Carmel Colored Archives + Presidents

22 02 2011

You never know what you’ll find when you’ve got a free day and no plans at all.  That’s the way I like to see other countries, other cities.  You can have all that nature stuff, no woodland creature ever pleased me as much as an eccentric shopkeeper.  So along a well traveled road on President’s weekend in Brewster, NY, there it was, The Avalon Archives, “the Museum of Roots & Rock n Roll”.

This personal and Putnam County focused collection has been lovingly assembled by Director Ned Moran with the assistance of Rob Patterson.  Both seem to be there most weekends, cheerfully pointing out the this, that, and what of all you see.  Ned used to run Uncle Willy’s, a rock and folk club on Broadway from 1983 – 1989.  Much of this archive once graced the walls of his club, but are now arranged floor to ceiling in six rooms of an old farmhouse.  Yes they have the requisite jars of Marky Ramone’s Pasta Sauce, and off-the-shelf teen idol chachkas, but there are quite a few more iconic items, and a nice take on local history.

I enjoyed seeing a tattered but original copy of Woody Guthrie’s “Bound for Glory,” early rare rock posters, and a large collection of photographs that were shot when Bob Dylan needed a fame break and hung out locally working on the Self Portrait album, some of these photos used in the album’s package.  The boys were mighty proud of an original five foot long design/mock up of a Grateful Dead stage-long stage set.

By the way the nature is pretty good also, re the tufted skunkcows that are penned along with a variety of other Tilly Farm fauna.   A trip, worth a trip.

Free admission, open Saturdays and Sundays, noon to 4pm.  They don’t have a computer, but a bit of info is up at myspace.com/avalonarchives. Located within the Tilly Foster Farm complex, 100 Route 312, Brewster, NY, right off of route 84, Carmel/Brewster, exit 19.

Speaking of Carmel exits, ARChive Board member Michael Feinstein has been in the news lately as he begins his own archive adventure, housing the Michael Feinstein Foundation for the Preservation of the Great American Songbook in Carmel, Indiana!  The city has donated a 70,000 sq ft / 150 million dollar facility to house Michael’s collection of sheetmusic, recordings, books, correspondence and memorabilia and to bring music to the heartland.  ARC has already made a small contribution to this grand endeavor, as a conduit for a major collection of Playbills.

Carmel is betting on the Cleveland/Branson/Canton model; place a potentially major attraction in an under-visited locale, with a tenuous link to the subject area, sprinkled with celebrity.  I’m for any formula that can get tons of folks to drop by, while creating a great focused collection that preserves important materials.

Now if you drop a few towns down from Carmel, NY, just off the sawmill, you can visit the newly relocated Woody Guthrie Archive in Mt Kisco.

‘Woody’ (if I may be so bold), illustrated just about everything he touched and many of his lyric sheets, beyond their important POV, are folk art in their own right – a joy to see.  Tiffany Collanino, the knowledgeable and dedicated archivist, gave a presentation at ARC last Thursday hosted by the Archivists Roundtable of Metropolitan New York (ART).  More than 60 folks heard Tiffany and Nico Thom, Archivist at the Eisenach International Archives for Jazz and Popular Music in Germany, discuss their collaboration and exchange program.

The Woodie Guthrie Archive @ 125-131 Main Street, Suite# 201, Mt. Kisco, NY 10549  T: (914) 241-3844  open Monday – Thursday: 10:00-5:00.  Call.

OK, one last tenuous link of archiving to Presidents Day.  Yesterday’s Times offered a story about portions of Thomas Jefferson’s retirement library, recently discovered after being missing for more than half a century, at Washington University in St. Louis. It’s a long detective tale of sales and donations.

So let’s honor and remember my favorite founding father and President, Thomas Jefferson, for who he really was; Deist (believed God created all and then washed his hands of us, and more remarkably, dipped a quill for fanatical days, crossing out of every occurrence of the word ‘Jesus” in his bible), traitor (had sworn an oath to his country, England), patriot, bibliophile (sold, rather than donated, his original book collection to the Library of Congress), slaver (Sally Hemings), genius (“… pursuit of happiness…”) and radical revolutionary (“The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants. It is it’s natural manure… God forbid we should ever be twenty years without such a rebellion…” – ref the Shays’ Rebellion in a letter to William Stephens Smith, November 13, 1787, and inspiring Bertrand Barère de Vieuzac’s successful guillotine-inducing condemnation of Louis XVI.)

More remarkable about Jefferson’s comments were that he believed the armed rebels against his country, despite their misguided motives, were to be supported.  Of course he was writing from Paris, like Franklin living well, fermenting revolution, Che Guevaras of their day.  The echos of post-revolutionary America still resonate, with forgotten veterans, massive foreclosures, prison for minor crimes, private armies financed by merchants, abandoning of the sickly poor, and rivals deemed enemies.

So in these times of revolution – Tripoli, Cairo, Madison – Happy President’s Day!

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Candy kisses, raspberries, banana-nana-babouvism

14 02 2011

Well, it’s a traditional view of pair bonding, but at least the title, Girl Meets Boy, gives the majority gender top billing.  Happy Valentines from your institutional love machine, ARC.

No kisses for the latest show up at the Museum of the City of New York where I saw, Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing: How the Apollo Theater Shaped American Entertainment, on Saturday. Now it’s not their fault that this was wall-to-wall webpages, blown-up and boringly the same; blame the Smithsonian and the National Museum of African American History and Culture who put the show together, who own most of the material on exhibit.

This is a show designed for easy travel, hence the modular panels, so slack given.  But after Carnegie Hall, the Apollo is America’s greatest venue.  It wouldn’t hurt to bring some vision to the task, certainly offering more than the same small and smaller screen presentation you could sample from your couch.  I suggest a re-look at one of the few good music exhibitions ever mounted, Rock ’n’ Roll 39-59, at the Fondation Cartier pour l’art Contemporain in Paris (June 22–Octobre 28, 2007) – if not exactly waxing philosophical (but at least trying), offering an exhaustive and spectacular look at what happened, beautifully mounted and thought out. Then again, imagine anyone complaining about the depth of a gallery show about popular music.

I arrived behind forty Black high school students, who whisked through the whole thing in under six minutes.  Other than that viewers were me-like, post 50, white.  My highlight was seeing Mr. Schiffman’s (longtime owner) index cards listing artist payments and comments on their performances.  Take these first and last entries on Bo Diddley:  “8/19/55 – Very lowdown rhythm and exciting”… “10/17/58 – Popularity seems to have diminished to nothing”. Tito Puente’s first note complains that he has no drawing power.   A nice surprise was learning that minstrel’s blackface was once available commercially in a tube.

Speaking of bad execution, as the Egyptian ‘revolution’ in Tahrir Square was playing out, I was immersed in reading source documents of the French Revolution. Now whenever you think you know something about something, there’s another level of specificity, a realm of concerns, a focus unique to the inheritors of a tradition that brings you up short.  So I struggled through ‘babouvism’, an extreme take on sharing, made real in a movement entitled, “the conspiracy of equals” (our next blog rename?), a touchstone of communism.

I’ve attached some portions of the unsuccessful defense mounted by one of the founders, François-Nöel Babeuf (“Gracchus”) at his conspiracy trial in 1797.  He touches on a million inequities (“Education is a monstrosity when it is unequal”) and makes an easy slip and slide into a discussion that presages the creative commons and the ethics of filesharing.

“The products of industry and of genius also become the property of all, the domain of the entire association, from the very moment that the workers and the inventors have created them, because they are simply compensation for earlier discoveries made through genius and industry, from which the new inventors and workers have profited within the framework of social life, and which have helped them to make their discoveries.  Since the knowledge acquired is the domain of everyone, it must therefore be equally distributed among everyone”.

No wonder they killed him.

Inexplicable, ridiculously, the only way I’ve been able to keep the movement’s unfamiliar name in my head, is to incorrectly sing Shirley Ellis’ manifesto-like “Name Game”.

Obviously Shirley knows Presidents Day is upon us, and in the second verse she deconstructs Lincoln, not a very common name to posit haphazardly.

As I walked my 60 block walk to the museum, I found this mural on Lex around 116th St.  Not French, but honored in Spanish Harlem; another Queen with big hair, but always kept her head; a Cuban who loved Reagan and shunned revolution; called that “skinny Negresse” when she replaced Myrta Silva in La Sonora Matancera, they let her eat cake; Reina de la Salsa, Celia Cruz…

Tuckered out, after a great lunch @ Sisters Caribbean Cuisine (47 E. 124th St), I took the Lex line home.  On the platform, huddled and pretty much singing to himself, I couldn’t believe the miniature foot-powered double drum kit this genius had put together.  I gave him more than I gave the museum.





ARC Beatles LP worth $125,000?

9 02 2011

At the end of January Goldmine magazine published a list of recent auction sales, and we noticed that we had a few of the featured items.  The headline of course is the Beatles first US LP on Vee-Jay, selling for $125,000.00

There was a lot of follow-up online chatter, some claiming the record was fake, the auction was fake, that the buyer will never pay up, you’ve gotta be kidding?, etc…  The Goldmine link be here.

So is our copy the real deal?  Probably not.  Ours not sealed.  But anyone can shrinkwrap these days.  The kicker is that ours lacks a shadow to the left of George, a sick-making pinkness to the skin, and a too-crisp fab-four outline.  There were so many bootlegs issued in the 70s, we think ours falls into this category.  But we do have an authentic mono version.  I know because I bought in 1963 at the Record Rendezvous; still has the $2.99 sticker on it.  This hovers between $3,000 – $12,000, depending on the weather.

Speaking of which, the lingering bleakness of the season has got me down.  Maybe that’s why we’ve been posting a lot of fluff and fun on the blog.  So how do we cure our blues?  Catalog blues LPs, of course.  So, below is a bit of substance to let you know that we actually are saving some interesting things here at the ARC.  All of these came our way in January – blues, blue-ish and R&B discs.  A good start to the year, I think.  It’s harder and harder to get the early stuff, but the list contains some nice reissues or later editions from the 70’s and 80’s, and of course foreign discs with dubious provenance, welcome for their attention to forgotten artists.   By the way we have also added quite a few blues CDs in Jan., and these are out-of-print and therefore, strangely, often worth more than the LPs.  But CDs are ugly, unlovable little things.  So no more hokum, uh, except for this…

• Duster Bennett.   Bright Lights …  (Blue Horizon, UK, 7-63221, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1969)

• Billy Bland.   Blues, Chickens, Friends and Relations  (Ace, UK, CH 222, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1987)

• Ruth Brown.   Brown, Black & Beautiful  (S.D.E.G., SDE 4023, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1990)

• Paul Butterfield.   Put It In Your Ear  (Bearsville Records, BR 6960, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1975)

• Mississippi Joe Callicott.   Blues Masters Vol. 6  (Blue Horizon, BM 4606, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1969)

• Dolly Cooper.   Ay La Bah  (Official, 6019, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988)

• Reverend Gary Davis.   Let Us Get Together  (Kicking Mule, UK, SNKF 103, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1974)

• Fats Domino.   Reelin’ and Rockin’  (Charly, UK, CRB 1054, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1983)

• Champion Jack Dupree.   Shake Baby Shake  (Detour, UK, 33-007, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1987)

• Jack Dupree.   Blues for Everybody  (King, KS 1084, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1976)

• Skip Easterling.   Taking Inventory  (Charly, UK, CRB 1171, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988)

• Clifford Hayes and the Dixieland Jug Blowers.   Clifford Hayes and the Dixieland Jug Blowers  (Yazoo, 1054, 12″, LP, n.d. [1976])

• Clarence Frogman Henry.   Clarence Frogman Henry Is Alive and Well Living in New Orleans and Still Doin’ His Thing…  (Roulette, SR 42039, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Jim Jackson.   The Best of Jim Jackson  (Earl Archinves, Austria, BD-613, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1984)

• Elmore James.   Original Folk Blues: The Legend of Elmore James  (United, US-7778, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, -)

• Elmore James.   Original Folk Blues: Resurrection  of Elmore James  (United, US-7787, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, -)

• Freddy King.   Hideaway  (King, KS 1059, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1976)

• Eddie Lang & Lonnie Johnson.   Blue Guitars Vol. II  (Parlophone, UK, PMC 7106, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Lightning Slim.   That’s All Right  (Quicksilver / Intermedia, QS-5062, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1983)

• Little Richard / Billy Wright / Tempo Toppers.   Hey Baby, Don’t You Want a Man Like Me?  (Ace, UK, CHA 193, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1986)

• Robert McCoy.   Blues and Boogie Woogie Classics  (Oldie Blues, Netherlands, OL 2814, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Jimmy McCracklin.   Everybody Rock!  The Best of Jimmy McCracklin  (Chess, UK, RED LP 10, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1989)

• Jimmy McCracklin.   Blast ‘Em Dead!  (Ace, UK, CHD 219, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1987)

• Bette McLaurin.   The Masquerade Is Over  (Official, Denmark, 6045, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1989)

• Big Jay McNeely.   From Harlem to Camden  (Ace, UK, CH 111, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1984)

• Big Jay McNeely and the Rocket 88s.   AZ Bootin’  (Big J, JLP-107, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988)

• Big Jay McNeely.   Swingin’  (Big J, JLP-103, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1984)

• Memphis Slim.   Rockin’ the Blues  (Charly R&B, UK, CRB 1030, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1981)

• Freddie Mitchell.   Rock’n Roll  (Official, Denmark, 6021, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988)

• Little Brother Montgomery.   Crescent City Blues  (Bluebird, AXM2-5522, 12″, vinyl disc-2Lp, 1977)

• Robert Parker.   Get Ta Steppin’  (Charly, UK, CRB 1174, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1987)

• Gene Phillips.   I Like ‘Em Fat  (Ace, UK, CH 245, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988)

• Professor Longhair.   The Last Mardi Gras  (Atlantic / Deluxe, SD 2-4001, 12″, vinyl disc-2Lp, 1982)

• Fenton Robinson.   Mellow Fellow  (Charly, UK, CRB 1131, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1986)

• Ted Taylor.   Keep Walking On  (Charlie, UK, CRB 1011, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1980)

• Big Mama Thornton.   Stronger Than Dirt / The Way It Is  (Charly, UK, CDX 24, 12″, vinyl disc-2Lp, 1988)

• Ike Turner  His Woman, Her Man Vol. 1 : The Ike Turner Diaries  (Funky Delicacies, DEL LP 0045, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 2002)

• Ike Turner  His Woman, Her Man Vol. 2 : The Ike Turner Diaries  (Funky Delicacies, DEL LP 0046, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 2002)

• Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm [ various artists ].   Talent Scout Blues  (Ace, UK, CHD 244, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988)

• Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm [ various artists ].   Ike Turner and His Kings of Rhythm Vol. 2  (Ace, UK, CHD 146, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1985)

• Various Artists.   Sun – The Roots Of Rock Volume 3, Delta Rhythm Kings  (Charley, UK, CR 30103, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, n.d.)

• Various Artists.   Rumble Chillen  (Charly, UK, CRM2033, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988)

• Various Artists.   Rock Sock the Boogie  (Charly, UK, CR 30237, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1984)

• Various Artists.   Rootin’ ‘n’ Tootin’  (Charly, UK, RCB 1043, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1985)

• Various Artists.   Women Whiskey & Wailin’  (Charly, UK, CRB 1141, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1985)

• Various Artists.   Lyons Avenue Jive  (Ace, UK, CHD 171, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1986)

• Various Artists.   If It’s Not a Hit I’ll Eat My Hat  (Ace, UK, CHD 154, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1985)

• Various Artists.   Cruisin’ and Bluesin’  (Ace, UK, CHD 284, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1990)

• Various Artists.   Blues Guitar Blasters  (Ace, UK, CHA 232, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1988)

• Andre Williams & the Sadies.   Red Dirt  (Sonic, SR 9901, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1999)

• Andre Williams.   Bait and Switch  (Norton, ED-288, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 2001)

• Andre Williams with the El Dorados.   Greasy  (Norton, ED-248, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1996)

• Andre Williams and Green Hornet.   Andre Williams and Green Hornet in Holland Shuffle! Live at the World Famous Vera Club  (Norton, ED-299, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 2003)

• Andre Williams & Velvet Hammer.   Whip Your Booty : Rare & Unreleased Soul, Funk & Dance Jams from the Vaults of Andre Williams – 1967 – 1977  (Soul-Tay-Shus, STS LP 6349, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 2001)

• Andre Williams.   Silky  (In the Red, ITR056, 12″, vinyl disc-LP, 1998)

• Paul Hucklebuck Williams and His Orchestra.   The Hucklebuck  (Saxophonograph, Sweden, BP-500, 12″, LP, 1981)

• Paul Hucklebuck Williams and His Orchestra.   Spider Sent Me  (Saxophonograph, Sweden, BP-510, 12″, LP, 1988)





What is This?

4 02 2011

I HATE it when people send me ‘cute’ videos.  But ARCpal Be Bop passed this along, and so now I must inflict you with it.  It’s like when an intern said, “Oh Prince, my grandfather likes him…”

It’s not easy being passé.





This is NOT the original Soundtrack

2 02 2011

In the early 80s I spent a lot of time in Jamaica, mostly in Kingston, twice on the north shore.  No matter where you were someone would point out that that villa over there was Goldeneye, home of Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond novels.  As for the Bond music, I was more into the Desmond Dekker take on it all, but I did enjoy the big-burst horns (Stan Kenton, thank you), twangy guitars (Duane Eddy via Vic Flick, you’re welcome) and girly openings (frat boys I’m sure) of every 007 film.  So the death of composer John Barry sent me into the stacks for a quick lookaround.

Here at the ARC we have whole sections devoted to themes for intuitive finds, like ‘God’, ‘Black God’, ‘Southern God’, ‘Music To…’, ‘Music for…’, ‘Outer Space’ – ways to group the unsortable for the inevitable need.  Here are a few of our favorite, among the 100s, ‘Secret Agent’ LPs.

The above in honor the man who married Jane Birkin, now on to more serious matters…








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