Friday, February 27, 2009

I've put together a mix featuring the highlights from a small portion of the records I got in India way back in 2008. More volumes are sure to follow in the coming years.  The download can be found at the bottom of the post. Click images for jumbo-enlargement.

Manhar - "Chhodo Mujhe Chhodo"  (Jaanoo, 1985)   Manhar Udhas came from Gujrat to Mumbai in search of a job in mechanical engineering. One evening while strolling on Chowpatty Beach he met the great composing duo Kalyanji Anandji, and the rest was history. The jaunty exuberance of this song is hilarious and somehow life-affirming.

Sharda - "Kisi Ke Dil Ko Sanam"   (Kal Aaj Aur Kal, 1971)   An ornate waltz festooned with nutty strings and an accordion, composed by Shankar Jaikishan. Despite being a favorite of Shankar, Sharda was never able to reach the top bracket of singers in India, a failure she attributes to dirty politics. Still, she had the distinction of being the only college graduate among the female singers of the era. Lata didn't even get her GED!

Kishore Kumar - "Main Shharaab Pee Raha Hoon" (Prem Shastra, 1974)   Composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal, although they appear to have gotten some input from Link Wray and Herb Alpert on this one.

Ravi - "Dance Music" (Doli, 1969) A condensed history of all music ever made. Scroll down to watch a video I made, set to this glorious song.

Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle - "Aap Yahan Aye Kisliye" (Kal Aaj Aur Kal, 1971) Music by Shankar Jaikishan. I'm pretty sure this was number 723 out of the 3400 duets Kishore & Asha recorded together, their voices leaping acrobatically around each other and the mandolins, foghorns and kitchen sinks.

A merry-go-round kaleidoscope on Marina Beach in Chennai, set to Ravi's "Dance Music".  What really amused me was that there weren't any little children riding this thing, just a bunch of rowdy young men!

Manna Dey, Shailendra Singh & Chorus - "Na Mangun Sona Chandi" (Bobby, 1973)   Music by Laxmikant Pyarelal, featuring a chorus of Munchkins & Oompaloompas. Bobby is a stunning biopic recounting the life of a billionaire oil tycoon and his adventures on Bananaleaf Ranch with his wife Pamelasha.

Yesudas & Chorus - "Tere Hi Khwabon Mein" (Dhokebaaz, 1984)   With a lovely piano intro that inevitably gives way to strings and an interplanetary organ. These days Yesudas owns estates in Fort Lauderdale and Flower Mound, Texas, where he vacations with the Chorus four times a year.

S. Ambili - "Hrudayangal Vazhunna"    from the album Pulary (1982), a collection of Christian devotional songs sung in Malayalam, featuring music by John Louis.

Manna Dey & Chorus - "O My Darling" (Aakhri Khat, 1967)   Music by Khayyam and lyrics by Kaifi Azmi. A unique film with a small child as the pivotal character, Aakhri Khat is an offbeat production telling the story of a lost child seeking his mother.

R.D. Burman -- "Dance Music" (Abdullah, 1979)   From Persia to Puerto Rico in 105 seconds.

Chinmoy Chatterjee -- "Amar Mon Kemon Kare"  from the album Songs of Rabindranath (1972)

Music and lyrics by Rabindra Nath Tagore.

Bhupendra -- "Rut Jawan Jawan"   (Aakhri Khat, 1967)
Music attributed to Khayyam. "Blues In The Night" composer Harold Arlen rotates 12 degrees in his grave every time this song is played. My mama done told me.

Lata Mangeshkar -- "Jane Kya Pilaya Tune"   (Jugnu, 1973)   Ashok has a secret life as the notorious night robber Jugnu. Why does Ashok lead a double life? Does he ever save his beloved Seema and reunite with his family? I have no idea.

Manna Dey -- "???"   from the album More Bengali Hits (1975)   Not sure what this song is called (there's a complete and utter lack of english on the record), but it's the last song on Side A.

Lata Mangeshkar & Shailendra Singh -- "Chabi Kho Jae" (Bobby, 1973)   I don't speak Hindi but this sure sounds like a tribute to my late scottie dog, Hampton. Rest his sweet soul.

Mahendra Kapoor & Anuradha -- "Hota Hai Annyae Yahan"  (Bhagwan, 1976)   Music by Anil Arun.

Mohd. Rafi -- "Jawanian Yeh Mast Mast"   (Tumsa Nahin Dekha, 1978)

Music by O.P. Nayyar and lyrics by Majrooh & Sahir

Mahendra Kapoor & Bela Saver -- "O Lal Pari"   (Dhamaka, 1979)

Click here to listen to the mix

Click here to view my photos from India


Thursday, February 26, 2009

Attention contestants! The first person to correctly identify the artists and titles of the original versions of these songs will win a trip for four to the Idora Amusement Park in Youngstown, Ohio. No purchase necessary, void where prohibited.


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

"Gene and Gladys had been given these Empathy pills by their marriage counselor" remembers studio engineer Bobby Battenburg. "After Gene and The Intruders had laid down 'I'll Always Love My Momma', the medication got passed around the studio and a crazy little shindig started. Everyone who was anyone in Philly dropped by to party. I saw Bill Cosby and Noam Chomsky sharing a blunt, and James Caan teaching a card trick to Patti Labelle. As the sun was rising, Gladys got the musicians and a few of her girls together and set to recording this great new song of hers. All she said was 'Play it slow and woozy, boys'. Great drugs and a great track. Those pills never saved the marriage though. Ten months later they were divorced".


Sunday, February 22, 2009

While growing up in Rhode Island, Joe Cannon used to dream of living in the country. So naturally he moved to Los Angeles. "I thought that was the country!" Joe says. But the closest he got to real country life in L.A. was at Universal Studios where he worked as a horse barn cleaner. It was there his true talent was discovered and he was given a role on the television show "The Virginian" as a singing horse barn cleaner.  "Singing made the difference in how my clothes smelled at night" Joe confesses.

Eventually Joe's manure melodies got a bit stale, so he moved up to San Francisco and got a regular gig at the Tarr & Feathers Saloon, singing songs he'd learned in his room 20 years ago. He finally settled down in Sun Valley, Idaho. "This is it, the country, or about as country as I'd like to get after living in the city for so many years." City Boy's Country Dream is an album of all original compositions, released by JDJ Records in Sun Valley, Idaho. There is no date on the record.  Any guesses?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Music by Anand Milind, lyrics by Sameer, and jeans by Gitano.


Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Evi Edna Ogholi - The World  (On The Move, 1988)

Monday, February 9, 2009

“For our seventh wedding anniversary, Bill took me to see Kenny Loggins at the Pine Bluff Convention Centre” writes Hillary Clinton in her soon-to-be published memoirs United Statesmen. “That was when I first became aware of his wandering eye. Kenny’s backing singers were a group of four sisters and brothers introduced as the Waters family, and one of the sisters was a real cutie called Maxine. We had front row tickets, naturally, and Bill could not tear his eyes away from the little minx, even during Footloose for heaven’s sake. I was heartbroken to observe his excitement taking shape in the tight powder blue slacks he was wearing. When we returned home he suggested a lil’ ole roll in the hay, which was his playful euphemism for sexual intercourse. Something inside me snapped - I threw my glass of milk over him and shouted ‘Save it for Maxine, buster!’”

Waters, as the sibling singing group was known, enjoyed a lucrative career backing Loggins, Glenn Frey, Paul Simon and many other over-rated white men, but the highlight of their career came in this song from their only album, released back in 1975, the year that Bill and Hillary had tied the knot.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

fables of fablu   GWEN MCCRAE  Rockin' Chair  •  CACHAO   Queja Africana, Protesta Abakua  •  RAHSAAN ROLAND KIRK   Make It With You  •  BOBBY HEBB   Sunny  •  HERCULES & LOVE AFFAIR   Raise Me Up (feat. Anthony Hegarty)  •  LEROY SMART   Ballistic Affair  • HERB OHTA   Keeping You Company  •  YMA SUMAC   Remember  •  KEITH TIPPETT GROUP   Thank You For The Smile  •  DILLARD & CLARK   The Radio Song  •  SANDY DENNY   Stay Awhile  •  GILBERTO GIL  Coragem Pra Suportar  •  BURT BACHARACH   Reach Out for Me  •  JO STAFFORD   Haunted Heart  •  OMAR SOULEYMAN   Arabic Dabke  • PHYLLIS HYMAN   Under Your Spell  •  ASTRUD GILBERTO   Wailing Of The Willow  •  CURTIS MAYFIELD   Keep On Keeping Up  •  JOHNNY CLARKE   Let Him Try  •  THE PERSUASIONS   Good Times  •  THE FLATLANDERS   Keeper Of The Mountain  •  BOB MARTIN   Captain Jesus • LOW MOTION DISCO    Things Are Gonna Get Easier (Sebastien Tellier Vocal Remix)


Thursday, February 5, 2009

According to urban dictionary the word "babla" is hindi slang for female mammaries, while metaphorically it refers to "everything that's nice in the world squeezed into one small bundle". I was surprised that Babla, Benny, and Vijay were able to squeeze so many nice instrumental grooves onto a single record, but by golly they did.  Babla Plays Ghazal Hits was released in 1985.

(from left to right: Vijay, Babla, and Benny)


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Dear listeners, we hope you enjoy Indian music because for the next several months Ponytone will be sifting through the sixty or so records we picked up in India last autumn and sharing the nuggets with you. (Don't worry, we'll continue posting Chilean electrofunk and Kansas City casio on a semi-regular basis). First up, a few highlights from the soundtrack to the 1976 film Barood, with music by S.D. Burman and lyrics by Anand Bakshi.