Archive for the ‘Claranelle Morris’ Category

SMASH / FONTANA CATALOG 1968

Monday, October 15th, 2018

Smash Fontana Catalog

Smash Fontana Catalog

Smash Fontana Catalog

Smash Fontana Catalog

I know exactly where where I got this from, being the record collector I was at eight years old. Still have a few Fontana 7″ mailers from that time period as well. I would write to my hero, Claranelle Morris, at Fontana’s main office in Chicago back then, pestering her about The Herd and Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich. She was a sweetheart and would send photos, bios, sometimes even a single. I guess she figured you probably couldn’t hear or buy them in the sticks of the Syracuse suburbs, so give the kid the record already. We’re going to toss them anyways. Thank you Claranelle for all that and for sending this catalog. I think of you fondly until this day. Ahh, to go back and police the Fontana dumpsters nightly. If only.

Dumpsters explanation: It was years later, when I finally got a break and Howard Thompson gave me my first A&R job at Elektra, that I discovered as soon as a record isn’t current, being worked at radio or believed in, off to the dumpster went the unused product, and many times off to the scrapheap went the act’s career. I learned to police the Elektra, then Island, WB and Columbia dumpsters with full commitment and precision, deeming myself the savior of such vinyl which till this day, fills my storage units.

But let’s not lose focus. So I found this catalog in one of the many memorabilia trunks I’ve filled to the brim over the years. It’s just like new.

Man, I wouldn’t mind a box lot of just about every title here, a box of mono and of stereo versions that is.

Of course, I loved the English groups back then, but also had a jones for Gloria Lynne. It wasn’t only because she was on Fontana. Gloria Lynne had a bunch of records on Everest prior. I had a copy of ‘Indian Love Call’ from that period, given to me in one of the Saturday morning piles of singles my uncle, a jukebox operator, would drop off instead of trashing. I loved that single. I paid attention to Gloria Lynne singles. I often heard them on the radio playing in the local barber shop where I’d get my haircut as a little boy. Must have been an AC station of the day, way before it’s then output turned into bachelor pad, lounge, hipster stuff decades later. I certainly recall hearing them play her version of ‘Watermelon Man’ at the time. All this, when I was very young, about five or six. It’s probably the reason the record collecting gene was dangerously awakened in my DNA.

Oh, and check out some of the soundtracks here too.

Dave Dee

Saturday, January 9th, 2010

It’s been one year ago today since we lost Dave Dee, therefore I’ve decided on this re-post from January 2009.

In that time, Claranelle Morris’ daughter found my remembrances of her Mom. She googled her name. Claranelle was the sweetest lady from Fontana, who would send me all things released by the label, and especially those by Dave Dee, Dozy, Beaky, Mick & Tich, who I had originally written to her about in the 60′s (see post). One of the best communication results via SO MANY RECORDS, SO LITTLE TIME I’ve ever been lucky enough to have.