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Music History Monday: June 4

Posted by Jeff Harris, June 4, 2012 04:50pm | Post a Comment
To read more Behind The Grooves, go to http://behindthegrooves.tumblr.com

On this day in music history: June 4, 1942 - Capitol Records is established in Hollywood. Founded byCapitol Records songwriting legend Johnny Mercer ("You Must Have Been a Beautiful Baby," "Autumn Leaves," "One for My Baby (and One More for the Road)," "Hooray for Hollywood"), songwriter/film producer Buddy De Sylva, and music store owner Glenn Wallichs (Wallichs Music City), Mercer will propose the idea of starting a record label the year before to his friend Wallichs. A few months later, Mercer will propose the same idea to De Sylva who is an executive producer at Paramount Pictures. With the third partner aboard, the three get to work organizing their first releases and opening their first offices in a building south of Sunset Blvd. By July 1st, the label will release its first nine singles. The label will innovate new techniques in promoting the sales of records, including being the first to distribute free records to disc jockeys for promotional purposes. Capitol will quickly build up an impressive roster of artists that includes Les Baxter, Les Paul, Peggy Lee, Stan Kenton, Les Brown, and Nat King Cole. Over the years, that list of artists will grow to also include Frank Sinatra, Stan Kenton, Judy Garland, Stan Freberg, Gene Vincent, Dean Martin, The Four Freshmen, Al Martino, The Kingston Trio, Nancy Wilson, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Pink Floyd, Linda Ronstadt, The Band, Steve Miller Band, Bob Seger, Natalie Cole, Tina Turner, George Clinton, Duran Duran, David Bowie, Queen, Heart, MC Hammer, Garth Brooks, Radiohead, Coldplay, Foo Fighters, and Katy Perry. Happy 70th Anniversary, Capitol Records!!!
 
On this day in music history: June 4, 1962 - The single "Surfin' Safari" by The Beach Boys is released. Written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love, it is the bands' debut release on Capitol Records. The released single is actually the second version of the song recorded, with the band previously cutting a version with engineer Hite Morgan at World Pacific Studios on February 8, 1962. The first recording also features guitarist Al Jardine who is replaced shortly afterward by David Marks (when Jardine drops out of the band for a year), and is not released until January of 1970. The second (and released) version is recorded at United/Western Recorders in Hollywood on April 19th with band manager and Wilson brothers father Murry Wilson credited as producer. Also recorded on the same session is the B-side "409," which will also chart (#76 Pop). "Surfin' Safari" will peak at #14 on the Billboard Hot 100 on October 13, 1962.



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Record Shopping in Hollywood 60 Years Ago With Mel Blanc at Wallichs Music City - Near Site of Amoeba Hollywood

Posted by Billyjam, July 13, 2011 02:57pm | Post a Comment
      


Recently uploaded on Facebook and YouTube under the description Want to buy a record with Mel Blanc at Wallichs Music City / "Vinage Los Angeles" on Facebook the above 1951 promotional film (half-hour in length) reportedly was never shown to the public until now, been used six decades ago for promotional use only among record executives. Check it out if you are an avid record collector or fan of the recording industry's history including the record pressing process, or if you are interested in seeing some classic Hollywood landmarks from sixty years ago including Capitol Records (the producers of thepromotional film) and Sunset Blvd. Amoeba Hollywood fans and regulars will recognize that the opening segment was shot about a block down the street from the current site of Amoeba Hollywood on Sunset.

As noted in the YouTube description Mel Blanc, "plays a record dealer who is desperately trying to sell anyone a record at the corner of Sunset & Vine streets in Hollywood, California while pestering several people, (including Yogi Yorgeson!!). Billy May approaches playing a regular guy walking down the street, Mel takes him into his record store, (Wallichs Music City) & proceeds to pitch everything in the store to him. In the end Billy won't pay the 85 cents for a record & Mel decides to show him exactly how records are made! They go over to the Capitol Records recording studios on Melrose Avenue & meet with Alan Livingston who takes them on a tour, here is where they run into several famous folks while getting into a little bit of mischief along the way! We get to see rare footage of Dean Martin in the studio actually recording one of his hit records! they run into Les Paul and Mary Ford, a vocal group, a country & western singer (Merle Travis?), and even Bozo the Clown!"

Ferlin Husky, R.I.P. (December 3rd, 1925- March 17th, 2011)

Posted by Mr. Chadwick, March 19, 2011 01:36pm | Post a Comment
Country music legend Ferlin Husky passed away this Thursday. He was best known for his string of late 50's singles including the legendary track "Drunken Driver." The Missouri native got his start entertaining sailors in WWII. After moving to Bakersfield, CA for a DJ gig, he began performing in honky tonks under the name Terry Preston.  Reverting back to Ferlin Husky for his Capitol and King LPs, he soon found major success through marketing to the Rock and Roll crowd. Although already in his early 30's, ten years older than the King, Capitol pushed him as a hearthrob type aimed at the youth market through albums such as Teen-Age Rock, featuring his tracks alongside artists such as Tommy Sands and Gene Vincent. After his initial string of success Ferlin settled into a steady country music career with the occasional low budget film appearance. Hillbillys In A Haunted House, Las Vegas Hillbillys and Swamp Girl are his best know films. Although decidely B-level, he worked alongside Basil Rathbone, John Carradine, Mamie Van Doren, Lon Chaney Jr., Zsa Zsa Gabor and Patty Duke. Unfortunately his later years were fraught with health problems but he went out on a high note with last year's induction to the Country Music Hall of Fame. Although the country section of my personal collection is amongst the smallest divisions, Husky's Boulevard of Broken Dreams from 1957 is tied with Miles Davis' Ascenseur Pour L'Echafaud for my favorite LP of all time. Less a country record, more in an intimate pop crooner vein with country flavor around the edges, Boulevard's production is pure tube studio & echo chamber magic from an era that could never be recreated. Unfortunately I can't find any safe links to post a track so I'm including the appropriately titled "Gone."

Happy 100th birthday Johnny Mercer!!

Posted by Whitmore, November 18, 2009 08:40pm | Post a Comment








HOLLYWOOD: WHERE THERE'S GOLD IN THE STREETS

Posted by Billyjam, June 24, 2007 09:52pm | Post a Comment

So I spent this past Thursday, June 21st -- the longest day of the year -- in Hollywood. And it was just one of those perfect days. You know, one of those days you have when everything goes just perfectly? Being the first day of summer, I guess, the weather could not have been more desirable: sunny and warm but never too hot, and certainly not a trace of that smog that is so often unfairly associated with LA. But besides the weather, every single person I encountered that day in Hollywood was genuinely warm and friendly and a pleasure to be around. Even the tragic bums along Sunset and Hollywood Boulevards all seemed to have vanished for the day. Not one person asked me for money all day.  The opposite happened in fact: not once but twice, glancing down at the pavement I found money -- a quarter on Vine and a crisp new dollar bill blowing on Sunset. Damn! There really is gold on the streets here, I thought. What a perfect day. As I happily walked I couldn't help but remember in my head all of the songs about Hollywood and LA (there is even a Wikipedia page dedicated to them) that include Bob Seger's Hollywood Nights, Murs' LA, Jurassic 5's LAUSD, Kool & the Gang's Hollywood Swinging, Defari's Los Angelinos, and X's Los Angeles. And as I walked down Vine heading towards Sunset, humming Randy Newman's I Love LA, I kept a close eye on the pavement in case I might find even more money, when I noticed that Rin Tin Tin had his own star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Wow! Even dogs are stars here.

Shortly afterwards at 6400 Sunset Boulevard at Amoeba Music Hollywood (the main reason for my trip down from the Bay for the day) I ran into Amoebite Kara who was walking her cute and affectionate little dog. The last time I was down in LA -- several months previous -- she had just gotten the miniature pooch who she had rescued by adopting him from an unfortunate homeless woman who could no longer take care of her pet. At Amoeba Music I spent the day hanging out and meeting many Amoebites for the first time, like Irene (who works in the office and was sporting a cool Virgin Prunes t-shirt), and some that I knew from before like KP, Tim Ranow, and Ilene. It was about my sixth trip to Amoeba Hollywood since it opened and I tell you the cavernous store never fails to amaze me. It is truly a music fiend's dream! And despite the good amount of time I spent digging in the crates of the endless rows and rows and sections and sections of music, I still only barely scratched the surface of the store's seemingly never ending inventory.

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