Howdy Folks! Check out my Atomic Age Vinyl Finds! If there are copyright issues or a problem with any post, just contact me and I will make corrections. I'm here to have fun and hope you will share in my process of discovery!
Mike Sarkissian And His Cafe Bagdad Ensemble
Audio Fidelity AFLP 1867
Wow! I found this minty fresh copy of an excellent record with an eye-popping cover.
From the back cover: Michael Sarkissian, in addition to boasting a vast knowledge of oriental and Middle Eastern art, is one of America's foremost directors and interpreters of music of this part of the world. He has appeared as singer and conductor on many television and radio programs with top personalities such as Bob Hope, Jerry Colonna, Pat O'Brien and Frances Langford. Born in the United States of Armenian parents, he learned the rudiments of Armenian music and Middle Eastern dancing at an early age. When he was 14, he formed his own orchestra. During the second World War, he served in the special service branch of the Air Corps, appearing as soloist, orchestra member and musical director in many shows. Following the war, he appeared in numerous night clubs, until he decided to open his own club. This he named Cafe Bagdad, and it has become a kind of diplomatic center for the furtherance of Middle Eastern music and dance. As Sarkissian puts it, "We created a sort of musical Mecca for our people, but soon found out that not only our people but those of other lands appreciated our music and traditional dance."
Available on CD (It looks like Amazon has the original release date wrong). I prefer vinyl if, for nothing else, because I own a collectible and I enjoy the large cover art.
Of course, if you have any Sumac LPs, you love them all and would have a hard time holding one up over another. I haven't found all her work and there are a lot of people blogging her records that know more history than I do. So, I'll just say that the album sticks to the "head hunter" concept and takes you for a journey. Maybe a slightly darker journey then some of the other Sumac projects I have listened to.
This from the back cover: To unearth the Jivaro music – the stories their ancient songs tell, the musical instruments of their culture – Yma Sumac and her husband, Moises Vivanco, one of the foremost authorities on ancient music, travelled deep into the headhunters' native territory. There, her mastery of the Jivaro dialect (she was reared less than one hundred miles from their land) helped facilitate the research in that strange and obscure society.
Well... dang... that makes for a great story and starting point for this wonderful concept album! Somehow I don't see Sumac, at this stage in her career, hovering over a cauldron of mystery meat. Apparently she and Vivanco divorced in 1957, remarried the same year and divorced again in 1965. I'm sure that had nothing to do with shrinking heads on a vacation.
Out of all the unbelievable records I've found, this Omega release takes the cake.
Look at this cover. Nice huh? Are you ready for a little jungle rhythm? Yeah, me too!
Look at the back cover. The album title, catalog number and songs titles on the back cover match the record label and cover information. Now listen to the music sample! WTF?!!!
When I bought this album, I only glanced at the track list and it didn't sink in that the titles are in Spanish! I think the titles are correct. What in the name of all-that-is-good-but-way-stupid happened with this album?!!
First I was pissed because I thought that someone had slipped the wrong record in this cool jacket. I was still pissed when I thought that Omega had pasted the right label on the wrong record. Then I stopped being pissed because how could I continue to hate a record/album that is this absurdly wrong?
I now consider it a treasure and NO you can't have it!
I did find this same exact same cover online with a "Sutton" label brand in place of the Omega brand, bottom right... but it is apparent that Omega removed the Sutton brand and printed their logo type in it's place.
Hi-Fi For Small Fry
The Gold Record For Children
Children records can be charming and sometimes funny as content can age poorly and be overtaken by political correctness. But only on rare occasions is the music a lot of fun (for my tastes anyway). This record, for the most part, is like a slice of space age Hi-Fi easy listening geared towards kids. And you have to love the cover illustration.
Evalyn Tyner Night
Port Royal Beach Club
Benefit Of Naples Community Hospital Auxiliary
March 25, 1966
Presented for your enjoyment is a record I found at a thrift in a silver cardboard jacket blank. The record was apparently a part of a two record set recorded live for the benefit as mentioned above. I only found sides 3 and 4.
Not much to be found on Tyner. She get a brief mention in Billboard, June 18, 1949 as one of the opening acts for a show at the "Capitol" in New York.
It appears like someone complied a CD of her recordings along with those of a performer named Rose Murphy.
The Hits That Made
Ralph Marterie And His Orchestra Famous
Mercury MG 20336
This is a great album if you are looking to collect Marterie's most popular tunes. Tunes he charted with including Skokiaan, Pretend, Shish-Kebab (great fun) and an excellent cover of Caravan are on this release. Nice swing with some exotica/space pop mixed in.
The more popular tunes can be had by MP3, but this collection as a whole is only available on vinyl.
Tempos Of Tahiti
The Catamaran Serenaders
21 Channel Sound
MGM E 4091
Are The Catamaran Serenaders singing from or to a Catamaran? I didn't have high hopes for this record. The cover just didn't spark the junking juices. This is the typical layout for a 21 Channel Sound cover. The album is a gatefold, that takes after Command gatefold design.
The December 8, 1962 Billboard loved the record calling it "one of the top collections of Island Music, perhaps in part because of the 21 separate channels used by MGM in taping." The brief goes on to say that "most of the tunes are Hawaiian rather that Tahitian in origin." That's right... but the Hawaiian music must have come from an Atomic Age Island, because it wasn't found on any traditional folk island. This may be one of the best space age "island" records that I've stumbled across. The steel guitar work has real personality and the tunes are littered with exotic and 60s light pop instrumental flourishes. The engineering is excellent.
Who the Catamaran Serenaders are is anybody's guess. But it there is no guessing that this is a great album!
Generally I shy away from orchestrated versions of anything. Of course I'll be nailed to something for saying it, but when collecting vintage vinyl, orchestrated versions of anything trendy are the least interesting. In this case the trend is exotica. Usually these formal version take no risks and no risks make jack a dull boy. But I couldn't resist this fab cover and minty fresh wax in the 50¢ bin at the thrift.
Well, I can't say that this version takes any space age risks, but it is a pleasant listen and worth collecting if only for the cover art.
This album apparently was released, if I can believe the post I found, on Capitol in the UK in 1958 with a different and less effective cover.
This work can't be found on CD, but has been cherry picked and a few of the better tracks can be found as MP3 downloads or a part of other collections. I really hate that music is broken up this way. Because this piece of music works well as a whole, but will seem less impressive if you sample parts independently.
Gianni Monese and his Orchestra
Vox ST-VX 25 780
This was a great find today. Needless to say that cover image is a great collectible.
The musical content not at all like I expected. Side one and two are singular pieces of music that blend into one another with no track separation. Like any good exotica or soundtrack recording this LP is an auditory adventure that holds your attention from start to finish.
There are several, probably mono covers posted on the web, but this is the only stereo cover. Both the same with the exception of the stereo logo. But I thought that is would be nice to know the release also came in stereo.
I can't find any hard bio info on Monese. There is a mention of him in the August 11, 1956 Billboard in an article about VOX releasing a Monese album titled Cook's Tour Of Venice.
I usually only post a track by way of sample, but will post side one for you enjoyment.
Side 1: In A Persian Market (Ketelbey), Theme From Polovetsian Dances (Borodin), Alla Turca (Mozart), Nel Sahara (Langosz), Arabian Dance From Nutcracker Suite (Tchaikovsky), Serenata Araba (Frontini)
Side 2: Marcia Turca (Turkish March - Beethoven), Orientale (Cui), Aranian Dance (Grieg), Theme From Strings Quartet (Borodin), Theme From Scheherazade (Rimsky-Korsakov), Serendade Orientale (Gangloff)
The Big Sound
Pirouette Records RFM 54
I can't find a release date for this album, but would guess 1960. A while back I blogged an album on the TIME label featuring the same title and stylistically similar cover art. I have to assume that one label was following the others lead. In this case, many of the songs lead in with ping-pong percussion, an effect Enoch Light ran with in the early 60s.
No artists are credited. There really isn't much percussion other than the ping-pong effect. And the percussion effects are only found on side one. Apparently that's was all the budget called for. Side two features no percussion at all.
My Momma Didn't Raise No Dummy - Louise Holmes/Erica Laine
Exotic Dancers - Raymond L. Fields/Erica Laine
I Found My Love - Robert Roth/Carlton St. John
Music Of America
Hollywood Artists Recording Co.
Song poem album with very little information on the cover expect for track titles and poem authors and vocalists.
Song poems were submitted by anyone who thought they had a song on their hands but needed someone to put the poem to music. Companies such as Hollywood Artists were all too happy to put ANY poem on wax for a fee.
Hollywood Studio Orchestra
Main Theme From Spectacular Movies
Curiously I was blogging a record today on the Somerset label produced by a studio orchestra called the Hollywood Sound Stage Orchestra. Which came first, I wonder?
Over all this "Hollywood" budget record, released towards the end of the Wyncote label life span, is good easy listening fare with that 60s light pop fun touch. The Impossible Lover is actually cool and Hackett Funeral And Fight? I know nothing about the movie that this tune came from (The Wrong Box, 1966), but I love this tune and it is a standout on this album.
London Philharmonic Choir
Dennis Noble Baritone
Philharmonic Promenade Orchestra Conducted By Sir Adrian Boult
Westminster XWN 18253
I bought this record for the outstanding illustration. But the music, if you are into exotica and or soundtrack, is an interesting listen. A few passages remind me of the mutants singing to the bomb in the movie Beneath The Planet Of The Apes. Well... it just does! LOL! I sampled the first part of the record. Sorry, that's just the way I do things here in The Attic... just a taste.
This from the Belshazzar's Feast wiki page: Musical structure: The music throughout is strongly rhythmic, and richly orchestrated. The rhythms and harmonies reflect Walton’s interest in jazz and other popular music, pressed into service to tell a religious story. Despite its jagged rhythms and strident orchestral effects, the work is essentially conventional in its tonality. Walton's biographer Michael Kennedy writes, "diatonicism is at the root of the matter ... stringtremolandi, brass fanfares, and masterly use of unaccompanied declaration work their customary spell." Kennedy adds that the chilling orchestral sounds which introduce the writing on the wall derive from Richard Strauss's Salome.
The World At My Fingers
Epic Stereorama BN 582
From what I can tell, Shutz made one other album, Organ And Firelight (Columbia, 1956). It was offered by The Hammond Organ Company as a demonstration record in an ad published in the December 3, 1956 issue. That album is available as MP3 download.
This record seems way more obscure. The only other instance I could find was a listing in an Epic ad that ran in the November 7, 1960 Billboard.
Theme From Valley Of The Dolls
Hollywood Sound Stage Orchestra
Here's a gem. Apparently 101 Strings wasn't enough for Somerset and D. L. Miller so they created the lesser known Hollywood Sound Stage Orchestra. From the cover notes the orchestra was a 70 piece affair.
It's difficult, or impossible for me to piece together how many "Sound Stage" albums were pressed. I've got several. They seem to be way budget, more so than 101 Strings, which was a successful franchise for Somerset.
This music is lackluster 60s easy listening that is thematically all over the place. But you can't beat the budget cover with a rolled up Billboard Magazine here in The Atomic Attic! The cover model looks strikingly like Susan Hayward from the movie, Valley Of The Dolls.