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The Vinyl Confidential, 3.3 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, March 17, 2010 04:55pm | Post a Comment
“It was one of those evenings when the sky came down for its close-up, gray and dingy, wrapping itself around every megasized Hollywood billboard. The fog blanketed the windows of Amoeba like a broke down record geek trying to sneak out a satchel of stolen platters under his coat, and every time some honey lurched for the front door, he’d think “is now the time to dash for the exit while security talks up the sweet thing who just walked in from the rain?”
foggy day
 
Meanwhile down in the used 45 section, in the middle of the dozens of colorful boxes filled with musty records, some with enough gray, dingy dust thrown in to make you choke, two employees with barely two bits of sense between them were arguing over what was the better Dee Dee Warwick single, “You're No Good” or “I'm Gonna Make You Love Me.” That is, until a cool pair of legs in an outfit too short for the weather walked past us. Casually folded around her waist, a studded belt whispered sweet nothings to the black satin skirt she wore, she was young but her expression said she knew her stuff. Her muck boots looked like two skinned Siamese cats, suddenly a chorus of “Cat Scratch Fever” bopped into my head. Our employee conversation evaporated instantly.
 
Glancing about the shelves for a moment, in a matter of fact manner she said she needed to score some good Northern Soul ... if we had any. “You’ve come to the right place.” I pointed to the appropriate oblong box. She gave another box a swift shove out of the way as she reached into one marked Soul, quickly grabbing a record in a plain white sleeve on the old Blue Rock label. Staring at her new find for a split second, her lips tipped with a wicked grin, she snarled, “You’re both completely wrong.” As she sauntered away, she flashed us the single "We're Doing Fine," Dee Dee Warwick, 1965. She was right, absolutely right. And just before I decided I could only afford a wet evening alone, her hips waved back, certifying, "see you later fools.”
outsider artoutsider art

Remembering Tammi Terrell, Who Died 40 Years Ago Today

Posted by Whitmore, March 16, 2010 08:11pm | Post a Comment
Tammi Terrell
40 years ago today
, Thomasina Winifred Montgomery, better known as Tammi Terrell, died of a brain tumor just a month short of her 25th birthday. She was one of that incredible crop of 1960’s soul diva’s who knew how to seduce or belt out a song. Today she is best remembered for her Motown duets with Marvin Gaye with singles like “Ain't No Mountain High Enough”, “Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing”, “Your Precious Love” and “You're All I Need to Get By.”
 
Born in Philadelphia in 1945, as a teenager Tammi Terrell recorded for the Scepter/Wand label, releasing two solo discs under the name Tammy Montgomery. Both singles released in 1961, “If You See Bill,” and “Voice of Experience,” failed to chart. At about the same time, she also did session work doing backup vocals for the legendary Shirelles. In 1963 she was discovered by James Brown and joined his Revue. While under contract with Brown, Tammi released one single on his Try Me label, “I Cried.” At the time it was rumored that Terrell and Brown were romantically involved, Tammi Terrellsomething that didn’t quite fly with her parents, leading to her quick departure; she was replaced by Anna King. Next she signed with Checker Records' label, releasing one single, “If I Would Marry You.” Unfortunately her string of unsuccessful releases continued. In 1965 she signed with Motown, Barry Gordy changed her name to Tammi Terrell, and there she finally scored a couple of Top 30 singles on the R&B charts with 1966’s "I Can't Believe You Love Me" and "Come on and See Me." But it was when she was paired up with Marvin Gaye in 1967 that success finally came, fast and furious, with five top three R&B charting singles in just over a year. But all her success was short lived. On October 14, 1967, while in concert at Ogden Hall at the Hampton Institute in Hampton, Virginia, she collapsed on stage in Gaye's arms. She was rushed to the hospital, where she was later diagnosed with a malignant brain tumor. She had complained of severe migraine headaches for some time.
 Tammi Terrell
For years now stories have circulated that Tammi was the victim of a physically abusive boyfriend who had not only thrown her down a flight of stairs, but had also hit her over the head with a steel chair. But no actual allegations were ever proved. Terrell would undergo eight separate operations over the next three years for cancer; suffering from memory loss, numbness and weakness, blindness, she become far too sick to work. Eventually she was confined to a wheelchair and her weight dropped to under 85 lbs.
 
Tammi Terrell died on March 16th, 1970. She’s buried in Mount Lawn Cemetery in Philadelphia.
 
Marvin Gaye was devastated by her death. He took a long hiatus from live performances. And in his period of self-isolation, amidst his depression he re-evaluated his whole concept of what music might say. The result was the classic 1971 album What's Going On, a meditative, low key work which dealt, in part, with Tammi Terrell's death and issues of the world around him -- injustice, suffering and hatred.



Happy Birthday Gábor Szabó!!

Posted by Whitmore, March 8, 2010 09:22pm | Post a Comment
Gabor Szabo 
According to legend -- and we always print the myth around here -- while growing up in Budapest, the Hungarian born jazz legend Gabor Szabo was inspired to pick up the guitar after seeing a Roy Rogers singing cowboy feature. He started playing at about fourteen and at the age of twenty, on the eve of the anti-Communist uprising, he and his family escaped the Iron Curtain for sun saturated California.
 
After attending Berklee College (1958-60), he joined Chico Hamilton’s celebrated quintet featuring Charles Lloyd. Gabor Szabo would develop into one of the most original guitarists to emerge in the 1960s, crafting a singular and distinctive sound. From about 1966 on he would lead his own bands (that year alone he released four albums including the stellar Spellbinder and Jazz Raga -- with one of the coolest looking album covers ever printed!). Unlike most every jazz guitarist of the day, Szabo almost always played an acoustic guitar, specifically a Martin Dreadnought guitar, usually the D-45 or the D-285. I suspect Szabo, for the most part, was never taken as seriously as he would have liked in the jazz world, what with his mixing of jazz, commercial rock and pop, folk, Hungarian and gypsy music, it just didn’t fit the program. But Gabor Szabo was always the iconoclast. You can still hear his influence on modern guitarists today.
 
Szabo’s career was relatively brief. He died just short of his 46th birthday back in Budapest in 1982 from liver and kidney disease while on a visit there. Today would have been his 74th birthday. Happy birthday Gabor Szabo!





Another Vinyl Confidential, 3.2 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, March 6, 2010 01:32pm | Post a Comment
Cipher encoding/decoding, this is diddly squat, goose eggs, nothingness, zip, zilch -- kick it in the teeth, silence has passed on into legend for chrissakes, long may it live. Silence is as dead as a dodo. Noise reigns, its grip addles nothing except humanity, piece of mind and the marrow of a sun drenched life poolside, contemplating the big things: skin, the uniquely opposable thumb, nose hair and genitalia ... hooting, honking, howling, screeching, braying, farting, booming, crashing, whistling, whizzing, shrilling, hissing, warbling, gabbling, grunting and grinding augments the day as the noisy, nosey void advances like ashen weeds. Silence no longer had anything to prove so expired quietly, idealistically, never to be heard from again.                                          
collage artcollage art

Vinyl Confidential, 3.1 – The Odd Order of Oblong Boxes

Posted by Whitmore, March 3, 2010 05:05pm | Post a Comment
It’s been a while since I’ve posted any art work from the ol’ 45 room, AKA Vinyl Shangri-La. So this month I’ll be spotlighting some of our finer art brut escapades, high jinks, larks, monkeyshines, roguery, romps, shenanigans and simple low art sagacity.
 
“Art used to be a game of nuts in May, children would go gathering words that had a final ring, then they would exude, shout out the verse, and dress it up in dolls' bootees, and the verse became a queen in order to die a little, and the queen became a sardine, and the children ran hither and yon, unseen.” Tristan Tzara
 
The Elvis collection, Elvis 1.0 and Elvis the Sequel ...
elvis
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