Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Brazilian +/- bossa nova

"Ocean Liner (Bossa Nova)"
Zeroto180

Calvin Shields — Musical Pioneer

Hard to believe it was only 20 years or so ago I was having cheese coneys with The Cincinnati Enquirer‘s preeminent music writer Larry Nager and asking what it would take for the city to finally “own up” to its King Records history.  Last week, to my utter delight and

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When Pelé Tried His Hand at Pop

Thanks to my neighbor Stan, who graciously lent me a documentary, Once in a Lifetime, about the New York Cosmos and the groundbreaking-though-ill-fated North American Soccer League.  While last weekend’s recent record snowstorm raged, I was riveted to the screen, grateful to have power — and incredulous that the most

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Bossa Country -or- Honky Nova?

On my one and only visit to Northampton, Massachusetts (NRBQ’s 35th anniversary show in 2004), I ducked into a second-hand vinyl shop and came away with a K-Tel country collection from 1976:  Country Superstars – 20 Greatest Hits. This collection of early-to-mid 70s hits includes 1976 dieselbilly hit “Roll On

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Tribute to MLK: Eerily Prescient

Wilson Simonal‘s tribute to Martin Luther King, Jr., a single that was released – eerily enough – the year before his assassination: “Tributo a Martin Luther King”     Wilson Simonal de Castro     1967 “Tributo a Martin Luther King” was the A-side of a single released in 1967 – around the same

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“Baia”: Carol Kaye as Bandleader

One weekend in late March 2009 I was listening to Bob Edwards‘ radio show while on my way to an event and had to pull over to finish listening to the rest of his interview with legendary session bassist, Carol Kaye – who is estimated to have played on more

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“Sky and Sea”: 5D’s Jazz Vocal Instrumental II

Two years following sunshine pop’s progressive peak, The 5th Dimension would once again explore wordless vocal jazz – “Sky and Sea” from 1972’s Individually and Collectively, their fourth album for Bell: “Sky and Sea”      The 5th Dimension     1972 This song – arranged by Bob Alcivar (no surprise)

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"Meu Piao"
Zeroto180

“Meu Piao”: Disco Nova

In the late 1990s I took a chance on a CD at Marshall’s (from the cheap-o bins they use to keep near the register) by Astrud Gilberto — the 1960s singer who helped popularize bossa nova.  The title of the disc, Gold, was not only misleading but annoying, since these

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Mason Williams: Music + Comedy + Art

From David Bianculli’s history of the Smothers Brothers’ groundbreaking television variety show, I discovered that Mason Williams was much more than the guy who wrote the million-selling instrumental, “Classical Gas.”   Williams not only recorded albums for Warner Brothers (and Mercury & Vee Jay) but also wrote incisive and edgy sketches for

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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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