Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Denver Broncos

Let's get this out of the way... I am a Denver Broncos fan.

 The author (in the middle)

My home and office are decorated 365 days a year with Broncos memorabilia.
A good portion of my closet is filled with Broncos-related attire.
Even though Mile High Stadium is now exactly 900 miles away from my front door, I still scream at the TV during games, hoping the coach and players can hear me make calls.
I get weepy when they win...and when they lose.

I bleed orange.

Needless to say, I couldn't have a blog, dedicated to Colorado vinyl, without featuring those records singing the praises of the Orange Crush.

While there have been numerous musical dedications to the team, including Joe Walsh's "Rocky Mountain Elway," John Parr re-released "St. Elmo's Fire" (dedicated to Tim Tebow - "Tim Tebow's Fire"), and that incredibly catchy "Black and Yellow" remix last year, "Blue and Orange" (I still can't get that one out of my head), since this blog is about vinyl, I'll stick with that format.

In 1977 the Broncos were headed to their first Super Bowl.  To commemorate the mile high accomplishment, the city's creative types decided to celebrate in song.

The Gold Coin label featured the Broncos tribute, "The Bronco Fan," performed by Deke Adams.  I've listened to this song several times, and I swear he's saying "Orange CRUNCH."

Gold Coin Records-4957 (1978)

In probably an obvious use of available melodies, the local trio of Cunningham, Rodgers and Warren borrowed from a popular Johnny Horton ditty to record "The Modern Battle of New Orleans."

Crush Records - 5286 (1977)

 Also quick to seize on the moment, Tony Mandarin (Bill Michaels) and the Mile High Rockers released the orange vinyl (also available in blue vinyl) double-sided rockabilly tribute to the team "Bronco Rock," and "Mile High Rock."

Stofer-101 (1978)

Local lounge singer Johnny Vanelli added a disco entry to the mix, with his "Broncomania" single, backed by the Colorado Brass.

Pre-vue-753 (1978)

While eventually losing to the Dallas Cowboys, on January 15, 1978, Denver continued to celebrate the AFC Champs with the release of The Year of the Broncos, a recap of highlights from the season, courtesy of KOA Radio.

 The Year of the Broncos
(Fleetwood Communications FCLP 3104 - 1978)

Probably the most notable of the Denver Broncos-related songs came via running back Jon Keyworth. In 1977 he released the uplifting "Make Those Miracles Happen" (Cartay 323232--in case you didn't know, his jersey number was 32).

The following year he would release the LP Keys (Aspen label), which would go on to be remembered, not for its songs, but for use of the naked backsides of (reportedly) the Broncos players on the inside of the cover.

In 1983 the Broncos went 9-7, and finished 3rd in the AFC West. Sensing the despair (and anger) among fans, KBPI jock Don ("The Hawk") Hawkins penned "Prayer for a Fan."

KBPI 42N24 - 1983

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Government Issue

Side One
He's My Brother
Hurray For Bach
Summer Me, Winter Me
The Game

Side Two
Best Thing You've Ever Done
The Last Words of David
Dino's Song
We Shall Overcome

Colorado Springs boasts not only six military installations (Air Force Academy, Buckley Air Force Base, Peterson Air Force Base, Schriever Air Force Base, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station, and Fort Carson) , but also the North American Aerospace Defense Command (NORAD), U.S. Northern Command, Air Force Space Command, U.S. Army Space and Missile Defense Command/Army Strategic Command, Missile Defense Integrated Operations Center, Space Innovation and Development Center, Joint Functional Component Command-Integrated Missile Defense, and the National Security Space Institute.

Whether it was a marketing tool or a morale boost, several of these installations released records featuring its more talented soldiers and airmen (we'll feature several of these recordings in later posts).

In 1970 Fort Carson (which is actually celebrating it's 70th year, this year) formed The Government Issue as "expressly for the entertainment of the Army soldier and expanded to act as ambassadors to the people of the Pikes Peak region."

Released on the prolific John Law Enterprises label (710501), the group's self-titled LP keeps it pretty safe with your typical Up With People-style selections.  A few stand-out performances, including a soulful rendition of the Beatles "Something."

"Dino's Song" is actually a cover of the Youngbloods "Get Together," not the Quicksilver Messenger Service song.  I guess they changed their mind, and forgot to tell the guy in charge of printing the LP cover.

There is one other Government Issue release, a 45 on the CEB label (10,0002-no year).
"Qui'Cest Ca (What is This)" and "Chowtime" are both happy little horn-driven instrumentals, interspersed with comic relief.

Interesting note:  Guitarist Mario Tio, who is featured here, is the same Mario Tio who went on to be one of the founding members of Chocolate Milk - the New Orleans-based funk and soul group, and who also worked with Allen Toussaint, and recorded with Paul McCartney (Venus and Mars sessions).