Thursday, November 29, 2018

Elk Bugles Radio Show - The Band Box Episode


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

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


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

US Air Force Academy Symphonic Band

Jerry Granelli

Rip it Up
Flash Cadillac and the Continental Kids

I’m Not Surprised

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!

Friday, November 9, 2018

Jerry Weaver

Hey all! You know what I love about obscure Colorado music history? I'm always surprised. No, really. Just when I think I have a pretty good grasp on the esoteric music history of the Rocky Mountain State, I discover something else. Take for instance, Jerry Weaver.

Jerry Weaver was known mainly as the guitarist for Aretha Franklin, but he also shows up on recordings by Joe Tex, The Allman Brothers, Frederick Knight, Patti Austin, and Janet Jackson...and apparently he (briefly) called the Pikes Peak-region, home.

The things you learn...

Jerry Weaver was born and raised in Alabama, but moved to Colorado Springs, in the 1960s, after his mother and siblings relocated to the area. In a June, 1969 Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph profile, Weaver told the reporter that he was ready to settle down in his new city, perform in local clubs, and promote local concerts. 

May 29, 1969 
Colorado Springs Gazette-Telegraph

The first Jerry Weaver-promoted show happened on June 6-8, 1969, at the Melting Pot, on East Costilla, and included the Jerry Weaver Orchestra, Chuck Brown, and the Accents (no idea if this the same group who were regulars at Taylor's Supper Club, in Denver). After the success of that show, he immediately lined up a larger event, to be held that December, in the City Auditorium, featuring the Chantells (see below), Rich Maio and Allison Sheldon (Rich was in the local band, Birmingham Balloon Company), the New York-based doo-wop group, The Magnificent 4, The Beefeaters (no location noted), the Denver-based Mistic Moods (see below), and Jimmy Jules and the Diamonds, out of Louisiana.

Of note, the Mistic Moods (also spelled the Mystic Moods) featured a young Philip Bailey (pictured in front), who would go on to Earth Wind and Fire, and was later a successful solo performer ("Easy Lover" with Phil Collins).

The Cleveland-based Chantells included LaDonna Hudson, her sister Mattie Carol Hudson, and Barbara Bibbs.

After this show, there doesn't seem to be any other local news coverage of Jerry Weaver. He went on to appear on other recordings, including those by Janet Jackson and Mick Jagger. Weaver also recorded his own material, including the fantastic 1972 single "I'm In Love" / "Love Sick Child" on the Sound of Birmingham record label.

According to a 1994 interview with Frederick Knight (Weaver wrote his 1972 hit, "I've Been Lonely So Long"), Weaver had passed away, but I couldn't find any additional information confirming this.

As always, if anyone can add anything to the story, drop me a line!