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DVR alert! Check your Local PBS Station

Check your local TV listings for tomorrow night, Friday – March 6, and over the next few days. My local public station is in one of its fund-raising cycles and they use some terrific music specials as their major vehicles.

This Friday (March 6) Atlanta’s PBA-30 is broadcasting Rock, Rhythm & Doo Wop, a terrific all-star show of performers from the early days of Doo Wop & Rick ‘n Roll. You will get to see the original performers do their hits from the early 50’s to the early 60’s.

This show is one of T.J. Lubinsky‘s excellent productions for public television. Yeah, there will be a few pledge breaks but, if you like this music as much as I do, you probably have to go pee a few times anyway. And consider calling in during one of those breaks to support your local station and get one of the great CD-DVD thank-you gifts in return.

There are some really great acts in this show. Little Anthony & the Imperials do three numbers, including Goin’ Out of My Head. This may be the last filmed performance with the classic foursome. Jay Black, of Jay & the Americans fame, does an unbelievable performance of Cara Mia. Jay sounds deeper, better, stronger than when he performed the same song on Shindig in the ’60s

Don’t stop watching too early. Near the end Kathy Young & the Innocents reunite do A thousand Stars. She looks wonderful! As the host, Jerry Butler, points out, she was “only fourteen years old” when she cut the original hit. Amazing! Also, Fred Parris rejoins The Satins (used to be The Five Satins) to do I’ll Remember (In the Still of the Night).

Also on the show are The Tokens. Original lead Jay Siegel (now Dr. Jay Siegel) is terrific in this performance, and most of the original Token’s appear. The only missing ingredient is Anita Darian, who sang descant on the original recording. I have always thought that Anita had the greatest voice ever pressed onto a ’45. The descant part is adequately performed here by Donna Groom, wife of the kettle-drummer.

The Greatest Voice in Rock 'n Roll

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Take a Look at Geezer Music Club

One of the music blogs I follow is Geezer Music Club (go to http://geezermusicclub.wordpress.com) which is hosted by Big Geez. It is an impressive compendium of reviews, photos, film clips and history on great performers. He has a lot of the old, as well as good info on the new and contemporary.

What prompts this mention is a piece posted by Big Geez on February 9, 2009 about one of my old favorites from the 50’s and early 60’s, Lloyd Price. Here is a brief bit of that post:

One
of the hardest-working R&B stars to come out of the New Orleans
area during the Oldies era would have to be Lloyd Price, who even today
– after more than fifty years of performing – still has a few irons in
the fire.

Growing up in nearby Kenner, young Lloyd’s education in the music of
New Orleans included everything from singing in his church choir to
hanging around the jukebox in his mother’s small restaurant. While
still in his teens, he joined with his brother Leo to form a local
musical group that eventually began to draw wider attention, and led to
a 1952 recording session — one of historical significance.

With a moonlighting Fats Domino handling the piano, Lloyd sang what
would become one of the all-time classics of New Orleans R&B music
lp“Lawdy
Miss Clawdy.” It made the young singer a star, and when he followed up
with several other good songs, including “Tell Me Pretty Baby,” and
“Ain’t It a Shame,” he appeared to be on his way to a long career.

You get the idea. This is just the start of a very informative article that includes a sound clip of “I’m Gonna Get Married,” and a video of Lloyd performing “Personality” live.

Geezer Music Club is, obviously, the product of a deep appreciation for music history coupled with a lot of very fine work. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Just don’t replace me on your list of favorites, okay?

thejazzmonger

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Radio Nostalgia

Cropped screenshot of Edgar Bergen with Charle...
Image via Wikipedia

I recently discovered a website that offers an unbelievably comprehensive catalog of Old Time Radio shows. These are available as streaming broadcasts, downloads, or on CD with multiple episodes bundled as collections in MP3 format. The Old Time Radio Catalog at http://www.otrcat.com/index.php is a huge storehouse of classics from the heydays of music, comedy and drama on the radio.

Yeah, I know that this is, ostensibly, a music blog but I am crazy about all kinds of good old stuff, and the days of lying in the floor listening to The Shadow or Fred Allen are near and dear to my old heart. This is before TV, if you you youngsters can imagine such a thing. We had a huge cabinet-style radio, about 3/4 the size of a good refrigerator. It was all tubes, had the greatest of sound and could pull in a station from 5-600 miles away if the station had enough power. When the atmosphere was right we could get WLS in Chicago; WOWO in Ft. Wayne, IN; WSM in Nashville and something out of Louisiana whose call letters I can’t remember. All this in addition to local stations within 75 miles or so of Danville, KY where I was living at the time.

We would listen to Wait Hoyt broadcast the Cincinnati Reds (or “the Redlegs” as they were still called back then). “There goes one into Burger-ville,” was Wait’s call for a home run, giving a nod to his sponsor, Burger Beer.

Gunsmoke, Dragnet and  The Lone Ranger were just a few of the radio shows that eventually migrated to TV and enjoyed great success there, too. Music, of course, was huge, along with variety shows with the likes of Edgar Bergen & Charley McCarthy, and George Burns & Gracie Allen. The Old Time Radio Catalog appears to have it all. Check out this excellent, and well-organized website.

Old Time Radio Catalog website

Old Time Radio Catalog website

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