Zero to 180 – Three Minute Magic

Discoveries of a Pop Music Archaeologist

Tag: RCA Victor Records

"Juanita Jones"
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Juanita Jones — In The Driver’s Seat At ASCAP?

Billboard‘s special October 19, 1968 issue devoted to ‘The World of Country Music‘ includes a 2-page article by Bill Williams – “Ladies in the Driver’s Seat” – that highlights a number of Nashville’s powerful female executives who worked without fanfare behind the scenes within the country music industry. Williams devotes

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"Tennessee Border"
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“Tennessee Border”: Nashville All-Star Band

“Tennessee Border” is a tuneful instrumental from an album, That Happy Nashville Sound, that features some of the finest musicianship that 1960s Nashville had to offer: I’m surprised, however, by how little I can find about this 1967 album on the internet.  Perhaps now is a good time for Bear

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"Sweet Soul Music"
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“Yeah Man”: Musical Thievery

I am riveted with Peter Guralnick’s biographical account – Dream Boogie – of the visionary musical entrepreneur, Sam Cooke, who also happened to be gifted vocalist.   My attention was particularly piqued by Sam’s fraught – and ultimately unsuccessful – attempt to release the song “Yeah Man” as a single. Rare

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"Batman"
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“Sewer Lady”: Musically Unsanitary

Neal Hefti‘s soundtrack to the Batman TV series is top-flight 60s instrumental music — playful and imaginatively-produced.  “Sewer Lady,” from the 1966 album, Batman Theme and 11 Hefti Bat Songs, was inexplicably overlooked by RCA Victor for single release: “Sewer Lady” Neal Hefti (1966) Note the fuzz bass that pushes

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"Legend of the Big Steeple"
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“Legend of the Big Steeple”: Spectacular Spire

Nice tremolo effect on the piano in this bittersweet tale (written by Charles Underwood) about how the good people eventually got their steeple: “Legend Of The Big Steeple“ Porter Wagoner (1960) This 1960 recording, issued on an RCA 45 both in the States and in Australia, was finally gathered up

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"Go Cat Go"
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“Go Cat Go”: Norma Jean Co-opts the Rockabilly Battle Cry

I like how the beleaguered singer of this song ironically subverts the mythic rockabilly refrain “Go Cat Go” into a cry of liberation from her no-good, double-crossing partner: “Go Cat Go“ Norma Jean (1964) Norma Jean’s demand for independence (penned by Harlan Howard) peaked at #8 on Billboard‘s Country chart

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"Me Me Me Me Me"
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“Me, Me, Me, Me, Me”: Honky Tonk Opera

Opera meets Opry in this musically self-centered song that kicks off Liz Anderson’s 1968 RCA album, Like a Merry-Go-Round: “Me Me Me Me Me“ Liz Anderson (1968) “Me, Me, Me, Me, Me” also served as the B-side of Anderson’s “Cry, Cry Again” RCA 45 that was produced by Felton Jarvis.

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"Big Honky Baby"
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“Big Honky Baby”: Ellie Greenwich – We Know It’s You

They sure don’t make song titles like “Big Honky Baby” anymore.  This 1962 release by “Kellie Douglas” was, in actuality, famed Brill Building-era songwriter, Ellie Greenwich, stepping out in front of the microphone with a song penned by long-time partner, Jeff Barry: “Big Honky Baby“ Ellie Greenwich (1962) “Big Honky

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"Kentucky Ridgerunner"
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“Kentucky Ridgerunner”: The High Lonesome Remix

I was half distracted driving through southwestern Ohio when I first heard the title track of Lester Flatt‘s Kentucky Ridgerunner album on a community radio station.  The song definitely caught my ear, however, so I made a point of acquiring this album from 1972 – the first of three that

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"Supersonics in Flight"
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“Supersonics In Flight”: Billy Mure’s Jet-Age Guitar Army

Before The Barclay Stars and their lone 1966 breakthrough album, Billy Mure was the first and last name in military guitar ensembles.  The title track from Billy’s 1959 RCA album, Supersonics in Flight, demonstrates the glorious sound of multiple guitars playing stereophonically in tandem. “Supersonics In Flight“ Billy Mure (1959)

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