Kendra Steiner Editions

January 10, 2020

“Beyond Vaudeville” channel on You Tube

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 8:31 pm

With everyone and their dog having their own podcast or You Tube channel today, it’s hard to get people to understand the incredibly liberating 1980’s phenomenon known as Public Access cable stations. Back in the pre-internet days when cable television might have offered 50 or 60 channels, there was often one which was set aside for local amateur broadcasts. You had (in the areas where I lived, at least) take a class in the technical side of things to get on the air (and the cable company offered it), but as long as what you were doing was not obscene (and that varied by area–in NY or LA you could go a lot further than you could in the South or Midwest), you could pretty much do any kind of special interest show. There were punk-rock shows, shows dedicated to Afro-centric history, shows devoted to ethnic communities not otherwise reflected on the broadcast dial, shows devoted to sub-cultures, shows devoted to fringe political movements or fringe religious groups, shows devoted to comic-book fandom, Tagalog-language shows dealing with popular culture back home in the Philippines, shows devoted to avant-garde art and theater, etc. Much of the time they weren’t even listed in advance…you just turned it on and sometimes between shows there would be a crawl about what was on for the next day or two. I used to watch it often. You might get a lecture on the work of Samuel Johnson, and then a performance (shot on camcorder) of an Egyptian dance troupe who were appearing at a local college, then a panel discussion of local Nation of Islam leaders, then some public domain 30’s cartoons, then a series devoted to Chicano history, then someone talking about how to lobby the city’s zoning commission, then maybe jazz performances from local artists, etc etc. It was the place where you could see edgy fringe figures who would never get on regular TV before there was an internet. Public access even created its own celebrities—-someone like Skip E. Lowe was on L.A. public access cable for decades, doing his celebrity interviews in his inimitable style (a style parodied by Martin Short with his Jiminy Glick character).

beyond vaudeville 2

BEYOND VAUDEVILLE ran on New York City public access cable from 1986-1996. A friend back East sent me a few VHS tapes of shows during this period and I was amazed by them. If you can imagine something that combined the best qualities of Uncle Floyd, Fernwood Tonight, The Soupy Sales Show, The Joe Franklin show, and Pee Wee’s Playhouse but was done on a $1.98 budget by people who knew their obscure popular culture and underground culture well, you’ll have some idea of what it was like, and as with anything genuinely subversive, you never really knew in your initial exposure to your first episode what level to take it on. The show was hosted by Frank Hope (like Joe Bob Briggs, a “character” created by the show’s producer), a nervous, but over-excited fanboy type, and his tall, taciturn and vaguely threatening co-host, David Greene, along with Joey The Monkey.

The best way to let you know what the show was about is to list some of the celebrity guest stars:

SAMMY PETRILLO

TINY TIM

VIRGINIA GRAHAM

MONTE ROCK III

DAVID PEEL

ARTHUR ‘STREET SINGER’ TRACY

BENNY ‘SHAVING CREAM’ BELL

JOYCE ‘HONEYMOONERS’ RANDOLPH

TULI KUPFERBERG

PAT MCCORMICK

IMOGENE COCA

AL ‘GRANDPA MUNSTER’ LEWIS

AUDREY LANDERS

QUENTIN CRISP

LARRY STORCH

BILLY BARTY

PAT COOPER

MICHAEL BERRYMAN

DEL RUBIO TRIPLETS

GEOFFREY HOLDER

SHIRLEY ‘HONEYMOON KILLERS’ STOLER

KAYE BALLARD

KITTY CARLISLE HART

JUDY CARNE

FRED WILLARD

AUSTIN PENDLETON

WILLIAM M. GAINES

Beyond_Vaudeville_Small

I think you get the point by now. This was the hippest guest list anywhere in the 1980’s. I almost wish I’d lived in New York so I could have watched it (almost….). And those are just the celebrity guests. There are also local amateur talents (the kind of acts who would be would have had Broadway Danny Rose as their agent), “real people” such as conspiracy theorists and Robert Goulet fans, etc etc.

In 1987, the show was picked up by MTV and adapted to a different format to make it more mainstream, the way that punk (alas) evolved into new wave and lost a lot of its essence. That show was called ODDVILLE, MTV, and while very entertaining, was not the same as BEYOND VAUDEVILLE. You can’t fake or contrive the kind of authenticity that BEYOND VAUDEVILLE represented. It’s kind of like when a cult artist records for a more mainstream label, usually for one album—-it is probably fine in its own way, and it can help get others into a quality artist, but something’s missing. Imagine if Jandek had done an album for Tim/Kerr Records, or if Andy Milligan had made a slasher film for one of Roger Corman’s companies (New World, Concorde, etc.).

I loved the BEYOND VAUDEVILLE shows I had on those two VHS tapes, and the show was just a vague and positive memory….until I recently discovered that there are 50+ episodes available on You Tube (there’s even a Facebook group so you can learn about new additions to the You Tube channel), and they are amazing. You can subscribe to their You Tube channel here:

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCI9XO6PLvHRpLzaAMz96X_A/videos

Pardon me if I made any factual errors in this write-up. I’m no expert on the show…although over the next few months I plan to watch ALL of what’s on You Tube…I began with the Sammy Petrillo episode earlier this week and have watched 2 more tonight, on a rainy evening, stuck home when I’d planned to go out and catch some live music at an outdoor venue.

I have a feeling that many of you reading this will wonder “where has this show been all my life.”

There were a number of live appearances in the NYC area during the show’s run and after, as well as reunions, and some of those are online also. I may be 30 years late in my championing of this show, but better late than never.

January 7, 2020

something missing on the CONTRACT ON CHERRY STREET soundtrack album

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 2:00 am

I watched the 1977 made-for-TV crime film CONTRACT ON CHERRY STREET again recently, thinking I would review it for Blog To Comm (which I still plan to do). In case you have forgotten, this was the “comeback” film for Frank Sinatra, whose last feature film was the 1970 western comedy DIRTY DINGUS MAGEE, which I saw theatrically on the bottom of a bill a year or two after its release, and which was not a classic. Sinatra waited 7 years to make another film, a project developed by his own company, based on a crime novel that was supposedly a book his mother really liked and recommended to him. The film was eventually made for television and was treated as an “event,” spread over two nights (like a “mini-series”!) and given a lot of promotion. It’s a solid 70’s urban crime film, and you can read about it in my review later in 2020.

contract cd

(see Henry Silva on far left)

The musical score by Jerry Goldsmith is excellent, going for a more moody, brooding, downbeat feel than many 70’s crime scores which have an uptempo and hyperbolic “cop show funk” angle. Considering that Frank Sinatra was an older man by the time this film was made, having a more mature and brooding soundtrack was fitting, and it also helped create an atmosphere that emphasized the grueling, depressing day-by-day checking out leads and footwork of the cop on the beat. I managed to find a cheap copy of the obscure soundtrack CD recently, on a Belgian specialist label, fully licensed and from the original tapes. It sounds majestic and takes me back to those dirty NYC 70’s streets where the film was shot as well as making me feel as if I’m walking in the shoes of the Henry Silva and Martin Balsam characters in the film.

One odd thing about the soundtrack, though. While it lists the credits, and the liner notes discuss Sinatra’s character and his production company’s role in making the film, there is not one picture of Sinatra anywhere in it. When I first saw the cover, with Henry Silva looking downcast at a police funeral, I figured that was a good image to capture the feel of the film and the soundtrack and did not think about it. When I read the booklet after getting the album, I did not think about it….I was interested in learning about Goldsmith’s approach to scoring the film.

Today, though, listening to the album while working, and then perusing the liner notes, it dawned on me…..SIX different pictures from the film (one used twice), and not one contains Sinatra anywhere in it. Not even in the background. Lots of Henry Silva and Martin Balsam and Harry Guardino, which is great, but none of Frank. My guess is that licensing the music from Columbia Pictures Television (as they did) did not include the rights to Sinatra’s image. That probably commanded its own fee. This is a small specialist label and the album is a limited 2000 copy pressing. They probably spent every last penny on having the tapes gotten from the vaults, getting them transferred, and paying the license fee. Well, I’m glad that the great Henry Silva didn’t ask for a fee for his image (and let’s hope they sent him a copy!). The album came out in 1999, the year after Sinatra’s death. Maybe things would be viewed differently today, with a consideration of Sinatra’s film legacy….maybe not.

In any event, it is a beautiful, moody, and atmospheric soundtrack and I see you can get a copy for around $7 on Discogs….

Contract on Cherry Ad

January 6, 2020

“This Is Mainstream” (We Want Sounds CD, France)

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 4:12 pm

mainstream 1

‘THIS IS MAINSTREAM’ (We Want Sounds, France, CD or 2-LP set)

from the back cover: ULTIMATE BREAKS & BEATS FROM MAINSTREAM RECORDS, THE SUPREME SOUND OF PRODUCER BOB SHAD, FUNKY TURNTABLE CLASSICS & HIGHLY SOUGHT-AFTER RARITIES!

French compilation CD of material recorded for Bob Shad’s MAINSTREAM label between 1971-1975, all taken from the master tapes.

  1. Saundra Phillips – Miss Fatback  3.09
  2. Afrique – Kissing My Love  3.08
  3. Hal Galper – This Moment  11.50
  4. December’s Children – Livin’ (Way Too Fast)  3.38
  5. Blue Mitchell – Blue’s Blues  7.08
  6. Maxine Weldon – Make It With You  2.56
  7. Reggie Moore – Mother McCree  2.57 LP2
  8. Jay Berliner – Papa Was A Rolling Stone  5.30
  9. Dave Hubbard – T.B.’s Delight  3.54
  10. Almeta Lattimore – These Memories  3.31
  11. Buddy Terry – Lean On Me (Lean On Him)  5.55
  12. Pete Yellin – Bird And The Ouija Board  12.35
  13. Sarah Vaughan – Just A Little Lovin’  3.10

mainstream 2

I reviewed a collection of soul material (on the UK Ace/Kent label) from Mainstream Records, circa early 70’s, a few years back, and it reminded me how much material was recorded by BOB SHAD for his little-label-that-could during its final push in the 1970’s. By the time I had a foot in jazz radio circa 1976-1977, Mainstream had already stopped releasing new jazz product, though we did have some of their albums in the station’s record library, and I remember playing tracks by some of my personal favorite Mainstream artists such as Blue Mitchell or Hadley Caliman or Charles Kynard when I was on-air after midnight.

There was a standard design to most Mainstream LP’s, and as someone who ran a small label myself for a number of years, I understand the advantages of that—-it keeps costs down, it allows you to focus on the music and the promotion instead of the design, and it gives your product an instantly recognizable look in the marketplace. I used to buy records in the early 70’s at a junk store on the north side (the side toward Boulder) of Golden, Colorado, where I would stop after high school in the afternoon. They had lots of radio station promos from Boulder and Denver radio stations, with the station name and date rec’d scribbled in magic marker on the front. I got many of the releases on the US branch of Blue Horizon there (and those changed my life), and I also got some Mainstream jazz albums there. I saw many 45’s on Mainstream too, but one only has so much money, and most of the artists I had either not heard of or were not people I was actively searching for.

It was very clear that Bob Shad was aiming the 70’s Mainstream label at a primarily African-American audience, and much of the label’s output was rooted (particularly in the rhythm section) in funk and soul. The playing on top of the beat might be quite free and “spiritual” in the Pharaoh Sanders sense, but there was a funky and even African undercurrent to the records…and this was true even when the artist (say Hal Galper) was not Black. Of course, it was the jazz side of the Mainstream catalog that was mostly of interest to me back then, and that’s still true today.

I always assumed Mainstream had a problem competing with both the major labels (in distribution) and the more focused labels specializing in Black music such as Stax or Brunswick (which I assumed had better contacts in the small radio-station community). Also, the funky nature of much of the jazz output was not the kind of thing that generated five-star reviews at Downbeat magazine! It did not surprise me when Mainstream went under–it’s hard to run a small label and compete with the big boys (and yes, they were pretty much male). I was happy to see when in the 80’s and 90’s the Mainstream catalog became very collectible because of hip-hop sampling and crate-digging DJ’s.

I’m also happy to see a new round of quality Mainstream reissues, from the master tapes and tastefully presented, from the French “We Want Sounds” label. Evidently, Mainstream itself was revived as a company (I remember seeing various reissues prior to that coming out which were related to Tamara Shad, Bob’s daughter) in 2017 by Bob Shad’s grandchildren, Mia and Judd Apatow, children of Tamara Shad. While there are a number of Mainstream reissues on We Want Sounds, if you want a one-volume distillation of everything that was great about the early 70’s Mainstream sound, the new THIS IS MAINSTREAM comp is a dream come true.

blue

As you listen to younger vocalists such as Saundra Phillips and Almeta Latimore, 70’s soul artists who had little to do with the “older people’s music” of 60’s soul, and then to long trippy but funk-rooted jazz instrumentals from the likes of Hal Galper and Blue Mitchell, to leisurely studio-jazz covers of pop and soul songs by Jay Berliner and Buddy Terry, to old-school vocalists such as Maxine Weldon and Sarah Vaughan doing 70’s “uptown” soul covers of the compositions of Mann-Weil and David Gates, all mixed together and programmed for maximum variety, it becomes clear (as it was to me, in a vague and undefined way, back in the 70’s seeing and hearing the Mainstream discs that I did) that to Bob Shad, this was all one music. Obviously, he understood the marketplace and knew that marketing jazz albums and soul 45’s were totally different activities with different contact persons in radio and promotion, but Shad seemed to have a kind of visionary quality, a man with a vision of the unity of African-American music styles (no matter what the ethnicity or cultural background of the musicians playing on the records, all of whom shared the vision) in the early 70’s. As you play this album, and you’ll want to put it on “repeat” as it’s such a wonderful mixture that’s expertly programmed, like the deepest DJ set, your jaw will drop at what a beautiful set it is.

I will definitely be getting some more of these We Want Sounds reissues of the Mainstream catalog (I see they are on LP too, for those so inclined). Here is a list of some I see for sale online:

JACK WILKINS, windows

BUDDY TERRY, awareness

HAROLD LAND, a new shade of blue

ALICE CLARK, alice clark

and some compilations including

INNER PEACE: RARE SPIRITUAL FUNK AND JAZZ GEMS, THE SUPREME SOUND OF PRODUCER BOB SHAD

FEELING GOOD: FUNK, SOUL, AND DEEP JAZZ GEMS, THE SUPREME SOUND OF PRODUCER BOB SHAD

kynard

As a lifelong blues fan I’m well aware of Shad’s late 40’s/early 50’s work with SITTIN’ IN WITH (SIW) records and as a lifelong jazz fan I’m well aware of his work at EmArcy later in the 50’s. And every fan of 60’s psychedelia knows the many great albums released on Mainstream. I know that the 70’s Mainstream output is not to the taste of many reading the KSE blog–hey, the “uptown” 73-75 soul is not to my taste either–but it’s great to see the jazz especially be given a second life, and unfortunately, some of these albums may be getting wider exposure now than they did in their original 70’s release. I know that some I stumbled across in used records stores in the 80’s and 90’s I NEVER saw a physical copy of in the racks in the 70’s.

Let me end this piece by reprinting my review of the Mainstream SUPER-DUPER LOVE compilation on Ace-Kent, which I published in Ugly Things a few years ago. It provides a capsule history of Bob Shad. Also, before that, here is a mention of the revival of Mainstream from producer/broadcaster Bob Porter, a man whose name is synonymous with Soul Jazz and who was a colleague (working for other labels, of course) of Shad for many years. I’m glad to hear that Shad had a good life after leaving the record business behind and moving to California. I always wondered what happened to him in the post-Mainstream, pre-internet age!

Bob Porter: https://www.wbgo.org/post/judd-apatow-revives-mainstream-bob-shads-independent-record-label#stream/0

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V.A.–Super Duper Love: Mainstream Hits and Rarities, 1973-76 (Kent, UK), CD

Bob Shad produced jazz/blues greats such as Charlie Parker, Lightnin’ Hopkins, and Big Bill Broonzy, and later he was the first to bring national attention to Janis Joplin, Lou Reed, Gary S. Paxton, The Amboy Dukes, and Skip Battin. He began in the mid-40s working for Savoy and National, and then started his own label, Sittin’ In With (SIW), which was largely blues-oriented, then worked A&R for Mercury in the 50’s  and ran their acclaimed jazz subsidiary Emarcy, then went independent again with Time and Brent Records in the late 50’s, finally emerging with his best-remembered label in the mid-1960’s, the legendary Mainstream.

Shad’s Brent label began issuing soul 45’s in the mid-60’s (collected previously on Kent’s excellent CD “Brent–Superb 60’s Soul Sounds”). By the early 70’s, much of Mainstream’s LP output was soul-jazz (a genre they stood by longer than other labels), but most of their 1970’s 45’s were aimed at the soul charts and Black radio stations. Super Duper Love focuses on the last few years of Shad’s soul releases on Mainstream and on related labels such as Brown Dog, Fast Track, and IX Chains. Most of this material has never been reissued.

The good news is that this is a well-programmed archival dig through 24 obscure singles most of us have never heard…although 9 of them made the R&B charts back in the day. The not-so-good news is that, unlike some productions coming out of the South at the time, these recordings might be a bit “uptown” for the Ugly Things reader. The performers range from well-known artists in between labels and trying to stay current such as Little Richard and Lenny Welch, to many strong lesser-known female vocalists, a number of whom are in the then-popular “sister to sister” talk-singing style, to a number of vocal groups such as The Dramatics and The Steptones. Soul music was evolving during this period, and that evolution is made clear as we proceed from 1973 through 1976 here.

However, faulting these recordings because they don’t sound like something from a small label in Jackson, Mississippi, or Baton Rouge, Louisiana, is not really fair. This was a New York label, and it also licensed material from major cities such as Detroit and Washington, DC. Urban Black radio of the day in Northern cities wanted sophisticated records, something that sounded modern and “classy,” and Mainstream’s soul 45’s from the final years of the label certainly delivered that very well. Performers such as Doris Duke and Sandra Phillips and Darlene Jackson and Calvin Arnold are as deep and soulful as the best artists from that period. Just imagine you are tuning into a 1974-75 soul radio station in Philadelphia or Baltimore. It’s a tribute to Bob Shad that a man who began his career in the 1940’s could still be issuing fresh and modern sounds that competed quite well on the playlists of Black radio stations of the mid-1970’s–and this is a masterful compilation of first-rate material, if 1973-76 uptown soul is to your taste. Bob Shad has left us a quality and diverse soul legacy!

Bill Shute, Ugly Things Magazine

January 3, 2020

Chronological 45/78 RPM playlists, A’s & B’s, from the 1950’s and early 1960’s… BILL BLACK, THE CHAMPS, SANTO & JOHNNY, BILL DOGGETT, FREDDY CANNON, BILL HALEY, JOEY DEE, HANK BALLARD, DANNY & THE JUNIORS, JIMMY BOWEN, DALE & GRACE

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 11:56 am

Nothing satisfies like original rock and roll records in MONO on 45 or 78 rpm records, the way they were meant to be heard. I heard the original 1968 45 rpm single of The Rolling Stones’ “Jumpin’ Jack Flash” last year for the first time in maybe 25 years and felt an excitement I had not felt about the Stones in decades. THAT was the sound that made the (pre-1973) Stones worthwhile, and no CD reissue (or LP reissue for that matter) has captured it. Speaking of The Rolling Stones, for me the ultimate reissue would be needle-drop recordings from the original vinyl (VG+ copies, not mint), mastered LOUD, so they would be loud at any volume (and ending with Street Fighting Man). Can you imagine Brian Jones’ slide guitar cutting through the speakers on “I Wanna Be Your Man”? I can, as I own that 45, and played it hundreds if not thousands of times as a youth, and the excitement of hearing the slide guitar and the song fade out at the end while the volume of the surface noise stays constant is part of the joy of such a great record.

There’s no Stones on offer here today, but earlier material, from many of the greats, with the singles, from original vinyl, back to back, A’s and B’s. This is how rock and roll (and rockin’ R&B in some cases, and easy-rollin’ swamp pop in one case) should sound. Let Bill Black’s Combo lock you into their groove for 2 minutes and 11 seconds, or whatever. Then listen to the flip-side, an equally hypnotic Memphis groove that even an awkward three-legged goat could dance to. If you’d bought a Black 45 in, say, 1961, you knew exactly what you were getting….after all, they called it “The  Untouchable Sound,” and it was…you could patent that chunka-chunka beat. And you’d no doubt play the single over and over….and over. And play it for your friends who visited. And have your girlfriend or boyfriend dance to it with you when she/he came over. And you’d hear the guttural riff and primal beat in your head all day as you were bagging groceries and would tune out the world while being careful to put the eggs and bread in the same bag. And you’d be anxious to get home and play the single again, and again. And you’d be excited that a new Bill Black single would be out in 3 months or so, and then you’d repeat that experience. People mostly bought 45’s back then, not albums. They spent 79 cents on one, and they got their money’s worth.

When we listen to some European public-domain CD compilation of rock and roll, where we get material ripped from earlier CD’s or some other digital master, and we get 25 songs at once, and they don’t have the analog sound, we’re not getting the original experience, which (to me, at least) is far more exciting than any digital experience.

These playlists of original 45’s are about as close as you can get today to that experience.

What prompted me to post these links is that the gentleman who put these on You Tube (thank you, Patrick T, wherever you are) has had about 2/3 of his material taken down in the last year. Who knows how long the rest will be  up? Savor this material now, while you can.

Before you start, when not try this transfer, direct from the turntable to you, of a 78 RPM version of the sublime Duane Eddy B-side “Three-Thirty Blues”.

duane-eddy-threethirtyblues-jamie-78

Play it loud. The next time you hear someone going on and on about why analog vinyl is preferable to digital, using terms like “warmth” and “punchy,” THIS is what they are talking about, this is the kind of cathartic sound experience they are remembering experiencing, and they want YOU to feel the same kind of sonic ecstasy, which I hope you will. You can FEEL each bluesy twang of Duane Eddy’s guitar. Eddy and his producer Lee Hazlewood knew what they were doing. Many who rave about Lee’s 1960’s solo recordings (as they should!) talk about the “paintings in sound” he is able to create through instrumentation with room to breathe, his rich voice, and his poetic lyrics, but Lee had been doing that since the mid-50’s, and there is no better example than his early Duane Eddy productions. Many overseas listeners would hear the sound of an imagined romanticized “America” with each echoed twang of Duane’s guitar. They imagined Monument Valley, or the Kansas Plains, or the Grand Canyon, or the empty but energy-charged main street of the town in HIGH NOON. You can imagine whatever you’d like while listening to this rare Jamie-label 78 (78’s were a dying breed at that time, and late-period 78’s are quite rare, the same way a 1968 MONO LP is, but maybe even more so), but is a rich and full and beautiful creation to me, and records like this are one reason why I am singing the praises of Mr. Duane Eddy (follow him on Facebook! he’s still around, still playing, still sounding great, still a friendly guy!) and records such as this recorded 60+ years ago. Enjoy….

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Now, it’s time to enjoy these fine collections of singles. Some should be a revelation unless you have a fairly complete collection of the artists….

BILL BLACK’S COMBO, 1959-1965

THE CHAMPS, 1958-1961

 

SANTO & JOHNNY, 1959-1966

 

BILL DOGGETT, 1954-1956 (almost two hours!!!)

 

….

 

FREDDY CANNON, 1959-1964 (Swan)

 

….

BILL HALEY & HIS COMETS, Essex 78’s 1952-1954

 

JOEY DEE & THE STARLITERS, 1960-1963

 

HANK BALLARD & THE MIDNIGHTERS, 1958-1966

 

DANNY & THE JUNIORS, 1960-1962 (Swan)

 

JIMMY BOWEN, 1957-1960 (Roulette)

 

DALE & GRACE, 1963-1967 (the great Louisiana swamp-pop duo)

Thanks for listening…and thanks for visiting the KSE blog. Best wishes from San Antonio!

January 2, 2020

classic 2014 Sammy Reed ” Music from the World of the Strange and the Bizarre” shows back online!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 11:53 am

5 complete hour-long “Music From The World of the Strange and the Bizarre” radio shows from March-June 2014 are available here:

https://strangemusicworld.blogspot.com/2020/01/the-no-top-teeth-series.html

Sammy Reed’s present website can be found here (bookmark it!):

https://strangemusicworld.blogspot.com/

sammy reed

….

Sammy Reed’s name might not be that well known to people outside the song-poem community, or people who followed WFMU 10+ years ago, and he hasn’t helped matters much by being very active online for a while, then pulling back and pretty much vanishing for a while….sometimes taking down what he’d put online in the past.

For 10-15 years, I’ve followed his work, and I hope he stays online this time around and his present website stays up (check out the link above).

Sammy’s “Music From The World of the Strange and the Bizarre” radio show has been a staple at my house for many years. I downloaded a few dozen of them onto CDR and still play them regularly (they’re perfect for road trips!) and sent copies to my friend Brad Kohler, who did not have a computer and couldn’t access them online. If you can imagine an absurdist re-take on an old Casey Kasem American Top 40 show but with music from some alternative universe where song-poem records, low-grade amateurish novelty records, sound-alike cover versions from budget labels, private-pressing vanity records, songs related to long-forgotten fads, and novelty-themed disco exercise records are the dominant popular culture of the day. Sammy Reed is an entertaining host, with a deadpan, aw-shucks persona that reminds me of classic country entertainers such as, say, Smiley Burnette or Max Terhune or Hank Penny. During  his heyday, he even spun off a separate Top 10 show and You Tube channel featuring the hits and most-requested songs from the show. He would also take requests, and he was kind enough to play a great Nashville soundalike cover of “Whiter Shade Of Pale” for me on a few occasions.

There’s not one iota of condescension in Sammy Reed’s approach to anything he presents or champions—-we’re all born into this absurd world, but when we detach ourselves enough to come to that realization, the mistake that some make is to think that they themselves are somehow less absurd than others and to look down at the rest of us and forget where they came from. The Sammy Reed approach is just the opposite–embrace the absurdity, roll around in it—-as a now-deceased BBQ entrepreneur here in the San Antonio area used to say, “Git it all over you”—-allow yourself to be entertained by the folly of our brothers and sisters, knowing that we ourselves are equally absurd and all is folly. There’s something liberating in that approach, and it’s eye-opening to sense the warp and woof, the texture of throwaway culture and matter-of-fact phenomena that most people would look PAST to see something else. Andy Warhol certainly understood that, as does writer-photographer–editor/publisher Wyatt Doyle, of New Texture fame (check out his DOLLAR HALLOWEEN book, reviewed a few years on this blog).

Sammy Reed has done a number of other interesting archival projects dealing with the throwaway ephemera of everyday life, documenting airchecks and advertising reels from small-town radio stations in the 70’s and 80’s, documenting junk mail dealing with bogus penny-stocks and investment schemes, documenting transcription discs created by advertising agencies to sell long-forgotten ad campaigns, documenting the everyday details of the 50+ year soap opera THE GUIDING LIGHT, and much more. These are deep time-capsules that are both fascinating (in that they document the roads not taken by “serious” culture) and entertaining.

I hope Sammy keeps his present website up and running and that you readers of the KSE blog check it out a few times a month. His shows always put a smile on my face and cause me to not worry so much about whatever is on my mind….

December 20, 2019

now available…”new” poetry book, NO BRICKS, NO TEMPLES, from Bill Shute

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 5:36 pm

NO BRICKS COVER

Since August, I’ve been working on a new book-length poem (TOMORROW WON’T BRING THE RAIN), which I hope to finish this coming June during my 2020 writing vacation in Louisiana. It is a  long-term project (as RIVERSIDE FUGUE was), which I work on every week, stanza by stanza, fitting each piece into its proper place within the 45-page mosaic.

In the non-poetry arena, I still have 6 to 8 reviews in every issue of UGLY THINGS (working on the reviews for #53 now, due in mid-Feb), the other-weekly column at BLOG TO COMM (which I need to get caught up on…I like to keep 3-4 months ahead of schedule there), and I’m doing the introductory essay for a volume of non-fiction magazine articles by the great Edward D. Wood, Jr., a kind of sequel to the BLOOD SPATTERS QUICKLY and ANGORA FEVER collections of fiction. That piece is due with the book’s editor the first of February. And let’s not forget the half-finished pieces on jazz and film and literature and art I have in the draft box here at the KSE blog, which I’d like to finish sometime this year!

Regarding the “new” poetry book mentioned in the title of this post, over the last two months, I’ve been slowly reading and savoring (and making notes in) the book LIKE ANDY WARHOL by Jonathan Flatley (University of Chicago Press, 2017), one of the most satisfying critical books about the arts I’ve read in the last few years. Although the book has a thousand worthwhile insights and makes many valuable connections, one minor section which got its hooks into me touched upon Warhol’s 1980’s re-appropriation of his own appropriated 1960’s images, which I read the same day that read about the restoration of JOHN THE DRUNKARD, Bud Pollard’s 1940’s re-editing of his early 30’s horror film THE HORROR into a temperance film, with some new framing footage shot that re-contextualizes the earlier footage as alcohol-inspired hallucinations. As a long-time admirer of the “patchwork” genre among exploitation films, I started to think about film-makers who’d cannibalized their own product to create new product, as Al Adamson took THE FAKERS and turned it into HELL’S BLOODY DEVILS….or took PSYCHO A-GO-GO and turned it into FIEND WITH THE ELECTRONIC BRAIN and then transformed it again into BLOOD OF GHASTLY HORROR.

Inspired by Warhol and Al Adamson (not to mention Godfrey Ho and Jerry Warren), I took sections and lines from some lesser-known chapbooks of mine (from 2008-2014), ones most of you reading this would not have encountered (such as ENVY and JAYWALKERS), and ones that have not been reprinted since and aren’t in my Selected Poems volume coming out (I hope!) from Moloko Print in Germany next year. It was interesting to revisit these earlier pieces, as they are not the kind of thing I’d write today, both in form (I was doing syllable counting in some of them, based on a mis-reading of mid-60’s Creeley), and in content (some images are clearly out of Theosophical readings)—-and in the case of what became the final two pages of Section Seven (of Eight) of NO BRICKS, NO TEMPLES, I clearly remember being on the main drag in Lawrence, Kansas, when the key image pattern came to me  (in 2014, so this would be the latest material in the book). However, those older stanzas and lines have been re-purposed (see the last stanza of last year’s RIVERSIDE FUGUE if you’re a fan of that word) with the structural and compositional approach I’ve been using for the last 2-3 years, which creates an interesting tension….

With a mix of older and newer on a number of levels, and a wide variety of verse forms and imagery, NO BRICKS, NO TEMPLES should be an interesting and worthwhile way to kill an hour or two, if you’re so inclined.

Since it was assembled from pre-existing materials, I’ve priced it a dollar lower than other recent book-length poems of mine…. so if someone gave you an Amazon gift card for the holidays, why not spend $8.95 of it on NO BRICKS, NO TEMPLES.

Here is the link for ordering: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1676404597

This is also available as a local purchase at the various European and Asian Amazon outlets, so search for it on your local platform, and it will be printed and mailed to you locally, wherever you are at!

NO BRICKS COVER

NO BRICKS, NO TEMPLES

a poem in eight parts by BILL SHUTE

KSE #415

43 pages, perfect-bound paperback

$8.95

ISBN:  978-1676404590

published 16 December 2019

 

….

December 7, 2019

Help MODE RECORDS to carry on!

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 3:40 pm

Running a record label featuring physical releases of forward-thinking music is more difficult now than ever. I had to close my own label, KSE, which supported the work of contemporary composers, one year ago today because I couldn’t afford to keep it afloat. Mode has been doing amazing work for decades in support of important and original composers–please don’t let them go under. Even 5 or 10 dollars can help. Would YOU want to live in a world without Mode’s 50 (!!!!) John Cage releases? I wouldn’t!

mode 1

Bringing the world high quality releases of contemporary classical, jazz and other musical genres for over 35 years, Mode Records now needs your support to modernize its promotion, informational, and sales platforms.

Internationally recognized record label Mode Records’ recordings of impeccable performances, captured with the best quality sound, have earned it great critical acclaim and a loyal following.

A small independent company, Mode’s catalog of over 300 releases includes music of the great composers of the latter 20th century and today’s aspiring contemporary New Music artists. Beginning with its first release in 1984, created in collaboration with composer John Cage, Mode has presented uniquely curated releases with a personal vision of producing fine recordings which are not necessarily a part of current mainstream music fashion, but which need to be heard.

You can make a difference in support of music that matters by making a contribution of any amount toward Mode’s modernization. I would never ask people to contribute to something I myself would not give my own hard-earned money to, and you can see my own contribution on the Mode Go Fund Me page. And why not stop over there now to make YOUR contribution….even $5 or $10 can help. YOU and I can insure that people can easily hear the works of John Cage (who was involved in the founding of the label!) and many other important composers on beautiful and thoughtfully-curated CD’s. I have dozens of Mode releases and play them often….not just play them, but live with them, and live in the worlds they create.

Here is the link…thank you for your support of Mode and of modern composers….

https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-mode-records-to-carry-on

mode 2

November 25, 2019

Bill Shute/KSE now at MeWe

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 5:36 pm

I’ve noticed some of my friends and groups I’m a member of on Facebook have stated that they are moving over to the MeWe social network. If you are one of those, please send me a friend request at

https://mewe.com/i/billshute

I’ll re-post any new content put up on the Bill Shute or Kendra Steiner Editions FB pages and may also provide other original material specifically for MeWe.

I’ve always considered anything I posted on FB public information, the kind of thing I’d be willing to, as Oscar Wilde once put it, “shout from the rooftops.” Facebook is primarily a vehicle for promoting my writings (and in the past, the music releases on the KSE label, and for that, FB was a BIG help) and the various cultural areas of interest to me which I want to champion. It also provides an easy place to find me for old friends and colleagues from across the decades…or for readers of mine from various magazines, blogs, and poetry books. I don’t really care that my interest in the music of Bix Beiderbecke, gorditas, Texas wineries, the films of Jerry Warren, the writings of Gertrude Stein, the jalapeno beer at Faust Brewing Company, horse racing, John Cage’s Number Pieces, German krimi films, the Texas Gulf Coast, 1960’s Rambler automobiles, and the  neighborhood pizzeria is data-mined and sold to advertisers who then target me. Did anyone ever really think that Facebook was free? Nothing comes without a cost of one sort or another. Also, if you want to open a gordita shack that serves Faust jalapeno pilsner, has pictures of 1964 Ramblers on the wall, plays the Bix’s Wolverines sides on the sound system, and has screenings of early 60’s German Edgar Wallace films on Friday nights, I will be your first and best customer….as long as you offer Lengua and Chicharrón gorditas on your menu.

gorditas

See you at MeWe….or at Facebook….or better yet, here at the KSE blog!

MeWe may well go down the tubes as quickly as Google+, which I never  bothered to join. I briefly was on Twitter and Instagram, but those offered nothing that was of use to me.

As always, thanks for catching up with the KSE blog.

I have some exciting news on a few fronts which I’ll share in the coming weeks…

November 7, 2019

now an even dozen releases in the SOUL DIAMONDS series

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 4:08 pm

ABC Soul Diamonds

For a decade or more, the SOUL DIAMONDS series of CDR compilation albums, on the “Buried Treasures” label from France, has been issuing exciting, overstuffed collections of obscure soul 45’s (with an album track here and there) from the 1960’s and early 1970’s, and they’ve taken the route of doing label-based surveys, since so many nationally-distributed labels of the period released significant numbers of soul 45’s, both in-house label-produced and licensed-in from regional producers or picked up from small labels. The quality has been very high on these comps, and unlike many of the other series of CDR “collector” soul comps (which I also buy here and there as I can afford them and when they include a high percentage of tracks I don’t own already), these have intelligent liner notes clearly written by someone who knows obscure soul music inside out.

Two new volumes arrived in my mailbox today (VERVE and ROULETTE), and I hope to write about each one of those separately in the near future, but now I wanted to alert you to what’s in the series so far (I’ve also reviewed a number of them here on the KSE blog….just go to the search box and type in SOUL DIAMONDS). I think that most if not all of them are still in print. A number of sellers in Asia offer them as well as some specialized soul dealers in Europe. Here in the US, if you go to Ebay and type in the name SOUL DIAMONDS within “Music,” you should find the American seller from whom I’ve gotten mine (who offers fine service and low prices, by the way). So here are the twelve labels which have been covered in the series as of today. I have other suggestions for label surveys, but I have a feeling they will be gotten to eventually. Thanks to whatever Europeans are compiling and issuing these–it’s clearly a labor of love.

TCD 1001, DECCA SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1002, MERCURY SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1003, EPIC SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1004, ABC SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1005, ATLANTIC SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1006, COLUMBIA SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1007, RCA SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1008, ATCO SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1009, COTILLION SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1010, POLYDOR SOUL DIAMONDS

TCD 1011, VERVE SOUL DIAMONDS (new!)

TCD 1012, ROULETTE SOUL DIAMONDS (new!)

mercury soul diamonds

October 28, 2019

3 short newspaper sports articles by Jack Kerouac from June-July 1965

Filed under: Uncategorized — kendrasteinereditions @ 1:59 am

kerouac

I was hoping to have a more substantial piece for the 50th Anniversary of Jack Kerouac’s death in October 1969, but I’ve had a heavy work schedule this month, and that article is still sitting about 1/3 completed in my draft box. I’ll get to it eventually…I was going to deal with the fine book by journalist Bob Keating KEROUAC IN FLORIDA, as well as the fascinating most-recent issue of Beat Scene magazine, dealing with Kerouac’s later writings, including SATORI IN PARIS, which any reader of this blog knows is very important to me (my poetry book SATORI IN NATCHEZ is available at Amazon, by the way).

However, here is something to hold you over until then….and it contains some late-period writings of Kerouac from his final period in Florida!

Most people know that Kerouac lived in St. Petersburg from 1964-1969, the period that produced SATORI IN PARIS, VANITY OF DULUOZ, and PIC. Evidently, in June of 1965 he approached the sports editor of THE INDEPENDENT, the evening sister-publication of the ST. PETERSBURG TIMES, and banged out three sports articles in one sitting at the paper’s sports department! These were published in June and July of 1965, and I had not heard of them until this recent article in the TAMPA BAY TIMES.

For the record, here are the names of the pieces and their original dates of publication:

IN MID-JUNE MY IDEAS ABOUT THE MAJOR LEAGUE RACE (16 June 1965)

THE GREATEST SPORTS WRITERS WHO EVER LIVED AS FAR AS I’M CONCERNED (10 July 1965)

WHAT WAS THE PUNCH THAT KNOCKED OUT LISTON (10 July 1965)

These are all written in Kerouac’s idiosyncratic style, and certainly not typical of sports writing in general, although back in the 1960’s this kind of breathless, excited, exaggeration-filled stream-of-consciousness style could be found in certain “personality” sports columnists, who were to sports what Walter Winchell was to politics and entertainment.

Kerouac dealt with sports a lot in his final novel  VANITY OF DULOUZ, published in 1968(I’m not counting PIC, which is in its own category). He was coming to terms with his own sports background as an adolescent and young man back in the late 1930’s and early 40’s, just as he was coming to terms in that book with the arc of his life . I’d guess that Kerouac probably spent a lot of time listening to baseball and other sports on the radio on those long hot nights in South Florida. He himself was probably a regular reader of the sports page at the St. Pete newspaper he visited and whipped out the three pieces for.

If you thought that all the fugitive pieces from JK had been excavated in THE UNKNOWN KEROUAC volume, think again….

Here is the link to the article that contains the three pieces, scans of the original yellowed newspaper versions of the pieces, and the backstory on the pieces. No one would argue that these are major finds, but actually they are a wonderful window into the 1965 Kerouac, and his humor (I laughed out loud a few times…and completely agree with his comments regarding boxing vs golf!) and enthusiasm come through clearly.

https://www.tampabay.com/sports/2019/10/22/read-lost-stories-jack-kerouac-wrote-for-a-st-pete-newspaper-in-1965/

I’m not sure how long this link will be good for. Newspapers sometimes offer material free for the first month or two, and then it’s hidden behind a paywall. However, I will respect the rights of the newspaper and not reprint the pieces here as long as they can be freely accessed online. Thanks to Daniel Figueroa IV of the Tampa Bay Times for bringing these entertaining pieces to our attention and providing the relevant background to contextualize the pieces.

On second thought, this is a good way to honor JK on the 50th Anniversary of his passing. It’s easy to look at the Florida period as depressing and negative, but sports was something the man always loved (he was still talking in the 1960’s proudly about the complex baseball game played solely with cards that he created as a teenager), and that love and passion comes through perfectly here.

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