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10" 1950s 78 rpm Pop

As cowboy as an Arancini ball

I had always thought of Frankie Laine as a country singer. This was partly because the song of his which I knew best was “High Noon,” the theme song from the film of the same name. If you have not seen High Noon, I seriously recommend it: a cinema masterpiece, moody, tense and strange. Unlike […]

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12" 1970s 33 rpm Comedy Folk LP World music

Tough love

The Beatles throw a long shadow, such that other parts of the rich musical tradition of Liverpool can get a bit lost. Like many other ports and industrial centres, Liverpool drew waves of migrants in search of work. Each community brought their own music, and the result was a melting pot of influences from all […]

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10" 1950s 78 rpm Children's Spoken Word

Birthday Elf unmasked!

One of the annoying things about being a parent is that, for years, Santa gets the credit for the best presents at Christmas. Same with Easter. If you grew up in rural Australia, where rabbits are loathed as a destructive environmental pest, letting the praise for the chocolate eggs go to a magical bunny is […]

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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 […]

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1960s 45 rpm 7" Country

The Deadly Hume

Highway 31 runs between Australia’s two biggest cities, Melbourne and Sydney. The Hume Highway, it is also called, and there is not a lot of love out there for it. It used to be both boring and dangerous, especially on the New South Wales side of the border.  There was even a rock band named […]

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1950s 45 rpm 7" EP Jazz Latin

The Iron Chef deception

There are crushing moments when illusions, fondly nurtured for years, are shattered. Santa Claus isn’t real. No Viking ever had horns on his helmet. Chairman Kaga, the poncy Japanese playboy who used his personal fortune to create Kitchen Stadium and named his men the Iron Chefs, did not exist. Not quite as devastating, because I […]

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10" 33 rpm Classical LP Nineteenth Century

What it says on the tin

In all of music, is there a more romantic instrument than the cello? Rhetorical question. ‘Course not. If you want to hook someone on classical music, take them to see a good cellist play. Or even just play a recording, and you could do worse than this, one of the most demanding cello pieces ever […]