On the $2 bin out used Reed Books, downtown Birmingham. Wayne Newton before the pencil-thin mustache #Snapseed #reedbooks #waynenewton #kitsch #1960s
More of the random goofiness on my office bookshelf. #hula #tiki #kitsch #route66 #stupid #polynesian
I AM IRON CLAM …
If I could go back in time I would learn to play the guitar, get myself a metric truckload of Hawaiian shirts, and form a surf rock band, one that hopefully be as cool as these guys - The Clams. I just heard their cover version of Black Sabbath’s Iron Man, recreated here as Iron Clam, over at the Shrunken Head Lounge podcast.
This may be, in my humble opinion, the greatest cover version of any song in the history of mankind!
Mystery Solved: Trio Los Panchos Explained
A couple of weeks ago I wrote this post about the Latin musical group Trio Los Panchos. I snapped a photo of their albums I saw in a discount rack outside of Reed Books here in downtown Birmingham, and mentioned that I had never heard of this group before. Fortunately, a faithful reader of my blog sent me a note recently with the scoop on this interesting and talented group of musicians. Here’s the 4-1-1.
“Trio Los Panchos were an internationally renowned Latin-American group from the 1940s and 1950s. The founding three members were Alfredo Gil and Chucho Navarro (both from Mexico) and Hernando Aviles from Puerto Rico. All of their songs are in Spanish, but they’re beautiful even if you can’t understand them .
The group is known for its romantic love songs/boleros, vocal harmonies, and requinto (smaller and higher pitched) guitars. They recorded a version of the famous Spanish-language song “Besame Mucho” which is wonderful! Anyways, throughout the years the group underwent several changes in its lineup, most notably the addition of Johnny Albino on lead vocals from 1958 until 1968. Their records from this time are some of their most popular.”
For your listening and viewing pleasure, Trio Los Panchos performing Ensalada De Boleros.
I saw this album cover in the $2 discount bin in front of Reed Books, perhaps the greatest resource for old, pop-culture curiosities located in the heart of downtown Birmingham, Alabama. I don’t know anything about this group or this record, but it sure looks like these gachós are the life of the party. The photo cover should serve as a motto for every man with sights on being suave and debonair: When in doubt, you can’t go wrong with a white tuxedo and a black tie.
I’m dying to hear what this sounds like, but, since I got rid of my record player soon after getting my first Ipod, I’m out of luck. Send me a note if you have any mp3s of these guys or if you’re at all familiar with this group. I’d like to know who they were and to be able to tell a little about their history in a future post.
Dinner With Drac
Blah, ah, ahhhhhh!
The good folks at Mental Floss magazine recently ran a great piece on their website recently called Schlock Jocks: TV’s Coolest Horror Hosts. Since we’re close to Halloween, I thought I’d spend a few days posting a little about some of the groovy and spooky cats and kittens who made late-night, B-movie television worth watching.
First up is John Zacherley, aka Roland the Cool Ghoul, who hosted Shock Theater on Philadelphia television for years as well as Chiller Theater later on in the Big Apple. Here is what writer Bill DeMain said about the northeast’s favorite horror host.
(Zacherely) looked like a cadaverous undertaker and punctuated his cultured musings with a deep, rolling laugh. Zacherley often let the soundtrack of a film continue, while he cut to scenes of himself doing silly things like operating on a giant slimy blob or riding a tombstone. Zacherley was so popular that he even made the music charts with 1958’s novelty song “Dinner With Drac.”
For your listening pleasure, I’ve uploaded “Dinner With Drac,” one of the funniest and grooviest novelty songs of the era. My favorite line in the song goes like this:
The waitress a vampire named Perkins
Was so very fond of small gherkins
While serving tea
She ate 43
Which pickled her internal workings!
Happy Halloween everyone!
Art In The Woods
Check out my newest piece in the October issue of Birmingham Magazine on the tree carvings a neat little park in the college town of Montevallo. This section of Orr Park is known for several dozen tree carvings by Terry Tingle, a rather interesting and eccentric local folk artist who also moonlights as a coal miner.
Tingle is also an author and a world-traveler, but most people in the tight-nit communities south of Birmingham know him as an incredible wood worker. Over the last 20 years, Tingle has carved dozens of faces, woodland creatures, and even a dragon into the dead cedar trees throughout the park. If you’re ever in the Birmingham area - Shelby County in particular - be sure to spend some time in Tinglewood.
This Post Is A Little Bit Corny
I couldn’t help myself. I was walking to lunch here in downtown Birmingham and passed by Reed Books, a neat shop on 3rd Avenue North that specializes in hard-to-find books and magazines, as well as other great pop culture artifacts. Each day the owner, Jim Reed, puts a stack of old records on a rack to sell for $2. Today, this thing caught my eye and I had to snap a photo: Jimmy Osmond’s 1975 album Little Arrows.
If you don’t remember who Jimmy Osmond is, he’s the youngest of America’s most wholesome family of entertainers that gave us Donny and Marie, who, believe it or not, released a new album earlier this year.
Kind of a fun find on a Friday afternoon while roaming the city. I promise, this will be the first and last Osmonds-related post.
Have a ‘little bit country, little bit rock and roll’ weekend.