Sinatra Capitol LPs – the Grey Label search

Original Capitol grey label first pressings of Sinatra in MONO

The Sinatra Obsession

The Fascination become an obsession. Through reading avidly on the Steve Hoffman forums ( he remasters for Capitol) where such matters are discussed in immense detail I have come to an understanding of the following…..

The best MONO pressings of Sinatra’s fifties Capitol recordings are those issued on the grey labels as above. Finding mint copies of these items is almost impossible as the ceramic cartridges of players back in the day wore the vinyl to shreds..mostly..but occasionally I come across them and see if I got lucky. Yesterday I found three Sinatras on grey and a lovely Judy Garland Lp ‘Alone’ (see below) . The Garland has obvious wear and all the Sinatras are not pristine although they are all playable. I also have later stereo versions of Come Fly With me (1962 Alan Dell stereo RP 1984 ) and Songs for Young Lovers ( Capitol Orange label 1970s RP again stereo).

Sinatra recording Only The Lonely – Note tall stand hard right is one of the two tall stereo mics the rest of mics are MONO ones close ups for the instruments. The feeds went to two separate control rooms to tape.

I did a brief comparison playing the MONO on a mono deck and stereo on stereo and sure enough all the comments true. Ignoring a good deal of wear surface noise it was obvious that the recordings indeed of the same performance but from different mic and tapes as it was the practice with these early stereo experiments to mic stereo high in the gods on booms right/left and close mic drums etc with more mics for mono mix. On Come Fly With Me the difference striking with real kick bass to the drums that simply nothere on the ‘brighter’ stereo recording.

The definitive descriptions of these events are here along with hand drawn descriptions of the microphone placements.

http://www.11fifty.com/Site_108/Welcome_Sinatra_Cole.html

Also there is a book about his recording sessions here:


https://issuu.com/cmjw24/docs/charles_l._granata_-_sessions_with_

Three slightly worn Sinatra Greys.

So having fallen into the rabbit hole of detailed recording techniques what next….for now I have an awful lot of Sinatra to get through….then Nat King Cole….

Differences…the Mono -Stereo illustration change…

Frank looks left then….
Frank looks right…

Frank also lost a track as the Kipling family ( the writer not cakes!) objected to his setting of the Road to Mandalay on Come Fly With me so it was substituted in the UK and did not reappear (it was substituted with a track from LP above) until 1984 Dell reissue.

Open Country – The crazy CBS/Sunday Times triple LP sampler 1972

 

I picked up this insane triple album in Nottingham for a pound…i.e. 33 1/3p per disc 🙂 The image is a woman with plastic animals all over…mad but reminds me of the later Loose early compilation below:-)

It is a Sunday Times offer from 1972 in collaboration with CBS so content and vinyl quality very good.

It all CBS related acts so you get The Byrds, Johnny Cash, Carter Family etc etc.

Amazing selection which fully listed on the discogs page.

https://www.discogs.com/Various-Open-Country/release/5140579

I paid the going rate it seems £1.99 so not a collector’s item but nice none the less.

Pete Pawsey and Burnt Paw – JamCafe Nottingham 28th December 2017

I have not written a review in many years.

In fact the last attempt was the first blog post on this website back in October 2015 when I saw Ron Sexsmith play a lovely solo set at the Glee Club Nottingham.

Last Thursday an old music journalism friend Pete Pawsey was over from North Carolina and supported by Burnt Paw (Andrew Green) played a lovely set of traditional folk and blues material.

I celebrated this by getting my old reviews notebook out (see images below) this pretty much ended in 2004 when I passed Flyinshoes Review on to Rob Ellen and I pleased to say it still going strong 😉

http://flyinshoes.ning.com

This the Burnt Paw/ Pete Pawsey entry including Burnt Paw drawing which he gives out to audience at his gigs..

 

both performances were excellent and I have a video of Pete doing stirling renditions of Randy Newman’s ‘Birmingham’ and his own ‘Yesterday’s Clothes’ which I hope to post in due course with his permission.

Listen to more Burnt Paw here https://burntpaw.bandcamp.com/

His songs were arcane americana themed with a real feel for Jansch/Renbourn/Davey and lashings of Fahey but most of all he reminded me of a similar wandering spirit Michael Chapman.

Pete Pawsey and Radar’s Clowns of Sedation here  https://www.reverbnation.com/radarsclownsofsedation   

Pete played some lovely Randy Newman and Tom Waits/Nick Cave covers interspersed with some well written own tunes especially ‘Yesterday’s Clothes’.

A few hours of backwoods mysticism in a chilly and almost dead post-Christmas Nottingham was a joy to witness.

Meanwhile here photos from the gig.

Joe South – Midnight Rainbows

Bargain of the year! This almost mint copy of Joe South’s second to last album from 1975 cost me 50p.

I have seen cover many times over the years but never investigated further.

Once I put it on the deck I realised it a keeper. There a very full and beautifully written eulogy to the man here:

http://deeprootsmag.org/2012/09/11/for-all-he-gave-and-for-giving-his-all/ 

This says all you need to know about his career going back to the late 1950s. I never knew he played bass on Blonde on Blonde nor that he was such a rated guitarist and was experimenting with guitar techniques and hacks way back. A new hero.

The album is astonishing and indeed Nillson and Beatlesque in its depth and variety. He had spent four years ‘missing’ following the suicide of his brother and this album was some kind of a comeback. From the sitar playing on the famous Games People Play he had been an innovator but I still unprepared for just how good this LP is.

It made me pull out a See for Miles reissue of his first album Introspect. I also found a double CD rip of the two later albums Games People Play and Joe South. All highly recommended..Southern Roots at its best.

Here the man himself on youtube in 1969 TV appearance..

 

DISCOGS PAGE : https://www.discogs.com/artist/325103-Joe-South

Chuck Berry re-takes on Mercury 1966

 

If you see this mid-price compilation from Spain from 1967 grab it as it is a re-badging of the Mercury Studios 1966 re-takes session Berry did when he swapped labels moving from Chess to Mercury (Fontana over here).

Original Mercury album cover from states

The session involved :

  • Chuck Berry – guitar, vocals
  • Ebby Hardy – drums
  • Johnnie Johnson – piano, electric piano
  • Quincy Macon – rhythm guitar
  • Eugene Washington – drums

They hit the hits at quite a lick and all in all it a feisty reinterpretation of the Chess standards with one new track Club Nitty Gritty that came out as the first mercury single and hence very rare.

 

More info on the Mercury Releases here : http://www.crlf.de/ChuckBerry/mercury.html

My particular favourite is the take on Roll Over Beethoven which almost punk like in its speed and intensity. The whole session sounds one-take live throughout. Leadbitter and Slaven’s Blues Records 1943-1970 states it recorded Clayton Mo, Oct/Nov 1966.

 

Full track listing:

Side one

  1. “Sweet Little Sixteen” (2:32)
  2. “Memphis” (2:07)
  3. “School Days (Ring Ring Goes the Bell)” (2:35)
  4. “Maybellene” (2:35)
  5. “Back in the U.S.A.” (2:27)

Side two

  1. “Johnny B. Goode” (2:45)
  2. “Rock and Roll Music” (2:33)
  3. “Roll Over Beethoven” (2:02)
  4. “Thirty Days” (2:10)
  5. “Carol” (2:24)
  6. “Club Nitty Gritty” (2:18)

Ramblin Jack Elliott and Trailer Star

I always had a soft spot for Ramblin Jack Elliott (born Elliot Adnopoz in Brooklyn yes the original Jewish Beat Cowboy before Zimmerman 🙂 ) not only because of the obvious Dylan connection but because the early Topic LPs are beautifully designed especially the drawn ones which I copied for Trailer Star’s fake album Suit of Nettles. Spot the influence…

The artist on these Topic albums (I also have a beautiful Sarah Ogun Gunning album of the  same period) was probably the same artist but I cannot trace who it is at all.

The Elliotts have what appears to be a signature but Bosard C my best guess comes up with nothing ..

This my collection so far as Ramblin Jack has 50 releases a way to go…

In situ Lincoln 2008..note the influences..

 

 

 

 

 

Eve of Destruction – Barry Maguire

maguire

Do not know where or when I picked this up. Probably bought for the cover and a little familiarity with the title track. Produced by Lou Adler on his own Dunhill Records which had bigger hits with the Mama and Papas and Carole King. We are firmly in ‘New Dylan’ territory and it not surprising that fellow folkie P.F.Sloan provides a couple of tracks alongside Dylan himself. The Dylan covers are polite and pleasant. The production pure Terry Melcher or CBS studio A Johnston . The stand out is this the title track. A cold war track of unending relevance even now sadly. Maguire found religion and became a major artist on The God and Jesus circuit long before Dylan found himself ironically. Overall a novelty record but worth it for a couple of nice tracks. I once had the P.F.Sloan greatest hits which overall a better album. I believe P.F.Sloan made a comeback recently just before he passed away in November 2015. Here’s the track..enjoy.

For more on Maguire see http://www.barrymcguire.com/ he a little less hair now…

sloan

P.F.Sloan OBIT: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/p-f-sloan-eve-of-destruction-songwriter-dead-at-70-20151116

Get In Get Out – Randall Bramblett

Most years the excellent Southern States magazine ‘Oxford American’ puts together a music related issue and an accompanying sampler. I was fortunate to acquire the one for 2000 but missed the rest.
cover

The compilations are wonderful and off this one the stand-out track for me was Randall Bramblett’s Get In Get Out.
A steamy bit of wordy southern funk.

The rest was just as good..almost

1. Train That Carried My Girl from Town – Doc & Merle Watson
2. Sometimes We Make You Move Your Feet – Keith Frank & the Soileau Zydeco Band
3. Back to the Crossroads – Todd Snider
4. Break My Heart – Judybats
5. I Love You – Asie Payton
6. Best in Town – Hodges Brothers & the Hi Rhythm Section
7. Louisiana 1927 – Randy Newman
8. The Seventh Son – Mose Allison
9. Get In Get Out – Randall Bramblett
10. Billy the Kid – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
11. Whatever Way the Wind Blows – Kelly Willis
12. When the Roses Bloom Again – Wilco with Billy Bragg
13. Silver Dagger – Dolly Parton
14. Leaning – Robert Mitchum & Lillian Gish
15. He’s Got You – Dean Martin
16. I Know – Kim Richey
17. Dirty Angels – Kevin Kinney
18. Southern Casey Jones – Jesse James
19. Not for the Love of You Woman – Ronnie Milsap
20. Castanets – Alejandro Escovedo
21. Can’t Stop a Train – The Derailers
22. Grievin’ My Heart Out for You – Jimmie Davis
23. Down in the River to Pray – Alison Krauss

I then found Bramblett’s 2001 CD album ‘No more Mr. Lucky’ which was not all as good as this track but a good album. It seems he has had a long career as sideman which explains why his new album from 2016 ‘Devil Music’ includes luminaries like Mark Knopler on it. I missed out on albums in between so looking forward to hearing. The new album from online previews sounds like more Get In Get Out which no bad thing.

Check out: http://randallbramblett.com/

luckyRandall-Bramblett-300x300

Souled American – The American Gothic

souledamericanpromo

Some time back in the early 1990s I picked up a cassette tape of Souled American’s ‘Fe’ album because I liked the cover. The hint of American Gothic in photo and the typeface said it was my kind of music. Published by Rough Trade (RT131) for the trainspotters. It was a fantastic early exposure to the alternative americana universe that started seeping across these shores in mid 1990s. It coinicided with my purchasing of Uncle Tupelo and early Whiskeytown records. Yet Souled American were investigating timbres from that ‘weird old america’ of Harry Smith and Doc Boggs before any of them. They went on to release a smattering of increasingly experimental albums through the 1990s. I have 1992’s ‘Sonny’ and as of tomorrow when I return to Anarchy Records will have ‘Flubber’. It is one of the strangest musical timelines ever and only McSeeeney’s obscure emporium and a handful of online critics even acknowledge their existence. The music continues to eerily fascinate. Like a backwoods proto-punk gothic back porch melodrama hoovering up old Merle Travis and Louvin Brothers tunes then slowing them down to a crawl pace Codeine and Cowboy Junkies. Listening to ‘Sonny’s’ funereal drum-less soundscapes the whole gamut of americana-noire lights up….from Will Oldham through Drunk and 16 Horsepower to Smog, health Lambchop and on…it all starts here…essential water from the well…

More Info:
http://www.sfweekly.com/sanfrancisco/the-lonesome-death-and-life-of-souled-american/

http://www.gothiccountry.se/articles/midwest/souled-american.html

http://hissgoldenmessenger.blogspot.co.uk/2008/10/notes-campfire.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camden_Joy