Wednesday 29 September 2021

Circus - Not If You're Lovin' Me/Real Emotion (1983)

Carrying on with our Doug Wong Music singles, here's one from skinny tie rockers Circus. We're pegging them as such EVEN THOUGH there are no skinny ties in evidence in the pictures on this record's inner sleeve. We don't want you to take that as a bad thing, though - this single is pretty catchy, and we have to give frontman Andrew Telfer full points for his observation that Calgary's isolation has helped local bands foster unique sounds:

The article above lets on that somewhere around 1984, Circus shifted from being a popular bar band, and leveraged the money they'd made to put together an album of originals under the name Biggy Newstomp - but we can't tell if that ever saw the light of day. It's certainly not a name we're familiar with. But then, we're often clueless.

Tuesday 28 September 2021

Melchizedek - She/Sonic Stallion (1982)

Yesterday's post has officially launched us into the Doug Wong Music section of our 7" collection. Ever since Rob Bartlett shared his collection of Sundae Sound singles, we've been kind of fascinated by Doug Wong's legacy - from the 1970's through to the late 2000's, his endeavours touched a lot of the local scene. So many of the tapes we shared in our early years came out of the Canada Cassette/Canada Disc & Tape space he ran in the city's northeast.

His Doug Wong Music imprint kicked off in 1979, and if we're reading the Discogs entries correctly, put out 106 7" records. Many of which we've managed to get our hands on... including this one from prog rockers Melchizedek. 

The 7" format is a bit of a weird one for this single, which packs songs which are over 5 minutes long onto each side. But we suspect the decision to go with a 7" may have been partly a financial one - the article below suggests that Melchizedek was probably a bit of a niche band:

We recognize that many of you are probably more interested in the first part of that article... please try to stay focused long enough to get to the download.

Monday 27 September 2021

Randy Andrus - He's Back! (1983), Cal Kellett - Run Away (1983), Cruiser (1984)








After yesterday's RED HOT post, you're probably super curious about the two guys behind that track (and you might be itching for more of those awesome synth horns). Well, we've got you covered - albeit minus more synth horns. Today we've got a trio of singles from Randy Andrus and Cal Kellett, two of which have some of the most elaborate packaging we've seen.

Cal Kellett's singles are both pretty slick pieces of 80's pop-rock, with "Cruiser" (and its B side) coming from his rock opera-ish LP of the same title. The cover folds out into a plus sign, kind of like Isaac Hayes' Black Moses LP. The photos inside are amazing - it's almost like Kellett was staging a one-man version of West Side Story. 

Randy Andrus ups the ante with his fold out, a five-panel production that tells the story of what we presume is a hot date at the legendary 4th Street Rose being interrupted. Dames! Who can figure 'em out?! This is apparently the second single that Andrus put out - the first had similarly slick packaging:

Sorry for being so focused on the artwork for these two singles (and really not mentioning the third) -we've been trying to figure out how to fold them back together.

Sunday 26 September 2021

Randy Andrus and Cal Kellett - Red Hot (1987)

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.