Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Vivian Cherry - Singer/Songwriter

If you search for the name Vivian Cherry, you get a lot of hits. If you eliminate those connected to a photographer by that name, you still get a lot of hits. Literally: she has been in hit movies (Everyone Says I Love You), sung on popular commercials (Have a Coke and a Smile) and on a variety of records, particularly jazz albums.

What she hasn't had - as far as I can tell - is much success as a solo singer under her own name, or with her own material. But within my catacombs I came across two five inch reels containing a total of eleven songs which she sings, and, according to one of the boxes, wrote.

These are not particularly in a style that I appreciate much, but it's an interesting listen, she clearly has an abundance of talent, and there's no reason except for luck and the right people behind her that would have kept Vivian Cherry from being as successful as any number of singers who did make it to the charts in the '70's and '80's (my guess is that these are from the '70's, although the studio identified on the boxes was open until 1985).

Here are the two reels, heard without edit as they played on my machine. I have not edited the individual songs, the titles of which can be seen above and below.

Download: Vivian Cherry: One Set of Songs

Download: Vivian Cherry: Another Set of Songs

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Billy and Bobby Meet Stereo Recording


Before I get to this week's recording, I wanted to say thanks to two frequent posters.

First, thanks to Timmy, who not only sends frequent comments my way, but who also sent me more information about station WCOL, whose top hits of 1968 I shared last week. These included a link to a bit of station history, AND a copy of the actual top hits of 1968 handout sheet. Both can now be found in the updated post from last week, here.

Second to recent frequent poster Muff, who has left wonderful comments on several of my recent posts. I really appreciate the feedback and the good words. That goes for everyone, of course, and keep them coming, but this person has commented on just about everything I've uploaded over the past six weeks or more!

And now, on with the countdown:


I thought I'd do something special for the first posting of the year. Well, I'll let you decide how special it is, but it's special to me.

This is a recording of my brother Bill and me, very shortly after our family got our first stereo tape recorder, an event which took place in the early fall of 1966. As children, Bill and I shared a room, and we were unusually close (I think) for brothers who were (almost exactly) six years apart, and we made hours and hours of tapes together, among many other games and other fun.

In this recording, he is twelve and I am six, we're each going to have our own recording channel - probably for the first time trying out the stereo effects - and we're going to sing a few little songs for posterity.

The first one takes some explaining. It's actually the song "I Ain't Down Yet", which is from a  Broadway show, but we didn't know that - we knew it as "Bup Bup Bup Bup", because the version we learned was from a record produced as a tie-in to a local Chicago children's show of the early '60's, "Here's Geraldine". On that record, no words are sung, instead, "Bup" and "Bah" are the primary sounds used, until the last verse, which is performed on kazoos. If you want to hear what we're trying to recreate, you can here it here. Basically, we do the second and last verses from that record, here. I think the fact that I could sing as part of a duet using counterpoint, at barely six years old, is fairly impressive.

The rest of the tape is more self-explanatory. After a few minutes of weirdness, we take a brief tour of two Beatles' hits from 1965, with Bill singing funny, trying to make me laugh, for much of that segment. Then the tape ends with "I've Been Working on the Railroad", featuring a few side from Bill about my singing. A brief ending song follows, and the tape is done.

I hope you find this to be enjoyable few minutes of tape.

Download: Bill and Bobby - A Few Songs in 1966