May 31, 2017

Pérez Prado articles/mentions

Sweets Ballroom ~ Jitterbugging in the 40's  
The Crickets ~ That'll Be The Day @ 60             

Carrie Fisher articles/mentions

Forever Princess Lea          
Star Wars (the movie)                
Star Wars @ 40           



May 30, 2017

Gregg Allman ~ December 8, 1947 – May 27, 2017

Gregg Allman died a couple of days ago. He and his borther, Duane Allman, formed the Southern Rock band, the Allman Brothers Band., as well as the The Hour Glass (link Below). The Allman Brothers played Southern rock with long jams.  

Net links:     

The Hour Glass & The Power of Love      
Gregg Allman ~ official website       
Duane Allman discography 

Allman Brothers Band on YouTube:       
        Starwood Amphitheatre Concert - 07/12/86      

           At Fillmore East March 1971 - full album       


with the Hour Glass on YouTube:   

Styrous® ~ Tuesday, May 30, 2017       



The Beatles ~ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band         
A Day in the Life lyrics     
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club technical details             


The Beatles ~ Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club technical details

 Fifty years ago this month, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the the Beatles was released in England.   

The Beatles, three months after the release of Sgt. Pepper's, filming a musical segment for their next project, the Magical Mystery Tour film:  

the Beatles - 1967

Sgt. Pepper was recorded using four-track equipment. Although eight-track tape recorders were available in the US, the first units were not operational in commercial studios in London until late 1967. As with previous Beatles albums, the Sgt. Pepper recordings made extensive use of the technique known as reduction mixing, in which one to four tracks from one recorder are mixed and dubbed down onto a master four-track machine, enabling the Abbey Road engineers to give the group a virtual multitrack studio. EMI's Studer J37 four-track machines were well suited to reduction mixing, as the high quality of the recordings that they produced minimised the increased noise associated with the process. Preferring to overdub his bass part last, McCartney tended to play other instruments when recording a song's backing track. This approach afforded him the extra time required to write and record melodic basslines that complemented the song's final arrangement. When recording the orchestra for A Day in the Life, Martin synchronised a four-track recorder playing the Beatles' backing track to another one taping the orchestral overdub. The engineer Ken Townsend devised a method for accomplishing this by using a 50 Hz control signal between the two machines.   

A key feature of Sgt. Pepper is Martin and Emerick's liberal use of signal processing to shape the sound of the recording, which included the application of dynamic range compression, reverberation and signal limiting. Relatively new modular effects units were used, such as running voices and instruments through a Leslie speaker. Several innovative production techniques feature prominently on the recordings, including direct injection, pitch control and ambiophonics. Another is automatic double tracking (ADT), a system that uses tape recorders to create a simultaneous doubling of a sound. Although it had long been recognised that using multitrack tape to record doubled lead vocals produced an enhanced sound, before ADT it had been necessary to record such vocal tracks twice, a task that was both tedious and exacting. ADT was invented by Townsend during the Revolver sessions in 1966 especially for the Beatles, who disliked tracking sessions and regularly expressed a desire for a technical solution to the problem. The process soon became a common recording practice in popular music. Martin playfully explained to Lennon that his voice had been "treated with a double vibrocated sploshing flange ... It doubles your voice, John." Lennon realised that Martin was joking, but from that point on he referred to the effect as flanging, a label that was universally adopted by the music industry. Another important effect was varispeeding. Martin cites Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as having the most variations of tape speed on Sgt. Pepper. During the recording of Lennon's vocals, the tape speed was reduced from 50 cycles per second to 45, which produced a higher and thinner-sounding track when played back at the normal speed.       

Net links:          

Styrous® ~ Tuesday, May 30, 2017 

The Beatles ~ A Day in the Life lyrics

Fifty years ago this month, Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by the the Beatles was released in England. My favorite song on the album is A Day in the Life.    

According to John Lennon, the inspiration for the first two verses of A Day in the Life was the death of Tara Browne, the 21-year-old heir to the Guinness fortune who had crashed his Lotus Elan on the 18th of December, 1966 in Redcliffe Gardens, Earl's Court. Browne had been a friend of Lennon and Paul McCartney, and had, earlier in 1966, instigated McCartney's first experience with LSD. Lennon adapted the song's verse lyrics from a news article in the January 17th, 1967, edition of the Daily Mail, which reported the ruling on a custody action over Browne's two young children. 
Lennon wrote the song's final verse inspired by a Far & Near news brief, in the same January 17th edition of the Daily Mail that had inspired the first two verses. Under the headline, "The holes in our roads", the brief stated: "There are 4,000 holes in the road in Blackburn, Lancashire, England, or one twenty-sixth of a hole per person, according to a council survey. If Blackburn is typical, there are two million holes in Britain's roads and 300,000 in London.   

The story had been sold to the Daily Mail in Manchester by Ron Kennedy of the Star News agency in Blackburn. Kennedy had noticed a Lancashire Evening Telegraph story about road excavations and in a telephone call to the Borough Engineer's department had checked the annual number of holes in the road. Lennon had a problem with the words of the final verse, however, not being able to think of how to connect "Now they know how many holes it takes to" and "the Albert Hall". His friend Terry Doran suggested that the holes would "fill" the Albert Hall. The Royal Albert Hall, a symbol of Victorian-era London and a concert venue is usually associated with classical music performances. 

Royal Albert Hall, South Kensington, London, England

It is the final track of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. Credited to Lennon–McCartney, it was written mainly by John Lennon, with Paul McCartney contributing the song's middle section. The lyrics were inspired by contemporary newspaper articles.

The song includes two orchestral glissandos that were partly improvised in the avant-garde style. As with the sustained piano chord that closes the song, the orchestral passages were added after the Beatles had recorded the main rhythm track. A grand piano in EMI Studio Two, where the closing piano chord was recorded on 22 February 1967:    

On 27 August 1992 Lennon's handwritten lyrics were sold by the estate of Mal Evans in an auction at Sotheby's London for $100,000 (£56,600). The lyrics were put up for sale again in March 2006 by Bonhams in New York. Sealed bids were opened on 7 March 2006 and offers started at about $2 million. The lyric sheet was auctioned again by Sotheby's in June 2010. It was purchased by an anonymous American buyer who paid $1,200,000 (£810,000).      

 The lyrics: 
 "A Day In The Life"

I read the news today, oh boy
About a lucky man who made the grade
And though the news was rather sad
Well, I just had to laugh
I saw the photograph

He blew his mind out in a car;
He didn't notice that the lights had changed
A crowd of people stood and stared
They'd seen his face before
Nobody was really sure if he was from the House of Lords

I saw a film today, oh boy;
The English army had just won the war
A crowd of people turned away
But I just had to look
Having read the book

I'd love to turn you on

Woke up, fell out of bed
Dragged a comb across my head
Found my way downstairs and drank a cup
And looking up, I noticed I was late

Found my coat and grabbed my hat
Made the bus in seconds flat
Found my way upstairs and had a smoke
And somebody spoke and I went into a dream

Ah I read the news today, oh boy
Four thousand holes in Blackburn, Lancashire
And though the holes were rather small
They had to count them all
Now they know how many holes it takes to fill the Albert Hall

I'd love to turn you on

Songwriters: John Lennon / Paul McCartney  

Net links:     
A Day in The Life on YouTube           

Styrous® ~ Tuesday, May 30, 2017 


May 27, 2017

The RCA Victor 45-EY-2 45 RPM record player

45 RPM record player 
ca. 1950

RCA introduced the new 45 RPM format records and record players in 1949. This 1950  RCA Victor 45-EY-2 Phonograph was designed to stack and play up to seven 45 RPM records at a time.  

The smaller diameter record produced higher fidelity and the raised edges and center prevented the groves on the records from touching each other when stacked. Lighter tone arms and tracking forces increased the life of the new "45s." By the early 1950s most record players produced would accommodate a stack of 45s on the changer with the use of a large diameter adapter that fit over the center spindle which was meant to accommodate only the smaller pencil sized hole of 78s and the newer 33 1/3 LPs.    

The 45 became very popular in spite of its ability to hold only one or two songs per side. This was mostly due to its smaller size and lower cost. The new smaller vinyl records released by RCA were color-coded at first. Children's records were yellow, County and Western green, Classical red or dark blue, Rhythm & Blues orange, and Popular songs were pressed on black vinyl. The popularity of the 7-in. 45 record soured and record players that played 45's exclusively were manufactured in large numbers throughout the 1950s. Early RCA 45-rpm record players like the one pictured above are still quite common at auctions and sell for $20 to $100+ depending on model and condition.     

Styrous® ~ Saturday, May 27, 2017     

45 RPMs 13: The Crickets ~ That'll Be The Day @ 60

photo by Styrous®

60 years ago today, May 27, 1957, The Crickets and leader Buddy Holly released the smash hit, That'll Be the Day. I remember the first time I heard it. I was in high school and at a friend's party. She slapped her 45 of the song on her RCA 45 record player and it was one of the "What in the World is this?" events I've had in my life.  

About that time we were dancing the Madison by Al Brown's Tunetoppers (a line dance that features a regular back-and-forth pattern interspersed with called steps), the Stroll with C. C. Rider by Chuck Willis (also a line dance) (link below), the Hand Jive with Willie and the Hand Jive by Johnny Otis (link below), and the Richmond. I couldn't find any reference to the Richmond on the Net, so it might have been a local thing. It was a dance with moves similar to the Lambada (link below) but very, VERY much slower, not nearly as erotic and without the Latin beat. I know, what is left? But at the time, during school dances I remember the teachers would break up couples who tried to do it. We only danced it at private parties.  

We did hit the floor with the Latin dances: the Rumba, the Mambo (Pérez Prado, Mambo No. 5), the Cuban Cha-Cha and the Merengue. There's a great site on Teen Dances of the 1950's by Richard Powers (link below). 

The Crickets were an American rock and roll band from Lubbock, Texas, formed by singer-songwriter Buddy Holly in the 1950s. Their first hit record, That'll Be the Day, released in 1957, was a number-one hit single on the Billboard Hot 100 chart on September 23. The sleeve of their first album, The "Chirping" Crickets, shows the band lineup at the time: Holly on lead vocals and lead guitar, Niki Sullivan on rhythm guitar, Jerry Allison on drums, and Joe Mauldin on bass. The Crickets helped set the template for subsequent rock bands, such as the Beatles, with their guitar-bass-drums lineup and the talent to write most of their own material. After Holly's death in a plane creah in 1959 the band continued to tour and record with other band members into the 21st century.

"That'll Be The Day" lyrics

Well, that'll be the day when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day when you make me cry
You say you gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die

Well, you give me all your lovin' and your turtle dovin'
All your hugs and kisses and your money, too
Well, you know you love me, baby
Still you tell me, maybe
That some day, well, I'll be blue

Well, that'll be the day when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day when you make me cry
You say you gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die

Well, that'll be the day when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day when you make me cry
You say you gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die

Well, when Cupid shot his dart
He shot it at your heart
So if we ever part and I leave you
You say you told me, an' you told me boldly
That someday, well, I'll be blue

Well, that'll be the day when you say goodbye
Yes, that'll be the day when you make me cry
You say you gonna leave, you know it's a lie
'Cause that'll be the day when I die

Well that'll be the day, ooh hoo
That'll be the day, ooh hoo
That'll be the day, ooh hoo
That'll be the day

Writers: Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly, and Norman Petty  

photo by Styrous®


Side 1:

A - That'll Be The Day, written by Jerry Allison, Buddy Holly, and Norman Petty

Side 2:
B - I’m Lookin' For Someone To Love, written by Buddy Holly, and Norman Petty

Companies, etc.

    Pressed By – Decca Records Pressing Plant, Gloversville
    Manufactured By – Brunswick Radio Corporation

Label variation: Gloversville pressing with comma used in both matrix numbers on disc labels
Etched D in circle on both sides in runout
Barcode and Other Identifiers

    Matrix / Runout (Side A Label): (102,022)
    Matrix / Runout (Side B Label): (102,021)✤
    Matrix / Runout (Stamped in runout side A): M45 102022 6 Ⓓ2 C
    Matrix / Runout (Stamped in runout side B): M45 102021 6 Ⓓ3 B

Net links:           
Basic step of cha-cha-chá       
Teen Dances of the 1950's             
YouTube links:          
The Crickets ~ That’ll Be The Day          
Al Brown's Tunetoppers ~ The Madison       
Chuck Willis ~ C. C. Rider (The Stroll)         
Johnny Otis ~ Willie and the Hand Jive       
Kaoma - The Lambada     
Pérez Prado ~ Mambo No. 5            

May 26, 2017

Jimi Hendrix articles/mentions

Jimi Hendrix Experience ~ Smash Hits    

The Who ~ Tommy        
photographer unknown

20,000 Vinyl LPs 89: The Mothers Of Invention ‎~ Absolutely Free

Fifty years ago today, on May 26, 1967, Frank Zappa and his group, The Mothers of Invention, released their second studio album, Absolutely Free.  

Absolutely Free 
vinyl LP gatefold album 
front cover photo by Alice Ochs
cover design by
Ferenc Dobronyi & Cal Schenkel 
photo of album by Styrous® 

The front cover photograph was taken by actress, director, writer, jeweler and photographer Alice Elizabeth Skinner Ochs, the wife of folk singer Phil Ochs from 1962 to 1976. She died on November 27, 2010.        

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP  front cover
front cover photo by Alice Ochs
cover design by
Ferenc Dobronyi & Cal Schenkel 
photo of cover by Styrous®

Absolutely Free is a mix of complex musical composition with political and social satire. Each side of the two vinyl LP album is a mini-suite. It contains musical references to The Rolling Stones, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, classical composers Gustav Holst and Igor Stravinsky, as well as Zappa himself.     

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP  back cover
back cover photos by
Jerry Deiter & Marshal Harmon
cover design by
Ferenc Dobronyi & Cal Schenkel 
photo of cover by Styrous®

My favorite work on the album is the almost 7 minute long, instrumental, Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin. The intro references Jupiter, the Bringer of Jollity from the seven-movement orchestral suite, The Planets, by Gustav Holst. It is a marvelous tour de force that races along at breakneck speed with a staccato, dissonant sax, played by Bunk Gardner, riding over the storm of music.       


Absolutely Free
vinyl LP gatefold album interior
photos by
Jerry Deiter & Alice Ochs
cover design by
Ferenc Dobronyi & Cal Schenkel  
photo of album by Styrous®

The most famous song on the album is Brown Shoes Don't Make It, a track which has been described as a "condensed two-hour musical" and by AllMusic as "Zappa's first real masterpiece". The song features 2 violins, 1 viola, 1 cello, 1 trumpet and 1 contra-bass clarinet. How's that for a mix?    

The title for Brown Shoes was inspired by an event covered by Time magazine reporter Hugh Sidey in 1966. The reporter correctly guessed that something was amiss when the fastidiously dressed President Lyndon B. Johnson made the sartorial faux pas of wearing brown shoes with a gray suit.         
The lyrics start off as a general attack on suburban American society: TV, greed and conformity are all mocked openly in the song. It then shifts in tone, dealing with a city hall official fantasizing about having sex with a thirteen-year-old girl.     

The music makes several stylistic shifts, covering hard rock, classical, psychedelic rock, music hall and jazz. The song lasts 7:30 and is the twelfth track on Absolutely Free. According to Zappa, the beginning background music was inspired by the song Have Your Way by Lightnin' Slim (link below).

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP gatefold album interior
photos by
Jerry Deiter & Alice Ochs
cover design by
Ferenc Dobronyi & Cal Schenkel  
photo of album by Styrous®

The band had been augmented since Freak Out! by the addition of woodwinds player Bunk Gardner, keyboardist Don Preston, rhythm guitarist Jim Fielder and drummer Billy Mundi. Fielder quit the group before the album was released and his name was removed from the album credits.   

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP gatefold album interior detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Frank Vincent Zappa was born in Baltimore, Maryland on December 21, 1940. He was an American musician, activist and filmmaker. His work was characterized by nonconformity, free-form improvisation, sound experiments, musical virtuosity, and satire of American culture. In a career spanning more than 30 years, Zappa composed rock, pop, jazz, jazz fusion, orchestral and musique concrète works, and produced almost all of the 60-plus albums that he released with his band the Mothers of Invention and as a solo artist. Zappa also directed feature-length films and music videos, and designed album covers. He is considered one of the most innovative and stylistically diverse rock musicians of his generation.            

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP gatefold album interior detail
detail photo by Styrous®

Zappa's output is unified by a conceptual continuity he termed "Project/Object", with numerous musical phrases, ideas, and characters reappearing across his albums.[2] His lyrics reflected his iconoclastic views of established social and political processes, structures and movements, often humorously so. He was a strident critic of mainstream education and organized religion, and a forthright and passionate advocate for freedom of speech, self-education, political participation and the abolition of censorship. Unlike many other rock musicians of his era, he personally disapproved of and seldom used drugs, but supported their decriminalization and regulation.     

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP  side 1
photo by Styrous®

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP  label, side 1
photo by Styrous®

While performing at Casino de Montreux in Switzerland, the Mothers' equipment was destroyed when a flare set off by an audience member started a fire that burned down the casino. The event was immortalized in the Deep Purple song, Smoke on the Water.    

His honors include an induction into the 1995 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the 1997 Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2004, Rolling Stone magazine ranked him at number 71 on its list of the "100 Greatest Artists of All Time", and in 2011 at number 22 on its list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".           

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP  side 2
photo by Styrous®

Absolutely Free
vinyl LP  label, side 2
photo by Styrous®

Zappa died on December 4, 1993 at his home with his wife and children by his side. At a private ceremony the following day, his body was buried in a grave at the Westwood Village Memorial Park Cemetery, in Los Angeles, California. The grave is unmarked. On December 6, his family publicly announced that "Composer Frank Zappa left for his final tour just before 6:00 pm on Saturday".  


Side one: "Absolutely Free" (#1 in a Series of Underground Oratorios)      

A1     Plastic People     3:40
A2     The Duke Of Prunes     2:12
A3     Amnesia Vivace     1:01
A4     The Duke Regains His Chops     1:45
A5     Call Any Vegetable     2:19
A6     Invocation And Ritual Dance Of The Young Pumpkin     6:57
A7     Soft-Sell Conclusion & Ending Of Side #1     1:40

Side two: "The M.O.I. American Pageant" (#2 in a Series of Underground Oratorios)      

B1     America Drinks     1:52
B2     Status Back Baby     2:52
B3     Uncle Bernie's Farm     2:09
B4     Son Of Suzy Creamcheese     1:33
B5     Brown Shoes Don't Make It     7:26
B6     America Drinks & Goes Home     2:43


The Mothers of Invention
Additional musicians:
  • Suzy Creamcheese (Lisa Cohen) – vocals on "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"
  • John Balkin – bass on "Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin" and "America Drinks"
  • Jim Getzoff – violin on "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"
  • Marshall Sosson – violin on "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"
  • Alvin Dinkin – viola on "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"
  • Armand Kaproff – cello on "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"
  • Don Ellis – trumpet on "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"
  • John Rotella – contrabass clarinet on "Brown Shoes Don't Make It"
  • Herb Cohen – cash register machine sounds on "America Drinks & Goes Home"
  • Terry Gilliam, girlfriend and others – voices in "America Drinks & Goes Home"


    Composed By, Arranged By, Conductor, Performer – Frank Zappa
    Producer - Tom Wilson
    Mastering - Doug Sax   
    Engineer [Director Of Engineering] – Val Valentin  
    Engineer [Remix] – David Greene
    Engineer, Recorded By – Ami Hadani
    Layout, Artwork By [Cover Art, Collages], Liner Notes – Zappa*
    Performers – Billy Mundi, Bunk Gardner, Don Preston, Jim Black*, Jim Sherwood*, Ray Collins, Roy Estrada
    Performer [Uncredited] – Jim Fielder
    Photography By [Front] – Alice Ochs
    Photography By [Other] – Jerry Deiter, Marshal Harmon


Gatefold sleeve, top-opening on back, sealed with a small flap. Titles on spine.
Both sides with tracks normally banded. on label is V6/5013, on front cover it is V/V6-5013.
Barcode and Other Identifiers

    Matrix / Runout (Run-out info [hand-etched] side A): V6-5013 SIDE 1 M𝒢S672
    Matrix / Runout (Run-out info [hand-etched] side B): V6-5013 SIDE 2 M𝒢S673
    Matrix / Runout ((Variant) Run-out info [hand-etched] side A): V6-5013 SIDE 1 M𝒢S-672
    Matrix / Runout ((Variant) Run-out info [hand-etched] side B): V6-5013 SIDE 2 M𝒢S-673

The Mothers Of Invention* ‎– Absolutely Free
Label: Verve Records ‎– V6/5013, Verve Records ‎– V/V6-5013
Format: Vinyl, LP, Album, Stereo, Gatefold
Country: US
Released: 26 May 1967
Genre: Rock
Style: Blues Rock, Psychedelic Rock, Avantgarde

Net links:        
Songs on YouTube:              
Absolutely Free (Full Stereo Album)         
Invocation & Ritual Dance of the Young Pumpkin 
Brown Shoes Don't Make It        
Lightnin' Slim ~ Have Your Way           

Styrous® ~ Friday, May 26, 2017