter S. Thompson along with detailed liner notes. Since you can't get the cool notes or photos, why not enjoy Hunter's country and folk flavored taste at your July 4th revelry of choice? Ballad of Thunder Road - Robert Mitchum : I Smell A Rat -
Howlin' Wolf Big Momma Thornton : Spirit In The Sky - Norman Greenbaum : The Hula-Hula Boys - Warren Zevon : Maggie May - Rod Stewart : The Wild Side of Life / It Wasn't God Who Made Honky Tonk Angels - Hank Thompson feat. Kitty Wells & Tanya Tucker : Will The Circle Be Unbroken - Nitty Gritty Dirt Band : Mr Tambourine Man - Bob Dylan : Walk On The Wild Side - Lou Reed : If I Had A Boat - Lyle Lovett : Stars On The Water - Rodney Crowell : Carmelita - Flaco Jiminez feat. Dwight Yoakam : Why Don't We Get Drunk - Jimmy Buffett : American Pie - Don McClean : White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane : The Weight - The Band : Melissa - The Allman Brothers Band : Battle Hymn of the Republic - Herbie Mann (cover) [more inside]
The Jazz Loft Project - From 1957 to 1965, celebrated photojournalist W. Eugene Smith made 4,000 hours of surreptitious recordings and took 40,000 photographs in a loft in Manhattan's wholesale flower district where Roland Kirk, Thelonius Monk, Hall Overton, Charles Mingus and other jazz greats jammed until dawn. Archived in the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the project is now accessible via a book, a traveling exhibit, a 10-part Jazz Loft series on WNYC, NPR's Jazz Loft Project Sights & Sounds, and an interview with JLP author Sam Stephenson, which includes some images from the book. Via a Grain Edit post, which also has some great images. [more inside]
The first known recording of a digital computer playing music, recorded by the BBC in 1951. The music played on a Ferantti Mark 1, one of the first commercial general-use computers, and was entered via punchtape and played on a speaker usually used for making clicks and tones to indicate program progress.
Hey daddy-o, when you hear that big brash horn section pump out that oddly familiar riff, only to stop cold and make way for that that prescient single note from an electric guitar, followed straightaway by a twangy voice in perfect rockabilly delivery proclaiming "well, she's got a dress that looks like a sack!", then brother, you're listening to the hoppin' boppin' sound of Wally Deane's Drag On. Once you hear it, you'll wonder why Quentin Tarrantino never put it in a movie. Wally Deane: one of the greatest rockabilly acts you never heard of.