Sunday, April 18, 2010

Freebies at Record Store Day

The exuberance will expire at some point, but RSD was a big event if only because it shows an endangered species will not go gentle into that good night. The crowd seemed to agree. On a personal level, in addition to the Patti Smith CDs I've already written about, The Nels Cline Singers new CD I will soon be writing about, and some Massive Attack CDs (just to shore up already-owned downloads with physical media), I took advantage of the limit-10 free records offered by Oz in the sidewalk bin.

Because a 78-rpm record typically holds one song per side, albums of 78s often consisted of multiple disks in a bound album book. A release by David Rose and His Orchestra of A Cole Porter Review was billed as a dedication to the 20th anniversary of "Sound Motion Pictures" -- giving the dates as 1926-1946. But the RCA Victor labels are mid-1950s, and I have not yet found enough info to pin it down. Two of the four original disks were in the book, with I've Got You Under My Skin, What is this Thing Called Love, Love for Sale, and Begin the Beguine. An unrelated 78 by Corky Carpenter and the Texas Playboys filled in half the remaining two pages.

Also on tap was a 78 album called Velvet Moods by Al Sack and His Orchestra. All four of the disks are intact, with tunes by the likes of Duke Ellington, Cole Porter, Rodgers & Hart, and Irving Berlin.

Three LPs were in the bag as well. An album called Old Fashioned Love by the The Kendalls reminded me of the woman in Greenville, Alabama who owns a second-hand store that doubles as a shrine to the father-daughter duo that placed more than 30 hits on the Billboard country singles chart, including three Number Ones. She wouldn't part with any of their stuff, but one day a couple of years ago I found their Heaven is Just a Sin Away LP, named for their biggest hit single. An earlier issue of that album was called something else but when Heaven is Just a Sin Away skyrocketed the LP was quickly re-issued under the new name. The original is a collector's item (can't recall the title), and last I spoke to her the woman in Greenville was distraught that she could not put hands on her copy.

I also picked up a Kay Starr, self-titled on the obscure Parade Records label, a division of Premier Records. I can't find this issue (SPS-604) in any of her discographies. Finally, Peggy Lee's If You Go LP rounds out the free catches of the day.