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MUSIC AND RECORDINGS

FIRST-EVER "BEST OF" ALBUMS FROM THE GOLDEN RECORDS VAULTS
Blog, Music
Posted on Jul 04 2009 by Greg

This Tuesday, Shout! Factory releases some real treasures from the long-out-of-print Golden Records catalog, some never heard in the last 60 years...
YOUR GOLDEN CHILDHOOD:
THE BEST OF LITTLE GOLDEN RECORDS,
VOLUMES 1 & 2

Remember Little Golden Records? Yellow 78's with a distinctive sound. Also on 45's and LPs but rarely on CD and totally out of print for years.



Be on the lookout for Volume One and Volume Two "best of" albums called YOUR GOLDEN CHILDHOOD featuring Shari Lewis, Mighty Mouse (Andy Kaufman's version), Popeye, Roy Rogers, Dale Evans, Jimmy Durante, baseball's Mel Allen, Cliff "Jiminy Cricket" Edwards & more. 28 songs in all, many for the 1st time in 50 years.

Just a few of the precious gems aglow on the two volumes:
The fantastic Jimmy Carroll version of "Carousel Waltz" never before on CD and a version unlike any other.
A totally different version of "Give a Little Whistle" recorded for Golden by Cliff Edwards.
Roy Rogers and Dale Evans singing the song later made famous by Pebbles and Bamm-Bamm on The Flintstones.
A moving rendition of "Hi Lili, Hi-Lo" by Shari Lewis.
The definitive "Popeye the Sailor Man" that Robin Williams duplicated note-for-note in the movie.
Rosemary Clooney's sister Betty singing "Fuzzy Wuzzy."
Mel Allen "calling the game" when Casey went to the bat.
Art Carney, at the height of "Honeymooners" success, singing Frank Loesser's "The Ugly Duckling."
The Rita Williams Singers' London stereo version of "On Top of Spaghetti" conducted by Vic Flick -- who was the guitarist on the immortal James Bond Theme. (Rita, for you Brits, sang on a lot of those Woolworth's pop knock-offs of the 50s and 60s.)



I have to add a mea culpa caveat to those of you who are more expert than me in some of the facts in the notes; that may by Roy Halee and not Tom Morrison singing for Mighty Mouse as listed, I'm not sure if those are the ball players in the chorus of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame, and yes, that IS Paul Tripp singing the "Tubby The Tuba" song. Because of time constraints, some little nits are present, but please if you will focus on the magnificent big picture of so many mini-masterpieces.

Audio riches to be sure.







Disney's ONE LITTLE INDIAN soundtrack album released
Music
Posted on Apr 16 2009 by Greg
Remember this Disney movie with James Garner and Vera Miles that was released with Lady and the Tramp in the '70s? The soundtrack album was released as a limited edition by Intrada.






2009 -- THE YEAR OF PETULA!
Music
Posted on Jan 12 2009 by Greg



The heavenly Petula Clark graces several notable new DVD and CD releases this year. I found the best prices for her Portrait of Petula 1969 TV special DVD and the new Open Your Heart: A Collection of Love Songs CD (with 11 unreleased tracks) here on Deep Discount (with free shipping). We have Collectors' Choice Music to thank for these two releases, though, whose recent catalog proclaims, "Petula Clark ROCKS!"



Plus, the lavish 1969 musical adaptation of Goodbye Mr. Chips starring Peter O'Toole and Ms. Clark finally makes it DVD bow on Jan. 27. Deep Discount and amazon both have good prices. The soundtrack album was released some time ago on a mammoth CD package (music & lyrics by Leslie Bricusse, conducted by John Williams, both Oscar nominated for this score).



Goodbye Mr. Chips fell at the tail end of the 1960s parade of large-scale, lengthy musicals that would hopefully would be hits like Mary Poppins, The Sound of Music, West Side Story, Oliver! and My Fair Lady. Chips was not a big smash but was a wondrous showcase for the pairing of Clark & O'Toole, both of whom were acclaimed for their performances. (One review remarked that, in the film, Ms. Clark looked like a young Mary Martin.)










THE ARCHIES RECORD THEIR FIRST ALBUM IN ALMOST 40 YEARS!
Music
Posted on Dec 12 2008 by Greg

Ron Dante, the original singing voice behind the number one song of 1969, "Sugar, Sugar," and all of the other Archies megahits, performs on multiple tracks as if the last four decades never happened -- with Danielle van Zyl and Kelly-Lynn singing for Betty and Veronica (the great Toni Wine, who sang for them on many of the original records, is touring with Tony Orlando and she'll most likely be at Epcot this May when Tony returns).



In addition to all-time holiday pop hits like "Jingle Bell Rock" and the Springsteen-style "Santa Claus is Coming to Town," this new CD features two new songs: "Archie's Christmas Party" and "Christmas in Riverdale." And sitting in for Jughead on drums for this album is none other than Keith Thibodeaux, who played Little Ricky on I Love Lucy!

This album is available on the official Archie Comics site and at Ron Dante's website (he has other great CDs available as well). By the way, Ron's a Disney fan too, and has been spotted at Disneyana conventions.










CAROL BURNETT BRINGS BACK THE STORYTELLER RECORD
Music
Posted on Nov 08 2008 by Greg
During the early days of Disneyland Records, the Storyteller series presented story and songs from movies with a narrator taking the role of one of the characters.

Sometimes it would be an actual cast member, like Cliff Edwards narrating Pinocchio as Jiminy Cricket and Buddy Hackett on The Love Bug LP, or a "second cast" narrator (Darlene Gillespie as Alice, Dal McKennon as Bagheera, Bert or Emelius Browne; Ginny Tyler as Little Boy Blue, Robie Lester as Mayo and Mike Sammes as George the Alligator from, respectively, Alice in Wonderland, The Jungle Book, Mary Poppins, Bedknobs and Broomsticks, Babes in Toyland, The One & Only, Genuine, Original Family Band and The Happiest Millionaire Storytellers). In most cases, the narrator would basically use narration to link the songs, which often featuring a different performer singing in the same role.



Well, on the recent Annie 30th Anniversary double-disc album, disc two features Carol Burnett narrating the story from the ill-fated Broadway music Annie 2, since it is likely the only way most of us would experience the musical. She narrates as Miss Hannigan, whom she played in the 1982 movie version and her performance harkens back to the best of the golden age Storyteller albums. (The CD even includes a storybook inside retelling the first Annie story.)

Annie lyricist Martin Charnin introduces all this on disc two, interrupting at one point to explain three songs with the same melody but with vastly different lyrics, sung by the three "Annies" who alternated played the role in the sequel musical.

Disc two also includes three additional Annie songs, the last of which comes from a holiday TV special and sung for this album by four "Annies" (Andrea McArdle, Kathryn Zaremba, Amanda Balon and Marissa O'Donnell) and four "Hannigans" (Carol Burnett, Sally Struthers, Kathie Lee Gifford and Alene Robertson)

And that's just what's on disc two. Disc one contains the complete original Annie score by the national touring company, including Conrad John Schuck (Law & Order SVU, Holmes & Yoyo, McMillan & Wife, The Munsters Today) as Warbucks. It's the most elaborate recording of Annie ever recorded, and this one disc would have been plenty enough to satisfy the average enthusiast, but master Broadway cast album producer Robert Sher doesn't settle for the expected, he pushes to offer listeners and fans the maximum possible, and thus spent many months putting this album together throughout the country and the world.

One other Disney note: the cover and interior storybook and notes are illustrated by Philo Barnhart, veteran animator for Disney, Hanna-Barbera, Filmation and Bluth, all in the style of Little Orphan Annie creator Harold Gray.











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