Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Latin-American sounds

Lord Thunder: Final Deluxe 45?

Browsing DeLuxe releases in chronological order in Discog’s database, Lord Thunder‘s “Thunder” from 1975 appears to be the last gasp of Starday-King: “Thunder”     Lord Thunder     1975 But wait:  1975 sounds much too late in the post-Syd Nathan saga for a new production to come out of the Starday-King

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King’s Budget Subsidiary Label

According to Both Sides Now Publications: “In late 1958, Audio Lab was formed as a budget label subsidiary to Cincinnati-based King Records.  From 1959 -1962, Audio Lab released a lot of material that had never appeared in album form, including rare albums by Bullmoose Jackson, Annie Laurie, April Stevens, Lattie

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"Ocean Liner (Bossa Nova)"
Zeroto180

Calvin Shields — Musical Pioneer

Hard to believe it was only 20 years or so ago I was having cheese coneys with The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s preeminent music writer Larry Nager and asking what it would take for the city to finally “own up” to its King Records history.  Last week, to my utter delight and

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"Muskeeta"
Zeroto180

King’s “Tequila” Knock-Off

King Records would try to cash-in on the success of “Tequila” by The Champs, as Johnnie Pate‘s 1958 Federal 45 “Muskeeta” would demonstrate: Johnnie Pate’s     “Muskeeta”     1958 Johnnie Pate (b, ldr); Ronald Wilson (fl); Williams Wallace (p); Wilbur Wynne (g); Donald Clark (d). Chicago, March 20, 1958 Cash Box‘s April

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"Tacos and Grits"
Zeroto180

“Tacos & Grits”: Jazz Trombone

Zero to 180 kicks off its musical salute to grits with an obvious winner of an instrumental, “Tacos and Grits” by Al Grey: “Tacos and Grits”     Al Grey     1963 The first featured song in Zero to 180’s music & grits series — launching on the heels of Saturday’s big Max

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When Pelé Tried His Hand at Pop

Thanks to my neighbor Stan, who graciously lent me a documentary, Once in a Lifetime, about the New York Cosmos and the groundbreaking-though-ill-fated North American Soccer League.  While last weekend’s recent record snowstorm raged, I was riveted to the screen, grateful to have power — and incredulous that the most

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Bossa Country -or- Honky Nova?

On my one and only visit to Northampton, Massachusetts (NRBQ’s 35th anniversary show in 2004), I ducked into a second-hand vinyl shop and came away with a K-Tel country collection from 1976:  Country Superstars – 20 Greatest Hits. This collection of early-to-mid 70s hits includes 1976 dieselbilly hit “Roll On

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Rufus Harley’s “Scotch ‘n’ Soul”

Rufus Harley‘s sole 45, “Bagpipe Blues” on Atlantic Records – an original amalgamation of Scottish highland and African-American musical traditions from 1965 – was undoubtedly the first of its kind.  The title track of Harley’s second Atlantic album – “Scotch and Soul” – would find a way to incorporate Afro-Cuban

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Felix & His (Cash-in) Guitar

“Cerveza” by Boots Brown (see previous post about rock/pop’s Latin roots) was only one of the more obvious attempts to cash in on the runaway success of “Tequila” by The Champs in 1958.  “Chili Beans” by Felix & His Guitar also does a great job of appropriating that familiar riff

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“Ticklish Mambo”: Hilarity Ensues

A song title (“Ticklish Ghetto”) from my big tribute to pioneering producer, Sonia Pottinger, inspired me to identify all other popular songs in which “ticklish” is part of the title. “Ticklish Mambo” – surprisingly or not – is one of the few 45 releases with a ticklish title: “Ticklish Mambo”    

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