Friday, December 29, 2006

DEAD FOLKS 2006

Here's a tribute compilation to some famous people who swooped the planet in 2006.

Some people aren't here due to the space limits in keeping the download time manageable. Or, because no song by them was handy. Besides, using "Do the Freddie" for Freddie Laker, "Casper the Friendly Ghost" for Caspar Weinberger or "It All Depends on You" for June Allyson, would hardly do 'em justice.

A few choices are admittedly esoteric. I associate Glenn Ford with "Experiment in Terror" although the line "Who called the English teacher Daddy-o" from The Coasters' "Charlie Brown" might've been better for any "Blackboard Jungle" fans. Or I could've left him out entirely and included some singer I didn't care about but would be expected to include. Here's how it ended up:


1. "In Another World" by Ruth Brown, died November 17, age 78
2. "Whisper Not" by Anita O'Day, died November 23, age 87
3. "The Men in My Little Girl's Life" by Mike Douglas, died August 11, age 81
4. "Arnold Layne" by Pink Floyd with Syd Barrett who died July 7, age 60.
5. "Wasted Days..." by Freddy Fender, died October 14, age 69.
6. "Act Naturally" by Buck Owens, died March 25, age 76.
7. "Kiss of Fire" by Georgia Gibbs, died December 9, age 87
8. "I Feel Good" by James Brown, died December 25, age 73
9. "Gonna Fly Now" by Maynard Ferguson, died August 23, age 78
10. "Theme From Mike Hammer" for Mickey Spillane, died July 17, age 88 and
Darren McGavin, died February 25, age 83.
11. "You'll Never Find Another Love..." by Lou Rawls, died January 6, age 72
12. "Nothing from Nothing" by Billy Preston, died June 6, age 59
13. "Meanest Guy That Ever Lived" written and sung by Jack Palance, died November 10, age 87
14. "Andy Griffith Show" for Don Knotts, died February 24, age 81.
15. "Munsters" theme for Al Lewis, died February 3, age 82
16. "Experiment in Terror" by Al Caiola for Glenn Ford, died August 30, age 90.
17. "Burke's Law" by Al Caiola for Aaron Spelling, died June 23, age 83
18. "Miserable" by Anna Russell, died October 18, age 94
19. "Barney Miller" for Jack DeLeon (aka "Marty" the gay klepto), died October 16, age 81.
20. "Topper" theme for Robert Sterling, died May 30, age 88.
21. "MASH theme" by The MASH for Robert Altman, died November 20, age 81.
22. "Jeffersons" theme for Mike Evans, died December 14, at 57.
23. "Puttin' On the Ritz" shouted by Peter Boyle, died December 12, age 71
24. "Town Without Pity" by Gene Pitney, died April 5, age 66.
25. "Israelites" by Desmond Dekker, died May 25, age 64
26. "My Boomerang Won't Come Back" (unaltered take) by Charlie Drake, died Dec. 24, age 81
27. "Stagger Lee" by Wilson Pickett, died January 19, age 64.
28: "Dream Baby" by The Big O, for songwriter Cindy Walker, died March 23, age 87
Bonus track: "People Who Died" by Jim Carroll is dedicated to two execs at Atlantic Records (the label that released Jim's song) Ahmet Ertegun and Arif Mardin, and to anyone famous or not who you lost this year.
An illfolks salute to Dana Reeve, Jan Murray, Muriel Spark, Floyd Patterson, Barnard Hughes, Moira Shearer, Shelley Winters, Dennis Weaver, Jack Warden, Red Buttons, Lennie Weinrib and the comic/character actor Richard Stahl.
This post dedicated to "that most sporty of spirits," Robert Sterling.
DEAD? Didn't Even Know They Were Ill...via R-Share


UPDATE: This one died from lack of interest. Can't find the back-up on this one, so it'll be a long time before it turns up again.

THE SEASONS FOLK IT UP

When that greasy doo wop stuff began to give way to protest music, Frankie and his pals made a brief pit-stop into folk-rock. They became a supersized Kingston Trio, with energetic banjos and thumpitty-drums.
Comfy pop accounted for the hit single "Silence is Golden" but mainly it's "Where Have all the Flowers Gone," "A Ballad of Our Time," "Searching Wind," etc. The real find: "New Town" written (but not recorded) by Phil Ochs. That song, and the failure of the foursome to succeed in the folk medium, puts this superstar group on the obscure pages of the illfolks blog.
FRESH LINK: Take off the tux. Strap on a Guitar

UPDATE: This file expired from lack of interest. (OK, this was before JERSEY BOYS turned upon Broadway, but don't expect a re-up any time soon.)

LET IT BE...in Chinese dialect - PAUL FREES


This blog's last but not least single for 2006 is appropriately, LET IT BE.
But in its most inappropriate form.
Paul Frees probably was used to racial stereotyping from having worked with Spike Jones, who regularly had his singers do black dialect ("You Always Hurt the One You Love"), Asian schtick ("Chinese Mule Train"), and questionable Semitism ("Tennessee Waltz."). Paul wasn't usually asked by Spike Jones to be racist but...Pillsbury made an offer.
In the 60's they sold non-nutritional powdered drink mixes. "Freckle Face" strawberry and "Chinese" cherry were among their "Funny Face" products. Paul voiced most of the characters.
And so, with Spike and Pillsbury for influences, it's no surprise that a few years later Paul saw nothing wrong with turning "Let It Be" into an R-infected Asian parody. (And he wouldn't be the last...Peter Sellers as "Sidney Wang" in "Murder by Death" for example).
My only real objection to what was considered goofy fun more than anything racist, is that all the other cuts on "Paul Frees and the Poster People" were accurate caricatures of famous stars (Karloff, Lugosi, Lorre, etc.) but he sounds nothing like the sweet, soft-spoken Warner Oland (as advertised) or even the stern and haltingly articulate Sidney Toler. Paul's "Charlie Chan" is just an excuse for clazed phlazing. Uh crazed phrasing.
But it's SO over the top it'll probably raise more smiles than middle fingers.
My appreciation of Paul's work verges on awe (he voiced Boris Badenov, Ludwig Von Drake, the Pillsbury Doughboy, etc.)...but I won't be surprised if a few of you listen to this and say "Aw...."


PAUL FREES
  RET IT BE   Instant download or listen on line. No Zinfart passwords, malware or spyware anywhere.
 

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

BOBBY COLE "Growing Old"

On this day, December 19th, in 1996 my friend Bobby Cole died.

"Growing Old" is the last song on his solo album, 'A Point of View.'


GROWING OLD

SACRILEGE #2: BOB DYLAN LAMPOON



"The waffle farmers got a chance to lob their pickle grenades..."
Gee! How waffle!
How does it feel, to no longer be a complete unknown...and the target of some jerks makin' fun of your hallucinogenic lyrics?
Watch out for the Yogurt People. Ketchup in your hair. Because..."17 Miles from Waukegan My Cantelope Died." That's the title of this very early Dylan parody. It's on the Harvard Lampoon's "Sheep" album (many years before the National Lampoon and their "Lemmings").
Sacrilege #2 in the continuing series. They're parodying Dylan!

What's it to ya, Moby Dick?

POTRZEBIE



Someone at the YOUDONTHAVETOVISIT blog was asking to hear "Potrzebie." There's no accounting for taste, is there? Now what idiot would have a copy of...oh. Me.
Caveat dissapointor: if you were expecting something like Soupy Sales' "Pachalafaka" or a snappy Spike Jones or Raymond Scott number, sorry, but this instrumental doesn't live up to having a Mad Magazine catch-word for a title.
Sapristi!

No, POTRZEBIE. Credit to Alfred E. Neuman and his Fershlugginer Five.
A Mad instru-mental.

Sylvia Froos & Allan Sherman


Allan Sherman you know about.
So let's talk Froos.
Sylvia was a child star in vaudeville. While Al Jolson made the first feature-length "talkie, "Baby Sylvia" starred in two short sound films released six months earlier. "The Little Princess of Song," was a star through the 30's, and in Shirley Temple's "Stand Up and Cheer".
She even had her own radio show. "Who's Your Little Who-Zis?" was a novelty hit for her and she recorded many popular singles.

Here's one of her last recordings. It's a duet with Allan Sherman on a parody of Frank Loesser's "A Bushel and a Peck." At the time, 1951, Allan was unknown. It would be a decade before he had a surprise hit via the "My Son the Folksinger" album.
This single was simultaneously a farewell to the winsomely lilting vocals of Froos and a hello to a new voice in kosher comedy. Allan died in November of 1973. Sylvia enjoyed a long, happy retirement and died in March of 2004.
If one of your eight days of Chanukah gifts isn't so hot, maybe this will make up for it?

A SATCHEL AND A SECK

Winter Wonderland - ZEVON & TRANNIES


Two of the more unusual versions of "Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland" are here for your download. Or, in the case of the parody "Walkin' Round in Women's Underwear," your downlow.
Warren Zevon will continue to amuse and amaze because his volume of work has such depth. His personality resonates too; you can listen to this and enjoy it as either nostalgic or sardonic.

If you're a guy who likes wearing women's undies don't feel bad. It beats the idiots who insist on wearing Santa hats out in public. But if you're wearing a Santa hat AND women's underwear underneath your suit, that's a little too ill even for ILLFOLKS!
Tom Lehrer says that most novelty songs get predictable after a verse or two, and this one peters out, but if "peters out" and "women's underwear" sound good to you then go....
WALKIN' ROUND IN... WOMEN'S UNDERWEAR
WARREN ZEVON'S WINTER WONDERLAND

Saturday, December 09, 2006

MR. BOJANGLES : TEN VERSIONS


Nearly 40 years ago, Jerry Jeff Walker began strumming up a tune inspired by Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, the dancer/vaudevillian. A folkie at the time with country leanings, he played the song pretty straight. In the audience one night was Bobby Cole, a singer now better known as the arranger/conductor for Judy Garland.

Lightning struck. Bobby probably had the same glow George Martin got on hearing a demo of "Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite." What possibilities! With production ideas brimming in his mind, Bobby called in all favors, got recording studio time, and after a brief release on his own Concentric label, finally got Columbia/Date to put out the single. At the same time, Walker recorded his folk-strumming version.


Bobby transformed the simple, unadorned folk ballad by adding the flavor of vaudeville and traveling shows; he used a calliope effect for the introduction, and updating lounge for the psych 60's found a woman who could play a weird brand of electric violin that wistfully tinged the tune into sunset colors. Ultimately, he added his unique vocal. The song sounds like it's from someone as weary and worn as Mr. Bojangles himself.

When Bobby's song hit the airwaves, try to imagine how stunned Top 40 audiences were; the strange arrangement, the unusual violin in there, and the wistfully haggard vocal so different from anyone else. In its way, the single was as daring as "Sgt. Pepper."

As the song climbed the charts, ATCO offered competition via Jerry's version, a simple, honest strum. Where Columbia had influence, Bobby's was the radio hit. Where Atco reigned, stations favored Jerry's version. Both stalled at the edge of the Top 40 in the summer of 1968.

Together, Cole and Walker blazed a trail followed by dozens and dozens of cover versions. People chose to follow Walker (Dylan, Nitty Gritty Dirt Band, etc.) or they emulated Bobby (Sammy Davis, George Burns, Robbie Williams).

Sadly neither man would have another hit single. At least, Walker fans got a lot more albums and Jerry Jeff is still out there.

How I met my friend Bobby Cole is a kind of "Bojangles" story. Some twenty years after the song came out, I met him in a club, not down and out, but playing the standards. Like the man in the song who asked Bojangles to dance, I asked Bobby if he'd play a song for me; "Bus 22 to Bethlehem," the flip side to "Mr. Bojangles." Bobby was surprised to hear anyone mention that song. "Stick around," Bobby said in that gruff voice, "I wanna talk to you." He and his trio had taken a break between sets and he had to get back.

I'll just say that he turned out to be one of the most unique friends I ever had. I miss him.

"One Hit Wonder" is a cruel term, but here, it applies to a strange little moment in time when lounge and jazz sensibilities (note the backbeat drums and the late arrival of the clarinet toward the end) melded with progressive rock (the influence of "Mr. Kite" seems evident) and as produced, arranged and sung by Bobby Cole, produced a gem.

The nine other versions you get include Jerry Jeff Walker's mono single, the Nitty Gritty gang, John Denver, Sammy Davis Jr., Robbie Williams, Luba Mason, Nina Simone, etc. etc. Via R-Share of course:

MR. BOJANGLES DANCE

Bus 22 to Bethlehem

Bobby Cole put so much time and energy into creating "Mister Bojangles...." he pretty much forgot about the B-side!
He quickly got a few session players to back him on "Bus 22 to Bethlehem," a Dylanesque folk-rock experiment in symbolism.
One of Bobby's massive problems involving any kind of consistent success, was his restless versatility. He enjoyed all types of music, but booking agents and record companies like to categorize their talent. Bobby wasn't jazz, folk or pop. Even though his latter years were spent on the nightclub circuit, Bobby's repertoire ranged from "A-Train" through "The Big Hurt," Leonard Cohen and Procol Harum.
Bobby's lyrics often strayed into the intellectual, while his audience was literally lush. Bobby's pals like Sinatra and Garland (oh, the stories Bobby told) knew enough not to challenge their crowds with anything too complicated. Bobby tended to challenge everyone, and he was complex enough to laugh with the sinners Saturday night, and go to church with the saints Sunday morning. Hence, this song does spring from sincerity.
As you listen to this lost '68 folk-rock number you might find some lounge-jazz qualities in Bobby at odds with the folk strumming, but the song is a meditation on conflict: "the Christians, and the Muslims exchanged frozen looks." Times have changed. Now they exchange mortar fire.

NOW BOARDING: Your download for BUS 22 to BETHLEHEM

Seasonal Songs by Raun & Koloc




Since you'll be sick of Xmas songs soon, I'm getting this pair of ill folkies in before "Jesus Christ" is uttered in disgust at holiday music overload.
Not that this is typical annoying Christmas music. Not here!
Raun MacKinnon's song is about a nun, and Bonnie Koloc's "25th of December" is more a meditation on holiday depression.
Folkies Raun and Bonnie have one thing in common, they both sang backing vocals on Steve Goodman's "Jessie's Jig" album.
Raun, raised in Philadelphia, was signed to Cameo-Parkway, known for greasy male teen vocalists and soul. On that obscure lp her bassist was Spike Lee's father Bill. Her next (and last) stop was for Kapp, where she tried to add more rock and pop (ooh, trumpets lending a religious tone to "Sister Marie"). She taught guitar, and still performs on bills with Christine Lavin.
Koloc? You might remember her sweet taffy voice extolling "Mother Country" in a series of United Airlines commercials. Sort of the vanilla Billie Holiday, Bonnie's voice has a sorrowful and vulnerable quality. Gaining attention in the 60's at Chicago's Earl of Old Town, she's amassed ten albums, briefly appearing on a major label (Epic) before returning to the ranks of individualistic singer-songwriter self-pressing CDs.
"25th of December" (from the OP 1984 "You're Gonna Love Yourself in the Morning" album which also has the infamous "Mother Country") is a good example of the slight funk most people feel when the Christmas punch bowl seems half empty rather than half full. Since her voice really is quite pretty, the needle stays in the groove for the next song on the album, "Lion Tamer." It's about some guy who can handle lions, or pussy. Bonnie is so nice, I'll bet she didn't consider the euphemism in the lyric, and considering it's nearly Christmas, I'm almost ashamed to mention it.

Instant downloads, no Rapidshare or Pop-Up Porn-Ad Referring Links...
Bonnie Koloc
Raun MacKinnon

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

HAVE YOU SEEN ELAINE?



Some names conjure up a famous face. It's hard not to think of Julia Louis Dreyfus' Seinfeld character when somebody mentions "Elaine."
When I listen to the old Currie sisters tune "Have You Seen Elaine," I think...well, yeah. Not quite as much as I'd like, but we've gotten pretty good glimpses...(and yes, if you click the pic her naughty bits get bigger)...

Since the answer to "Have You Heard The Curries In A While?" is probably no, here's a download.
The peroxide 'n mascara twins Cherie and Marie could eat the Olson Twins alive, and if it was on pay-per-view, I'd pay.

Instant download of "Elaine" no RS Mega hoops to jump through.

Ruthann Friedman: "WINDY" Girl


The Association didn't write "Windy." It took one woman to do what five guys couldn't. She's Bronx-born Ruthann Friedman. In '69, she got a shot at solo stardom via Reprise. The sympathetic label gave chances to other songwriters trying to become singers; Joni Mitchell, Jimmy Webb, Randy Newman and even her friend Van Dyke Parks (the guy who helped get her song to The Association). After one acoustic album, they wouldn't ink another contract for her.
Here's that first album, along with the single "Glittering Dancer" that wasn't on the original disc. Married nearly 30 years and with two children, she's alive, and, well, at least she is Inky Friedman again, a signed artist. The new album is "Hurried Life." And yes, THIS particular album probably influenced Devendra Banhart and Ruthann is a fan of Devendra's work.
Be warned, the first track is extremely annoying. But it's short. Considering that most busy reviewers tend to check the first track to see if an album's worth reviewing, Ruthann made a tactical blunder with a coy intro piece that was nothing like the rest of the album's songs.
PS, Ruthann reccomends this website which describes what the world is like, in terms of 100 people: http://users.gazinter.net/melan/Warn/Warnenu.htm
Everyone knows...where to find a RS download.

A WINK AT DEATH


Most know Wink Martindale from his almost stereotypical quizmaster work...the genial guy with the 100 watt teeth and enough electricity left over to keep his hair wired into position.
Some know him for resurrecting "Deck of Cards" and turning that venerable card trick of Christian thinking into a Top Ten hit. This was quite a feat, since the 1948 song had already lost its novelty value after performances by T. Texas Tyler, Phil Harris and others.
Only a few know "Remember Me," another of Wink's spoken-word singles. If you think the idea of organ donation is fairly new, listen to this oldie. In recording this essay on the hereafter, Wink was ahead of his time.
As "Graduate" Benjamin Braddock would say, "It's completely baked."
Here's winking at you, kid. While you're still with us.
No rapidshare. INSTANT no-code-number download here. Wink-wink. Nudge-nudge.

YUSUF THE CAT


The artist formerly known as Cat Stevens and Steven Demetre Georgiou, is now recording as Yusuf (short for Yusuf Islam). "Please Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood," he sings. Cat's "Animals" cover version here is more compelling than his new soft-rock originals.
He sings it to counter the bad publicity he received for allegedly siding with the fatwa against Salman Rushdie, as well as devoutly following a religion that has followers who devoutly engage in the mass-murder of innocent people while screaming fanatic slogans.
The hostility against "Cat Stevens" led 10,000 Maniacs (none of them maniacal suicide bombers) to remove a cover of "Peace Train" from their "In My Tribe" album. After the 9/11 attack in 2001, Yusuf performed "Peace Train" for "The Concert for New York City" in 2001, his first public performance in 20 years. He also donated a chunk of change to the September 11 Fund and declared:"I wish to express my heartfelt horror at the indiscriminate terrorist attacks committed against innocent people of the United States yesterday...no right thinking follower of Islam could possibly condone such an action..."
Now he hopes right thinking followers of Yusuf Islam will support his new album, which continues a career that began 40 years ago with the catchy "Matthew and Son" in 1966, followed by "The First Cut is the Deepest" (more of a success covered by others). After a big lull, including recovery from tuberculosis, Cat resuscitated his career in 1971 with "Wild World," "Moon Shadow" and "Morning Has Broken," establishing him as a tremulous addition to the ranks of James Taylor and Elton John. By 1977, he had tried everyone's patience with the seriously annoying "Izitso" album, and after becoming a Muslim that year, issued "Back to Earth," and dropped out of sight.
He wasn't heard from again until the Ayatollah's death decree against Salman Rushdie, which prompted Cat to yowl: "In Islam there is a line between let's say freedom and the line which is then transgressed into immorality and irresponsibility and I think as far as this writer is concerned, unfortunately, he has been irresponsible with his freedom of speech. Salman Rushdie or indeed any writer who abuses the prophet, or indeed any prophet, under Islamic law, the sentence for that is actually death."
Today he spins it this way: "At a lecture, back in 1989, I was asked a question about blasphemy according to Islamic Law, I simply repeated the legal view according to my limited knowledge of the Scriptural texts, based directly on historical commentaries of the Qur'an. The next day the newspaper headlines read, "Cat Says, Kill Rushdie." I was abhorred, but what could I do? I was a new Muslim. If you ask a Bible student to quote the legal punishment of a person who commits blasphemy in the Bible, he would be dishonest if he didn't mention Leviticus 24-16."
Yusuf now sings: "You can't bargain with the truth. 'Cause whether you're right or you're wrong, we're gonna know what you done, gonna see where you belong in the end." You can choose to view lyrics like that as comforting if you want to.
Along with other 70's solo stars such as Paul Simon, Elton John and Paul McCartney, the ex-Cat Stevens is capable of issuing innocuous albums that won't embarrass older fans but won't bring in many new ones. He's here on the illfolks page since he was once a physically ill folkie (tuberculosis), and is now trying to mount a comeback from obscurity. Check Cat's new bag of tricks here:
RAPID-CAT
UPDATE MARCH 20, 07 -- due to inactivity (ie, disinterest) the file died.
Update JULY 2008: file returns. If it expires again, it'll be terminal.
RAPID-CAT
UPDATE: May 2009. Interest in this one was so low, Rapidshare finally killed the link for having been idle for 90 days. This Cat doesn't have nine lives here! No Re-up.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

SACRILEGE #1: Kate Bush Parody


The first of a series.
Oh, how can satirists dare to smash our beloved icons! Is nothing sacred?

"England My Leotard" was broadcast Nov 3, 1980 on "Not Necessarily the 9'Oclock News." Title based on her 2nd lp, music copped from "Them Heavy People," it suggested her fame was based on eccentric, wide-eyed Femlin posturing in a leotard. Why not? Thinks: "She's so nuts, I might even have a shot at her! I'll say Proust or Bronte and she might come flying towards me..."

Even Pam Stephenson, impersonating Kate, was pretty hot. Pam married Scottish comedian Billy Connolly, has three kids, and now is a hypnotist and therapist. She has a degree from the California Graduate Institute, which I think carries more weight than anything from the University of Phoenix.

Correct me in the COMMENTS section if any of the lyrics are wrong. Some of these lines don't quite make sense. Wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow, wow. Unbelievable!



I was into yin and yang and hatha yoga
Ginseng and caraway seeds and being a non-smoker
My carrot quiches were better than the bought ones
And they were thicker than two short ones
People bought my latest hits
'cause they liked my latex tits
Everyone trying hard
To get inside my leotard

Went to my hairdresser to have a hair-do (do-be-do-be-do)
He asked if I knew A La Recherche De Temps Perdus
That's how I was introduced to Colette, Cocteau and Marcel Proust
Now wholefood cookery is just a sideline [speeded up la la la's]

I went to Cairo and I read the Gnostic
Apocryphon of John in the original Coptic
Korsakoff's psychosis theories
And the Fibonacci series
Studied acupuncture and the Bible. Buy-a-bubble!
Opened the windows in my mind

'It's not your mind, it's your body they're into-ooh'
My business-manager said.
He said that I need an intellect like I need a
Hole in the-hole in the-hole in the head

Though I'm an honorary member of Mensa now
I'm going to try and keep up the pretense somehow
Will you buy my latest hits
Because you like my latex tits?
And you're all trying hard to get inside my
Leotard...leotard...leotard


Yes, the stereo version differs slightly from the actual broadcast version (which you can find on YOUTUBE). Return to the days when Kate used to sing, dance and pose in a leotard. Bulging eyes and lips, lithe movements, strange lyrics, odd voice, a bustline even a blind man could appreciate...
SACRILEGE #1: How Can they Make Fun Of...

KATE BUSH. Instant download. No mega-rabid wait.

Christina Applegate's PRIDDY MOM

Today anyone digging up Nancy Priddy's album is probably curious about a) the chick Stephen Stills punned a song about ("Pretty Girl Why" via Buffalo Springfield) or b) what sitcom tart Christina Applegate's mama looked like.
This album is Priddy obscure for a good reason. It's neither psyche, folk or even mainstream pop. It's an eccentric album veering from Lesley Gore lost in Burt Bacharach's horns ("We Could Have It All") to embarrassing faux funk ("Other Side of the River") which is straight out of Sammy Davis Jr. visits Carnaby Street.
With production influenced by the Mike Curb sound and Enoch Light, Nancy's brand of buttery corn sometimes pops. You might snack on some tracks and figure, not bad at all. Not on "Christina's World," though. That tune, which one assumes is based on the Andrew Wyeth painting of that name, has precocious/pretentious lines about "lightning bugs at sundown" and "ocean sprays and holding hands." Nancy liked the song so much that when her daughter was born, Nov 25, 1971, she named her Christina. Christina's parents split up a few years later, and Nancy raised her mostly by herself (but Stephen Stills was around some of the time). Fast forward to 2003, and Christina turned up at a charity benefit honoring her mother, a breast cancer survivor. Nancy continues to take acting roles and write songs.
This vintage album's a peculiar mix of affectations, but if you are hung up on the late 60's man (or mama), then dig the download for some folk-wonk and pseudo-psych.
There's a good reason for blogs. It's to let you hear odd stuff you are curious about, might listen to once, and never play again.


Rapid Sharing the whole Priddy good album
Update: This one timed out. Not enough interest. A CD version is now available anyway.

Bobby Darin & Bobby Kennedy


There's a new movie about Bobby Kennedy's death. It doesn't mention two repercussions: Bobby Darin changed his name to BOB Darin, and grew a mustache.
He also began writing the best songs of his career. Especially since he didn't write either "Beyond the Sea" or "Mack the Knife." Bob Darin turned up on variety shows singing protest songs. Audiences were shocked. Critics didn't buy his sincerity, or understand that Darin had worked hard for Kennedy's campaign and was devastated by the assassination.
A few years passed, and Darin put a toupee on, got his tuxedo out of mothballs, and was once again a star. His Copa-type stuff is still lapped up by the same "lounge" heads who think the Rat Pack still matter. Just one CD compiles selected tracks from his two sincere self-penned folk-rock albums, and two of his best are missing.
"In Memorium" was inspired by RFK's death. Strange that any re-issue label preserving Darin's legacy could leave off a song Darin cared so passionately about. Sorry for the pops and clicks; I got this rarity used and it's been well played.
Also left off, is "Bullfrog," which I include as an example of Darin's humor. It's got a bit of Randy Newman to it, especially in the "turn your radio down" talking aside.
RFK was not on a lot of folks' minds when Darin was playing Vegas and Nixon was in office. Bobby died on December 20, 1973 from the heart ailment that had plagued him since childhood, and a year later Nixon resigned.
Direct downloads: no Rapidshare, porn ads, or swervy code-words to read:
IN MEMORIUM (for RFK)
BULLFROG (for social satire)

Thursday, November 09, 2006

LA LUPE WOLFS DOWN PHIL OCHS

At last! Illfolks offers Phil Ochs!
One of Phil's more unusual songs was "That's The Way It's Gonna Be," where gloomy minor key clouds keep breaking for a resolute melody line that forces optimism. Phil co-wrote it with Bob Gibson. Here, it gets a bizarre Latin twist from the legendary La Lupe.
La Lupe usually sang in Spanish, and as the photo shows, she was such a legend that a Spanish Harlem street was eventually named for her. Sizzling to the point of becoming a charred Charo, she somehow creates an interpretation that is both amusing and riveting, kind of funny but also fierce.
Phil, who once wrote a tune called "Bracero," and was devoted to the cause of peace in Chile, was no stranger to Latin stylings. And no Latin version of an Ochs song, including Jose Feliciano's take on this very same tune, is as strange or as singular as this one from La Lupe.
That's The Way it's Gonna Be Wait and See. Actually, no wait. This is not a Rapidshare or Megaupload or any other wait 45 seconds, "peer through a zillion ads to find the download link" deal. It's INSTANT. Hear on line or download.

Eun-Ju Lee (Corrs song) FALLEN STAR

Like a falling star, Eun-Ju Lee was a bright and beautiful presence for a short time, and when thousands began to point to her, that's when the descent began.
This pretty South Korean actress seemed to deal with each new challenge in her career, rising from teen comedy roles to the more difficult parts of a blind woman, a woman dying of cancer, and a reporter carrying a deadly fetus. In many films her screen character suffered and died, and it seemed tough for this increasingly depressed and weary young woman to go home at night and shake off the day's shoot.
Adding to her pressures was family debt, an irony considering she was now one of her country's biggest stars. She appeared in "Tae Guk Gi," which was to South Korea what "Gone With the Wind" is to the U.S.A., starred in "Phoenix" (aka "Firebird") a huge TV soap opera (now on 9 DVD discs) and, near exhaustion, took on yet another bizarre and harrowing role. In "The Scarlet Letter" she played a bisexual nightclub singer in a script containing nudity, violence and gore. Aside from grotesque scenes in which she was blood-spattered and screaming, she also had to be convincing in the scene in which she performs a song.
She chose to sing in English, and performed the eerie Corrs song "Only When I Sleep." It was her only recording, and her last role. Not long after the film was made, and only weeks after graduating college, Eun-Ju Lee slit her wrists and hanged herself, leaving an apologetic note to her mother.
Two notes: in South Korea last names are given first (there, she's Lee Eun-Ju) and since phonetic English translation varies, her name is often spelled Eun-Joo. An actress with a similar name co-stars in "Take Care of my Cat."
Here's a worthy version of "Only When I Sleep,"even if she had some difficulty pronouncing certain words. Perhaps the fleeting photos on this page will lead you to buy or rent one of her films. She was talented, beautiful, and for as long as it was possible for her, determined and brave.
Eun-Ju Lee covers ONLY WHEN I SLEEP

Greta Keller: She was the Wan



A sweet sorrow will comfort you hearing the voice of Greta Keller (1905-1977). Rather than wax melancholic over the wax, discover for yourself the nostalgic niche occupied, perhaps to waning interest, by the interestingly wan Greta Keller. Perhaps it's Keller's lingering German accent that makes her interpretations bittersweet, the tremulous attention she gives toward interpreting the lyrics, or just the aura she presents as a world-weary and aging chanteuse on a dreary tour through smoke-filled nightclubs.

Madame Keller's private life, as her voice suggests, included a variety of traumas. The worst was the murder of her husband David Bacon, apparently while he was patronizing a gay brothel. He was vaguely known at the time for portraying The Masked Marvel in a movie serial. Pregnant at the time of the tragedy, Greta's child arrived stillborn.

In 1940 she opened "Chez Greta" at New York's Algonquin Hotel. Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Tallulah Bankhead, Greta Garbo, Cole Porter and Maurice Chevalier all toasted her as one of the best. In 1947 she opened a new "Chez Greta" in St. Moritz Switzerland and in 1960 returned to New York for two years at the Waldorf Astoria. She continued to tour the world through the 60's and early 70's, evoking nostalgia and stoking libidos. Her rendition of "Married" can be heard in the 1972 film "Cabaret."

Dietrich was more theatrical, Hildegarde evinced more humor, but the tender Greta Keller has a way with a sad song. A previous post had 20 of 'em, which Rapidshare killed during a "5 day inactivity" purge. It's hard to trust 'em again, so here's one number they can't take away...

Instant access, no Rapidshare, codes, or confusion in getting to a page where the link is hidden amid a dozen garish ads:

They Can't Take That Away From Me (or you)

Pat Benatar/Karla DeVito go Briley


Karla and Pat earned their M.B. -- by covering Martin Briley.
Briley's the misanthropic singer-songwriter who had an MTV video hit with "(You ain't worth) The Salt In My Tears."
When sung by WOMEN, Martin's vicious songs become feminist anthems. Oh, the irony of it. "I'm Just Using You" is power pop slapping you in the face. Pat Benatar is even tougher with "Take It Any Way You Want It."
Also here: two other vintage Briley songs, "Someday, Someway" covered by Jeff Healey and "Can't Keep Running" by Greg Allman. Briley toned himself down to become a very successful songwriter (Celine Dion and N'Sync) but his real fans are buying the 2 CD re-issue set featuring all three of his classic Mercury albums (and a few demo and bonus cuts), songs from when Briley was that bitter twisted lemon floating in the cocktail of the 80's. Or something like that. It's always a salty download if it involves wryly briney Martin Briley.

KARLA DEVITO

PAT BENATAR

JEFF HEALEY

GREG ALLMAN
It's always a salty download if it involves the wryly briney
MARTIN BRILEY

Sunday, October 29, 2006

WHORES



Here are 19 songs (it had to be over 18, considering the subject) that describe the world of prostitution, pimps and Johns.
Hookers cover every social strata, so this collection includes honky tonk girls, high class call girls and raunchy street hustlers.
In song most of them are given sympathy and even admiration. For providing a needed service, these women have earned both bucks and some respect. The most ambivalent well-known whore song is "Sweet Painted Lady," here sung by both Elton the Original, AND Bridget St. John, cover-girl. The refrain; "getting paid for being laid, guess that's the name of the game." No kidding, Bernie, and TAB A goes into SLOT B.

The most famous whore song is "Love For Sale," and it's covered here in the classic "De-Lovely" way by some cabaret babe or other, a sexier way (Jane Birkin) and even via male gigolo Elvis Costello. Classic street walker-hustler songs come from Georgia White, Ma Rainey and Chippie Hill. You also get a "Best Little Whorehouse" ho' down, and "Do You Think I'm a Whore" and "Hooker on a Corner." Plus Donna Summer's classic about bad girls and the Academy Award winning "Hard Out Here for a Pimp." Different strokes...
Some might not have listened to the lyrics of Police/Sting operation "Roxanne" closely enough to realize it's a faux-Jamaican lament to a hooker. "You don't have to put out de red light," Sting rasta-rasps. Rather than bother with his version, we have a more luridly sympathetic take from female vocalist Dilana.
Also here, "Barcelona" by the limp-wristed Sinceros, who self-consciously sing of "prostitutes with very large hearts entertaining very small parts," and the prodigy Janis Ian who was not even of legal age when she wrote and sang "Pro Girl." I like her attempt at seeming British by quoting the whore fee in "pounds" not dollars. She works in a play on the John's Bargain Store chain, ("John, bargain well...") which is pointless but it shows how precocious this poetess was at 16. And At Seventeen...she couldn't even give it away.
19 tracks. All that's missing is Hora Staccato. No charge for the download, which, I know, makes me look cheap.
HELLO
SAILOR

ZACHERLE THE COOL GHOUL



Now nearing 90, and looking the same as he did when he emerged in the late 1950's as cult tv's undead "Cool Ghoul," John Zacherle is a legend. He spliced himself into the old horror movies he was hosting, created a low budget world of support characters (one was pretty much a huge slab of gelatin) and laughed at his own bad horror puns with a cheerful barking yock. He got the cover of "Famous Monsters of Filmland" without making a film (although his records were sold in the back pages), had a novelty hit via "Dinner with Drac" and even covered "Monster Mash." After influencing Vampira, Elvira and dozens of other would-be horror TV hosts he miraculously went from East Coast TV phenom to rock disc jockey on WPLJ in New York. Very cool! That's just the merest thumbnail sketch, because I lost the actual thumb I was typing with! Ha...ha...yock....
Here's a sample of vintage and recent Zach tunes. He may not mean as much if you didn't grow up with him, but let's see if he can put a Sardonicus-grin on the pusses of total strangers. A Halloween re-post from July. Rapidshare killed the link for lack of activity some months later, but you can't kill Zacherle!
The lucky 13 download includes "Coolest Little Monster," "Sure Sign of Spring," "Transylvania PTA," "Graverobbing Tonight," "Formaldehyde" and even a cover of Tom Petty's "Zombie Zoo."
"Foam at the mouth via your RABIDshare download, my dear. Ha ha...."

CREPUSCULE - lys gauty


While flipping through the record racks (remember this near-extinct ritual?) I saw the cover portrait of Lys Gauty on a 2lp set. Did the woman actually look like that?
Turns out, several paintings and posters were done in a similar way, accentuating her huge pale eyes and severe blood-red lips.
Alas, Madame Gauty in real photos, is not quite so vampish or tarsier-like. Her music, likewise, is fine, but not spooky or sexy.
Take "Crepuscule," which, students, translates as "twilight," and the time of day when crepuscular creatures with huge eyes, such as lemurs and tarsiers, become active.
Music and lyrics by Django Reinhardt and Francis Blanche. It was recorded in 1943. It is about shadow and substance, of things and ideas; it lies between the pit of man's fears and the summit of his knowledge...a dimension of imagination. Your next stop: The Crepuscule Zone.


Instant Listen or Download: LYS GAUTY

Thursday, October 19, 2006

PAUL FREES as PETER LORRE: "HEY JUDE"



Imagine combining Peter Lorre and Paul McCartney! Paul Frees (lower right corner photo) did. Paul Frees was a genius, arguably the finest voice-over talent of all time, capable of vibrant Orson Welles-type movie narration as well as silly cartoon and commercial voices (Boris Badenov, Ludwig Von Drake, Captain Peachfuzz, Pillsbury Doughboy...)
He gave me an enduring thrill when, in response to a fan letter, he CALLED ME UP to say hello. That'll make an impression on a kid!
He did his legendary Peter Lorre impression on radio in front of Peter Lorre himself (on the Spike Jones show) and as a "pet project," got a chance to revisit Lorre on "Paul Frees and the Poster People," where he imagined classic movie stars singing contemporary tunes.
My favorite album track, and your sample, is "Peter Lorre" suavely singing and periodically going ballistic on Paul McCartney's "Hey Jude."


No Rapidshare. No gimmicky codes or link-protect porno ads. Instant download.
RIGHT HERE.

THE PIT AND THE PENDULUM


The last gasp from The Ivy League Trio has turned out to be an enduring death rattle, the lp "Folk Songs from the World of Edgar Allan Poe." The trio landed at the tail end of both the folk craze and the Famous Monsters of Filmland horror-novelty era, and this Reprise gem was neglected. It was the debut for newest trio member Ronn Langford (replacing Bev Galloway) and also the farewell. Ironically he, of all other members, has ended up with a long and prosperous life outside of show biz.

At least one rocker (Greg Kihn) has listed this as a very influential album. The trio flirted with macabre material during their Coral/Decca era, including "Ballad of Springhill," "Ballad of Tim Evans" and "Delia's Gone," but surpassed themselves as they adapted and in many cases re-wrote the original material given them by their new record label. The album ranges from poignant ("Eleanora") to spooky ("House of Usher") to ludicrous ("Tell-Tale Heart" re-written as a Western!) with this sample falling in between. It combines lusty folk balladry with over-the-top guignol as one might expect (and even demand).
"Folk Ballads..." is one of the finest ill folksong albums, and if you like "Pit and the Pendulum" then reward the record dealer who has been waiting for years to unload it on someone, cheap. Why, the moody album cover painting is suitable for framing....

No more Rapidshare. No codes. No downloads detoured for porn ads.
INSTANT Gratification PIT & THE PENDULUM

SHE'S SO FLEXIBLE - MARTIN BRILEY



This is a rare re-post. I don't want you ill folks out there to forget about Martin. Not when he was nice enough to leave a comment the first time!
Responding to my July posting and picture:

"There was I trying to write a beautiful, heart-felt, sincere song about a very considerate woman and you lot with your filthy minds go and turn it into something sordid and disgusting.
Kind Regards
Martin Briley."

Instant Download Instant Download, no code words or porn ads. Listen on line, too!

Monday, October 09, 2006

ILL FOLKIE: FRED ENGELBERG



Finally, some nine months into the blog, here's an actual ill folk! The seed that germinated this blog was to chronicle obscure folk singers, but...things sort of drifted.
Fred issued only two albums (both on Crestview/Elektra). One was ethereally titled "Smoke Dreams of Fred Engelberg" and on the other, his name was spelled wrong on the cover ("The Songs of Fred Engleberg"). Neither release had a single biographical word about him. His self-penned liner notes for "Smoke Dreams" didn't even mention his roles in three films "The Lost Missile" (1958), "The Beat Generation" (1959) and "Dinosaurus" (1960).
Instead, the obscure folkie baffled any would-be buyer by a lengthy rumination on the album title: "smoke dreams...in a manner of speaking...(is) somewhere between talking and singing...somewhere between you...whoever you are...and me...whoever I am." Then a rumination on his influences "...because there was Mark Twain and Jazz and Woody Guthrie...there was Hayakawa and Kabuki and S.J. Perelman...there was Thurber and "doggerel" and Pirandello...there was Bullfinch and the Bible and Joe Gould and the writings on bathroom walls...and there was what they have done to my head..."
The burly, bearded folkie's singing style is similar to bearded Burl Ives...quite understated, especially compared to sweaty stablemates Shel Silverstein and Judy Henske. Fred's quiet singing is mated to some subversive songs. Beyond typical topical folkie protest (a candy machine becomes a symbol of our tin-hearted culture) he wrote grimly ironic murder ballads and a song challenging Christianity.
Circa 1963, folkies were running to the library hunting up murder ballads, but 30 year-old Fred wrote his own, "Hangman," a brilliant piece of quiet pessimism. When folkies were chasing after "Go Down Moses" and other spirituals, Fred offered the dispirited "Everybody's Talkin' about Jesus and Mary, Nobody's Talkin' about Joe."
The genius of a songwriter is often in expressing what nobody else dares to say, and doing it in an artistic way. How many of you, upon hearing the story of Jesus, thought, "Hey, wait a minute...she's married...she's a virgin...WHAT is the deal with Joseph??"
Fred seems to have quit "the business" a short time later for various other pursuits. Supposedly he spent many years running a hotel. A Fred Engleberg died on January 7th, 2003 in Oregon, a few weeks short of his 72nd birthday...apparently not THIS Fred (updating from the comments received). Fred, oh brother, where art thou? Why not say a few syllables in the comments??
I'll slip you five...mostly because my vinyl's in embarrassingly bad condition (I found both albums used, of course) and some other tracks are a little too crackly. Listen...and you will not forget the forgotten Fred Engelberg.

Oct 20: New Rapidshare link for Engelberg not Engleberg

3 C&W SUICIDES



Some say country tunes are morbid. Hey, it's not like these people had easy lives. In some cases, even fame could not prevent a very sorry end. Here's three "old school" singers the average music fan may have vaguely heard of, offering numbers with evocative titles such as: "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down," "I see the Want in your Eyes," and "I've Hurt Her More than She Loves Me."
Not to mention numbers that seem a bit grim considering the way these guys ended up: "I Don't Hurt Anymore," "There Goes My Everything," "I Found Heaven," "Lovin' on Borrowed Time" and "Empty Glass." You get a lucky seven from each of these late greats. 21 titles in all.

FARON YOUNG was a honky tonk legend, born in Louisiana and nicknamed "The Hillbilly Heartthrob" when he joined Capitol records at age 20. His biggest hit, written by Willie Nelson, was "Hello, Walls." Young was aging badly and having health issues when he decided to end his life via gunshot, December 10, 1996.
GARY STEWART of Kentucky grew up in Florida where he married his favorite girl Mary Lou (he was 18, you can bet she was younger). He kicked around from 1965 till 1975 when he reached #1 with "She's Actin' Single, I'm Drinkin' Doubles." His pure C&W style went out of favor, leaving him simply a touring musician in the 80's, fighting pills and booze. His son killed himself, but Gary still had his beloved wife to lean on. That was until Thanksgiving, 2003, when Mary Lou succumbed to pneumonia. Stewart cancelled a holiday concert, and about three weeks later, cancelled himself with one gunshot, December 16, 2003.
MEL STREET, born King Malachi Street, was from West Virginia, and in the late 60's and early 70's hosted a local TV show there. "Borrowed Angel" was a local hit that brought him national attention in 1972. He followed it with "Lovin' On the Back Streets," and his career was moving forward. He hit a new high in 1978 when he signed with Mercury records, but later that year, the depressed alcoholic hit a fatal low, killing himself on October 21, his birthday.


The songs Live On via RS
UPDATE: December 2006. The suicide file died of natural causes...a Rapidshare purge of files not downloaded in 30 days. Or was it 15. or was it 5...SECOND UPDATE: Re-Upped for the last time, July 2008. If it dies again, it's terminal.


THIRD UPDATE, May 2009. OK, it died again. R.I.P. guys, you're not getting re-upped.

THE END OF THE WORLD x 12



A sad and simple ballad, "The End of the World" has out-lived Skeeter Davis, the woman who in a never-ever-topped feat, brought the song to the Top 4 of all four major Billboard charts: country, pop, contemporary AND rhythm and blues. The song was played at Skeeter's funeral, which is appropriate for another reason. The song is as much about death as it is the end of a relationship. Skeeter felt that way; when she sang it, she called up the memory of a friend who had recently died in a car accident.

Under her pseudonym Sylvia Dee, lyricist Josephine Moore sketched the words after the death of her father. Gradually it smoothed itself out to a ballad that could be about death or just a break-up: "it ended when I lost your love." The survivor sings, "I wake up in the morning and I wonder...how everything's the same as it was. I can't understand — no I can't understand — how life goes on the way it does."
Life goes on, and many singers have taken their turn with this song that touches on that tragic situation when finality comes a little early, and leaves another behind...grateful to still be alive, but forever dealing with emptiness and heartache.
No other song proved a bigger hit for Skeeter Davis or for Sylvia Dee, who also wrote the lyrics for "Angel Lips, Angel Eyes," "Puschart Serenade," "Moonlight Swim," "Somebody Nobody Wants," and "Please Don't Talk to the Lifeguard." Nobody touches Skeeter's version, though the download has many worthy attempts and moving arrangements of this enduring, humble tune.
Skeeter died of cancer, September 19, 2004. "The End of the World" was played at a memorial service for her at the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, a service attended by contemporaries including Vince Gill, Bobby Bare, Marty Stuart, Martina McBride, Connie Smith, Jan Howard, Jeannie Seely, Jean Shepherd, Del McCoury, Lorrie Morgan, Sammy Kershaw, Donnie Fritts, Dickey Lee, Jack Greene, Billy Walker, Bill Anderson, Jimmy Dickens, Charlie Louvin and George Hamilton IV. In June of 2005, one thousand fans came to an estate sale at her Kentucky home to buy her clothes, memorabilia, and other items she left behind.
Your download offers a dozen versions, (some ripped from rare vinyl just for your listening misery) including Claudine Longet, Leigh Nash, Sonia, Brenda Lee, Vonda Shepard, Agnetha Faltskog and The Carpenters. While the tune is more in keeping with a woman's emotion of woe, there are two male versions here...the teen angst of Peter Noone (Herman's Hermits) and a take from Jerry Lanning which...well...you hate to hear a grown man sing this song...

Oct 20: New Rapidshare Link END of the WAITING

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Sgt. Pepper's MAX MILLER

One of the many faces you probably didn't recognize on the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band belongs to... Max Miller.
The Stone Age Benny Hill, merry Maxie was known as "The Cheeky Chappie" for the saucy tunes that got him banned from BBC radio for five years.
Probably all of The Beatles wanted him on the Pepper cover. Lennon and Harrison must have loved Miller's vaudevillian bravado (a style that may have later influenced Spike Milligan and the Monty Python troupe). McCartney and Starr probably also loved Miller's musical styles, ones that your mother would know, and still make for a sentimental journey.
He died in 1963, just before The Beatles changed the music world. He remains a beloved figure in England and has been the subject of a few TV documentaries and other belated huzzahs.


No Rapidshare. No codes or ads. Just "MARY FROM THE DAIRY"
By MAX MILLER

Mr. Flood's Party - Horror-Psych Album

A late 60's psych band naming itself after a poem by Edwin Arlington Robinson? They would either become the darling of college campuses or an obscurity on the illfolks blog.
This curio is a strange but pleasing mix of CS&N type harmony (most notable on the song "Deja Vu," which is not to be confused with the CSN&Y tune) and most any overwrought psych band of the era. Add a dash of Zappa; the band wasn't averse to drifting off into tongue-in-cheek chant ("Tangerine...tangerine...kiss my tangerine...") or mocking the "Evil Prince of Darkness" with saucy lyrics and a dash of doo-wop.
The best song is the shortest, probably the only one that might've had a shot at being a single. Not a hit single, but a single. It's "Simon J. Stone," which is the only song on the album that references Tilbury Town, where Edwin Arlington Robinson's characters lived in their anguish, chagrins and occasional glory. "Simon J. Stone, you're a good man, what is there left for a good man?" Or an obscure 60's psych band that put an old man on the cover of their album years before "Aqualung."



Join......the party.

GENE BARRY & BURKE'S LAW


He had Klass. Until he changed his last name to Barry.
The debonair Jewish actor became a star as TV's Bat Masterson, and then Amos Burke, both law-keeping dandies who regretted fist-fights if it soiled their expensive clothes.
Only Robert Vaughn made better use of 60's Hero Take #48 (mouth open, no sound coming out, followed by a mild glare and an exasperated grimace).
A closet vaudevillian, Gene Barry loved any opportunity to sing, and he did so in nightclubs, on episodes of "Burke's Law" and ultimately on Broadway in "La Cage Au Folles."
Here, you get Gene's somewhat gross version of the theme song with leaden lyrics ("Hey, Lovuhhh...") The original posting included "The Burke's Law Suite," a bombastic collage of great music from the original TV soundtrack. It's a lounge classic, and the rest of Barry's album, but it timed out via Rapidshare around Oct. 15th when they had their infamous file purging. "If nobody downloads in time, tough luck for us all." Illfolks Law.
"Burke's Law," produced by Aaron Spelling, is still great fun to watch. Ironically, the character first appeared on an episode of "The Dick Powell Show." The episode "Who Killed Julie Greer" starred Dick Powell as Amos Burke. That was in 1961. In 1963, with Powell suffering a terminal illness, Gene Barry stepped into the role and "Burke's Law" began it's two year run. When the spy craze hit TV, the show was re-tooled as "Amos Burke: Secret Agent," and retired after 17 episodes. In 1994, "Burke's Law" had a brief revival with Gene Barry once again in command, surrounded by a new team of sidekicks.
Despite the cad image, Gene Barry has had one of the longest marriages in Hollywood, and he capped his long acting career with a cameo in "War of the Worlds" (having starred in the original.)
Gene Barry is always a suave, humorous and compelling presence. Nobody has his voice or, come to think of it, those unusually sculpted ears. Your ears may get re-sculpted listening to the jaunty baritone of a man so in love with crooning he probably takes an extra shower each day just so he can sing in it.
"It's..." ...Burke's Theme sung by Gene Barry
No Rapidshare or Porn-ad click-throughs. Instant download.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

BOB DILDYN RADIO THEME HOUR : VAGINA

Premiering the same day as the release of "Modern Times," the BOB DILDYN RADIO THEME HOUR offers a compilation of songs about the Vagina.

Bob's cogent commentary on "the mighty quim" prefaces many of the selections, which include:

It's All Right It Won't Bite
Cameltoe
Pretty Purple Panties


Shave 'em Dry
My Girl's Pussy
Red River Sally
We Are the Tampons
Rotten Fish
My Vagina
Step Inside Love
I'm a Lesbian
The Pussy Cat Song

As well as Bob's own "When Dogs Run, Freak," which evidently is on his Debasement Tapes release. As John McEnroe used to say about cable radio, "You can NOT be SIRIUS!"



Bob Dildyn!

French is a Loving Tongue


Here's a lot of French-singing ladies from Canada, France and Europe. It's a pretty smooth and lush collection. No distracting ye-ye girls, no punque babes, not even the gurgling trill of Piaf. The idea is not to necessarily give you an overview of every popular French babe, but a good compilation album of fun covers, as well as moody and exotic and erotic originals.

1. Carole Laure. Nyuk, a Canuck. "Save The Last Dance for Me" in French. Primarily a sexy actress, she began recording in the 70's, so her albums wouldn't quite be ancient volumes of forgotten Laure.

2. Francine Laine. I don't believe she was named after Frankie Laine. Have you ever had a French girl talking urgently and emotionally to you? Me neither. This may fulfill your fantasies: "Moi Sensuelle." Your imagination may be better than the real lyrics.

3. Annie Villeneuve. "Tomber a l'eau." I was drawn to any song with "Tomber" in it, till I learned it has nothing to do with tombs. It's one of the catchiest pieces of power pop I've heard in years. She's Canadian. She makes me want to go over the border.

4. Julie. Why go by one name? It makes an Internet search impossible. I found this on a compilation lp of French hits. "Maria Magdalene" may be a religious tune but it has a nice bossa nova rhythm to it. It also has a timeless quality. Meaning, I don't know when it was recorded. I could do without the guys in the backing chorus but it's too late to do anything about it.

5. Marie LaForet. "Marie Douceur (Paint it Black)." In the 60's she was a stunner, the kind you'd buy just for the album cover. And yes, she could sing, too.

6. Nicole Rieu. "Have You Never Been Mellow" in French? "Me Maison Au Bord de L'eau"

7. Dalida wasn't French or Canadian, but sang very often in French. The selected tune, a polished Abba-esque commercial pop piece, will get you bouncing your baguette. The song is "Mourir su scene." At the time I figured any song with "Mourir" in it had to be morbid in some way. OK, she's dead, that's morbid.

8. Jane Birkin. "Le Sex Shop." You all know their more obvious and orgasmic hit single (which is on the blog in the Bardot version, elsewhere) so here's another Serge Gainsbourg duet, the one that ended a film's humorous if slightly melancholy look at a guy's brief entry into the skin trade.

9. Zizi Jeanmaire. A legendary old broad. This is a Serge Gainsbourg song nastily called "Merde a l'amour," and it's sung in a vaudevillian way. You can just imagine the visual, a cakewalk on a street full of dog poop. Or am I romanticizing?

10. Maurane. No, that isn't a weather forecast, that's her name. "Prelude de Bach" takes a classical theme into lush territory (ie, a saloon where you'll drink and sob imagining your own sad translation).

11. Monique Gaube. "To Sir With Love" in French. You'd take a French lesson from this teacher.

12. Christien Pilzer. "Dracula." This was 40 years ago. Why she was singing about le vampire is probably a buried secret by now.

13. France Gall. "Resiste." Do you have the gall to resist a woman who is such a credit to France?

14. Veronique Sanson. "Longue Distance." In France, she is a living legend, as huge there as Carly or Joni was here in the 70's and 80's. Her great melodies were spiced with Island rhythms at times, and flirtations with syncopation. In America she's vaguely known as "wasn't she married to Stephen Stills?"

15. Sandrine Kiberlain. "Le quotid." This heartbreaker is also an actress, and she starred in the cult film "Monsieur Hire" as, what else, a heartbreaker. Based on aGeorge Simenon story, the mystery is moody, erotic and being French, depressing.

16. Mylene Farmer. "L'amour n'est rien." She took her last name as an homage to Frances Farmer. She's written a song about Edgar A. Poe. Her videos are strange, erotic, and often gothic. I could write endlessly about her, with a pen dipped in blood.

17. Francoise Hardy. "Tant de belles choses." The trifecta of French pop superstars
would be Francoise, Veronique and Mylene over the past 40 years. They overlap, and if you're listening or watching them, you'd overlap, too.

18. Julie Zenatti. "Toutes Les Couleurs." We end with some sweet French pastry.

Various ladies could be here, including Lara Fabian, Zazie, Nathalie Cordonne, Alizee, the duo of Lily Margot, Vanessa Paradis, etc. etc.. So, assemble your own compilation and upload it, nu?

That's FRENCH! Via Rapidshare

And if you want a quick pick-me-up, here's the sprightly Dalida pop tune:
Instant Download or listen on line.

CARROLL O'CONNOR - Remembering You

"It's all over now." I mean, the controversies over "All in the Family," where Carroll O'Connor and cast had to defend their show against charges of promoting bigotry. Today, the show is remembered, and still watched, as a "classic." Though so much praise went to Carroll O'Connor he modestly said his "Archie Bunker" character was merely a cross between Jimmy Cagney and Jackie Gleason.

During the run of "All in the Family," O'Connor was inspired to write lyrics for Roger Kellaway's closing theme song. The opening sentiment: "Gotta feeling it's all over now, all over now, we're through. And tomorrow I'll be lonesome remembering you..."

He got a chance to record this wistful number on an album called "Remembering You," a collection of 30's hits with spoken introductions for each song. As you download this and play the opening line, "It's all over now..." may the memories of all the great work Carroll O'Connor did come back to you. It's a good song, too. Here's "Remembering you," sir.


Fresh Link Instant Download HERE. No codes, Rapidshare or confusion

ISTANBUL NOT CONSTANTINOPLE

If they told you once, they told you five times:
ISTANBUL, NOT CONSTANTINOPLE!
The Four Lads told you in the 50's, and so did
2. Caterina Valente (so many ways to spell her name wrong!)
3. Trevor Horn
4. Moxy Fruvois
5. They Might Be Giants

The question...why such continuing enthusiasm for a novelty song about ethnic identity?
Having a white person faking a Middle Eastern yowl is not very PC, nor is the use of snake-charmer woodwinds and a camel-clop boogie beat. It's remarkable that nobody's called for this dopey, catchy song to be banned (like, say, a certain bunch of novelty newspaper cartoons).
Do you know why it's ISTANBUL and not CONSTANTINOPLE?
Well, Students, centuries ago the city was named for emperor Constantine, and was part of the conquering empire of Greece. This didn't thrill the Turks, who got tired of bending over to the Greeks. When Greek road signs announced "Stanbulin" (meaning, "To the City"), some Turks made it "Islambol" ("Islam abounds"). "Stamboul" became a popular nickname for the place.
Around the 1920's, the Ottomon empire officially collapsed (terrible news if you were sitting on an ottoman at the time). Mustafa Kemel, who himself preferred another name (Kemel Ataturk, aka "Father of the Turks") officially proclaimed Turkish independence from past rulers and changed the name to Istanbul. But around the world, it was still Constantinople.
As late as the 50's, Turkey was roasting with hostility over this insult, and that led to...a novelty song that went a long way toward setting everything straight! With radio-commercial repetition ("Instanbul! Not Constantinople!") and a jocular basso refrain ("people just liked it better that way") The Four Lads told the world and the world...listened!
The power of humor! A musical elbow in the ribs got the world to call Constantinople Istanbul! Handling things with a dash of comedy worked wonders!
Right?
Somehow despite Middle East tensions, this tune with it's stereotypical Persian Market (!) instrumentation and air-rending Arabic (!) yodels, still gets covered. Perhaps it still needs to be. In Greece, Turkey's town is still called Konstantinopolis by those who feel "after all we did for you" the place should still acknowledge its past. Some Greek-made maps don't even add Istanbul in parenthesis. But most everywhere else (all together) it's ISTANBUL not CONSTANTINOPLE.
That's your lesson in trivia, ethnic sensitivity and pride. Download or not. It's nobody's business but your own.


Update: the Rapidshare link died around December 15th, from lack of activity, and the UPLOADED file expired on a re-up. Not a popular entry on the blog?? Well...so it won't be a total loss, here's two tracks upped as singles:

FOUR LADS! Download or listen on line.
AND THEY MIGHT BE GIANTS

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Karla DeVito & Pat Benatar do Martin Briley


Karla and Pat earned their M.B. -- by covering Martin Briley.
Briley was known for misanthropic songwriting, and unlike goofy, teddy-bear Randy Newman, he looked like he meant it. You might remember his piercing stare and lone MTV video hit "(You ain't worth) The Salt In My Tears."
When sung by WOMEN, Martin's vicious songs become feminist anthems. Oh, the irony of it. "I'm Just Using You" is power pop slapping you in the face. Pat Benatar is even tougher with "Take It Any Way You Want It."

Also here: two other vintage Briley songs, "Someday, Someway" covered by Jeff Healey and "Can't Keep Running" by Greg Allman. Briley toned himself down to become a very successful songwriter (Celine Dion and N'Sync) but his real fans are buying the 2 CD re-issue set featuring all three of his classic Mercury albums (and a few demo and bonus cuts), songs from when Briley was that bitter twisted lemon floating in the cocktail of the 80's. Or something like that. It's always a salty download if it involves wryly briney Martin Briley.

KARLA DEVITO

PAT BENATAR

JEFF HEALEY

GREG ALLMAN

ALL THE NUNS WITH GUNS


Here's a G.E. Smith song with Paul Simon on backing vocals. Even most Paul Simon fans don't know about this rarity. In fact, if you listen closely, you can hardly hear him in the mix. But he's there, and that's part of the quirk on this obscure but catchy tune.
Thanks Jim Delehant (Hit Parader/rock mogul) for handing this to me one day. Many days ago.
G.E. Smith was the somewhat crazed-looking guitarist leading the "Saturday Night Live" band (1985-95). He also married Gilda Radner, worked with Dan Hartman and toured with Hall and Oates. That's probably the best way for George to have handled those folks.
Smith's stinging guitar is very evident on this track, but the guy was capable of other guitar stylings, having co-written the metal-moron "Wayne's World" theme song.
NUNS WITH GUNS

CATS IN THE KETTLE


Harry Chapin wrote good songs. Chinese food is safe 'n tasty. Cats are great.
So why do a parody about 'em? Oh, why not. Manic Larry Baker's "Cats in the Kettle" is short and sweet (and sour). A little tasteless, a little un-PC, but it doesn't really harm Harry, cats, or the reputation of Chinese kitchens.
With novelty songs, often taped off the radio or just tossed on P2P sites, the credit gets lost, or worse, ends up tagged as Weird Al Yankovic or Anonymous. That name again is: Manic Larry Baker.
Hear him quick as a cat Instant Download or Listen on Line

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

MORE DIANA RIGG & THE AVENGERS


"Mrs. Peel, We're Needed...on the Ill Folks Blog again!"
Gracing us with an obscure gem, Diana Rigg sings Sondheim! It's not easy for even the best singers to handle the intricacies...so bravo for this appealing performance. The other Diana Rigg song is still alive and well in the archives. Emma's replacement, "Tara King" (Linda Thorson), helps pads things out with her pair. Songs, that is.

Back in the archives you'll find a 4-pack of Honor Blackman. Honor Blackman never pretended to be a singer, but her solo songs were received well. She assumed Patrick MacNee would have no problems either: “Patrick said he had no sense of rhythm and couldn’t sing but we thought that was absolute nonsense until we actually got there and found it was absolutely true!”

You get the silly novelty hit "Kinky Boots," which is the least sexy song ever to have "Kinky" in its title. And also part of the download, a bright stereo rendition of "The Avengers" theme from the composer himself, Laurie Johnson. You even get some oddball theme song versions, including one that samples dialogue from John and Emma.
There won't be a time when Steed's words don't ring true: "Mrs. Peel, We're Needed."


1. Diana Rigg "Could I Leave You?"
2. Avengers (Disco Version)
3. Avengers "Peel the Reel" theme song with dialogue
4. Avengers (Magnetic Remix)
5. Avengers (Impulsion Remix)
6. Avengers (Laurie Johnson & Orchestra)
7. Linda Thorson "Here I Am"
8. Linda Thorson "Bad Time to Stop Loving Me"
9. Patrick MacNee and Honor Blackman "Kinky Boots"

Emma 'bout ta download dis...
Update: This one timed out due to Rapidshare's "10 days of inactivity" purge. But...re-upped as singles...



KINKY BOOTS
DIANA RIGG "Could I Leave You"
LINDA THORSON "Here I Am"
4 Songs by Honor Blackman

DOODLES WEAVER

Unlike his brother Pat (president of NBC and father to Sigourney Weaver), Winstead Weaver looked like a "doodlebug" (his own mother's opinion!) and acted like one, being a cornball comic/singer all his life.

The dude named Doodles gained fame with a manic William Tell horse race routine on a Spike Jones novelty single. He did a sequel, "Dance of the Hours" as a car race. Doodles also loved spoonerisms, mispronouncing song lyrics in frantic gibberish till he'd clear his mind with a bellowing "OOOOH!" That, along with deliberately awful jokes, made a hit out of "Man on the Flying Trapeze." You can hear Spike Jones ask "Are you in voice, Winstead," at the beginning.

He worked with Jones on stage and on radio for many years, but was fired for a lethal combo of alcoholism and natural nutsiness. He had bit parts in movies, notably the 1940 version of "Li'l Abner," and in 1951 prevailed upon brother Pat to help him land a summer TV show on NBC which went nowhere. He turned up on "You Bet Your Life" as an unknown contestant. After Doodles admitted his profession was a comedian, Groucho sympathetically hoped he'd get somewhere with it. In 1965 Weaver briefly had a notoriously desperate 6-minute "Day with Doodles" syndicated kiddie show. Nothing worked too well.

Throughout the 60's The Dood took minor roles in sitcoms, from "Dick Van Dyke Show" to "The Monkees" to "Batman" (as "Crier Tuck). His curly hair, tubular head and large eyes helped the comic ambience of any scene, even if his lines were few.

The older he got, the more bitter and disillusioned he became. 1948, when he issued his novelty tunes with Spike, was probably Doodles' best year. 1983 would be his worst...in fact, despite of or because of alcohol and pills, be couldn't stand to live more than a few weeks into 1983.

Not too many years earlier, Doodles went into the studio one last time to make a solo disc. He offered some updated spooner routines and he even tried to work his dentures through his classic Feetlebaum routine...which was now more of a trotter than a horse race.

Here's a six pack with samples of Doodles' hit singles, radio tunes and final recordings. All Weaver wanted was to get some laughs, and even if you're not a corn-comedy buff, he Dood it. He succeeded mightily several times, and in every sense of the word, he was always trying.




Cop a Doodles... DO! (Right here)
Update: the mid-October "inactivity purge" doomed Doodles at Rapidshare, but here's an upload of two rarities for you, Doodles doin' it on the old Spike Jones radio show. No Rapidshare waiting, either. Instant gratification
TWO DOODLES!

Saturday, July 29, 2006

TORCHBURN with JULIE LONDON




Carrying a torch, watching it burn. Having an aching heart. Or just heartburn.
Here's a selection of tortured torch songs and love-sick laments. "Do not fall in love, therefore. It will stick to your face." (A line from "Deteriorata").
It could be worse. On Del Shannon's version of "Big Hurt," there's a drum gunshot after "this time the big hurt will end." A bit too grim for this compilation. But there are plenty of old flames and smokey ruins here...
We turn to Julie London for songs of despair, loneliness, anger, and lovelorn lust. Ok, and we have to end with a little touch of vengeance. The first ten are from early in her career, when her whispery voice was best augmented by a simple trio. As she got a little bolder and better, she was more than capable of holding her own with a full band, as you'll hear on the back eight.
The tracks are from seven different albums.
1. The Thrill is Gone
2. Everything Happens to Me
3. Say It Isn't So
4. Gone With the Wind
5. What'll I Do
6. When Your Lover Has Gone
7. Don't Take Your Love From Me
8. Lonely Girl
9. All Alone
10. Mean to Me
11. Don't Smoke in Bed
12. Baby Won't You Please Come Home
13. There Will Never BE Another You
14. Get Set for the Blues
15. About the Blues
16. The Blues is All I Ever Had
17. The End of the World
18. I Wanna be Around

Listen to the ebb and flow of sighs, insensitivity and sorrows. O. Henry once said "Life is made up of sobs, sniffles, and smiles, with sniffles predominating..." And in the next life he became a candy bar. Life is sweet after you're dead.



Who broke your heart?
Keep that Torch Light Burning

SPIKE MILLIGAN

Sapristi!


A tribute to the clown warrior Spike. Yes, Milligna, the well known typing error. At the time of his passing, he was acknowledged as the Godfather of British comedy, the man whose style could be heard and seen in everything from radio's "Round the Horne" to TV's "Monty Python's Flying Circus." First known as a member of The Goons (the only one of the three who wrote the radio trio's material) he went on to a busy solo career on radio, TV and via best-selling books.

One of the most complex and contradictory of comedians, Spike was the eye of a creative hurricane, capable of surreal jokes, aching poetry, whimsical nonsense and gut-wrenching letters to the local papers. Both manic and depressive, Spike was a Don Quixote who sometimes seemed to enjoy the battle and his victories, and was sometimes the victim of unseen and demonic enemies.

What you'll find here, are some vaudevillian and eccentric numbers written and mostly performed by him (one includes fellow Goons Secombe and Sellers). You know his name, now look up the download! John Lennon loved The Goons, and you might recognize some absurdist touches that later figured into John's more light-hearted numbers. Lennon even wrote a review in the New York Times for the first volume of Goon Show scripts.

Get Gooned on strange comic songs. With no further dew, try to digest this six-pack of strangely Spiked music:
Eeh Ah Oh Ooh
Ning Nang Nong (India Version)
Sewers of the Strand
I'm Walking Backwards for Christmas
I'm Walking Out with a Mountain
Finale
He's GOON BUT NOT FORGOTTEN
Update: SAPRISTI! This one timed-out for inactivity.
Will try and re-up when I get some time. Rapidshare, you great leaping crabs, you!
In the meantime, at least here's a live instant download for...
SEWERS OF THE STRAND

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

GRETA KELLER - She was the Wan



A sweet sorrow will comfort you hearing the voice of Greta Keller (1905-1977). Like viewing a daguerrotype of a beautiful woman, listening to Greta's singing brings a sense of a past that must have been glorious. Too bad you, or she, was born at the wrong time.


Rather than wax melancholic over the wax, discover for yourself the nostalgic niche occupied, perhaps to waning interest, by the interestingly wan Greta Keller. Perhaps it's Keller's lingering German accent that makes her interpretations bittersweet, the tremulous attention she gives toward interpreting the lyrics, or just the aura she presents as a world-weary and aging chanteuse on a dreary tour through smoke-filled nightclubs.


Madame Keller's private life, as her voice suggests, included a variety of traumas. The worst was the murder of her husband David Bacon, apparently while he was patronizing a gay brothel. He was vaguely known at the time for portraying The Masked Marvel in a movie serial. Pregnant at the time of the tragedy, Greta's child arrived stillborn.


In 1940 she opened "Chez Greta" at New York's Algonquin Hotel. Noel Coward, Gertrude Lawrence, Tallulah Bankhead, Greta Garbo, Cole Porter and Maurice Chevalier all toasted her as one of the best. In 1947 she opened a new "Chez Greta" in St. Moritz Switzerland and in 1960 returned to New York for two years at the Waldorf Astoria. She continued to tour the world through the 60's and early 70's, evoking nostalgia and stoking libidos. Her rendition of "Married" can be heard in the 1972 film "Cabaret."


Yes, that's her grave. The floating saucer with Greta's portrait has been added, along with the notes on the grave behind hers. Dietrich was more theatrical, Hildegarde evinced more humor, but the tender Greta Keller has a way with a sad song, and here are some of her most uplifting downers.


These are recordings from the 30's and 40's:


These Foolish Things
I Apologize
Blues In My Heart
All of Me
Just Friends
Did You Mean It?
They Can't Take that Away from Me
Thanks for the Memory
Once in a While
You Leave Me Breathless
So Little Time
Lights Out
Mine Alone
Remember Me
The Very Thought Of You
and even more.
Poignant stuff...and it'll be yours quick-as-Rapidshare. Download Keller...
You Won't Re-gret-a It.


Update: this one died due to Rapidshare's infamous "inactivity" purge in mid-October. But here's one song, at least. Instant gratification and no wait via Box.net upload:
They Can't Take That Away From Me (or you)