Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Category: Musical instrument manufacturers

Beau Dollar
Zeroto180

The Dapps at King Records

Note:  Spotify playlist at the end of this piece Music writer/historian, Randy McNutt, in King Records of Cincinnati, points out the irony of “How You Gonna Get Respect (When You Haven’t Cut Your Process Yet)” – a Hank Ballard single “obviously aimed at the R&B market” – being voiced by mostly white

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"Love Me Do"
Zeroto180

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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"Wild Blue Yonder"
Zeroto180

Lloyd Green Stumps for Cincinnati’s 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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"You're With It"
Zeroto180

Pickwick: Dukes of Deception

Pickwick International, those masters of mis-marketing, did whatever was necessary to trick you, potential chump, into buying one of their albums — namely, by dressing up outdated material so as to appear fresh and contemporary through the use of titillating imagery, stylish typography, and razzle-dazzle promotional hype. “Nouveau – A

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"Ice Cream and Suckers"
Zeroto180

Earliest Recording of a Melodica?

July 2020 Update:  Click here for the latest info One of Zero to 180’s earliest pieces (from 2012) concerned itself with documenting the earliest recording of a melodica (i.e., keyboard version of a harmonica), and 1966* seems to be year to beat in this regard, with the composer, Steve Reich,

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"Boppin' to Grandfather's Clock"
Zeroto180

Hardrock Gunter on (indie) Island Records

This recording of Hardrock Gunter‘s mesmerizing voice, with its offbeat hiccup-y rhythms bathed in slapback echo, never fails to enchant: “Boppin’ to Grandfather’s Clock“ Hardrock (“Sidney Jo Lewis”) Gunter (1958) Birmingham, Alabama’s Sidney Louis Gunter, Jr.  would record under two other names:  Buddy Durham (as noted in the previous piece

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"Tunin' Up for the Blues"
Zeroto180

Now I Wanna Mosrite 45 Record

I love the Mosrite ‘guitarslinger’ tradition that links Joe Maphis, Larry Collins, The Ventures, Johnny Ramone, and Kurt Cobain. Zero to 180 recently stumbled upon the fact that Mosrite had a short-lived record label — Mosrite Records – for which Joe & Rose Lee Maphis would record a couple singles,

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"Come Back to Me"
Zeroto180

Psych + Horns = The Gears

Doc Lehman‘s Bangagong! music blog has a poster for a “Festival of Bands” in Columbus, Ohio that took place in 1967 — 34 bands over the course of two evenings, admission just $1: Same Vox as in Vox Guitar-Organ & Vox Phantom guitars? Interesting to note that the first band

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"My Buddy"
Zeroto180

Alvino Rey: Steel Guitarist Bandleader

Thanks to Andy Volk of The Steel Guitar Forum for pointing me to Anne Miller‘s fascinating profile of steel guitarist bandleader Alvino Rey for The Smithsonian in which we learn Rey, as a consultant for Gibson Guitars in the 1930s, helped develop the prototype for the ES-150 (made famous by

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"Shooting Star"
Zeroto180

The Shadows: World’s Tiniest Rockers

Vintage Guitar‘s well-researched history of the Vox musical equipment company contains a particularly delightful side story about “wee” instruments that were designed and manufactured strictly for marionettes!  Peter Stuart Kohman has the scoop: One of the most oddball Vox orders was for a set of miniature equipment for singing puppets, specifically,

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