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10" 1950s 78 rpm Pop Single

Hardrock and Coco and Joe

Gene Autry, the first of the great singin’ cowboys of American popular culture, was also a dab hand at a Christmas tune. His biggest ever success was one: “Here Comes Santa Claus”. This is another, now pretty much forgotten, but a huge hit in its day. Released in 1951, “Thirty-two Feet – Eight Little Tails” […]

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1970s 45 rpm 7" Pop Single

Reckless driving

Boy bands are the mayflies of pop music. More even than most in an ephemeral industry, time’s swift chariot presses close behind. Today, the object of the passionate love of a million teenage girls; tomorrow, the subject of universal derision. Sometimes, a lad of strong character gets through it all, reinvents himself. Paul Anka, George […]

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1980s 45 rpm 7" Pop Single

Vaguely about the end of a relationship

The lecturer held up an LP cover. It was Supertramp’s 1975 album, Crisis? What crisis?. The sleeve pictures a man reclining with a drink under a beach umbrella, but instead of a beach he is set against a bleak factoryscape, a nightmare of grey industry spewing pollution. What, the lecturer wondered, does this mean, exactly? […]

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1970s 45 rpm 7" Pop R&B Single Soul

You can honk your own horn!

Guest post by “Green Strobe” “Excuse Me” is the final track on Alison MacCallum’s album of the same name, which turned out to be her last. A powerfully-voiced Australian blues/rock/soul singer, she released a couple of well-regarded albums, but is best remembered nowadays as the vocalist of the successful “It’s Time” jingle which emotively helped […]

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10" 1930s 78 rpm Pop

Our Glad

She was HUGE. Her first name all you needed. That was her, the famous singer, the Australian girl who had gone to England and become a star. It was the 1930s, when Australia was self-consciously claiming its place in the world. We loved an international champion. There was our great aviator, Charles Kingsford-Smith; our great […]

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1980s 45 rpm 7" Pop World music

Eclectic is the essence

There is a lot of hostility to migrants and movement just now. Sometimes it is cloaked beneath talk of security. Increasingly it is rank bigotry. In the struggle against aggressive nativism, I offer … Sandii and the Sunsetz. Yes, really. Sandra O’Neale was the child of a Japanese mother and an American father, a Navy […]

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1980s 45 rpm 7" Pop

Quarter flash and three-parts foolish

It was 1981, and I was in my first year at high school. I remember vividly the daunting, huge school, a strange zoo of architectural styles. Old red-brick from before the First World War, the 1960s science block with leaky taps, a 1970s concrete brick library, and lots of lime-green portable classrooms. All the buildings […]

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12" 1970s 33 rpm LP Pop

A homogeneous plastic mass

When I was growing up, there was a thing called “Kraft Cheddar Cheese”. This revolting, yellow foodstuff was nothing remotely like cheddar. In fact, it did not have much to do with cheese, either. As kids, we called it “plastic cheese”, and we were actually close to the mark. The origins of Kraft Cheddar lie […]

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1970s 45 rpm 7" Pop Single

‘Obscure English singer-songwriter’

It says in the Bible: I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all. That […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" Pop Soul

Pacific Rim

Allegations are flying that Planet Vinyl has sold out. A puerile head of state, who shall remain nameless, has Tweeted: “So-called ‘obscure’ music blog writes about ROLLING STONES in failed attempt to boost LOSER ratings. Sad.” Well, Sir, normal service has been resumed. I had never heard of Rim D. Paul, but one of his […]