Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Interesting Record #3

Here is an interesting find. It is a record by the artist who came to be known as Frankie Valli, lead man for The Four Seasons. At the time this record came out, it was Frankie Vally with a "y", and not even a single season in sight. In fact, Frankie also had records under Frankie Valley, The Four Lovers, The Travelers, Frankie Valle & The Romans, and The Wonder Who among others.

This particular disc came out in 1959, and while a pleasant sounding couple of tunes, it doesn't have that distinctive Four Seasons sound.

As you can see from the photo, this is a DJ sample copy intended for airplay on the radio.

Air New Zealand - The Bare Essentials

You know how boring the safety announcements are when you board a commercial flight. After all, if you don't know how to fasten a seat belt and how to find a door out, you likely shouldn't be flying alone anyway. Still Air New Zealand is trying to get you to pay closer attention to their pre-flight safety video, so some of their employees went all out to get you to notice. Yep...that's nothing but body paint!

Interesting Record #2

This record is one of the first records I procured in my collection. I got this one as a premium by sending in box tops from Kellogg's Corn Flakes, back in 1965. I would have been 12 years old at the time.

This record actually contains three songs. The side Doin' The Flake is obviously a promotion for corn flakes, and introduces a dance called..what else...The Flake.

The other side has two songs on it The first is the hit single This Diamond Ring, followed by a second track entitled Little Miss Go-Go.

Gary Lewis is the son of comedian Jerry Lewis, but the group didn't promote this fact when they got a gig playing at Disneyland. When producer Snuff Garrett heard the group, he felt that featuring that fact and calling the group "Gary Lewis and The Playboys" rather than just "The Playboys" would help sell records. Garrett wanted this to hit, so he also brought in studio musicians on the lead tracks, relegating the band to playing only backup on the recording. Notable of these session players were drummer Hal Blaine, bassist Joe Osborn, Tommy Allsup on guitar, and Leon Russell playing the keyboards. By the time Garrett was done adding another vocalist and overdubbing Gary singing, little was left of the original band, but it did produce a hit. With that, the group was on their way to producing other hit records.

As you can see, the label shows lots of wear over the years. You can also see where I put my initials on the label in permanent marker all those years ago. This premium originally came with a custom sleeve, something that has long since gone by the wayside.

Interesting Record #1

In browsing through some of the old records I have sitting around in boxes, I have found some of interest for one reason or another. Let's start off with this one.

This particular record, Alvin's Harmonica, reached #3 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1959. It was the second record issued under the artist name of David Seville and The Chipmunks. Of course David, along with Alvin, Theodore, and Simon, were all the voice of Ross Bagdasarian. The first with this artist credit was The Chipmunk Song (Christmas Don't Be Late).

Bagdasarian played around with speeding up tape recordings to build the tracks for each chipmunk, and hit it big with the resulting novelty records. He also had a huge #1 hit in 1958 without the Chipmunk credit, singing as David Seville. That record, Witch Doctor, was his first experiment with speeded up voices on a commercial recording.

This record also has something I like. That is silver ink printed on a dark colored label. Something about that combination is just pleasing to me.

Robot's Job Sent Offshore

Outsourcing of American jobs is now beginning to put US robots out of work, according to parody news source, The Onion.