The ticket stub is from October 17, 1985. Jim, who received the note, lives just around the corner from the record store and brought in a box of albums yesterday. He saved a few other cool ticket stubs we’re hoping to show him later today.
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This guy is dressed like a pirate.
Seriously, Steve Jordan isn’t just dressed like a pirate, he’s dressed like an awesome pirate. Puffy shirt and frilly pants and awesome boots. And he’s wearing so much turquoise jewelry that it probably rattles when he washes his hands.
And what’s with the eyepatch?
How did Steve Jordan lose that eye? It doesn’t appear to be just a casual part of his pirate outfit. Wikipedia only reports that he was partially blinded as an infant.
Someone stamped their address on the cover.
Yeah, its the same stamp he used for his return address stamping purposes, but Mr. Gonzalez turned it on his record collection with a vengeance. This copy has a total of four stamps!
It’s not as distinctive as the legendary “Bud’s Music Collection” stamps in a collection we purchased years ago, but it is awesome that we know a guy who lived just off the west side of Cedar Lake owned this album at one point.
Where is the record?
The jacket had no album. And its been sitting on the desk in our office for nearly a year because it’s awesome. We don’t even remember the collection which contained it, but we do remember at the time desperately checking every jacket for Steve Jordan’s La Camelia.
We had to hear at at least one song from the album, and found it on Youtube:
We often find jackets missing their record, or vise versa, but with something like this record we rarely are able to make the connection. Somewhere out there is a loose copy of Steve Jordan’s album and we hope it found a listener who appreciates it.
Steve Jordan was awesome!
Better known as Esteban Jordan, he was a multi-instrumentalist but best known for his accordion prowess. He was such a great performer that Hohner named a model of accordion after him, and he has been called “the Jimi Hendrix of the accordion.” Jordan is a legend in modern conjunto music, but for all the collections of accordion music we see here in Minnesota his LPs are few and far between. Everything we heard online will keep us on the lookout!
We have seen so many copies of Switched-On Bach over the years that we couldn’t begin to count them. The 1968 album of Moog synthesizer renditions of Bach’s music had sold more than a million copies by the mid-70s, topping Billboard’s classical chart for years and peaking at #10 on the pop chart.
Wendy Carlos had worked with Robert Moog on the development of his synthesizer, and even used one to make experimental recordings and music for television commercials.
For many record collectors the album remains an introduction to the instrument. For us it also remains one of the goofiest album covers of all time.
For starters, this is not Wendy Carlos dressed as Bach on the cover. Carlos, who became one of the first figures to publicly speak about being transgender in a Playboy interview in 1979, is never photographed on her albums and has rarely made public appearance during her long career. She has only given one live performance.
We can’t help but wonder where the man on the jacket is today. He’s one of those famous record album people, like the man seen on the cover of Abbey Road who didn’t like the Beatles music. or the couple seen on the Woodstock soundtrack who are still together. Oh, Moog Bach guy, where are you now?
You may be surprised to learn that the cover seen here is not the album’s original jacket. The first pressing of this unexpected hit features Moog Bach guy seated, apparently displeased with what he was hearing. Carlos and collaborator Benjamin Folkman objected to the image, which they felt insinuated that the music was not to be taken seriously.
Seated or standing, this scene featuring Moog Bach guy remains silly. What’s he reading? We can’t tell the title of the big book on his bench. Why does he keep flowers in front of his Moog console? Seems like they would get in the way. It’s nice that he took time to put a lace doily on the table before setting up his synthesizer, because otherwise it could have damaged the finish. He really should be more careful where he puts his candles, though, because it seems precariously close to the dried plant on top of his bookcase.
And the cat! Have you ever noticed there’s cat in the room! We only noticed it yesterday. This is absolutely our favorite thing about this album now. Moog Bach guy has a cat that sort of looks like a little version of himself. Did they have trouble getting it to sit still? It doesn’t seem to have moved in either version of the cover. Maybe the cat really liked the music.
…which is named for the Ozark Mountain Daredevils’ second album, which was released in 1974. But it could also be named for Wet Willie’s album of the same year, Keep on Smilin’. The albums, each with a random old person on the jacket, contained career peaks for the respective southern rock groups. The Daredevils had their biggest sales with “Jackie Blue” and the title track from the Wet Willie album was not only their highest-charting hit, it became a sort of signature tune for the group.
Recently, we have noticed some local records which are hoping for the same good fortune. All three albums by the Evening Rig seem to fall under the “It’ll Shine When It Shines” style, as does Erik Koskinen‘s excellent LP, American Theater. A third entry is Tabah‘s debut album, Symmetry Somewhere, which came out earlier this year.
Recent events in North Carolina are a mere skirmish compared to what happened on January 18, 1958. On that evening a Klan rally was welcomed by more than five hundred Lumbee men, members of a state-recognized tribe. The cross burning was interrupted and the Klansmen scattered — their ‘grand dragon’ James W. “Catfish” Cole abandoning his wife in his flee for safety.
Two of the Lumbee men, one a World War II veteran, appeared in the following week’s Life magazine proudly displaying a Klan banner. The events were celebrated in song by Malvina Reynolds, later appearing on a great album called Malvina Reynolds Sings the Truth. A copy this which was here in the record shop until yesterday, but before we could record “Battle of Maxton Field” someone purchased it. Fortunately for the purpose of this post the song was also sung by Pete Seeger on his album Gazette so there’s a recording we can share with you today.
A sweet sounding, sardonically biting satire of the Ku Klux Klan from 1966 has an unsettling relevance today. “Your Friendly, Liberal Neighborhood Ku Klux Klan” by the Chad Mitchell Trio lampooned the Klan’s effort to present itself as anything other than a terrorist organization in the 1960s. You may recognize one of the voices in this recording: it’s John Denver early in his career.
Satisfying as satire can be, the Klan caused terror in many parts of the country in the early 60s. After the murder of civil rights activist Viola Luizzo, who left behind five children at home in Detroit when she went to participate in the Selma to Montgomery Marches, President Lyndon Johnson addressed the nation with clear language after he made history as the first President since Ulysses S. Grant to prosecute members of the KKK. Addressing the nation he called the organization “hooded society of bigots,” and “terrorists.”
We’ll leave today’s post with a song more fitting to the terror the Klan has brought to this country for far too long. Richie Havens recorded “The Klan” on his second album, Something Else Again. It was first written by Alan and David Arkin. We think of Alan Arkin as the merciless criminal in Wait Until Dark or the retirement home evictee from Little Miss Sunshine, but before he was an actor Arkin was a folk singer with the revival group The Tarriers. Havens performs the song with his characteristic fervor, effectively captures some of the fear caused by this terrorist organization.