Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Featured songs

"Bagpipes That's My Bag"
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Musical Impersonations (on Wax)

Merle Haggard‘s tough-as-nails image, at times, belied his comic gifts, particularly his superb abilities as a mimic, represented here on this clip from The Glen Campbell Goodtime Hour TV show, possibly from 1969: Merle Haggard impersonates Marty Robbins, Hank Snow, Buck Owens & Johnny Cash Enough people have noticed that

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"Silk 'n Honey"
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Honey Ltd.’s Big Promo Push

Produced by Lee Hazlewood but arranged and conducted by Ian Freebairn Smith, “Silk ‘n’ Honey” — side one closing track of Honey Ltd.‘s sole album — is a great piece of pop music: “Silk ‘n’ Honey”     Honey Ltd.     1969 Much appreciation to self-titled mag* [*link from 2013 no longer active]

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"Blues Stay Away From Me"
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“Countrypolitan” – 1st Sightings

Paul Hemphill‘s The Nashville Sound: Bright Lights and Country Music — published in 1970 during a particularly vibrant musical era — includes this passage about the pushback against attempts to de-emphasize country’s less “polished” elements in order to increase the music’s appeal in the (more lucrative) “pop” marketplace: It isn’t

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"Midnight Cowboy"
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“Midnight Cowboy” — Sleep Aid

Today Zero to 180 turns eight. Several months ago, I received a surprise phone call from writer, Steve Rosen, who informed me that he was putting together a feature article for Cincinnati Magazine that uses my “Cincinnati in Song” piece as a launching point.. Furthermore, for this piece, I was

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"Vampire's Ball"
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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

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"Love Me Do"
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Earliest Melodica Recording ’64

A Postcard From Canton [Massachusetts] celebrates the accomplishments of one of the town’s most “esteemed citizens” — and industrious tinkerers: [James Amireaux] Bazin came to examine a simple free-reed instrument when he was 23 years old.  A group of men brought him a broken pitch pipe and asked him to

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"Horns of Paradise"
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Trans-National Musical Exchange

Musical fight!   Compare the opening sequence of these two songs, and note how the second one (from 1972) closely mirrors the first one released the year before: “Music for Gong Gong” [1971]  – vs. – “Horns of Paradise” [1972] “Music for Gong Gong” was selected as the A-side of the

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"Mrs. Fletcher"
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“Mrs. Fletcher”: New TV Theme?

Zero to 180 turns seven today, which means another opportunity to muddy the waters with the musical equivalent of home movies — it’s okay if you want to sit this one out. Last December 12th’s dubious dub-inspired “Mrs. Fletcher” (you might recall) was a late-year release that got buried in

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"The Skip"
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Goldie & the Gingerbreads B-Side

One trivia bit from The Rolling Stone Rock Almanac that didn’t make it into Zero to 180’s big Summer Beach Read: April 30, 1965:  The Kinks begin their first headlining UK tour, with The Yardbirds and Goldie and the Gingerbreads providing support. I have always been curious about the ‘all-girl’ beat group with such

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"Hip Cat's Weddin'"
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Grandpa Jones & His Swingin’ Grandchildren’s Sole 45

Grandpa Jones‘ toe-tappin’ countrypolitan “Hip Cat’s Weddin’” is one of Zero to 180’s recent discoveries: “Hip Cat’s Weddin’”    Grandpa Jones & His Swingin’ Grandchildren     Rec. Nov, 1960 Too little has been written about Boudleaux Bryant‘s clever composition and its fetching arrangement — virtually nothing, in fact.  “I Don’t Love

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