Thursday, June 21, 2018

Heat up the Bar-B-Q with Friction

 

 Hey all! I figure, since today is the first day of summer, it's time to dust off the outdoor grill and get the coals or mesquite (or whatever your favorite cooking method is) ready for the season. And oh, the perfect song I have found...

I've had this 1985 Colorado Springs 12" single for a few years and, admittedly, I have never put a needle on it. One of those "I'll get around to it" things. Was not expecting what I heard. The Prince meets Humpty Hump and Michael Jackson vibe on this dance disc is ("Let's Go...") crazy. 


Friction
Creative Minds HM-001 (1985)

Told ya.

The group Friction included Larry Martinez, Maverick Gaither, Larry Francis, Buck Stroud, Danika Oatez, and Al Hazard. Springs engineer mastermind Tom Gregor's name also shows up (the disc was recorded at his StartSong Studios).

Vocalist Gaither, who was originally from New York, came to the Springs via a military stint at Fort Carson. He would later go on to be the lead vocalist, saxophonist, and master of ceremonies for New York Entertainment’s Central Park Orchestra, with whom he has performed since 1990. 

Happy summer! 


Saturday, June 9, 2018

Sam Bachicha Celebration


Phil Rico (left) presenting Sam Bachicha (sitting) with a commemoration, honoring his contribution to Southern Colorado music - June 1, 2018

Hey all! So eight years ago I interviewed Southern Colorado singer, Sam Bachicha, about his contribution to the area's music history. Fast forward to today, and I receive an email from fellow local musician, Thomas Lang.

"I wanted to let you know about an event, this June, honoring Sam Bachicha's much-deserved contribution to Colorado... especially the SoCo music scene."

How cool is that?

On June 1, the good people of Trinidad, including the city's mayor and other city officials, gathered together, on the porch of the Bloom Mansion, to celebrate Mr. Bachicha's talents.


According to Thomas, "It was wonderful night, as Sam and family were present, as well as our mayor and city manager. We performed "I Like Trinidad," and Mayor Rico presented an award, and a framed certificate, for Sam's contributions to the local music heritage."


My sincere thanks to Thomas Lang for sending me pictures of the event, and for sharing this news, with me.

Folks, it's easy to cast a spotlight on those national Colorado acts with the most gold records, or those with the most radio airplay, but let's not forget those bands and singers who chose to stay their hometowns. We need to start honoring those talented people who have given so much to their LOCAL communities - especially while they are still with us. Ya dig?

Hat's off to the city of Trinidad, for making sure nobody forgets Sam.








Monday, May 28, 2018

MORE HELP, PLEASE: Blue Glacier - The Ice Has Broken

 

I'm going to break the "all vinyl" rule of the blog, and spotlight an 8-track tape I found, recently, while thrifting in Denver. After I secured a player to listen to these on, I was blown away with what I was hearing - straight-up 70s hard rock. Just when I thought it couldn't get any better, a fellow collector "thought" these guys were from Colorado!

 


Is that cool, or what? Sadly, as is the case with this music format, the tape broke upon changing tracks, so I was only able to hear the first two songs (yes, I ordered some sensing foil, and hope to be back in business, hearing the rest, soon).

So dear reader, I again look to you for help. Who is Blue Glacier and where are they from?

The tape shows absolutely no clue. No information on members, locale, nothing.  Hell, these guys could be from Podunk, Alabama, and I wouldn't be the wiser, but I wouldn't be doing my due diligence without asking.  Thanks, in advance!


Thursday, May 24, 2018

MIA: Michael McGuffy


"Young Man's Blood" / "In My Soul"
Michael McGuffy
US Eagle Records 69

Hey all! Whenever I run into a roadblock with a record, I'm going to add a "missing in action" post to the blog, and open it up to anyone who might have information. I don't pretend to know everything, so I will look to you, dear reader, to fill in the holes, when I need help.

Ready?

I don't recollect when or where I acquired this single. It was this year, and I'm thinking it was in Pueblo, but when you get to be a certain age, the particulars tend to get blurry...but I digress.

Here's what I know, so far:

Michael McGuffy (I've also seen it spelled "McGuffey") was based out of Fort Collins.  According to what I learned (off the Internet) he used to teach guitar at a music studio in the Musical Arts Conservatory, there.  In 1969 (possibly 1970), he recorded this one single,  before he teamed up with Bobby St. John to form the group Utah and St. John. This was confirmed in a 1975 blurb in the Greeley Daily Tribune. I've also seen a reference to him, in the group Cunningham Corner (thank you, invaluable Lost Fort Collins)

As for the record? You know when you think a single is going to sound a certain way, just based on the title, or label art, and must admit you were completely wrong? Yeah, I had that moment. I was thinking country twanger. Holy cats, yes, I own up to my inaccurate guess.

First off, "Young Man's Blood" might be one of my favorite Colorado finds, of the year.  Yup, I'm going to gush. The single starts off as a slow, singer/songwriter psych folk loner vibe about, I'm assuming, the wartime atmosphere of the period.

"The ground is covered with young man's blood. Where is God and what happened to love?"

Then, starting at the :48 mark...wait for it, wait for it.  He slowly builds up to a heavy-on-the-electric-guitar jam that I was absolutely not expecting. WOW.


The flip side doesn't disappoint, with the oh-so-breezy "In My Soul."

Thank you, Michael, wherever you are.


Wednesday, May 16, 2018

The Unpredictable Nu-Sett

I rarely ever find any Colorado records in antique malls. No, wait, I DO find a few, but when you have a dollar-bin mentality, antique malls are NOT the place to go bargain shopping. We have two mega-antique malls in my zip, and there is most definitely a premium on any vinyl.

While running some errands today, I decided to pop into one of the mega malls, just to see if the trend has changed. It hasn't (Whipped Cream & Other Delights for $30, and it looked like it was used for sharpening knives). I'm always up for a challenge, so I continued to dig, looking for something unpredictable. Then lo and behold...there it was.

The Unpredictable Nu-Sett, out of Denver.

 

Mint vinyl.
Mint cover.
Autographed.
I swear I heard it calling my name.

I gladly got out my wallet to fork over the (more than I usually pay) $7, and headed home.

First off, I love the cover of this 1968 LP. The members of this bi-racial group (in order on the cover: Scott Roberts, Rod Jenkins, Buddy Brown, and Chuck Mills) look like they are having a blast, in their matching suits, on the tiny stage, at the Inn-Timate Lounge.

The LP opens up with a short introduction, then on to a rockin' cover of "Devil With the Blue Dress / Good Golly Miss Molly," which segues into the Lonnie Donegan ballad, "I'll Never Fall in Love Again." Plus there are a handful of comedy routines added to the mix, which makes for a pretty darn good lounge effort.

 

Side One:
Devil With the Blue Dress / Good Golly Miss Molly
I'll Never Fall in Love Gain
Comedy Routine
Along Came Jones
Mack the Knife
Comedy Routine
I Wonder If I Care As Much


Side Two:
Satin Doll
What Kind of Fool Am I
Comedy Routine
Act Naturally
Gimme a Little Sign
Comedy Routine
Green Green Grass of Home
Comedy Routine
Love Me
Hava Nagila

As for the players (according to the liner notes written by Rocky Mountain News columnist Pat Hanna:

 

Buddy Brown attended Adams State, and then joined the military (as a member of the Steppin' Brothers). In 1964, he joined the group, the Capricios, who were regulars at the Inn-Timate.

 

Scotty Roberts was originally from Illinois, who ended up in Colorado, by way of Minnesota. Buddy enlisted Scotty into the Capricios.

 

Chuck Mills grew up in Wheatridge, and was briefly a member of the Capricios, which had quickly changed their name to the Unpredictable Nu-Sett, after his arrival.


Rod Jenkins was a former member of the Astronauts and the Contrasts. He also appears on the Hustlers Ski Country LP.

Friday, May 11, 2018

The story of Deeds Electronic and that Denver address

I have a soft spot for various artists compilations. I guess it goes back to when I was a kid, and one of my first record purchases, with my own money, was K-tel's Fantastic LP. It was like having a radio station on your turntable, with all of your Top 40 favorites on one disc.

So, imagine my surprise when I discovered a various artist comp, out of Denver!


 I was intrigued by these plain, neon pink, covers, with a back cover showing swimming swans (I'm guessing because they were issued on the Swan record label).


While the Deeds Electronic company shows a Denver address (70 W. 6th Avenue),  the story on these albums doesn't even begin to start there. And wow, what a story it is.

We actually begin the tale of the Deeds Electronic various artists albums, in the Empire State.

Deeds (also known as GAI Audio) was run out of New York, by a businessman named Jack Kessler. I couldn't track down an exact date on the formation of the company, but the intent was to manufacture various artists compilations, much like Ronco, or K-tel.

But there was a problem - namely copyright law. The feds had just begun to crack down on piracy and bootlegged recordings, and Deeds Electronic was in their crosshairs.

Deeds had already pressed several dozen different compilations, out of its plant, in Maryland - featuring Johnny Cash, Simon & Garfunkel, Lynn Anderson, Tammy Wynette, Marty Robins, Ray Price, The Rolling Stones, Aretha Franklin, Beth Midler and Roberta Flack. Needless to say the record labels, such as Columbia, were none to happy to find out that another record company had been including their artists on these albums and 8-tracks.

A front page story, in the May 5, 1972 issue of the Wilmington Delaware News, states:

Cecil County (Maryland) Sheriff's Police have seized tape-recording equipment and 58,000 bootleg tapes from what is believed to be the largest single operation of its kind in the United States. The raid was conducted Wednesday against the Deeds Music Co., Inc., at the Elk Mills Industrial Park, about 4 miles north of Elkton. 

The story goes on to say: The tapes and duplicating machines were seized under a court order obtained by Columbia Records, a subsidiary of CBS, and Atlantic Records, who were joined in their action by 44 music publishers.

According to the story, the Denver address on the albums was a "mail transfer point."

So that Colorado mystery is solved!

Cecil County Circuit Court Judge H. Kenneth Mackey heard testimony (bench trial) on Jan. 28, 1974, as Deeds lawyers defended the business. The suing record companies wanted $300,000.  Court documents found (I love the Internet) state: After hearing testimony, for six days, Deeds Music Company, Inc., consented to entry of judgment against it in the amount of $150,000. All claims against the remaining defendants were reserved. The latter offered no testimony and rested at the close of plaintiffs' case. On March 1, 1974, at the conclusion of the trial, Judge Mackey, in an oral opinion from the bench, entered judgment against each of the other defendants under the counts alleging unfair competition and civil conspiracy.

=The End=



Monday, April 30, 2018

Back on Campus - Part Two

So, back in February, I posted a couple of LPs I found from my old alma mater, the University of Southern Colorado, oops, now Colorado State University-Pueblo. I had hoped to find additional vinyl recordings, as I had heard that there were more than just these, out in the wild.

Last month, while attending the Vintage Voltage Expo, in Denver, my dear friend and fellow vinyl hunter, Joel Scherzer, clued me in to a 45 he found at a dealer's booth - from that little ol' campus on the hill.



"Hail Colorado" (written by Marcia and Paul Spencer) was recorded in 1975 by the USC Wind Ensemble, with Ralph Levy back in the director's chair. Unlike the other USC recordings, this vinyl features the vocals of Jerry Teske. The b-side offers up the same composition, sans vocals.

Jerry Teske, was a private vocal coach, and regular entertainer at Figaro's Restaurant, who also served as the choral director for Palmer High School, in Colorado Springs. He passed away in 2017.  His obituary indicated that he also performed for the Grace Episcopal Taylor Choir, Colorado Springs Chorale, Abendmusik, Colorado Opera Festival, Opera Theatre of the Rockies, and the western group, The Trailriders.

In 1977, "Hail Colorado," went before the State Affairs Committee, to be considered the official state marching song. The measure was vetoed  by Lakewood Sen. Joe Schieffelin, who was quoted as saying: "After the bill passed the House, we received a couple of letters from people who said they had a better marching song and wanted us to hear theirs."