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You are currently browsing the archive for the Beatniks category.

Wax poetic


I love the recordings of Kerouac reading his works. He has a great voice and very cool, laid back style. Here’s a clip of him on the Tonight Show with Steve Allen on the piano.

Verve Records 1959. Cover photo of Kerouac by Robert Frank. Sleeve notes by Bill Randle. Kerouac reads extracts from “Old Angel Midnight”, “Desolation Angels”, “The Beginnings of Bop”, “Mexico City Blues”, “Neal And The Three Stooges”, “San Francisco Blues”, “The Subterraneans” and more. Unlike Jack’s previous two lps this one is him solo. Without Steve Allen on the piano or Zoot Sims on sax.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (34 votes, average: 4.59 out of 5)
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Wiggin’ with Wig


Anything on Dig Records is cool.   “Wiggin with Wig” The Gerald Wiggin’s Trio.   I think Johnny Otis started the Dig Label and he’s the producer here.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (25 votes, average: 3.36 out of 5)
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Kenneth Rexroth organized and emceed the legendary Six Gallery reading on October 7, 1955, at which Ginsberg introduced the world to “Howl”. Rexroth’s work was composed with attention to musical traditions and he performed his poems with jazz musicians. Nonetheless, Rexroth was not wholly supportive of the dramatic rise in popularity of the so-called “Beat Generation,” and he was distinctly displeased when he became known as the father of the Beats.

A life-long iconoclast, Rexroth railed against the dominance of the east-coast “literary establishment” and bourgeois taste that was corrupting American poetry. While he refused to consider himself a Beat poet, his influence as champion of anti-establishment literature paved the way for others to write poems of social consciousness and passionate political engagement. His greatest contribution to American poetry may have been in opening it to Asian influences through his mystical, erotically charged poetry and superb translations. Kenneth Rexroth died in 1982 at 77 and is buried in Santa Barbara on a cliff above the sea.

Read more about Kenneth Rexroth at Modern American Poetry.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (19 votes, average: 3.26 out of 5)
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Lord, help us!


Lord Buckley   “Blowing His Mind (And Yours, Too)   World Pacific Records

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (20 votes, average: 3.10 out of 5)
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1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 3.83 out of 5)
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Nutty buddies


The Nutty Squirrels.   Created and produced by Sascha Burland and Don Elliott.   Hanover Records.   “Salt Peanuts”   1959.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (22 votes, average: 2.82 out of 5)
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#4 in a cool series of jazz compilations put out by the Dawn label. All with great covers, this is the best though. What style! The classic Lambretta, the babe, the tight pants and low cut top! The music is equally good and deserving of the hip sleeve. The roster includes Paul Quinichette, Nat Pierce, Gene Roland, Ed Thigpen and Earl May.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (42 votes, average: 3.90 out of 5)
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Hipster, flipster and finger-poppin’ daddy


I don’t remember where I picked this record up, but it’s signed by the man himself. It’s scribbled: “To Princess Marge the beauty. May you swing with love. Love Lord Buckley.”

“Way Out Humor” on World Pacific Records. Royal Concert Performance Ivar Theater Hollywood (1959)

Lord Buckley died in 1960. I recommend you dig him a bit deeper! There are some cool clips of LB on youtube including his appearance on “You Bet Your Life” with Groucho from 1956. Remarkable.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 3.39 out of 5)
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Minor beat poetry


An odd piece of beatnik poetry from 1957. “Contributions to the Delinquency of Minor Poetry by Guy Wernham” I never heard of this guy, but a Google search brought up his name as a dude on the San Francisco scene who first made his name with a 1943 translation of Lautremont’s “Les Chants du Maldoror” in New Directions magazine. It says by the mid-50’s he was tending bar in North Beach and a frequent visitor to Alan Ginsburg’s apartment. The cover is pretty unusual and cool I think. Can’t be many of these around.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (18 votes, average: 3.39 out of 5)
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Go Man!


One of my favorite covers and one of my favorite saxophonists (and on this session with one of my favorite piano players). Go Man! It’s “Sonny Criss” and Modern Jazz Imperial Records. Sonny Criss (as) Sonny Clark (p) Leroy Vinnegar (b) Lawrence Marable (d) Los Angeles, CA, July 10, 1956 (No, that’s not Criss on the motorbike)

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (39 votes, average: 4.44 out of 5)
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