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

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January, 2017

The latin fringe


Las Potranquitas del Norte  Caliente Records (Columbia)  (1973) .  This is music from northern Mexico called, Norteno.   Norteno music revolves around the accordion, drums and the Baja Sexto (a big acoustic bass guitar) to produce a polka like sound.  Las Potranquitas add the electric guitar and bass.  Their music follows the traditional Notreno polka blueprint, but there are flashes of bubblegum pop and garage rock that poke through all the Oom-pah!.  Listen HERE.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (22 votes, average: 4.32 out of 5)
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Soft rock

IMG_9319Alrededor del Mundo  Violines de Ensueno

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 4.06 out of 5)
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Looking for spare change?


King Records (Japan)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (17 votes, average: 4.35 out of 5)
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Hands off my girl

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The latest addition to my growing collection of records in praise of MY Jennifer, Jenny, Jenn!  Here’s talk show host Mike Douglas singing “Here’s to My Jenny”  Epic Records (c. 1966).  This song is super sappy… but that’s what Jenny can do to a guy!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (15 votes, average: 3.27 out of 5)
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Atomic cocktail


“Witch Doctor”  Jacques Helian et son Orchestre Match Records  (France)  A crazy Rock n’ Roll record from 1958!  (See the comments for a listen).

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (20 votes, average: 3.70 out of 5)
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The first dance


Checked this off an old Want List.  Thanks Tony!  “Rockin’ with the Rockets”  Tony Crombie and his Rockets  Columbia Records (UK) (1957)  Tracks: Stop / Stick And Stones / Hear My Plea / Rock Shuffle Boogie / Forgive Me Baby / Rock ‘n’ Roller Coaster / Red For Danger / Take My Love / Rex Rocks / Brighton Rock

Anthony John “Tony” Crombie (27 August 1925 – 18 October 1999) was an English jazz drummer, pianist, bandleader and composer.  He was regarded as one of the finest jazz drummers and bandleaders, and occasional but very capable pianist and vibraphonist, to emerge in Britain, and as an energizing influence on the British jazz scene across six decades.

In August 1956, Crombie set up a rock and roll band he called The Rockets, which at one point included future Shadows bassist Jet Harris. The group was modeled after Bill Haley’s Comets and Freddie Bell & the Bellboys. Tony Crombie and his Rockets released several singles for Decca Records and Columbia Records, including “Teach You To Rock” produced by Norrie Paramor, which is regarded as the first British rock and roll record and which made the Top 30 in the UK Singles Chart in October 1956.[2] He is credited with introducing rock and roll music to Iceland, performing there in May 1957. By 1958 The Rockets had become a jazz group, including Scott and Tubby Hayes.

The following year Crombie started another group, Jazz Inc., featuring pianist Stan Tracey. In 1960, Crombie composed the score for the film The Tell-Tale Heart and established residency at a hotel in Monte Carlo. In May 1960 he toured the UK with Conway Twitty, Freddy Cannon, Johnny Preston, and Wee Willie Harris.[5] On his return to England, he became the house drummer at Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club, where he accompanied visiting American stars like Ella Fitzgerald, Coleman Hawkins, Ben Webster and Jimmy Witherspoon. In September 1965 when Don Byas played at the club his performance was captured on tape, and is available on the CD, Autumn Leaves. Ronnie Scott announced the band saying: “…Tony Crombie is deputizing for our regular drummer, Jackie Dougan, who has unfortunately been taken suddenly drunk…” He also performed in Israel and the United States, and began writing for films and television. He also toured with artists like Lena Horne, Carmen McRae, Tony Bennett, and Jack Jones, and played piano on the Annie Ross album Skylark.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (22 votes, average: 4.27 out of 5)
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Every cover tells a story


Bimini is a small island off the coast of Florida with a tiny air strip, a shark study center and fishing boats.  Fresh conch is sold on the side of the dirt roads.  There are a couple miles of sandy beach under bending mango trees, some tin shacks, a one floor motel, a couple airy bars with thatch roofs … and the Compleat Angler!  I took a small plane to Bimini for a long weekend once.  I recall the short flight over translucent blue waters.  Like in a dream, sharks racing with plane’s shadow on the surface below.  Each night, after long days drinking rum in the sun and then a short nap and shower, it was off to the Compleat Angler to see live music and dance.  The house band played island music and covers, including a long, funky, Caribbean flavored arrangement of Barry White’s “Can’t Get Enough of Your Love Babe”.  It always brought the joint to an ecstatic, frenzied peak.  Each night a dozen or so free-spirited, weekend revelers and island hoppers crowded the small dance floor until the wee hours of the morning.  I remember one night stumbling out of the Angler under bright stars, my arms around a beautiful young marine biologist and our long, slow walk back to her dorm.   Later I read that the Angler burnt to the ground.  Finding this record over the weekend magically brings it all back.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (11 votes, average: 3.27 out of 5)
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Top of “pops”!

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Louis “Pops” Armstrong on the French Odeon label.  Saint Louis blues / Mahogany Hall Stomp // After You’ve Gone / I Can’t Give You Anything But Love  (1954).  Louis was both pure joyful entertainment and the highest level of artistry.  For five decades he was an American ambassador around the world for the music he helped create.  In and out of style, he remained true to himself through the worst Jim Crow racism and blew down barriers with his genius.  Good to go back and listen still!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (16 votes, average: 3.94 out of 5)
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What is succes?


Succes-Musette  Symco Records (France)  Musical stylings of one Luc Harvet son Accordeon et son Ensemble.  Kind of a beatnik vibe here.  I dig her red garter and checkered scarf and bangs!  Lucky Luc.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (21 votes, average: 4.33 out of 5)
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Young and restless


The Japanese made beautiful record covers in the fifties and sixties.  Japan reproduced American art, music and culture with care, affection, and detail.  These Japanese pressings looked and sounded great.  Here’s a Japanese Decca release with a vibrant cover shot of James Dean.  James Dean only made three movies, but his image graced many records around the world.  Like this one often the music was just a compilation of Hollywood movie music.   This one, “The Glory of Victor Young”, starts off with the theme from “East of Eden,” but (thanks to LP cover lover, Roy, this shot is from his first film “Rebel Without a Cause”).

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (17 votes, average: 3.53 out of 5)
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