Thursday, November 29, 2018

Elk Bugles Radio Show - The Band Box Episode

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Every Thursday from 4:00 -5:00 pm (MT) Elk Bugles is the Colorado music show featuring the little-known vinyl of the state. Tune in every week to hear unknown and unheard Colorado vinyl records, from the 1930s to the 1980s – the records missing from the state’s music history books.
  
On today’s show we’ll be playing songs from the Denver record label, Band Box. The story of Band Box goes back to around 1952, when Romanian immigrant Aurelia Vicky Morosan (1909-2006) saw a newspaper ad for a studio for sale - Columbine Records. She bought the company, and called it Band Box (after Columbia Records pitched a fit about the similarity of the names). The label churned out about 200 singles (and a few LPs).


 
Dummy the Duck
Daddy Ed’s Original

 
Rocket Ship
Jackie Lowell

 
Drums Fell off a Cliff
Ronny Kae

 
Brigitte Bardo
Bob and Shirley

 
Ding Dong
Chuck Mills and the Monarchs

 
Giuseppe’s Twist
Giuseppe’s Fabulous Delrays

 
King Kong
Orlie and the Saints

 
I’ll Step Aside
Lee Chandler

 
Ruby’s Stool
Bobbi Kae

 
A Mind of Your Own
Dewey Knight

 
Paper Heart
Embert Mishler

 
Life’s Not Worth Living

 
Lonesome and Blue
Ruff Family

 
Popcorn Twist
Nancy Kaye and the Echos

 
Fannie Mae
Mastertones featuring JD Scott

 
First Day of Your Life
The 4 Ms

 
When the White Lilacs Bloom Again
Leigh Barron


 
And When I Die
New Mobile Strugglers

 
Whip n’ Bill
Dick Dederick

 
No Credit
Joey Buffalo and Sonics




Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Solve the Mystery - The Coachmen


Hey all.

So I'm working on this massive Colorado song database (cataloging every single song, on every single piece of vinyl I own), when I get to the letter "C" and find this long-forgotten LP in my collection, from The Coachmen. There is a $10 label on the plain back cover, so I'm thinking I obtained it from a used record store, somewhere in my travels. I remember liking the yellowing, pasted-on front cover picture, so I took a chance, and plopped down my Hamilton.

So I get home and, like I always do when I obtain a perplexing find, I head to the Internet to look for additional information. Much to my surprise, I discover the album has had realized online auction prices of well-over $100 (!!), AND I also discover that this record might be from a Colorado group! After searching a few hours, for definitive proof that these guys were actually a Colorado band, and finding none, I filed it away - only to be rediscovered in my stash, today.

The front cover only mentions the band members: Bob, Jode, Terry, Fran and Mike. There is absolutely no mention of a city, a state, or a recording studio. The album was issued on the Director Records label and is an RCA Custom pressing.

The 1960s-era selections give a bit of a clue, as to the time period, with a cover of the Beatles, "Hey Jude," being the "newest" song, noted (1968):

Taste of Honey
Everybody Loves Somebody
More
Alfie
Tijuana Taxi
Around the Lake Polka
Cry Me a River
Theme From "The Oscar"
Somewhere My Love
In the Mood
Sugar Bear Boogie
Hey Jude (YouTube audio)

Apparently, around this same time, there was another band, going by The Coachmen, based in Nebraska. There were also Coachmen bands in Bellinghman, WA; St. Louis MO; Iowa, Mountainside, New Jersey, and Sacramento, CA. The pre-ZZ Top group the Moving Sidewalks were originally dubbed The Coachmen, and an Illinois group, dubbed The Coachmen, which included a young Dan Fogelberg. Plus, there was a group going by Cindy Rella and the Coachmen, who had a minor hit with "Bring Me a Beatle for Christmas" - and that's just naming a few!

To make matters even more confusing, there was apparently a three-piece band, from Colorado, going by The Coachmen. Newspaper archive digging find them playing quite a bit in Colorado Springs, Greeley, and Boulder, from 1966-1969.

Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph
December 26, 1966

So dear reader, let's figure this one out. I'm looking for absolute proof that the five-piece Coachmen, with Bob, Jode, Terry, Fran and Mike, are from Colorado, or not. 

Let's solve the mystery!



Wednesday, November 21, 2018

When is a Colorado record not a Colorado record?

One of the questions I am often asked is, "What do you look for, when hunting Colorado records?" The process can be daunting, but after decades of searching, I pretty much have good read on obscure Colorado bands and singers. But for those folks starting out, one of the easiest ways is to look for a Colorado address or city, on the 45 label or album cover. However, this is not always full proof.

Example #1:


Yesterday, while record hunting at a friend's house in Pueblo, I spotted this album. I flipped over the cover, and discovered a Pueblo address, just south of the country club.

Wait, how was this album off my hometown record radar?

I rushed home and quickly hit my newspaper archive, to find that Herold White was a prolific country music act, performing at the Hogan and Mr. G's, in the Springs, and the Silver Dollar Saloon, in Pueblo, from 1970-1975.

Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph
January 25, 1971

OK, so that's pointing in the right direction, but something wasn't adding up. The booking address was in Nashville, as was the record label. A search of the backing band members revealed they were from Florida. On a hunch, I tracked down a musician and former radio disc jockey, named Herold White, located in Florida.


 Lo and behold, it was the same Herold White!



Pueblo address mystery solved!

Herold's fan club president was Trina Hart, a former disc jockey with KPIK, the country music radio station, in Colorado Springs. I tracked down some brief mentions of her, in a couple of 1962 Billboard magazines. She was requesting records for the station, and used her home address - the same address found on the back of Herold White's album!

So kids, the lesson to this story is, don't assume a record is actually from Colorado, even if there is a Colorado address noted.

The end.




Monday, November 19, 2018

Pueblo sheet music: Lou Amella - "Blue June"


Hey all! More finds from my stash...

Found this 1942 Lou Amella sheet music for "Blue June." The origins are fuzzy, but I do remember initially thinking, "Wait, now I have to look for Colorado-related sheet music?"


You may remember, I featured Lou several years ago. The Pueblo inventor, and businessman got into music at an early stage of his life. He was only 26-years old when "Blue June" was published. His cousin, Bernard Cirullo, is listed as the co-writer of the song. I found one other Amella-Cirullo song, also published in 1942, "Donna Ana."

Of note, the music is autographed by a "Sgt. Louis Amella."


It was also around the same time, Amella taught music lessons. Pueblo Polka King Chuck Spurlock, told me in the previous story, "I took saxophone lessons from Lou in 1944, I was six years old."

'Neath the moon I hear love birds singing and in my heart I hear church bells ringing
As I gaze at a star above, I see a vision of you my love
Why did you leave me, I am so blue
Darlin' can't you see that I'm in love with you
Through the nights of torment I grieve, Wondering if you will come back to me
It's a Blue June
I was so happy, why did you break my heart?
You promised me that when roses were in bloom
We were to wed and never part
Remember when sitting in the park, I held your hand?
We fell in love, you were to wear a wedding band
But you forgot that day in June
Stormy clouds will gather soon
Without you there won't be a honeymoon
In my heart there's a lonely spot
With the sorrow you have brought
There's a pale moon shining down on the place where we met
It make me dream of how my poor heart was set
For that wedding day in June
Blue June
It's a June, Blue June

Thursday, November 15, 2018

Elk Bugles Radio Show - The $15 Thrift Finds Show

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Every Thursday from 4:00 -5:00 pm (MT) Elk Bugles is the Colorado music show featuring the little-known vinyl of the state. Tune in every week to hear unknown and unheard Colorado vinyl records, from the 1930s to the 1980s – the records missing from the state’s music history books.

On today’s show it’s all about my latest thrift store finds. Yup no consistency whatsoever on this show today (so what else is new?). These are the most recent Colorado obscurities I have found languishing in the $.50 cent and dollar bins. Grand total investment is about $15…. You’ll hear some jazz, bluegrass, religious, lounge, rock…and records which defy classification. Some good stuff, and some, well… you have been warned...

 
The Kastles
Life is What You Make It

 
My Soldier is Back
International Singers

 
We’ve Come This Far By Faith
The ABDA Trio

 
I’m Gonna Keep on Holding on
Reynolds Family Singers

 
Neener Nawner (Parts one and two)
Dry Jack

 
Long Legged High Heeled Women
Midnite Jammer Band

 
Sweet Change
Jim Oliver

 
Reflection
US Air Force Academy Symphonic Band

 
Aslan
Jerry Granelli

 
Rip it Up
Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids

 
I’m Not Surprised
Zephyr

 
Spring Peepers
Bob Lucas

 
Cry Me a River
Jack Harry

 
Neil Diamond Medley
The Innovations

 
No Credit
Joey Buffalo and Sonics

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

WOW - New Buddy Johnson Tribute Website!


I was doing some digging on the Internet, when I stumbled upon this incredible (understatement) new website, dedicated to Buddy Johnson. This obvious labor of love is a fantastic resource, filled with amazing pictures, stories, and memorabilia, and is maintained by Buddy's son, John.

Probably one of the most-often Colorado music-related questions I get is, "Do you have any information about Buddy Johnson?" The affection Pueblo folks have for this man has never waned, long after he passed away in 1986. Several years ago, I featured some Buddy Johnson recordings, in a Jimmy Cox blog post

Buddy was a huge fixture on local Pueblo radio and TV, as well as the state fair, and other annual events - both as a solo performer, and with his band, the Colorado Rangers. It's estimated he had more than 100,000 children appear on his children's show, which ran on KCSJ (now KOAA), in the 1950s-60s. 

Buddy's son is also working on a book about his father, Buddy Johnson - A Colorado Original, which is expected to be published next year, in honor of what would have been his father's centennial birthday, May 7, 2019.

Monday, November 12, 2018

1940s-1950s Era Denver Record Store labels

Hey all. A snowbound day at the casa has me working on a much-neglected project - going through my stacks of 78rpm records. Most of these are not Colorado recordings (lots of hillbilly and some blues, collected from my 1980s West Texas zip days), but one record stood out, for the emphasis of this blog - a 1946 Mushmouth Robinson boogie woogie jazz recording, with an original Denver record store sticker on the label.

 "I Got The Blues" / "Let's Get Some"
Mushmouth Robinson
Black & White 104 - 1946

Then, I discovered two more...

 "Teardrops in Your Eyes" / "Please Open Your Heart"
Lucky Millinder and his Orchestra
King 4419 - 1950

"How Long Must I Be Blue" / "Little Boy"
Little Sylvia with the Heywood Henry Orchestra
Savoy 4112 - 1951

Dennis' Record Shop, located at 2556 Washington St. now shows a block of newly-built apartments. The Rhythm Record Shop, was located at  2615 Welton, and the Melody Record and Radio Shop, was located on East 26th, all in the Five Points neighborhood. The Rhythm Record Shop is now a cannabis dispensary, while I can't make out the complete address for the Melody Record and Radio Shop, to determine its fate.

Five Points has a fantastic local music history.  It became a predominantly African American neighborhood in Denver because discriminatory home sale laws in other neighborhoods forbade African Americans from settling in them. From the 1920s to the 1950s, the area's Welton Street had a rich history of jazz - with more than fifty bars and clubs, where jazz musicians such as Billie Holiday, Duke Ellington, Miles Davis, Nat King Cole, Count Basie, Dizzy Gillespie, and others performed at clubs like the Rossonian and the Rainbow Room. The neighborhood was also mentioned repeatedly in Jack Kerouac's On the Road

As always, if anyone has an info, drop me a line!