Pre-Birthday Crate Digging

I’ve been cooling my record-buying jets a bit as my birthday approaches, but I finally made it back out to the local Antique Mall and community garage sale and brought home some fun finds.

The Dutch progressive rock band, Focus is best known for their song “Hocus Pocus,” replete with yodeling, whistling, scatting, and more.  The best version of the song was the Midnight Special performance from ’73.   The original album version is noticeably slower and doesn’t pack the punch of the live recording.  Thankfully, I found a copy of Focus – Live at the Rainbow (also from ’73) which culminates with a performance of “Hocus Pocus” that is almost on par with this Midnight Special clip.

Focus - Live at the Rainbow
For those who haven’t seen it, check it out below.

Next I found a vintage moog record I’d seen online a dozen times over the years but had never came across it in person.  Complete with kitschy cover art, here’s Hugo Montenegro’s Moog Power.

Kneel before Zod!

There are only a few novelty moog records missing from my collection (at least that I’d like to acquire), such as Gershon Kingsley’s Music to Moog By.

Gershon Kingsly - Music to Moog By
Nothing gets young lovers in the mood like moog music and nipple flowers.

At the same table of records, I found three Tom Lehrer albums, each in excellent shape.  For those not familiar with Tom, he’s a staple of the Doctor Demento show.  Lehrer was an instructor from MIT and Harvard University and wrote popular songs like, “the Elements,” “New Math,” and his most famous, “Poisoning Pigeons in the Park.”

I had previously purchased three of his albums and had the good Doctor autograph the 10″ version of his debut record from 1953 (pictured below.)

Tom Lehrer - Songs By Tom Lehrer (1953 10in autographed)

Tom Lehrer - An Evening Wasted with Tom Lehrer

And from the sale I brought home the following additional Lehrer records…

Tom Lehrer - Songs by Tom Lehrer (1953 12in)

Tom Lehrer - More of Tom Lehrer (1959)

Tom Lehrer - Songs by Tom Lehrer (1952-53)

Here’s Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements.”  (Also on Youtube is a most impressive video of this same song sung by a four year old entirely from memory!)

More still from the same table, I found Leon Redbone’s Champagne Charlie.  Now I have his first three LPs on vinyl (which are by far his best.)  Leon has been described as a “walking 78 record.”  His performances transport the listener to the Mississippi Delta sometime around 1925.  I will never get tired of his sound.  Hell, I even love the Mr. Belvedere theme.

Leon Redbone - Champagne Charlie
Below you’ll find Leon performing one of my favorite tracks, “Ditty Wah Diddy.”  (Advance the video to 2:00 for the song.)

I also found a James Brown LP that I didn’t already own.  It’s the soundtrack to the 70s blaxploitation film, Black Caesar.   Lyn Collins supplied vocals on “Mama Feelgood” and Fred Wesley and the JBs lent their horny horns throughout the album.

James Brown - Black Caesar

Before leaving the Antique Mall I snatched up one more disc – the motion picture soundtrack to Little Shop of Horrors.

Little Shop of Horrors - Motion Picture Soundtrack

The disc comes in a gatefold sleeve with photos from the film.  Fans have criticized this album for being incomplete, and so I made sure to get the expanded 46 track bootleg version as well.  The 80s movie soundtrack section of my collection is growing and this was a fun surprise to find in town.  I’ve also seen a rare soundtrack for They Live posted to; something I might pursue in the future.

That’s it for now.  The next time you hear from me I’ll be thirty years old.  Still not sure how I feel about that…