HAPPY VAL- the new lovedrug from ARC – take two and call me in the morning…

14 02 2013


B.here.now (70s ref. – look it up) :   I once DJ at Danceteria on Valentines Day in the 80s.  It was a disaster.  I only played old 30s – 60s songs.  EVERYONE hated it and wouldn’t dance.  So much for trying something diff.

Lucky for us everyone is diff. these days.  People actually want to know what every single one of us does, did and does not.

Recently I was asked to relieve my shame and recommend some ‘Love Songs” for a fab Valentines MIX Project and compilation by our pal Eilon Paz.  EP runs Dust and Grooves, the amazing site of photos of record collectors.

I was joined by a cadre of other notables who have exhaustive record collections, amateur Cupids (the original armed Drone) and experts all, who have been photographed by Eilon.

The results are here and you can sample 3 hours of mush, gush and rush to get you through the night.  Highly recommended.

My picks for you to track down, were:

“In the Land of My Dreams” – Anna Domino

“The Sweetest Girl” – Scritti Politti

“The First Girl” – Incredible String Band

“L’Atalante (Main Title)” – Narciso Yepes

“Only One You” – Melody Beecher

And did I ever tell you about the day I DJ’d for 100 sets of identical twins, at El International, each twin seated opposite itself?

Soul Session @ the ARC

12 12 2012

Screen shot 2012-12-11 at 11.24.08 PMThis year’s winter Members Only Party, a preview and a shindig held on the Thursday evening before the semi-annual Record and CD Sale kicks into full swing, was a very soulful event.  Frank Lipsius, whose father founded Jamie and Guyden Records in Philadelphia during the fifties, planned to have a celebration in honor of the release of COOLER THAN ICE: THE ARCTIC RECORDS STORY; a box set containing 6 CDs and 6 seven-inch records representing the complete singles output of Arctic Records, another Philadelphia record label, this one specializing in soul music and run by the radio DJ Jimmy Bishop during the sixties, but owned and distributed by Jamie/Guyden.  Arctic’s biggest hit was “Yes I’m Ready” by Barbara Mason; a Number 5 smash during the summer of 1965.  Also, Arctic was the launching pad for several star-destined artists, including Darryl Hall (Hall & Oates), who was a member of The Temptones; The Trammps (“Disco Inferno”), which included members of The Volcanos; and Kenny Gamble, who wrote songs and issued a couple singles on Arctic.

Hamber1While the box set was not ready in time for the party, the party went on regardless.  And what a party!  Frank rented a bus in Philly and brought with him about fifty people associated with Arctic Records and the Philadelphia soul scene.  Those in attendance included several artists who recorded for Arctic, including members of the groups Honey & the Bees, The Tiffanys, The Temptones and The Royal Five.  Entertainment included three Arctic recording artists: The Volcanoes who sang their two Northern Soul favorites “Storm Warning” and “A Ladies Man;” Winfield Parker (below) with a stirring rendition of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Going to Come” and “Funky Party;” and Kenny Hamber (right) with a really great version of Otis Redding’s “These Arms of Mine.”

ParkerAlthough he had no release on Arctic, John Ellison (the lead singer/songwriter for The Soul Brothers Six) stole the show when he sang his most famous song, “Some Kind of Wonderful.”  Do not confuse this with The Drifters’s song (written by Carole King/Gerry Goffin) of the same title.  The Soul Brothers Six song, released on Atlantic Records, barely scraped the bottom of the Top 100 in 1967.  However, it was covered by Grand Funk Railroad in 1974 and was the Number 3 song in the land the following year.  The song has since been covered by the likes of Buddy Guy and Huey Lewis & the News.  After five singles for Atlantic, Ellison and The Soul Brothers Six recorded for Phil-L.A. of Soul, another record label owned by the good people at Jamie/Guyden, which makes Ellison part of the family.

EllisonAt the ARChive Members Only Party, Ellison looked striking, dressed in a long, white Nehru jacket.  Whereas the other acts sang along to tracks–karaoke style–Ellison sang a capella, with just handclaps and the many people in the room who knew the song singing back-up, making for a very memorable performance.  It was a tremendous performance by a great artist!

How will the ARChive top this at its Members Only Record & CD Sale Preview Party this summer?  Become a member and find out in June!!!

Of course you can join now and get an end-of-the-year tax write off, and help support the ARChive.

Or drop by the ARC during our sale and say hello…

Fred Patterson

Cardboard 78 Player from India

13 11 2012

While in India I had the great pleasure of meeting Suresh Chandvankar, a scholar and one of the catalysts behind the Society of Indian Record Collectors (SIRC).  He also spoke at the IASA conference in New Delhi, is an author and has helped Dust to Digital to release material from the Young India Label.  His true love is Indian Classical music on 78s.  He was also my guide to the record haunts in Chor Bazaar (Thieves Market), Mumbai.

One of the treasures that he showed me was this attempt to create a portable record player for the masses, for pennies (film below). He remembers finding this simple, ingenious device while hiking in the Himalayas forty years ago.  At first he thought the cardboard was there just to separate the two discs until the seller told him that he could only buy the records if he bought the gramaphone also.  “What gramaphone?” was his bewildered response.  And to his amazement the cardboard was unfolded and the player revealed.  To his amazement the two discs and player was six rupees (11¢).  Here’s how it works;

The corrugated cardboard is divided into three folded sections.  On one end is a revolving metal disc with a spindle, on the other a metal stylus (needle).  The 78 rpm record has a spindle hole, and a small hole on the outer edge of the label to insert a pen, pencil or stick.  The cardboard is folded to make a triangular shape, the stylus placed on the record, the triangular fold acting as a resonator.  The user insets the pen and handcranks the disc, and voila, an early walkman.

It’s an iffy sounding system, but then again, it does indeed create a gramophone for practically nothing. The designers were proselytizing Christians, hell-bent on bringing “The Good News” to, in their minds, the heathen Hindus.  The disc containing sermons, Bible stories and quotations.  The only info I could glean from a partially obscured label states that this is a “Cardtalk Record Player” manufactured in Bangalore.

So feel free to make one of these at home, a great add to our DIY plastic cup cylinder disc player @ http://arcmusic.wordpress.com/2007/07/29/anti-iphone-contest-all-systems-go/

For fine academic work on early Indian sound recordings see back issues of Record Collectors News published by the SIRC that Suresh has made available online, downloadable as PDFs – http://hindi-movies-songs.com/sirc/index-sirc.html

What Storm?

28 10 2012

Well it’s the storm that is keeping me in India – That’s what storm.  So as no one from United Airlines has the slightest idea what to do to help, I’ll show you this sky related item:  A beautiful specialty generic 45 sleeve that Angel in India had made to package their ‘ethnic’ releases.  Very nice indeed I think.  NOW, can I fly home?


26 10 2012

Traffic moves at a snail’s pace and a high db here in Mumbai.  The car horn outranks the conch shell for summoning the gods, or at least warning them that a taxi or cycle-rickshaw is cumming up on the inside.  Here’s a car horn dealership in Chor Bazaar.  Honest, they will blast each one for you.  Just ask.

Keeping the theme going, a recent purchase.  Hey, does Marty know about this?

An Indian Ocean of Sound

22 10 2012

Yesterday I walked to the Indian Ocean.

Then, visited journalist and author Naresh Fernandes.  Naresh has written the incredible Taj Mahal Foxtrot, a  history of early jazz in India.  And who says it doesn’t mean anything to blog?  Naresh saw the photos of my record purchases I posted and realized I had a Jetliners LP from Ceylon that he didn’t.  Like any respectable collector, he went out on the street and found one!  Here he is showing off our inspiration with the other Jetliners already on his shelves.  Now if he could only find one in as good a condition as ours…






While his latest book is on Jazz, he also collects pop – Here are some some choice items:

And on 45rpm, Oh, Om, how that slo-mo sitar Edelwiess sends me…

What’s great about these “Music Days” is discovering things – like a major Disco producer and songwriter, who gave us the impossibly great  ‘Kung Fu Fighting” by Carl Douglas was an Indian identified on record as Biddu.  British based, Grammy Award winning Biddu Appaiah even published an autobiography.  Who knew?

Off to Chor Bazaar , colorfully named Thieves Market to look for vinyls.

Beatles + Elvis + India

13 10 2012

Well the Beatles Made-in-India 78 was not affordable (there’s still a chance if you all make a donation!) at $1000, but I did muster the lucre for these swell 45s.

In Rajasthan now on the music tour organized by the American Institute of Indian Studies [AIIS], and led by ethnomusicologist Shubha Chaudhuri.  Mostly it’s been swell food and having a swim, but more food and music tonight, and more tomorrow.

Pairs above, pairs below; two paths to heaven as posted at the Delhi airport

You think it’s fun traveling through India looking for records and listening to music?  (Well, actually, it is).  So if you can help support the ARC as we scour the earth for audio treasures and trash, that would be swell…

Spare Change for Indian Insects

8 10 2012

In my fervid quest for audio’s best, I spied this gem – a Beatles 78.  India kept making 78s into the early 1970’s and there are a lot of Sir Cliff Richard’s and Ricky Nelson’s to be had.  Not so many Beatles still around. But, you know, that they know, just what this is, and what it takes to make it part o’ d’ARC’s permanent collection. Cost is $1,500.00 and we will gladly accept donations to help with this purchase – I have about a week to decide to buy.

Here’s the shop warehouse – a gem in itself, part garage, part shrine – in the Shaw family for generations. Picked up a few more affordables here, but about that Beatles record…

And now, the reel fab four in a clip from the Hindi film Janwar, 1965, and their version of, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”

MY Bed of Roses INDIA

6 10 2012

First day in New Delhi, and today spent the morning on Old Delhi looking for old LPs – not a lot out there and ‘flea markets’ here are pretty much permanent vendors, so unlike Brazil, where there were corner vendors on every esquina, none here.
This first batch, photo-on-bed-forgive-the-quality, is a mix, but all Indian pressings.  Now the Blue Note LP isn’t very desirable, but I did want a Blue Note India label.  Same with Elvis label and sleeve.  It’s a UK cover image, but I say could pass for one of those filmi poster boys around here. Those lips!

It seems Disco was really big and tons of American releases here from the 70s + 80s, and certainly this is reflected in the film music to this day.  That certainly can’t explain all the reasons I bought the Disco Busters’84 LP.  Subtlety perhaps?

I’m looking for any and all electric sitar and sitar mashups and messups I can lay my hands on.  Look for a discography of raga rock soon.  Can’t wait to hear Balsara and his Singing Sitar.  Ananda  Shankar is an artist already well represented in our collection, but we didn’t have this one.  I have great hopes for the Ceylon LP.

I also got some devotional CDs, at $1 each, near the Jama Majid mosque.  And who could resist the 7″ of Enoch Daniels playing a slew of Filmi hits on his big stop accordion?  Late night, jet lag, more soon.

70 Years From NOW!

8 08 2012


Yesterday Sandra Coutinho from Globo News did an interview here with Beco and B. about Brazilian Music Day.  One thing we showed them was a copy of Saludos Amigos, an album of songs from the Disney film of 1942.  This ‘album’ (three single discs in one wrapper) contains the Ary Barroso song “Aquarela do Brasil”  (Watercolors of Brazil, Decca Records, A-369 ).  This is probably the very first authentic Brazilian song that anyone in America ever heard, and was the first Brazilian song to be played a million times on Stateside radio.

We played the recording and all were struck by how vivid and clean the sound of this 78rpm shellac (that’s insect resin) disc from 1942 was.  And here’s the question: Will your songs on your i-phone or MP3 player sound good in 70 years…


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