The Soundtrack For The Baby Boomer Generation

Step back to a time when singers were as bright as the stars in the heavens
and the music they sang was really swingin'. Stacks of wax to fit every occasion!

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Norman, Is That You?

Artist:  Tony Perkins
Song:  Indian Giver (a-side) (b-side is Just Being Of Age)
Label:  RCA Victor
Number:  47-7155
Songwriter:  Tony Perkins (arranged by Shorty Rogers)
Time: 2:28
Released:  1958

Today's artist was primarily known for being a "Psycho."  But, he was no psycho when it came to singing; in fact, he had a pretty good voice.  Of course I'm talking about Anthony Perkins, who was famous for playing Norman Bates in Alfred Hitchcock's 1960 motion picture "Psycho."  He was born on April 4th, 1932 and was primarily known as an actor, with an acting career that lasted from 1953 until 1992, the year he died.  He was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Supporting actor in his second film, Friendly Persuasion, which was released in 1956.  He was so well known in his Norman Bates role, that he ended up doing three sequels to Psycho.  Some of his other movies were On The Beach (1959), Murder On The Orient Express (1974), Mahogany (1975), and one of my favorites, The Black Hole (1979).
In the 1950s he branched out and released three pop music albums, along with several singles, on the Epic and RCA labels, using the name Tony Perkins.  Although his musical career seems to have only lasted for the two years of 1957 and 1958, he did have a modest hit with his single Moon-Light Swim, which reached number 24 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts in 1957.
You'd be crazy not to want to hear Tony Perkins singing "Indian Giver", a song he wrote himself!

Wednesday, July 1, 2020

A Bright Star

Artist:  Kitty Kallen
Song:  Star Bright (a-side) (b-side is Gently, Johnny)
Label:  Decca (Sample Copy - Not For Sale)
Number:  9-30267
Songwriters:  Gustav Auerbach-Ralph M. Siegel-Sam Coslow
Time: 2:51
Released:  March 21st, 1957

I was going through my records and came across another great Kitty Kallen 45 r.p.m. record I had overlooked.  Now, she's been represented before here on Music For Every Mood, (here and here), but you just can't seem to hear too much of her great voice.  Today's wonderful ballad was called Star Bright and a review of it at the time it was released in 1957 had this to say about it:  "Kitty Kallen's warm, wistful voice is in top form as the lark drifts thru a tender new love song that could follow in the footsteps of Little Things if it gets heavy airplay.  Charming romancer superbly delivered by the ace songstress.  Watch this one.  It's a sleeper with great potential."
In this time of world turmoil, sit back, relax and let the soothing sounds of this lark wash over you.  Here's Kitty Kallen delivering "Star Bright."  Ciao!

Twice The Fun

Artist:  The Le Garde Twins
Song:  Baby Sitter (a-side) (b-side is Where Can The Lovelight Be)
Label:  Liberty Records
Number:  F-55266
Songwriter:  Boudleaux Bryant
Time: 2:20
Released:  November 1960

The identical twins, Tom and Ted, were born on March 15th, 1931, in MacKay, Australia.  They had quite a varied career.  They both sing and play the guitar, and like The Everly Brothers, Boudleaux Bryant wrote songs for them.  Both sides of this single were written by him, in fact.  They left home at the age of 15 to join the rodeo circuit.  When that didn't work out, they turned to performing, which they did throughout their native Australia with the nickname "Australia's Yodeling Stockmen."  In 1957, they left to go to Canada because their influence Wilf Carter (who was known as Montana Slim), had been from there.  They didn't stay long, however, because the bright lights of Hollywood were calling to them.  They appeared on variety shows and even got their own show on KTLA, in Los Angeles.  They also guest starred in an episode of the original Star Trek, "I Mudd" in 1967, where they played a series of androids who were identical in appearance.  Eventually, they settled down in Nashville, Tennessee because of their country music leaning.  They toured a lot in the 1970s because of the revival western movies were having at the time.
They were still active until the first decade of the 21st century.  Brother Ted passed away on August 2nd, 2018.  Even though they were fans of country music, today's song is pure pop.  An upbeat number about being a baby sitter for neighbors.  You can almost picture The Everly Brothers as having recorded it, the arrangement was in their style.  So, please take a listen to this catchy ditty by The Le Garde Twins as they bemoan the problems of being a "Baby Sitter."

She Is Not A Crook

Artist:  Juanita Nixon
Song:  Let Me Be Free (a-side) (b-side is Stop Knockin')
Label:  King Records
Number:  45-5375
Songwriter:  Billy Myles
Time:  1:55
Released:  July 1960

I couldn't seem to find out anything about today's artist, Juanita Nixon.  But, she belts out this nifty little R&B number with the best of them. As far as a recording artist, I can only seem to find three singles she released, all for different labels.  This was her first, in 1960; in 1963 she released "There's A Boy/I Met My Sugar In A Candy Store," on the Hawk label; and apparently her last release came in September 1965.  It was on the Laurie label and featured "Think It Over," with a song by another artist on the flipside, "Lazy Love."  This song was written by Billy Myles and I've posted some of his music previously here on Music For Every Mood.  You can find it here:  Billy Myles - The Joker.  But first, please enjoy Juanita Nixon singing "Let Me Be Free".

I did find an image that I think was of Juanita, but I'm not sure.  If so, here's what she looked like in her prime:

Thursday, August 1, 2019

No, Not David Rockefeller

Artist: The Rock-Fellers
Song: Orange Peel (b-side) (a-side is Ours)
Label: Valor Records
Number: 45-VA-007
Songwriters: Bachelor-Stevens
Time: 2:15
Released: December 1958

This is one of those groups where I couldn't find out anything about them on the internet.  Apparently, they were a Rockabilly group and released a couple singles that I could find.  This particular record is a real upbeat rocker with lots of screaming saxophone and backup singers.  Other than that, that's all I know.  Their group name is what I thought was catchy and when I tried to look them up, about all I could find were things about this guy named David Rockefeller; whoever he was.  (Nudge nudge, wink wink.)  I don't think he was their sax player, either.  But, enjoy this rockin' little tune anyway!  Here's The Rock-Fellers singing "Orange Peel".  At least it wasn't a banana peel.

Record Sleeves

Some of you might remember that back in the day when you bought the latest hit single, they came incased in a paper sleeve.  Some had pictures of the artists on the front, while others were just basically promotional pieces for other current hits on the label.  This was a Decca promotional sleeve that featured artists such as Victor Young, Jimmie Lunceford, Bill Haley and His Comets, (!) The Four Aces, Billy Ward And The Dominoes, Bobby Helms, Sammy Davis, Jr., and Carmen Cavallaro.  This is the sleeve pictured below:

What you might also have noticed is that this particular record sleeve features some artwork in the top left corner that might look a little familiar.  Yes, it is the Music For Every Mood woman!  I used her as the basis for my blog title banner and came across it recently and thought I'd share the whole sleeve for you here.  The record inside the sleeve is one you might also be familiar with - Kitty Kallen singing I Never Was The One, which is a song I featured in this post right here:  I Never Was The One.  Kitty was also spotlighted in another article I featured here:  Kitty Kallen - Raining In My Heart.

It is my intent to start posting some more records.  The biggest problem I've had with a lot of the sides I have in my collection is that the artists were not real big and there isn't much or, in some cases, anything to be found out about them on the internet.  But, maybe it won't detract too much from the music itself.  That's what it's really about, though, isn't it?  The music for every mood?

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Kitty Kallen, 1921-2016

I just found out that Kitty Kallen has died.  She had such a smooth voice and was spotlighted here on Music For Every Mood in this post.  Born Katie Kallen on May 25, 1921, she passed away at her home in Cuernavaca, Mexico last Thursday, January 7th, 2016.  If you happen upon a recording of hers, don't pass it by.  Her singing was wonderful!

And a special treat for her fans out there - here's one of the last songs she recorded - Raining In My Heart.  It had been a posthumous hit for Buddy Holly in 1959 and Kitty's version is from 1961, the year I was born.  Here then is Kitty Kallen doing the lush big band sound of "Raining In My Heart."