But You Need An Electron Microscope…

17 08 2010

There are some great things to see in Ohio.

Having eschewed a junket to see Cleveland’s Rock’n’Roll Hall of Fame when it first opened (knee-jerk reaction when I heard that they used funds from the Ohio school system.  Nice summary here ) I finally took the plunge.  It’s only an hour from the ancestral homestead (Poland, the first city of the Western Reserve), so why not?  Best thing was in the Springsteen exhibit, seeing all the handbill and fliers and promo activities it took to get his early band, The Castiles, off the ground.

The main reason for my CLE visit was to see the new Rock Hall Archive being set up by Andy Leach, the Director of Library and Archives. The new 22,500-square-foot facility is housed at Cuyahoga Community College, set to open in May 2011.   Andy had visited ARC last fall, so it was my turn.  I wasn’t the only one anxious to get in, as recently a passerby fired a few bullets into the glass façade.  Have a look at this swell building Columbia University – see what a Community College can do!  Inspired?

The Music Library and Sound Recordings Archives at Bowling Green State University occupies a Soviet era building on a bleak campus, across from a new arts building, with hopes of some architectural largess coming their way soon.  The man in charge since the late 60s is Bill Schurk, a good soul.  He’s still enthusiastic, curious, engaged.  Amid the manageable piles are trash and treasures, souvenirs and curiosities, in one of America’s great popular music collections.  The hall-walls are lined with paper ephemera and the main room a constellation of 45s dangling from the ceiling. They’ve managed to make an institutional space fun, while remaining on good terms with the fire marshal.  I got a tour and ARC donated a book we knew they didn’t have, about channeling wisdom from Gerry Garcia.

Other hotspots on my summer tour included Youngstown, OH and Ann Arbor, MI.

I attended Michigan (12 credits short – still waiting for the honorary degree) and had not been back for more than 20 years.  We visited friends and had wonderful food @ The Earl Restaurant. When last in AA the Earl was just starting up, Dominoes Pizza and Borders Books were small local businesses and the football stadium held a mere 100,000.  Lets just say it’s more of a party school these days, but it’s no longer the Rainbow People’s Party.  Pre-Earl party dining meant a visit to the Jolly Pumpkin Brewery for a heralded Belgian style ale, which they were out of.  Drove 500 miles and told to try the local supermarket – nice marketing savvy!  Always in stock is the annual bumper crop of helpful interns from the University of Michigan School of Information. For the past few years these students have come to the ARC in NYC as part of their alternative Spring Break Program.

As a student my breaks were rarely alternative, and one job I had in AA was setting up chairs at Canterbury House, a way to hear music for free.  Canterbury House was/is run by the Episcopal Church, and beyond its value as an important venue for more than 50 years, they also co-sponsored the very first Ann Arbor Blues Festival.  Big on Canadians (work cheap? Nearby? Great artists?) meant that I was lucky enough to see early gigs by Neil Young (Sugar Mountain set) and Joni Mitchell.

My tenuous Youngstown (Poland is a suburb) music connections were explored in an earlier blog, so lets just mention Charlie Staples Bar-B-Q.   Ribs here are as good as anyplace out East, and many down South. I stock up on their unmarked, quart size, Ball-jarred hot sauce.  But it means going to downtown Y-Town, a region few from my burb have ever visited.  This is the lone speaker in the beautiful formica-ed back room they will never see…

But YOU can see the room, and sample the Q, when you visit Y-Town next September for the opening of “Ronnie Wood: Paintings, Drawings and Prints.” at the Butler Institute of American Art. Mrs. Butler once lived in Poland and taught me to draw.





trickle-down donations

10 08 2010

Just back from Ohio, ARC picked up portions of two recent donations that have been, and will be, given piecemeal, over the past and future years.  And what meals they are!   The first was the first donation of approx. 1,200 LPs, part of a larger collection over 15,000 recordings that were lovingly collected by Eric J. Schmuckler, and will all be coming to the ARC.  This generous gift was from his wife, Michelle Gelber.  Eric was a well known critic and writer for Mediaweek Magazine, and truly loved his music.

You can read a nice obit @  http://www.allbusiness.com/services/motion-pictures/4816200-1.html

While we have yet to process the whole batch, one lovely discovery was a two foot-think run (50 recordings) of Beatles-esqs, discs sorta, kinda, maybe about and because of the Fab Four.  This is meat and potatoes kinda stuff – the odds and ends that make our mouth water.  They will join our existing 2 running feet of bad Beatle wannabeats. There’s a complete discography at the end of this blog.  Pardon the quick out-of-the-box low res pics, but behold…


And some singles…

Our second pick-up (course) of the day came from old pal and collector AP Joseph.  For years now AP has slowly been emptying his larder into ours, this his fourth donation in recent years, also about 1200 LPs.   APs donations are always rock solid, a little less pristine sleeves with mint interiors and a little less mainstream than Eric’s.   A quick look reveals a pile of CRI releases, early Fast Folk – The Musical Magazine recordings plus print mag when they were called “the Coop” in the early ‘80s, and an unusual pair of Jorma Kaukonen acoustic recordings on Relix from the mid-eighties.  Here’s a few others that caught or eye/ear :

Lastly, the folks @ WKCR, a-way up in Harlem, dropped off over 300 CD and two 45s.  Thanks to Ben Young who keeps coming back with great stuff, year after year.

We would like to also thank that stalwart friend of ARCs, the 2010 Subaru Impreza, which is zippy AND can hold 12 one hundred twenty five count boxes of LPs, without even trying, or more importantly, sagging.

And we ain’t too proud to beg : Do send a donation to help with all this madness – it’s expensive AND the recession is officially over… and do let us know if you have recordings to donate!

The list of Eric’s Beatles obscurata :

• Abbey Road ’78.   Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band — Music from the movie  (Springboard, SPB-4111, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1978).   cheap cash-in of Sgt. Pepper film.

• Barock and Roll Ensemble / Valkyrie and the Rhine Maidens.   Ein Kleine Beatle Musik  (His Master’s Voice, UK, 7EG 8887, 7″, 45, EP, 1965).  First three tracks incorporate elements of the Beatles songs “She Love You,” “I’ll Get You,” “A Hard Day’s Night,” “I Want to Hold Your Hand,” “Please Please Me” and “All My Loving.”

• John Bayless.   Bach Meets the Beatles: Variations in the Style of Bach  (Pro Arte Digital, PAD-211, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1984).

• The Bearcuts.   Beatlemania!  (Somerset, SF-20800, 12″, 33.3, LP, ). cheesy Beatles exploitation. M-; 1 VG+

• Beats.   The Merseyside Sound  (Design, DLP 170, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).   Possibly, the artist is THE MERSEYSIDE SOUND and the title is BEATS.  it is unclear on cover and label.  Shameless Beatles exploitation record.  Cover has a copyright date of 1962, but the two Beatle songs covered here were first released in 1964! M-; VG

• Ewa Bem.   Ewa Bem Loves the Beatles  (Polskie Nagrania, SX 2193, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1984). Who knew they were Polish!

• The Big Ben Banjo Band.   Happy Banjos Play The Beatles  (Capitol, ST 2642, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.). Medleys of Beatles songs performed on banjos.

• The Blue Beats.   The Beatle Beat  (AA, AA-133, 12″, 33.3, LP, N.D.).   Shameless Beatles exploitation album. Features NO Beatles songs!!!   1 VG+

• Ambrose Brazelton.   And the BEATles Go on and on: Hits of the Beatles  (Kimbo Educational Records & Educational Activities, LP 8080, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).  Educational record with Beatles songs used to illustrate rhythm, locomotor movements and balance.  Ambros Brazelton is the narrator.  No mention to who performs the songs.  Side one has narration and songs.  Side two is music only.

• The Brothers Four.   A Beatles Songbook : The Brothers Four Sing Lennon / McCartney  (Columbia, CS 9302, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).  STEREO.

• The Buggs.   The Beetle Beat  (Coronet, CX-212, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).    Shameless Beatles exploitation record.  VG

• Lee Castle & the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra.   The Big Band Beatles Bag!  (Pickwick/33, SPC 3174, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• Leo Chauliac Orchestra.   The Best of The Beatles  (Concert Hall, UK, SVSC 2571, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1968).

• The Chipmunks.   The Chipmunks Sing The Beatles Hits  (Liberty, UK, NUTM 31, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).  Eighties UK reissue.  Cut corner.

• Wynken, Blinken and Nod and the Golden Rock-A-Twisters / Milton DeLugg and Orchestra.   Dance and Sing Mother Goose With a Beatle Beat  (Golden, LP 127, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1964). Nursery rhymes played as if Beatles songs.

• The Entertainers.   A Tribute to the Beatles  (Citation, CSR-1005, 12″, 33.3, LP, ). shameless Beatles exploitation album.
• European Show Orchestra.   The Masterworks of The Beatles  (EMS, Australia, EMS 4001, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• The Current Event.   Hits of the Beatles  (Ambassador, S98095, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).   Shameless Beatles exploitation album.

• Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops.   Arthur Fiedler and the Boston Pops Play The Beatles  (RCA Red Seal, LSC-3117, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1969).  Filed under BEATLES RELATED.  NO DOG ON LABEL.  Last two tracks are not Beatles songs. VG+

• The Ginks.   A Tribute to the Beatles  (Summit, UK, ATL 4176, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1965).  shameless Beatles exploitation album.

• François Glorieux.   François Glorieux Plays the Beatles  (Vanguard, VSD-79417, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1978). Beatles songs played as if classical pieces.

• François Glorieux.   François Glorieux Plays the Beatles Vol. 2  (Vanguard, VSD-79428, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1979). Beatles songs played as if classical pieces.

• Ofra Harnoy / The Armin Electric Strings.   The Beatles Connection  (Fanfare, Canada, DFC-9016, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1985).    Cut corner, sticker on cover.

• The Ted Heath Orchestra.   Beatles Bach & Bacharack  (London Phase 4, SP 44148, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• The Hiltonaires.   Dance to Beatles Hits in the Glenn Miller Sound  (Stereo Gold Award, Canada, GA-36, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• The Hollyridge Strings.   The Beatles Song Book Vol 2  (Capitol, T 2202, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).   MONO.  1 VG- w/ taped up cover, sticker on cover and label; 1 VG+

• Hommage Aux Beatles.   Hommage Aux Beatles  (Revelation, Canada, KF 154, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• Lester Lanin And His Go-Go Getters.   40 Beatles Hits  (Philips, PHM 200-211, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.). WHITE LABEL PROMO

• James Last.   The Greatest Songs of The Beatles  (Polydor, UK, POLD 5119, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1983).

• Enoch Light and His Orchestra.   Beatles Classics  (Project 3, PR 5084, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.). QUAD!!

• The Liverpools.   Beatle Mania in the U.S.A.  (Wyncote, W 9001, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).   Shameless Beatles exploitation album.  1 VG+

• Johnny Mann Singers.   Beatle Ballads  (Liberty, LST 7391, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).   STEREO  M- w/ taped cover.

• The Mustang.   Mustang Plays The Beatles Song Book on Swingin’ Hammond Organ, The  (Stereo-Fidelity, SF-23000, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.). VG w/tape and sticker on cover.

• 101 Strings.   A Tribute to John Lennon  (Alshire, S-5380, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1980). shameless Beatles exploitation album.
• Orchestral Ensemble.   In Tribute to Brian Epstein  (World Record Club, Australia, S/T 4415, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• Rostal & Schaefer / Ron Goodwin.   The Beatles Concerto  (MMG, MMG 1121, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1979).   Peter Rostal and Paul Schaefer play piano duets.  The Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Ron Goodwin.  M- w/ sticker on label.

• The Rubber Band.   Beatles Song Book  (GRT, 10015, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).  An anonymous band performs Beatle songs.

• Russ Sainty with the Johnny Arthey Sound.   Million Copy Sellers Made Famous by the Beatles  (Boulevard, UK, 4064, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1971).   Shameless Beatles exploitation album.  VG+

• Broadway Cast.   Beatlemania  (Arista, AL 8501, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1978).  One copy  White label promo.  Recorded live at the Winter Garden.  “Not The Beatles.  An incredilbe simulation.”  Right.  Both cut corner.

• original cast recording.   John Paul George Ringo…& Bert  (RSO, UK, 2394 141 SUPER, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1974).   Musical involves The Beatles and their music.

• The Sydney Symphony Orchestra conducted by John Lanchbery.   The Fool on the Hill : Music Based on Themes by The Beatles  (His Master’s Voice, Australia, OASD.7589, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1976). Ballet based on Beatles songs.  Sticker on cover.

• Tribe.   Tribe Sing the Creative Genius of George Harrison, John Lennon & Paul McCartney  (Pickwick/33, SPC-3265, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• Various Artists.   Beatlesongs!  (A Collection Of Beatles Novelties) Vol. 1  (Rhino Records, RNLP 803, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1982).     Cover art by William Stout.

• Various Artists.   The Original Liverpool Beat!  (20th Century Fox, TFM 3144, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).    Shameless Beatles exploitation record.”PROMO on label.  VG+

• Various Artists.   I Hate the Beatles Even More Vol. 2  (Rape Records Limited, LP 002, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.). Collection of Beatles novelty records.

• Various Artists.   Artfully Beatles Volume 1: The 25th Anniversary Salute to the Beatles  (Artful Ballance, ABI-7210, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1986).

• Arthur Wilkinson and His Orchestra.   Beatle Cracker Suite  (His Master’s Voice, UK, 7EG 8919, 7″, 45, EP, 1965).  Beatles songs arranged ala Nutcracker Suite.

• Arthur Wilkinson and His Orchestra / Zack Laurence.   The Beatle Concerto  (His Master’s Voice, UK, 7EG 8968, 7″, 45, EP, 1965).  Beatles songs arranged ala classical compositions.

• Woofers and Tweeters Ensemble.   Beatle Barkers  (Passport Records, PB 6032, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).   Dogs bark out Beatle songs.  Corner cut. We once found a copy of this for Matt Groening!

• The Leon Young String Chorale.   Liverpool Sound for Strings  (Atco, 33-163, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1964).  MONO. shameless Beatles exploitation album.
M-

Here’s the info on APs recordings we photographed and spoke about:

• Monty Alexander.   Spunky  (Pacific Jazz, USA, ST 20094, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• Chris Connor.   Chris Connor  (Atlantic, USA, 1228, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• Martha Davis.   Martha Davis and Spouse  (ABC-Paramount, USA, ABC 160, 12″, 33.3, LP, ).  Spouse = bassist Calvin Ponder.

• Jorma Kaukonen.   Magic  (Relix, USA, RRLP 2007, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1985).

• Jorma Kaukonen.   Too Hot To Handle  (Relix, USA, RRLP 2012, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1985).

• Imitation Life.   Ice Cubes and Sugar  (Veebltronics, USA, Veebl 50, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1986). OK New Wave trio of New Jersey-ites, this originally released on France’s New Rose label. Promo release.

• Mickey Katz and ‘Der Ganser Gang”.   Sing-Along With Mickele  (Capitol, USA, T 1744, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).  In honor of the recently departed Mitch Miller.

• Lisa Kindred.   I Like It This Way!  (Vanguard, USA, VRS 9196, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1965).  mono. Check out her relationship with the Lyman Family!!!

• The Pipkins.   Gimme Dat Ding!  (Capitol, USA, ST 80483, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).

• Wanda Robinson .   Black Ivory  (Perception, USA, PLP 18, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1971).  Odd little packaging with booklet making up the front cover.

The State Radio Orchestra of the U.S.S.R. (Scriabin).   The Divine Poem  (Classic Editions, USA, CE 4, 12″, 33.3, LP, n.d.).  We do not collect Classical music, but who can resist nipples!

• Various Artists. The Coop – fast folk music magazine September ’82  (The Coop, USA, SE 108, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1982).  genetic cover with sticker and magazine insert.

• Various Artists.   The Coop – fast folk music magazine August ’82  (The Coop, USA, SE 107, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1982).  genetic cover with magazine insert.

• Various Artists.  The Coop – fast folk music magazine April ’83, Vol 2. #3  (The Coop, USA, SE 203, 12″, 33.3, LP, 1983).  with magazine insert.





Polish Music

30 07 2010

As I’m heading back to Poland (Ohio) see me Mum, a flurry of old friends have surfaced.  Turns out it’s about the same time as a reunion of my elder brother’s high school class.  You may think that Poland Seminary High School is only famous for an assassinated president (McKinley) or the advertising genius who bought the world, “I Love New York,” “Plop Plop Fizz Fizz.” and “‘I can’t believe I ate the whole thing’ (Mary Wells, née Berg, of Wells, Rich & Green) but it’s also homeroom to a few bits of odd musical history.

An old galpal’s older bro once touched the stars in his summer of fun…

Doug Braun recently sent this pic and and few words: “Forgot the details.  I took this photo of Mike Love & Dennis Wilson while working with their tour back in the summer of 1968.  We did 14 U.S. cities with Gary Puckett and the Union Gap and the Human Bienz from Youngstown, Ohio.  We enjoyed short friendships while all working together.  There where two large tour buses for the lighting and sound crews. The performers traveled by air and limo’s.  We had one of the first Winnabago motor homes and a large Ford van.  We drove city to city seeing the country often driving non-stop to the next gig.  I helped with the driving and stage responsibilities. It was GREAT!!!  Got to know everyone on a first name basis.  Enjoy.”

Now the drummer for the, “Nobody but Me,” Human Beinz was Mike Tatman (perfect name for a drummer), who went to Poland, and later married Christie (won’t be in Poland, because she had so many children she didn’t know what to do – so she went to England) who was Poland’s Prom Queen (…and I, ahem, uh, was King).  They were the reigning local heroes.  Live music was rare, mostly Bowling Alley dances, The Roller Rink and nights at the Carousel Teen Club.

“Beinz.” “Georgan.”  Nobody can spell in Ohio.

Then there was the Record Rendezvous, a rich mahogany paneled record store in downtown Youngstown (“Murder City USA” headlined the Saturday Evening Post!).  It had booths with glass at the top, and wood below, and you could slide down and sit on the floor, and no one could see you.  The perfect Sat was taking a bus downtown, bowling or shooting pool, shopping for junk and used clothing and food in the Black section of town, or maybe lunch with my Pop who had his business there, then a movie (at the original Warner’s Theater) and then about an hour or two waiting for a ride home at the Rendezvous.   Sadly, musically it was slim pickens.  About my strongest memory was digging into the C&W section and playing Marty Robbins’ Gunfighter record.  Well, at least until they kicked me out after about six runthroughs.  I’ve since learned that the “Vous” was a chain out of Cleveland, and the owner, Leo Mintz, convinced Alan Freed to play race records on the air, hand-fed him what Black kids were buying from his store, and may have coined the term, “rock’n’roll”.

One of the records I actually bought at this store, turns out to one of the rarest at the ARChive.  Here it is with the original price tag.  Last auction price over $12,000.  Better than stocks!

You see when Capitol US was offered the first Beatles album, they passed.  Hated the look.  Hated the music.  So a small Black label out of Gary, Indiana, Vee-Jay, took a chance.  The Beatleboys did OK, and Capitol said they were just kidding.

Interviewers often ask, “What was the first record you ever bought?”  Well, I have no idea.  But I do remember the first LP I ever stole.  It was World Without Love by Peter and Gordon.  I had about a 3 month run as an amateur booster (“Please lock me away…”), and my partner in crime was Sverre Falck-Pedersen (he’ll be in Poland this weekend, and mispronouncing his name was endless fun).  He says he stole it, not me, but he’s wrong.  We had decided to start stealing LPs one August.  Not so much because we were music lovers, but that they were big and difficult to hide under summer clothes…








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