Friday, December 31, 2010

New Years Eve 1984 in Chicago

I grew up in the Chicago area. My early music education came from the Chicago airwaves. It started with stations like WLS, the Loop and WMET. While I gravitated to the more rock oriented stations like The Loop of WMET I still would tune into WLS from time to time. If there was a popular tune say for instance Jukebox Hero by Foreigner or "Centerfold" by The J. Geils Band and you wanted to hear that song, you knew you could tune in to WLS and hear it within an hour or two. It is the blessing and curse of a top 40 style radio station.

Another thing I loved about WLS was that on New Years Eve as soon as it struck midnight they would play this music collage that was basically a history of pop and rock music. It consisted of all the number one songs since 1960. Each year the collage was the same, but at the end they would add a few more hits from that previous year. Well New Years Eve 1984 I recorded the entire thing and have kept it all these years. This was also one of the first things I digitized back in the day, because I knew I wanted to preserve it so I could share it with people. I'm glad I did, because this blog is a great way to share it.

In addition to the music I hope you like the vintage WLS Calendar image I found online. I found a great site that has that entire calendar online. Check it out here. It is another great time capsule.


As a kid I loved the New Year's collage so much that I made some of my own. I would spend hours and days and weeks adding to it a few seconds at a time. There are all recorded on cheap cassette tapes. In the early 80's much of tapes were the cheapest ones you could buy, because I didn't have a lot of money. They were purchased at K-Mart more than likely. The quality may be hard to bare sometimes because of the tape hiss of static on the radio, but in a way that also captures the essence of the conditions within which they were created. These are from around that same time period '83-'84 (maybe even '82, but I'm not positive) and provide a great window into the Chicago airwaves in the mid 80's. I would scan all sorts of stations and so there is quite a variety. You'll also hear some repeats or themes, which perhaps give some insight into what I was liking at the time.

The interesting thing about these is I think they are a sort of precursor to the sample filled world of music we live in then. I find these interesting also because I think it is also a good glimpse at the mind of someone growing up in the MTV generation. The attention span was getting shorter and shorter, so short that just snippets of songs would satisfy. It should be noted that I didn't just make these and forget about them. I would listen to them over and over. There are songs on here that when I hear them even today I hear the next sample on the collage in my head before I hear the actual next lyric of the song.

There are also bits of songs that I didn't even know what the name or artist of the song was. However I knew the little snippet really well because I listened to it over and over. Some songs I would discover the title and the artist years later. One example was "Pussy Strut" by the Waitresses. There is a snippet from that song in one of the collages, but I never knew what the song was. In recent years when I picked up that first Waitresses album on vinyl I was thrilled when I was listening to that song and that snippet came on. It was like finding an old lost friend. There are other examples as well, but that one comes to mind.

So here they are. I've numbered them, but I'm not positive that they are chronological.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Camouflage - Love Is A Shield - 1989

More syth pop from the 80's courtesy of my friend's record recently donated record collection. I'm realizing as I post these records from my friend that I don't have any interesting stories to share about when I first heard the song or what I was doing when this song was playing because they are not really from my past. I never heard Camouflage before I got this record and "The Great Commandment". So my history consists of a few listens over the past few months.

What I can share is this. Here is some info on the band from Wikipedia. Also I can tell you that the band reminds me of Depeche Mode. Track 2 "The Story Of The Falling Fighters" really reminds me of some of the darker Depeche Mode output from around this same time. It also has an exotic feel to it. I don't know if it is African or Eastern in influence. I'm not educated enough in world music to pinpoint what exactly is going on there, but when you hear it you'll know what I'm talking about.

"Love Is A Shield" is pretty good too. It's not quite so dark and is more like a mid-tempo dance track. It is also very "Mode"-like, but kind of reminds me of some earlier Depeche Mode.


01 Love Is A Shield (Extended Version).m4a
02 The Story Of The Falling Fighters (Extended Version).m4a

03 Love Is A Shield.m4a

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Christmas Adventure in DIsneyland - Reposting again

This is a re-post from a few years ago. The link to the record is not only dead, but the actual file I had on mediafire had been deleted. For whatever reason I felt like I should put it up briefly once again. Maybe because it is a story for Christmas day and I thought perhaps a few lucky souls might stumble across this today and might want to share this with their family. Better get it while it lasts, because I'll deactivate this pretty quickly. Disney is pretty quick with the take down notices. So here is the old post.

So yesterday I gave you an album full of Christmas hymns for a traditional Christmas eve. Today, for the grand finale of the season I'm going the opposite direction. Christmas at Disneyland. By the way, I've been living in Southern California for over a decade and I still haven't gone to Disneyland in December. This record is the closest I've gotten. That is sad.

Anyways, this record is a mix of story telling and songs. I love this record. The story is interestingly weird and contrived. There are a few absolutely great tunes as well, "Jingle Bones" being my favorite. So once all your presents are open and the afternoon boredom sinks in, escape to Disneyland with this record.

On a side note I just wanted to say, that this past month has been very fun sharing all of these records. I've gotten some of my best feedback and comments. It has been great hearing from people that I've helped make their Christmas or that I've brought back some great memories. It has already got me excited for next year. I have a lot more records to share and I've already started digitzing for next years extravaganza.

As for the regular blog, I hope to get back to posting pretty soon. I'll probably take a few days off, but I will be back soon. I've definitely got a great record to share for New Years. Anyways until then...


01 All Aboard For Disneyland.m4a
02 Disneyland At Last.m4a
03 The Storybook Tree.m4a
04 Fantasyland.m4a
05 Once Upon A Dream.m4a
06 Jingle Bones.m4a
07 Escaping The Witch.m4a
08 Frontierland.m4a
09 Adventureland.m4a
10 The Jungle Tree.m4a
11 Tomorrowland.m4a
12 The Futuristic Christmas Tree.m4a
13 Home At Last On Christmas Morning.m4a

A Christmas Adventure In

Holly Golightly - Christmas Tree On Fire 7" - 2006

Merry Christmas everyone. I know I said I didn't have any Christmas vinyl to post this year, but I actually do. It's not vintage and may not conjure up nostalgic memories of Christmases of yore, but it is still a fun little Christmas record about the Christmas Tree burning down the house. Serves as a good warning about the hazards of real Christmas trees in your house. Longtime readers of the blog know that I love Holly Golightly. She's gotten quite a few mentions over the years and I even posted some photos this last year from when I went to see her. This is a record she released a few years ago for Christmas. I'm pretty sure you can still find it online or at specialty record store so I won't leave the link active for long. You really should go find the record, buy it and support the lady. With that said, my Christmas present today is to share it for a few days.


01 Christmas Tree On Fire.m4a
02 Hear My Call, Here.m4a

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Midnight Star - No Parking On The Dance Floor - 1983

A few weeks ago I got another shelf for some records, which meant I could unpack some boxes of records that had been stashed away for sometime. I mentioned this story a few weeks past on a previous post. As I mentioned in that post I've been playing "The Many Faces Of Roger" a lot and have been listening to some of my other 80's electro funk records. That is what brings me to this record. This was one of the records I digitized during the first year that I started digitizing my records. It has always been an absolute favorite of mine. As a kid I loved the single "No Parking On The Dance Floor". I only knew the song from the radio. I didn't own the record or anything. It wasn't until the late 90's I think until I picked up this record. I fell in love with the whole record and have been rocking it for my kids since they were wee babies.

In addition to "No Parking On The Dance Floor" the song "Freak-A-Zoid" is an absolute jam. I think when I first heard it the cartoon Freak-A-Zoid was still fresh in my mind. It was either still on the air or just recently off the air. Cartoon aside, the song is classic. I mean it opens with an electronic robot type voice saying "Freak-A-Zoid robots please report to the dance floor". How awesome is that? You are basically helpless, but to obey and get yourself to the dance floor and start doing the robot. Over 8 minutes of robotic dance glory.

Here is what I assume to be the video/single version of the song. It's about 4 minutes.

The first side opener "Electricity" is a really good electro funk song as well. Has the oh-so-80's electronic voice box thing going on. It is "Electro funk" afterall. Just makes you want to start poppin' and lockin'.

"Feels So Good" is more of a straight ahead R&B/pop song, but I really like it. Kind of reminds me of the smooth production of Marvin Gaye in the 80's. Think "Sexual Healing".

Side 1
01 Electricity
02 Night Rider
03 Feels So Good
04 Wet My Whistle
Side 2
05 No Parking (On The Dance Floor)
06 Freak-A-Zoid
07 Slow Jam
08 Playmates


No Parking On The Dance Floor Side
No Parking On The Dance Floor Side

Here is a bonus video in remembrance of the classic that was Freakazoid. I gots to get me some Freakazoid DVDs. I loved that show.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Hank Snow - When My Blue Moon Turns Gold Again - 1973

So while I don't have any new Christmas records to post this year, this is somewhat in the spirit of the season. Hank Snow. Get it snow? I know. Bad pun.

Jokes aside, this is a pretty good record. The last I checked I didn't see this available on except for used vinyl so I take that to mean that it is out of print and perhaps never has been released on CD. That makes it a great candidate for the blog.

This is a double record, so you get a lot of country for your dollar on this release. Actually you're getting it free, but you know what I mean. Actually, I don't know if "country" is the best description of Hank Snow's music. I think it is closer to "cowboy" music if that is a genre. These songs sound like ones a cowboy would sing on the range. A few of my favorites on this record are "Your Little Band Of Gold", "The Answer To The Blue Velvet Band", "I Wonder Where You Are Tonight", "How She Could Yodel", "On The Mississippi Shore"

"Little Buddy" is quite a song as well. It is a song about a man's dog that was killed by a drunk. It could possibly be one of the saddest songs you ever hear.

And my absolute favorite song is "There's A Picture On Pinto's Bridle" which tells the story of a man who is out riding on the trail when he comes across an injured boy and his pinto. The pinto has a broken leg and so the man draws his gun to put the horse down, but the man stops and the boy tells him the story of how when his mother died she wanted him to take care of the pinto. The boy finishes and utters his final words to the man to take the picture of his mother from the pinto's bridle and lay it near his heart when he dies. It's a tearjerker for sure. Below are the lyrics in their entirety.

I'm riding one bright evening 'neath the starlit western sky
The silver moon down on the sage did shine
As I spurred my pony onward, my guitar I softly played
To the tune of some coyote's lonely cry
Just then my pony halted, his ears up straight did go
He trembled as I stepped down by his side
With a glance I saw a shadow, on the prairie there did lie
A little curly-headed blue eyed boy.

O dee ay, dee ay lee, O ay lee O, dee lay ee.

Not very far beyond him his little Pinto fell
His leg was broke as there in pain he lay
And his frightened eyes were blinking as I drew my Forty Four,
Do not kill me his kind eyes just seemed to say.

"Don't shoot him, sir, I beg you, he is my only pal
We've rode the range together day by day
My poor father is a drunkard and he turned me from the door;
Dear mothers up in heaven far away.

O dee ay, dee ay lee, O ay lee O, dee lay ee.

She left me one bright morning, with the angels she does dwell,
We'll meet upon that other range some day
As she kissed my little forehead then a picture she did draw,
From a golden locket as I heard her say.

"My time has come to leave you, the best of pals must part,
Please promise mother always to be true
Thro' the long and lonely hours when your little heart's forlorn
Remember there's an angel watching you.

O dee ay, dee ay lee, O ay lee O, dee lay ee.

Just then the little fellow bowed down his weary head
And this is all his trembling lips did say
Please take care of little Pinto, try and help him to get well
I'm now heading for a round-up far away.

You'll find on Pinto's bridle, a treasure that is dear
Please put it by my heart when I have gone
'Tis a picture of my mother dear, the best pal that I knew,
I'm leaving now to meet her far beyond.

O dee ay, dee ay lee, O ay lee O, dee lay ee...

So there you have it. Give the record a listen. Hopefully you'll find a couple treasures on the record like I did.


Record 1
01 When My Blue Moon Turns To Gold Again
02 Your Little Band Of Gold
03 Linda Lou
04 You've Broken My Heart
05 Wasted Love
06 The Answer To The Blue Velvet Band
07 Little Buddy
08 I'm Sending You Red Roses
09 I Wonder Where You Are Tonight

Record 2
10 Seal Our Parting With A Kiss
11 Anniversary Of My Broken Heart
12 My Fillipino Rose
13 How She Could Yodel
14 Your Last Kiss Has Broken My Heart
15 Under Hawaiian Skies
16 On The Mississippi Shore
17 There's A Picture On Pinto's Bridle
18 Journey My Baby Back Home

When My Blue Moon Turns Gold Again Record
When My Blue Moon Turns Gold Again Record

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Palo Verde High School - Show Stoppers - 1972

What? No Christmas album? Before I get into this record I want to apologize in advance, that I did not get around to digitizing any new Christmas albums for this year's holiday season. I have indeed purchased new Christmas vinyl, but I just haven't been able to digitize them yet. So there will probably be some re-posting and such, but nothing new.

Now to the record.

Before Glee was releasing albums entitled "Show Stoppers" Palo Verde High School in Tucson, Arizona was doing it. In fact this record was recorded way back in 1972 when I was but a babe.

The interesting thing about this record is that it has a very personal meaning to me. In fact probably my earliest memory was going to this performance. I attended this night when I was not even 2 years old and I can still remember where we sat in the auditorium. I was talking with my mother about this over Thanksgiving and she told me she was worried about taking me to this, because she was afraid I'd cry or get restless, but she said once the show started I was totally enthralled and never made a peep.

So why was I at this performance? Well, my older brother Tim was playing Sancho. Other than remembering where we sat, I remember the feeling I had when he sang. I was so impressed and proud. Today when I listen to this record I get chills because his voice is so good. It is funny when you listen to his voice against the other high school students. His voice is just so much more mature and trained.

You'll also notice in the liner notes that the choir president was Tim Milsaps. That is actually Tim Filichia, my brother. To this day he is still involved with show choir. He is the producer and director of a group name Light Entertainment Company. You can check out their web page here.

So record #1 has selections from "Fiddler On The Roof" and record #2 has selections from "Man Of La Mancha". Being biased I recommend checking out record #2 first and just right to "Man Of La Mancha" and "I Really Like Him".