Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Don Ho - Suck 'Em Up - 1970's some time.

As far as I'm concerned this is the best way to experience Don Ho. Live. Let's face it his schtick was his loungy persona performing in Hawaii. Sure he did studio recordings, but he also did TV appearances. That doesn't mean those things were great. In fact they were just average for the most part. But live, that is where it was at for Don. I wish I could have scene his live show. It sounds like it would have been a fun evening. Well you can catch a little of that here on this recording.

The title Suck 'Em Up comes not only from one of Don's songs, but this was kind of trademark of his. Each night in his show he would raise a glass and encourage the audience to drink with him, a toast if you will. He would say "suck 'em up". I'm sure that was nice in making is a festive occasion and I'm sure the nightclub loved him encouraging the drinking. Win win all around.

Here is what one biography page said about Ho's early career and Suck 'Em Up.

In 1962 Ho got the biggest gig of his career thus far: playing at Duke Kahanamoku's club in Waikiki. Ho played three shows a night to full capacity in the 700-seat club, backed by the Ali'is band, whose original members included Al Akana, Rudy Aquino, Benny Chong, Manny Lagodlagod, and Joe Mundo. Ho developed what would become his longstanding performance style, in which he held court behind his Hammond organ, one hand on the keys and the other holding up a glass of scotch (which in later years was replaced by pineapple juice), jovially inviting the crowd to "Suck 'em Up!." Ho became known for his laid-back style, and typically appeared bare-chested with a lei around his neck, in tight jeans and bare feet.

On a personal note I'd like to mention that my love of Don Ho began not from his music, but from his TV appearances in the 80's. Earlier this year I posted a scene he had on an episode of Charlie's Angels. Some other classic appearances were of course on The Brady Bunch. Who can forget that opus of an episode with Greg and the tiki god and the surfing and the cave and oh I could go on and on. But even better than that was the episode of Sanford and Son with Don Ho. That one was great because Fred and Lamont actually got out of the set and shot on location in Hawaii. I don't know if they ever did that on any other episode. I believe it might have also been a two parter. If I remember correctly the story involved some gangsters and there ends up being a shoot out at the harbor by some boats. Sanford and Son with a shoot out. Hard to beat that. I think in that episode Don doesn't just show up as himself in some club. I think he somehow gets wrangled into the plot. Anyways, good memories even if they are fading a bit. I'm going to have to see if I can find them and rewatch soon.

So enough rambling. Here's Hawaii's first and best ambassador.


01 For Every Grain Of Sand On Waikiki.m4a
02 Welcome Pretty Lady.m4a
03 Down By The Shack.m4a
04 Remembering.m4a
05 Beyond The Reef.m4a
06 Didn't We.m4a
07 Here's To The Girls Of The Summer.m4a
08 The More I Know About You.m4a
09 Kanaka Pete.m4a
10 Sunny Days, Starry Nights (Ke La La).m4a
11 You're Gonna Hear From Me May want to redo..m4a
12 Molokai.m4a
13 Aloha Means.m4a

The whole thing here.
Don Ho - Suck 'Em

As an extra bonus here's some live footage of Don.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Bananarama - Cruel Summer 12" - 1984

Summer is just around the corner and so I thought this would be appropriate. If you were growing up in he 80's then I'm sure you remember this song flooding the airwaves in 1984. I must admit that at the time I didn't like this song. It was too pop and too mainstream. I had no appreciation for girl pop groups. Oh how times have changed.

So the main song is nothing new, but perhaps the dub is a little gem for some. Use it to make your own mashup. And I think you might have some fun with Cairo as well, which is a lesser known track.


01 Cruel Summer.m4a
02 Summer Dub.m4a
03 Cairo.m4a

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Lou Monte - Here's Lou Monte

This post is in direct response to a request I just got this weekend. Mandala, whoever you are, this one is for you.

This is one of the super fun Lou Monte records. I know that probably sounds weird since so many of his records were and are fun. And just look at this cover. Lout looks like he's ready to have a good time, doesn't he? This one is really fun because of Tombolee Tombola, Rosina! (The Menu Song), and Angelina. These are all songs with that playful flair Lou Monte has. Rosina! in particular is fun if you grew up in an Italian household because you can reminisce about all the good Italian food. I get hungry just listening to the song. And how great is the lyric,

Oh my Rosina, my senorina
How I'm dreamin' dreamin' dreamin' of Rosina
She's so good looking when she is cooking
What a beautiful sight among the pots and pans

Because I'm kind of posting this on a spur of the moment whim, I'm cutting some corners. I'm just sharing a zip file and not individual files. The tracks however are the following.

01 Tombolee Tombola
02 Bella Notte (From Walt Disney's "Lady And The Tramp")
03 Rosina! (The Menu Song)
04 Angelina
05 I've Got A Crush On You
06 Liza (All The Clouds Roll Away)
07 Fascinating Rhythm
08 Mine
09 Jealous Of You (Tango Della Gelosia)
10 A Baby Cried


Here's Lou

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Gamma - Gamma II - 1980

I picked this bad boy up solely based on the cheese ball cover. That means no matter what I was getting what I paid for. I wanted the cover and I got the cover. There was no gamble at all. What is great in situations like that is when the music turns out to rock your socks off.

I didn't know anything about Gamma, but after putting the record on and hearing some great rock and roll I had to do some reading. What I found was that Gamma was a project by old Ronnie Montrose. Now I would say I'm a casual fan of Montrose. My fandom comes mostly from the early Montrose with Sammy Hagar who I actually really love. I hadn't listened to much Montrose until the last year or so and I have to say I love that first record. So in a way I was not surprised to learn that Ronnie was the brains behind this project. It was good straight a head rock and roll. Think Bad Company or Rainbow (Down To Earth era), or early Foreigner perhaps.

Here is what has to say about the record. Click here.


01 Mean Streak.m4a
02 Four Horsemen.m4a
03 Dirty City.m4a
04 Voyager.m4a
05 Something In The Air.m4a
06 Cat On A Leash.m4a
07 Skin And Bone.m4a
08 Mayday.m4a

The whole thing in one zip file.
Gamma - Gamma