Saturday, July 30, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LIX-Christmas In July

We've got a happy doodle today, featuring Santa and three of his helpers. This one is from the kiddy LP The Pixie Helpers and Santa Claus-Sing Along With Santa's Helpers (Tops Hi-Fi L1700, 1959). I'm afraid I can't tell you anything at all about this LP or the doodle, but you can read a little bit about the label here. You'll just have to enjoy it for it's own sake.

Santa Meets Mr. Magoo

Only two days left here for Christmas in July, so I've got to cram a pile of stuff into this remaining weekend. I found this rather squinty Santa Claus on the cover of Christmas In America Sing-Along (Richmond S 30104). He reminded me a lot of Mr. Magoo, but I don't know if there's any connection, really. The cover designer is listed as Burt Portnoy, but I don't think that necessarily means he was the artist. The record is one of those budget release things that lists no artist (other than Orchestra And Chorus) and has nothing on the backside but ads for other records. The music is just a chorus singing the same old Christmas songs with the same old arrangements you've heard time and time again. At least it has a great Santa Claus on the cover.

Friday, July 29, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LVIII-Christmas In July

This may be the newest doodle I've posted to date. And it's a disco doodle! Can you believe it? This music is so generic, it doesn't even need to list an artist, it just says Christmas Disco Party on the front. I'm going to say the artist is Max Fagen, since he sings on all the vocal tracks, wrote or arranged all the songs and plays rhythm. The label is Classic Christmas, catalog number is CCR 1941, from 1979, just about time for the big disco backlash. And the music? You really don't want to know...

Christmas Tie In July

I meant to post some Classic Ernie pictures today, to give everyone a small break from the Christmas doodles, but I didn't get to it. So instead I present the tie I found today. Everybody remembers the Abominable Snow Monster from the animated Rudolph cartoons. Or is he from the one with the elf who wanted to be a dentist? They are all running together in my head. Which one had Yukon Cornelius? I've got to go do some research on this. In the meantime, enjoy the tie. I'll be back soon with our Christmas doodle of the day, and believe me, it's a real dilly of a pickle!

Thursday, July 28, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LVII-Christmas In July

Today's rather elegant doodle belongs to Ella Fitzgerald's Christmas (Capitol ST 2805, 1967). I believe this was Ella's second christmas album, the first one was for Verve. She was a little bit older on this one, and perhaps she didn't swing quite as much as on the earlier one, but she's still the first lady of song, so you know it's gonna be good. At first I thought maybe this doodle was all one single line, but it's actually five or six single lines. Still, it's got a quiet elegance that's not found in most of the doodles I've posted. Hope you enjoy it!

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LVI-Christmas In July

As the month slowly begins to wind down, I'm worrying about finding enough good doodles to share with my audience. But every time I get worried, I find something else that really knocks me out. This isn't the biggest doodle yet, or the fanciest, but it's pretty and nice, and it just screams 50's to me. So here you go! This is from The Jimmy Joyce Singers With Orchestra Conducted By Billy May-A Christmas To Remember (Warner Brothers W 1237, 1958). The big name for me here is Billy May. I've been a huge fan of his ever since I heard his Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer Mambo, but I've only found a couple of other Christmas tracks of his. Well, four of the tracks on this LP are instrumentals, so all you get is the Billy May. And they are pretty good tracks, too. I've got another Jimmy Joyce Christmas LP here somewhere, where all the tracks are written by Alfred S. Burt, and it's really not very exciting. So that tells me it was Billy May who made this LP worth listening to. But all you care about today are the doodles, right?

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LV-Christmas In July

Quick! Without looking, what record label is this doodle from? How many of you guessed Command? Well, OK, most of you probably have no clue, but this is a very recognizable style in my opinion. It's a little more dense than their earlier covers but it's all still there. Anyhow, this is from Ashley Miller-Christmas Carols With Organ And Chimes (Command COM-K1 SD, 1963). I believe this was a special release for E.J. Korvette, whoever they are. It was not part of the regular series of records put out by Enoch Light over at Command. The only other Christmas related relase that I am aware of from Command is Merry Christmas From The Command Family Of Recording Stars (Command RS 920 SD, 1967), a various artists collection which appears to have come out after Enoch had sold the label to ABC.

This doodle is from the front of the LP, so there! It seems to have some initials on it, but you can't see them on the scan above. I think they are CM, but they are sort of stylized, so I'm not sure.

Oodles of Doodles LIV-Christmas In July

We've got another color doodle for you today. This one is all in green, which was easy for them to print since the whole back cover, text and all, is green instead of black. The Color Of Money, you might say. (Well, not so much any more.) This sketch is from For A Musical Merry Christmas, Volume 4 (RCA Victor PRS-253, 1967), and it could be purchased from your local B.F. Goodrich dealer way back when. These gas station, tire, grocery or hardware store compilations were all the rage at one time, but today they are thrift store staples. Very few of them feature doodles, but this one is an exception. I think these sorts of compilations are still being made, but today they show up in places like Dillard's or Pottery Barn. I guess Ace Hardware still makes them, too, but nowadays they are all on CD.

What A Barber Does-Classic Ernie

Why, he clips, of course! OK, it's a lame pun, but it's a great set of pictures. This was my view of the lunar eclipse from October of last year. I shot from the first light of the moon right up through near-totality. I guess the moon never really goes all dark due to the refraction of light through the earth's atmosphere. But you can see it does get pretty dark. The progressive decrease in reflected light means I had to take longer and longer exposures, too. So if you were watching it, the moon would be much darker to the naked eye than it appears in some of these pictures. In fact, for that last shot (the copper colored one), you'd have had a tough time seeing the moon if you weren't looking for it.

I previously posted a picture from a solar eclipse, and I see I promised to post this picture. That was back in April, and now it's July. I'm nothing if not on the ball.

Monday, July 25, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LIII-Christmas In July

It's inevitable that every year you will hear The Chipmunks sing The Chipmunk Song before the Christmas season ends. So it's probably also inevitable that you would see them turn up here for our Christmas celebration. I figured the least I could do was try to change it up a little by offering you a doodle from their second Christmas LP, which is more of the same, only without The Chipmunk Song. From the back side of Christmas With The Chipmunks, Vol. 2 (Liberty LRP-3334, 1963), this doodle actually features Alvin, Simon and Theodore, as well as David Seville (aka Ross Bagdasarian). I hope there's a hula hoop in one of those packages for Alvin. And if you're tired of the same old version of The Chipmunk Song, try the version by Canned Heat With The Chipmunks on for size!

Another Big Bird-Classic Ernie

OK, I promised some Classic Ernie pictures to break up the doodle monotony, so here's a close-up for you of a Great Blue Heron. This big fellows stand over three feet tall, and only marginally tolerate people in their territory. If you get too close they fly off with a loud squawk. Unlike the sandhill cranes I showed you earlier, these guys will fly off rather than attack. The sandhill cranes will actually come at you on occasion. This shot above is from South Lido Beach on the same day as this sunrise I previously shared. The picture below (a page from my August 2004 wall calendar) was taken at the Anna Maria City Pier. This gives you a pretty good idea of how large these guys are.

The Last Full Week In July

The calendar page this week is a bed of ginger plants and the brightly colored seed cones. At least I think that's what they are, I've never been sure. These have grown for years at one end of my parent's house under what used to be my bedroom window.

Sunday, July 24, 2005

Oodles of Doodles LII-Christmas In July

Similar to our Don Ho offering a few days back, here are three more Christmas ornaments, this time courtesy of Christmas With Ed Ames (RCA Victor LPM-3838, 1967). At least this time we get a few little sparkles in addition to the ornaments. I'm still steamed at the lousy doodle from Don Ho!

B.C.D. (Before Compact Discs)

Way back in the dim dark recesses of time before the compact disc was the platter of choice for music, there was the Compact 33. The Compact 33 was a sort of hybrid format that combined the speed (and small hole) of the big, full-length LPs records with the smaller size and shorter playing time of the 7" 45's. RCA had invented the 45 a few years earlier in hopes that it would outsell the LP format developed elsewhere. Those discs fared pretty well with the advent of the new 'rock and roll' music. This little promo record I found tries to hype the advantages of such an odd form factor, but the public was not fooled. RCA and others released quite a few EPs in this format, and even occasionally full LPs spread out over two of these records, but they never sold in great numbers. Collectors salivate over some of the tracks released by Elvis in this format, but most everybody else has never heard of these things. If you look close at the back of the sleeve shown below, it appears to have been sent to a Citgo station! I guess in those days, even the gas station sold records.