February 2012 Archives

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Winding down the gramophone

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Last day for spinning these 78s from the CBC shelves.. I've had some wonderful feedback so I might try to do something like this again before the library shuts down for good at the end of March.

All female vocalists starting with Kathryn Grayson, Jo Stafford, Peggy Lee, Helen Carroll and finishing up with Georgia Carr.

I'm on vacation until March 5th - so Alya Ramadan will be doing the show from Kelowna next week.

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'Round the world in 78 rpms

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All songs from 78 rpm records about places this morning...

Oscar Peterson, Stan Kenton, The McGuire Sisters, Winifred Atwell and her piano and Dick "High Pants" Contino takes us to Spain, Italy, Ecuador, London and Spain again.

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Revolutions per minute

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Half-way through our week of playing 78s, chosen from the shelves of the CBC record library here in Vancouver, before it closes and I can't do this kind of thing again.

Since it's Ash Wednesday, I'll play The Lyric Singers for Rhonda in West Vancouver - then for the people in the Delta and Richmond areas, a tune by the great Paul Robeson.

Then it's down to Kansas with Ray McKinley, and then off to Nova Scotia for Alberta Slim with Clover Lane.

And we finish up with a little cowboy doo-wop by Bob Wills and his Texas Playboys.

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Tweet and toot

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More 78s as we continue our week-long salute to the CBC Vancouver library closing...

It starts with an original song by Sir Noel Coward, and then things start to quickly spiral into novelty and children's records! 

Tunes from Gayla Peevey, Mel Blanc, Spike Jones and his City Slickers... and since we wrapped up on Monday with Gene Krupa, today we have Cozy Cole's band (more about him at Drummerworld.com).

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Goodbye to love

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As you may or not know, the CBC Vancouver record library is closing down... half of the collection will be sent to the Toronto library for future digitization, the rest are going to other institutions (here's a background to why).

The ability to have thousands of tracks at my digital disposal is a handy tool, but there are other advantages to having a physical library that I will certainly miss.  In a perfect world, I could have both.

Besides missing John, who runs the library... I will no longer be able to just browse the shelves, which was one of my favourite parts of going to the library.  The discovery of whatever might be lurking there, or just the sheer luck of a name popping out that I hadn't thought of in a long time...I can't do that anymore.

There are still decades worth of recorded music that is not on CD, not on iTunes, and not re-released for whatever reason.  Having all of it available to me at any time was something I will dearly miss, as it also means my ability to fulfill requests will be that much more difficult.

The CDs will be the easier out of the bunch to access and some of the vinyl, but for the 45s and the 78s, that's a different story.

So, this week I've gone down to the CBC Vancouver shelves where the 78's are stored:

And chosen a stack to play this week... no digital removal of pops, clicks or surface noise - just good ol' vinyl sound, and today I've got platters from The Three Suns, Whistlin' Ronnie, Ella Mae Morse, Singin' and Swingin' with Sammy Kaye and finally Gene Krupa with his Orchestra.

By the way, the paper sleeves on these discs are just as old as the records (some going back to the early 1900's) and often fall apart as you touch them.  The dust from these sleeves is also getting into the grooves, making them noisier.

And I'm also posting label scans of every record I play this week, so their memory will live on a little bit longer.

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RIP Dory Previn

Dory Previn died on February 14th at the age of 86.

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Znefu For Y'all

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Starting off with a song by Loreena McKennitt, who is celebrating her birthday today - requested by Rhonda in West Vancouver.

And then Penny in Vancouver mentioned a new album by the group Three Meter Day, who used to go by the name The Henrys, and now include full time member Hugh Marsh - Hugh is one of Canada's best violinists who has played with Loreena, as well as Bruce Cockburn and many others..

And then Nommeqa in Nelson asked for a Beatle tune that you don't often hear.

Have a good weekend - special week-long programming begins next week, so stay tuned!

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Easy listenin' living

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A belated request to start for Greg for Bobby Darin - and Doug in Powell River pointed me in the direction of a newish band called The Explorers Club, and the music they make doesn't sound new...

..which also inspired me to throw a little Mike Flowers Pops into the mix, and cap it off with some inspired lunacy from The Goons, going out to Jennifer in Vancouver.

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Pianos all around

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We start off with a track by conductor, pianist and composer Bramwell Tovey, who is receiving an honorary degree from UBC later this year..

...as is Buffy Sainte-Marie, and I had a call from Hope last December that the next time I play a tune from Red Box's The Circle and the Square, it should be a song Buffy wrote.

A post-Valentine's Day tune from Chloe Hall from Australia also on the show, as well as Catherine McKinnon, who had the top album on the contemporary charts for Flag Day in 1965.

And it's also the birthday of Henry E. Steinway, maker of fab pianos... and to help celebrate, Crazy Otto.

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You gotta have heart

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Today, a collection of Valentine's music that is not of the mushy variety... but it's not anti-love either.

Krista Detor has a Paris-ain't-what-I-thought-it'd-be type song from her album Cover Their Eyes, and The Magnetic Fields are coming to Vancouver with their sardonic anti-sappy love tunes.

Neil Young's Harvest album turns 40 today!

And one tune for those who don't like the corporatised Valentine's version... Nat King Cole.

And congrat's to Greg in Lillooet who got 15 out of 16 correct in the Valentine's Day Contest!

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The Answers:

1. Henry Mancini - A Time for Us (from Romeo and Juliet)
2. Dickie Lee - Patches
3. Pat Boone - Moody River
4. John Leyton - Johnny Remember Me
5. The Goodees - Condition Red
6. Bobby Goldsboro - Honey
7. Bloodrock - DOA
8. Jimmy Cross - I Want My Baby Back
9. J. Frank Wilson and the Caviliers - Last Kiss
10. Everly Brothers - Ebony Eyes
11. Mark Dinning - Teen Angel
12. Ray Peterson - Tell Laura I Love Her
13. Skeeter Davis - Tell Tommy I Love Him
14. Twinkle - Terry
15. The Shangri-Las - Leader of the Pack
16. The Detergents - Leader of the Laundromat

Everyone who entered will received a Certificate Of Participation, and thanks for playing along again this year.

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Save us from the ball and chain

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The news that Whitney Houston died on Saturday still in the headlines - and today on the program, going back into her musical background with tunes from her mother Cissy Houston, and her godmother Aretha Franklin.

Meanwhile, Peter Gabriel turns 62 today...and still keeping in the British artrock vein - XTC's English Settlement album turned 30 years old yesterday.

And as an interesting sidenote, head over to George Merrill and Shannon Rubicam's website (aka Boy Meets Girl) for the demo version of "I Wanna Dance With Somebody" [mp3]

Answers and the winner of the Valentine's contest announced tomorrow morning!

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Tra-la-la Friday!

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Birthday today for the great Larry Adler, passed away in 2001...

And another track from Kris Delmhorst's Cars cover album, and a brand-new track from Torontonian-now-in-Nashville's Adlai Waxman.

And Tarry emailed in about Hockey Day in Canada tomorrow (warning: that link will take you to a hockey site), asking for a not-often-played-tune about hockey by Stan Rogers.

And look who's here to take you into the weekend!

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Gumboot Cloggeroo

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We begin with the calming "Spiegel im Spiegel" written by Arvo Part, and a lovely performance by Angele Dubeau with La Pieta.

Noticed the Juno noms the other day, and my fave Francophone album by Caracol was not on the list, but does have a Genie nomination, and I wanted to play another track from it anyway..

And happy birthday to Mr. Stompin' Tom Connors!

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Don't Walk Past

It's a bit late, but the latest podcast is available now... download, subscribe or iTunes-it, featuring the big hit from 80 new-wavers Blue Peter.

Here's the video too... sort of like David Byrne locked in a Peter Gabriel video:

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Nirvana Day

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...that's a Nirvana in the Buddhist sense, not the band (or the other one)

And the music today kind of fits that sense of Nirvana in different ways - starting with a tune by Sharlene Wallace, a harpist from Ontario that was in Vancouver last year for the Harpist Convention.  The sound of the harp is usually associated with calmness..

And so is Kite Flying Day!  And the Free Design lift your spirits with their voices..

...and just when I start the get all new-agey, Ernie and Bert find enjoyment in Clinky and Clonking, as it is the 75th birthday of Joe Raposo, the man who wrote so many timeless songs like "Bein' Green", "ABCDEFG", "Would You Like To Buy An O?", "Sing"... all the great Sesame Street Songs (and the music to "Three's Company").

And Joe was also a big fan of Spike Jones, and I'll never miss an opportunity to get him on the show.

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David Coperfield with one "P" by Edmund Wells

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Charles Dickens turns 200 today, and thanks to Doug in Powell River who sent me a note yesterday (before Google told everyone), and requested something from the most musical memory he has of the writer... Oliver!

Plus Australian Shelley Harland has completed demos for her next album and is looking for help from her fanbase to record it, and another cut from the excellent album One Tree Less by British songwriter Judie Tzuke.

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As the Queen celebrates her Diamond Jubilee today, I've got some music by the recent recipient of the Queen's Medal for Music... oboist and conductor Nicholas Daniel.

Then I haven't played much from Leonard Cohen's new one, so we hear something from that and today is the late Kate McGarrigle's birthday.

It's also the birthday of the late Thurl Ravenscroft, who had one of the best voices in the business, working for Disney, "You're a Mean One, Mr. Grinch", the voice of Tony the Tiger and lots more to learn about him at this website All Things Thurl.

And the Valentine's Contest is up and running!  You have until February 13th to enter.

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Three stars

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February 3rd, the Day the Music Died in 1959.

Tomorrow marks the 35th anniversary of one of the most popular rock records... Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

And Ladysmith Black Mambazo are touring BC in March!

Oh, and all the details of the Extremely Difficult Earlier Valentine Day Contest 2012 will be announced on Monday!

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Shine on

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Lori Cullen is on the podcast this week (download, subscribe or iTunes) - you get an original of hers on the pod, and on the program a cover of a gorgeous Judee Sill song, with horns arranged by Chris Dedrick of the Free Design.

Then Gerry wrote in for a song about Alberta's first black cowboy John Ware (who is getting a stamp for Black History Month), written and performed by Diamond Joe White.  And here's an interview with Diamond Joe White from the afternoon show in Calgary:

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Two birthdays today, the late Stan Getz would've been 85... covering a tune written by Graham Nash, who turns 70.

And the host and creator of Soul Train Don Cornelius died yesterday, and here's the video of the rare apperance of Don on the Soul Train line:

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Welcome to February

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Hmm... I see by the discussion at the Earlier Umbraphile Facebook group page that Norman is getting geared up for the annual Extremely Difficult Earlier Valentine's Day Contest!  What will it be this year?  Stay tuned..

Meanwhile, February is Cherry Month... and so begins with the traditional song of the Cherry Blossom (the other one, not Perez Prado, not yet anyway) performed by James Hill and Anne Davison.

Then a request came in from Arielle for the music of her late friend Laura Allan, who died from cancer in 2008 - I had not heard Laura's music before, but I'm very thankful for Arielle introduced me to it.  Her albums are extremely difficult to find, and there are only a handful of pages about her online but I'm hoping more interest in her music will change that.

And speaking of being taken too soon, Laura Branigan died in 2004 at the age of 47 and I'm playing a rare b-side that Laura wrote (she didn't get to record many of her songs in the part of her career).

It's Don Everly's 75th birthday today (Phil turned 73 two weeks ago), so of course I have some Everly Brothers, and Newt Gingrich getting sued by the band Survivor made me turn to my Big Daddy record collection...

And also Black History Month begins, and the great Count Basie and his Orchestra have another "cherry" selection for you.