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Specialty #800 (12”)   


RLP 12-821


Regina music box (antique music box) recorded and

mastered in Denville, New Jersey, 1956? 

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  1. My Country ‘Tis of Thee

  2. Marches of the Knights of Ak-Sar-Ben

  3. Love’s Old Sweet Song

  4. Cathedral Chimes Waltz

  5. Polka fro Cadiz

  6. Annie Laurie

  7. Oh, Promise Me

  8. Wedding March

  9. Beau Ideal March

  10. At Twilight Hour

  11. Quintet from Martha

  12. The Last Roe of Summer

  13. Melody in F


  1. My Wild Irish Rose 

  2. Swanee River

  3. Laughing Nymph Waltz

  4. Aria for Martha

  5. Absynthe Frappe

  6. Angel’s Serenade

  7. Intermezzo from Cavalleria Rusticana

  8. Love Dream after the Ball

  9. Cantina from Faust

  10. Grand March from Ernani

  11. Song of the Music Box

  12. The Stars and Stripes Forever

   This album presents a startlingly unusual combination of the old and the new: the melodies of an antique music box, as reproduced with the brilliance of the thoroughly modern sound techniques of high fidelity recording. 

   There can be few sounds in the world as charming, as richly and delightfully nostalgic as those of the music box.  It is a sound with a basically Old World aura, dignified and delicately melodic – and it is one that by now has all but vanished from the earth.  But it is not completely gone: there are still more than a few antique music boxes to be found, and the discs designed to be played by them can still send forth the marches, the operatic selections, the old familiar airs that were once to be heard everywhere.  And now, as transferred to this other, newer medium of sound, music box melodies can delight not only those for whom they clearly recall the past, but also the many other listeners to whom “music box” can mean only a tinkling melody dimly remembered from childhood, or something in a story a parent or grandparent used to tell …

   The music box has been obsolete for more than half a century: the factory that manufactured the Regina box closed its doors as long ago as 1903; most others went out of business at about the same time; discs were made for just a few years more, and then the entire music box industry was at an end.  It was a startling swift finish for a skilled and distinguished craft that had begun with the painstaking work of Swiss, French and German artisans some two hundred years earlier.  But the reason is not hard to find: Edison had invented the phonograph, and the wonderfully intricate, carved boxes that had brought music to so many parlors and living rooms were suddenly obsolete. 

   The Regina, which was called (with a certain disregard for Latin gender) the “king of the music boxes,” was the best known of all the disc type boxes.  It was manufactured in New Jersey from 1878 on, having been established by workman sent over by a German company, whose intention was to meet the demand for an inexpensive music box equipped to play a large assortment of discs.  Regina music boxes were made with discs having diameters from four up to thirty-six inches.  The “household” Regina, using 15 1/2 inch discs (the model heard on this record), was the most popular.  The production of discs was much like the method by which phonograph records are made today: copies were stamped out from master discs, and were sold through music stores and mail-order houses throughout the country.  

   The selections heard here offer a fair sampling of turn-of-the-century music box repertoire.  Among them are traditional songs like Annie Laurie and Love’s Old Sweet Song; Stephen Foster’s Swanee River and Thomas Moore’s Last Rose of Summer; stirring marches like Sousa’s Stars and Stripes Forever and Bear Ideal; selections from operas (typical of which are Mascagni’s “Cavalleria Rusticana;” Flotow’s “Martha;” Gounod’s “Faust;” Verdi’s “Ernani”); popular favorites of the day like DeKoven’s Ph, Promise Me (1889), Braga’s Angel’s Serenade (which actually dated back to the e1860s), Victor Herbert’s Absynthe Frappe (a late-comer from 1904).  

   Together, these twenty-five tunes add up to a collection that can be accepted for its value as nostalgia, for curiosity, or – best of all, undoubtedly- simply for its original musical purpose: entertainment and enjoyment. 


   We are indebted, for information concerning music boxes, to Mrs. Ruth C. Bornand, of the Bornand Music Company (of 139 Fourth Avenue, Pelham, N.Y.).  The Bornand family provides a direct link to the heyday of the music box: Joseph Bornand, founder of the company, was the foremost tuner of music box “combs” of his day, and carried on that work for the Regina firm during its entire life.  Today, the Bornand Company maintains its own large collection of antique music boxes and – as the last repository of a vanishing skill- repairs, services, and tunes boxes for museum and individual owners, as well as issuing their own recordings of music box melodies. 


   The Riverside catalog also includes albums devised from another type of rare predecessor of the phonograph record: the player piano roll – 

The Golden Age of RAGTIME (RLP 12-110) 

Ragtime Piano Roll Classics (RLP 12-126) 

   The wide variety of musical entertainment to be found on HIGH FIDELITY 12-inch LPs in the Riverside “Specialty Series” includes – 

STANLEY HOLLOWEAY’s Concert Party (RLP 12-824) 

Songs of Robert Burns: BETTY SANDERS (RLP 12-823) 

Art of the Five-String Banjo: BILLY FAIER (RLP 12-813) 

Barroom Ballads: ED McCURDY (RLP 12-807) 

I Come for to Sing: folk songs by BOB GIBSON (RLP 12-806) 

Jazz of the Roaring Twenties: featuring TOMMY and JIMMY DORSEY (RLP 12-801) 

Dancing at the Embassy Club: CHAUNCEY GRAY and his orchestra (RLP 12-804) 

Dance Party!: LENNY HERMAN and his Orchestra (RLP 12-809) 


A HIG FIDELITY Recording (Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve)

Recorded by JERRY B. MINTER, using an Ampex 300 tape recorder with Telefunken microphone; mastered in Denville, New Jersey, on a special (patented) Hydrofeed Lathe.

Cover photograph by DOUGLAS P. RODEWALD, from Rapho-Guillumette

Cover design: PAUL BACON



553 West 51st Street New York 1, New York




Betty Sanders (vcl)  acc by Jerry Silverman (g) and Haryr Smyles (oboe) 

Cue Recordings, New York; August 1957

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Side 1 

  1. Green Grow the Rahes, O 

  2. O Whistle and Ill Come to Ye, My Lad 

  3. For the Sake o’ Somebody 

  4. Scots, Wha Hae 

  5. Corn Rigs 

  6. Sodger Laddie 

  7. My Dowry’s the Jewel 

  8. I’m O’er Young to Marry Yet 

  9. Flow Gently, Sweet Alton 

Side 2 

  1. Is There for Honest Poverty 

  2. Braw Lads o’ Galla Water 

  3. John Anderson My Jo 

  4. Wandering Willlie 

  5. A Highland Lad My Love Was Born 

  6. The Susty Miller 

  7. The Highland Widow’s Lament 

  8. We’re A’ Noddin 

Notes written by Kenny S. Goldstein and John Greenway/

Cover designed by Paul Bacon and illustration by courtesy New York Public Library.



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York  

RLP 12-824



Sung by Stanley Holloway; arranged, conducted and piano accompaniment by Arthur Lief; vocal accompaniment by the Concert Party Four

New York; November, 1957

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  1. Long Ago in Alcala (2:12) 

  2. The Christening (1:31) 

  3. On Strike (1:38) 

  4. Captain Mac’ (2:56) 

  5. The Floral Dance (3:26) 

  6. Albert’s Reunion (3:12) 

  7. The Trumpeter (3:12) 


  1. The King Who Wanted Jam for Tea (2:52) 

  2. I Thought Mebbe I Would – an’ I Did (2:33) 

  3. The Street Watchman (3:33) 

  4. The Green-Eyed Dragon (2:48) 

  5. Up From Somerset (2:55) 

  6. Sam’s Christmas Pudding (3:44) 

  7. Four Jolly Sailormen (2:15) 

   “These are songs that say something,” says STANLEY HOLLOWAY.  “They don’t just go bump-de-bump-de without any meaning.”  He is not claiming that these are songs with a message – they most certainly are not – but that they are songs with an understandable beginning, middle and end, appealing to man’s desire to be entertained and to his sense of humor rather than to his baser instincts.

   But these songs also have other qualities that make them unique.  Initially they were written for and performed at “concert parties,” a form of entertainment which flourished in England between 190 and 1914 – that quaint, pre-World War I period when the world seemed very rosy indeed and a glorious sun never set on the British Empire.  A concert party was a summer touring group of singers and monologists who would play a week at each of the famous summer resorts (Brighton, Folkestone, and the like).  Usually, each group would identify itself with a catchy name and a costume to match (changing only coats and hats for different selections).  There were the Vangabonds and the Tatlers and the Co-optimists, the latter a group to which Mr. Holloway belonged for nearly ten years.  A concert party performance would invariably take the loose form in which this record is presented, except that audiences in those days were not so fortunate as to have Mr. Holloway appear in every number.    

   There were many concert party groups and consequently a great deal of new material was constantly in demand.  Thus a great many songs and recitations were produced especially for concert party performers, not a few of them for (and by) Mr. Holloway.  It must have been during one of those summer tours that such Holloway creations as the famed Sam Small, the stubborn Yorkshireman, and Albert and his hungry lion were born.

As the Holloway reputation increased, so did the number of songs written for his use.  Publishers were anxious to have their songs produced by these groups, and especially by their more popular members, and so in those far-off days they were quite willing to pay a royalty for every performance (nowadays it’s quite the other way around, for some reason!).  When a singer had programs attesting that he had performed a song twelve times, he would froward it to the publisher and receive in return two guineas - then about the equivalent of $10.50.  Of the selections in this album, three were originally written expressly for Mr. Holloway: The King Who Wanted Jam for Tea, The Gree-Eyed Dragon, and I Thought Mebbe I Would – and I Did.

   Why this particular selection of songs and recitations from a repertoire of literally hundreds, all just about equally entertaining?    The basis of choice was variety, for the wide range of numbers here enables us to at least sample the many talents of Holloway.  Four Jolly Sailormen is done up in Cockney dialect; Captain Mac’ (one of the most popular of concert party favorites) is in Scots dialect; The Christening offers an Irish brogue; Up From Somerset is, in the accents peculiar to Somerset.  There are two other Cockey items: The Street Watchman and On Strike – the latter written by Charles Pond about sixty years ago and selected by Mr. Holloway because of its pertinence today.  Albert’s Reunion and Sam’s Christmas Pudding, respectively devoted to his most celebrated juvenile and adult characters, are in the famous north country (Lancastershire or Yorkshire) dialect.

   Concert parties, alas, are no more.  They, like the society and the entire period that gave birth to them and supported them, were swallowed up in the Great War, never to return.  Yet these songs remain something more than just period pieces.  They do represent delightfully their bygone age, but there seems something timeless in the appeal of their cheerful inanity.  Perhaps it is simply that hey are being presented here by a performer who knows and loves them, who understand them – and who is a very superior entertainer.  That is, of course, a very big plus for any material to have on its side, and it would seem to make the combination of Holloway and Concert Party songs a most irresistible blend.


   STANLEY HOLLOWAY, if for some reason he needs introduction has been charming and delighting audiences for many years.  His in-person appearances have largely been before British audiences, but the American public has come to know him well through his performances in a long list of imported motion pictures.  He is probably most celebrated for his most hilarious roles – with Alec Guiness in “The Alligator Named Daisy” and many others.  But he is no slouch at the other end of the dramatic scale, his more serous endeavors including important roles in “Ceasar and Cleopatra,” in Noel Coward’s “This Happy Breed,” and with Sir Laurence Olivier in “Hamlet.”  Although New York has seen him before, in “a Midsummernight’s Dream,” performed at he Metropolitan Opera House in 1954, he will undoubtedly be remembered forever by millions of Americans principally for his magnificent portrayal of Liza Doolittle’s wonderfully amoral father in that musical hit of hits, “My fair Lady.”


   Other unusual 12-inch Riverside LPs of special interest include – 

Man Is for the Woman Made and other songs from England’s ‘Golden Age’; JOHN RUNGE (RLP 12-817) 

A Concert of English Folk Song: JOHN RUNGE (RLP 12-814) 

The Song of Robert Burns: BETTY SANDERS (RLP 12-823) 

The Legend of Robin Hood: sung by ED McCURDY; narrated by MICHAEL KANE (RLP 12-810) 

Barroom Ballads: sung and declaimed by ED McCURDY (RLP 12-807) 

Songs for Patricia and other music of ALEC WILDER; sung by SHANNON BOLIN (RLP 12-805) 

MARTYN GREEN: A Treasury of Ribaldry (RLP 7001) 


   And a special package – 

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”: The Lewis Carroll classic, complete on four 12-inch LPs; read and sung by CYRIL RITCHARD, with original music by Alec Wilder; plus a facsimile copy of the rare first edition of the book (SDP-22) 


A HIGH FIDELITY Recording – Riverside-Reeves SPECTROSONIC High Fidelity Engineering (Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve)


Produced and notes written by BARRETT CLARK

Cover by PAUL WELLER (photography) and PAUL BACON (design)

Engineer: JACK HIGGINS (Reeves Sound Studios)



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York


RLP 12-825
Absolute Nonsense OSCAR BRAND: assisted by DAVE DEAR 

Oscar Brand (vcl)  assisted by Dave Sear (bj) 

Ritter and Lernere, NYC; October 1957 


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  1. A Horse Named Bill

  2. Fooba-Wooba John

  3. Midnight on the Ocean

  4. The Derby Ram

  5. Good Peanuts

  6. Anne Boleyn

  7. Buffalo Gals

  8. The Old Woman and the Pedlar

  9. Shoot the Buffalo

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  1. Alaska

  2. The Frozen Logger

  3. Talking Blues

  4. The Bold Fisherman

  5. In the Vinter

  6. Kafoozalum

  7. Bunch of Roses

  8. The Lady Who Loved a Pig

  9. Ain’t Gonna Rain No More

   It is absolute nonsense to call any collection of folksongs “Absolute Nonsense.”  The incisive work of Sigmund Freud, the literary output of James Joyce, and such psychological techniques as the Rohrschach Ink Blot Test have demonstrated that everything means something to somebody.  And the ancient Greek philosopher, Gorgias, anticipated modern semanticists by averring that nothing means the same thing to everybody. 

   Having ridiculed our title and cast the grey shadow of suspicion upon our whole project, we turn to an analysis of the songs herein contained.  These have been chosen for two important reasons.  Firstly, I know them all by heart. Secondly, I love them all by heart.  Thirdly, they are of interest to the buyer of this record. 

   Like the preceding paragraph, some of the songs are “spoofs,” a recently-invented term which merges the already existing “sport” and “poof.”  Many of the songs began life as fine, upstanding, understandable refrains.  But folksingers with short memories have distorted them into pitiful objects of corn.  In at least one song it would be too easy to evoke tears instead of laughter with a slight change of rhythmic emphasis.  But, as I have just said, it would be too easy. 



  1. A HORSE NAMED BILL: although originally titled Crazy Song to the Tune of “Dixie,” it is not really crazy.  A man who will name a horse “Bill” must not be surprised if the horse becomes a misanthrope and bites a barber.  And a whale that leaves the open sea to take up residence in San Francisco Bay has to eat whatever comes his way – whether it be nursemaids or ice cream sodas.  This is not a joke, but a problem for municipal authorities.  As the homily has it, “Go fight City Hall.” 

  2. FOOBA-WOOBA JOHN: This song stands as a tribute to the courage of the lower orders.  For a rat to kick a cat requires intestinal fortitude of the bravest, and considerable bad judgment.  As for Mr. John’s first two names, we assume they were given him for rhythmic purposes.  We could change his name to “Itsy Bitsy John,” or even “Foxy Loxy John,” but this might involve intricate legal proceedings. 

  3. MIDNIGHT ON THE OCEAN: This is one of the many folksongs which says one thing in the first line and contradicts it in the second.  Although the song probably was made up in the ‘90s, orators have been using the technique since pre-history.  For example, it is customary in the United States to elect a President with specific regional ties and personal convictions, and to elect with him the complete contradiction known as the Vice-President. 

  4. THE DERBY RAM: The Derby Ram is a horse of a different color.  Experts believe that the song was once part of the ritual of some ancient witch cult.  Idolizing animals was popular with the pagans.  One verse maintains that “the butcher that killed the ram, sir, was drowned in the blood,” which brings to mind ancient tales of sadism and sacrifice, if you have that sort of mind. 

  5. GOOD PEANUTS: I first heard this song in Canada, but prefer the Alabama version herein recorded.  Its principle is similar to that of the limerick: “There was a young poet of Japan, whose poetry never would scan; When asked about it, he said, “I don’t doubt it, Because I always try to get as many syllables in the last line as I possibly can.” 

  6. ANNE BOLEYN: The artistes of British vaudeville have include Botany Bay, ‘Round Her Neck, and Anne Bleyn.  I first heard it sung by vaudevillian Stanley Holloway (who can himself be heard on Riverside 12-824: “Stanley Holloway’s concert Party” – advt.) in the ‘30s and it purported to be a song extant in the days when “women went around with low-cut heads.” 

  7. BUFFALO GALS: A minstrel with the preposterous name of “Cool White” wrote a song which he named Lubly Fan.  In an incredibly short time it was in the repertory of every other minstrel – royalty free.  In Buffalo someone discovered that the girls would blush and the men would cheer if the song was presented as Buffalo Gals.  In New York City, for my radio theme, I sing it as New York Gals, I have tried to introduce the song in Upper Sakatchewan with little success. 

  8. THE OLD WOMAN AND THE PEDLAR: The search for one’s identity is the core of many philosophical treaties and some rather dull novels.  The pursuit of self is the real theme in this 18th century story of an old lady so unsure of her “I” that she let a dog act as the final authority.  As the last verse reveals, a dog is man’s best friend, but where a woman is concerned, cave canem. 

  9. SHOOT THE BUFFALO: This old frontier play-party song is just a spirited game.  Here and there rhymed dance call is inserted and the listener is expected to follow the instructions.  Sometimes, the listener makes the mistake of following the nonsense part of the song which may result in ostracism and chilblains. 


  1. ALASKA: I first heard this as a recitation with gestures.  I added a simple melody and sang it at parties and underground meetings.  One day I heard it sung by a rival who used my manufactured tune.  I was informed that it had been in his family for centuries.  Outfaced, I retired, but I am now willing to reveal his name.  It is Legion. 

  2. THE FROZEN LOGGER: “Once upon a time there was a logger who was so tall he had to climb a ladder to shave himself.”  Out of such stuff as this, the Paul Bunyan legends were made.  Then James Stevens wrote some additional stories.  One day, with Stewart Holbrook and H. L. Davis, he even wrote a song.  He called it The Frozen Logger and sang it to the tune of My Mother Was A Lady.  I heard it at tenth-hand and re-worked the last verse (in accordance with established traditional practices). 

  3. TALKING BLUES: This is the perfect presentational form for people who can’t sing.  It’s not really a “blues,” but is more closely related to the ancient British “chant.”  Old chronicles state that, during the American Revolution, the troops were inspired by chants – though this may be an obsolete spelling of “chance.”  Or, perhaps, “obsolete” is a misprinting of “absolute.”  Either is acceptable. 

  4. THE BOLD FISHERNA:  Like Peter Gray and Springfield Mountain, this is a beautiful story which has been distorted by shallow folksingers. Music authorities have tried to trace the last song of the dying fisherman, Twinkiedoodleum, Twinkiedoodleum, but in vain.  If it is found before our next album, we promise to include it. 

  5. IN THE VINTER: without doubt this turn-of-the-century roundelay was one of those relying upon dialect for its humor.  The vaudeville stage produced many Irish, Jewish, Italian, Swedish, and German caricatures, and this was probably one of the latter.  However, it has burst the narrow confines of ridicule and become a comedy gem in its own right, with such crystal-clear visual humor as “velocipedes in the vestibule.” 

  6. KAFOOZALUM: Someone out there wrote this song.  The real Kafozalum is a bawdy ballad which cannot be sung.  This Kafozalum is a preposterous imposter, or, to portmanteau a word, “a preposter.”  I hope this accusation shames the writer of the lines sung in this album into remaining anonymous.  Otherwise, he may demand royalties. 

  7. BUNCH OF ROSES: In this old sea shanty, nonsense is used for its satiric values.  For the shantyman to call the ship’s captain a devil required little imagination.  But to insist that he had horns and a forked tail was inspirational.  This motif has appeared in so many shanties that authorities believe there may have actually been a horned, be-tailed captain at one time.  This theory is known as “The Child Hypothesis,” after the scholar who first thought of it.  He was three years old. 

  8. THE LADY WHO LOVED A PIG: Modern psychiatry is fast discovering that animal fixations are more common than was generally believed.  This ancient British-American song may even be a paraphrase hiding the identity of some king or noble under the title of “swine.”  The “lady” may even represent the clergy or Oliver Cromwell or something.  A completely different approach has been suggested by researchers at Stamford based on the possible misreading of “pig” for “fig.”

  9. AIN’T GONNA RAIN NO MORE:  This song is not, as some aver, based on legends surrounding Noah’s landing on Mount Ararat.  It is just another indigenous dance song with endless verses.  In the thirties, it returned to the folk as a pop song.  But it wasn’t accepted in the schools until it was recently re-titled It Isn’t Going To Rain Any More.” 



About the Performers

   Born in Winnepeg, Canada, OSCAR BRAND travelled with his family to New York where he grew to six feet.  From 1942 to 1945 he spent most of his life in the American Army and won the war.  In 1945 he became Director of Folkmusic for New York City’s municipal station, WNYC, broadcasting every Sunday at 6 P.M., whether he needs it or not.  Many of the songs in this album are in his book, “singing Holidays,” published by Alfred Kopf, and on sale at al successful bookstores.  He has made more than forty documentary motion pictures for wealthy and tolerant corporations, and he has written many successful popular songs stolen from old ballads and from other less aggressive composers. 

   DAVE SEAR is a young New Yorker who has worked with Oscar Brand since the age of fifteen, so he has no one to blame but himself.  A fine singer and banjoist, he has performed on concert stages throughout the country, to the delight of his audience, and to Mr. Brand’s dismay.  His fine arrangements for this album reveal his great artistry and his ability to maintain a high degree of musicianship against almost overwhelming odds. 


   Brand is also featured on – 

American Drinking Songs: OSCAR BRAND, with Eric Darling (RLP 12-630)

G.I. – American Army Songs: OSCAR BRAND, with Fred Hellerman (RLP 12-639)

Riddle Me This:  OSCAR BRAND and Jean Ritchie (RLP 12-646)


A HIGH FIDELITY Recording (Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve)


Cover by PAUL WELLER (photography) and PAUL BACON (design)

Recorded by Ritter and Lerner; New York City; October, 1957



553 West 51st Street New York 19, New York


RLP 12-826
Halfway to Dawn: songs by MARIAN BRUCE

Marian Bruce (vcl) accompanied by: Joe Wilder (tp)  Jimmy Jones (p)  Everett Barksdale (g)  Al Hall (b)

Reeves Sound Studios, NYC; April 1958

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  1. Lucky to Be Me (3:01) (Bernstein – Comden – Green) 

  2. Let Me Love You (3:16) (Bart Howard) 

  3. It Never Entered My Mind (3:22) (Rodgers & Hart) 

  4. Things Are Looking Up (2:43) (George & Ira Gershwin) 

  5. Something to Live For (3:07) (Ellington – Strayhorn) 

  6. Looking for a Boy (3:08) (George & Ira Gershwin) 


  1. I Got It Bad and That Ain’t Good (3:15) (Ellington – Webster) 

  2. My One and Only (2:45) (George & Ira Gershwin) 

  3. A Ship Without a Sail (3:20) (Rodgers & Hart) 

  4. No One Ever Tells You (2:14) (Coates – Attwood) 

  5. The Gentleman Is a Dope (2:18) (Rodgers & Hammerstein) 

  6. Don’t Like Goodbyes (3:15) (Arlen – Capote) 

   This collection offers a dozen superior popular songs by a young singer who really can sing.

   This may seem an exceedingly restrained way of beginning these album notes.  But the fact that we want that deceptively mild opening sentence to be taken at full face value – which makes it an anything but modest statement.

   MARIAN BRUCE, we mean to state, is a decided rarety in this era of gimmicks, echo chambers, trite stylized vocal trickery and similar assorted nonsense.  She has a voice of true warmth, strength and beauty, and the ability to use it with full effectiveness. She has a high degree of taste, both in the choice of material and in her treatment of that material.  She values the meaning of the lyrics she sings, and makes it a major point to deliver them as sensitive words that tell a meaningful story – not as a random collection of sounds.  In short, she is a most unusual kind of performer on today’s musical scene: a talented, forthright singer.  Such an entertainer, it should be noted, is thereby giving her audience a good deal of credit, by assuming that they screamed at, mumbled at, or otherwise taken in by the superficial and the shoddy.

   The title of this album – “Halfway to Dawn” – is intended to suggest its prevailing mood.  The time of night it refers to is that relaxed period someplace after midnight, when a casual party is apt to have turned its attention to a girl over near the piano, singing good ‘standards’ – Rodgers and Hart, Gershwin, and the like.  Marian Bruce has sung such songs in such a setting quite often, and since she moves in a world of music and musicians, she is apt to be joined by some very capable accompanists.  And old friend like Duke Ellington might be at behind her on this record, have often been part of a top-rated bassist who has worked with Teddy Wilson and Billie Holiday and many others; and guitarist Everett Barksdale, a long-time associate of Art Tatum.   When the idea of preparing an album in the same easy-going, late-at-night mood began to develop, Hal and Barksdale were, inevitable choices.  To them were added Jimmy Jones, one of the most skilled accompanists any singer could ask for, whose many credits include a long stint with Sarah Vaughan; and Joe Wilder, a trumpet stylist of rare sensitivity and subtlety.

   “Halfway to Dawn” is a mood, but as you will discover by listening, it does not by any means limit itself to a languid mood.  There are numbers here with a decided lilt, such as the Gershwins’ Looking for a Boy and Things Are Looking Up, and the bright Lucky to Be Me (from that bright Broadway collaboration of a few years ago between composer Leonard Bernstein and writers Betty Comden and Adolph Green: “On the Town”).  There two sad and tender ballads, among the best in the vast Rodgers and Hart catalogue: Ship Without a Sail and It Never Entered My Mind.  There are ‘strong’ numbers like Ellington’s I Got It Bad, and Let Me Love You (originally written by Bart Howard for that singers’ singer, Mabel Mercer).  There is, all in all, full opportunity for Marian Bruce to display the wide dynamic and dramatic range of her talents.  The basic requirement is that these are all very good songs – musically sound, with literate lyrics – and that all are suited for the effortless ease, the complete absence of strain, that is possibly Marian’s most notable quality.

   Most of the songs selected fall into a fortunate (and none-too-large) category: they will be pleasantly familiar to most listeners, but have thus far avoided being played or sung so often as to lose their feeling of lasting freshness.  Three however are ‘sleepers:’ the fragile Harold Arlen-Truman Capote Don’t Like Goodbyes (sung here with piano accompaniment only0: the blues-tinged No One Ever Tells You (previous only recorded, it appears, by Frank Sinatra); and something to Live For, a particularly appealing and wishful Duke Ellington-Billy Strayhorn creation that has remained unfairly neglected since the 1930s.


   MARIAN BRUCE began her professional career in a storybook-accidental way.  Although music had been in a important part of her Philadelphia childhood, she had never considered it as a way of making a living before the New Year’s Eve in the late ‘40s when she and some friends turned up at New York’s Café Society Downtown.  In some still-vague confusion of identity, she was asked to sing, did so – and as a result was offered a job there.  She accepted, and from that start went on to a variety of engagements, including work in California and Canada and long stays at such top New York supper clubs as the Blue Angel, Village Vanguard and Ruban Bleu. She was also an Arthur Godfrey “Talent Scouts” winner.  Travelling to Europe in 1953, she spent the next two and a half years working in London and Paris clubs.  But on her return to New York, she found that styles had changed somewhat, and there wasn’t too much available for a straightforward vocalist of her type.  This, plus a period of illness, of caring for her ill mother, and finally marriage, kept Marian relatively off the scene for a time.  She was brought to the attention of Riverside by trumpeter Clark Terry, one of her many long-standing friends in Duke Ellington’s band (she sings Duke’s In a Sentimental Mood on Terry’s unusual album, “Duke with a Difference” – RLP 12-246).  It would be most surprising to us if the present LP doesn’t bring her back into prominence and much activity in a hurry.

   Marian feels that only one singer has exerted any real influence on her style.  “I admire Ella Fitzgerald and Judy Garland, and others, too, but for me the only one is Frank Sinatra.”  This preference seems quite in order, for Sinatra, who sings with so much feeling, beat, clarity and musical taste, might easily be considered the patron saint of the non-gimmick singer of today.  Note also as a point of similarity with Frank, who has won such honors as a dramatic actor, that Marian considers putting across “the message of the song” to be her most important task.  “I sometimes feel that he music is almost incidental,” she says.  To her, any really valuable song is concerned with telling a story, about human emotions and experiences, so that effective singing is acting, as much as or more than just projecting sounds.  “That’s why I don’t think you can sing anything really well without having lived, without some idea of whatever it is the lyrics are about.”  “That’s the Bruce formula, and on this record are a dozen examples of the formula in operation.  We think it adds up to a unique and highly appealing musical experience …


A HIGH FIDELITY Recording – Riverside-Reeves SPECTROSONIC High Fidelity Engineering (Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve

Produced, and notes written by ORRIN KEEPNEWS

Cover designed by PAUL BACON; cover photograph: HUGH BELL

Engineer: JACK HIGGINS (Reeves Sounds Studios)

Recorded in New York City; April 1958



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York

RLP 12-827
CYNTHIA GOODING: Languages of Love

accompanying herself on guitar; also accompanied on several selections by VIC MESSER, guitar  


Cynthia Gooding (vcl, g)  Vic Messer (g) 

Reeves Sound Studios, NYC; April 1958 


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  1. Buenas Noches (1:50) 

  2. I Know Where I’m Going (1:52) 

  3. Quand le Roi (2:55) 

  4. Las Mananitas (2:58) 

  5. Cascabel (1:07) 

  6. Johnny, I Hardly Kew Ye (4:47) 

  7. Two Turkish Songs: (1:57) Dan Dini / Hansiyi Koydum

  8. Go Way from My Window (2:27) 


  1. La Molinera (2:22) 

  2. Palmero (2:00) 

  3. Farewell to Cold Winter (1:33) 

  4. I Saw a Lady (1:22) 

  5. Mon Amour (2:13) 

  6. I Gave My Love a Cherry (2:08) 

  7. Cielito Lindo (2:52) 

  8. Cori Coruzzu (2:47) 

  9. All Through the Night (1:54) 

   These songs are about love – many kinds of love and in many moods – sung in the languages and dialects of many peoples.  For CYNTHIA GOODING is an artist of rare taste and range of musical interest who has chosen to draw her repertoire from (almost literally) the whole world around her. 

It is not necessarily unusual for a singer to make use of other languages on occasion, perhaps learning by rote some standard French or Spanish item that can be dropped into a performance here or there for a calculated unexpected change of pace. 
   But it is decidedly – and fascinatingly – unusual to come upon a singer who truly and deeply knows the musical knows the musical heritage of many lands, who is capable of valid and sensitive interpretation of so rich a variety of material as Cynthia Gooding calls upon in this album.  And when you do come upon such an artist, it should not take any particularly lengthy pounding home of the facts to make the difference clear …

   One other kind of distinction, however, ought to be clarified here.  People who sing other than current or ‘popular’ material, and particularly those who deal with the songs of other lands and languages, tend to be lumped together into a single unwieldy category and jointly called “folk singers.”  Now this is an honorable term, and has been one for centuries.  But by now it has managed to acquire a few conflicting, tenacious stereotypes that ride its back like the old man of the sea – and that manage to get in the way of basic essentials like being able to enjoy music on its own terms. 

   On the one hand, the term “folk singer” is apt to conjure up visions of enthusiastic performers in Greenwich Village cellars (or attics), performing lustily but very often without a degree of talent anything like the equal of that enthusiasm.  On the other hand, there can also be a mental picture of the scholarly researcher, digging into musty lore to unearth long-forgotten songs with odd and unsingable melodies, of no real interest to anyone except other scholarly researchers … Someplace far away from both these stereotypes lies the present truth of the matter – so far away that it is probably best to do without the somewhat tainted “folk” label altogether, and consider an artist such as Cynthia Gooding as nothing more or less than a singer. 

   Quite specifically, of course, she is a singer who has drawn her material from “folk” sources.  But there has been nothing self-conscious or artsy-crafty about this process; these are simply the kinds of songs that she has come to love the most, that have the most meaning for her – because music such as this has at different times been a very real part of her life, because friends and people among whom she has lived have sung them and taught them to her. 

   Born in Rochester, Minnesota, Cynthia was never moved to do anything with her vocal talents until the mid-1940s.  Then, during two years in which she lived in Mexico, she almost inadvertently began building a repertoire from songs that she heard around her, added a scattering of “American songs I liked,” and found herself paying serious attention to singing.  Later in the ‘40s, she began singing in New York clubs and at converts, accompanying herself on guitar.  To her original basic repertoire were gradually added Italian and Turkish material learned from friends; more recently, during a trip to France, some songs in French (a language she had “always spoken”) joined them; and in similar ways material of other origins has become part of the body of music she commands.  Some are familiar, some rare – but it is safe to say that none were casually acquired or are casually or half-heartedly used. 

   Previous Cynthia Gooding albums have (probably because of her ability to work in depth in so many tongues) been mostly concerned with one or another specific land or language.  But for her first Riverside LP, she has cut across such lines to select a varied program.  The unifying theme is “love” – but this is itself a word of extremely varied meanings, ranging from the Welsh lullaby, All through the Night (learned from her grandmother), through several differing aspects of romantic love all the way to the bitter lament of an Irish wife whose man was pressed into service in the British colonial wars, Johnny, I hardly Knew Ye.  This stark ballad, one of the singer’s personal favorites, was taught to her in New York by Tom Clancy, a young Irish actor and singer. 

The album opens, fittingly, with a popular Mexican song, Buenas Noches (“good evening, ladies and gentlemen … and a special salute to all those who truly love.”)  Among other Mexican selections included are a courting song, Cascabel, learned from a street singer in Mexico City; Las Mananitas, a West Coast morning song (“Awake, awake my love; the sun is rising, the moon is setting.”); and a version of one of the most beautiful and widely known of Mexican songs, Ceilito Lindo (“All the illusions of love are like the spray on the waves, and they disappear just as rapidly.”) 

   In French there is Quand le Roi, a classic ballad concerned with a classic theme: a king’s designs on a nobleman’s wife; and Mon Amour, which may have originated in the Caribbean (“My love is gone far beyond the ocean … If he should be sick, who would take care of him?”).  La Molinera was learned in New York from a Basque (“Ever since the day of the wedding, sweet miller girl, you have wept.  And weeping so, you will die of sorrow,”)  Palmero was acquired in Barcelona from Yvonne Perez, a singer-guitarist who believed the song came from Malloca (“Climb the palm and tell my love to come to the window …  The Canary Islands are like volcanos: all snow outside and all fire within.”  Of the twp brief Turkish selections, Dandini is a lullaby and Hansiyi Koydum a students’ drinking song from Istanbul.  Cori Coruzzu, another of the melancholy songs of thwarted love, is Sicilian. 

   The English-language material is from many different sources.  There are unhackneyed approaches to such standard songs as I Gave My Love a Cherry (The Riddle Song), Go Way From My Window, and I Know Where I’m Going – an Irish love song which Cynthia’s mother taught her.  Passing By is probably of Elizabethan origin (Cynthia recalls that she “learned it from an English lady who sang it in a very lady-like voice”), while the mocking Farewell to Cold Winter, which may derive from the Irish maid of a United Nations delegate from Ireland. 

   VIC MESER, whose guitar provides notable support on more than half these selections, is a skilled performer who has worked with, among others, Harry Belafonte. 


   There is a wide variety of unusual and outstanding vocal music on HIGH FIDELITY Riverside albums, including: 

BOB GIBSON: I Come for to Sing (RLP 12-806) 

BOB GIBSON: There’s a Meetin’ Here Tonight (RLP 12-830)

ED McCURDY: Songs of a Bold Balladeer (RLP 12-828) 

HILLEL and AVIVA: Land of Milk and Honey (RLP 12-803) 

SHANNON BOLIN: Songs for Patricia, and other songs of Alec Wilder (RLP 12-805) 

Have You Met INEZ JONES? with Oscar Moore (RLP 12-819) 

ABBEY LINCOLN, with the Riverside Jazz Stars (RLP 12-251) 

MARIAN BRUCE: Halfway to Dawn (RLP 12-826) 

A HIGH FIDELITY Recording – Riverside-Reeves SPECTROSONIC High Fidelity Engineering 

(Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve)


Cover designed by PAUL BACON; cover photograph: HUGH BELL

Recorded in New York City; April , 1958

Engineer: JACK HIGGINS (Reeves Sound Studios)



553 West 51st Street New York 19, New York



Ed McCurdy (vcl, g)  acc by Erik Darling (bj, g) 

Reeves Sound Studios, NYC; July 2, 1958 


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  1. Worried Man Blues 

  2. The Big Rock Candy Mountain 

  3. Unfortunate Miss Bailey 

  4. Jesse James 

  5. The Little Mohee 

  6. A True Lover of Mine 

  7. The Bold soldier 

  8. Hand Me Down My Walking Cane 


  1. I’ve Got No Use for the Women 

  2. Blood on the Saddle 

  3. The Young Man Who Wouldn’t Hoe Corn 

  4. The Prisoner’s Song 

  5. Goin’ Down Town 

  6. Come, O My Love 


NOTE: RLP12-828 produced and notes written by Orrin Keepnews. (historical data on songs compiled by Kenneth S. Goldstein) 

Cover by Paul Bacon and photograph by Paul Weller. Recorded by Jack Matthews. 


RLP12-828 (small blue) 



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York 


RLP 12-829
Sheer Flamenco! The voice and guitar of ANITA SHEER

Anita Sheer (vcl, g) Assisted by TERESITA LaTANA, castanets and dancing (1) (on Side 1, #1 and 4; Side 2, #2 and 6);

and Osvalso Baez, dancing (2) (on Side 2, #2 and 6).  

Reeves Sound Studios, NYC; June 1958


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  1. Sevillanas (2:31) (1) 

  2. Pena, Tengo, Pena (3:39) 

  3. Jota (1:48) 

  4. Anda Jaleo (2:29) (1) 

  5. Tarantas (3:57) 

  6. Malaguena (2:25) 

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  1. Lerele (2:16) 

  2. El Tran-Tran (3:30) (1) (2) 

  3. Asturias (2:50) 

  4. Zambrilla (2:22) 

  5. Eres Alta y Delgda (2:50) 

  6. Fandangos (3:30) (1) (2) 

   FLAMENCO!  For many people, the word alone creates images of romance and mystery, of exotic settings in Spanish caves, of Latin passion and Gypsy ritual.  And it is all of these … and none of them, for Flamenco is as varied and as contradictory as the diverse peoples who perform it, and the even more diverse people who enjoy its performances.  It is sad … and it is happy.  It is an expression of erotic symbolism … and of religious spiritualism.  There is neither a beginning or an end.  There is only Flamenco, an all encompassing term referring to one of the most highly developed of folk art forms, yet retaining as its essence a flexible improvisational core which reaches its greatest peak in the hands of self-trained performers of tremendously imaginative and inspired genius. 

   In recent years, Flamenco has achieved a status of esteem and popularity which is surpassed by no other folk or art form of comparable nature.  The folk dancers and musicians of many lands – Bali, Russia, Yugoslavia, Japan – have made successful tours through the United States, only to be forgotten shortly after they have left our shores.  Calypso has gained and lost popularity in cycles.  But Flamenco has remained the most popular imported musical expression in America for more than two decades, with no signs of abatement in interest.  Largely, this has been due to the continuing tours of its finest and most genuine interpreters: Antonia Merce, Carlos Montoya, Vincente Escudero, Sabicas, Carmen Amaya, ad various Spanish ‘ballet’ companies. 


   Flamenco is as contradictory as the Andalucian Gypsies who are its foremost exponents.  So, when one thinks of Flamenco … one thinks of gypsies.  How, then, can one be expected to listen to the interpretations of this gypsy art form when it is performed by a non-Gypsy?  Sill, in ANITA SHEER, Riverside has found that most sublime of all contradictions: the non-Gypsy interpreter of Flamenco who is so much the master (or mistress?) of her material that she is not only accepted by authentic Gypsy performers, but is given their greatest secrets, utilizing them to become the outstanding American interpreter of this vital gypsy lore. 

   For many years, Carlos Montoya, the master gypsy guitarist of them all, refused to teach Flamenco guitar to the numerous Americans who beseeched him to pass on to them his great talent.  Montoya maintained that no non-gypsy could ever learn his art-form.  Nevertheless, he consented to allow Miss Sheer to study with him, realizing in her the very contradiction of his thesis, for here was a gifted American with an amazing predilection for the music of his people.  So impressed was he with her talent ad interpretive genius, that he later turned over to her the task of notating for publication his own compositions and arrangements of gypsy guitar music. 

   Nor has this acceptance by gypsy artists been an isolated case.   Wishing to supplement her guitar virtuosity with the vocal art of Flamenco, she approached the renowned Nino Pavon for instruction.  Pavon was astounded that an America should want to learn Flamenco singing, but accepted the challenge.  Today, Anita Sheer is one of the proudest examples of his singing and instructional talents.  Miss sheer also acquired from Pavon a large repertory of Flamenco songs, to which she has continually added by learning from other Spanish gypsy performers, both in this country and in Spain, who saw in her the same genius noted by Montoya and Pavon.  Miss Sheer has since appeared in concert with her great teacher, Montoya – no small honor – and in addition has performed frequently on radio, television and concerts in New York, London and Madrid, and has toured the United States in a highly successful series of night club performances. 

   For this recording, Miss Sheer has prepared an exciting and richly varied program.  On most of the selections she sings, accompanying herself on guitar.  Two numbers (Zambrilla and Tarantas) are guitar solos.  An don four songs, in addition to her voice and guitar, there are the brilliant heels and castanets of Teresita LaTana (with dancer Osvaldo Baez also added on two other numbers) to help create a vivid and realistic portrait of the fundamental unity of Flamenco singing, guitar and dance. 


About the Music – 

   Sevillanas: The most popular song and dance form of the proud and romantic city of Seville, its origins dating back into the 16th century.  During her many fiestas, Seville echoes to the gay and vivacious (but never noisy) ring of her most genuine art form and greatest contribution to Flamenco: the Sevillanas.  This is one of the selections on which the talent of Teresita LaTana (plus the hand-clapping and audible enthusiasm of friends who were spectators at the recording session) add an additional dynamic quality. 

   Pena, Tengo, Pena: This is performed in the very old Tientos rhythm, first established as a popular song style by El Marruro and Manuel Torres.  In recent years, its greatest exponent has been the world-famous La Nina de los Peines. 

Jota: Second in popularity only to the Fandango among the folk-dance and song forms of Spain, the Jota originated in the Aragon region.  The song concerns angels in heaven, appropriately enough, “guitarricas” instead of the conventional harps. 

   Anda Jaleo: A fp;l,e;pdu set tp a Bulerias rhythm, which originated in the Jerez area of Andalucia, this song is typical of the gypsy treatment of Flamenco dance, which is characterized by extremely fast and intricate improvised variations of the melodic theme.  Again, Teresita La Tana offers vibrant assistance. 

   Tarantas: Born in the rugged mining regions of the Levante, the Tarantas are the ancient tragic laments expressing the sorrows and hard life of the laborers who firsr created them.  An outstanding example of the Hondo, or “deep” song.  Presented here in instrumental form. 

Malaguena: From the ancient and romantic city of Malaga, this song combines both Latin and Arab influences.  Its tale of love and rejection is universal one (similar, for example, to the American folk-blues, Careless Love), but its deeply emotional lines communicate a sorrow found only in the burning “heart-songs” of the people of Malaga. 

   Lerele: Here, as in so much of Spanish music, a Moorish strain predominates, producing a fascinating mixture of contradictory and complementary Eastern, European and gypsy elements. 

   El Tran-Tran: A Farruca dance rhythm in 4/4 time, this is a song without real words, its effectiveness stemming from its extreme vitality and an overwhelming impression of rhythm and force.  Farruca is the first dance that gypsy children learn, for it embodies the technique of all other Flamenco dances.  The dancing of Miss LaTana and Oscaldo Baez adds greatly to the powerful impact. 

   Asturias: Typical of many songs found throughout Spain which extol the virtues of local region or community – in this case, Asturia. 

Zambrilla: A second instrumental solo, and a particularly effective showcase for Miss Sheer’s talents as guitarist.  For the Zampbrilla involves numerous complex counter-rhythms, being a more complicated form of the Zambra, a couple dance of the Andalucian Moors which is one of the most beautiful of all Spanish dances. 

   Eres Alta y Delgada: IN sharp contrast to the fiery exoticism of the love songs of southern Spain, this love song from Montana, in the north, embodies the restraint so typical of the Castillian people. 

   Fandangos: A fitting climax to the record, Fandangos is probably the most popular of all Spanish folk forms.  It has a very ancient history, tracing back to the popular songs of the Moors, and in various provinces it has taken on varied and distinct special characteristics.  Here, Miss Sheer (again working jointly with the two dancers) demonstrates that most typical of gypsy traits, a sudden transition from sadness to joy, as she shifts swiftly from the characteristically slow Fandango to the spirited Fandaogos de Huelva. 

   (The notes on the selections prepared from data provided by Anita Sheer.) 


NOTE: RLP12-829 reissued as Washington WLP-742 “Anita Sheer: Flamenco” 


RLP12-829 (small blue)   



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York 

A HIGH FIDELITY Recording  - Riverside-Reeves SPECTROSONIC High Fidelity Engineering (Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve)



Cover photograph: JACK MANNING

Cover designed by PAUL BACON

Engineer: JACK HIGGINS (Reeves Sound Studios)



553 West 51st Street New York 19, New York 



Bob Gibson (vcl, bj, 12 string g)  acc by Earl Backus (g, tambourine)  John Frigo (b) 

Universal Recording Studios, Chicago; June 11, 12, 13, 1958 


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  1. Joy, Joy (1:51)

  2. There’s a Meetin’ Here Tonight (1:28) 

  3. Jordan River (2:29) 

  4. Brandy (3:05) 

  5. There’s a Hole in the Bucket (2:06) 

  6. Easy River (3:30) 

  7. Re Iron Ore (2:36) 

  8. The virgin Mary Had One Son (2:05) 


  1. This Train (2:53) 

  2. Whoa, Buck (2:32) 

  3. Pastures of Plenty (2:28) 

  4. Titanic (2:17) 

  5. This Little Light (2:00) 

  6. East Virginia (2:22) 

  7. When I First Came to This Land (2:28) 

  8. A Wayfaring Stranger 


NOTE: RLP12-830 Produced, and notes written by Orrin Keepnews. Cover photograph by Paul Weller 

and designed by Paul Bacon. Recording Engineers: Bill Stoddard and Bruce Swedien. 




Oscar Brand (vcl, g)  acc by Robert Abramson (cond. P)  Michael Cohen (bj)  Bradford Spinney (perc)  

Reeves Sound Studios, NYC; August 1958 


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1. Ebenezer Frye 3:13) 

2. Oh, Don’t Go Near Them Lion’s Cage Tonight (2:58) 

3. There Once Was a Poor Young Girl (1:52) 

4. The Fountain in the Park (1:36)

5. Mrs. Murphy’s Chowder (2:05) 

6. The Syme the Shole World Over (2:28) 

7. Don’t Swat Yer Mother (2:43) 

8. Medley #1: A Bicycle Built for Two (Daisy Bell) 

  / Little Annie Rooney / The Sidewalks in New York (1:39) 


1. The Bowery (2:07) 

2. Oh, Dem golden Slippers (2:17) 

3. There Once Was a Poor Young Man (3:33) 

4. Mother Was a Lady (3:15) 

5. The Man Who Wrote Tararaboomdeeay (2:34) 

6. Come Home, Father (3:46) 

7. Medley #2: The Band Played On / After the Ball / Good Night, Ladies (1:34) 


NOTE: RLP12-832 produced by Bill Grauer and notes written by Oscar Brand. 

Cover photograph by Paul Weller and design by Paul Bacon. Recorded by Jack Higgins. 



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York 


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Peter Ustinov (talk)

New York City; September 1958 




  Interview with:

von Grips; Altbauer; Orgini; Fantango; Foss; Dill; Russian Observer 

  Drivers’ Meeting 


 Governor’s Speech 

 Le Mans Start 

 The Arrival of the Duke 

 The Race: Fanfani pit stop;

Wildfowl pit stop; Orgini pit stop; Fanfani pit stop; Halfway report; 

Russiann Observer; Schnorcedes pit stop; Pifall pit stop 


   Universality is the trademark of the true humorist.  PETER USTINOV is unquestionably one of the most sparkling, incisive, captivating – and downright funny – satirical wits of our times. Therefore, although this remarkable album is specifically concerned with a mythical sports car race, it is inevitably true that its real subject, in the broad sense, is just about all of us.  The national characteristics (real or fancied) and the internationally-shared foibles of a very wide range of human beings are to be viewed here, though that rare and delightfully distorted lens that is known as Peter Ustinov. 


It is our feeling that, above all, three separate and distinct groups of listeners will happily and noisily go mad, fall on the floor, or otherwise indicate their approval of this (to say the least) unique recording. 

NOTE: RLP12-833 produced by Barrett Clark. Cover design by Paul Bacon and photograph by Phil Pegler. 

RLP12-833 (small blue) 



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York 




As originally played by The California Ramblers.  Probable personnel includes Red Nichols (tp)  Bill Moore (tp)  Tommy Dorsey (tb)  Jimmy Dorsey, Arnold Brillhardt, Freddie Cusick, Bobby Davis (reeds)  Adrian Rollini (bass sax)  Irving Brodsky (p)  Tommy Fellini (bj)  Stan King (drs)  W. T. (Ed) Kirkeby (leader)

New York; 1924-26


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  1. Sidewalk Blues (Jelly Roll Morton) (4:09)

  2. Clementine (from New Orleans) (Creamer – Warren) (4:07)

  3. Up and at ‘Em (Pettis –Goering) (4:02)

  4. Stockholm Strut (Pettis – Goering) (4:32)

  5. Third Rail (Vern de Mars) (3:44)


  1. When Erastus Plays His Old Kazoo (Spier – Coslow – Fain) (3:24)

  2. I Ain’t Got Nobody (Graham – Williams) (3:21)

  3. A Garden in Sweden (Bayes – Norwood) (4:17)

  4. Low Down (Trent – DeRose) (3:24)

  5. Oh, Mabel (Kahn – FioRita) (3:21)

  6. Glad Rag Doll (Yellern – Daugherty – Ager) (3:03)

   The world has grown a great deal older since the days and nights when flappers looked and dressed something like a John Held, Jr., illustration.  It has been a very long time since young men carried hip flasks, and since a great many people danced their feet off in time to music such as you’ll hear on this album.

   But for those who still remember the era of sheiks and flappers – and even for those who only know at secondhand, from books or movies or old photographs, about such things as racoon coats, yellow slickers and riding in a Stutz Bearcat – there is a wonderful nostalgia associated with that time.  Those “Roaring twenties” were supposed to be pretty wicked time, with their bootleg gin and their petting parties and all those fast girls with bobbed hair and Cupid’s-bow lips.  But in retrospect it was a far less tense and nerve-jangling time than our own.  Its music had a happy-go-lucky quality that fitted its period perfectly and that can still do a magical job of bringing that period back to life.

   This album is no mere recreation of that fascinating chapter in American life: like a similar Riverside LP (Jazz of the Roaring Twenties), it is the Twenties.  Here are songs of that era as played by one of its top dance bands, recorded then and revived now in all their original zest and spirit (plus a considerably enhanced sound, by means of modern recording techniques).

   The California Ramblers were also responsible for the music to be heard on the “Jazz of the Roaring Twenties” LP.  But there is one different in emphasis between the two albums to be noted.  That first album was basically a collection of some of the more celebrated, now-standard popular dance tunes of the day – as played by a dance band that also happened to include some outstanding young jazz musicians.  Here, however, the shoe is on the other foot.  Jelly Roll Morton’s Sidewalk Blues which gets things off to a rousing start, can serve as a sort of keynote.  For these numbers have largely been selected to indicate how this band performed on occasion when playing hot was a primary consideration.  These very often also turned out to e occasions when two young brothers named Dorsey (rather recently arrived from Scranton, Pa.) were very much in evidence.  While none of the other tunes on the LP have achieved anything like the jazz immortality of the Morton blues, there are some – like Stockholm Stomp and Third Rail – that would certainly appear to have been intended to allow the musicians to blow off some of the stream accumulated during the playing of quantities of nearly ‘straight’ dance material. 

   The late Tommy and Jimmy Dorsey, both separately and together, ran through quite a gamut in their more-than-three decades of musical activity, which adds a good deal of fascination to this glimpse of their early styles. Jimmy’s clarinet, perhaps surprisingly, seems instantly recognizable here, though he was hardly playing in this loose-limbed way in his last years.  Tommy’s tones, on the other hand, are far guttier than the legato style with which he won his later fame as “The Sentimental Gentleman.”  Also quite noticeable here is the brilliant, Bix Beiderbecke-inspired horn of Red Nichols; and then there’s the fluid bass sax of the late Adrian Tollini, which was actually the core around which this band’s style and sound was built.

   The spirit of the group would seem to have come from just such young musicians as these: caught up in the excitement of being young, of living in the rip-roaring ‘20s, and of being rapidly on the rise towards the top of the musical world.  It was music such as this that gave the “jazz Age” its name.  And the California Ramblers were among the most important of the jazz-impregnated dance bands of that age.  Neither Californians nor ramblers, they played for a number of years at the Ramblers’ Inn, their celebrated roadhouse just outside New York City; and they made an almost uncountable quantity of records, for various companies and under a variety of names.  (The exact personnel of the band at all times during the span of years covered by these recordings has never been completely compiled to the full satisfaction of those who concern themselves with such matters.   But Wallace T. “Ed” Kirkeby – who organized and led the group and directed all its recording sessions – was able to dig into his memory to provide and authoritative reconstruction of the basic lineup, which is listed above.) 


   Riverside’s previous album of such music, also featuring the Dorseys and Nichols, is – 

Jazz of the Roaring Twenties (RLP 801)

Including: Charleston – Manhattan – Five Foot Two – Eyes of Blue – Crazy Words, Crazy Tune – Collegiate – Miss Annabelle Lee – Clap Hands, Here Comes Charlie – The Flapper Wife – Cheatin’ on Me – Sweet Man – Everything Is Hotsy Totsy Now – Keep Smiling At Trouble 

   The Riverside “Jazz Archives” series also features outstanding early groups in such notable albums as - 

The Golden Age f RAGTIME; played by Scot Joplin and others (RLP12-110) 

RAGTIME Piano Roll CALSSICS: Joplin, James Scott, others (RLP12-126) 

Barroom Ballads: sung and declaimed by ED McCARDY (RLP12-807) 

American Army Songs: OSCAR BRAND (RLP12-639) 

American Drinking Songs: OSCAR BRAND (RLP12-630) 


(The slight surface noise audible on this LP is due to the limitations of early recording processes; it has not been entirely removed in order to preserve highest fidelity possible and to give more faithful reproduction of original qualities.)

Produced by Bill Grauer and notes written by Orrin Keepnews. Cover designed by Paul Bacon and illustration from ‘Helds’ by John Held, Jr., courtesy of T. Y. Crowell Co. 



553 West 51st Street New York, N. Y. 


NOTE: RLP12-834 also reissued as RLP-159 “The Roaring twenties & All That Jazz” 

RLP12-834 (small blue)  RLP-159



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York 



Oscar Brandn (vcl) acc by Dasear (bj)

NYC; February 1958 


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  1. The Sunday School 

  2. Davy Crockett 

  3. Three Jolly Hunters 

  4. The Walloping Window Blind 

  5. The God Red Herring 

  6. The Boll Weevil 

  7. The Big Rock Candy Mountain 

  8. Three Foolish Chaps 

  9. The Peanut Stand 


  1. The Frog in the Sprig 

  2. Cape God Girls 

  3. An Acre of Land 

  4. The Sow took the Measles 

  5. The Swapping Song 

  6. Buckeye Jim 

  7. Caesar Was Dead 

  8. Old Bangum 

  9. This Old Man

  10. That’s What We Learn In The School

“INANE: Destitute of sense; empty-headed.” (Oxford Universal Dictionary) 


   “Tell me,” said the first empty-head, “Why is life like a cup of tea?”  The second empty-head thought a moment, then shook his empty head in despair: “I don’t know. Why is life like a cup of tea?”  “How should I know,” said the first.  “Am I a philosopher?” 


   The prototypical story just above is one of a thousand that seem without reason, destitute of sense, and empty-headed.  But thoughtful analysis will reveal the profundity of the premise.  Must one be a philosopher to philosophize?  Is it necessary to know the answers before one asks the questions?  NO!  If there is anyone who knows why life is like a cup of tea, let him cast the stone.  For the rest, it must be enough just to sing the songs. 

   The songs, too, are empty-headed.  But empty-heads make for the best resonance, which may be why ridiculous riddles, preposterous exaggerations and unfathomable nonsense will always be with us.  And on a more profound level, this is the kind of fun which exploits human frailty, which dispenses wisdom disguised as nonsense, and which is ridiculous because of its truth. 



  1. THE SUNDAY SCHOOL: Credit the minstrels with this song.  There are enough smart-alec verses to justify the accreditation.  But, around the land there are many later additions which do credit to the uncommon acumen of the common people.  As a result, this version contains some plain-fool material, some incisive commentary on history, and some clever satirical touches.  See if you can tell which is which. 

  2. DAVY CROCKETT: One version of this vaudeville piece describes the eye-to-eye struggle of Davy and what he thought was a squirrel.  Trying to out-stare the lump on the tree, Davy just “grinned the bark off the branch”.  The tall tale tellers of the frontier loved the outrageous boast and the impossible deed.  And often the boast was made good, and the deed accomplished. 

  3. THREE JOLY HUTERS: In Elizabethan days, a well-known play was “The Two Noble Kinsmen”.  This song was part of the drama, presented as an old refrain.  It is just one of many dealing with “noodles” or “sillies”, who are not quite as wise as the rest of us, but often much more fun.  

  4. THE WALLOPING WINDOW BLIND: Once upon a time this was a British ballad about a young man mourning for his young lady who has been sentenced to transportation for life from England.  Its exquisite pathos made it a likely subject for humorous parody.  Thus the line “Off for a trip on a government ship” became “Off to my love with a boxing glove”, and the “brave and gallant barque” became “The Walloping Window Blind”. 

  5. THE GOO DRED HERRING: Experts say that this is a song with a deep magical meaning – a relic of the ancient days of paganism and witchcraft.  Since hard work will enable the expert to attribute most old songs to ancient fertility rites, there is very little gained in the practice. 

  6. THE BOLL WEEVIL: The saucy little boll weevil seems in this song to have endeared itself to its natural enemy, the cotton farmer.  As in the Blue Tail Fly song, the singer respects the insect’s indestructroility and its ability to persist in a hostile world. 

  7. THE BIG ROCK CANDY MOUNTAIN: One McClintock claimed authorship of the original verses of this popular hobo anthem.  Around the turn of the century, McClintock wrote a song in which a tramp conned an innocent farm boy into becoming his “punk”.  Lacking any indications that the song existed prior to that, he may as well have the credit. 

  8. THREE FOOLISH CHAPS: This appears in some collections as King Arthur Had Three Sons or as Good Old Colony Days.  Certainly no one denies that it was one of our earliest imports from the British Isles.  The three leading characters were often figures of ridicule in medieval days – the miller for his rapacity, the weaver for his mendacity, the tailor for his finicking ways. 

  9. THE PEANUT STAND: The vaudeville minstrels made up many songs in which blackface comics sang of Irish “bulls”.  The songs would begin with some sort of “come all ye” exhortation – typical Irish in origin – and then top off the absurdity by addressing the music to “white folks”.  The Peanut Stand is a prime example of the type (despite the fact that the “white folks” has been replaced by the word “closely” in deference to the taste of the performer). 


  1. THE FROG IN THE SPRING: This song is older than it looks or acts.  It may even be a relative of the ancient Frog Would A-Wooing Go, which has been traced in printed form as far back as 1549.  The nonsense chorus changes from community to community, being sung as “Heigh ho, says Anthony Rowly”, “Crockamy daisy, Kitty alone”, and even “With a rigdum bonum duo coino, coi min ero giltee caro coi minero coino,” which must certainly mean something very significant. 

  2. CAPE COD GIRLS: This scurrilous song deserves but little serious consideration.  It was probably a capstan shanty that singled out the girls of Cape Cod only because they were the best-known among the New England sailing men. 

  3. AN ACRE OF LAND: Once there was ballad about The Elfin Knight in which the devilish Knight tried to riddle an innocent soul into perdition.  Later this turned up as The Cambric Shirt (Child #2).  Even alter, the Acre of Land appeared almost full-blown, the antithesis of the exaggerating song, with everything – even the humor – presented in miniature. 

  4. THE SOW TOOK THE MEASLES: Like The Red Herring or The Darby Ram, this is believed by experts to be a throwback to witch-cult idolatry of the sacred animal.  For more contemporary rural singers, however, it seems to symbolize the desperate desire of the marginal householder to make use of everything within reach. 

  5. THE SWAPPING SONG: Bad bargaining is a characteristic of many folktales and songs.  And as far back as the early 18th century this one was a delight for youthful fans of fantasy and farce.  It is said that the “Jack Straw” of the later chorus refers to a political partisan of the days of Richard II of England. 

  6. BUCKEYE JIM: Buckeye is a tree on which horse-chestnuts grow, which has led some experts to assume that Jim was a snowman with chestnuts for eyes.   On the other hand, Ohio is “The Buckeye State”, which has led other experts to maintain that Jim was a well-known (except to experts) balladeer, born in Ohio.  To further confuse the discussion, let us add our belief that this old American children’s song uses the “Buckeye Jim” refrain for its explosive quality and the rest of the refrain for its rhythmic beat. 

  7. CAESAR WAS DEAD: There have been more heroes cast in the leading role of this song than most other songs put together.  Already recorded are such as “Pompey was dead”, “Grumbler was dead”, “Cromwell was dead”, “Pharoah was dead”, and “Ulysses was dead” (referring to Grant, not Homer or James Joyce).  We choose to assume that folksingers choose the names merely because they came tripping to the tongue. 

  8. OLD BANGUM: once this was a lachrymose ballad which told of Sir Lionel Bangry Grewy and his mortal combat with a giant board.  In America, the song acquired a rollicking beat and a flippant story line.  Now we sing of Old Bangum who carried a wooden knife into the fray and slew the wild pig which was annoying a pretty, young, unattached damsel 

  9. THIS OLD MAN: Metropolitan children have adopted this ancient British counting song as theirown, calling it “My Old Man”.  Merely changing the one word has made the song irreverent, flippant, and slightly more zestful.  By changing a few of the rhymes, the effect of disrespect has been heightened.  The version as recorded herein is more sedate, but just as childish.  Recently, this item has reached Hit Parade proportions as a popular song.  No comment. 

  10. THAT’S WHAT WE LEARN IN THE SCHOOL: This is a visual game usually accompanied by singing.  Sometimes the verses are ordinary and vulgar, sometimes they are unquestionably bawdy.  In Pennsylvania German country, however, they are sung with great gusto whatever their propriety.  This version is a translation laboriously worked out by the singer.  Some versions use a “Deutcher” accent which is disrespectful and chauvinistic, unless sung by the “Pennsylvania Dutch” themselves.  - Notes by OSCAR BRAND


   For reasons that may be either profound or ridiculous, a similar Oscar Brand album was eagerly accepted by many presumably sensible listeners. 

It was – 



   Its success has prompted the issuance of this sequel, dedicated to all who enjoyed or were aggravated by the first LP (which also had the collaboration of the obviously dare-devil singer and banjoist, DAVE SEAR).  In his more serious moments, Mr. Brand is a prolifically-recorded folksinger, and has been heard over New York’s WNYC every single Sunday at 6 P. M. ever since 1945.  He has made several penetrating examinations of Americana for Riverside, including – 



GIVE ‘IM THE HOOK: Songs That Killed Vaudeville (12-832) 

A HIGH FIDELITY Recoding (Audio Compensation: RIAA Curve)


Cover produced and designed by PAUL BACON–KEN BRAREN–HARRIS LEWINE

Recorded by Ritter and Lerner, New York City; February, 1958



553 West 51st Street New York 19, New York

RLP12-835 (small blue) 



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York 



Ohela Halevy (vcl) acc by Nathan Mishori (fl)  Gil Aldema (accordion)  Joseph Sakiny (g)  Shai K. Ophir (Miriam drs) Ruth Riklis (perc, Ophir, Miriam drs)

Reeves Sound Studios, NYC; December 1958 


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  1. Shibolim (Grain Harvest) 

  2. Metzia (Guess What) 

  3. Shirat Hashomer (Night Guard) 

  4. Mul Har Sinai (Facing Mount Sinai) 

  5. Zichrini (Remember Me) 

  6. Mechol Hakerm (Dance in the Vineyard) 

  7. Hinach Yafa (Thou Art Fair) 


  1. Rachel 

  2. Uri Guri 

  3. Tze’I (Go Gorth) 

  4. Hen Efshar (Autumn Wishes) 

  5. Zemer Ikarim 

  6. Gamelet (The Camel) 


NOTE: RLP12-836 produced by Orrin Keepnews, Recorded by Jack Higgins and mastered by Jack Matthews. 

Cover design by Paul Bacon and photograph by Melvin Sokolsky. Back liner photo by Lawrence Shustak. 

RLP12-836 also RLP-1132 (stereo) and reissued as Washington VM-741 

RLP12-836 (small blue) VM-741 



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York 




Mariachi Band: 6 Brilliant groups includes (tp) (vln) (g) (cl) (voices) details unknown 

Plaza de Mariachis de Mexico; June 5, 1959(?) 


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  1. Nochecitas Mexicanas 

  2. La Verdolaga 

  3. Son de la Mariquita 

  4. Que Manera de Perder 

  5. El Aguacero 

  6. Las Abajenas 

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  1. Las Espiga 

  2. Serenata Huasteca 

  3. Guadalajara 

  4. Chapala 

  5. La Madrugada 

  6. La Noche y Tu 


NOTE: RLP12-837 “Mexico’s Biggest and Wildest Mariach Band” 

RLP-1140 (stereo) “Mexico’s Biggest and Wildes Mariach Band” (same as RLP12-837)

produced by Bill Grauer and Barrett Clark; recorded by Ray Fowler. 

Cover produced and designed by Paul Bacon; photo by Melvin Sokolsky. 

RLP-1140 (small black)  



553 West 51st Street New York City 19, New York 



John Lee Hooker (vcl, g)

Detroit, Michigan; April 1959 


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  1. Black Snake 

  2. How Long Blues 

  3. Wobblin’ Baby 

  4. She’s Long, She’s Tall, She Weeps Like a Willow Tree 

  5. Pea Vine Special 

  6. Tupelo Blues 

  7. I’m Prison Bound 


  1. I Rowed a Little Boat 

  2. Water Boy 

  3. Church Bell Tone 

  4. Bundle Up and Go 

  5. Good Mornin’, Lil’ School Girl 

  6. Behind the Plow 


NOTE: all titles also on Battle 6114

RLP12-838 “The Country Blues of John Lee Hooke” produced by Bill Grauer and notes written by Orrin Keepnew. 

Recording engineer Bill Hevron (United Sound System) & mastered by Jack Matthews. 

Cover produced by Paul Bacon – Ken Braren – Harris Lewine and cover photo by Howard Grubstein 

& back-liner photograph by Jim Rockwell. 

RLP12-838 reissued as Battle-6114 “John Lee Hooker: How Long Blues” 



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York  


RLP 12-841

Famed Down Beat humorist – portrayed by Ed Sherman  

All details: no credit

Reeves Sound Studios, NYC;1960s


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  1. Wind-up Dolls

  2. The Jazz Concert

  3. Practice Dialing

  4. Jazz on TV

  5. Some Fragments of My World:

Sports Car Records

The Tatoo


African Holiday

Silent Movie


  1. The Jazz Night Club Scene

  2. The T-shirt Inspector

  3. Record Audiences

  4. The Encyclopedic Critics

  5. The Arthur Murray Show

  6. My Monkey



   Perhaps George Crater is ready to take his place among the Minor Prophets (Joel, Hosea, Malaci, Habakkuk and Criswell to name a few) for on March 3, 1960, he wrote in the pages on Down Beat, and I quote: “Be kind to Ira Gitler, you can never tell when he might be writing your liner notes.”

The question is how kind has he been and the answer lies below.  You be the judge.

   Gene Less has described my relationship with Crater as none of “love-hate.”  This means that I love him when he is roasting someone else and hate him when he doesn’t mention my name.  (Caught you there, didn’t I?)  In reality, George has been my personal press agent for over a year now.  To give you an example of his power, he made me into a fictitious character after three mentions in his column.  Some people even thought that I was George Crater!

Getting back to Gene Lees – he is the managing editor of Down Beat (The Music Magazine, as Prof. Dayton Allen calls it), who exhumed the Crater monster from its resting place under the mud flats of Spyten Duyvil and recharged its negative and positive electrodes with a live wire named Ed Sherman.

   On this back cover you will observe a picture of the cadaverous harlequin who calls himself Ed Sherman.  You will also notice the great similarity to the drawing of George Crater on the front cover.  This is because now Ed Crater doesn’t know if he is George Sherman.  This has given him a split personality which translated from the hip means that whenever he gets someplace, he has to leave.


   But seriously folks, George Crater has brought a needed humor to the jazz scene.  Since Merwyn Mogue (Irish Kabibble) left Kay Kayse, things haven’t been the same.  We have had humor written about jazz (a lot of it unintentional) for a long time.  Leonard Feather as Professor S. Rosentwing Mcsiegel (the S was for Snotty) used to make us chuckle, for one, but no one has done it with such barbed satire, every two weeks, month after month, as Crater-Sherman (no relation to Cheyne-Stokes) has in the pages of Down Beat.  I must admit that on radio, in his regular Thursday night hour on New York’s WNCN-FM, he has not been as consistent.  This is a very difficult thing to do.  Here, however, in his first album, you are presented with the best of Crater, distilled for your aural, cerebral and visceral pleasure.  Riverside accomplished this by melting him down in a Vic Tanny steam room and dripping him through some old charcoal briquettes, left over from a backyard barbeque.  What you, the listener, get, in essence, is the Jack Daniels of the hip monologists.

   Although he has that out-of-town look in his eye, Ed Sherman was born in New York City.  He played stickball at 8, clarinet at 12 and switched to tenor saxophone before the entered George Washington High School where, in addition to winning his varsity letter on the cherry tree chopping team, he was president of both the band and the orchestra.  During this period, he also played club dates.

   After several years of not getting enough votes to be even listed in the Down Beat poll, Ed went into radio (1953) as record librarian for jazz d.j. Gene Stuart (a childhood friend) on WABC.  Soon he was promoted to assistant producer and finally producer.  “As my importance increased, my salary decreased,” cries Sherman.

   At the end of Stuart’s tenure in late 1954, he went to work for another jazz d.j., Mitch Reed (WOR) as producer and writer of special material.  Eight months later, when Reed became airless, Ed joined the Monte ay-Pete Kameron management office as a publicity writer.  His next stop, in 1956, was at an ad agency as assistant account executive.  During the same period, he wrote bob Haymes’ daily two-hour show on WNEW.

1957 found him with a smaller ad agency.  He also wrote the last five shows for Williams B. Williams’ Dumont TV series.  They were going off the air anyway.

   In May 1959, Sherman began producing and directing TV commercials for Pairfax Advertising.  Among the shows his commercial appeared on were Dave Garroway, Jack Paar, Beat The Clock, Who do You Trust? and Hi Mom.  He left Faifax in early 1960.

June 11, 1959 was his first appearance in the pages of Down Beat when he wrote that immortal line: “Zoot Finster … ZootFinster ZootFinsterZootFinsterZot


   Actually, the cartoon series, DeeBee’s Scrapbook, was the door-opener for him at Down Beat.  He submitted the strange pictures and stranger captions after Cash Box had turned them down.  Gene Lee liked his sense of humor and solicited him to reactivate the dormant Crater column.  The rest is history – the kind they don’t teach in school: from national magazine, to radio, to concert appearances (Town Hall) to records (down by the Riverside).

As a Sherlock Holmes aficionado, I remember the way my chops watered when Dr. Watson mentioned untold tales such as the Giant Rat of Sumatra, the singular affair of the aluminum crutch, the repulsive story of the red leech, etc.  For you Crater addicts, Dr. Gitler hints at the notorious wind-up dolls, jazz on TV, the t-shirt inspector (#815-F), the breathless Harpo Marx impression, the singular case of the pet monkey, the nightclub scene (with a trip to the repulsive men’s room), etc.  Unlike the esoteric Holmesiana, forever lost, the yawning aperture that is a salient feature of Crater’s head, is readily accessible by merely exploring the contents of this envelope.

   Unlike most comedy monologue album, there is no laughter, canned or otherwise.  (Crater explains why on the inside.)  There is also no background music.  Crater, the iconoclast, stands as naked as an Abner Dean character, his New York accent post-nasal drip coming straight through to you.  Many people have likened portions of his delivery to that of Lenny Bruce.  There is no doubt that Lenny has had an influence but the similarity is peripheral.  Anyway, didn’t Cannonball listen to Bird?

   Orrin Keepnews, the bard of Riverside whose liner-writing gig I stole for this album, says of Crater: “I think of him as a cat way out in limbo someplace, broadcasting his thoughts back to us.”

I have to agree that George Crater is way out – out of his head.  What makes it frightening is that he is into mine and yours and yours and yours … (scram fading away down hospital corridor).


   IRA GITLER, who always writes about other folks, would seem to deserve at least some slight mention of himself.  (If only to end that incessant “Gitler? Who he?” from myriad readers.)  Mr. Gitler, who is making his Riverside debut on this album, has written oodles of notes for other labels, is a Down Beat staff reviewer and occasional utility infielder for the George Crater column.


Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF back-liner photo by CHARLES STEWART

Recording Engineer: JACK HIGGINS (Reeves Sound Studios)

Riverside-Reeves SPECTROSONIC High Fidelity Engineering 

Mastered by JACK MATTHEWS (Components Corp) on a HYDROFEED lathe



235 West 46th Street New York City 36, New York



234 West 46th Street New York 36, N.Y.  



Sascha Burland and Mason Adams (talk) 

Plaza Sound Studios, NYC; September 1961 


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  1. The Sports Caster (2:59) 

  2. The Record Reviewers (3:30) 

  3. The Specialist (4:30) 

  4. The Annual Modern Jazz Musicians Fashion Festival (7:37) 


  1. So Is Dr. Mitchell (8:24) 

  2. The Social Worker (4:16) 

  3. The Sports Buyer (2:30) 

  4. The Card Game (3:55) 

  5. The Arranger (2:15) 


NOTE: RLP-843 produced by Orrin Keepnews. And recorded by Ray Fowler. 

Album designed by Ken Deardoff and back-liner photo by Steve Schapiro. 



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York (blue, deep groove) 


Oscar Brand (vcl, bj)  with Fred Helleman 

Place and date unknown 


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  1. Don’t Want No More of Army Life 

  2. The Freaking Fusileers 

  3. I’ll Tell You Where They Were 

  4. The Raw Recruit 

  5. Beneath A Bridge in Italy 

  6. Mademoiselle from Armentieres 

  7. The Wide Missouri 

  8. The Soldier’s Life 


  1. Old Soldiers Never Die 

  2. The G. I. Blues 

  3. The Sergeant 

  4. Roll Me Over 

  5. Home, Boys, Home 

  6. He Ain’t Gonna Jump No More 

  7. Around Her Neck 

  8. The Regular Army O 

  9. Follow Washington 

NOTE: RLP-844 edited by Kenneth S. Goldstein and recorded by Ritter and Lerner. 

Cover designed by Paul Bacon and illustration by Charles Slackman. 

RLP-844 (small blue)   



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York 





Paul Renard (Wulitzer pipe organ)

Plaza Sound Studios, NYC; August 1960 


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  1. Harrigan (2:07) 

  2. Forty-Five Minutes from Broadway (2:12) 

  3. So long, Mary (2:02) 

  4. Mary’s A Grand Old Name (2:35) 

  5. I Want to Hear A Yankee Doodle Tune (2:24) 

  6. Father of the Land We Love (2:02) 


  1. Yankee Doodle Boy 2:30) 

  2. Give My Regards to Broadway (2:04) 

  3. I Was Born in Virginia (1:30)

  4. Nellie Kelly I Love You (2:10) 

  5. Over There (2:05) 

  6. You’re A Grand Old Flag (2:05) 

 Notes by GEORGE M. COHAN, JR.

   George M. Cohan, master showman, born song-and-dance man, successful actor, dancer, writer, composer, singer and producer, was for almost six decades the very heart and soul of America show business.  During the life of the original Yankee Doodle Boy, footlights guided his steps and quicksilver flowed in his veins.  With his straw hat, bamboo cane, the witticism which came out of the corner of his month, the prancing dance that carried him across the stage and up one side of the proscenium arch, George Michael Cohan became a national institution and one of the most beloved figures the American theatre has ever known.

   When Cohan was born on the Fourth of July, in 1878, there were already three Cohans: Jeremiah (his father), Helen, (his mother) and sister Josephine.  His arrival completed the talented group and it was not long before they were touring the vaudeville circuit as “The Four Cohans.”

   The turn of the century found The Four Cohans enjoying a huge success in the big time, with George writing all their material.  But there was something else that George wanted very badly … and that was a show on Broadway.  The next year, he had his wish.  His first musical, “The Governor’s Son,” opened February 25, 1901.  While not a resounding success it ran for a modest thirty-two performances and served the purpose of bringing the Cohans from the variety halls to the Broadway theatre.  This was the beginning of George Cohan’s fabulous forty-year career of playwriting, composing and acting.

   In all, during his life, Cohan wrote more than eighty dramas and musical plays, appearing in many of them.  He composed over 500 songs and produced more than 150 theatrical attractions.

   Here was a man who literally ate and slept show business … and loved every minute of it.  His first great success “Little Johnny Jones” marked the beginning of his sixteen-year long association with another brilliant showman, Sam Harris.  Together they presented such outstanding hits as “The Man Who Owns Broadway,” “Get-rich-Quick Wallingford,” “The Little Millionaire,” “Broadway Jones,” and “Seven Keys to Baldpate.”

When America entered the First World War, George M. Cohan tried to enlist, but was turned down because he was too old.  He did the next best thing – he wrote a song, Over There – which swept the country and became the official song of World War I.

   In 1933, he scored a huge success in Eugene O’Neill’s “Ah! Wilderness.”  This was the first time that he had acted in a ply not produced by himself.  His last engagement started in 1937, when he appeared in the record breaking hit, “I’d Rather Be right,” in which he impersonated F. D. R.

   Official recognition for writing the stirring songs, Over There and You’re A Grand Old Flag, was accorded Cohan, in 1940, when the late President Roosevelt presented him with the Congressional Medal which had been awarded by Congress.  A few years later when America again found herself engaged in a world struggle, George M. Cohan breathed his last.  Yet as he died, the motion picture “Yankee Doodle Dandy” based on his life, was playing on Broadway, and the songs he had written were being sung throughout the nation he loved so much.  Some years after his death, the George M. Cohan Memorial Committee commissioned noted sculptor Georg Lober to create a statu of Cohan in appreciation of his contribution to show business.  This statue was erected in Times Square and was presented to the City of New York by the late Oscar Hammerstein, 2nd on September 11, 1959.

   Today, as Mr. Cohan’s timeless music is played and sung, fond memories are awakened and a familiar phrase rings through – “My mother tanks you, my father thanks you, my sister thanks you and I thank you …”


About this Wurlitzer Organ:

   The remarkable Wurlitzer organ on which this music is played is most well-studied to the zestful, full-scale compositions of George M. Cohan and to Paul Renard’s spirited performance. 

   Installed in the ultra-modern Plaza Sound Studios, stop the world-famed Radio City Music Hall building, it is a somewhat smaller version of the huge theater organ in the Music Hall.  But it is smaller only because the studios are in which it is located is of course not as large as the immense Music Hall Originally intended for radio broadcasting, this organ was designed to give off proportionately the same sound as the Music Hall organist can get.  Its standard Wurlitzer console is enlarged with the same stops as make up the Music Hall organ (although, because of the difference in are, there are not as much of each set of stops).  Maintained by the Music Hall staff, it is kept in the same excellent condition as the theater’s organ.

   To achieve the extremely sharp percussion effects to be heard on this recording, microphones were placed in the chambers of the organ.  While recording, microphones were positioned directly in front of the organ shutters, rather than at a distance, as is customary.


About Paul Renard:

   The truly amazing organist who is heard here is one of those fairly rare instances of a musical prodigy who maintains and even increases his great skills as an adult.  At the age of 27, Renard is a veteran of two decades of two decades of professional experience, having made his concert debut at seven.  Since then, he has played an estimated total of three thousand popular and classical concerts – and that is only one facet of his constant and highly varied activity.

   He has studied organ and piano privately and in conservatories for 23 years, and the long list of those with who

he has studied includes some of the foremost teachers of those instruments and of composition, theory and musicology.  Renard is himself a noted teacher,arranger, accompanist, and writer of articles and books on various musical subjects. His most recent publication is the three-volume “Paul Renard Organ Course” (King Publishing Company).

   In addition, he has been active on radio and TV for some thirteen years, has served as musical director for many stage shows and had appeared in hotels and night clubs from coast to coast.

   This unparalleled background (which actually can only be sketchily and generally indicated in this limited space) has helped Paul Renard to achieve an almost unbelievable mastery of the organ, and a sensitive and moving degree of artistry that makes his treatment of these ever-fresh and emotion-stirring Cohan songs a rare entertainment highlight.


A note for those who prefer Stereo: A remarkable Stereophonic version of this recording, specially processed and pressed, is available in riverside’s new Fortissimo series (record number XK 8002).

Produced and recorded by RAY FOWLER

Cover designed by KEN DEARDOFF

Recorded at Plaza Sound Studios, New York City; August 1960.

Mastered by JACK MATTHEWS (components Corp.) on a HYDROFEED lathe



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York

NOTE: This album also Riverside new Fortissimo series XK-8002 




‘Uncle John’ Cali (bj)  Raymond Crisara (tp)  Paul Pincus (cl)  Gelso Piillegrini (acc)  Joe Tarto (tu, b)  William Dorn (perc) 

Plaza Sound Studios, NYC; August 11, 1960 


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  1. Hoopla! (2:00) 

  2. Captain Jack (2:25) 

  3. Imperial Polka (2:00) 

  4. Bunny-Bun Polka (2:27) 

  5. Hi-Fi Polka (1:55) 

  6. Showboat Polka (2:10) 


  1. Poker Players’ Polka (2:27) 

  2. Picnic Polka (1:50) 

  3. Conquette (2:05) 

  4. Pick-a-Partner Polka (2:00) 

  5. Johnny Banjo (2:10) 

  6. Pickin’ the Banjo (3:17) 


NOTE: RLP-846 produced and recorded by Ray Fowler. Cover designed by Ken Deardoff and illustration by John Alcorns. 

This album is also Riverside’s new Fortissimo XK-8004.



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York 


RLP 847

are permitted to buy this album of the piano (and voice) of Ralph Strain  

Ralph Strain (p, voice) with chorus-* (conga) details unknown


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  1. Bon Jour, Paris * (1:53) 

  2. Ralph’s Tune (2:22) 

  3. Or What Have You * (1:58)

  4. Drifting  (2:23) 

  5. This Could Be the Start of Something (1:36) 

  6. Soon It’s Going to Rain (3:00) 


  1. Let’s Dance, Let’s Dance, Let’s Dance (1:36) 

  2. Nina * (2:06) 

  3. Intoxication * (2:00) 

  4. All at Once * (2:00) 

  5. I Feel Like I’m Going to Live Forever * (1:45) 

  6. Old Fashioned Girl * (1:59) 

   I have known Ralph Strain for many years.  I have run across him in Palm Beach, Nantucket, the Hamptons, New York … always s working, always splaying good songs (and singing many of them, as well) and each time playing a degree better than the time before.

   I don’t believe he would resent my mentioning that he is self-taught and that he doesn’t read music particularly well.  All the formal training he has missed has been more than compensated for by his splendid taste, great inventiveness and extremely keen ear.

   His solid rhythmic insistence and refusal to settle for the cliché take him out of the category of the “East Side Piano Player.”

   There are many completely competent cocktail bar pianists who allow themselves to fall into pedestrian patterns of great dexterity but little invention.  This Ralph is never guilty of.

   He also, in instances wherein he wants more freedom on the piano, resorts to whistling the tune, which he does extremely well.  And, when he does this, his playing takes on an orchestral quality which I find very interesting, solid, rich in harmonic and rhythmic ideas.

   Ralph himself is an enormously witty man.  My only criticism of this album is that only musical overtones of this wit can be communicated.  Maybe someday he can make an album with a few spoken asides and possibly a glorious Irish song he has been known to sing on special occasions.



   The name of Alec Wilder, one of America’s most distinguished and delightful composers, does not appear on the list of authorized purchasers of this album.  This is not intended as a slight to Mr. Wilder, some of whose works have been issued on Riverside and who is in all respects a gentleman we would not care  to omit from any carefully screened list.  It is merely that, as a reward for his services in writing these notes, Mr. Wilder’s name has been placed upon a much smaller and private list of these permitted to accept this album as a gift, at no cost whatsover except a small charge to cover mailing and handling.


NOTE: RLP-847 no information about this album of details. 



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York 




Jack Lemmon (narrates) 


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SIDE 1. E. B. White’s “Here’s New York” (part 1) 

SIDE 2. E. B. White’s “Here’s New York” (part 2) 


NOTE: Produced by Bob Bach. Designed by Ken Deadoff, photograph by Curtis Publishing co. 



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York 




John Fortune, Jeremy Geidt, Eleanor Brown, John Bird (performer) 

The Strollers Theatre-Club, NYC; 1963


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  1. The Queen 

  2. Window on the World 

  3. The balloon 

  4. Crime Report 


  1. Potatoes-Potatoes 

  2. Consent and Advise 

  3. Lodgings 

  4. He and She 

  5. Sports Report 


NOTE: RLP-850 produced by Barrett Clark and recorded by Ray Fowler. 

Cover designed by Ken Deardoff and photograph by Steve Schapiro 



235 West 46th Street New York 36, New York 

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