I’ve brought a turntable into the main house from the garage. The garage is where I keep the bulk of my books, CDs and LPs, but I haven’t been enjoying them there because of the winter weather.
I had to make a careful selection of records to keep in the house—not too many, but a solid variety. I settled on these:
The Best of Johnny Kidd & The Pirates. The outstanding British rendition of “Shakin’ All Over.”
The Pachelbel Canon and Other Baroque Favorites, Jean-Francois Paillard Chamber Orchestra and Others.
Schoenberg, Transfigured Night (New York Philharmonic).
Domenico Scarlatti, Sonatas for Harpsichord played by Fernando Valenti.
Bartok, Concerto for Orchestra (Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Orchestra).
Sylvie Vartan, Sylvie. One of my all-time favorite pop albums, with a fantastic version of “Rescue Me” with the new French title (and very different sentiment) “De Ma Vie.”
The Mason Williams Phonograph Record. “Classical Gas” and other singular works by the esteemed comedy writer and musician.
Gounod, Faust (Andre Cluytens conducting the Orchestra and Chorus of the Theatre National de L’Opera).
Gilbert & Sullivan, The Pirates of Penzance (D’Oyly Carte).
’60s Beat Italiano Volume 1. Various Mersey-influenced artists, Italian-style.
Willie Loco Alexander, Solo Loco. On the top of my shelf.
Apollo 100, Joy. Blissful bubblegum synth classical pop.
The Fleshtones, Up-Front. Their debut major-label EP, with “Girl from Baltimore” and the monumental “Theme from The Vindicators.”
Petula Clark, The Other Man’s Grass is Always Greener. Contains “Cat in the Window,” better known as a hit for The Turtles.
Plus these soundtracks:
Mary Poppins (the Disney movie)
Bye Bye Birdie (Broadway, with Chita Rivera)
Kiss Me Kate (Hallmark Hall of Fame, with Alfred Drake)
Stardust (the David Essex film)
The Jungle Book (Disney)
…and these convenient multi-LP box sets:
The Swing Years. 72 tracks from 1936-46 by two dozen separate big bands on this Readers Digest compilation.
50 Most Electrifying Broadway Showstoppers. Compiled by the Longines Symphonette Society. One of the best original-artists showtune comps I’ve ever encountered. Most-played track: Ray Bolger singing “Once in Love With Amy” from Where’s Charley?
Not too much repetition here, though two of the soundtracks feature Dick Van Dyke. Two are ‘60s Disney movies. Both the Johnny Kidd hits collection and the Stardust soundtrack contain the song “A Shot of Rhythm & Blues.”
Most recent record of this lot is Solo Loco, from 1981. The Fleshtones 12-inch EP is from 1980. Most of my ‘90s and ‘00s vinyl comes from Connecticut bands. That’s a whole separate stash to be appreciated at another time.