Author: Rudy

Like, nutty! Shorty Rogers Swingin’ Nutcracker

While known for his classic work with his Giants, Shorty Rogers also wrote numerous arrangements for A&M over the years, including collaborating on A&M’s obscure second LP by George McCurn.  On RCA, Rogers and his outfit recorded many great big band and small combo albums.  This “like, nutty” version of The Nutcracker is an album-long jazz treatment of Tchaikovsky’s original. We featured this last year, but good things bear repeating! We have compiled a playlist of all of the album’s tracks.  Apologies for the poor sound quality from the knock-off label that uploaded it. If you don’t have time for the entire album, at least catch the first track, the “Like Nutty Overture.”

Carpenters “Flu Ride”…or “Sleigh Ride”?

Poking fun at holiday classics was always a lot of fun for DJ and award-winning radio host Bob Rivers. Not only do his parodies twist the lyrics into something new and hilarious, the musical and vocal details often mimic the originals quite faithfully. This is very apparent on his remake of the Carpenters version of “Sleigh Ride,” entitled “Flu Ride.”  His other parodies cover artists as diverse as Nat King Cole (“Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire”) and Black Sabbath (“I Am Santa Claus,” set to the melody of “Iron Man”).  Check out “Flu Ride” below, with the original Carpenters version just past the break. Enjoy!


Klark Kent: “Yo Ho Ho”

As the original EP liner notes hinted, nobody but Stewart Copeland (of The Police) might know who Klark Kent is.  To kick off our holiday-themed posts for the year, we offer his unique twist on Christmas with the tune “Yo Ho Ho.”  Klark Kent appeared on the I.R.S. Records label, headed by his brother Miles, back when they were distributed by A&M.  This track appears on the I.R.S. compilation Just In Time For Christmas.  So while you might not be “ritch in a ditch” for the holidays, at least Stewart Klark spreads a little holiday cheer to make all of the grandelinquents feel just a little bit better.

Great news! UMe offers replacements for defective Carpenters LPs

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We have some excellent news to share with those who were disappointed with the quality of the pressings in the recently released Carpenters LPs.

Customers who received defective LPs, either individually or in the box set, may contact UMe directly for a replacement!  Please have your proof of purchase handy.  Send your proof of purchase to [email protected] along with your message.  UMe prefers email, but those who prefer phone contact may call Customer Support at 1-800-288-5942.

We are very pleased that UMe is handling this directly, and want to thank them publicly for the feedback.

Verdict on Carpenters Vinyl Collection: Buyer Beware

The Vinyl Collection [12 LP]

Carpenters fans were pleased to see the new 12-LP Vinyl Collection being released, with all of the albums being newly remastered and pressed on 180 gram vinyl, packaged in a collectible case and complete with original album jacket and record label artwork.

Initial reports, however, point to something different.

Forum members have spoken out, and reviews at retailers are starting to appear.

Put briefly, the set has numerous quality issues.  A few have had good luck with theirs, yet others have reported on issues with dirty vinyl, sharp edges on the records with excess flashing, tight spindle holes, and a couple off-center pressings.  We realize pressing plants are not a clean room environment, but new records also should not need a few cleanings on a record vacuum just to make them playable.

We are not making a complete judgment call at this time, but for now, we advise caution in purchasing this set.  Carefully read through our forum thread to see what our members have to say.  Check reviews on Amazon and elsewhere.

We are hopeful the situation is rectified by UMe.  Until then, purchase the Vinyl Collection at your own risk, and make certain your retailer has a good return policy for defective product.  If the situation changes, or doesn’t, we will update with a new post.

Pete Turner R.I.P.

We are sad to report the Sept. 18th passing of one of the pioneering color photographers of our time:  Pete Turner (83).  His photography graced many album covers, including the series of his work used on the A&M/CTi jazz album covers.  Winner of numerous awards and featured in many galleries, Turner also made an impact on the advertising industry with many of his photos.  The book Colors of Jazz compile many of his photographs which were used on album covers.  Read our thread in the forum for our remembrances.