Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Folk music

Bob Devlin
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Michele (Valeri) & Bob (Devlin)’s Color-Your Own Album Cover

Zero to 180 has been a direct benefactor of Tom Avazian’s unending quest for musical inspiration, a journey that has informed this website in countless ways. When Tom recently handed over a selected set of second-hand musical acquisitions, he knew darn well that I’d be powerless to resist this color-your-own

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Bright Morning Star: Talkin’ Topical Wit & Artist Activism

My children’s violin instructor, Ken Giles, I was delighted to discover, had once been part of a contemporary folk ensemble that, as Stephen Holden of the New York Times noted, embraced “the left-wing populism of Pete Seeger,” as it also incorporated “comedy and theatrical horseplay” into its performances.   Formed in

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Gene Rosenthal & Adelphi Records: Ahead of the Curve

I suspect Gene Rosenthal will roll his eyes at the obviousness and artlessness of this observation, but let history officially note:   In 1966, when Eric Clapton and company were reviving Skip James‘ “I’m So Glad” for Cream’s debut album (which enjoyed worldwide distribution – even Saudi Arabia, unofficially), Rosenthal

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“Streamline Train”: Folk Deco

Interesting to see the original 1936 recording of “Streamline Train” by Red Nelson recast in the UK as a skiffle tune in 1957, as the folk movement began to gain momentum in the US: “Streamline Train”     The Vipers Skiffle Group     1957     check out these striking images of streamline locomotives

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“The Return”: Folk Opus – No Joke*

For their one and only recording on Elektra Records, The Ship would seamlessly link their group’s name with the album’s title and concept:  A Contemporary Folk Music Journey. The provocative quote on the album’s back cover – “I’m a sailor of the waters & the sun —  I can fight

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"Beatle Crazy"
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“Beatle Crazy”: Will Somebody Pass the DDT?

Thanks to the research staff at Ace Records for the great story behind Bill Clifton‘s attempt to cash-in on the initial Beatles hysteria, 1963’s “Beatle Crazy” – probably the only Beatle tribute song done in a talking blues style. Clifton, who was born into a wealthy family in Baltimore County,

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"Tar and Cement"
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“Tar and Cement”: Eco-Soul or Soul-Folk?

In the course of putting together a funk & soul mix, I previewed for consideration the songs on a 1960s Capitol Records compilation album entitled, Super Soul-Dees!  Volume 2: One song in particular seemed to stand apart from the other tracks:  “Tar and Cement” by Verdelle Smith.  Certainly, Capitol’s 1960s

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