September 29, 2014

Barbara Cushman ~ The Legacy






 "Taken May 11, 1932"




Today was the end of an era. 

The death of Barbara Cushman marked the end of an era and with it, possibly, the sweeping away of an art community, decades in the making, living, working and celebrating the world as each artist perceived it. The era is over because our building has been sold, my second time to have to deal with this. Barbara's death happened to coincided with it. Perhaps it will be a good change but whatever the future may bring, it will never be the same.

When she died and her belongings were being offered to friends, and when her estate was being sold, I took none of her possessions. But this afternoon, when the estate sale was over, after her possessions had been cleaned out to donate to some charity and before they locked up her loft space, I wandered through the vast, empty nothingness of it and in the litter left to be swept up and put in the garbage, I came across six photographs lying on the floor. I picked them up and in an instant the bleak realization of lives that had been lived, forgotten and lost to time came upon me.

Five were from who-knows-when and one photo was from 1932. All had been left over from the lives of the people in them and had ended up in a junk shop, flea market, thrift store or some other venue where Barbara had come across them. They would have ended up in one of her collage works and the memory of the people in them would have been perpetuated, if not exactly of them, per se, but an artistic representation of their essence. But her death short-circuited that; it didn't happen. They were once again in the dust bin to be thrown in the garbage. 

A pang went through me that the people in them were facing oblivion again. They had made it through the first disposal but not this second one. I couldn't help myself and I asked the liquidators if I could have them. 

I am placing them in this blog entry, in the spirit of Barbara, with the hope that their existence will not be forgotten. I have absolutely no knowledge of these people. I offer only the image of them when they were alive and vigorous. Perhaps the Internet will go on forever (true, nothing lasts forever). If so, then they will live on in this blog with their vibrant health for as long as it does.

"What's the point?" The point is, that was the beauty and the miracle of Barbara's art. It brought back to life lives forgotten, times long gone, worlds long dead. Perhaps it does not inform who they were or where they lived but rather their essence, the specter of their existence. That they once were.


photographers unknown




 






 







To be honest, I find myself relating to these images at this time of my life and I'm looking for that second chance as well.








Barbara would have said,
"Live on, you strangers from the past, live on."




More on Barbara Cushman:
Gone Postal
A Remberance 


Barbara Cushman website    





Styrous® ~  Monday September 29, 2014


Barbara Cushman ~ 2014

~
    

 About Barbara Cushman

(March 28, 1945 - June 20, 2014)
Barbara Cushman was a collage artist in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her collages were mostly hand constructed using a variety of media: postage stamps, photographs, magazine clippings...whatever struck her fancy.  Collages were scanned and printed out in a smaller size suitable for notecards. Each notecard was individualized. Vintage postage stamps and rubber stamps were among her favorite enhancers.

photo by Styrous®



Barbara Cushman website


September 28, 2014

20,000 Vinyl LPs 31: I Can Hear It Now ~ Gamal Abdel Nasser

12" LP, 33-1/3 RPM vinyl album
album cover photo by Charles J. Mack
photo of album cover by Styrous®


I Can Hear It Now ~ Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein is part of the spoken word section of my vinyl collection which includes poetry, plays, interviews, reading by famous authors and many types of non-music albums. The entire collection is for sale. Contact me by email, please, not by a comment. 

~ ~ ~

On this date, September 28, in 1970, President Abdel Nasser died of a heart attack in Egypt. I remember when he died as well as other events as I had quit my full-time job that year to return to school to study court reporting; one of my major bad decisions in life. 
But that's another story.                                  




Nasser was born Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein (Arabic: جمال عبد الناصر حسين‎, IPA: [ɡæˈmæːl ʕæbdenˈnɑːsˤeɾ ħeˈseːn]) on the 15th of January in 1918 and was the second President of Egypt, serving from 1956 until his death. Nasser was a pivotal figure in the recent history of the Middle East and played a highly prominent role in the 1956 Suez Crisis. Nasser has been described as the first leader of an Arab nation who challenged what was perceived as the western dominance of the Middle East. Nasser remains a highly revered figure in both Egypt and the Arab world.


12" LP, 33-1/3 RPM vinyl album
album back cover photos by Charles J. Mack
photo of album cover back by Styrous®



One of the most popular and best selling records of 1948 was the Columbia Records album I Can Hear It Now 1933-1945. The record was a collaboration between Edward R. Murrow and Fred W. Friendly. The record interwove historical events with speeches and Murrow's narration and marked the beginning of one of the most famous pairings in journalism history. The huge success of the record (and two follow-up albums released in 1949 and 1950) prompted the pair to parlay it into a weekly radio show for CBS, called Hear It Now. Originally, the series was to have been titled Report to the Nation. Before its premiere, though, CBS retitled it Hear It Now to capitalize on the popularity of Murrow's albums.



12" LP, 33-1/3 RPM vinyl album
album back cover photos by Charles J. Mack
photo of album cover back by Styrous®




Hear It Now, began in December 1950 and ended in June 1951. Even though the series lasted only 6 month its impact was profound. Hosted by Murrow and produced by Murrow and Friendly, it ran for one hour on Fridays at 9 pm Eastern Time.



12" LP, 33-1/3 RPM vinyl album
album back cover detail
detail photo by Styrous®





The Nasser Interview, by Howard K. Smith, was one of the, I Can Hear It Now, Masterworks series issued on Columbia Records. It was edited by Murrow and Friendly. It was filmed on February 7, 1956, at a government house near Cairo and was part of the special See It Now documentary on Egypt and Israel on the CBS Television Network, March 13. The interview was unrehearsed and appears on the recording in its unabridged form as taken from the sound track. A companion record, Interview with Prime Minister Ben-Gurion of Israel will be presented here on the Viewfinder at a later date.


12" LP, 33-1/3 RPM vinyl album
album back cover detail
detail photo by Styrous®




I Can Hear It Now ~ Gamal Abdel Nasser Hussein 
12" LP, 33-1/3 RPM vinyl album
album cover photos by Charles J. Mack
detail photo by Styrous®



There is an Interview in English on YouTube (link below). This Interview took place in 1969 in New York, and Nasser died the following year in 1970. Nasser comes across as very calm, very gentle, easy going and very reasonable.




I Can Hear It Now ~ Gamal Abdel Nasser



Side 1: Interview Part 1 
detail photo by Styrous®
Side 2: Interview Part 2 
detail photo by Styrous®


Original first pressing
Format: Vinyl, LP
Country: US
Genre: Spoken Word
Format: 12" LP -
33 1/3 RPM vinyl phonograph disc  
Year Pressed: 1956
Record Label: COLUMBIA RECORDS
Catalog # ML 5110
Country: United States
Inventory # 12-S-58



Gamal Abdel Nasser, 1969 interview in New York on YouTube



Styrous® ~ September 28, 2014

September 19, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 80: Tommy Roe ~ 12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)

Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box cover detail
detail photo by Styrous©




In addition to my vinyl LP record collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes as well. This is an entry about one of them that is for sale on eBay (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.

~ ~ ~

Of the many songs Tommy Roe wrote and performed, my favorite was Sweet Pea. Released in 1966, it reached #1 in Canada, #1 in New Zealand, #7 in Australia, and #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1966. The song was produced by Gary S. Paxton.

I know, it was mindless bubble gum but I was 26, still innocent, foolish and dazzled by the promise of a life of endless opportunities that lay ahead of me. I was still a kid (mentally and emotionally), life was good and the living was easy. Anything was possible and I was in a joyous and frivolous state of mind. In other words, I was temporarily insane. I remember 1966 well as it would mark the end of the easy life. Events would jettison me into reality the following year and I would never regain that innocent frame of mind; I would finally grow up. But that's another story.

Anyway, I loved the song and Sweet Pea was the prime reason I bought the Greatest Hits album when it was released in 1972 but there are other good songs on it as well. 


Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box cover 
photo by Styrous©





Sheila is a throw-back to the 50's, Peggy Sue by Buddy Holly, style and I liked it. I like to think it was done as a tribute to Holly.

Everybody is a song with an infectious, train-beat, shuffle that was made to get everybody on their feet and movin' on the dance floor.





Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous©





The song, Party Girl, was a good moderate speed tune in the Madison dance style. The Madison is a line dance that features a regular back-and-forth pattern. Ricki Lake danced to it (with the whole cast) in the 1988 version of the film, Hairspray
  The basic steps for the Madison are:
  1. Step left forward
  2. Place right beside left (no weight) and clap
  3. Step back on right
  4. Move left foot back and across the right
  5. Move left foot to the left
  6. Move left foot back and across the right
Also in the Madison style was Jam Up and Jelly Tight.





Dizzy was a cute song that had some nice orchestral backing. In 1969, it went to number 1 on the UK Singles Chart, number 1 in Canada, as well as number 1 in the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. This transatlantic chart-topper sold two million copies by mid-April 1969, giving him his third gold disc award.





Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box back
photos by Styrous©



The Folk Singer actually sounds like a folk song of the period. It is a gentle, mellow song with a chorus backup.


Thomas David "Tommy" Roe was born on May 9, 1942, in Atlanta, Georgia. After graduating from high school, he landed a job at General Electric soldering wires. When Sheila became a hit, ABC-Paramount Records asked him to go on tour to promote the hit. He was reluctant to give up his job at GE until ABC-Paramount advanced him $5,000. According to Allmusic journalist Bill Dahl, Roe was ". . . widely perceived as one of the archetypal bubblegum artists of the late 1960s."





Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous©



In 1986, Roe was inducted into the Georgia Music Hall of Fame, and his pioneering contribution to the genre has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.




Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape 
photo by Styrous©





Tommy Roe website





Tommy Roe ~
12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits)
reel-to-reel tape label detail 
detail photo by Styrous©



Tracklist:

Side A:

1 - Sheila - 2:00
2 - Everybody - 1:50
3 - The Folk Singer - 2:54
4 - Party Girl - 2:33
5 - Carol - 2:34
6 - Sweet Pea - 2:10

Side B:

1 - Hooray For Hazel - 2:29
2 - It's Now Winter's Day - 3:04
3 - Dizzy - 2:58
4 - Heather Honey - 2:52
5 - Jack And Jill - 2:42
6 - Jam Up and Jelly Tight - 2:23


Credits:

Producer – Felton Jarvis (tracks: A1 to A5,), Steve Barri (tracks: B3 to B6), Steve Clark (8) (tracks: A6 to B2)




Music on YouTube: 
 
Party Girl 
Ricki Lake and cast dancing the Madison
Jam Up and Jelly Tight 
The Folk Singer 
 



Tommy Roe ~ 12 In a Roe (Greatest Hits), reel-to-reel tape, is for sale on eBay 


reel-to-reel tapes on eBay




Here's to my dear, Sweet Pea!








September 16, 2014

Barbara Cushman ~ A Remberance

Program
program photographers  unknown







photos by Styrous®



















 



































Thanks for making our lives sparkle a little brighter, Barbara.



More on Barbara Cushman ~ 
Gone Postal 
The Legacy   


Barbara Cushman website   



Styrous® ~ Tuesday, September 16, 2014

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 ~

September 11, 2014

101 Reel-to-Reel Tapes 79: The Lovin' Spoonful ~ The Very Best of The Lovin' Spoonful






In addition to my vinyl LP record collection I'm selling, I have hundreds of reel-to-reel, pre-recorded tapes as well. This is an entry about one of them that is for sale on eBay (see link below). Interested? Contact me by email, please, not by a comment.


~ ~ ~



Early in 1965 two rockers from Long Island, Steve Boone and Joe Butler, teamed up with two folkies from Greenwich Village, John Sebastian and Zal Yanovsky, to form the Lovin' Spoonful and go on to record and perform some of the songs that would dominate the charts and establish them among the greats of the mid-sixties era. The Very Best of . .  contains some of those gems.

Combining the best of folk music and rock and roll, with a touch of country thrown in, they gave us such hits as Do You Believe in Magic, Daydream, You Didn't Have to be So Nice, Nashville Cats and the anthem for a hot July evening, Summer in the City. All this in the span of 4 years and 5 albums. In addition to that they also wrote and performed two soundtrack albums for two directors very early in their careers, Woody Allen, What's Up, Tiger Lily?, and Francis Ford Coppola, You're a Big Boy Now. They toured almost constantly during this period and were one of the first rock bands to perform on college campuses almost as much as for teenage concert goers.  








Their albums were issued on Kama Sutra Records which was started in 1964 by Arthur "Artie" Ripp, Hy Mizrahi and Phil Steinberg as Kama Sutra Productions, a production house. The "Kama Sutra" is an ancient Sanskrit text. The recording company featured many great musicians and groups such as Brewer & Shipley, the Charlie Daniels Band, The Fifth Dimension, Flamin' Groovies, The Jaggerz, NRBQ, Sha Na Na, The Shangri-las, Sopwith Camel, Stories and many other artists.    

reel-to-reel tape box cover detail
detail photo by Styrous©






The cover features clay sculptures of the band, with the band's signature lack of eyes, nose or mouth sculpted by Ollie Alpert and photographed by Bob Bailey.

 sculptures by Ollie Alpert 
photo of sculptures by Bob Bailey
detail photo of reel-to-reel tape box by Styrous®





One of my favorite of their songs, Younger Girl, is a mellow song about a new, young love. Actually, most of their songs were in a gentle, easy, delicate and beautiful mode.

Another song of theirs, Daydream, is in that gentle mood with the comfortable feeling of just laying back, relaxing and enjoying a pleasant day with the feeling of a gentle breeze wafting through the trees. The song reached #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and also #2 on the UK singles chart. The song originated with Sebastian's attempt to rewrite The Supremes' Baby Love.




reel-to-reel tape box back
photo by Styrous©






With You Didn't Have to Be So Nice, they pick up the tempo but once again it is smooth and features great male vocal harmonizing with chimes even. It is from their 1966 album Daydream. It reached the top ten of the Billboard Hot 100 in early 1966.






reel-to-reel tape box back detail
detail photo by Styrous©





In Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?, they ponder the question of tough decisions in life. It was from their 1965 debut album Do You Believe in Magic. It was the second single released from the album and the most successful, reaching #2 on the American Billboard charts on the week of June 11, 1966 (#1 being Paint It Black by The Rolling Stones).  










On Do You Believe in Magic? they ponder the wonders of love and its allure. It was the first single from their debut album Do You Believe in Magic. It peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100.



photo by Styrous©




In a faster tempo tune, Summer In The City, they use the sound of car horns and jackhammers to illustrate the hectic feeling of big city life but the feeling is still mellow. It is filled with the fun of urban living.




reel-to-reel tape detail
detail photo by Styrous©




my two favorite songs


Rain On The Roof is a beautiful song, in spite of its minor chords and syncopated rhythm, and a totally charming love song. It almost has a country feel to it. Even though it has an abrupt end, it has always made me feel happy. It reached #10 on the US pop charts.

Darling Be Home Soon is as close to a rock ballad as they ever got. It is warm, sincere and heartfelt with a clear tambourine intro and a lush orchestral backing. It was written for the soundtrack of the 1966 Francis Ford Coppola film You're a Big Boy Now. It reached #15 on the US pop charts.

On March 6, 2000, The Lovin' Spoonful were officially inducted into the Cleveland, Ohio, Rock And Roll Hall of Fame.  










reel-to-reel tape label detail
detail photo by Styrous©



Track listing:

Side 1: 

  1. Younger Girl (John Sebastian) – 2:23
  2. Didn't Want To Have To Do It (John Sebastian) – 2:06
  3. Daydream (John Sebastian) – 2:18
  4. You Didn't Have to Be So Nice (John Sebastian/Steve Boone) – 2:29
  5. Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind? (John Sebastian) – 2:00
  6. Do You Believe in Magic? (John Sebastian) – 2:04
  7. Summer In The City (John Sebastian/Mark Sebastian/Steve Boone) – 2:39
Side 2:
  1. Rain On The Roof (John Sebastian) – 2:13
  2. Six O'Clock John Sebastian) – 2:38
  3. Darling Be Home Soon (John Sebastian) – 3:34
  4. Till I Run With You (Alan Gordon/Gary Bonner) - 1:52
  5. Never Going Back (John Stewart) - 2:48

Kama Sutra Records - KAM D 2013


Lovin' Spoonful music on YouTube: 
 
Younger Girl
Daydream
You Didn't Have to Be So Nice
Did You Ever Have to Make Up Your Mind?
Do You Believe in Magic?  
Summer In The City 
Rain On The Roof
Darling Be Home Soon 




The Lovin' Spoonful ~ The Very Best of The Lovin' Spoonful, reel-to-reel tape, is for sale on eBay 


reel-to-reel tapes on eBay



Thanks for the many years of comfort, peace and calm you've given me.