Monday, 24 October 2022

Gina, Dean & Scoundrel - Live (1982)

We're assuming that the Gina in Gina, Dean & Scoundrel is Georgina Betts - and also that the Dean is Dean Clark Hall. This band was a staple in Calgary lounges in the early 1980's, and this live album (including between song applause) is a good indication of why. This a pretty fun recording - elements of pop, rock, disco, and jazz in a highly danceable mix.

Get down here!


Sunday, 23 October 2022

Gospel Chariot - Love In My Heart (1982)

Gospel Chariot is a gospel band (obviously) made up of members of the Neufeld and Fennig families. As the bio on the back of the LP notes, they played across Canada in the late 70's and early 80's before recording this at Jonathan Sound Studios in Calgary.

Get it here.

Saturday, 22 October 2022

Hank Smith - Country With Strings 'N' Things, Country My Way

This pair of Doug Wong Music-manufactured LPs feature Canadian country music legend Hank Smith - who you likely know as an Edmontonian (the cover of his Country My Way LP kind of gives that away). The first of these, Country With Strings 'N' Things, is a re-press of a 1971 release originally on Birchmount Records. We're pretty sure there were operations similar to Doug Wong Music in Edmonton, so we're a bit surprised that these ended up getting coordinated thru Calgary. 

Whatever the reason, you can get them here.

Friday, 21 October 2022

George Lyon - Old & Original Country Blues & Other Good Stuff (1981)

We'd like to thank George Lyon for the amazingly apt title of this LP, it's the perfect encapsulation of his delta blues style. The Texas-born musician (and one-time Mount Royal College instructor) mixes original compositions with traditional tunes on this, his voice accompanied by guitar, mandolin, banjo and the violin of Anne Lyon. 

Get it here.

Thursday, 20 October 2022

Paul Finkleman - The Musical Wheel (1981)

Paul Finkleman is probably better known as Paulo around town (especially in schools, where we think he is still performing, or at least was pre-pandemic) - the performer and entertainer (he brings a flair to his work that takes him a bit beyond singer/songwriter territory) has been active in the city since the late 1970s. 

This is - we think - his first LP, bringing together pop sensibilities and folk leanings, glued together with a serious sense of fun and lightheartedness. 

Get it here.

Wednesday, 19 October 2022

Sir Winston Churchill High School Girls' Chorus - Sir Winston Churchill High School Girls' Chorus (1981)

It's been a while since we've posted anything by a school choir, so... here's the WCHS Girls' Chorus with "some of their favourite choral selections". Every time we come across this type of record, we scan the faces and names to see if there's anyone we recognize - no dice for us on this one, but maybe you know (or were) one of the singers?

Get it here.

Tuesday, 18 October 2022

Jim Leahey - Across The Great Divide (1981)

The Doug Wong Music file for this LP has a Lake Louise address for singer/songwriter Jim Leahey, which definitely matches the blurb on the back of the LP which describes these songs as being inspired by the mountains. We couldn't find anything more on Leahey (not to be confused with Jim Lahey) other than that he may have played in the lounge of the Tiki Tiki in there late 70's.

Which may explain his move to the mountains. Anyways, these songs are country/folk with a really great production quality, courtesy of Richard Harrow and his Living Room Studios.

Get his LP here

Monday, 17 October 2022

Ernie Manera - From Meadow Wood Road To Here (1981), Chiaroscuro (1982)

Although he played here regularly in the early 1980's, Ernie Manera was a Victoria, BC-based folk singer. His first LP was recorded here with Richard Harrow, while that second LP was recorded across the prairies (including a return to the Living Room Studios). These are solid folk albums, presented as they would be live - just Manera and his acoustic guitar (okay, with a bit of second guitar and dulcimer to fill things out a wee bit). 

Get them here

Sunday, 16 October 2022

Dan Reeder - Honky Tonk Ladies, Gypsies, & Babies (1981)

We THINK Dan Reeder was from Lethbridge, based on the recording info on this LP - but the file for the pressing that Doug Wong gave us has a Castleridge address for Reeder. So who knows? As the title hints, this is is country music with a honkytonk leaning. And you can get it here.

Saturday, 15 October 2022

Barrie Alan Wilson - Barrie Alan Wilson (1981)

We don't know anything about Barrie Alan Wilson other than the note he left us on the back of this album: 

As you can see, I had a great time making this record, which is the result of 10 fun-filled months of  playing or otherwise listening to the same songs over and over and over and over again. Though most of my inspiration comes from the music of the masters, some also comes from classical music such as the 'Flintstones Theme', so I think you will find lots of variety on this album. (Something for everyone!) 

I toyed with all kinds of titles for the disc, first was "LADIES & GENTLEMEN WILL YOU PLEASE WELCOWS BARRIE ALAN WILSON, but that was too long, "SOUTHERN GOSPEL" was fine, but I live too far north, "BARRIE ALAN WILSON SINGS GOSPEL FAVORITES", but hat that simply wasn't true and "STAMPEDE CITY" had too much local colour or something. So I gave up on a title, satisfied to have a debut album that sounds like a debut album, a faithful rendition of my style of bargain basement rock. Hey, "BARGAIN BASEST ROCK", Yah, that might make a good title, but then again... 

Anyway, these are my roots, this is my testimony. I hope it will inspire you, and I hope to meet you soon.

Unlike a lot of the religious and gospel records that came out of the city, this one has a definite garage rock slant to it, with a bit of boogie baked in for good measure. We get echoes of Roky Erickson in parts of this, which is definitely a cool thing - and definitely worth checking out

Friday, 14 October 2022

Frank Kuhl - Frank Kuhl (1981)

Those of you who grew up in the 80's might remember Frank Kuhl as the trumpeter who played at Calgary Flames games (others might remember him as a music teacher at Bishop Carroll High School). This LP features not just Kuhl's trumpet and flugelhorn, but also his "unique vocal stylings." Sure, his covers of songs of the times like "Sailing" are good, but it's the instrumentals we're here for - that medley that kicks off the second side of this is aces.

Kuhl is now in Bellingham, Washington, where he's the director of the Bellingham Community Band.

Get his LP here.

Thursday, 13 October 2022

Tom & Curt - Sure Thing (1980)

Tom & Curt (and Tom) were a Lethbridge band who - based on the selections on this LP - must have been a bar band. They pull a range of country, pop, and surf covers, rolling from Dan Hill's "Sometimes When We Touch" straight into the Surfaris' "Wipe Out." But we suppose that was the reality of a bar band of the times.

Get Tom & Curt's LP here.

Wednesday, 12 October 2022

Wally Havrilenko - Just In My Dreams (1980)

As far as we can tell, Wally Havrilenko wasn't a Calgary-based musician (looks like he was based in Winnipeg, based on the contact info on this 12" single). It's a remarkable package, though - it's effectively a 12" single in a gatefold sleeve, which is kind of awe-inspiring. The A side is a poppy instrumental ballad, while the B side heads into disco territory - all driven by Havrilenko's piano skills. 

Havrilenko changed his name to Christopher Rhodes and continued to play in bands across Canada, and sadly passed away in Hamilton in 2020.

Get his 12" single here.

Tuesday, 11 October 2022

Broughtons - There's A Light Guiding Me (1980)

We're teaching bad habits here, but when you look at this cover, what do you expect to hear? Gospel music with a country bent? Yup, you got it. We couldn't find out anything about the assumedly husband and wife duo of Joy and Elroy Broughton - so just grab the download

Monday, 10 October 2022

Guido D'Amico - Treasures Untold (1980)

When we posted Guido D'Amico's 1959 single last year, we hadn't yet listened to this LP, and assumed it was just a compilation of his original recordings. Nope, this is a set of new (well, new in 1980) recordings of his songs - with D'Amico backed by fans Al and Ed Owchar, along with Guido's son Guido Jr. on drums. Twenty years after those original recordings, D'Amico's voice has a bit more resonance to it - which suits his songs pretty well. 

Get it here.

Sunday, 9 October 2022

Buffalo Trails - Alberta - 75 - Saskatchewan (1980)

Every time we hear a track off this record, we're a bit puzzled. It's a telling of the story of Wainwright cowboy Bud Cotton and his exploits in the early 1900's. Accompanied by a Baldwin organ and an Ovation guitar that sounds like it's been DI'd into the recording gear. And oddly mic'd vocals. It's a very gospel-y sound to country material - the exact opposite of what we usually hear. Based on the title, we're guessing there was some of that lucrative Alberta 75th Anniversary money tied into the production of this LP.

Get it here.

Saturday, 8 October 2022

Ben Ziv - Stop Smoking With Hypnosis/Relaxation With Hypnosis, Lose Weight And Control It With Hypnosis/Regression With Hypnosis

We're sure you've been wondering, "why aren't there more weird records on this site?" Well, we've got a new kind of weird for you. Where Reveen was stage illusionist/hypnotist, Calgary-based Ben Ziv was out to help the masses with the same sort of things as Reveen - but on a much smaller scale. Instead of the stage of the Jubilee, Ziv was working out of his offices on Elbow Drive and various hotels around town from about 1979 to 1987.

What's most remarkable about this is Ziv's voice, which is far from the deep, commanding voice we'd associate with a hypnotist. That said, we accidentally listened to this at the same time as a Little Snake EP, and we gotta say - it's a hit.

Get it here.

Friday, 7 October 2022

Evvo - Soca Caribana


This 12" is one we're kind of confused about. The band is billed as Evvo, but the label indicates "music by Ebony" (a lounge band from the early 80's), and the track is produced and arranged by cocktail pianist Jimmy Carver. Thankfully, the Canadian Encyclopedia can help us out here, with their entry on calypso: "The Dominican-born, Calgary-based Evvo (Hubert Peter), who released two albums during the 1980s, is unique as a Canadian calypsonian not associated with a city that has a summer calypso festival." We're still not clear if Evvo was a band, or just a recording project for Hubert, though.

Get the 12" here.