Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin

Category: Halloween & horror

"Vampire's Ball"
Zeroto180

King’s Answer to “Monster Mash”

“After making the label an important artistic nest for major jazz artists like Nina Simone, Carmen McRae, Chris Connor and Mel Tormé,” notes Discogs in a summary overview of Bethlehem Records, its founder Gustav Wildi, in 1958, “gave the major label King Records half ownership as payment for distribution, and

Read More »

George Barnes’ Halloween Guitar

George Barnes recorded a boss guitar instrumental – “Spooky” – that should be part of everyone’s Halloween soundtrack: “Spooky”     George Barnes     1962 Billboard conferred three stars (“moderate sales potential) upon this B-side, as well as its A-side “Trainsville,” in their June 23, 1962 edition.  Exactly fifty years later, in 2012, someone would pay $126

Read More »

Merle Kilgore on Starday-King

Former Starday recording artist Merle Kilgore would have an unsuccessful stint at Columbia/Epic in the mid-1960s before rejoining the fold at the newly-expanded Starday-King (the King label having consolidated with Starday upon the death of its founder/owner Syd Nathan in 1968).  Starday historian emeritus Nathan D. Gibson would interview Kilgore for 2011’s

Read More »
"Santa Claus Hides in Your Phonograph"
Zeroto180

Santa’s in the Victrola: Spooky

The male heir to the Zero to 180 fortune insisted that his father write a history piece centered around a nearly 100-year-old Christmas song that, for today’s generation, inspires apprehension and consternation — but was that the intent of Arthur A. Penn, the songwriter responsible for “Santa Claus Hides in

Read More »
"I Love Monsters Too"
Zeroto180

Alex Harvey Loves Monsters, Too

Most music fans in the US (and even quite a few in the UK) are unaware that a major 1970s British rock star put out an album on K-Tel (!) during a period of peak popularity – one entitled Alex Harvey Presents the Loch Ness Monster, no less.  There’s a

Read More »
"Frankenstein's Party"
Zeroto180

“Frankenstein’s Party” Turns 60

Five years before “The Monster Mash,” King Records would peddle their own piece of Halloween pop in 1957, with the only release ever by The Swinging Phillies on DeLuxe — “Frankenstein’s Party” (backed with “L–O–V–E“): “Frankenstein’s Party”     The Swinging Phillies     1957 Thanks to the unnamed Discogs contributor who posted this

Read More »

The Dead: In the Twilight Zone

For those keeping count, today’s piece is (gulp) the 666th posted since Zero to 180 began December 12, 2012.  What better way to face down this (meaningless) milestone by paying tribute to a classic television series – and also a musical ensemble – that bravely broke the bounds of conformist

Read More »

Buddy Knox’s Bigfoot Song

How can you not love Muddy Waters for his brilliant observation, “The blues had a baby, and they called it rock ‘n’ roll”?  And thank you, Jerry Wexler, for coining the term “rhythm & blues” as an alternative to the more 19th-century-sounding “race music.” The Grand Ol’ Opry would famously

Read More »

“Phantom Lover”: Halloween Hit?

This song sounds to me like an obvious – and instantaneous – hit: “Phantom Lover”     Marv Lockard     1967 And yet so little information exists about this classic 1967 mix (arranged and produced by Ray Allen) from Shad O’Shea‘s Counterpart Records, with its deep bass grooves and warm reverb. Three years

Read More »

World’s 1st Dead Heads: Germany?

How freaky that the Grateful Dead’s played their first show on December 4, 1965 (billed as The Dead, not The Warlocks)  — and then the very next year, a group of young German musicians would form a band called The Dead-Heads: “Stupid-Baby”     The Dead-Heads     1966 This seven-inch is almost certainly

Read More »
All Categories
Archives