The Smooth Sound of Ceiling Tiles

Yesterday we went to our first rummage sales of the season, then hit the thrift shops to spend the last of what cash we still had in our pockets. At the Moorhead Thrift Shop I ran across a few choice albums, including this one:


Looks like we’ve encountered a glitch in the Matrix:  this  young lady is holding the album…that she’s on the cover of, holding the album cover that she’s on.   It goes on FOREVER!


There’s apparently a tradition of albums with themselves on the cover, although I don’t believe the recursion has anything to do with the music on the record.

This album also caught my eye because of the weird framing in the image: the woman’s head is really low for a ‘portrait’ — there’s an awful lot of ceiling in the picture.   That’s intentional: the album is a promo for Gold Bond Ceiling Tile,  as a way of selling acoustic tiles to audiophiles that live in echoy homes.   I couldn’t find anything else about this product in particular, presumably because National Gypsum, the maker of Gold Bond tiles, was more interested in selling albums — heck, their advertisements focus more on this album than their product .

The Seeburg 1000

Seeburg was a jukebox maker who hit upon a novel idea:  let’s build a jukebox that plays special albums, 45min on a side, and make it peppy, instrumental music to play in stores and offices.  The Seeburg 1000 was born!   You can listen to this proto-Muzak now, as a constant online stream, plenty of music to make you feel like cleaning your whole house RIGHT NOW.



Disney: It’s A Living, Gretel

Going through stacks of records, I redisc-overed this gem from 1964: Walt Disney Presents The Story of Hansel and Gretel, with music from the opera by Humperdinck.

vintage disney hansel gretel lp

At first I thought it was this Engelbert Humperdinck, but it turns out it was by this one; thanks NPR. As disappointing as that was, there was another delightful discovery…

Along with Laura Olsher (narrator), Michael Donahue (Hansel) and Martha Wentwoth (Witch), the voice of Gretel was Ann Jilliann!

story of hansel and gretel disney record

That’s a variant spelling of Ann Jillian — the extra “n” was also how she was billed for her portrayal of Little Bo Peep in Disney’s Babes In Toyland. Ann, of course, is to be adored for many things — among them It’s A Living.

The 16 year-old me adored that show; the adult me wants to watch it again. I can’t be the only one… Why isn’t that show available on DVD or Netflix or something?


Meet The Parchis

This funky album cover was my first introduction to the Parchis. According to Wikipedia, “the group’s name is a reference to the board game, Parcheesi (translated as Parchís in Spanish), where each player represents a different colored pawn (red, yellow, blue, and green). In the same way, each member of the group dressed in one of these four colors with the fifth member representing the dice.” The vinyl was too badly scratched for me to buy it. Maybe next time.

parchis album cover

This Dog, Space Walked Or Not, Won’t Hunt

I had to snatch-up this self-titled Toni Basil LP (her second album; 1983, Chrysalis Records) for 99 cents.

Inside my head, I’m saying, “Hey, how come I don’t know any of the songs? …Space Walkin’ The Dog has to be awesome!” Pleased with myself, I bring it on home, clean it off (including the pieces of paper from inside the sleeve which are stuck to the edges of the vinyl), and give it a spin on the turntable.

Now I know why I never heard of it.

It truly is unremarkable.

The LP cover has stickers and identifying markings showing this CBS “Promotion Only” copy was previously the property of KVSC, the college radio station for St. Cloud State University, MN. Primarily this is noted because even the alternative college stations couldn’t make this record rock back then; and they don’t want it in their collections now either. This dog, space walked or not, won’t hunt.

But that doesn’t mean I won’t give it another listen. You have to do that just to be sure… Otherwise you sell it and hate yourself for it later — when you have to buy it back at ten times the price.

Been there; can’t afford that.

In any case, the video for Space Walkin’ The Dog has lots of kitsch value:

Kostelanetz’s Calendar Girl

Spotted in the thrift store today, Calendar Girl, by Andre Kostelanetz and his Orchestra. In this cheesy pandering LP, the recordings are organized by month and the songs are those with girls names. (More on my vintage vinyl scores to come.)