Posts Tagged ‘Seeburg’

Marianne Faithfull

Friday, December 27th, 2013

GO AWAY FROM MY WORLD / Marianne Faithfull:

Side 1:

Listen: Go Away From My World / Marianne Faithfull

Listen: Yesterday / Marianne Faithfull

Listen: Sally Free And Easy / Marianne Faithfull

Side 2:

Listen: Summer Nights / Marianne Faithfull

Listen: Last Thing On My Mind / Marianne Faithfull

Listen: Mary Ann / Marianne Faithfull

Another in the short series of London Records / Seeburg jukebox EP’s from the mid 1960′s.

As with The Rolling Stones post on 12/18, all these 33 1/3 true stereo EP’s, made with the endorsement of Seeburg and basically designed for their machines, had blank, white back covers. The Seeburg 45/33 1/3 compatible boxes had four framed glass windows into which these covers were meant to slip, thereby providing maximum real estate for the featured mini albums. As a result, there was no need for a back sleeve, thereby saving on print costs.

Besides, jukebox tabs, like the one below, were provided with the EP’s, from which all the song selections could be had.

Marianne Faithfull was just beginning her descent as a successful US Top 40 singles act around the time of this EP, GO AWAY FROM MY WORLD, and her second US album of the same name. The previous single, ‘Summer Nights’ included here, was the last to receive blanket pop airplay, peaking at #24 on BILLBOARD’s Hot 100. The followup, ‘Go Away From My World’, despite it’s beautiful full color picture sleeve, got minimal exposure and only struggled to #89.

I love that description, struggled. Real chart nuts, ones that make me appear normal and perfectly acceptable for mainstream society, use it all the time. It so nicely sets a sombre tone. But I do recall how dark and gloomy ‘Go Away From My World’ sounded on the air. It was the whole point, and the whole appeal as well. Material ladened with misery always suited her the best.

She got a ton of radio play in upstate New York. In fact, even I thought her singles peaked higher nationally recollecting now on how concentrated the exposure was.

The Rolling Stones

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

THE ROLLING STONES, NOW! / The Rolling Stones:

Side 1:

Listen: Side 1 (see label above for song titles) / The Rolling Stones

Side 2:

Listen: Side 2 (see label above for song titles) / The Rolling Stones

Another variation of the EP, in the US that is, was the two or three song per side jukebox pressing.

London Records issued four by The Rolling Stones, essentially compiling about half of a then current album configured as a 7″ replica of the full length 12″ version. The front covers literally lifted the album artwork, catalog number and all, while the back was left blank. These presumably were popular with the various Rock-Ola and Seeburg models that could switch speeds from 45 to 33. When a small holed EP hit the turntable, the disc would flatten down the large hole 45 center adaptor and flip the speed down to an accommodating 33rpm.

I don’t recall seeing the selections by The Rolling Stones in any of the local soda fountains we’d frequent after school, instead seeing Sammy Davis Jr. and Frank Sinatra options, both very underplayed if at all by the assembled teenagers we fantasized being like one day.

I do however remember getting up the nerve to visit a downtown Syracuse one stop, whereby we marched bravely to the front counter that separated customer from all records behind it. The jukebox operators and mom ‘n’ pop retailers would turn up weekly, maybe even daily, knowing what they wanted or needed and exactly who to ask for. My best friend Denny and I showed up as though we belonged there, not knowing what to expect or how to behave. We didn’t stay long, and got informed that the outlet was not open to the public but only for dealers. Good try.

The magnitude of seeing quantities, box lots and bulk copies of records on endless shelves left a lasting impression on me as a kid. I knew that someday, I wanted to have the chance to be on that side of the counter and literally dreamt about it for years.

What I do vividly remember during the minute or less we actually stood amongst the beehive of activity of this busy barter type scene were all four London Records Rolling Stones jukebox EP’s, sitting in a cardboard counter rack designed specifically for their display. It was when inquiring could we please buy one of each that we were denied and asked to leave. In addition to a job at a one stop, I left also wanting all four records badly.

Through the years, every one of those goals were luckily achieved. And like with the actual albums from which the EP’s originated (12X5, THE ROLLING STONES NOW!, OUT OF OUR HEADS and THEIR SATANIC MAJESTY’S REQUEST), it’s nearly impossible to pick a favorite. But if forced to before a firing squad, I’m pretty sure I’d choose THE ROLLING STONES, NOW!


Sunday, December 8th, 2013

THEM / Them:

Side 1:

Listen: Don’t Start Crying Now / Them

Listen: Philosophy / Them

Side 2:

Listen: Baby Please Don’t Go / Them

Listen: One Two Brown Eyes / Them

I can see now, very clearly, why Van Morrison grimaces at some of the material recorded with his original band. I read once that he disliked his vocal early on, and from the very first notes of this EP’s lead off track, ‘Don’t Start Crying Now’, I suddenly understand why.

Fast forward to November 30, 1989, Denny Cordell, by then an Island co-worker and a true friend, arranged for us to meet after Van’s Beacon Theater show in order to get my blank jukebox tab signed. Looking back, I’m still amazed. As promised, I was led into one of the small second floor dressing rooms by his tour manager where he was waiting. He’d been previously coached by Denny on my request, to fill in the A and B side songs, as well the artist name, in this case Them, on a blank jukebox tab for my collection and had agreed.

By quick explanation, my entire Seeburg 222 is filled with records whereby the corresponding jukebox tab is filled in, i.e autographed, by the artist or a member of that specific band. I always carry blanks just in case.

Knowing he had a distaste for all things Them, I timidly made my request very clear: I preferred this tab be for one of their singles, so as not to have any issue or weirdness once face to face. I was assured this was not going to be a problem. Disbelief grew but there we were, together in that small room. Van pleasantly asked me which single I wanted it for, I said one by Them please, in essence asking yet again, was that ok. He responded. “Sure, which song?”

“Richard Corey”.

“Okay, do you know what was on the B side, because I can’t remember”.

“Yes, it’s ‘Don’t You Know’, at least on my US pressing”, in an effort to make clear that was the song title as opposed to a cheeky question directed to him.

He took the pen, leaned over the table where the blank tab lay, and again asked, so where do I write the song title, to which I pointed at the top of the tab. He scribbled his name, tossed, didn’t throw nor didn’t gently set down, the pen and strolled out of the room leaving his tour manager and I somewhat baffled, to which he rolled his eyes, shrugging his shoulders with a “he’s unpredictable” or something like that.

I was rather pleased though. The stories about his mere true. How fun. I wish I had a nickel for every time I’ve gotten to tell people about Van Morrison’s manners.

Jukebox Tab signed by Van Morrison (above).

But they say every cloud has a silver lining. And it applies here.

Georgie Fame & The Blue Flames were Van Morrison’s backing band during this visit. They even were afforded a three song solo spot mid show whereby they performed ‘Yeh, Yeh’, ‘Get Away’ and ‘The Ballad Of Bonnie & Clyde’. Let me tell you, this surprise was an unexpected treat for many in the house besides me. Even before meeting up with Van, I was already plotting to find Georgie Fame later for an autographed tab request, which turned out most simple given he was in the very next dressing room. My only concern being, not having had a clue prior he was part of the lineup, I hadn’t prepared myself with B side info. Nonetheless, I proceed.

Georgie Fame was jovial and kindly, excitedly even, agreed to do the autograph on the spot, all smiles asking which song I’d like. ‘Yeh Yeh’ was honestly in my jukebox then, still is, and man does it sound terrific through those tube amps and speakers by the way. But I admitted, I wasn’t sure about the B side.

“No problem mate. It’s ‘Preach & Teach’, at least in England it was.”

Wow, Georgie Fame actually knows his releases all the way back. And he was right. ‘Preach & Teach’ is was.

A solid fifteen minute conversation began, him happily pouring out all kinds of stories about The Flamingo, The 100 Club, former manager Rik Gunnell and in full circle, his producer Denny Cordell, who by now had found us and had joined in. Once the two of them got going, well it was heaven.

Jukebox Tab signed by Georgie Fame (above).

King Curtis & His Noble Knights

Friday, September 27th, 2013

Listen: Beach Party / King Curtis & His Noble Knights

I’m struggling to find a King Curtis single that I don’t like. Even his questionable cover choices of current day standards during the late 60′s Atco run like ‘ Harper Valley P.T.A.’ and ‘For What It’s Worth’ are fun spins on a rainy Sunday. Plus they always sound good in the Seeburg.

But few compare to his Capitol debut from ’62 ‘Beach Party’. What other RnB act was segueing straight into the whiter than white surf craze? None. Ok, so James Brown pulled up to the bumper in time to do a ski party appearance, but King Curtis, he was first.

Travis Wammack

Wednesday, September 11th, 2013

Listen: Scratchy / Travis Wammack

I’ve never been able to figure out why soul collectors included this single in their world of must-haves. Because ARA Records was distributed by Atlantic? Or maybe it’s the middle bit that has that Screamin’ Jay Hawkins moment. Regardless, in the UK, where the 7″ came out on Atlantic proper, it usually sells for around $100. It’s not the price that irks me but instead the chances of finding one. Well, a yellow labeled demo that is. Meanwhile, my US pressing will have to do.

I recall this one on the the jukebox at Emmy’s, our local small town malt shop. My older, babysitting cousin would drag me round there after school daily. The place was a snapshot right out of AMERICAN GRAFFITI despite being the 60′s. Upstate New York was not current back then. I’d just stand by the Seeburg content to watch records spin round the machine’s turntable for hours, most of the 45′s having a white sheen from repeated plays.

Despite sounding off-centered to this day, ‘Scratchy’ ignited my interest with instrumentals, as did Jack Nitzsche’s ‘The Lonely Surfer’, another well played single at the time.

Wow, did these records ever sound great in that jukebox, and in fact, they still do. all these years later, both are in my Seeburg now, so I know. And yes, I can stand and watch them play for hours, completely content with life.

Wilma Burgess

Monday, November 19th, 2012

Listen: When You’re Not Around / Wilma Burgess

I walked into the house after seeing Bassnectar earlier tonight at Terminal 5, and as much as I was wired beyond nuts from the relentless low, low, low end of the show’s live mix, my mood went unexpectedly gentle. Usually I’ll sleep a great show off, but tonight I just felt like a peaceful nightcap, and switched on the Seeburg, selecting one single blindly. The result couldn’t have been more perfect.

Enter Wilma Burgess. Producer Owen Bradley signed her as the potential successor to Patsy Cline back in ’64. As a result, we got some great singles from the two all through the decade.

Preceding k.d. Lang by a solid twenty years in battling her sexual preferences with a not so tolerant Country music business meant most of her records got very little airplay.

‘When You’re Not Around’ kept in character with her neutral genre lyrical song choices and was not a chart hit. In fact, it was the third of three flops, and almost ended her time with Decca until the fourth single, ‘Baby’ reached #7 in September ’65.

The Modern Jazz Quartet

Saturday, December 25th, 2010

Listen: Summertime / The Modern Jazz Quartet MJQSummertime.mp3

The Modern Jazz Quartet’s run with Atlantic Records was a superior one, every new album as superb as the last. Their vibes/piano/bass/drums template perfectly proceeded to calm my nerves. When it comes to jazz, gentle and sparse wins over harsh and busy any day of the week.

In the early 90′s, many a company trip to Seattle became my norm. Corinne and I loved it there, and near moved into one of the endless 50′s ranch houses seemingly round every corner. The junking was superb and the vinyl shops were as close as you can come to dying and going to heaven in the US.

It’s where my fetish for jazz 7″s began. There was a chain of used vinyl only stores, all sectioned within by genre. Nobody seemed even slightly interested in the jazz singles. Albums yes, singles no. If virtually no competition wasn’t enough, the $1 price tag was the straw. Basically anything on Verve, Blue Note, Prestige and Atlantic were no brainers. In only a few visits, my jazz collection went from zilch to very complete. Plus they fed the jukebox perfectly.

‘Summertime’ looked radiant sitting there in The Modern Jazz Quartet’s bin. Shiny Atlantic label (on plastic as opposed to vinyl) + original stock sleeve + unplayed pressing + can’t-lose song delivered via their signature approach + $1 price tag = jackpot.

When I finally got home, ‘Summertime’ went directly onto the Seeburg. It still resides there today, having weathered, I would guess, hundreds of spins hence it’s lovingly played condition. Their version turned out to be better than I could ever have expected.

Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two

Monday, November 22nd, 2010

Listen: Big River /Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two JohnnyCashBigRiver.mp3

Originally released during March ’58 by Sun Records in the US, it’s UK London American counterpart was issued two months later on May 12. Recorded with guitarist Luther Perkins and bassist Marshall Grant, aka The Tennessee Two, ‘Big River’ was the earliest Johnny Cash record I recall hearing.

Others would disagree, but as the singles lost more and more of his rockabilly side, I became less and less of a fan.

My cousins were in the jukebox business. I’d go to their warehouse on a Saturday with my Dad, and just wander around in the maze of these fantastically designed machines, dozens waiting to be rented, tuned up or repaired. I had free reign to play any of them, their coin boxes conveniently disabled, hence no charge. What a treat. Seems they all had either The McGuire Sisters’ ‘Sugartime’ and/or this Johnny Cash single in them. I played both over and over and over.

Without doubt, a roomful of Seeburg and Rock-Ola jukeboxes as a constant Saturday morning replacement to cartoons will mold a little kid’s tastes and priorities. Walking proof, that’s me, thankfully.

The models which played the 45′s upright were my favorites. I glued myself to them and watched record after record spin. The turntable carousel moving left and right along it’s rails, pulling out singles at every stop and playing them vertically. How was this possible?

In an effort to repeat the process at home, I used masking tape to lock records onto my turntable, then balance it upright with one hand, as the other held down the tonearm. Mind you, this failed over and over. I only wish I had half the hours back invested in attempting to make it all happen.

SEEBURG 222a_small.JPG, Seeburg 22, Seeburg, Jukebox

Many years later, in ’86, I finally found the mint Seeburg 222 above, with it’s pink upright turnable carousel, for sale outside of Athens, Georgia. Murray Attaway knew of this antique dealer who specialized in renovating jukeboxes. His retail set up was in the family’s barn, beautifully converted to accommodate not only jukeboxes but thousands of trinkets, dishes, furniture pieces, appliances, clothes, records, books. A museum of sorts.

Got it professionally carted and shipped home to New York, where it’s one of my prized possessions and all these year later, again, eats up hours while I sit watching my 45′s play vertically. Which is precisely how I spent this cold November Sunday afternoon, said Johnny Cash & The Tennessee Two’s 7″ thrown on, creating the perfect time travel moment.


Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Listen: I’ll Bet You / Funkadelic FunkadelicBet.mp3

Between all the Parliament / Funkadelic releases, I must admit confusion. I do believe this was their debut single, and if not, certainly an early contributor to launching their tidal wave of output duiring the 70′s.

Vividly recall hearing ‘I’ll Bet You’ for the very first time through the PA at a Sly & The Family Stone concert. What was that! The low end was so dirty. The overall boom of the track dwarfed the songs each side of it. I just asked everyone around me if they knew it. No luck.

Out of desperation, I timidly approached the soundboard, hoping the mean looking character behind it might know. Luckily, fate was on my side. He did, and was rather impressed that a little white kid would even be interested. It was, by the way, the moment I discovered what a good view standing at the mix desk could offer. It’s become my preferred spot through the years. Learn something everyday.

I marched in to Walt’s Records on Salina Street after school the very next afternoon and landed my deep groove pressed copy. Sounds as thunderous now as it did that very moment coming through the PA at the Syracuse War Memorial.

Don’t even bother to ask me how it sizzles in a Rock-Ola or Seeburg.

The Modern Jazz Quartet

Friday, May 7th, 2010

ModernJazz, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Prestige

Listen: Django (Part 1) / The Modern Jazz Quartet MJQDjango.mp3

MJQDjango2, The Modern Jazz Quartet, Prestige

Listen: Django (Part 2) / The Modern Jazz Quartet MJODjano2.mp3

‘Dijango’ would make a nice segue from the previous post’s ‘Moments in Love’, I’m positive they would blend together flawlessly.

SEEBURG 222a_small.JPG, Seeburg 22, Seeburg, Jukebox

One of the many virtues of my Seeburg 222 is how calming yet live jazz singles sound when playing. Possibly it’s the old tube amps, or those cone speakers – whatever the case may be, this isn’t the first time I’ve pulled a copy out of the wall rack to share here on the site as a result of it coming up when I just push about thirty random selection numbers – then let the box play for an hour or so. I guess it was the 50′s version of a ‘shuffle’ feature.

I love The Modern Jazz Quartet. They are exactly they way I appreciate jazz lineups the most. I call it small combo. In their case drums, bass, guitar and piano/xylophone. An immaculate conception.

They have many fine singles, and albums as well. Good for anytime of the day or night, regardless of season.

Cal Tjader

Saturday, February 20th, 2010

CalTjader, Cal Tjader, Verve, Creed Taylor

Listen: Soul Sauce / Cal Tjader CalTjaderSoulSauce.mp3

Latin lounge, mambo, exotica, acid jazz. He was labelled all of them and more over the years. But it was this single, a cover of the Dizzy Gillespie song, that defined his heyday during the mid 60′s. Master of the vibraphone, which became the default instrument for the 90′s cocktail-lounge revival, put he and a good portion of his Creed Taylor produced Verve output back on the map. Another one for the jukebox. You’d think the device was invented for this single once you hear it through a set of Seeburg speakers.

Jimmy Smith

Thursday, February 18th, 2010

JimmySmithPorkChop, Jimmy Smith, Blue Note, Verve

Listen: Pork Chop (Part 1) / Jimmy Smith JimmySmithPorkChop.mp3

It is just not possible to walk away from any Blue Note single titled ‘Pork Chop’. Doesn’t matter who it’s by.

Jimmy Smith, credited for having revolutionized the way Hammond B3′s could be played, set the bar for an early 60′s Mod style that was as much a part of that scene as bulls eye jackets. When attacking it wild, he’s sometimes hard to tell apart from Brian Auger or closely named Jimmy McGriff, but a bunch of his singles play ever so smooth, especially on my Seeburg 222, like ‘Pork Chop’. Want to go straight back and pretend you’re at The Flamingo, or a 60′s dive in Harlem very late – just combine a jukebox with this single – and you are there.

Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston

Monday, September 21st, 2009

marvinkim, Marvin Gaye, Kim Weston, Tamla, Motown

Listen: It Takes Two / Marvin Gaye & Kim Weston MarvinTammi.mp3

I don’t believe the general public hears this one enough. Seems to have slipped through the fingers of time. If I ever hear Marvin Gaye’s duets with Tammi Terrell (‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’, ‘Ain’t Nothing Lie The Real Thing’) again on stale, tired US Oldies radio, I think I’ll puke. I’m betting Sirius gives this one a spin occasionally though. Now don’t get me wrong, I love Tammi Terrell, but I really love Kim Weston. She had swagger and I had the hots for her as a teenager, saw her on one of those Dick Clark ‘Caravan Of Stars’ tour packages.

‘It Takes Two’ is also an oddly hard single to find, considering it reached #14 Pop in ’67. Hard to find in good condition that is. I didn’t pick it up on release, and only found a fairly clean copy a year or so back. Now one of my jukebox staples, I spent the day just hanging around the house, filing stacks of singles I picked up during the past two weeks busing around the States with Matt & Kim, playing it incessantly, pressing B9 every time I passed my trusty Seeburg.

Sonny Boy Williamson

Sunday, June 14th, 2009

sonnyboywilliamsonhelpme, Sonny Boy Williamson, Chess, Checker, Paul Jones, BBC 2

Listen: Help Me / Sonny Boy Williamson SonnyBoyHelp.mp3

I wonder if Plyrene Atkinson misses this single – or maybe she upgraded to a cleaner copy, preferring a more recent Checker label design. Yeah right. I loved this copy when I stumbled on it in a Greenpoint junk store. The basement was FULL of records. Still is – but it’s been seriously picked. This was in 2001, just before 9/11. I spent several weekends in that basement. No one was buying the records, as the guy had loads of great chachkas, furniture, kitchen items and clothes on the ground floor level. Very few even ventured into the basement. I supplied him with boxes of promo cd’s which were selling like hotcakes, so all the 45′s came my way first.

The name sticker on the label, which I would usually remove, became a romantic attraction to another time – when blues would sell to the nooks and crannies of America, truly becoming the folk music of it’s day.

I never loved this record until Paul Jones played it on his BBC Radio 2 program. How did I not ‘hear’ this one years earlier? Before the day of streaming and/or archived BBC content, Roger Armstrong would religiously record both the Paul Jones show and SOUNDS OF THE SIXTIES onto DATs every Saturday, then drop them in the mail. Talk about a friend.

Still a BBC 2 fixture, Paul Jones is certainly the voice of authority when it comes to the blues. ‘Help Me’ was, well, an RnB hit actually, peaking at #24 in April ’63. It sure does sound good in a 1959 Seeburg 222.