Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Instrumentals

Columbia/Epic
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Curly Chalker’s Dutch-Only 45: Party Game for Steel Fanatics

Zero to 180’s summertime celebration breezes right along with this parlor game for music nerds: First, launch a new web browser and point it at 45Cat — www.45cat.com(go ahead, I’ll wait) Next, type the name of ace steel guitarist, Curly Chalker, in the search window(and press Enter) Curly Chalker  (c.

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Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys
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Gary Burton’s Tennessee Firebird

Jimmy Colvard was a teen in 1963 when he played those distinctive snapping and popping guitar sounds that helped make “Six Days on the Road” a runaway hit for Dave Dudley.  I have since learned that Colvard played guitar on a number of albums in the 1960s and 70s by

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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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"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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"Spooky"
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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

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"Wild Blue Yonder"
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Lloyd Green Stumps for Baldwin

Check out the Clavinet-like sounds coming from Jerry Whitehurst‘s electric harpsichord on “Wild Blue Yonder,” side one’s closing track from Lloyd Green‘s third solo LP Day of Decision, an album that was recorded (like Stones Jazz) in one day — in this case, on June 18, 1966 at RCA Studios in Nashville: “Wild

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"Pengosekan"
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The “Monkey Chant” in Pop

[Note:  Piece updated on February 15, 2019 – see special coda at the tail end] Zero to 180 is intrigued to discover that today’s featured song is the sole composition attributed to Vic Coppersmith-Heaven [whose impressive audio engineering CV includes Cat Stevens, The Rolling Stones, Billy Preston, and even Stanley Kubrick] on Discogs.  This

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"Mrs. Fletcher"
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“Mrs. Fletcher”: Pop Dub II

For the sixth year in a row – on its December 12th anniversary date – Zero to 180 has once again made the dubious and (it needs to be said) rather contemptible decision to post one of its own homemade recordings, under the laughable supposition that the “composition” in question is somehow deserving of

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"(Baby You Can) Scratch My Egg"
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Rusty York’s Cincinnati Indie

Billboard, in their January 8, 1972 edition, reported this quirky news item in the Cincinnati division of their “From the Music Capitals Around the World” column: “Rusty York, who heads up the Jewel Recording Studio[s] here, learned last week that the new ‘Smash-Up Derby’ commercial [for Cincinnati-based Kenner Products], which he

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