Posts tagged ‘video’

Ray Conniff Singers – Rhinestone Cowboy / Wildfire [1975]

Before there were mix DJs and technological mashups, there were mixes like this nugget of elevator goodness. I use the word goodness with a smirk. Yes it’s smooth. Yes the music and vocals are tight and well-crafted. But come on…it’s elevator music. So hard to jump out of my seat and say, “Sweet mother I LOVE this version!”

That said, Ray Conniff filled a niche that has become part of American musical legend. His soft versions of other people’s songs provided businesses and cocktail parties with inoffensive renditions of great music. Look in any thrift store and you are likely to find a treasure trove of albums emblazened with Ray Conniff Singers.

Today I share this 70s mashup of Glen Campbell’s “Rhinestone Cowboy” and Michael Murphey’s “Wildfire.” Before I ever heard this compilation, I would have never imagined the two in one song. In some odd way, they now belong together. Smooooth…

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Keith Mansfield – Exclusive Blend [1969]

If this groovy instrumental doesn’t make your foot move involuntarily, then check your shoe for cement.

Keith Mansfield is a British composer/arranger who had knack for summing up a mood in the short time required by the broadcasting projects he scored. His songs are a time capsule of the 1960s and 70s and, in my opinion, full of quality and nuance that is sometimes overshadowed by goofiness of the era. His song Funky Fanfare has even been used as recently as 2010 for the theme song for Pit Boss.

This is the good stuff!

Hank Thompson – North of The Rio Grande [1955]

Authentic 50s country swing, direct from Hank Thompson and his Brazos Valley Boys!

Since I have more heavy metal running through my music repertoire, old country music is like a guilty pleasure. To me the twang is addictive and melodic. I love the song-stories, the simplicity, the traditionalism, and most of all those shiny suits worn by the performers on stage. I found this at Goodwill the other day, and it was easily the best 99 cents I spent.

I digitized the entire album yesterday, and posted it as a video on Youtube (above).  That way, WallOfRetrons can play it in background of their favorite Retro-Activites!  Enjoy 🙂

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Twisted Sister – I Wanna Rock [1984]

Best tribute to the legend of a song is when it is spoofed by Weird Al Yankovic or redone by Sponge Bob Squarepants!

American Airlines Route Map [1959]

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

I picked this up because I love airplanes, especially what is called “1st Generation Jet Airliners” like the Boeing 707.

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

This route map was printed in October 1959, when American Airlines was using the 707 and the Lockheed L-118 Electra.

Boeing : 707

Boeing 707

Boeing : 707

American Airlines 707 at LAX

Lockheed : L-188 : Electra

Lockheed L-188 Electra

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Stewardesses and admirers near a L-118 Electra

Lockheed : L-188 : Electra

Lockheed L-188 Electra

Look closely on the map below and you’ll see that Havana Cuba was still part of the flight routes out of the US:

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

Flights to Mexico were not nearly as comprehensive as they are today:

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

And JFK airport in New York was still called Idlewild!

1959 American Airlines Route Map Details

 

Let’s Tango with Harry Horlick and His Orchestra! [1959]

Translated literally as “The Touch,” Tango is a dance that is performed exactly as it is described.

With its roots in Europe and Africa, Argentina today stands as the popular source of Tango. The music and the dance are distinctive, flowing and beautiful.

Harry Horlick wasn’t from Argentina.

Harry Horlick

That didn’t stop this Russian immigrant from putting out at least two Tango albums. The one seen here is a thrift-store find, worn to the point of being grey in the grooves. But the beauty of Tango makes its way through anyway. I digitized a couple of the tracks into a video for your home dancing pleasure 🙂

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Ray Coniff His Orchestra and Chorus – Mack The Knife [1963]

He had the chops to be considered the King Of Easy Listening.

When I think of instrumental versions of popular songs, I always think of Ray Coniff and His Orchestra. As a band leader, he was great. And to get what could easily be called “The Ray Coniff Sound,” he added choral parts over the instruments. Still without words, the vocals added an element to the songs that seemed to smooth everything out.

Listen to his version of Mack The Knife from 1963, digitized from glorious vinyls, and you’ll see what I mean!

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