washboard-special-frontJust noticed that the last post was my 700th post since I started this blog in 2007. To celebrate all these wasted years,  here´s another flexible Birthday 78rpm postcard record, published by the London based Melody Cards company. These postcard records offer perfect copyright-friendly blog material: anonymous artists, no copyright noted, 50 plus years old and of course never reissued.

Plus, underneath the crackles and pops, a pretty silly song.

No washboard though….



The Washboard Birthday Special


Happy, Happy Birthday!

Happy, Happy Birthday!

On this anniversary of the day that you were born.


Let´s git goin´ down the track,

Once I´se there ain´t comin´ back,

Git those presents on the rack


washboard-special-happy-birthdaywashboard-special-best-wishes-fromwashboard-special-backNote the Joe Brown haircut of the teenage boy in the center!




O-9975-45O-9974-45Another Oriole 45 and it´s a rocker for a change. Somebody already posted Countdown on Youtube, but to my knowledge it´s not commercially available anywhere. There are a few nice comments about  how Phil Tate and his orchestra were regulars at the Streatham Locarno in south-east London.

Considering that Countdown was made by a regular big band for stuffy dance schools to teach teenagers how to dance the Jive, it´s pretty rockin´, in a Joe Meek kind of way.


Released in the “Strict Tempo Dance Series”: Tempo as laid down by the Official Board of Ballroom Dancing!

This is a Samba!


MARTIN SLAVIN AND HIS GANG, Charleston Crazy, 1961

J-254-45J-253-45Martin Mordecai Slavin (1922-1988) was one of Britain’s top vibraphone players and a prolific session musician. He moved to Vancouver, Canada in 1966 and later settled in Hollywood. In the mid-80s he returned to the UK and played occasional freelance dates, until he was killed in a road accident.

More 1960s  charleston tunes by Martin Slavin and his Gang (of studio musicians, I´d guess) on the British Oriole label. While the majority of Martin Slavin´s work was serious, I doubt that this particular record was supposed to be taken serious.
From a musical point, these songs are not Jazz and are not Rock´n´Roll. They were meant to be entertaining and funny and I feel that more than 50 years later they are still funny.

I love this record.

MARTIN SLAVIN AND HIS GANG, Charleston Crazy, 1961

MARTIN SLAVIN AND HIS GANG, Do The Charleston Baby, 1961

Rock-A-Boogie Birthday Rock

With this short little rock´n´roll song I´d like to celebrate the birth of  my “new” blog! Just saw this hanging on the wall of a antique bookstore in my neighborhood last week and took it home for a measly 2 euros and fifty cents.

By coincidence it exemplifies the sort of copyright friendly material I was writing about in #2  of the blog ethics. The cardboard record was issued by a defunct “record company” and  recorded by anonymous artists. There is no mention of copyright anywhere on the card either and it is definitely more than fifty years old, because it runs on 78 rpm, a format discontinued in most western countries by 1960.

The perfect birthday song for rockin´and rollin´teenagers! And old geezers too…

“Hep-Heppy Birthday to you!”

“Hep-Heppy Birthday to you!”

You ain´t no square! And I know that!

Let down your hair! You´re the coolest cat!

Push back the chairs! Get yer carpet rolled!

Just ROCK!. . . . .  And you´ll never grow old!

Rock-A-Boogie Birthday Rock

TOP SIX, No.18, 1965

Last week I also purchased this British cheapo/department store EP at the charity shop.  When I bought it, it didn´t have a sleeve. Luckily,  later when we played our new acquisitions, the missing Top Six company sleeve was on one of the 45´s that my friend had  bought at the same place.  Generously he let me have.

There are six cover-versions of 1965 British hit songs played by unnamed bands on this EP: “The Price Of Love” by the Everly Brothers, “I´s Just A Little Bit Too Late” by Wayne Fontana & The Mindbenders, “Colours” by Donovan, “I`m Alive” by The Hollies, “She´s About A Mover” by The Sir Douglas Quintet and “Crying In The Chapel”, that Elvis took to number one on the British charts in 1965 where it stayed for two weeks.

The Price Of Love

I´s Just A Little Bit Too Late


I`m Alive

She´s About A Mover

Crying In The Chapel


A mixed bag of records this week: Polish beat, British beat, the (German) king of the slop, communist propaganda, private weirdness and some of the usual Berlin-related music. Most of them I found in the last two weeks. I have a whole box of old records that are still waiting to be posted but fresh finds always seem a little more interesting.

As you noticed I finally found out how to install the little audio player that WordPress offers. It only took me three  years to learn how to use a simple HTML shortcode. Still I´m quite proud of myself for that because I learned it without the help of others. All by myself! I also now use Dropbox  for file sharing because it seems that my other hosts will soon  run out of bandwidth again this month. But Dropbox works just the same as the others.

This is probably the best song this week, the Chancellors from Manchester on the Swiss Elite Special label. I found it last week  in a local thrift store for one Euro. It looks pretty beat-up and there´s a little hiss in the first ten seconds but besides that it plays pretty good. The drum-intro on My Girl copies the Rivieras California Sun but its a whole different song.

A great fast-paced rocker!


THE CHANCELLORS, Jenny Jenny, 1965

THE TUNNEL USERS, Sun Arise Dub, 1982

tunnel-users-fronttunnel-users-backtunnel-users-labelI found the Tunnel Users 45 a couple of years ago in a Berlin second-hand record store and couldn´t listen to it in the store, but bought it anyway because of the nice graphics, somewhere between the B 52´s and the Revillos.

Dance? is about a girl who takes the initiative because the boys are too shy to dance.

Sun Arise Dub is a sort of sped-up dub-style cover version of Rolf Harris´British #2 hit song from 1962 Sun Arise but with some added 1982 background noise.

The Tunnel Users were from Liverpool and I found the only information about them on a Welsh music site:

Tunnel Users - band (1981-83) feat; Colin Pennington (gtr,voc) (later of Decemberists, Hell Fire Sermons, James), Phil Butcher (voc), Clint Gannicliffe (keys), Gary Rowlandson (drms) (died 2006), Paul Maloney (bass), Geraldine French (voc), Jeff Hill (keys). Played Larks in The Park Festival 1981 and noted for their live performances rather than recorded work. Rel ‘Ideas’ tape (Mar81) on a label(?) was run by Garry Gannicliffe and based at Gladville Road, Mossley Hill, L’Pool, L17, and 7″ Dance on Ex-Jukey Recs (Jul82).

THE TUNNEL USERS, Sun Arise Dub, 1982

THE TUNNEL USERS, Dance?, 1982

BUD ASHTON, Kon-Tiki, 1961

I have posted budget records before,  mostly focusing on the German variety: Tip, Tempo, Rondo, Okay. This here record came out on the legendary British budget label  Embassy owned by the Woolworth chain store and exclusively sold through stores at half the price of  major label releases. Apparently there are quite a number of  collectors already occupied with assembling Embassy releases as can be seen on this Embassy label tribute website.

Isn´t that a beautiful sleeve!? The label operated from 1954 to 1965 producing mostly double-a-side singles with cover versions of hit songs. Just like the musicians that worked for other European budget labels, these musicians were professionals. Considering that they had to record these songs in a very short time, it´s amazing that their versions, like  this instrumental originally recorded by the  Shadows, turned out to be so good.

BUD ASHTON, Kon-Tiki, 1961


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