RARA-AVIS: Re: Noir music

From: Jim Stephenson ( jestephenson@ix.netcom.com)
Date: 20 Feb 2003

Richard wrote:

> I can't wait to see what others suggest.

And I answer: the contents of my latest CD compilation, the tracks of which are below:

1. It's A Lonesome Old Town - Creed Taylor Orchestra 2. Dragnet - Buddy Morrow Orchestra 3. Three Time Blueser (from "Take Five") - Elmer Bernstein 4. Lonely Beat (from "M Squad") - Stanley Wilson Orchestra 5. Blue Night On the Strip (from "77 Sunset Strip) - Warren Barker Orchestra 6. Blue Silhouette - Chris Connor 7. Blond Bombshell - Enoch Light Orchestra 8. Mike Hammer Story - Stan Purdy Orchestra 9. Sing-Sing Blues - Skip Martin Orchestra 10. Speakeasy Blues (from "The Untouchables") - Nelson Riddle 11. Pete Kelly's Blues (from the TV soundtrack) - Dick Cathcart Orchestra 12. Velda - Stan Purdy Orchestra 13. Four Walls and One Dirty Window Blues - Anita Ellis 14. Blue Satin (from "Mr. Lucky") - Henry Mancini 15. Pink Lady - Buddy Morrow Orchestra 16. Richard Diamond - Skip Martin Video All-Stars 17. This Is the Naked City - Buddy Morrow Orchestra 18. Lonleyville - Creed Taylor Orchestra 19. San Francisco Blues (from "The Line Up") - Buddy Morrow Orchestra 20. Peter Gunn - Living Strings 21. Lonesome - Henry Mancini 22. Lujon - Henry Mancini 23. I Wish You Love - Keely Smith

Many of these are obvious choices--tracks from soundtrack albums for example, or other versions of those songs. I'd like to note a couple of tracks for RARA-AVIANS because their literary connections--and to bring things back on topic. Track 13, "Four Walls and One Dirty Window Blues" by Anita Ellis is from the late 50s LP "I Wonder What Became Of Me," an early experiment in the "concept album" genre. The songs are sung in the persona of an alienated, depressed woman who is recovering from a love affair; there are short narrations linking the songs--which were written by Davis Grubb. Tracks 8 & 12 are from a 1953 10" EP called "Mickey Spillane's Mike Hammer;" the first side (from which these tracks are taken) are sort of musical pictures of Mike Hammer and his world. The second side is an amazing little skit set to music, a sort of dialogue between Hammer & a woman (not Velda) with typically overheated Spillane prose. Best of all, Spillane himself acts the part of Hammer, years before he did it on screen.

Interested in taking a look at what some of these old LPs look like? Here's a link to give you an idea: http://kanu.ku.edu/retro/gallery/crime/gallery(crime).htm

Always spinnin' them tunes--

Jim Stephenson

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