Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Dolores Ware: "If I'm Wrong" (Mercury, 1955)

I found this in my dad's old 45 record album. From 1955 comes Dolores Ware's There's a Whole Lot of Fish In the Sea/If I'm Wrong (Mercury 70559). Both songs written by "Evelyn/Kirkland." I'm not sure who Evelyn is, but Kirkland is Leroy Kirkland, who had an incredible behind the scenes career as an "arranger, bandleader, guitarist and songwriter," per his Wikipedia article. Kirkland worked with a lot of cool people, I'll have to keep my eye out for his name from now on.

Ware has at least three 45s to her name from Mercury. There's this one, plus 1954's My Heart's In the Right Place/Please Tell Me Baby (Mercury 70394), and from '55, Can't Eat, Can't Sleep/Everything Will Be Alright (Mercury 70618).

On Mercury subsidiary Wing Records, founded in 1955, she had two releases: Thrill-La-Dill/Sweetness (W90017), and Is It True/I'm Through (W90032). Discogs says Is It True/I'm Through was released in '55.

The Mercury Labels: the 1945-1956 Era by Michel Ruppli and ‎Ed Novitsky (Greenwood Press, 1993) says Is It True, I'm Through, Thrill-a-Dill and Sweetness were all recorded at Mercury Sound Studio in NYC on July 28, 1955. From the same source, she recorded Your Hurting Heart/Everything Will Be Alright, and For Once In Your Life/Can't Eat Can't Sleep with a guy named Lee Austin (real name Austin Cromer), at Universal Recording Studios in Chicago on April 7, 1955. And at Fine Recording Studios in NYC, on May 14, 1954, she recorded Just To Be With You (unissued)/My Heart's In the Right Place, and Tell Me Baby (Just What I Say)/I'm Selfish (both unissued). There may be more of her in that book but that's just what I came up with on the Google preview.

She also had at least one release on Sharon Records, Strange/Falling In Love. No info on Sharon Records but apparently that one is worth some cash in mint condition.

A Google search turns up little biographical information but she was mentioned in Billboard several times in 1955, in album reviews and ads for Wing Records. The Billboard review for Thrill-La-Dill is positive but here's the lukewarm Billboard review of There's A Whole Lot of Fish In the Sea/If I'm Wrong.

According to Marv Goldberg's R&B Notebooks page on the 5 Crowns, on November 13, 1955, Ware performed at Harlem's Rockland Palace Ballroom, along with the 5 Crowns, Ray Charles and the Moonglows, the Cadillacs, Charlie & Ray, and the New Yorkers Five. What a line-up.

Thrill-La-Dill has made it onto at least a couple of jump and "early ladies of rock" type compilations.

If the Dolores Ware mentioned in this 2011 Times-Picayune article is the same woman who recorded these songs, she was 76 in 2011 and was still active as an organist and music director for a concert at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival that year. That would put her born in 1935, and just 20 years old when she had her big year in 1955.

The A-side of my copy is scratched and jumps too much, but here's the excellent If I'm Wrong, an obscure gem of an R&B song if ever there was one:

If I'm Wrong:

So if you know more about Ms. Ware, I'd love to hear it. Leave a comment or drop me an e-mail. Here's all the Dolores Ware I could find on Youtube:

Can't Eat, Can't Sleep:

Everything Will Be Alright:

There's A Whole Lot of Fish In The Sea:

Thrill-La-Dill was also co-written by Leroy Kirkland. Great song:

Sweetness:

Is It True:

Here's that one from NYC's Sharon Records. Recorded before 1955? After? Not sure.

Friday, September 12, 2014

New Sound From Bandcamp

I have seen several headlines on the music websites I follow about Thurston Moore's opinion on black metal. Thurston Moore's music and style have been a real influence on me. But Thurston's off-the-cuff comments on black metal are not headline worthy, and are, in fact, inconsequential. So then why did all the music sites and blogs I follow just regurgitate that headline?

I think it's lazy journalism, but hey, let's listen to some new tunes.

Idiot Stroszek is one guy from Athens, Greece. Normally I don't like to post long songs, but I just love this so much - it's everything I love about lo-fi, outsider-type of music - it's mainline rock'n'roll, it's personal art, I daresay it is a soul exposed:

From Lowell, MA. here's the most, man. The most. Sorry State says these guys'll have this on vinyl out this month. Oh, man, this is tight action:

Chiptunes from Ashville, N.C.:

This is from Hamburg, Germany:

From France and Crapoulet Records:

Rad horror-punk from the Basque Country in Spain:

Courtesy Bremen, Germany and Sabotage Records:

Another long one, but so worth it. Harnes Kretzer remix of Clara Engel's Sea Lions. As always, excellent, honest work from Clara. Harnes I'd never heard before but now I'm hip. A stunning song.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Jan Howard: "Bring It On Back To Me" (Challenge, 1961)

Jan Howard was born Lula Grace Johnson to a poor farming couple on March 13, 1932, in West Plains, Missouri. She was one of eight kids and was married at the age of 15, with three sons before she was twenty. She divorced twice before moving to L.A. in 1955. There she met her future husband, songwriter Harlan Howard, and after that her career took off. Despite her success, she's had a rough go at life - the bio on her website has this to say about Mrs. Howard's hard road to becoming one of the "Grand Ole Ladies" of the Grand Ole Opry:

"Jan is the survivor of a difficult life, but has always made it clear that she doesn't want pity. Her saga - which includes miscarriages, marital abuse, bigamy, poverty, war, suicide, cheating, divorce, thievery, depression, and mental collapse - has only made her stronger."

Dang! Bring It On Back To Me was the flip to the non-charting My Baby's In Berlin, both written by Harlan Howard. Released in 1961, on Los Angeles-based label Challenge Records. Challenge Records was co-founded by Gene Autry! Their biggest hit was in '58, the Champs' Tequila.

Bring It On Home isn't on Youtube, and the 7" isn't listed on Discogs or 45cat. I found it listed on Howard's own website's discography page, and from there I got the date. Youtube poster Jruus1 says My Baby's In Berlin is only available as a 45 single, and hasn't been on any of Jan's albums. I like this song. For educational purposes only, here's:

Jan Howard - Bring It On Home:

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Dickie Goodman: "Irv's Theme" (Cash Records, 1975)

From Dickie Goodman's Wikipedia page:

"Richard Dorian "Dickie" Goodman (April 19, 1934 – November 6, 1989) was an American music and record producer born in Brooklyn, New York. He is best known for inventing and using the technique of the "break-in", an early precursor to sampling, that used brief clips of popular records and songs to "answer" comedic questions posed by voice actors on his novelty records. He also wrote and produced some original material, most often heard on the "b-side" of his break-in records."

Irv's Theme is one of those b-sides, written by Goodman and Bill Ramal. It's the flip for Mr. Jaws and is a neat little instrumental. Per Wikipedia's Mr. Jaws entry:

"("Mr. Jaws") peaked at #4 on the Billboard Hot 100 in October 1975. On Cash Box magazine's chart, it fared even better, reaching #1."

Goodman has an impressive discography. He committed suicide in 1989, age 55.

The comments section at 45cat has some interesting facts about the pressing of this record, a couple of different theories on why Goodman chose "Cash Records" as the label name (one repeating the story from Wikipedia, that Goodman named the label Cash because that's what he wanted the record company to make the check out to), and why there are so many different variants; plus pics of all (?) the variants. Neat stuff. I scored my mono copy (pictured above) for 98 cents at The Record Parlour in L.A.

Irv's Theme by Dickie Goodman:

Goodman and Ramal also produced a one hit wonder in 1970, The Glass Bottle's "I Ain't Got Time Anymore." It reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in September, 1971.

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

The Crawford Brothers: "You Gotta Wear Shoes" (Del-Fi, 1962)

We just got back from a vacation to Los Angeles. This 45, Good Buddies/You Gotta Have Shoes, has some cool L.A. and Hollywood history attached to it. I picked it up for $1.98 at The Record Parlour.

Good Buddies was written by Carole King and Jerry Gofffin. "You Gotta Wear Shoes," the flip, was written by Hal Winn and Joseph Hooven, the founders of the Hollywood labels Double Shot Records and Whiz Records. Double-Shot put out the Count Five's Psychotic Reaction. This 45 was released in '62 on Del-Fi Records, another Hollywood label. Del-Fi was famous for signing Ritchie Valens, but a lot of cool acts were on it.

L.A. native Johnny Crawford was Del-Fi's biggest chart topper. The guy was the kid in TV's The Rifleman and one of the original Mouseketeers. His older brother, Robert Crawford Jr., listed on this 45 as Bobby, was an actor as well, but apparently they both recorded together and separately. Good Buddies is an okay Carole King song, someone has posted it to Youtube already. You Gotta Wear Shoes is...it is what it is, a relic of a pop song, too saccharin and too bland for my tastes. But I didn't see it on Youtube or another blog, and you Quieteers (both of you) know how much I love history, record label obscura, and sharing sound that hasn't been heard on the Internet yet. So for educational purposes --

You Gotta Wear Shoes by The Crawford Brothers:

Image courtesy monkeyBLOGmonkeyDO:

Thursday, September 4, 2014

New Punk

So I'm up a little late and rockin it ya know, cruisin the Net, y'all. Can u feel it 2?

From Total Punk Records:

Polish goregrind:

San Fran's Punch. I just capitulated, first song. Love the whole thing. The craziest sound. Love it. Max volume, whole thing, fr sure: