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12" 1960s Country LP Pop

Honey and lemon

Like samizdat pamphlets, there is a certain aesthetic to the shabby pirated records which used to be pressed in parts of the world where copyright law was cheerfully ignored. Such an operation was Chung Sheng (中聲), a Taiwanese label which used to sell cheap knock-offs of mainstream releases to US servicemen based there. Whatever the […]

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12" 1950s 1960s LP

Long candle?

Someone in France has just paid me five Australian dollars for a Jerry Lee Lewis compilation LP issued 51 years ago. What makes it more impressive is that the postage was another $22.00. It doesn’t seem as much in euros, maybe. But it does show a love for the music of this feral cat of […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" Pop R&B

Cousin Ernest does the Twist

Fun fact. Chubby Checker’s real name was Ernest Evans. No relation, so far as I know. He was black and born in Philadelphia. I am white, and was born in Melbourne (Australia, not Florida). Mind you, I am infamous for loving dreadful puns, and “Chubby Checker” was a dreadful pun on the name of another […]

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12" 1960s Folk LP

The wheel turns

“Majella has a very bright future” declares the sleeve note on this LP. There are lots of quotes from the papers, too. “Majella will be a recording star of international fame,” says one. “Majella Brady is currently tipped to be Ireland’s top pop export for many years,” opines another. On it goes: “A new star […]

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1960s 7" Choral Singing Folk Soundtracks

Going to movies alone

I saw the film An Angel at My Table at a difficult time in my life. I was very young, and working as a journalist on a daily paper. It was a stressful and high pressure job with a boozy workplace culture. The killer was the shiftwork. You could be rostered to start work at […]

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1960s 33 rpm 7" Classical EP Nineteenth Century

Dissolve into it

I mused a little while ago about how the Soviet Union, as oppressive and bureaucratic a society as ever shot a dissident, managed to produce great art. Pianist Sviatoslav Richter (no relation to the earthquake guy) personifies the paradox. Born just before the Bolshevik Revolution, Richter’s father was German by origin. During the Second World […]

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12" 1960s 33 rpm Classical LP Soundtracks

A flower on the cliff’s edge

A few years ago, my eldest daughter came down with chicken pox. I was primary carer at the time, and so needed to come up with creative ways to entertain and distract a bright and precocious child who itched all over and couldn’t play with other kids. So, we took up stamp collecting. I bought […]

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1960s 33 rpm Country LP Soundtracks

A western, and sad

We did not have a television at home when I was a boy. This was the 1970s, when TVs had become pretty much universal in Australia, but my Mum and Dad did not approve of this trend. Although I didn’t like it at the time I am grateful for their non-conformity now. Much of my […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" Folk Nineteenth Century

What matters is the jam

Folk music is my first love. Like a lot of first loves, we have had our ups and downs. Folk music, you see, has a scene, and with a scene comes purists. Tedious people. I was at the more liberal and inclusive end of earnest debates about what could or should be labelled “folk music”, […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" EP Pop

Stick with Spanish

It is up there with the shower scene in Psycho. It is dawn. The sun is rising over an ornate mansion in Hollywood, the home of a famous film director. We see him sleeping in gold satin sheets. He wakes, and notices something … wet? He reaches under the covers, and withdraws his hand. It […]