Sunday, 26 September 2021

Randy Andrus and Cal Kellett - Red Hot

MORE HOCKEY STUFF! And this is one we've really had a hard time sitting on since we pulled it out of the OH&S nightmare that is the Recordland 7" room. A few years ago, we were reminded of a terrible video from the mid-80's that featured members of the Calgary Flames badly lip synching to a tune celebrating their team:

Apparently this was part of a fundraiser for the Canadian Hemophilia Society - there are VHS tapes out there somewhere. 

We're guessing this record was sent out to radio stations and wasn't part of the fundraiser (at least not directly?). But we have it in our collection, and that's all that matters

Saturday, 25 September 2021

R. Harlan Smith & The Royalty Singers - Go, Go Calgary/Fan The Flames (1981)

The newscaster tells us that it's almost hockey time again, which means it's a good time to post this record from R. Harlan Smith, the founder of Edmonton's Royalty Records. What's amazing about this record's two sides is they basically the same song - we're pretty sure that's the same bed track, just with different vocals, each track celebrating the Calgary Flames (although the B side is, despite the title, slightly more generic). 

We have a very important question about this, though - noting that Smith put out a single in the same year titled "Go Gretzky Go," did they manage to recycle the same music and bed track for FOUR songs? 

You can hear at least half of them here!

Friday, 24 September 2021

Spirit of '87 - 88/Theme From 88 (1987)

We're not sure how we missed this record back when we were digging through our Calgary-themed singles. We're assuming this was a by-product of the Song For Calgary contest, and it's a really weird one, for two reasons: first, the Francophone-themed "Feuille d'Erable" label and, second, well - how do we put this lightly? The WHITE REGGAE. 

Most notably, this was before the whole Jamaican bobsleigh team craze, which makes it extra perplexing.

But there it is.

Thursday, 23 September 2021

Keen Kraft - Cardboard Lathe

Here's something pretty random, but we're already down this rabbit hole, so let's keep going. This is a - we assume - one-off cardboard lathe that we stumbled across in our travels. Keen Kraft was a local (Albertan?) music shop from the 1950's through to the 1980's when they were bought out by Long & McQuade. We're mostly posting this because of the ad that was nestled in a clipping from an article a few days ago:

Keen Kraft moved around (or had multiple locations? one of the two) over its history - looking at the address in that ad, we're pretty sure that space eventually became Coconut Joe's. And after a quick fact-check (why did we fact-check the location of Coconut Joe's vs all the band details we've glossed over? PARALYZERS.), we can confirm this to be true:

Oh, right. The record for today. As a cardboard lathe, this thing is pretty rough - it sounds like an accordion (or chord organ?) lesson, with the student running through "Mary Had a Little Lamb" and another piece we don't recognize. 

It's maybe not as interesting as, say, reminiscing about Electric Avenue, but... it's what you get today.

Wednesday, 22 September 2021

Lenny Siebert and Sons of the Saddle - Cowpoke/In The City (1961)

Whoops! We're digging back into the 1960's with today's single, a pair of great country songs from Lenny Siebert, one of the three Calgarian siblings that made up the Siebert Brothers.

We haven't been able to locate any episodes/clips of the TV show referenced above...  but at least we've got the download!

Tuesday, 21 September 2021

Heart Records: Wood Sisters (1978), Time Machine (1978, 1979), Mary Lu Zahalan (1981)

This last set of singles from Heart Records is a bit of a weird mix. The Wood Sisters' single is super scratchy (sorry!) and we can't really tell you much about it's country tunes (other than it's in TERRIBLE shape). Mary Lu Zahalan was a former beauty queen turned singer and actress - her single is a slice of AOR and evidence of Heart's interest in out-of-town performers.

But Time Machine were local, and apparently quite a thing, a seven member band with a suitably big pop/rock sound. It's very late 70's, right down to the appearances at Lucifer's:

Get 'em here!

Monday, 20 September 2021

Heart Records: Bonnie James (1979), Weather (1979), Vacationers (1979), Pat Hatherly (1980)

We're going to blast thru the rest of the Heart Records singles that are laying around the CCPS offices... this first batch are all (kind of) name-checked in the article below, and seem to be out-of-town (Vancouver!) artists. 

We're kind of curious about the second Bonnie James single: the A side of the Pat Hatherly single appears to be the one mentioned in the article. Did James change her name? Do we care enough to find out?


Sunday, 19 September 2021

Rick Morgenstern - That Lady of Mine (1978), Lovin', Lovin' (1979), Be My Dream Maker (1979), I'm Taking Care Of The Babies (1981), Nashville's Lonely Out Tonight (1982)

Today's stack of singles is from country singer/keyboardist Rick Morgenstern. Two are on his own Meadow-Morgen Records (named in part for his hometown of Meadowlake, Saskatchewan) and the other three are on Heart Records. These are all polished little slabs of vinyl (not literally - as you've probably noticed by now, some of our records are in TERRIBLE condition), which is probably why Morgenstern piqued the interest of Heart founder Ron Mahonin:

At last sighting Morgenstern was still active, living in Edmonton and playing with the legendary Emeralds

Get these singles here!

Saturday, 18 September 2021

Ian Tyson - Beverly (1977), Alberta's Child (1980), Ol' Alberta Moon (1981), Alberta's Child (1983)

So, here's that other Highwood single - from the legendary Ian Tyson! We had to go back a revisit the timeline of his career to figure out how he ended up releasing this piece of vinyl (along with another) on such a small label. The duo of Ian & Sylvia called it quits in 1975, around the same time The Ian Tyson Show - and in 1980 Tyson signed on with a new manager that helped to reinvigorate his career. 

In that interim period between 1975 and 1980, he put out a few recordings on smaller labels (Gary Buck's Broadland imprint, the Hitchner's Highwood, and Stompin' Tom's Boot Records). We've got a selection of singles (mostly) from that era of his career, including three singles that are Alberta-themed. Oh, and two of which are the same song. That second, major-label version of "Alberta's Child" is in here also because it was mixed by Richard Harrow in his Living Room Studios.

Get 'em here!

Friday, 17 September 2021

Highwood Records - James Lee Hitchner (1975, 1976, 1977, 1981), Keith Hitchner (1975, 1981)

Today's seven singles come to us via siblings James Lee Hitchner and Keith Hitchner, and (mostly) the Highwood label. James got his start in music in the early 60's, playing in a country/pop outfit called the Cavaliers before going full country. We suspect that the Highwood label - which most of these singles are on - was a family business, as all the label seems to have put out are records by the brothers Hitchner. With one big exception, which we'll get to tomorrow. But for now, you can enjoy this ripper of a review of an early James Lee Hitchner show:

Ouch! Suffice to say, these singles are far more polished.

Thursday, 16 September 2021

Fosterchild - Let Me Down Easy/Play The Game To Win (1976)

We almost skipped posting this one, but since Fosterchild warranted Roy Wilcox's attention in Garage Band Rockers, we've got to include it. Let's turn it over to Roy for the skinny on the band:

Calgary’s answer to the Eagles came into existence in the early seventies with the formation of Fosterchild. Initially a quartet performing music that was categorized as rock with country influences, Fosterchild became regulars at the Scotch and Sirloin. Seeking a wider audience, Fosterchild’s initial lineup comprised of Jim Foster on guitar and vocals, Gordon Mar on lead guitar, Dwight Thompson on bass and Bob “Mickey” Mathews on drums travelled to Edmonton to record a demo tape. Wes Dakus’ Sundown Recorders studio filled the bill with Gaye Delorme mastering a demo of Foster’s song “Let Me Down Easy”. The result generated interest by CBS Records in the song and ultimately a record contract. In an interesting development, the label fired the entire band, bringing in bassist Dwight Thompson and Jorn Anderson on drums to finish the recording session. 

The band went on to record three LPs and put out a bunch of singles before they split; afterwards, Jim Foster joined Edmonton's One Horse Blue before embarking on a solo career.

Let me down!

Wednesday, 15 September 2021

Cry - Crackdown/Little Sister (1980), What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted/The Last Lonely One (1982)

More Stampeders-related singles! Here's a pair from The Cry - we posted their first LP a few years back, back when we had a thing against posting Stampeders stuff, apparently. Well, we've mellowed with age, and with it we can mostly appreciate this skinny tie rock. The first single is off their first LP, and the b side, "Little Sister" is a pretty good Joe Jackson rip off. But we're not sure what happened to the band in the following two years leading up to their final LP and this second single. Their cover of the Jimmy Ruffin classic, "What Becomes Of The Broken Hearted" is kind of unnecessary... and the b side is heading towards classic rock rather than new wave. 

But maybe that's the way everyone was headed at the time.

Tuesday, 14 September 2021

Rich Dodson - Julia Get Up (1972), Van Louis - Solitary Feeling (1983)

IF we had been smarter in our sequencing, we would have included this pair of singles alongside those other Stampeders 7"s we posted a short while ago. BUT we are no good at the planning sometimes. So, today's the day that you get a pair of singles by Stampeders members Rich Dodson and Van Louis. Dodson put out a pile of singles (most of which are on his own Marigold Records label), but this is just one of two singles that Van Louis (aka Emile Van Sprang) put out. The b side of his single, "Voyager," is probably our favourite track out of these four - it's a bit of a cheesy piece which is assumedly a tribute to the satellite of the same name, but it's kind of fun.

Monday, 13 September 2021

Drylanders - Such Are The Dreams (1971), Joanne (1974), I Feel It Everyday (1975), Cabin By The Stream

We're bouncing around a bit, but/and we're really trying to make it through all the 7" singles we've amassed here at the CCPS. This batch of four records today comes to us from (the) Drylanders, an easy-listening/country outfit that was active from the late 1960's... all the way into the 1980's, it appears. We name-checked the Drylanders earlier this year when we posted a single by the Kunkel Brothers - the Drylanders are made up of a whole bunch of Kunkels. AND Ron Barge (aka Buckshot) likely plays keyboards on "I Feel It Everyday." 

In the early 70's the Drylanders were playing lounges around town, and the band (and Buckshot) was also part of the action as our city ushered in our Olympic year:

Get it here!

Sunday, 12 September 2021

Will Allen and the Country Deputies - Same Old Heartache/City Park (1961)

This record puzzles us a bit, mostly because someone has written on the label either (a) to clarify and celebrate where the artist is from or (b) to mess with us. We cannot verify that Mr. Will Allen was from Calgary (or of Calgary, as the case may be), which is really a bit of a disappointment. Both sides of this single are pretty decent slices of honky tonk, and all we can find that mentions Allen is this ad:

Even though it's a different backing band. Anyways, get today's single here.

Saturday, 11 September 2021

Original Caste - One Tin Soldier/Live For Tomorrow (1969)

Since we're filling in all sorts of holes from the 60's we'd best include this single from a band that at least started in Calgary. Thankfully we can crib this story off of Wikipedia, which tells us that the Original Caste was formed in our fair city in 1966 by Bruce Innes, originally as a trio alongside Graham Bruce and Bliss Mackie. Singer Dixie Lee Stone joined the band in 1967, and they decamped to Los Angeles in 1968. Hooking up with writers and producers Dennis Lambert and Brian Potter, they hit it big with this single, the pop-folk opus "One Tin Soldier." The Original Caste morphed and shifted over the years, picking up a variety of different members including Richard Harrow.

Our copy of this single is pretty beat (as are sooooo many singles in our collection), but it's on so many comps, we figured you didn't need a pristine copy. Besides, you're probably more inclined to the version by Me First and the Gimme Gimmes. Maybe?

Friday, 10 September 2021

Johnny Harlow - Let's Take A Chance Tonight/Something Warm, Something New (1965)

We're pretty far down the rabbit hole at this point, so we're going to keep going... with a great single from Johnny Harlow, who fronted the S'Quires after their initial instrumental incarnation. 

Today's single is mentioned in the article above: it's a fun slice of bubblegum pop. The A side is a pretty catchy tune, and the B side is designed to make the girls swooooooon.

Thursday, 9 September 2021

Dew Line - Sunny Sunshine Tomorrow/Recipe For Love (1969)

The Dew Line is a bit of a mystery to us - the band gets name-checked briefly in Roy Wilcox's Garage Band Rockers, and released two singles... but that's about all we know about them. Members went on to form Done on Bradstreet (which later became simply Bradstreet), but we have no idea which ones or who else was in the band. We assume their name is a reference to the 1950's arctic early warning system... which makes finding anything about the band tricky. Still, this single has a pair of sunshine-y pop tunes that are pretty fun. Not quite garage rock fare here - but by 1969, we imagine the flowery music of California was starting to seep into the city.

Wednesday, 8 September 2021

Cheyenne Winter - Second Thoughts/Sit Awhile (1970)

All that mention of Albertan icon Barry Allen yesterday made us think we should follow up with this single, which we WERE going to peg as an Edmonton release... but we're going to to stick to our guns and keep this as a Calgary release for two reasons: one, there's a link between this band and our own CFCN TV; and two, Jim Lewis (aka Benny The Bear and father of Casey) plays on this! Maybe? We have contradictory information on that last point, although it appears Lewis was a member of the band at some point.

This single was release on Randy Bachman's short-lived Molten Records label (if only his radio show were as short-lived!) - and features Barry Allen and a large band that would eventually move to Calgary and serve as the house band on the CFCN-produced TV show Come Together. As Roy Wilcox tells it, "Come Together was the nexus of many stories. The Apollo Night Club was the brainchild of entrepreneur and Brimstone Production’s, Dave Horodezky. Located in the heart of downtown Calgary, the Apollo Club occupied the former building housing the Prophetic Bible Institute. A two-level stage was built in the sanctuary of the old church section of the building. Barry and the “Winter” hosted from the lower level while the “guest” bands played from the second level. The Winter also served as the backing band for guest soloists on the show."

We're pretty sure the video above is from a channel hosted by Jim Lewis himself - there's a lot of stuff on there worth watching. And the setup of the stage for Come Together is pretty amazing.

Tuesday, 7 September 2021

Painter - West Coast Woman (1973), Hammersmith - Late Night Lovin' Man (1975), 451° - China (1980), Prototype - Behind Your Eyes (1983)

Having just talked about the pre-cursor to the 49th Parallel, we figure we should follow up with a trio of singles that founder Dan Lowe put out after the band shifted and morphed from its original lineup. We're (as always) indebted to Roy Wilcox, who tells the story:

The demise of the 49th Parallel resulted in another morph. Dennis Abbott decided to change his personal musical course. The nucleus of Danny Lowe and Alf Cook connected with vocalist Doran Beattie and drummer Paul Burton reformed the band as the Parallel.

As is oft the case when a band experiences a change in its lead vocalist, the sound of the group is altered radically. Wes Dakus, in his capacity as a booking agent, set up a recording session and suggested the band rename itself... Thusly, Painter came into existence with substance. In time, Doran Beattie (lead vocal) and Dan Lowe (guitar) were ultimately joined by Roydon “Wayne” Morice (bass), Barry Allen (rhythm guitar) and Bob Ego (percussion) rounded out this new morph. Painter achieved significant success with their single “West Coast Woman”, which did very well on North American music charts.

Painter, as a successful Alberta rock band, came to an end in the mid-seventies. Elektra Records did not like the direction the band was taking, so after a parting of ways, Painter changed its name to Hammersmith and signed with Mercury Records in 1974. The new iteration of musicians was composed of Doran Beattie (vocals), Danny Lowe (guitar), Jeff Boyne (guitar), Royden Morice (bass) and James Llewellyn (drums). Hammersmith’s new musical persona was hard rock. Their self-titled debut album for Mercury was released in 1975...

From the ashes of Hammersmith emerged the last morph of the legacy of the Shades of Blond – 451 Degrees. In 1978 Danny Lowe, along with vocalist Hal Whitford went to Edmonton to record at Wes Dakus’ Sundown Recorders. To fill out the recording roster, they hired Bob Walker to play bass, Bob Ego to play drums, Norman Durkee on piano and Martin Barre, who played guitar with Jethro Tull. Five tracks were laid. Later a different version of the band was pulled together 451°. The band was now complete with Danny Lowe on guitar, Jim Clench of Bachman Turner Overdrive and April Wine on bass, and Brad Steckel on vocals and guitar. In 1980, 451° produced three singles and an album. None of this great music gained any traction in the music marketplace...

In 1982, Painter guitarist, Danny Lowe experienced what he called "an industrial accident" while placing 14 microphones in a sound studio. In playing back the recording made that day, he discovered he had inadvertently created an auditory illusion that he was surrounded by sound. The effect resembled how the human ear physiologically actually hears.

Over the next eight years, he and electro-technician John Lees worked together to fine tune the system. Q-Sound was patented in 1990 and music artists such as Sting, Madonna, INXS, Pink Floyd, Kate Bush, Paula Abdul, Julian Lennon, Wilson Phillips and Luther Vandross quickly embraced the recording system. Q-Sound is now a global supplier of audio technology for a host of consumer electronics as its proprietary algorithms deliver a fuller, natural and immersive audio experience as demonstrated on the Wilson Phillips song You’re in Love.

We've cherry-picked three singles from the time above, all featuring the songwriting and guitar work of Dan Lowe. The Painter and Hammersmith singles feel very 1970's - they could easily be part of the April Wine catalogue (or maybe even Napalmpom's). 451° is a bit more prog - we kind of wonder if Lowe's studio tinkering was already part of the equation at that point. We've also pulled in a single from a Dan Lowe band that doesn't show up in Garage Band Rockers - we assume Protoype was an evolution of 451°, putting out one album and few singles.

We're pretty certain in our stance that the 49th Parallel are Calgary's most important band - and the legacy that their members cut from 1966 through into the 1990s certainly back that up.

Monday, 6 September 2021

Various - International Master Discovery Records (1966)


Sometimes you pull a record out of a box, blink, and squeal with delight. Which is exactly what we did when we found this gem over the summer. Let's turn to Roy Wilcox's Garage Band Rockers for the story:

The story behind this recording is chronicled on rpmcanada1971 channel on YouTube. According to the story, a contest was held in Calgary with the first prize being the band’s performance becoming a record on Sotan Records (A Mel Shaw company). The organizers of this contest were sure that another Calgary band, The Stampeders, would win and wanted their song for the record. As it turned out the Shades of Blond won with their version “All Your Love”. To resolve this unanticipated problem, all 4 bands had their songs cut on an extended play (EP) record. The contest, however judged, ended up with the following rankings:

1 Shades of Blond – “All Your Love”

2 Jim Wheeler and the Spokes – “Secret Spy”

3 The Stampeders – “You Never Know Until You Try”

4 The New Brands – “Ace Up His Sleeve”

Of the four tracks on here, three are penned by Mel Shaw - which to us seems like a bit of a conflict of interest/way to cash in on royalties. But it's the non-Shaw track which is the standout for us - The Shades of Blond's "All Your Love" is a banger, and absolute gem of Canadian garage rock. A couple years after this compilation came out, Shades of Blond would change their name to the 49th Parallel, and songwriters Danny Lowe and Dennis Abbot would turn out a pile of other garage rock bangers.

As far as we know, the only recorded tracks by Jim Wheeler and the Spokes and the New Brands are on this record; and of course, we're told you LOTS about the Stampeders already.

So just jump to the download, won't you?

Sunday, 5 September 2021

Stampeders - Morning Magic/All The Time (1967)

Well, back to some garage rock. Following up on our Stampeders megapost from back in July, we've relented and added "Sweet City Woman" to that original post - but we think this single warrants its own little mention. It's not the Stampeders' first single - but it's their first on Mel Shaw's Music World Creations label (though not their first appearance on MWC - but more about that later!). We're not clear on the timeline of the Stampeders' move from Calgary to Toronto - this single probably came out just as they were making that move. 

This is also a nice foreshadowing of the Stampeders' recorded output, with two very different feels to the sides. The A side is a breezy bit of folk rock, which the second side (which we much prefer) is a great slice of garage rock (which is obviously why we like it). Oh, and a note on the download: our copy, which we pulled out of a box in a record store this summer, has an unfortunate chunk missing from the outer edge - which means the A side fades up after the literal break. That cherished B side is unaffected, though.  

Well, them's the breaks.

Friday, 3 September 2021

Children Of The World For The World - Where Is Our Love (1985)

While we're talking about songs from schools, and as we depart the land of anniversary/centennial celebrations, let's take a listen to this single from the awkwardly-named Children Of The World For The World, which seems to have been a fundraising project in the mid 80's. We scoured the list of names on the back cover hoping that we'd find the first recordings of, say, Sara and Tegan - but no dice (especially sad since our copy is SIGNED!). The only name we recognize in the credits is producer Danny Lowe. What's also great about this single is that side B is an instrumental of this soft rock ballad. So if you have a thing about kids' voices, it might be the panacea you need.

Get it here!

Thursday, 2 September 2021

Calgary Separate School Board - Centennial Souvenir Record (1967)

Okay, back to Calgary and a celebration of Canada's centennial year. We hope there was a picture sleeve for this 7", but in the absence of anything more detailed, all we can tell you is that this is a compilation of songs performed by children from four Calgary schools...unfortunately, we can't tell if these were original compositions or not. Maybe you went to one of these schools and can fill in the blanks for us?

Until then, you can just grab the record here.

Wednesday, 1 September 2021

John Antle/Barry Allen - Alberta RCMP Century Celebrations (1974)

We at the CCPS are firm believers in the ACAB principle, so we weren't sure about posting this single, which is a celebration of 100 years of the RCMP colonialism and the oppression of our Indigenous peoples. BUT side two of this features Barry Allen, an early figure in Edmonton's rockabilly/garage rock scene. 

So, have at it.  

Tuesday, 31 August 2021

Evelyn Shursen - Stettler Anniversary Song/Here's To Alberta (1980)

Aha! An anniversary single that isn't country music! It's... easy listening? Choral? Evelyn Shursen's voice is near operatic on this, while songwriter and accompanist Elaine Hennel's piano and organ stylings on this ode to Stettler sound not unlike, well, our grade school music teacher. It's weird to think of this coming out in 1980 - it sounds like it came out of the 1940's.

But then, we've never been in step with the times.

Monday, 30 August 2021

John Jarvis - Ponoka Proud: Seventy-Fifth Anniverary (1979)

Today's anniversary platter comes to us from Ponoka - and, yep, it's a country tune. As you tap your toes along to this one, you'll probably find yourself wondering a bit about the lyrics. Is that "God bless our town and keep it clean" or "Go bless our town and keep it free?" Please let us know which you think it is.

Get it here!

Sunday, 29 August 2021

Various - Hats Off... To 100 Years - Medicine Hat Centennial Song (1983)

Well, we might as well give some love (?) to a few other Alberta municipalities and their anniversary records. This one comes from the good people of Medicine Hat - and their centennial celebration. The first side of this record is an upbeat country tune that plays on the town's name, while the B side is an instrumental version of the tune with a narrated story of the town - it's kind of dry and bureaucratic, and somewhat awkward. 

Hats off, indeed!

Saturday, 28 August 2021

Hagood Hardy - Anthem for Canada/A Salute to Alberta's 75th Anniversary (1980)

Continuing the trend of non-Albertans "celebrating" Alberta (or maybe just cashing in on our history?), here's a pair of 7" records from composer Hagood Hardy that appear to have been commissioned by TransCanada Pipelines as part of the province's big 75th anniversary celebrations. The first two sides are a celebration of Canada, which is a bit weird. BUT the Alberta-themed compositions are big, bombastic slices of orchestral pop.