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

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Happy Anniversary LP Cover Lovers!

We must have been daydreaming ourselves!  This cover was our first post on November 23, 2006 – now just more than 5 years ago!  Some stats:  4,000 posts / 8,000 comments /2.2 million visits /1.5 million unique visitors from 225 countries, territories / 7 million page views.  Thanks to everyone that has stopped in for a look, hung around for some laughs, followed us on Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter, joined the conversation and become friends over the years.  Here’s to more LP cover appreciation to come in 2012 and beyond!!

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Moods swing

Harry Carney and his Orchestra  “Moods For Girl and Boy”  Verve Records  (1956)  Reissue of Clef MGC 640 entitled “Harry Carney With Strings” (1954)   Ray Nance (tp, violin) Tony Miranda (frh) Jimmy Hamilton (cl, ts) Harry Carney (bars, bcl) Leroy Lovett (p) Billy Bauer (g) Wendell Marshall (b) Louis Bellson (d) unidentified strings

Harry Carney (1910 -1974)  began his professional musical career at the age of 13, playing clarinet and later the alto and baritone saxophone in Boston bands. Among his childhood friends were Johnny Hodges and Charlie Holmes, with whom he visited New York in 1927. Carney played at the Savoy Ballroom with Fess Williams before joining Duke Ellington, who was about to play in the young musician’s home town. When this engagement was over Carney left for a tour with Ellington, who had taken on the role of guardian. The job with Ellington lasted until Duke’s death 47 years later. Shortly after joining Ellington, Carney was persuaded to play alto saxophone, but soon gravitated to the baritone, an instrument he proceeded to make his own. Carney’s rich sonority became an essential element in Ellington’s tonal palette and for decades listeners gloried in the full-throated lower register which, in a band brimming with individualists, had a character all its own.

Nevertheless, despite his virtuosity on the baritone, Carney would take up the clarinet on frequent occasions to show he was truly a master of the reed instruments. Carney’s relationship with Ellington transcended that of musician and leader; he was Ellington’s confidante and for decades he drove the Duke from gig to gig. The closeness of their relationship was underlined by Carney when he said: ‘It’s not only been an education being with him, but also a great pleasure. At times I’ve been ashamed to take the money.’ After Ellington’s death, at the end of May 1974, Carney said, ‘Without Duke I have nothing to live for.’ He died a little over four months later.  – Verve Records Bio

Here’s a Jim Flora drawing from 1995 of The Duke and Harry Carney:

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (41 votes, average: 3.51 out of 5)
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Don’t get around much anymore

Here are two cover variations for “Night Out Music for Stay-At-Homes”   A nice compilation by Coral recording artists Nat King Cole, Billy Taylor, Errol Garner, etc.   Either one works for me.   Blonde or brunette, obviously staying at home means slipping into something comfortable.     One has company too.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (37 votes, average: 3.84 out of 5)
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Minor threat

“Quiet Music”   (Volume 6)   “Relaxing with Cugat”   Easy Listening For Your Relaxation   Columbia Records   Maybe its me, but this sure looks like a scary scene.       I can imagine this on the cover of a lurid 50’s pulp mag or paperback novel.   Should be called “Quiet, Or Else!, Music” or “Music for a Date Rape”.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (52 votes, average: 3.88 out of 5)
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“I get that cake or this cat’s a goner”

Happy Songs (For Happy Kids & Kittens)     The Hollywood Orchestra and singers   Tops Records

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (45 votes, average: 3.42 out of 5)
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Ain’t nothing like the real thing

“Music to Sell the Real Thing By … and Other Hits from Ken-L Foods!”     A 1961 “industrial” record put out by advertising agency giant J. Walter Thompson for the K-L Ration dog food manufacturer to get their sales force pumped up to sell, sell, sell.     Here are original songs written to inspire company tail draggers and motivate those who made their living one can of dog food at a time.     Promotional tools and brand prosthelytizing to a bouncy beat.

This is FALSE ADVERTISING.   After listening to this, there’s very little bounce here or any music at all!   The hushed, sexy female voice (“Miss Monologue”?) with her sexual innuendo and double-entendres is very strange in counterpoint to the all-business marketing exec trying to get his dry message across.     (Her: “You’re a big boy now” – Him: “A figure of speech honey”)   This is just terrible.   Like eating dog food!

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (51 votes, average: 3.57 out of 5)
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Drive, he said

“Music While You Drive”   Listening to music while you drive can be perfect.   With the windows rolled up or the top rolled down, sometimes music just sounds best in your automobile.   Crank the volume and the outside world becomes a silent background to the songs.

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (47 votes, average: 3.17 out of 5)
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“Fairy tales can come true, it can happen to you…”

“Music For Those Who Think Young”   Startime Records for Pepsi

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (42 votes, average: 3.57 out of 5)
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In the playground of my mind

“Music From a Millionaires’ Playground”   EMI Records

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (61 votes, average: 4.02 out of 5)
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For the birds

“Music To Lure Pigeons By”   The Night Pastor and Seven Friends   Claremont Records

1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (51 votes, average: 3.51 out of 5)
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