Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Quirky releases & oddball topics

"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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"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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Bob Devlin
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Michele (Valeri) & Bob (Devlin)’s Color-Your Own Album Cover

Zero to 180 has been a direct benefactor of Tom Avazian’s unending quest for musical inspiration, a journey that has informed this website in countless ways. When Tom recently handed over a selected set of second-hand musical acquisitions, he knew darn well that I’d be powerless to resist this color-your-own

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45 sides +/- obscure tracks
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“What Is a [blank]” 45s

Today’s piece is inspired by (i.e., lifted from) a special Top 40 list of 7-inch vinyl compiled by 45Cat contributor, stereotom.  These (literally) defining songs — whose titles all begin with the phrase “What Is a [blank]” — have been organized chronologically and married with streaming audio where possible (click

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60s/70s rock +/- pop
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King 45s That “Bubbled Under”

My ambitiousness got the best of me with the posting of the two-part history piece, “Quirky 45s That Bubbled Under (1959-1976).”  If you go to Zero to 180’s home page now (as of April 2020), you might be frustrated that it takes so goshdarn long to finish loading all the

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45 sides +/- obscure tracks
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Quirky 45s That “Bubbled Under” 1959-1976

It’s almost impossible to fathom now, but at one time in the United States, tiny “indie” labels could actually get their records played on the radio.  This period was a narrow window of time, as predictably (and inevitably), the major labels would consolidate their hold on the marketplace by effectively

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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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"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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Animation in popular nusic
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Bootleg EP – or – Just a Mirage?

It must have been the year before last when I was enjoying a madcap musical romp through Thailand and its wildly imaginative bootleg EP scene — 7-inch picture sleeves using filched images, with four songs often (but not always) by four different artists, produced in renegade fashion without regard for legal

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"Moon Flight"
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Apollo-Themed 45 Releases

When I was in 11th grade, the unthinkable happened:  I received two Fs in the same semester!  One of the Fs was in Physics class, an absolute nightmare.  Thankfully, Paul Guinnessy of the American Institute of Physics has helped me deprogram from this hellish experience, thus empowering this historian-in-training to

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