Top of the Pops Vol. 40

Sleeve Notes:

“What is the phenomenal release that will have legions of pop fans racing to their local record dealer or department store? Volume 40 of Hallmark Records’ Top of the Pops – a series, which since it was inaugurated six years ago has sold six and a half million records in the UK alone, more than half of those being sold in the last two years”.

No we’re not blowing our own trumpet. This was a quote from the 31st August edition of “Music Week” the leading Journal to the record trade. You want to hear more? yes? Right, here goes – from the same feature article.

“To a great extent, we have a regular buying clientele, although I think we are getting new customers all the time. Many people send us letters, telling us that for some reason or other they’ve lost or damaged one of the volumes, and would it be possible to obtain a replacement, otherwise their set will be incomplete. I’m sure that the Top of the Pops will continue as long as we give tremendous value for money and don’t go amiss with our choice of titles”.

We think this is enough to show what a great buying public we have for the longest-running, best-selling, regularly released album in the world.

Here’s Volume 40 – Enjoy it!

Top of the Pops Vol. 40

Hallmark SHM 875

1974 1970s Covers

16 Chart Hits Vol. 14

Sleeve Notes:

Steppin’ Out – I’m Gonna Boogie Tonight, Love Me For A Reason, Queen Of Clubs, Kung Fu Fighting, Smoke Gets In Your Eyes, Black – Eyed Boys, Rock Me Gently, The Bitch Is Back, Now That We’ve Found Love, You, You, You, Hang On In There Baby, The Player, Annie’s Song, Mr. Soft, Another Saturday Night, Rock ‘N’ Roll Lady

16 Chart Hits Vol. 14

Label: Contour 2870 374

1974 1970s Covers

The Scott Joplin Ragtime Album played by Ronnie Price

Sleeve Notes:

Scott Joplin was born in 1868 and died in 1917 At the time of his death, on April 1st in the Manhattan State Institute, Joplin, who had been committed to the hospital in the autumn of the previous year by the second Mrs. Joplin, was not only virtually insane, but also penniless. It is incredible to note that even during his period in the hospital, he still tried to compose — but alas the magic had gone for ever.

The story started on November 24th in 1868 when Joplin was born in Texarkana, Texas. His mother, a laundress, came from Kentucky and his father, a labourer and an ex-slave, from North Carolina. As a child, Joplin played the guitar and bugle and at the age of seven he started picking out melodies on a neighbour’s piano. At the age of eleven a local German music teacher, who recognised Joplin’s natural gifts, gave him free music lessons. After the death of his mother and following a dispute with his father over learning a trade, the fourteen year old Scott Joplin left home. He travelled the Mississippi Valley states playing in all-night cafes, bawdy houses, saloons and variety, anywhere that he could get basic wages or sometimes just tips. The new music being played at this time was Ragtime or, as it was then called, Ragged time. The man who became the Master of Ragtime as it developed from that strangely red-light world. was Scott Joplin.

He moved to St. Louis in 1885 and this was to become the centre of his activities for a number of years. He went to the Chicago Worlds’ Fair in 1893 where he formed an orchestra and worked regular hours. but out of hours it was back to the bars of the District and Ragtime. He wandered back to St. Louis, on to Sedalia and back to St. Louis, but in 1895 he returned to Sedalia and formed the Texas Medley Quartet. The Quartet took him as far as New York where he sold his first pieces for publication. Two years later he wrote Maple Leaf Rag, but such were the problems of a black musician at this time that it was not finally published until two years later. The music on this album covers over a decade of Joplin publications and is truly the best of Joplin.

About The Artist
Ronnie Price was born in Manchester and played with many local dance bands before finally forming his own sextet. Before entering the session music scene, he learned his trade by playing, for many years, with dance music greats like Teddy Foster and Sydney Lipton. He was a member of the Tito Burns Sextet for four and a half years playing alongside giants like Johnny Dankworth and Ronnie Scott. As a session musician he has played or recorded with many of the top talents around including Andy Williams, Burt Bacharach, Cliff Richard, Shirley Bassey, Judy Garland, Sammy Davis, Nelson Riddle, Henry Mancini, Michel Legrand etc. etc. etc.
Rex Oldfield.

The Scott Joplin Ragtime Album played by Ronnie Price

Label: Embassy EMB 31043

1974 1970s Covers

The Pickwick Orchestra and Singers – The Most Beautiful Girl!

Sleeve Notes:

the most beautiful girl
This song made famous by Charlie Rich was No 1 on the Country And Western Charts for weeks.
and I love you so
This song written by Don McLean was made a hit by Perry Como.
Neil Diamond composed this great song for the movie Jonathan Livingston Seagull.
This song, made a hit by both David Cassidy and The Association, never loses beautiful freshness.
touch me in the morning
A beautiful song that only Diana Ross could have made a hit.
where is the love
Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway recorded this song and it went right to the top of the charts.
speak softly love
The love theme from the movie “Godfather” made famous by Andy Williams.
help me make it through the night
Only, writer and composer, Kris Kristofferson could have written a song as meaningful as this.
the first time ever I saw your face
Roberta Flack’s touching rendition of this song was a smash hit.

The Pickwick Orchestra and Singers - The Most Beautiful Girl!

Label: Pickwick SPC-3370

1974 1970s Covers

Lalo – Symphonie Espagnole

Sleeve Notes:

Lalo Symphonie espagnole, op.21 First movement: Allegro non troppo Second movement: Scherzando. Allegro molto Third movement: Intermezzo. Allegretto non troppo Fourth movement: Andante
SIDE TWO Lalo Symphonie espagnole, op.21 Fifth movement: Rondo. Allegro Paganini Introduction and Variations on “Nel cor piu non mi sento” Paganini Fantaisie on “Dal tuo stellato soglio”

The list of composers of other nationalities who have sought inspiration from Spain is indeed lengthy and includes such diverse musicians as Domenico Scarlatti, Boccherini, Glinka, Rimsky-Korsakov, Balakirev, Moszkowski, Liszt, Chopin, Lalo, Chabrier, Bizet, Debussy, Ravel, Elgar, Lord Berners and William Walton.

Scarlatti and Boccherini made their homes in Spain, the former spending nearly thirty years at the Spanish court and thoroughly imbibing the Spanish idiom. Some of Scarlatti’s essercizi (sonatas) might almost be Spanish dances, for the influence of the jota and other dance forms is there for all to hear. Some of his pieces, too, reflect the influence of the guitar. Boccherini admitted to some of his music being inspired by the playing of Padre Basilio, a noted guitarist of the time, and he even wrote three quintets for strings and guitar.

Of the non-Spanish composers mentioned above, Lalo, Chabrier, Debussy and Ravel assimilated the Spanish style most successfully, Chabrier visited Spain during the summer of 1882 and made for Andalusia post-haste where, notebook at the ready, he listened to all the Spanish music he could and jotted down as many melodies and rhythms as he could manage. On returning to France he incorporated some of these ideas in an orchestral work. The composition, which he called Espana, was first heard at a Lamoureux concert on 6th November, 1883, where it received a most enthusiastic reception from the audience. In the opinion of Manuel de Falla “no Spaniard has succeeded better than Chabrier in giving us, with such authenticity and genius, the version of a jota as it is ‘shouted’ by the peasants of Aragon in their nocturnal rounds.”

Debussy visited Spain on one occasion only, when he attended a bullfight at San Sebastian, and it was the authentic cante jondo singers at the Paris Exposition of 1889-1890 who really drew his attention to Spanish music. His own works which are Spanish in style include the orchestral Iberia, La puerta del vino, Soiree dans Grenade, the second movement of the String Quartet, which bears the indication “Assez vif et bien rythme,” Mandoline, and Danse Profane. Debussy furnishes an impressionist’s view of Spain and a coloured postcard from Falla was sufficient inspiration for the piano prelude La puerta del vino, where the curving melody of the cante jonde is cleverly hinted at. Of the second movement of the String Quartet, Falla wrote that it “might pass for one of the finest Andalusian dances ever written.”

Ravel’s parents lived in Spain for a lengthy period and the composer himself was born within a short distance of the Spanish border in the Basque town of Ciboure. It therefore seemed natural that he should succumb to the lure of Spain. Spanish traits are displayed in the Rapsodie espagnole, though he does not employ actual folk tunes. Another work very Hispanic in colouring and feeling is Alborada del gracioso. Although his opera L’Heure espagnole is set in Spain and is one of his most brilliant efforts in a lighter vein, it does not evoke the Iberian peninsula to the same extent as the other works mentioned.

Edouard Lalo was a Frenchman of Spanish descent and his Spanish Symphony – really a violin concerto in five movements – was written for Pablo de Sarasate, the celebrated Spanish violin virtuoso. The work was given its first performance by Sarasate and the Colonne Orchestra of Paris at the Theatre Chatelet on 7th February, 1875.

The initial movement (Allegro non troppo) of the Symphonic espagnole opens with an introduction which utilises material from the first subject. The orchestra plays the theme fortissimo and it is developed to serve as an orchestral ritornello. The violin then enters and some development takes place. Passage work ensues, leading to a short tutti, and the second theme is announced by the soloist. There is little true development but the recapitulation is elaborated. A brief coda, based on the first theme, terminates the movement.

The second movement, sometimes omitted in concert performances, is a Scherzando (Allegro molto), beginning with a sprightly prelude played by the orchestra. The solo violin introduces a cantabile theme which is developed and one recognises figures from the opening in the accompaniment. The recapitulation is normal.

The third movement, an Intermezzo (Allegretto non troppo), is also sometimes omitted. It starts with an energetic theme on the strings which, after discussion, is interrupted by the soloist with a fresh theme. An animated episode develops from this, furnishing the soloist with opportunities for displaying his technique. The theme introduced by the violin after the orchestral prelude eventually returns.

The fourth movement, an Andante, opens with an orchestral prelude, after which the movement’s main theme, a cantilena, is heard from the violin and developed very simply. The second theme, also enunciated by the violin, is more ornamented. The first theme returns before a short coda ends the movement.

The Rondo-Finale (Allegro) opens with a spirited orchestral introduction, after which the soloist enters with the chief theme. The development of this theme and the presentation of one or two subsidiary themes provides the basis of the movement.

Niccolo Paganini can, with justification, be called the ‘Liszt of the violin’. Like Liszt, he embodied in his playing the summit of technical wizardry to which his contemporaries aspired, and his reputation is still surrounded by an aura of mystery and legend. Like Liszt, too, he was also a composer, though not to such a prolific extent. More particularly, besides leaving a sizeable body of original music, he used other men’s compositions as vehicles for variations, fantasias and so on, and both of the pieces on this record are of this type. (Posterity has returned the compliment to Paganini whose own ’24th Caprice’ has been the subject of variations by many subsequent composers, notably Brahms, Rachmaninov, Boris Blacher and Lutoslawski). It is an interesting thought that much music, long neglected or forgotten in its original form, still has a claim to posterity through the reworking of other composers. Such might be said of Paisiello’s La Molinara, a two-act opera dating from about 1788 and long since banished from the stage along with his 100 or so others. Paganini based his variations on the bass aria ‘Nel cor pib non mi sento’ (a theme also used by Beethoven for the same purpose). It appears that several versions of this piece exist, the one on this record being a transcription from memory by Carl Guhr, first published in 1831. (Guhr was acquainted with Paganini and it was the latter’s playing which inspired him to write his treatise on ‘The Art of Playing the Violin’.) There are seven variations, one in G minor and the rest in G major. Each has some special form of virtuosity – in the third there are double shakes in harmonics, and in the last widespread ascending and descending arpeggios. The theme and third variation are written on two staves, one for the bowed melody played with the right hand, and the other for pizzicato notes that are played with the left. There also exist three other manuscripts of the piece, one in Paganini’s hand and entitled ‘Caprice’. They differ in many respects from the Guhr transcription and show that Paganini did not always play the piece in the same way as Guhr transcribed it. A programme of 1837 indicates that the composer also played the work with orchestra.

Rossini’s Mose in Egitto (‘Moses in Egypt’) provided the basis for the Fantaisie which was originally scored for violin with orchestra. Berlioz commented on this work, declaring that Paganini used the bass drum to better effect than in Rossini’s original aria (the ‘Prayer’ sung by the bass). Whereas Rossini had placed a drum-stroke on the first beat of the bar, Paganini placed it on the syncopated beat. When one admirer, while complimenting Paganini on this piece, happened to point out that Rossini had at least furnished him with a beautiful theme, Paganini replied “That’s true, but he didn’t invent my bang on the big drum”.

It is most likely that the present arrangement with piano accompaniment, as well as an arrangement for string quartet, were provided by the original publisher Ricordi. The violin part is written entirely for the G string in ‘scordatura’ (that is, the string is retuned a third higher to B flat). The introductory Adagio in E flat minor is based on the ‘prayer’ aria. The theme is repeated three times, the second time an octave higher, and the third time with harmonics. There then follows a ‘tempo alla marcia’ in the major key, which is a paraphrase of the march and chorus from the opera. Three variations, the third in harmonics, and a short coda conclude the piece.
© Art &Sound Ltd, 1974

SALVATORE ACCARDO was born in Naples on 26th September, 1941, and began to study the violin at the age of six under Luigi d’Ambrosia, Professor at the Conservatoire S. Pietro a Majella di Napoli, and later with Yvonne Astruc at the Academia Chigiana in Siena. He began his brilliant career at the age of fourteen, winning the National Competition ‘Arts’ in Milan, and was elected by the Chigiana Academy to play a Wieniawski Concerto on Italian Television. Graduating from Naples Conservatoire in 1956 he was the only one to reach the finals in the Geneva International Competition, being honoured with a special award. The following year he shared the first prize at Geneva in the Paganini Inter-national Competition and in 1958 was adjudged the winner, being granted the privilege of playing on Paganini’s violin -the famous ‘Guarnieri del Gesu’, the first competitor ever to do so. In 1965 he also won the ‘Diapason’ Prize with this inscription: ‘To Salvatore Accardo, a violinist of high calibre, a very young artist with much to commend him, who has established himself amongst the largest concert organizations of the world’. He has given concerts for the most important societies in Italy and in the capital cities of Europe. He completed his sixth tour not only in the United States but also in South America, and throughout he received outstanding support from press and public alike. He made a tour of South Africa in October 1968 and undertook a series of concerts in Japan during the 1968/9 season. Mr. Accardo has played with many famous orchestras, including the Berlin Philharmonic, the Lamoureux, the Suisse Romande, the Vienna Symphony, the Los Angeles Philharmonic, and in this country with the London Philharmonic.

Lalo – Symphonie Espagnole

Label: Saga 5398

1974 1970s Covers

Ray Conniff His Orchestra and Chorus, The Happy Beat of

Sleeve Notes:

Way back in 1956 when Ray Conniff was employed in the Artist and Repertoire department of CBS Records in America, he hit upon the idea of blending voices and instruments in a way that was unique then and still is, and has subsequently become his musical trade mark.

Prior to this Ray had played trombone for many years in such bands as Artie Shaw, Bunny Berigan and Bob Crosby, following this with a stint as an arranger for the big bands of the day. It was his flair and interest in arranging, combined with the opportunities presented him by working in an A and R department, that enabled him in 1956 to make a recording of the tune “S’Wonderful” from which all his ultimate success eminated. There are many musical and technical reasons why the blend of instruments and voices as arranged by Ray should be so successful but they would only add up to the same thing, and that is, that Ray Conniff is easy listening. The rhythm is always bright, the sound always clear, the voices always in tune and the diction never less than excellent.

The formula has changed little over the years with ‘standard’ songs being the basic ingredients.

On this album for example, we have twelve all time favourite compositions which range from hit numbers from films (Gigi and Never on Sunday), through to hits from the Continent (Volare), via songs that have been hits for rock artists (My Prayer and Blueberry Hill), and ending with hit songs from the musical stage (I’ll Never Walk Alone and Mack the Knife).

Songs that truly cross all the frontiers of popular music, but which, under the talented pen and baton of Ray Conniff, are transferred into his own individual creation — The Happy Beat.

Ray Conniff His Orchestra and Chorus, The Happy Beat of - another sexy record cover from Cover Heaven, just one of hundreds to enjoy at Cover Heaven

Label: Hallmark SHM 874

1974 1970s Covers

With My Hands Lifted Up – Scripture Songs – Various Artists

Sleeve Notes:

The last few years has seen a tremendous change in the form of worship in most churches, especially in the realm of praise. Our music has developed so that we can sing about Jesus and what God has done for us in the kind of music we enjoy most.

However, two things stand out very clearly. The ever increasing demand for local productions and the even greater demand for more scriptures in song. We gratefully acknowledge the ministry of Scripture in Song, New Zealand, who with their wonderful records have been largely responsible for this, and our record has been produced, not only to meet this demand, but also with the prayer that it will be as blessed and anointed of God as theirs have been. We too, know the joy of learning God’s word in the easiest and most enjoyable way imaginable–in song.

Personally I have found the scriptures in song a marvellous weapon in my day to day spiritual warfare. How can Satan get us down with the wonderful promises of God running through our minds and into our spirits?

“Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” I believe you will hear the word of God speaking to you personally as you listen to this record.

Our thanks must go out to all the wonderfully dedicated young people who have made this record possible. For weeks they have travelled many miles from all over Sydney to come and give freely of their talents and their precious time.

They have prayed together, laughed together, and even cried as they struggled to give of their best and sometimes felt inadequate. They sought no reward except in the hope that they might be used to draw men near to God. We feel sure the Lord will mightily bless them even as we are blessed, by the word of God in this beautiful music.

Lorna O’Neill

With My Hands Lifted Up - Scripture Songs - Various Artists - a religious record cover that features a lovely looking woman - damn that's at least four Lord's Prayers!

Label: Dovetail DOVE 13

1974 1970s Covers

16 Chart Hits Vol. 16

Juke Box Jive, You’re The First The Last My Everything, Where Did All The Good Times Go, Pepper Box, Costafine Town, Da Doo Ron Ron, Goodbye Nothing To Say, Dance The Kung Fu, Morning Side Of The Mountain, The Wild One, Magic, Junior’s Farm, No Honestly, You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet, Tell Him, My Boy

16 Chart Hits Vol. 16 - beautiful record covers from Cover Heaven

Label: Contour Records 2870 376
Photograph by Keith McMillan
Sleeve Design: Jack Levy

1974 1970s Covers