Attention Goodwill Shoppers

Fifty percent off virtually everything in the West Haven Goodwill Store on New Year’s Day. Think they said the sale applies to everything except new stuff (this is one of the Goodwills that also sells dollar-store type things like gloves and socks) and mattresses. (And who wants half off a mattress? Wouldn’t that make sleeping difficult?)

I draw your attention particularly to the two big boxes of comic books near the check-out registers. They were going for a dime apiece on a non-sale day, which means a mere nickel on Saturday. They clearly all spring from the same ‘80s/’90s collection, since there are multiple issues from just a handful of key titles: Fantastic Four, Conan the Barbarian, Doctor Strange and a few other second-tier Marvels; the only real contender from another publisher is Mike Grell’s magnum opus for DC Comics, Warlord, well-represented here with several years worth of loinclothed Skartarisian swashbuckling. (Warlord ran from 1976 to 1989 and has recently been revived by DC with a new warlord.)

Probably should’ve waited a day for the sale, but couldn’t. Here’s the stack of vinyl records I walked out with Friday afternoon for a combined tariff of five bucks, Lps which I’ll convert to mp3s forthwith via a USB turntable:

The Hudson Brothers, Hollywood Situation, a testament to the shortlived TV variety show by Bill, Mark and Brett Hudson, best known now respectively as Kate Hudson’s dad, Ringo Starr’s producer/sideman in the ‘90s, and the other Hudson brother. Priceless due to one superb Beatlesque track, “So You Are a Star.”

The Mancini Touch, with composer Henry Mancini on the cover dangling a couple of well-dressed young dancers as if they were marionettes. The album is mostly covers of jazz non-standards including Illinois Jacquet’s “Robbin’s Nest” and Trummy Young & Jimmy Mundy’s present to Billie Holiday, “Trav’lin’ Light.” There are four Mancini originals—“A Cool Shade of Blue,” “Politely,” “Let’s Walk” and “Mostly for Lovers,” all making their debuts, plus the established Mancini track “Free and Easy” from the film Rock Pretty Baby. The Mancini Touch was recorded in late 1959, placing it neatly between his successes with The Peter Gunn Theme in 1958 and The Pink Panther Theme in 1963.

• Music from the Golden Age of Silent Movies played by Gaylord Carter at the Mighty Wurlitzer Theater Organ. Pretty self-explanatory, though it would be hard to match exact scenes from the silent-movie titles emblazoned on the album cover to these shortened themes and melodies from the films’ involved scroes. Happily, only a couple of the selections come from D.W. Griffith films (which usually tend to crowd out other dramas scorewise); there’s some James Cruze and Erich von Stroheim love here too. Unhappily, comedy films are barely represented; the liner notes acknowledge that a motif from the Keystone Kops which is titled “The Big Chase” here was also used for such somber if fast-paced fare as the climactic Klansman ride in Birth of a Nation and the cowboy antics of William S. Hart.

• Dionne Warwick On Stage and In the Movies. A title not to be taken literally. These are striking LP-only ‘60s-fied covers of showtunes. In fact, the “movies” angle is meaningless, since all the songs except The Gershwins’ “The Way You Look Tonight” are from stage shows. The stand-out to me, even among such unorthodox choices as “Baubles, Bangles and Beads” (from Kismet) and “I Believe in You” (from How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying) is “My Ship,” from Kurt Weill & Ira Gershwin’s Lady in the Dark.

• Gaslight Memories—The Happy Music of the Gay Nineties, one of the multi-LP Readers’ Digest sets so prominent at thrift stores. It’ll help me get a handle on the melodies to songs I’ve heard about all my life but have never really heard. I’m sure that when I actually hear someone singing “Wait Till the Sun Shines, Nelly,” which I know only as a cliché from the Pogo comic strip, I’ll probably faint from the shock.