Monday, August 11, 2014

Rest In Peace, Robin Williams!

Count me among the millions of fans who are devastated at the loss of Robin Williams, a comic genius who was unfortunately also a tortured soul....most geniuses are. People wonder how someone who could make millions of people so happy could be so miserable themselves, but there really is no answer for that. Depression can hit anyone at any time, in any way, shape or form. The loss is tragic amongst those who grew up watching a character on TV or in movies, but it's even more tragic for the family of the person who decided they needed to end it all. No one knows what could be going through their head when they decide to end it all... maybe they tried to get help and no one listened.... or maybe they didn't bother letting anyone know. Unfortunately, the end result is still the same. Tragic loss. Robin Williams left behind a fantastic body of work that generations of fans will love, cherish and remember him for.

As a music and radio guy, one of my favorite movies of Robin's is Good Morning, Vietnam. While I felt Robin was a fantastic actor in the movie, it was the music they picked for the movie that truly grabbed me. Let me post a few of my favorites from the movie for you today:

Baby Please Don't Go by Them. Featuring Van Morrison on lead vocals, this was the B side to their version of the song Gloria, which is a song I prefer more by the Shadows Of Knight. This B side is the only side of my 45 that gets played.

California Sun by the Rivieras. How could anyone not like this record? This fantastic cover of a great Joe Jones record took off for the band and became their only hit, in spite of releasing so many other great records.

Five O'Clock World by the Vogues. Another fantastic record that gained a new audience when used as the theme for the Drew Carey Show.

My absolute favorite record from the movie is It's Alright by Adam Faith And The Roulettes. This record sounds so much like a Dave Clark Five record, it's surprising they didn't release it themselves. I could listen to this one over and over and over.

However, the most well known song from the movie is the one that became a major hit 20 years after it's initial release, and more than 15 years after the singer of the song passed away. You ALL know the song, as it's been a wedding staple ever since then (but upon original release did not even hit the Hot 100 on Billboard). Yes, Louis Armstrong and his hit, What A Wonderful World:

Enjoy. May Robin Williams truly rest in peace. May his memory live on forever. May God be with his family and friends, and all others who have been suffering from the same disease that ultimately took Robin's life. 

Friday, August 1, 2014

The Soul Survivors - Expressway To Your Heart

I just love this record. How could you not? When this was recorded, the Soul Survivors consisted of brothers Richie and Charlie Ingui along with Kenny Jeremiah. The trio started out recording under the group name The Dedications several years earlier. Here they are recording as the Dedications on the Bell record label from early 1965 with the song I Ain't A Bit Sorry:

After Expressway became a monster hit for them and the Crimson record label (which was owned by Jerry Greene, who also owned the Lost-Nite record label which eventually turned into Collectables Records), the group issued an LP and two follow up singles on the label (which were both non-album singles). The second single made the top 40 while the third didn't crack the top 60, though they were excellent records, as well. By 1968 the group switched to Atco records, where in 1969 the group bubbled under the Billboard charts with the #115 charting Mama Soul (another great record that should've done better).

Today, Kenny Jeremiah is a radio DJ and also a solo performer, while the Ingui brothers keep the sound of the Soul Survivors alive, and are often seen as part of Joey Dee's current band.

Here are some alternate versions of Expressway To Your Heart for you to enjoy:

Eric Records put this version out on their cd, Hard To Find 45's On Cd: Sweet Soul Sounds 1963-1971. They took the longer studio recording of the song, edited it down so that it included everything found on the single and then they included a bit extra where the song runs to the breakdown of the session. Pretty neat. They also included the tambourine on the intro to the song, which they must've added as a new, recently recorded overdub, as it apparently was not on the multitrack. Collectables records had issued a version on CD in stereo that was a less than stellar mix and was missing the overdub on the intro. I won't post that version here, but how would you like to hear how the complete take for the recording went? I did find this one online, surprisingly!:

The Record Vault Is Opening Again??

Holy cow! It's been nearly six years since I've posted on this blog! Sorry about that. 

Soon after I abandoned ship here, I switched over to a YouTube account. Then two, then three, now I have five of them, each of them I post different things to, with different purposes. I think what I might start doing with this blog is to continue posting again, but this time with youtube videos instead. Now, every video I'll post from here will be something I own. I might post multiple videos in a post, one being a record I own and another being perhaps an alternate take or stereo version, but I think I will do something new with this blog and not worry about posting mp3s to divshare (though I might still do that, too!). 

That said, the reason I came back to this blog is because I had created another one to talk about what's been going on in my life and my comments on other things that happen in the world.... and I saw that I still had this blog, and it was still getting hits every single day. That amazed me most of all, that people would still find interest in just a couple of posts on a blog from nearly 6 years earlier. I'm busier now than I was back then, but I'll probably be posting as often as I can on here, so check back for new videos often!

Since this is somewhat of a "welcome back" for me, I thought I'd return with the song Welcome Back (the theme from the TV show Welcome Back Kotter) by John Sebastian on Reprise Records. I own this on a promotional 45 that calls the song Welcome Back Kotter, as well as a stock 45 that shows the title simply as Welcome Back. This isn't my youtube video, as some that i post won't be, but it sure gets the point across. 

Saturday, September 6, 2008


We lost Jerry Reed not too long ago. It makes me very depressed because I thought he was an extremely talented individual who for some reason always seemed to put the amount of money he would make, ahead of the quality of product he would produce, which resulted in some records being not nearly as good as some others, and some movies also being not as good as others. Anyhow, Jerry Reed Hubbard started his recording career way back in 1957, and it continued all the way until earlier this year, when the effects of emphysema were taking their toll. Along the way, he recorded with a King, acted with a Bandit, and managed to be married to the same person for 49 years, a rarety for anyone these days, let alone someone in showbusiness. I have no idea if Jerry smoked, or just performed regularly in smoke filled bars or whatnot, but whatever the case, the end result is so tragic because it could probably have been avoided entirely. I remember hearing about his massive heart attack in the late 90's that almost took his life, and the multiple bypass operation he had to have done afterwards, that ultimately had saved his life. At the time, i had wondered why he was in such bad shape for being such a young guy, and now I find myself asking the same question. Why? I'm personally a strong advocate against public smoking (if you want to do it, do it somewhere where people won't be breathing it in regularly), and I can't help but wonder if he would still be alive if there weren't people smoking in the various places he's performed over the last 5 decades. Unfortunately, what's done is done, and all that we have left is his massive body of work in relation to both singing and acting, good and bad. Today I bring you a 1958 record by Jerry that seems rather funny, since it has a slight hint of truth to it. Here's Jerry Reed doing the song Your Money Makes You Purty.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


Hello world...... miss me? Well, this is what happens when I go on vacation. I lose track of my blog immediately as a rock and roll legend passes away and then get busy enough to not be able to post something for several weeks. Well, it's time to change that.

Today I bring you a record by the Rondels. Yeah, you remember their big record (the #61 charting Back Beat No. 1 on Amy Records). I know this because the flip side of this release is written by L. Petze and N. Lateo, one of whom was a member of the group. The group was comprised of Ray Pizzi on sax, Jimmy Petze on bass guitar, Lenny Petze on lead guitar, and Lenny Collins on drums.
This record is largely ignored and is never mentioned in the group's discographies, but it's clearly the same group, and it's time it gets some recognition. Now, I know little to nothing about the release of this 45. I'm assuming it is either from 1962 or 1963, as their last AMY label single came out in 1962. I know the record was pressed at the Shelley Products LTD. plant because the labels are not glued to the labels very well and could easily come detached from the record. If anyone out there has any more information on this record, I would love to hear from you.
Until then, sit back, turn your speakers to full volume, and let the Rondels shake your walls with their version of Hey Bo Diddley!

Monday, May 19, 2008


What a great record, and completely overlooked in the history of music. The first mistake was putting this little slice of heaven on the B side of the 45. This wasn't the only time this mistake happened to this group, either.... what a shame, because their sound is just spectacular. Bob Crewe knew it, Larry Santos wrote Candy Girl for the Four Seasons. Here he is one year later with his group the Madisons, with another tune that could've been a contendor for the Four Seasons to record. The Four Seasons even backed up Larry on two 45s he cut for Atlantic, one as a solo artist and one as Larry And The Legends, in 1964.

Now, most people do know and like the top side of this 45, Cheryl Anne, and it's a decent track, but the flip side here just blows it away. I just wish I knew more information on this group. They had a few more singles in 1964 and 1965, then Larry Santos broke out on his own and had some solo success a decade later (he had one top 40 solo record and even appeared on American Bandstand on the same episode that had Dolenz, Jones, Boyce & Hart on it, however i've been unable to find any current information on him either. Larry doesn't seem to have recorded anything since 1982. Larry, where are you? Who were the Madisons? Inquiring minds want to know...

Saturday, May 3, 2008


Dig this record.... it was released in January 1969, based on the Monarch pressing plant matrix numbers, and was the B side of the record! If this had been issued 2 years earlier on a major record label as the A side, i have no doubt it could've seen some chart action. I know absolutely nothing about this group/record/label at all, but based on the release number (#1003), i'll assume this is not the first record issued on PUBLIC! Records.

Some internet searching tells me that this song was written by John L. Colonna, Stanley Clements, Robert Lee Smith, and Laurie Ruth Cazden. Robert Lee Smith has several songs listed at ASCAP, and although he wrote the "A" side of this single (Chain Gang Man) with Bob Durfee, it is not listed on ASCAP. This record was also produced by John Colonna and Stanley Clements, which may also be why the songs were published by Jay-Stan Music. I would love to have more information on the group members, this record label, etc if anyone out there can help supply me with any. Until then, sit back and enjoy the music!