Let´s DancePosted: January 18, 2013
First I should like to point out that I changed the disclaimer on the right side of this site. When I had the big idea to introduce new blog ethics last year, I forgot to think about a few things. Initially I had the idea to ask artists for their permission to use their work, but I now think that this is impractical. The main reason is, that I don´t want to arouse expectations. Much like the wrong impression Ebay sellers get from this blog when they search the Internet for the value of an obscure flexible record. They find it reviewed here and next they put the flabby little piece of plastic up on Ebay for 20 Euros. Of course nobody ever buys it. Just because I posted it here, doesn´t mean that there is a market. I rarely pay more than one Euro for a 45. Right now I do one of only three record collector blogs in Germany (they´re all in my blogroll). Only three people who care enough to do the work of digitizing the music, scanning the sleeve and labels, writing a few sentences and posting it here. I could understand the curiosity though. If somebody approached me and asked to use my cartoons, I´d also wonder about their intention. I´d probably ask a lot of unnecessary questions too. On the other hand, if I would find that somebody had written something nice about me on the Internet and posted some samples of my work with it, I´d probably be flattered. But how do I explain to a 70-year old retired musician that I would like to “publish ” their music on my blog for free? My motives to do this blog are hard to explain even to some of my closest friends, so how could I explain them to complete strangers? While the idea of getting in contact with artists still appeals to me, it just seems too complicated. Especially since I´m not doing this to make a profit. I will continue to be very careful with the material I choose, but then again I will not bother with timid moral concerns about sharing some people´s work that they forgot about fifty years ago. Consequently I will do as I have done since the beginning: post first and ask questions later.
Nevertheless the main blog ethics have not changed:
1. I will not use material, that is already available in digital format elsewhere.
2.The artists I present are either anonymous, pseudonymous, dead or no longer active.
2. I feel that if nobody has cared to reissue a record for 50 years, it is fair to present it.
On to the music…
Last month while in Stockholm I bought a handful of EPs issued by the Swedish Gala International label. Gala-Klubben was a record club, a type of budget label, that would send subscribers random pop records for a set fee that was below the regular price of records in shops. It gave people who were too lazy to seek out music by themselves a chance to own and listen to some new records. I don´t know much about their operation, but apparently Gala acquired material from other record clubs like Concert Hall/Varieton, Jazztone and the Dutch Populaire Platen Kring.
British trumpet player Grisha Farfel and boy singer Laurie London are the only name artists on this EP. You Made Me Love You, Memory Mountain, Twist À La Matador and Pop Parade Bossa Nova and four more songs by the same artists, first appeared in 1963 on an 8-song EP also titled Let´s Dance issued by the British Pop Parade label, a division of the Concert Hall record club. This is what the liner notes of the British release had to say:
“Lead trumpet of the Billy Cotton Band, Grisha Farfel is frequently featured as a star soloist in the Band´s radio and television programmes. He has appeared in four Royal Command Performances, and has played for Royalty all over the world. His easy, relaxed style is coupled with an extremely high standard of playing technique.
Discovered at thew age of 13 at the Radio Show, Laurie London had his big recording break with He´s got the whole world in his hands, which sold over 2 million copies and held the No.1 position in the British and American charts for several weeks. Tours have taken him to many countries, including America, Scandinavia, Malta and Germany where his Boom-a-ladda-boom and Itsy-Bitsy topped the charts. A “veteran” at 19, Laurie is all set for an exciting new career in the pop world.”
Laurie London in Germany in 1960:
Grisha Farfel with the Billy Cotton Band in 1964:
The four other songs on the B-side of this EP were probably taken from the Schlagerfavoriten (1. Folge) LP published by the German or Swiss Varieton label. Typical for budget labels the artists worked under a pseudonym.