Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Musical instruments

Toy piano
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Toy Piano in Pop Recordings

Background Summary Zero to 180’s initial research into the use of toy piano in popular music* first fingered Neil Diamond’s “Shilo” (1968), then Tommy James and the Shondells’ “Out of the Blue” (1967), before discovering more recently that “Lovey Kravezit” (1966) by The Everly Brothers employs the use of a

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"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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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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"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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Milt B’s “Mod Popcorn R&B”

Philip Paul‘s stellar stick work really drives this “killer” instrumental version of “Fever” that features organ (Milt Buckner) and vibes (Gene Redd) — recorded at Cincinnati’s King Studios on March 5, 1963: “Fever”     Milt Buckner     1963 Organ:  Milt Buckner Drums:  Philip Paul Bass:    Bill Willis Vibes:   Gene Redd

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"Untamed World Theme"
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“Untamed World”: Top TV Theme

Unless you were a nature nerd in the late 1960s to mid-1970s, chances are you have never heard Mort Garson‘s mysterious and exotic instrumental theme for the CTV television series, Untamed World. “Untamed World Theme”     Mort Garson     196? Uncanny emulation of steel drums that is/are undergirded by a

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Hearts & Flowers: Country Rock

Back when I did the daily commute to Baltimore and my car radio had better reception, I used to enjoy a great community radio station that shares programming with its owner, WXPN, the Philadelphia radio station known for its “World Cafe” program, and yet operates out of a high school

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"Come Back to Me"
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Streisand’s “Experimental” LP

Just for fun, find a casual fan of Barbra Streisand‘s music, and study her/his reaction closely when you play a fairly obscure track – “Come Back To Me” – for his/her virgin ears: “Come Back to Me”     Barbra Streisand     1973 Believe me, Zero to 180 is just as stunned as

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"I Love Monsters Too"
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Alex Harvey Loves Monsters, Too

Most music fans in the US (and even quite a few in the UK) are unaware that a major 1970s British rock star put out an album on K-Tel (!) during a period of peak popularity – one entitled Alex Harvey Presents the Loch Ness Monster, no less.  There’s a

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Duke Ellington Meets Apollo 11

Eternal debt of gratitude to Larry Appelbaum of WPFW’s Sounds of Surprise program for pointing listeners (including myself) to a fascinating moment in our nation’s history about which not enough seems to have been written. “Moon Maiden”     Duke Ellington Quartet @ ABC in NYC     July 21, 1969 A rather surreal

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