Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of record covers from the golden age of LPs

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August, 2010


1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (94 votes, average: 4.36 out of 5)
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My Bonnie

“Takin My Time”   Bonnie Raitt’s third LP released in 1973.   A personal favorite.   And what a cast of players!   Bonnie, Freebo, Lowell George, John Hall, Milt Holland, Jim Keltner, Taj Mahal, Earl Palmer, Van Dyke Parks and Ernie Watts.   Produced by John Hall (see the story below)   Art direction: Tom Gamache, Sandy Kroopf   Cover photo: Michael Dobo

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In an interview given in 1982, Raitt would reveal that “Takin’ My Time is one of my favorite records to listen to, although I started out with Lowell George producing it, and he and I got too close to be able to have any objectivity about it. That’s the problem when you’re a woman and you get involved with the people you work with – and I just don’t just mean romantically. It becomes too emotional. It’s hard to have a strong woman telling the man her ideas when, in fact, the man wants to take over the situation. So that album had a lot of heartache in it. At the time it was a difficult one to make, but now I like it.”

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (42 votes, average: 3.45 out of 5)
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Sincere Lee

“Little Miss Dynamite” Brenda Lee sings her biggest hit “I’m Sorry” with another great one “Sweet Nothin’s” and “Weep No More My Baby”!!!   This is a Decca Records EP from 1960.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 3.33 out of 5)
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Turkish dandy

The always well-manicured, coiffed and accessorized Zeki Muren.   This found at a cool site called Ponytone:

ZEKI MUREN – Hatira (1973)   Celebrated as the “Sun” of Turkish music and affectionately called “Pasha”, Muren dressed effeminately and wore ornate rings and heavy make up. It was commonly believed that he was gay, and although he never confirmed nor denied this, he had a pioneering role in making Turkish society more accepting of homosexuality. He paved the way for many later, more openly gay or transsexual artists.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (53 votes, average: 3.23 out of 5)
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How much is that gorilla in the window?

Japanese EP on CBS/Sony Records   Don’t know the band’s name but the songs are “Ode to the Gorilla” “Chewin’ Gum” and “Moo, My Bunny”   (quite a bargain at only 400 yen)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (54 votes, average: 3.57 out of 5)
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Who are the African Beavers?

African Beavers   “Find My Baby” / “Jungle Fever”   RCA Records

Here’s a great story found at The Further Adventures of Boogaloo Omnibus of a lost and mysterious record.   Thanks to our friend Tim at the always edutaining Stupefaction for sending it in:

Around 1980, while attending a late night record listening party at the house of Dave and Phil Alvin of The Blasters, a record by The African Beavers was played.   At the time it was suggested that the record was recorded by The Isley Brothers with Jimi Hendrix playing guitar under an assumed name—and, indeed, this is what the record sounds like.   The lead singer hits high falsetto notes that sound a lot like the singing of Ronald Isley.   For a soul record, the production is sparse.   There are no horns, only guitar bass and drums—much like a rock group.   The playing of the guitarist, however, is sufficiently forward-looking to sound not unlike the work of Jimi Hendrix during this period, 1964-1965.

This was a revelation.

For years, I thought that this was certainly an Isley/Hendrix collaboration; one that no one was talking about as it appeared in no books about Jimi Hendrix (unfortunately, there are no books about The Isley Brothers—a shame, considering that the group had a LOT more longevity and success than Hendrix).

Anyway, I duly went out and found copies of both records by The African Beavers:   Jungle Fever/Find My Baby (RCA 47-8530) and Night Time is the Right Time/You Got Something (RCA 47-8639).   The more I listened to them, the more I thought that these are Isley/Hendrix recordings.

During the nineties, I met a fellow who had access to the RCA vaults.   I asked him if he could find information on these records.   All he found out was that the tracks were licensed from an independent record label/production company called Gwen Records out of New Jersey (blues singer Buster Brown cut a single for Gwen in 1963).

Further research turned up this:   Buster Brown’s real name is Wayman Glasco, who is credited to have written the two original African Beavers songs.   Glasco must have been in the band, or acted as a producer/Svengali of some sort.   Perhaps he was an owner of Gwen Records, but he seems to have been involved somehow.   Buster Brown, who had a Number One R&B hit with “Fannie Mae” in 1960, was a fine blues harmonica player, yet there is no harmonica playing on the records by The African Beavers.

Nothing else.

In 2001, I had the opportunity to interview Ronald and Ernie Isley.   By the end of the interview I mustered up enough courage to ask them about The African Beavers.   They denied any knowledge of the records.   At this late date, they have no reason to lie about such a session, if it really took place, so I believe them.

So that was all we knew about The African Beavers—until last month, when a picture sleeve for the first single surfaced at a record show in Wayne, NJ.   The dealer wanted a little bit of change for it, so, even though I held it in my hands and slobbered on it, I didn’t buy it.   For a month I regretted that decision.   When it came time for the August Wayne, NJ record show, I went and bought it!   – Boogaloo Omnibus

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (52 votes, average: 3.67 out of 5)
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Use your miles

“Someday My Prince Will Come” Miles Davis Sextet   (1961)   With John Coltrane! Hank Mobley! Wynton Kelly!   Paul Chambers!   Jimmy Cobb!   Alternate cover on Fontana Records (Columbia in the U.S.)   The model is Davis’ wife Francis.   While the liner notes credit the Miles Davis Sextet, only the title track featured six players, with Coltrane joining the quintet. It marked the last time Davis would record with Coltrane and was the only Davis Quintet studio session to feature saxophonist Hank Mobley.   Teo Maceo produced!   Originally, the big song from Disney’s “Snow White”, those who grew up in NYC will recognize this Miles recording as the theme to Hal Jackson’s Sunday morning radio show on WBLS (the world’s best looking sound)

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James Brown “Hell”   Polydor Records (1974) Includes updated versions of “Lost Someone” “Please Please Please” “I Can’t Stand It” plus “A Man Has To Go Back To The Cross Road Before He Finds Himself” “Sayin’ It And Doin’ It” “These Foolish Things Remind Me of You” “Sometime” and “Coldblooded” Check out James (and a funky little girl) performing the title song on Soul Train.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (51 votes, average: 3.53 out of 5)
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You’ll never know how much

The Unknown Quantity   featuring “Jesus Is A Soul Man”   Don’t get into a staring contest with these guys!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (71 votes, average: 3.80 out of 5)
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Down on thunder road

“Blusoes Negros”   Capsone Records (Portugal)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (52 votes, average: 3.48 out of 5)
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