My friend John Gabriel – yes, the Time Warner Cable News traffic reporter and announcer, the man who has a complete collection of old WTRY and WPTR weekly survey playlists – recently acquired a jukebox. Not just any jukebox… the man owns a 1949 Seeburg M-100-A. the first jukebox to play 100 78 RPM selections on request.
I looked at my personal record collection. At one point, I had 10,000 45’s and LP’s and 78’s and all sorts of recorded music. After my divorce and relocation to the Town and Village of Green Island, I sold off a good chunk of the collection, donated another good chunk to Goodwill and to the Salvation Army, gifted another good chunk to my college for their jazz library and archive, and kept a couple of cratefuls of music for myself.
Well… I’m downsizing. I don’t need the 78’s any more. Any time I want to listen to this music, I can call up a YouTube clip or download the song from iTunes. And since John Gabriel will need some new vinyl / shellac / vinylite / formvar to feed his Seeburg, he can have my collection of 78’s. I’m gifting my big 10-inch records to him, and I’m sure he will enjoy stuffing them in his jukebox.
So you want to hear ten of the discs that will be part of the gift box that’s going to Mr. Gabriel today?
Of course you do.
THE TOMMY DORSEY ORCHESTRA w/ FRANK SINATRA and THE PIED PIPERS
I’ll Never Smile Again
What a legendary track – the most popular bandleader of his time, an excellent vocal harmony group, and Ol’ Blue Eyes himself.
PEREZ “PREZ” PRADO and HIS ORCHESTRA
Cherry Pink and Apple Blossom White
A classic swinging song from the 1950’s. I mean, you can just hear the Latin rhythms percolating through the entire song, and then it’s punctuated with that Billy Regis trumpet solo.
LOUIS ARMSTRONG and HIS ORCHESTRA
All of Me
John Gabriel’s getting an extra-special bonus. This Columbia 78 was pressed on blue wax. A color as sweet as the music it contains.
Sixty Minute Man
You think today’s songs required parental guidance? Check out this classic from the 50’s… it doesn’t have double-entendre, its entendre is pretty explicit.
Body and Soul
If you’ve ever heard Coleman Hawkins’ take on the track “Body and Soul,” you should hear this track – it’s Eddie Jefferson using his voice to emulate Coleman Hawkins’ saxophone, adding lyrics as well.
THE DELL VIKINGS
Come Go With Me
Believe it or not, there were 78 RPM records pressed into the beginning of the rock and roll era, with this doo-wop milestone being one of those tracks.
The Strip Polka
Yes, the song is subtitled, “Take It Off, Take It Off, Take It Off.”
JOHNNIE AND JOE
Over the Mountain, Across the Sea
Another late-pressing from Chess Records, this 78 was a Top 10 R&B and pop hit in the mid-1950’s.
THE ORIGINAL DIXIELAND “JASS” BAND
Livery Stable Blues
This is one of the earliest commercially-purchasable jazz recordings, although it’s more of a twelve-step blues number than true jazz. But then again, it’s 1917 and jazz music was still evolving.
That, plus an assortment of Ruth Wallis novelty tracks, some country music from Montana Slim and Wilf Carter (it’s the same guy, he was “Wilf Carter” in Canada and “Montana Slim” here), and several other treasures and oddities, should find a home in John Gabriel’s jukebox.
This way, at least those records will find a new home and an appreciative owner.
And you get to hear these tracks right now – on K-Chuck Radio!