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The Kings Of Dixieland play Auld Lang Syne.

The Kings Of Dixieland was a studio group that recorded for Crown between 1957-1962. Most of the content of these albums (eight in all) were public domain. I am impress by the arrangements, they even made The Merry Widow Waltz seem fantastic! I (sadly) have a mono copy only of this album, so I present the only track of note for New Year's eve. The selection is Auld Lang Syne, a classic favorite for this time of the year. I hope everyone has a safe and fun New Years, and come back for more fantastic budget record posts!

Auld Lang Syne


The Sounds Of Silence and Scarborough Fair

It is 1968 and the hit movie "The Graduate" is in theaters, it is the talk of the town. With all the buzz there are two songs from the sound track that stand out, "The Sounds Of Silence" and "Scarborough Fair". The Bihari brothers leap at the chance and rush this album into production and it sold quite well. However the sucker, I mean customer opens this album only to find that the only past the two title tracks the rest of the album is easy listening music with a couple other tunes that are not much better.
I have both of the title tracks posted along with the two other filler tracks of interest below.
The Sounds Of Silence
Scarborough Fair
Latino Cha Cha Cha
Where Do I Go From Here


Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas Bloggers! I present to you a track from the Royale record album "An Hour Of Christmas Music". I hope you have a "White Christmas" were you are, and may it be a good one for you!


The Gregg Smith Singers sing from around the world!

Christmas is just around the corner, and I need to post one of my last Christmas music posts of the year. The Gregg Smith choir was quite well known in it's time, and Crown was able to record this fantastic group, it is one of the best recordings I have ever hear from a budget label! The choir's blending is perfect, the recordings are intimate, it's like they are personally singing to you when you have head phones on. This is a true stereophonic experience, and I recommend this album to anyone seeking great Christmas music. Below is the whole album, happy holidays!

Christmas Carols From Around The World.


Kiddie's Christmas

 Oh what simple joys children have during the Christmas season, this album is a rather decent (yet very cheap) attempt at defining that childhood feeling we all had at Christmas time. This album was reissued in the 60's with the above cover, and a catalogue back instead of liner notes. Below is all twelve of the selections, they are in the same order as they appear on the record.

I hope you will have a "Kiddie's Christmas" when you listen to this album.


R.I.P. Dave Brubeck

It may be a little late, however I just found out that Dave Brubeck died on the 4th, just three days ago. I had posted an album on Crown Records with a mid 50's recording. I have a separate post on that album on my blog. I find it sad that great artists like that are passing away, as there are few if any decent artists that could possible hold a torch to great musicians like Dave Brubeck. Its sad to think that one day all we will have is old recordings of great artists like Dave Brubeck. One day we will turn on the radio and hear just talk radio and the auto-tuned, electronic noise that they are trying to pass off as music. Below is a recording on Crown Records of Dave Brubeck.
At A Perfume Counter


1000 Strings Play For Christmas

The Sounds Of A Thousand Strings was the name of the background music orchestra that recorded for Crown record between 1958-1964. After that the recordings were attributed to groups such as "The Fascinating Strings". This group of albums that this orchestra made were made to compete with the 101 Strings orchestra, the group even a couple knock off albums of the 101 Strings charting "Soul Of Spain" albums (which the Sounds Of A Thousand Strings orchestra albums were titled "The Heart Of Spain"). This is the album was most likely a knock off the very popular 101 Strings "Glory Of Christmas" album. There are more selections from this album on my Youtube channel, go check it out!

Silent Night
White Christmas


The world of budget vinyl record gets a new "toy"

Today I put a page view counter on my blog so that every one can see how many times my blog is accessed. Happy first day of December!


The Little John Records Christmas Collection

Little John Records was a cheap children's budget record label in the early 50's. These records sold for ten cents each without sleeves, it is a miracle that any of these Little John's made it to the present in decent shape! I have most of the 31 Little John releases (I have 2 out of the 3 runs they made complete), and that includes the complete Christmas series, X-1 through X-10.  Here's a link to a playlist that features the entire series!


Three albums, three artists, one recording.

What does all these albums have in common? They all have the same recordings on them! The left two albums are the Sounds Of A Thousand Strings Christmas album (The bottom left is the original 1st pressing, the top left is a reissue). The top right Premier record album is titled "1000 Strings At Christmas" and is credited to Al Goodman. The bottom right is a Wyncote release with the artist credited to "The International Pop Orchestra", and is a reissue of the Premier album (the Wyncote release has XS-4 scratched out in the dead wax). Budget record labels traded and leased masters to different budget labels so that they would in turn trade or lease masters they could use themselves. The question I have about these releases is when these recordings were really recorded and by whom. I believe it was Crown that recorded these recordings, as their album was issued in 1959, while the others were issued in 1963 and 1964.


The Dave Clark Five Crown Records

Custom release.
Crown release.

This post features me unboxing the Dave Clark Five album that Crown Records issued in 1964, that I got on Ebay. This album is one of the more collectible Crown releases, and the Goldmine record price guide even lists it! Below are a couple pictures (that are not mine) to give you a better look at this album, including a reissue on Custom (which is a label related to Crown)! Now for some Ebay drama, the seller listed this album as a VG+ album, I received a maybe G condition record. I will probably ding the seller for that massive over sight. 


The (Brief) History Of Budget Label's part 1

If you have ever flipped though a stack of records at a thrift store you may have noticed the names of labels like Pickwick, Crown, Royale, Halo, Grand Prix, Design, Custom, or some other label that made very cheap albums. If you haven't notice these records then I will tell you more about them. Budget labels were and still are thought as cheap pieces of junk, however it was budget labels that put the record and LP into people's homes.

Little Wonder was one of the early budget labels that changed the record industry, at that time records (records then at that time played 78 rpm or thereabout) were about 75 cents to a dollar each, or about 20 bucks in today's dollars. Then the machines were also very expensive, so you would have to be pretty well of to have a phonograph in your house! One of the main reasons that the record were so expensive was the fact that Victor and Columbia records held all the patents for the disk phonograph and kept the machines and records at high prices. Then that all changed, a man named Henry Waterson teamed up secretly with Columbia to make a cheap record that measured 5 1/2 inches across between 1914 to 1923. These records played for only 1-1 1/2 minutes and were single sided only. These records made records affordable to more people, while causing the other big labels to lower their prices to compete with them. There is no doubt that Little Wonder was one of the the most important budget labels of all time because of its lasting effects on the whole record industry.

"Back To The Carolina's My Love" (Al Jolson)
After Victor's and Columbia's patents expired, record labels started popping up all over the place, some of them were Grey Gull and the million budget labels that used the Grey Gull masters for their releases. Soon the Great Depression was on and Hit Of The Week records blossomed and died in a matter of a few short years. Then we had big label budget subsidies in the 30's such as Blue Bird and Harmony records. Then World War Two broke out, then budget labels would take on the attributes that made labels such as Pickwick loathed and hated by the record industry. More coming soon.
Grey Gull
Hit of The Week records.


Christmas With The Mexicali Brass!

To think that only 48 days separate us from Christmas, So I have to get busy on getting you those Christmas records that I have in my vast budget record collection! Here I offer you a selection, more if I get around to it, of the Mexicali Brass Christmas album. Does "The First Noel" interest anyone? I hope you do, as the trumpet playing is delightful. I have to apologize for the surface noise and other artifacts that I couldn't remove, if I did the tracks would be dull and lifeless, hey what is brass without the bite?
The First Noel (Restored, stereo)

White Christmas  (Unrestored mono track)


Happy Halloween!

(Monster Mash)
Happy Halloween bloggers! This is a Wyncote release (Wyncote is my 3rd or 4th favorite budget label), and  it contains most of the halloween music that I have in my collection! I hope you enjoy your Halloween!


Jane Froman Sings for Royale Records

Jane Froman was a very well known singer in the 40's. Eli Oberstein was a marketing genius, for buying out a bunch of bankrupt record labels in the late 40's and using the material for his budget labels. He had material from many famous artists, Jane Froman, Artie Shaw and Noro Morales just for starters. These albums and EP's sold very well and help keep Eli and his budget labels in business until the late 50's.

Linger In My Arms A Little Longer/ You, So It's You (Side 1)
I Got Lost In Your Arms/ Millionaires Don't Whistle (Side 2)


Dave Brubeck, Paul Desmond and Cal Tjader play for Crown Records!

This record is a rare breed, despite the fact that Crown did issue many jazz albums, I have only found a handful of these records. This record has the touch only the Biharis brother could provide. This album features three legendary Jazz artists. The first track is by Dave Brubeck, which is extended by splicing in improv from other Brubeck recordings, resulting in the first track taking up the entire first side. The whole record is in reprocessed stereo, the first side is given the echo tunnel treatment (reverb), then the whole second side is panned to the left channel. Despite the reprocessed stereo this album still sounds great.

At A Perfume Counter (Dave Brubeck Quartet)
Purple Moon (Paul Desmound Quartet)
Jazz Latino (Cal Tjader)


The Corwins play "Alvins Harmonica"

   The Corwins were a stage name for several different groups of musicians on the Gilmar record label.  Gilmar records recorded sound alike cover records of the latest hits and then issued them on cheap 45 rpm records. The company also issued compact 33 rpm records and supposedly 12 inch albums as well, although I have never ran across any of the 12 inch albums in all my years collecting records.

Update 11/17/12: I wish to inform you that Value Records issued albums for Gilmar (Which I assume  Value might have just been a secondary label for Gilmar), and I have located a 12 inch album containing Gilmar material.

Alvins Harmonica



The Surfsiders Sing The Beach Boy Song Book!

 Does anyone else find it a little odd that there are more girls than guys on this cover?
The super generic mid 60's Design back slick.
     The 60's was the turning point for budget labels, generic music wasn't selling well enough to keep a company going like it did in the 50's. The budget label industry had to make many of these knock off and craze cash in records to survive. The Pickwick label has become at this point, the king of junk budget records, with their four or five different record labels issuing basically the same albums at the exact same time! This record was made as a knock off of the Beach Boys, who were very popular at this time. You can hear the complete album here. Below is my transfer of the selection "Fun Fun Fun".
Fun Fun Fun


Artie Shaw plays on Golden Tone records!

      Golden Tone records was cheap budget label that specialized in the reissue of older Tops record material. This album is a marriage of the cover of Tops record 1569 and the material from Tops record 1755. This record appears to have material that Eli Obertein had since the source material was from the Musicraft Label which he owned the masters for that label. These recordings may have been leased to PRI, the owners that ran this label in exchange for cash or some other another resource that he needed at that time while reorganizing his company. I uploaded these two selections because I couldn't find those two selections on Youtube, so enjoy these "Name" artist tracks on Golden Tone Records.! I would like to note that this release was one of the last for Golden Tone made in 1962 .
I Don't Stand A Ghost Of A Chance


The story of Crown Records told in back slicks and record labels

Crown Records ran between the years 1957 to 1972, for a total of 15 years of incredible cheapness that  would become known by record collectors all over.
In 1957 Crown records started issuing budget records with backs that looked something like this.
An example of first label design 
The first stereo records usually had a little blurb on the back slick on the right or left side of the liner notes.
The first stereo records on Crown were pressed on red translucent vinyl.

By early 1961, Crown stopped issuing records with liner notes and began using a generic back slick, this same back slick was used up until 1964.

Between 1964-1972, this back slick was used with some of the feature albums swapped out for more current albums Crown issued. Sometime in the last couple years of the label some release featured this back.

Then in 1969 Crown changed to this last label style which was used until Crown folded in 1972.


The Candymen Orchestra plays the Twist part 2

 The label has a bit of a misprint, the last track is actually titled "Twisting By The Station" not Kiss Twist, that was on side 1.
If you thought that the first side was interesting, then this album is about to get more interesting. I bring you the second installment of this budget label "Twist" record, who were very common back in the day. I hope you enjoy 16 more minutes of twisting fun!

Side 2


The Candymen play the Twist

Every wondered what Old Macdonald had a Farm would sound like if you played it like a rock and roll song? This album answer this and other questions concerning what other old time favorites would sound like with a rock and roll beat to it. Personally I am most thrilled with this albums rendition of "East Side, West Side", which on the album has listed as "Twisting Around and Around the Town".

side one


The Royale Opera House

     This is the earliest royale release in my collection so far (it being 1206 with the series begining at 1201 making it the fifth release Royale Records ever made). This record has something unusal for a royale release, liner notes and good ones at that. The record is pressed out of the odd breakable, nonflexible mixture of shallac and vinyl, yet the cover states unbreakable, how odd. 

Overture (La Traviata, side 2)