Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Month: April 2013

Lily Tomlin’s Got the 20th Century Blues

This 45 came into our household as a result of my mom, who worked in the 1970s at a mild-mannered classical music radio station by day that switched over to a hard rock format at the stroke of midnight when it ceased programming for the broadcast day. This late-night rock

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Connect Neil Diamond’s Dots

I am still stunned that I somehow picked up a connect-the-dots album cover secondhand that had not already been filled in by one of the previous owner’s younger family members: Neil Diamond, I have to admit, is pretty easy to find on the Goodwill circuit.  Like many others of my

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Melodica as High Art: “Talkin’ Blues” Dub Style

I confess I am not an Augustus Pablo scholar, but I would bet big money that Pablo’s dub take on Bob Marley‘s “Talkin’ Blues” is among the most inspired recordings in his canon.  I only wish I could determine the source of the original Marley vocal and backing track –

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Ernie Maresca Simply Wants to Live “The Good Life”

I first learned of Ernie Maresca through Chris Barrus’s formidable 209-song collection of songs from the year 1962.  Ernie had a big hit that year with “Shout! Shout! Knock Yourself Out!” and somehow I got the mistaken impression that Ernie was kind of a minor figure in pop music.  But

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“Caravan”: Ferlin Husky’s Band Cuts Loose

Reissue label Razor & Tie did a public service in 1999 when they rescued a wonderful instrumental that had remained unissued for over 30 years – just sitting on a master tape of a 1965 Nashville recording session by country singer, Ferlin Husky.  Very little is known about the musicians

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Sir Christopher Scott: Synthesizer Magician

During the 1970s when progressive rock, pop and soul were at their peak, a number of wizard keyboardists enjoyed superstar status:  Rick Wakeman, Keith Emerson, Stevie Wonder, Jan Hammer, Billy Preston, Jon Lord, Bernie Worrell. And Sir Christopher Scott. I learned this when I picked up Sir Scott’s 1970 Decca

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Glamour Camp: Pop Progeny

The mid-to-late 80s was an interesting time in popular music in that the children of the “classic rock” generation were just starting to come in their own.  Ziggy Marley and Julian Lennon come prominently to mind, both having enjoyed hits with “Tomorrow People” and “Valotte,” respectively. In 1985 my college

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“Western Limited Boogie”: Boogie Woogie Western-Style

Found a hot Texas swing instrumental called “Western Limited Boogie” on a Starday cassette about which little to no information exists.  The front cover indicates this is part of a series called “Best of the Instrumentals,” and the volume that I own is called Texas Style Instruments.  The featured artist

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“South American Getaway”: Sunshine Pop’s Case of the Blahs

This track sounds like a collaboration between Burt Bacharach and Brian Wilson – only it isn’t.  Although it wants to be: Just like The 5th Dimension’s “Dimension 5ive,” this is technically a vocal tune yet one without lyrics.  It also has that sunny Southern California vibe – at first –

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