Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Month: January 2013

"Second Fiddle"
Zeroto180

1973: The Year Pop Reggae Broke

You can count on one hand the number of times that reggae singles by Jamaican artists have cracked the Top 40 here in the States:  “Israelites” by Desmond Dekker in 1969 (#9) and  “Double Barrel” by Dave Barker and Ansel Collins in 1971 (#22).  Two times [*actually, three – see

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Hank Thompson: Western Swing’s Dean of Diction

In my prior post about the Nashville Chowdown LP, I mentioned that back in the early 70s jazz singer Blossom Dearie‘s  “exceptional annunciation” was being put to good use in the singing rice-ipe radio ads.  If Blossom Dearie had a male counterpart, that person would undoubtedly be Hank Thompson, whose

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Ralph Emery Messes with Joe Stampley’s Head

Normally, I have no patience for vinyl records that are divorced from their album jackets, but I once took a chance on three loose LPs – a transcription of a syndicated radio show from 1977 – and was richly rewarded.  But only because I spent my first 28 years in

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Maryla Rodowicz: Hippy Dippy Pop from Poland

Debated whether to buy this album for a buck, since I know next to nothing about Polish pop music, but ultimately I was swayed by the clothing and hairstyles, which needed no translation: Would you be stunned to learn that this album was released in 1969?  There are some surprisingly

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Dave & Sugar: They Love to Be Loved by You

Picked up this 1977 album on RCA primarily due to the act’s name – Dave & Sugar – as well as groovy threads: I only invested a dollar, so my heart wasn’t crushed when I skimmed through the tracks on side one and just wasn’t feeling it.  However, side two

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"Tar and Cement"
Zeroto180

“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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“Dimension 5ive”: Sunshine Pop’s Progressive Peak?

There’s something special about the song, “Dimension 5ive” by The 5th Dimension.     Lush vocals from start to finish – and yet it’s technically not a “vocal” tune, as there are no lyrics.  Yet, neither is it an instrumental. This song is the closing track on the 5th Dimension’s 1970 album,

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Roy Orbison (is) The Fastest Guitar Alive

For a modest sum, I picked up this Roy Orbison soundtrack for the 1967 motion picture – Fastest Guitar Alive – and was surprised by the quality of songs from start to finish: All ten songs on the album are Roy Orbison originals – seven written specifically for the film

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Joe Pass: Unlikely Mid-60s Stones Fan

If you search the web for information about a 1967 album on the World Pacific label by jazz guitar great, Joe Pass – The Stones Jazz – you will generally see uniform agreement that this album was recorded on July 20, 1966.  I love that:  one day to record an

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Nashville Chowdown: Rice’s Great Image Makeover

I cannot imagine why anyone would let this album go, but someone obviously did, and five dollars later, we became family: The album’s subtitle is a bit of a hoot:  “country & western supper music and singing rice-ipes” (as in recipes for rice).  Would you be surprised to learn that

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