Thursday, January 16, 2020

The Silver and Gold - University of Colorado (1938)


Scored a small stack of 1938 The Silver and Gold issues, the University of Colorado-Boulder student newspaper, at a recent estate sale. Of course, you know me, I immediately dug in to see if I could find anything music related.

As evident by the ads below, the popular music genre of 1938 was a new pre-WWII sound called swing. Tommy Dorsey, Rudy Vallee, Dolly Dawn, and later, former University of Colorado alumn, Glenn Miller would have been on most college campus turntables. As evident by these few papers, campus formals, with bandleader orchestras, were common. I've also added the #1 national Hit Parade magazine songs, of these particular weeks, to give you a feel of that time period:

(click on pictures, to enlarge)

January 7, 1938:
#1 Hit Parade Song "Once in a While" - Tommy Dorsey 

 
Bay & Nickols ("for Popular and Classical Music")
2017 12th Street
Apparently this was an early Boulder record store.
The location (12th and Pleasant) is now a parking lot.

 
The Buffalo Club
"Dance to the Music of Westerberg-Durnell"
Club was owned by James Marshall
The Buffalo Club was located on 13th Street, and was there through at least 1940 (later becoming the Anchorage). It's now home to the Fox Theatre.

January 11, 1938:

 
ASUC ("Associated Students University of Colorado") Dance
Music by the Emmett Ryder Orchestra (pictured below) and Robert Lee Holloway.

 

January 14, 1938

 
Pete Smythe and his Orchestra
Before Pete became a well-known Denver TV personality, he was a band leader. He graduated CU-Boulder, in 1934, and fronted the band the Whiz Bang Four, which morphed in the Pete Smythe Orchestra. Three years, after this particular concert (above) he went on to his first disc jockey job, as the host of "Meet The Boys in the Band," on KMYR.
The Canon Park Nite Club was located about a mile from the Boulder city limits (which was then a "dry" alcohol town, until 1967). 

 
1938 Junior Promenade
George Hamilton and his Music Box Machine
(George Hamilton was the father of the actor, George Hamilton)

January 18, 1938:
 #1 Hit Parade song: "Rosalie" - Sammy Kaye

 
 
Lewis Frazier Orchestra

 
Joe Cook and his Orchestra

 
(Postcard of the Joe Cook Orchestra - courtesy of the Longmont Museum)

February 11, 1938:

 
St. Valentine's Day Law School Formal
Matt Kramer and his Orchestra

 
Barb Formal
Robert Lee and his Swinging Violins

February 18, 1938:
#1 Hit Parade Song: "Bei Mir Bist Du Shon" - Andrews Sisters


 
Wally Wallace and Al Menke playing at the 
Engine Ball
 Al Menke was a popular big band band leader, from Minnesota. 

February 25, 1938:

 
Buffalo Club
Dance to the Music of Red Gray and Band





Monday, January 13, 2020

Elk Bugles - Show 19

 

Hodgepodge episode today, as I play the latest obscure Colorado vinyl finds, discovered in Denver-area thrift stores and at the last Denver and Colorado Springs record shows! Very diverse episode, to say the least!



You Say - Fogcutters


No Name - The Lawmen


Here I Am in Denver - Crystal River Band


Revolution's Dream - Parker Quartet


Psychotic Reaction - Sequel


Sail Away - Fairview High School


Tomorrow is a Long Time - Patti Taylor Singers 

 
Unknown Recording - Rocky Mountain Radio Council


Muscrat Ramble - Action Brass


Steppin' Out - Doug Duggan and Family Jam


Ballad of Highlands Ranch - Joe Bob Mundell


A Good Man is Hard to Find - Tetra Chords


Tag-A-Long - Julie D'Anne


Tell Them - Dianne Bascom


Trees - Duncan Tuck


Dancing - Steve Sajich


Rosewood Bitters - Michael Stanley


No Credit - Joey Buffalo and Sonics

Thursday, January 9, 2020

Silver Slipper Saloon owner Lanning Likes (1944-2019)


So yesterday, I'm doing my normal ritual - hitting up the estate sales in town, when I drive up to a wonderful two story home, near downtown Denver. The line was stretched around the front, which is always a good sign.


What caught me as odd, as soon as I walked in, I found several pieces of memorabilia, from the Silver Slipper Saloon, in Central City. Then, I noticed a huge stack of records, all from artists who had some connection to the Gilpin County town.


So I'm immediately thinking, "Is this the estate sale of someone who had something to do with the Silver Slipper?" I Googled the address, and did a bit of detective work, and discovered I was in the former home of Lanning Likes, the owner and operator of the bar, from 1968-1978, and who passed away, last summer.


According to his obituary, Mr. Likes was born in Lamar, in 1944, to Dr. Edwin C. Likes and Juanita Likes.  After graduating from Lamar High School in 1962, he attended college at Tulane University and Southern California University, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from the University of Denver. He began studying for a law degree but stopped just short, to start his own business - as owner and operator of the Silver Slipper Saloon in Central City.

After he left the Saloon, in 1978, he moved to Denver, where he became a licensed stockbroker.

Among the stack of records, I found this tape of the original Silver Slipper musical opening (sadly, my reel-to-reel player died, so I can't supply audio, at this time. Will post when I get it dubbed off).


Several Colorado singers performed in Central City, while Mr. Likes was the Slipper's owner, and he had apparently kept copies of their vinyl recordings. I found a large stack of an Ozie Waters picture sleeve single, even I had never seen, the Verne Partlow-penned, "Old Man Atom." This re-recorded single was originally released, by Ozie, on the Coral label, in 1950. The single below features Harvey Gosman on fiddle, and Gill Blagg on bass (it also appears on Ozie's Central City Favorites albums, which were recorded at the Silver Slipper).

I bought the entire batch.


Waters, who was a cowboy movie star. and Denver TV personality, was a regular Central City performer. He also recorded the albums, Central City Favorites.  He was later elected town marshal.  He passed away in 1978, in Central City.


 Photo of Ozie Waters, outside the Silver Slipper Saloon 
(click on picture to see the original menu, in the window, which is also pictured at the estate sale)

Around that same time, CD Draper was a regular at Earl's Toll Gate - another Central City area hangout.  Among the estate sale collection, I found a stack of Curtain Call records, (CD Draper's homemade label) including those by Joe Diamond and Lois Lane.

 

While I didn't need to duplicate the albums being offered at the sale, there was also an impressive offering of Central City-related albums, including those by Draper, The Gilded Garter house band Band on the Bar Room Floor, and two Ozie Waters LPs.


Interesting note, on the CD Draper LP, CD Draper Featuring Crisser, Tom Likes (Lanning's brother) is listed as percussionist. 

According to David Forsyth, the executive director and curator of the Gilpin County Historical Society, the Silver Slipper changed hands, after Mr. Likes left, and eventually closed, in the 1990s (the building is now part of the Bonanza casino. The original Silver Slipper mural, shown in the Lanning Likes picture at the top of the blog, is still there). 

My thanks to the Likes family, for keeping these records safe, and allowing them to be purchased, so they may be preserved. 

Monday, January 6, 2020

Dianne Bascom - "Funky soft rock track...great breaks!"


Took a day to visit a record digging city I had never visited before, Greeley. The Colorado vinyl was pretty sparse, but before I left town, I hit up the local ARC thrift, where I found a large stack of state-made, faith-based albums.

You all know that I'm not one to leave any private Colorado record on a shelf, no matter the genre, so I gathered up my 16 (!!) religious/church albums, and headed back down, to D-Town.

Got home and, one by one, put them on the turntable. Yeah, you can guess, they were all pretty much Happy Goodman-style, religious fare... that is, until I put the needle on Dianne Bascom, and her album I'd Rather Have Jesus.

I was immediately taken by the fact that this wasn't your typical nails-on-a-chalkboard, off-key female soprano, screeching her way through your standard-issue choir book song (trust me, I have lots of those).


But as pleasant as that cut was, I was not prepared for the surprising funky guitar breaks on the track "Tell Them."


And apparently I'm not the only one who digs this cut. In 2019, a copy of this album sold for $40, on eBay, with the seller stating: "Very rare self release / private label LP...funky soft rock track with nice drum / bass & a great wah pedal guitar that starts mid song & ends with it as well. Great breaks!"

As is usually the case, little is known about this LP, which was recorded at Applewood Studios, in Golden. The producer (and the funky guitarist) is Randy Gipson, of the Colorado Springs-based Gipsons, who recorded the Television Anniversary Album - Vol. 1, in 1972.



Randy and his brothers would go on to record the LP, Heavy on Gospel (which I also found on my Greeley dig, but was apparently used to sharpen knives, so I can't add an audio sample).


Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Tracking Santa... NORAD style



While the North American Aerospace Defense Command is best known scanning for incoming nukes (and making umpteen LPs, featured on this blog), it also has a special mission each Christmas season - tracking Santa Claus, deep from the depths of Cheyenne Mountain, in Colorado Springs.

 The story goes that, back in 1948, the United States Air Force issued a communique claiming that an "early warning radar net to the north" had detected one unidentified sleigh, powered by eight reindeer. The news wire service picked up the report, and ran it as an ongoing news story. Supposedly, seven years later, a child, trying to reach Santa Claus on a hotline number provided in a Sears advertisement, misdialed the number and instead called NORAD (then known as the Continental Air Defense Command). The government, seizing on a public relations opportunity, made tracking Santa, an annual tradition. When the North American Air Defense Command was renamed the North American Aerospace Defense Command in 1981, it began publicizing a hotline number for the general public to call to get updates on Santa Claus's progress.


NORAD now has a very cool on-line tracking site, 
where you can see where Santa is, at any given time - HERE


Dug through my Colorado record stash and found a great copy of an actual 1968 Santa tracking 45. 


Found this 1971 NORAD Tracks Santa LP (Century 71138), earlier this year. The album, voiced by Air Force Master Sgt. Lee Mosley, also includes an entire side of songs, performed by the NORAD Commanders musical group, and a recitation of the story "The Littlest Angel," performed by Major Derek Stannard, Canadian Forces.