Garlic in Popular Music

There are a considerable number of people on this planet who are not yet aware of the existence of a restaurant – The Stinking Rose – that celebrates the garlic bulb in all its glory, with garlic infused into the majority of the menu offerings.  With only two locations (one in Beverly Hills, the other in San Francisco), I’m afraid this dream destination will simply have to remain one for the indefinite future for many of us.

In the meantime, I will to have content myself with garlic-themed music for my soul food.      But do songs about garlic exist?  Here’s what Zero to 180’s investigation turned up.

As it turns out, garlic songs – at least here in the States – are at least as old as the blues.  Sylvester Weaver‘s “Garlic Blues” from 1927, it bears noting, will turn 100 in 11 years:

“Garlic Blues”     Helen Humes with Sylvester Weaver & Walter Beasley     1927

Not much else would appear for a couple decades, it seems, until The Max Brüel Quartet from Denmark released their jazz instrumental composition in 1955, “Garlic Wafer.”

“Garlic Wafer” by The Max Brüel Quartet – side one, track 2

Garlic 45-b 1966 would bring another garlic sighting, when Capitol subsidiary label, Tower, released its single “(Get Off That) Booze & Garlic Bread” by garage rocker, Denny Rockwell.

This 45 deserves, if not partial credit, at least an asterisk

Garlic 45-aGarlic 45-aa

Two years later, vibraphonist Mike Mainieri and his Quartet would channel the spirits, and beat John Lennon to the punch in the process, with the wryly-titled “Instant Garlic” from the group’s 1968 album, Insight.

Instant garlic’s gonna get you — gonna knock you right on the head

Garlic LP-bb1972 would see the release of NRBQ‘s (Eddie Kramer-produced) Scraps, a wide-ranging album that would include the whimsical and dadesque “Who Put the Garlic in the Glue.”

“Who Put the Garlic in the Glue” by NRBQ – back when the Q stood for Quintet

NRBQ LP-a[42 years later, Lin Brehmer from Chicago’s CBS affiliate XRT would single out NRBQ’s “Who Put the Garlic in the Glue” for her October 22, 2014 ‘Hump Day Unusual Moment‘ segment.]

Sometime in 1977 — within the confines of Italy, appropriately enough — garlic would get the funky instrumental it so richly deserves in the form of “Garlic Salt” by The Joy Unlimited Group & the Continentals:

“Garlic Salt”     The Joy Unlimited Group & the Continentals     1977

1978 would see the final album – Spaceguerilla – from German progressive jazz-rock group, Missus Beastly, with “King Garlic,” fittingly, as its closing track.

“King Garlic” by Missus Beastly — Side 2, track 4

Garlic LP-fBefore decade’s end, Leo Kottke would do his part to advance the cause with the release of 1979’s Balance, an LP that would include “1/2 Acre of Garlic.”

“1/2 Acre of Garlic” by Leo Kottke —  Yugoslavian PressingLeo Kottke LP-a

1979 would also see the release of a Folkways album – Folk Songs from Latin America by Suni Paz – that would include the heartfelt paean “Al Ajo (To Garlic)”:

“Al Ajo (To Garlic)” — side 1, track 4

Garlic LP-e1979 would prove to be a banner year, with the release of the soundtrack to George A. Romero’s vampire-themed film, Martin — an album that would include “Garlic Chase #6.”

“Garlic Chase #6 — side 1, track 7Garlic LP-a

But the big breakthrough for garlic in song would come by way of Chapel Hill foursome, Superchunk, who no doubt “sweated out” vast amounts of garlic recording their unabashed 1990 declaration of bulb love, “Garlic” — the B-side of a split single on noted indie label, Merge, along with Seaweed and Geek (“released to go with a US tour of the three bands”):

“Garlic”     Superchunk     1990

By the turn of the new century, it was a whole new era for Garlic in Popular Music, and even LeeScratchPerry and Guided By Voices would eventually get in on the game, as you will note on the list below — a public service from the tireless research staff at Zero to 180.

Garlic in Modern Pop:  An Exhaustive & Exhausting Discography

Also Worth a(n) Historical Asterisk

Bobby Gregory‘s Country Comedy LP includes a comic routine “We Always Feed Our Baby Garlic” that is also illustrated at the very bottom of the album cover – dead center:

Garlic LP-d

The “contents” of Side A from Monty Python‘s Previous Record from 1970 – written from the perspective of a ‘Harley St. dentist’ – is an amusing bit that includes a ‘Where’s Waldo’ game:  can you find the phrase “stinking garlic”?

Garlic LP-c

“Phfft! You Were Gone”: King 78

The recurring Hee Haw skit – “Phfft!  You Were Gone” – was originally a King Record, believe it or not, that was recorded in Cincinnati, Ohio on July 3, 1952 by Bob Newman, who recorded Henry Glover‘s great truck driving song “Haulin’ Freight” the year before, as you might recall:

“Phfft! You Were Gone”      Bob Newman     1952

Billboard would review “Phfft! You Were Gone” in its November 1, 1952 edition:

“Newman tries hard on this novelty and hands it a good vocal, which should help it pick up many spins.”

Bob Newman 78-aaMany thanks to Bopping for its detailed Bob Newman sessionography in which the following musicians for “Haulin’ Freight” are listed:

Bob Newman:  bass & lead vocal
Henry Glover:  drums
Al Meyers:  lead guitar
Louie Innis:  rhythm guitar
Tommy Jackson:  fiddle
Shorty Long:  piano

Phfft!  You Were Gone” would include Newman on bass & vocals, Shorty Long on piano, and Al Meyers on lead guitar, plus “sound effect” provided by Wayne Kemp, with an unnamed drummer and rhythm guitarist rounding out the sound.

Bopping also has the history on Bob Newman alias, Lee Roberts:

“‘Phfft!  You Were Gone,’ another novelty, was sold by Bob (alias Lee Roberts) and he didn’t get a dime when about twenty years later the song became a hook on the Hee Haw TV show.  Bob, according to Hank’s widow, was a big spender:  he would sell a song for, say, $ 1,500, then throw away $ 2,000.  He sold ‘Shut Up And Drink Your Beer’ to Merle Travis, and ‘Crying Steel Guitar Waltz’ to Jean Shepard.  That’s why he never made a living of his songs.  Al Myers explained that Bob Newman didn’t know how to pursue his career, and that’s the main reason why King didn’t renew his contract in August 1952.”

Bob Newman - Audio Lab LPThe indispensable Both Sides Now Publications offers a slightly more expansive view:

“For years, the television series Hee Haw used a song on the show called ‘Phfft!  You Were Gone,’ often credited to Buck Owens.  Earlier appearances of the song on record attributed writer’s credit to Lee Roberts, Susan Heather, or Marian B. Yarneall. Bob Newman’s son Bob Jr. recently wrote to us to untangle the mystery of authorship of this classic.  It was first recorded by Bob Newman July 3, 1952, at King Studios in Cincinnati.  It was released on King 45-1131 shortly thereafter, with writer credits to Lee Roberts.  Bob Newman actually wrote the song under the name Lee Roberts, which was his usual pen name (he had over 80 songwriting credits for both ASCAP and BMI under that name), and was the first to record it. Newman sold the song to Bix Reichner in 1958.  Reichner, who wrote many songs including ‘Papa Loves Mambo’ for Perry Como and ‘I Need Your Love Tonight’ for Elvis Presley, assigned the song to his wife’s name — Marian B. Yarneall, aka Susan Heather.  By the time the Audio Lab album came out in 1959, the writer credit had changed to Susan Heather.  The original version of the song made its first (only?) LP appearance on his Audio Lab album.”

Two decades or so later, television writers would enjoy endless lyrical possibilities:

“Phfft!  You Were/Was Gone”     Hee Haw

Note, however, that Bopping assumes — as I did, until very recently — that King merely “reissued” those two truck driving songs in 1959, “Haulin’ Freight” and “Lonesome Truck Driver’s Blues.”   Sorry, Bopping, but we discovered in the previous Zero to 180 piece that those two songs were given a re-boot to make them sound more contemporary.

 King Record Innovation:  “Bio Discs”

Independent record producer and music writer, Randy McNutt, has authored two books about Cincinnati’s post-WWII music history and its role in giving birth to rock & roll.

Randy McNutt-2Randy McNutt-1

King Records of Cincinnati points out a wily marketing tactic by Syd Nathan that happens to involve Bob Newman:

“The 78 RPM record pictured here, Newman’s ‘Quarantined Love,’ shows another of Nathan’s innovations, the bio disc.  He printed brief biographies of artists on promotional records and sent them to disc jockeys and decision makers in the music business.  The idea must have worked, for King Records continued to issue bio discs into the 1960s.”Bob Newman 78-bio disc

Mad Mag’s Multi-Groove Flexi-disc

Remember the Las Vegas Roulette record with the “multi-groove” in which the tonearm stylus randomly selects (at least, in theory) one of 38 separate grooves – one for each slot on the roulette wheel – so as to allow partygoers the ability to play roulette from the comfort of home?   That’s right, you, too, can be the croupier.    *(Link to original piece)

Fabulous Las Vegas Roulette LP-jrIn 1980, Mad Magazine would pull off an even more ambitious vinyl feat:  a “multi-groove” flexi-disc!   45Cat’s 23skidoo rightly emphasizes:

“A random groove record.  A different ending (usually) is heard each time the record is played.  Very rare for a flexi-disc to have this feature.”

“It’s a Super Spectacular Day” [all 8 endings]    Frank Jacobs & Norm Blagman    1980

45Cat lists Mad Magazine flexi-discs from 19611981

I am grateful to have had a neighbor growing up who allowed me to borrow freely from his 1960s collection of Mad Magazines — the best educational supplement a kid could ask for.

Mad Mag-sing along-a+Mad Mag-sing along-b+

Check out the hyper-minimalist animation video that Casey Killingsworth created for the 1980 disco update of Mad’s 1961 belch-rock hit, “It’s a Gas!”

The “Rock Revolution” as seen through the lens of Mad Magazine:  1965-1968

Mad Mag-guitar-a+Mad Mag-beatles 68-a

In 2011, someone would fork over $100 for a vintage copy of Mad’s debut (and only) LP.

     Beatles                            vs.                         Stones, man

Mad Mag-ringo+Mad Mag-jagger+mag

Beatles vs. Stones:  1-0

On February 7, 2014 Mad Magazine would post the following announcement:

“Today marks the 50th anniversary of the Beatles’ arrival in America!  And in order to thoroughly commemorate, celebrate, salute and pay tribute to this historic event, we present the only time that all four Beatles appeared on our cover [September, 1968 cover above with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi] — which is still one more MAD cover than the Rolling Stones ever had!”

Mad Magazine’s Don Martin gets in on the act

Mad Mag-beatles 65+

Management requires that I insert a plug for Zero to 180‘s Facebook page – like it or else!

“Dick Clark”: Well-Engineered 45

Memory is a funny thing.  I can still picture myself standing at the checkout counter at School Kids Records in Columbus, Ohio having a chuckle with Curt Schieber over something – but was it a Great Plains 45 that had just been recorded?  Or was it over the delicious roasted Japanese-style peanuts* that I could only find at School Kids and would nourish me through college, where spending money was always in such limited supply?

Mark Wyatt of Great Plains rightly takes Zero to 180 to task for concocting a fanciful tale and then selling it as fact.  Yes, there was a Dutch benefactor – but hardly a wealthy one.  As Wyatt points out:

“Maarten Schiethart and Fred and Hans from the (now defunct I believe) Waaghals record store would be surprised to learn they were wealthy, let alone the producers of the one GPs single they put out, “Dick Clark”, the mix of which is identical with what’s on Naked at the Buy, Sell, and Trade.  Shadowline was a short-lived label that kicked the bucket for the same reasons many indie labels did…they got boned by their distributors.  Anyway, that ‘unplayable’ single sounds plenty fine to me, but then again I’m pretty happy with the way we molested the two cover tunes on the B side.”

Manufactured in the Netherlands but recorded in Columbus, you know

Great Plains 45Yikes, I really botched that one!  Not surprisingly, my blogging license is under suspension, although I was able to get the suspension lifted on the condition that I hire a fact checker.  Wyatt, in fact, is my probation officer, and I couldn’t have found a more patient and forgiving one.  Zero to 180 looks forward to buying Wyatt and the boys a beer or three when they venture east to place a show in the Nation’s Capital – another town noted worldwide for its homegrown punk and harDCore scene.

Great Plains might not consider themselves a “singles band,” but you could’ve fooled me with this cracking 45 that is also rather well-engineered, one cannot help noticing:

“Dick Clark”     Great Plains     1987

Paul Nini:  Bass
Dave Green:  Drums
Matt Wyatt:  Guitar & Backing Vocals
Mark Wyatt:  Keyboards & Backing Vocals
Ron House:  Vocals & Guitar
Doug Edwards:  Engineer
Great Plains:  Producer

Wyatt would also point out to a clueless Zero to 180 that the engineer on this 45 is none other than Doug Edwards, who would also spin the dials for Boys from Nowhere!  Boys’ Bassist Ted Nagel and I would hail from the same Cincinnati high school — the world just keeps getting smaller.  But wait, an actual Boy from Nowhere – Mick Divvens – would engineer (as “Donovan’s Brain“) Great Plains’ final 45, as Officer Wyatt observes with quiet exasperation in the comments below.

Of course, it wouldn’t be Great Plains without a healthy dose of humor, as evidenced by the double B-side (as noted by Wyatt above) — spirited covers of Pomus & Shuman’s “This Magic Moment,” as well as Grand Funk Railroad’s “Bad Time.”

Released on Homestead Records – home of Big Black, Naked Raygun, et al

Digital StillCamera

How wonderful to see my original Great Plains piece, if Facebook “likes” are a reliable indicator, starting to gain some traction.  Hopefully my nephew Jake in Minnesota – another music enthusiast with wide-ranging tastes – will continue to spread the word in the Heartland about these musical innovators who are ripe for rediscovery.

Breaking News!   Great Plains’ Facebook page reveals that the mighty Great Plains will reunite (first time since 2008) for “Sick Weekend” — March 24-26, 2016 — at Columbus music venue, Ace of Cups, who wants it be known:

“The only way to guarantee entry is to buy the weekend wristband.  We’re selling 250 of those and once they’re gone, they’re gone.  Each night of the fest we will release approximately 50 tickets at the door for $15 that are first come, first served. We will not be selling single night tickets in advance.”

Jake, forget your studies and grab your buddies – sounds like a road trip is in the cards.

Findlay, Ohio’s Wolfies Nuts:  they want your money

Wolfies Nuts* “Kakawateez” roasted nuts, I want to say, came in tall thin packages with some kind of totem pole-themed art and could only be purchased at School Kids Records due to the owner’s family business connection.  But the stupid internet cannot validate these claims, and I can feel my probation officer breathing down my neck, so let me have Wolfie’s Nuts take the story from here via their Facebook page.

Hey Mark, did I botch the above postscript by relying on my memory’s jazz impressions?

Great Plains’ Presidential Punk

Remember Tom Newbold?  Before he became manager of The Ferns, Tom and I once had quite the shouting match over Birthday Party’s “Release the Bats” (as previously recounted in the Zero to 180 piece, “Winged Mammal Theme“).  At the time of the incident, I was convinced that ‘Newbs’ was merely trying to provoke.  The song’s humor eluded me, it pains me to say, nor did my musical range of vision recognize the validity of “shouty” vocals or alternative approaches to melodicism.  Only years later did it occur to me that Newbold’s enthusiasm for “Release the Bats” was, indeed, genuine.

I also remember Tom playing Gang of Four’s Entertainment, which I found rather amusing, but not for the right reasons.  Newbold’s embrace of punk and hardcore was a minor sticking point, as I had yet to be liberated musically, while my political consciousness was still in a state of deep slumber.  But it was impossible not to be swept up in the intensity of Tom’s belief in the power of music as a transcendent force, so when Newbold insisted that we check out Great Plains – led by songwriter and vocalist, Ron House – who could say no?

(L to R) Dave “Manic” Green, Mark Wyatt, Ron House, Paul Nini, Matt Wyatt

Great PlainsI’d be lying if I said that Great Plains instantly swept me off my feet.  It took at least a handful of shows before I started to understand why Newbold championed the songs of House, who I just now learned was co-owner of Used Kids Records, one of my favorite Columbus hangouts on High Street, along with (the recently-departed) Bernie’s Bagels, where I got to see The Royal Crescent Mob in the mid-80s playing their ferocious brand of funked-up rock, with a rhythm section that rivaled, if not surpassed, The Red Hot Chili Peppers, it is in no way an exaggeration to say.

House’s less-than-tuneful singing voice and the band’s more shambling moments would distract some of us initially from seeing the wit and originality of Great Plains’ music.  A turning point for me came, though, when record store owner, Curt Schieber, told me one day at School Kids (upstairs from Used Kids) that a wealthy Dutch benefactor** and passionate Great Plains fan had just underwritten the entire cost for one of the band’s 45s.  The deal, unfortunately, was conditional upon the Dutchman also engineering the session, so when Schieber informed me that the recording levels were so ridiculously high as to make the single virtually unplayable, we both had a good chuckle.

1984 Great Plains LP that was, literally, born in a barn

Great Plains LP“Pretty” is an adjective I would not use to describe the band’s sound, and yet Great Plains prove they can be melodic when they want to be on this absurdist slagging of Ohio presidential notable, Rutherford B. Hayes – a song that shows the band at their ‘poppiest’:

“Rutherford B. Hayes”     Great Plains     1984

Rutherford B. Hayes” (Zero to 180’s choice for an A-side) would remain an album track, sadly enough, that was originally released on 1984’s Born in a Barn, as well as live album, Slaves to Rock and Roll and 1989 UK release, Colorized! (not to mention 2008’s Live at WFMU).

Photo of Ron House by tinnitus photography – courtesy of Big Takeover

Ron HouseWorth noting that the “Dean of American Rock Critics,” Robert Christgau, would see fit to review Great Plains’ recordings, while Ron House would prove to be a worthy subject for a number of publications, including The American Prospect, The Columbus Free Press, Noisey, and Rubberneck, among others.  Would you be surprised to learn that Dr. Demento himself would write and record an intro for Great Plains compilation, Length of Growth 1981-1989, released in 2000?

Today’s piece was inspired by a delightfully nutty smart phone app, Presidents vs. Aliens, that my daughter loves to play.

Presidents vs. AliensBefore you go, though, Zero to 180 is compelled to ask:  How many of you learned the US presidents while drinking milk in your elementary school cafeteria?

US presidents on milk cartons

All you need to know about Rutherford B. Hayes in just 60 seconds – courtesy of PBS

** Don’t believe everything you read, kids.  This bit about the wealthy Dutch benefactor and the too-hot recording levels is yet another example of good intentions running roughshod over the truth.  Click here for a postscript that attempts to set the record straight.

Red Simpson/David Bowie Tribute

Shame on Zero to 180 for not celebrating Red Simpson‘s musical legacy as a pioneer of the “Bakersfield Sound” until now – after his spirit has already left this mortal plane.

I’m afraid Simpson’s passing might have gotten overlooked in all the media attention given to the unexpected loss of David Bowie.  In a playful nod to both artists, Zero to 180 thought it would be fun to feature Simpson’s last charting hit, “The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver” (#99) from 1979:

“The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver”     Red Simpson     1979

“The Flying Saucer Man and the Truck Driver” would first be released in 1976 on Vancouver label, Portland Records, and then again three years later to much greater commercial acclaim on Nashville-based K.E.Y. Records.

1976 release                                             1979 re-boot

Red Simpson 45-aRed Simpson 45-b

I just saw the trailer for the 2014 documentary, Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound, and one key point really hit home:  1960s Nashville-based country was primarily “sit down” music, while the principal aim of the ‘Bakersfield Sound’ was about getting folks to dance.  Red Simpson is one of the principal architects of the Bakersfield Sound – although he does not always get proper recognition in this regard.

Worth noting that (1) Red’s professional songwriting career goes back to the Korean War era, and (2) Simpson did not actually write his biggest hit “I’m a Truck” but did, in fact, write tons of even better tunes — see special Red Simpson feature below.

1966 Capitol debut                                      1966 follow-up LP

Red Simpson LP-aRed Simpson LP-b

Red Simpson tributes from Rolling Stone, CMT, Billboard & The Bakersfield CalifornianRed Simpson’s own website is also a great source for chart and songwriting info.

Red Simpson:  Songwriter

1975 Dutch Compilation LPRed Simpson LP-c

Love Hymn = Deodorant Ad

Sweet Touch of Love,” from the aforementioned acclaimed 1970 album, Toussaint (later named From a Whisper to a Scream), would be the A-side of a promo 45 that appeared not to have enjoyed any chart action:

“Sweet Touch of Love”      Allen Toussaint     1970

“Sweet Touch of Love” (the final installment in this week’s “time walk” tribute to Allen Toussaint) would later be covered by Etta James, Esther Phillips, Irma Thomas, and Grady Tate.

Ed Ochs’ “Soul Sauce” column for Billboard would report in its November 14, 1970 edition that Allen Toussaint’s first for Scepter-distributed Tiffany label is ‘Sweet Touch of Love.’

But alas, promo-only 45

Allen Toussaint 45-c

Funny to see history’s twists and turns:  who could have predicted that Allen Toussaint’s 1970 hymn to love would be used 38 years later as the centerpiece of an oddly creepy ad campaign for Axe Dark Temptation “chocolate” deodorant in 2008?

Axe Dark Temptation ad featuring “Sweet Touch of Love” by Allen Toussaint:

For some people (as YouTube comments attest), Axe Dark Temptation did, indeed, bring new listeners to Allen Toussaint via “Sweet Touch of Love.”  Would you be surprised to learn (as I was) that this commercial won a Gold Lion at the 2008 Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity (formerly International Advertising Festival)?

Shameless Plug:  This is the eleventh Zero to 180 piece tagged as Music in Advertising.

Naomi Neville = Allen Toussaint

Allen Toussaint was the headlining act for the 2009 Silver Spring Jazz Festival.  At that time, the festival venue was the parking lot behind the facade of the old JC Penney building, just prior to its conversion (using millions of taxpayer dollars) into the LiveNation concert facility that would be branded (cynically) as “The Fillmore.”

Thanks to Silver Spring Neighborhoods Blog for the great photo!

Allen Toussaint @ 2009 Jazz FestivalTaking in Toussaint’s performance in 2009, I was struck by how all-encompassing his music is, the totality of its sweep:  jazz, blues, New Orleans second line, gospel, funk, pop, country, and even a big of ragtime thrown in for good measure.

Funny to recall that, even as an obsessed teenage fan of The Who, I would inadvertently make Allen Toussaint’s acquaintance via The Who’s live arrangement of “Fortune Teller” from a bootleg album of their April, 1968 performance at New York City’s Fillmore East.

Toussaint’s recent passing is an enormous loss, and his legacy – as Atlantic Monthly noted – is “unassailable.”  Fortunately, for humankind, Toussaint has left a vast treasure chest.  But rather than unscroll a long list of song titles that attest to Toussaint’s impressive handiwork as a songwriter, musician and producer, I thought it might be better to simply hit you with one good song at a time – such as 1965‘s infectious “The Word Game” by Benny Spellman:

“The Word Game”      Benny Spellman     1965

Toussaint’s playful take on Shirley Ellis‘s near-number one hit at the time, “The Name Game” is ripe (as this YouTube clip’s paltry numbers show) for rediscovery.   The “B” Side blog tells us that the song “bubbled under the Hot 100 for awhile” but never really charted, despite the endorsements of such influential disc jockeys as Johnny Bee (WBOK, New Orleans) and Chuck Cunningham (WLOU, Louisville).  As Home of the Groove explains it:

“It has been reported that ‘The Word Game’ did alright around New Orleans; and maybe it could possibly have sparked a flash of oppositional game-song fever across the land, except for a major monkey wrench.  While Atlantic agreed to release this single, it doesn’t seem they did much more than test-market it as a promo (as seen in the [image below] – you rarely run across a stock copy), and took no pains to promote it – that is, pay anybody elsewhere to play it.  That’s too bad, not because “The Word Game” really deserved to be a hit, but because it kept DJs from paying enough attention to flip the record over and discover the side that should have gotten the attention [i.e., ‘I Feel Good’].”

    Originally issued on New Orleans’ indie, Alon and then picked up by Atlantic

Benny Spellman 45-bBenny Spellman 45-a

“The Word Game” is one of dozens of songs penned by Toussaint using his mother’s name, Naomi Neville.

Who could, of course, forget Dylan’s producer, Bob Johnston, mangling “The Name Game” to great comical effect the following year?

Pop-Up Record Albums

Until fairly recently, I had a Tuesday Morning “close-out retailer” store within 2 miles of home.   In an age when we’re lucky to have just one large national bookstore chain, I was grateful to have a quirky home goods store that also offered the oddest assortment of book fare, the overwhelming majority of which can not be found in Barnes & Noble, Politics & Prose, and other “respectable” reading establishments.

This piece, therefore, is a tribute to the former Silver Spring location of Tuesday Morning for allowing me to purchase the ingeniously-crafted Country Music Pop-Up Book, a $45.00 retail value (as the price tag states) for only $14.99.  This delightful pop-up book I first mentioned two years ago last December in a classic “road” story about Waylon Jennings as told by Kinky Friedman.

Country Music Pop-Up Book-aaCountry Music Pop-Up Book-a

The closing of our local Tuesday Morning has me looking at this sumptuous movable book once again — I just re-read Steve Earle‘s funny essay about life as a struggling songwriter in Nashville working on “The Graveyard Shift” in which we learn that, when “Steve Martin led the entire audience down Ellison Place and bought everyone a Krystal hamburger, [Earle] was at the front of the line.”

When it comes to pop-up record albums, Jethro Tull‘s elaborate gatefold sleeve for their sophomore release — 1969’s Stand Up, with the pop-up art of the four band members — single-handedly rules the roost (one has to wonder, then, why the title of this piece is plural).  The concept was “based on ideas from Terry Ellis and John Williams and printed from woodcuts by New York graphic artist, Jimmy Grashow [whom you may visit on Facebook].”

Jethro Tull Pop-Up LP

One song I remember hearing on 1970s FM radio was Jethro Tull’s adaptation of a popular Bach lute piece (Bourrée in E minor).  Although Stand Up would reach the US Top 20, Island’s release of “Bourée” b/w “Fat Man” would fail to chart, except in Germany (#37) and the Netherlands (#5):

“Bourée”     Jethro Tull     1969

Jimmy Grashow would also design the artwork used for the French 45 picture sleeve:

Jethro Tull 45-aJethro D’oh!

Did You Know…Jethro Tull’s very first single release – their one and only on the MGM label – would find find the group identified as Jethro Toe!  In fact, 45Cat emphatically states that any copies of “Sunshine Day” b/w “Aeroplane” with the band’s name as ‘Jethro Tull’ are bootlegs — click here to check out the many interesting comments about this 7-inch equivalent of the postage stamp with the bi-plane flying upside down.

“Jethro Toe”:  a fire-able offense?

Jethro Toe-bJethro Toe-a

A rare beige/taupe 45 would sell at auction in 2009 for £500 ($800)!

Jethro Toe-c

Colour Me Canadian: DIY

Just when Zero to 180 thought it had exhausted all the “you-be-the-artist” album cover possibilities (i.e., connect-the-dots, color-your-own) Canadian contributor, We Willy, shocked this fellow North American by referencing a fairly obscure Canadian cover that masterfully straddles the line between the two do-it-yourself genres:

Discogs.com says LP released in 1969 — web link below, however, says 1964

Bette Graham LP-a

Could this one long-playing release, Colour Me “Canadian, be — as Discogs.com seems to indicateBette Graham‘s entire recording output?   I am impressed to see that Graham has written all but one of the songs on the album, but is it fair to presume that she is the creative director behind this crackerjack album cover?

And should we be concerned about the variant spellings for Graham’s given name on the front vs. rear covers?

Bette Graham LP-b

You may listen to (as well as purchase) the entire album at the following web link.