Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

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Category: Special topics in popular music

"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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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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Civil rights in popular music
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Jamil Nasser: Jazz in Russia

Penny Von Eschen’s Satchmo Blows Up the World — notes Muneer Nasser in 2017’s Upright Bass:  The Musical Life and Legacy of Jamil Nasser (in the chapter entitled ‘Getting the Soviets to Swing’) — “reinforces the myth that [Benny Goodman] introduced jazz to the Soviet Union”: Benny Goodman became the first

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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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"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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"(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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"Hi-Ballin' Daddy"
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Ann Jones & Her “All-Girl” Band

Is it really true, as Country Music Archive asserts, that Ann Jones And Her Western Sweethearts “was probably the first all-girl band in C & W music”?  Bill Sachs, in his “Folk Talent and Tunes” column for Billboard, reported in the November 13, 1960 edition — Ann Jones, King recording

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"The Wobble"
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King Cash-In Surf LP #2

Zero to 180’s sprawling history trawl “Rare & Unreleased King” made passing reference to another surf-ploitation LP issued by King Records – 1963’s Surfin’ on Wave Nine – and even threatened to make that album the focus of a future history piece … whose time has come today. Compared to Look Who’s

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"Joggin' Along"
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King Cash-In Surf LP #1

In the course of sleuthing, I stumbled upon a King surf cash-in compilation from 1964 that, upon closer inspection, revealed a trio of “mystery bands” — The Surf Jumpers, The Wild Kats and The King Surfers — that are mysteriously absent from Ruppli’s otherwise fairly comprehensive 2-volume discography of King

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"The Atomic Telephone"
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“Atomic Telephone”: King 78

King Records Month 2018:  King Turns 75! Folks who do not have enough dough (or shelf space) for Bear Family’s undoubtedly meticulous and wide-ranging box set of popular music from the original Atomic Age, can nevertheless simulate the experience by (1) keyword searching 78 RPM using the word “atomic” (also

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