Monday, March 30, 2009

Organ Grinder Pizza - Jonas Nordwall and Patti Simon

Wow! Who knew that I would find another Organ Grinder Pizza album? I'm assuming this one is the first volume, and it only features two different organists: Jonas Nordwall and Patti Simon. It's another great combination of old songs and (at the time) new songs like Billy Joel's "My Life", all played on a ginormous pipe organ. Enjoy!

Here's the track list:
  1. My Life - Jonas Nordwall
  2. I Don't Know Why - Jonas Nordwall
  3. Birth of the Blues - Jonas Nordwall
  4. Maleguena - Jonas Nordwall
  5. Medley from "Saturday Night Fever" - Patti Simon
  6. Tiger Rag - Jonas Nordwall
  7. Annie's Song - Jonas Nordwall
  8. Meditation from "Thais" - Jonas Nordwall
  9. Over the Rainbow - Patti Simon
  10. Hopelessly Devoted to You - Patti Simon
  11. Character Medley - Patti Simon
Click here or here to download!

Thursday, March 26, 2009

This Old Man: Great Parade Songs & Marches - The Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Marching Band and Chorus

Here's an album of parade songs and marches, including some you probably haven't heard of (Betty Co-Ed), songs you never really associated as marches (Jingle Bells??), and songs you may know but didn't know the name of (The Whistler's Song). A lot of John Philip Sousa, as you might expect. All of 'em will keep you marching until your legs go stiff!

Here's the track list:
  1. On the Mall
  2. The Marines' Hymn
  3. Betty Co-Ed
  4. The Whistler's Song
  5. Yankee Doodle March
  6. Dixie
  7. Jingle Bells March
  8. Hail Columbia
  9. America
  10. Columbia the Gem of the Ocean
  11. The U.S. Air Force
  12. Lassus Trombone
  13. Pomp and Circumstance
  14. This Old Man
  15. (Turn Over the Record)
  16. The Caissons Go Rolling Along
  17. Dixieland Style March
  18. Stars and Stripes Forever
  19. When Johnny Comes Marching Home
  20. I've Been Working on the Railroad
  21. Pop Goes the Weasel
  22. Semper Fidelis
  23. The Thunderer
  24. Invercargill
  25. Camptown Races
  26. Mulberry Bush March
  27. America the Beautiful
  28. Star Spangled Banner
Click here or here to download!

One of Sousa's most rousing marches included here is "The Thunderer", but this is my favorite version of the song:

Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus Sing the Songs from "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and Other Favorites

I'm not familiar with the Do-Re-Mi Children's Chorus, but according to the back cover of this album they did quite a few records. I hope to find some more of them soon. Until then, enjoy this collection of songs from the movie "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" and some other songs thrown in, including a rather swinging version of "Java Jive" that I really like, especially considering it's being sung by kids!

(Here's a little bit of trivia for you: Did you know that the book "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang" was written by Ian Fleming, author of the James Bond books? I guess Truly Scrumptious is supposed to be a G-rated version of a Bond girl's name!)

Here's the track list:
  1. Chitty Chitty Bang Bang
  2. Hushabye Mountain
  3. The Roses of Success
  4. Toot Sweets
  5. Truly Scrumptious
  6. Me Ol' Bamboo
  7. Dear World
  8. The Wonderful Things (That He Can Do)
  9. A Bushel and a Peck
  10. Mr. Clown
  11. Java Jive
Click here or here to download!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Bedtime Songs - The Kid Stuff Repertory Company

Wow, who would have known that I'd have another album from the Kid Stuff Repertory Company? There's no crazy discofying of songs here, just nice, quiet lullaby-type songs, performed by a woman and a somewhat gassy-sounding organ. Pretty simple stuff, unlike that odd, nightmare-inducing cover!

Here's the track list:
  1. Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep
  2. Now the Day Is Over
  3. Evening Prayer
  4. What Is Home Without a Mother
  5. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  6. Frere Jacques
  7. Hush Little Baby
  8. Rock-a-Bye Baby
Click here or here to download!

Monday, March 09, 2009

Betsy McCall's Surprise Birthday Party

Betsy McCall must be one of those dolls that I never heard of, but then again there were only boys in our family (other than Mom of course). I haven't listened to them side by side, but Betsy McCall sounds an awful lot like Heidi the Pocketbook Doll to me.

I've never really understood Birthday Party records like this. Are you supposed to listen to it during your own party or take it home afterwards and hear an inanimate object apparently having a better time than you did? This one even goes so far as to have Betsy cutting the cake and opening her presents. Why would you want to hear that? So you'll know what to ask for on your next birthday? Oh well, this is still an interesting album. Oh, and make sure to stay tuned until the very end for some subtle product placement!

Here's the track list:
  1. Happy Birthday Song
  2. Surprise Birthday Party
  3. Simple Simon Says Game
  4. Musical Games
  5. Blowing Out the Candles and Cutting the Cake
  6. Opening the Presents
  7. Phone Call from Grandma
  8. Game Songs
  9. Story Telling Time (The Emperor's New Clothes)
  10. After the Party
Click here or here to download!

Friday, March 06, 2009

Happy Stories for Gloomy Days - Frank Luther

I'm not familiar with Frank Luther, but he does quite a nice job on telling these stories and singing the songs in them. As you can tell, these stories are your usual suspects, with one big exception. "Happy the Harmonica" is one of the craziest kids' stories I've ever heard! I hate to give too much away, but it involves an old woman with a pain who plays "Home Sweet Home" on her harmonica to make "Happy the Harmonica" happy, and that's just how the story starts. You just need to hear this one for yourself. Trust me! (The rest of it is quite good too!)

Here's the track list:
  1. The Shoemaker and the Elves
  2. The Gingerbread Boy
  3. The Three Billy Goats Gruff
  4. The Little Red Hen
  5. Happy the Harmonica
  6. Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Click here or here to download!

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Rubber Duckie and Other Pet Songs - The Kid Stuff Repertory Company

Hey look! It's another extravaganza from the Kid Stuff Repertory Company! This one doesn't go the disco route. In fact, all things considered, it's pretty low key for them. It's pretty much just a guy and a synthesizer. One problem with this one is that they pick songs that are usually pretty short and drag them out forever! For example, the song "Johnny Had a Little Dog" (which I think most of us refer to as "Bingo") The chorus is sung through twice, than an instrumental verse, each verse clapping out one of the letters, instrumental verse again, the chorus is sung, the music modulates and the chorus is sung again, verses clapping out the letters again, and then the chorus is finally sung two more times.

Then there's the song "Pussy Cat" (or if you look for it on "P***y Cat"). Here are the entire lyrics of the song:

"Pussy cat, pussy cat, where have you been?
I've been to London to visit the Queen.
Pussy cat, pussy cat, what did you there?
I frightened a little mouse under her chair."

How do our friends at the Kid Stuff Repertory Company handle this? Well, they sing it through five times, have an instrumental verse, and then sing it through 4 more times!

These songs aren't really that bad, if you don't mind them being twice as long as they should be. And "Rubber Duckie" is OK, because unlike in many other versions I've heard, he doesn't end up doing a bad Ernie impression.

Anyhow, take a listen and see what you think!

Here's the track list:

  1. Rubber Duckie

  2. Dog & Cat

  3. Johnny Had a Little Dog

  4. Pussy Cat

  5. Where Has My Little Dog Gone

  6. Goosey Goosey Gander

  7. I Love Little Pussy

  8. All the Pretty Little Horses
Click here or here to download!