Al Kooper – Rare + Well Done (Greatest And Most Obscure Recordings (1964-2001) (2001)

FrontCover1.jpgEveryone knows Al Kooper in one form or another. If the name isn’t instantly recognizable, then Kooper’s long list of musical contributions and achievements should very well be. After all, this is the man who not only played the legendary and unforgettable organ part on Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone”, but Kooper also did everything from having a hand in penning the classic tune “This Diamond Ring” to founding such incomparable Sixties groups such as Blues Project and Blood, Sweat and Tears. The man even started out as a member of The Royal Teens who charted with “Short Shorts”. He hung out with Hendrix, “discovered” Lynyrd Skynyrd, and produced a ton of classic albums. And he’s still going strong.

So much so, in fact, that Kooper has recently released Rare & Well Done, a two disc collection that fully represent the album’s title. All the tracks were 24-bit remastered with Kooper’s own supervision. Disc one is a 19-track collection of hard to find and previously unreleased material from the Kooper vaults, while disc two features plenty of the artist’s best known work, in solo and various band formats. For longtime fans, this collection is a welcome addition to their Kooper collection. For anyone else who’s even mildly curious about Kooper’s legacy, this album works as a nice springboard from which to begin exploring the man’s vast catalogue. As it usually is with such releases, not everything here works and not every “rare” found here needed inclusion, but overall Rare & Well Done is an indispensable look back at one of rock music’s most prolific artists.

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The “Rare” disc opens with a new demo, “I Can’t Quit Her 2001”. It’s not the best song on the disc that the collection could have started with. In fact, it’s a bit schmaltzy and sounds like something that you might hear Paul Schaffer’s band doing on Letterman. It’s certainly not the best version of this classic, as the live version included on the “Well Done” disc proves. However, things fall into place and start to genuinely rock with track two, Kooper’s 1964 demo of “Somethin’ Goin’ On”. Amazingly soulful, gospel tinged and incredibly deep, “Somethin’ Goin’ On” seems light years away from everything else that was coming out in ’64 — especially Beatlemania. Kooper’s voice instantly moves one emotionally as much as those fantastic piano, organ, and guitar parts. Stunning.

But then again, the disc manages to dip down for a moment as “Autumn Song” sounds like a mid-’80s fusion/muzak piece. It would have been better had the contents of this disc been arranged chronologically as the time warps back and forth through the years certainly mess up the grooves more than once. Kooper’s own phrasing of some of the words here, like “winter” also seem a bit silly as if he were just goofing off on the track. “I Can’t Stand The Rain” which follows is a bit better, though the horn section sounds like nothing more than synth brass. These are the kinds of rarities that may have been better off left on the shelves.

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Still, one can’t argue with the slow cooking “Baby Please Don’t Go” offered here in a live version from 1971 and getting and eight-and-a-half minute workout. Kooper’s amazing piano work on the track just simply burns, as does his vocal prowess once again. Giving Big Joe Williams a run for his money, “Baby Please Don’t Go” encapsulates not only the blues here, but also takes on funk and classical vestiges that must simply be heard to be appreciated. The band’s solo spots are equally remarkable, with the other-worldy synth break being especially dazzling.

But then the record shifts once more and we’re back into smoove rock territory with “I Let Love Slip Through My Fingers”, a number on which Kooper seems to be doing his best Lou Rawls impression that turns out to be not so good in the end. The sax and guitar parts are overwrought and cheese up the track way too much. “The Earthquake of Your Love” restores the good groove with an undeniably Seventies bounce and charm. This time, Kooper vocally sounds almost like Steve Miller. And that’s not too strange, considering Miller himself went on to create such plastic, yet likable boogie like “Abracadabra” a bit later on.

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Getting back to the downright essential tracks on the disc, of important note is the inclusion of Al’s very first single from 1965, “New York’s My Home (Razz-A-Ma-Tazz)”. Again, this long lost Sixties chestnut doesn’t sound much like anything else going on at the time with its pretty flute and string arrangement outdoing the Fab Four (again), and that indelible swinging jazz outbreak at the middle of the tune being especially captivating. If Kooper wasn’t influencing both Brian Wilson and Lennon and McCartney at this time, then I’d damn sure be surprised as Al had created his own “mini-epic” right here . . . in 1965 . . . in two-and-a-half minutes.

The “English Hall” cover of XTC’s “Making Plans for Nigel” is also excellent. Dare I say that it’s even better than XTC’s. Sure. I’m not so taken with that group that I can’t see that their career has been spotty through the decades. But even better than that is Kooper’s blistering version of Dylan’s “Went To See The Gypsy”, an outtake from Bob’s New Morning LP that rock fiercer than Dylan’s own take. Of course, that version was so subdued (yet equally great) that it wouldn’t be difficult to rock harder. But here, Kooper’s band injects stunning guitar parts that do sound distinctively Sixties, but all the better.

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Also of interest is Kooper’s instrumental rehearsal version of “Hey Jude” from 1969 with orchestra. Kooper jazzes the Beatles tune up with swinging horns and lickety-split drumming. It sounds a bit like a Vegas spectacular, but it’s by no means horrible. Hearing someone with Kooper’s talent reconfigure such a song in this format is impressive. Although it is hard not to laugh at “The Big Chase”, a piece of incidental music that was left out of an episode of TV’s Crime Story. It sounds like Jan Hammer and Harold Faltermeyer got together and created the most hellish cop music they could think of. Lots of fun (seriously).

Turning to the “Well Done” disc of the collection now, the old fans should finally start feeling like they’re on familiar territory as nothing on the CD here hasn’t been released before. Things start with a live 1994 take of “I Can’t Keep from Cryin’ Sometimes” recorded with the Blues Project. Once again, Al is in his element when he has a band behind him that complements his own talent. The organ work, the guitar licks are both hot, and Kooper puts in some of his most soulful vocalizing. Tasty.

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Set the Way Back Machine for 1968 then, because it’s time to hear Blood, Sweat and Tears’ “I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know”. Again, there’s a stunning amount of soulfulness ripping through this track with the undeniable organ and vocal parts (especially those of the backup singers). A slow burner if there ever was one, it’s followed up with a 1975 version of “This Diamond Ring” complete with funky keyboards a-la Billy Preston’s “Outa Space”. Personally, I dig this version a lot more than the original by Gary Lewis and the Playboys.

There’s still no getting over the Kooper/Bloomfield (as in Mike) number “Albert’s Shuffle” from ’68. Here it is once again in all of its blistering glory. The blues as pounded out by two of the best. All you have to do is hear that organ and guitar and those horns and that’s all it takes. Next thing you know, you’re somewhere else. All great music should move you. Here’s a number that does it every time. And the movement continues with the classic “Bury My Body” recorded with Shuggie Otis in 1969 and “Season of the Witch” with Stephen Stills in 1968. It’s truly a joy to hear Kooper’s phenomenal work from the Sixties here all laid out. The man was clearly an inspired and enviable musician at that point in his career.

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“New York City (You’re A Woman)” is also great. Here, Kooper’s organ sounds just like Booker T.’s good old Hammond B-3. And who could forget such brazen opening lines like “New York City you’re a woman / Cold hearted bitch ought to be your name / Oh you ain’t never loved nobody / Yet I’m drawn to you like a moth to flame/ . . . Yeah”? This piece of classic funkiness is then followed with a damned great live version of “I Can’t Quit Her” from 1994 that shows just how great the song really is (you wouldn’t know it from that limp version that opened the “Rare” disc as stated earlier).

The classics just keep on coming from there, from the fantastic “I Stand Alone” to another slow burner, this time in the form of “I Got a Woman”. Also included is the closing “Love Theme from The Landlord”, which is the only Al Kooper disc not currently on CD. All in all, “Well Done” lives up to its name and then some

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It’s just too bad that the “Rare” portion of this collection didn’t include an equal portion of indispensable tracks. The nuggets from the Sixties and Seventies are cool and wonderful, but with only a couple of exceptions, like “Making Plans for Nigel”, and “The Big Chase”, the rest of the rarities kind of bring about a cringe-inducing element, proving once and for all that there was a very good reason a lot of the tracks here were previously unissued.

Yet the “Well Done” disc is impeccable, making this collection a must-have. It’s great to have all these tracks in once place. Al Kooper continues to play a highly influential part in the music industry. His well-documented history up this point has been preserved beautifully and put on display for all to hear in this collection. Kooper has certainly been deserving of a release like this for a long time, and even if the whole thing isn’t flawless, it damn sure rocks 95% of the time. Thanks for the memories, Al. (Jason Thompson)

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Tracklist:

CD 1 (Rare):
01. I Can’t Quit Her (New Studio Version) (Kooper)Levine) 4.25
02. Somethin’ Goin’ On (Demo) (Kooper) 3.04
03. Autumn Song (Kooper) 2.50
04. I Can’t Stand The Rain (Bryant/Miller/Peebles) 4.29
05. Baby Please Don’t Go (live) (Williams) 8.24
06. I Let Love Slip Through My Fingers (Kooper) 5.01
07. The Earthquake Of Your Love (Demo) (Kooper) 3.19
08. Bulgarya (outtake) (Kooper) 2.32
09. Nuthin’ I Wouldn’t Do (For A Woman Like You) (Kooper) 3.29
10. New York’s My Home (Razz-A-Ma-Tazz) Aka The Street Song (Kooper) 2.32
11. Making Plans For Nigel (Moulding) 4.07
12. I Believe To My Soul (outtake) (Charles) 4.28
13. Went To See The Gypsy (Dylan) 3.30
14. Rachmaninoff’s Birthday (Kooper) 4.08
15. Hey Jude (rehearsal tape) (Lennon/McCartney) 5.11
16. Living In My Own Religion (demo) (Kooper) 4.51
17. The Big Chase (Kooper/Calello) 3.24
18. They Just Don’t Make Them Like That Anymore (Kooper) 2.25
19. A Drive Through The Old Neighborhood (Kooper) 4.37

CD 2 (Well Done):
01. I Can’t Keep From Cryin’ Sometimes (live) (Kooper) 4.01
02. I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know (Kooper) 5.56
03. This Diamond Ring (Kooper/Levine/Brass) 4.08
04. Albert’s Shuffle (Bloomfield/Kooper) 6.53
05. Bury My Body (Kooper) 8.56
06. Season Of The Witch (Leitch) 11.05
07. New York City (You’re A Woman) (Kooper) 4.45
08. I Can’t Quit Her (live) (Kooper/Levine) 3.46
09. I Stand Alone (Kooper) 3.42
10. Flute Thing (Kooper) 6.02
11. You Never Know Who Your Friends Are (Kooper) 2.53
12. I Got A Woman (Charles) 6.29
13. Brand New Day (Kooper) 5.09
14. Love Theme (Jolie) (Kooper) 3.41

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Various Artists – That´s Underground – The Rock Machine Turns You On (1968)

FrontCover1.jpgDuring the Sixties, “underground music” became very popuilar all over the world.

So many record companies decided to release sampler to push this exciting sound.

That’s Underground, The Rock Machine Turns You On (original 1968 CBS pressing), is one of the most treasured records not only for featuring some big names of the era but because of its spectacular psychedelic splatter multicoloured vinyl. Made before they became fashionable and they hardly get more coloured than this.

The West German album has on the rear sleeve the familiar words “The Rock Machine Turns You On” (not the same compilation as the UK, Dutch and French albums The Rock Machine Turns You On above). The West German records are on distinctive “psychedelic” multicoloured vinyl, but both records shown have orange CBS labels. The rear sleeve shows pictures of other contemporary CBS releases.

This album was for many people a very important album:

“This must have been the first colored vinyl I saw in my life. Not only the splashing colors blew my mind, but also the music heard on this album must have blown the brains out of the 16 year old boy I was then. Still love each and every track on this album.” (Leonard)

“Blown my mind just looking at it. It sure is one hell of a production, the vinyl and song selection all look great. I couldn’t believe I hadn’t seen or heard of this before but then looked it up and found it was only issued in Germany, Italy and South Africa. Surely, it deserved a much wider release and I can see why it would have been a totally mind-bending experience to a youngster in the 60’s. 50 years on and it’s freaking me out right now.” (Lee Wrecker)

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Alternate front + back cover from South Africa

This LP was  reissued of released in Germany by Repertoire in 2005 under licence from Sony BMG Music Entertainment (Germany) GmbH. It dates the original release as 1970 (!) …

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I´m sure, that this compilation was for many, many people a very important part of their life … you can call it … a soundrack of their youth …

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Tracklist:
01. The Electric Flag: Killing Floor (Burnett) 4.14
02. Spirit: Mechanical World (Andes/Ferguson) 5.19
03. The Chambers Brothers: Time Has Come Today (J. Chambers/W. Chambers) 4.53
04. Leonard Cohen: Suzanne (Cohen) 3.49
05. Moby Grape: Can’t Be So Bad (Miller)
06. Big Brother And The Holding Company: Piece Of My Heart (Ragovoy/Berns) 4.15
07. The United States Of America: Hard Coming Love (Moskowitz/Byrd) 4.44
08. Blood, Sweat And Tears: My Days Are Numbered (Kooper) 3.19
09. Bob Dylan: Highway 61 Revisited (Dylan) 3.28
10. Mike Bloomfield, Al Kooper, Steve Stills: You Don’t Love Me (Cobb) 4.08

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Many fantastic colors … 

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I got this sampler from Mr. Sleeve … thank you very much !!!

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Edith Piaf – Les plus grands succés (1963)

FrontCover1Edith Piaf, byname of Edith Giovanna Gassion, (born December 19, 1915, Paris, France—died October 10, 1963, Plascassier, near Grasse [see Researcher’s Note]), French singer and actress whose interpretation of the chanson, or French ballad, made her internationally famous. Among her trademark songs were “Non, je ne regrette rien” (“No, I Don’t Regret Anything”) and “La Vie en rose” (literally “Life in Pink” [i.e., through “rose-coloured glasses,” from an optimistic point of view]).

Piaf’s songs and singing style seemed to reflect the tragedies of her own difficult life. Her mother, a café singer, abandoned her at birth, and she was taken in by her grandmother, who reared the girl in a brothel. Piaf reportedly became blind at age three as a complication of meningitis but recovered her sight four years later. A few years after that she joined her father, a circus acrobat, and accompanied him while he performed. She sang in the streets of Paris, earning a meagre living while often in the company of petty criminals. Piaf gave birth to a daughter in 1932, but the child died two years later from meningitis. In 1935 she was discovered by Louis Leplée, a cabaret owner, who gave her her first nightclub job. It was Leplée who began calling her “la môme piaf,” Parisian slang for “little sparrow,” in apparent reference to her diminutive size—under 5 feet (142 cm) tall and about 90 pounds (40 kg) in weight. She later adopted the name professionally. Her debut was acclaimed by the actor Maurice Chevalier, who was in the audience that night.

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In 1935 Piaf made her theatrical debut, and within a few years she was singing in the large music halls of Paris. Initially her material was standard music hall fare, but eventually she had songwriters such as Marguerite Monnot and Michel Emer writing songs specifically for her. In the mid-1940s she became a mentor to the young Yves Montand, and she worked with him in the film Étoile sans lumière (1946; “Star Without Light”). She had an affair with the middleweight boxer Marcel Cerdan, who died in a plane crash on his way to meet her. Her unhappy personal life and unadorned though dramatic style underlined her expressive voice, and she was able to move audiences with her passionate rendition of songs that were often about loss and love. In her later life, Piaf was involved in several serious car accidents, and she suffered from failing health, partly due to alcohol and drug abuse. She died at the age of 47, reportedly from liver cancer. Her death was mourned across France, and thousands lined the route of her funeral procession.

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In addition to singing, Piaf recorded her thoughts about her life in two books, Au bal de la chance (1958; “At the Ball of Fortune”; Eng. trans. The Wheel of Fortune) and the posthumously published Ma vie (1964; My Life). She was the subject of several biographies as well as plays and movies. (britannica.com)

And here´s a great sampler with songs recorded between 1949 and 1961 … a greates hits album of course.

Edith Piaf was one of the most important singers in France … emjoy her very special voice … enjoy all these chansons.

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Personnel:
Edith Piaf (vocals)
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Robert Chauvigny Orchestra

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Tracklist:
01. Les Trois Cloches (Villard) 4.06
02. Hymne À L’amour (Piaf/Monnot) 3.25
03. La Vie En Rose (Piaf/Louiguy) 3.07
04. Padam..Padam (Contet/Glanzberg) 3.15
05. La Goualante Du Pauvre Jean (Rouzaud/Monnot) 2.01
06. C’est A Hambourg (Delécluse/Senlis/Monnot) 2.57
07. Milord (Moustaki/Monnot) 4.27
08. C’est L’amour (Piaf/Monnot) 2.58
09. Cri Du Coeur (Prevert/Crolla) 2.34
10. Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien (Vaucaire/Dumont) 2.20
11. Jerusalem (Chabrier/Moutet) 3.57
12. Exodus (Marnay/Gold) 3.27

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Edith Piaf03.jpgÉdith Piaf (19 December 1915 – 10 October 1963)

Various Artists – That´s Soul 1 (1967)

FrontCover1.jpgSoul music (often referred to simply as soul) is a popular music genre that originated in the African American community in the United States in the 1950s and early 1960s. It combines elements of African-American gospel music, rhythm and blues and jazz. Soul music became popular for dancing and listening in the United States, where record labels such as Motown, Atlantic and Stax were influential during the Civil Rights Movement. Soul also became popular around the world, directly influencing rock music and the music of Africa.

According to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, soul is “music that arose out of the black experience in America through the transmutation of gospel and rhythm & blues into a form of funky, secular testifying”. Catchy rhythms, stressed by handclaps and extemporaneous body moves, are an important feature of soul music. Other characteristics are a call and response between the lead vocalist and the chorus and an especially tense vocal sound. The style also occasionally uses improvisational additions, twirls and auxiliary sounds. Soul music reflected the African-American identity and it stressed the importance of an African-American culture. The new-found African-American consciousness led to new styles of music, which boasted pride in being black.

Soul music dominated the U.S. R&B chart in the 1960s, and many recordings crossed over into the pop charts in the U.S., Britain and elsewhere. By 1968, the soul music genre had Wilson_Pickettbegun to splinter. Some soul artists developed funk music, while other singers and groups developed slicker, more sophisticated, and in some cases more politically conscious varieties. By the early 1970s, soul music had been influenced by psychedelic rock and other genres, leading to psychedelic soul. The United States saw the development of neo soul around 1994. There are also several other subgenres and offshoots of soul music.

The key subgenres of soul include the Detroit (Motown) style, a more pop-friendly and rhythmic style; deep soul and southern soul, driving, energetic soul styles combining R&B with southern gospel music sounds; Memphis soul, a shimmering, sultry style; New Orleans soul, which came out of the rhythm and blues style; Chicago soul, a lighter gospel-influenced sound; Philadelphia soul, a lush orchestral sound with doo-wop-inspired vocals; psychedelic soul, a blend of psychedelic rock and soul music; as well as categories such as blue-eyed soul, which is soul music performed by white artists; British soul; and Northern soul, rare soul music played by DJs at nightclubs in Northern England. …

but in the Sixties Soul was a very imporant part of the international music scene … it was the golden age of Soul !

CarlaThomasWriter Peter Guralnick is among those to identify Solomon Burke as a key figure in the emergence of soul music, and Atlantic Records as the key record label. Burke’s early 1960s songs, including “Cry to Me”, “Just Out of Reach” and “Down in the Valley” are considered classics of the genre. Guralnick wrote:

“Soul started, in a sense, with the 1961 success of Solomon Burke’s “Just Out Of Reach”. Ray Charles, of course, had already enjoyed enormous success (also on Atlantic), as had James Brown and Sam Cooke — primarily in a pop vein. Each of these singers, though, could be looked upon as an isolated phenomenon; it was only with the coming together of Burke and Atlantic Records that you could begin to see anything even resembling a movement.”

Aretha Franklin is widely known as the “Queen of Soul”

Ben E. King also achieved success in 1961 with “Stand By Me”, a song directly based on a gospel hymn.[5] By the mid-1960s, the initial successes of Burke, King and others had been surpassed by new soul singers, including Stax artists such as Otis Redding and Wilson Pickett, who mainly recorded in Memphis, Tennessee, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama. According to Jon Landau:[20]

Arthur Conley“Between 1962 and 1964 Redding recorded a series of soul ballads characterized by unabashedly sentimental lyrics usually begging forgiveness or asking a girlfriend to come home…. He soon became known as “Mr. Pitiful” and earned a reputation as the leading performer of soul ballads.”

The most important female soul singer to emerge was Aretha Franklin, originally a gospel singer who began to make secular recordings in 1960 but whose career was later revitalised by her recordings for Atlantic. Her 1967 recordings, such as “I Never Loved a Man (The Way I Love You)”, “Respect” (written and originally recorded by Otis Redding), and “Do Right Woman, Do Right Man” (written by Chips Moman and Dan Penn), were significant and commercially successful productions.

Soul music dominated the U.S. African-American music charts in the 1960s, and many recordings crossed over into the pop charts in the U.S. Otis Redding was a huge success at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. The genre also became highly popular in the UK, where many leading acts toured in the late 1960s. “Soul” became an umbrella term for an increasingly wide variety of R&B-based music styles – from the dance and pop-oriented acts at Motown Records in Detroit, such as The Temptations, Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, to “deep soul” performers such as Percy Sledge and James Carr. Different regions and cities within the U.S., including New York City, Detroit, Chicago, Memphis, Sam&DaveNew Orleans, Philadelphia, and Muscle Shoals, Alabama (the home of FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studios) became noted for different subgenres of the music and recording styles.

By 1968, while at its peak of popularity, soul began to fragment into disparate subgenres. Artists such as James Brown and Sly and the Family Stone evolved into funk music, while other singers such as Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, Curtis Mayfield and Al Green developed slicker, more sophisticated and in some cases more politically conscious varieties of the genre. However, soul music continued to evolve, informing most subsequent forms of R&B from the 1970s-onward, with pockets of musicians continuing to perform in traditional soul style. (by wikipedia)

And here´s is he legendary Soul samper “That´s Soul 1” from 1967 … released by Atalntic Records, many tracks on this album are from the legendary Stax label:

Stax Records is an American record label, originally based in Memphis, Tennessee. Founded in 1957 as Satellite Records, the label changed its name to Stax Records in 1961 and shared its operations with Volt Records, a sister label created to avoid the impression of favoritism among radio stations playing their records.

Stax was influential in the creation of Southern soul and Memphis soul music. Stax also released gospel, funk, and blues recordings. Renowned for its output of blues music, the label was founded by two siblings and business partners, Jim Stewart and his sister Estelle Axton (STewart/AXton = Stax).

Otis Redding

It featured several popular ethnically integrated bands (including the label’s house band, Booker T. & the M.G.’s) and a racially integrated team of staff and artists unprecedented in that time of racial strife and tension in Memphis and the South. According to ethnomusicologist Rob Bowman, the label’s use of “one studio, one equipment set-up, the same set of musicians and a small group of songwriters led to a readily identifiable sound. It was a sound based in black gospel, blues, country, and earlier forms of rhythm and blues. It became known as southern soul music.”

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Following the death of Stax’s biggest star, Otis Redding, in 1967, and the severance of the label’s distribution deal with Atlantic Records in 1968, Stax continued primarily under the supervision of a new co-owner, Al Bell. Over the next five years, Bell expanded the label’s operations significantly, in order to compete with Stax’s main rival, Motown Records in Detroit. During the mid-1970s, a number of factors, including a problematic distribution deal with CBS Records, caused the label to slide into insolvency, resulting in its forced closure in late 1975.

In 1977, Fantasy Records acquired the post-1968 Stax catalogue and selected pre-1968 recordings. Beginning in 1978, Stax (now owned by Fantasy) began signing new acts and issuing new material, as well as reissuing previously recorded Stax material. However, by the early 1980s, no new material was being issued on the label, and for the next two decades, Stax was strictly a reissue label.

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After Concord Records acquired Fantasy in 2004, the Stax label was reactivated, and is today used to issue both the 1968–1975 catalog material and new recordings by current R&B and soul performers. Atlantic Records continues to hold the rights to the vast majority of the 1959–1968 Stax material. (by wikipedia)

Yes … a legendary sampler … and if you would like to know, what´s soul all about … listen to this record !

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Tracklist:
01. Wilson Pickett: Mustang Sally (Rice) 3.08
02. Carla Thomas: B-a-b-y (Hayes/Porter) 2.56
03. Arthur Conley: Sweet Soul Music (Redding/Conley) 2.22
04. Percy Sledge: When A Man Loves A Woman (Lewis/Wright) 2.56
05. Sam & Dave: I Got Everything I Need (Cropper/Floyd/Isbell) 3.00
06. Ben E. King: What Is Soul (Gallo/King) 2.22
07. Aretha Franklin: I Never Loved A Man The Way I Love You (Shannon) 2.50
06. Otis Redding: Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) (Redding/Cropper) 2.44
07. Eddie Floyd: Knock On Wood (Cropper/Floyd) 3.07
08. Solomon Burke: Keep Looking (Burke) 2.41
09. Wilson Pickett: Land Of 1000 Dances (Kenner) 2.28
10. Joe Tex: Papa Was Too (Tex) 2.44
11. Percy Sledge: Warm And Tender Love (Robinson) 3.23
12. The Drifters: Baby What I Mean (Hamilton/Sheldon) 2.36

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OriginalBackCover1Original back cover (1st pressing)

 

I got this item from Mr. Sleeve … what a great gift … thanky you very much !!!!

And here are the lyrics of “Sweet Soul Music”:

Do you like good music?
Huh, that sweet soul music
Just as long as it’s swinging
Oh, yeah

Way out here on the floor, ya’ll
Ah, going to a go-go
Dancing with the music
Oh, yeah

Spotlight on Lou Rawls, ya’ll
Ah, don’t he look boss, ya’ll
Singing ‘Love’s a Hurtin Thing’, yall
Oh, yeah

Spotlight on Sam and Dave, ya’ll
Oh, don’t they look great y’all?
Singing, ‘Hold On I’m Coming’
Oh, yeah

Spotlight on Wilson Pickett, now
That wicked Wilson Pickett
Singing, ‘Mustang Sally’
Oh, yeah

Spotlight on Otis Redding, now
Singing ‘Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa’
‘Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa’
Oh, yeah
Get it Otis

Spotlight on James Brown, ya’ll
He’s the king of them all, ya’ll
He’s the king of them all, ya’ll
Oh, yeah

Do ya like good music?
That sweet soul music
Just long as it’s swinging
Oh, yeah

I got to get the feeling
I got to get the feeling
Do ya like good music?
That sweet soul music
Help me get the feeling
I want to get the feeling
Otis Redding’s got the feeling

James Brown he got the feeling
Oh, I love good music

Johnny Horton – Country & Western Superstar (1973)

FrontCover1.JPGJohn LaGale “Johnny” Horton (April 30, 1925 – November 5, 1960) was an American country music, honky tonk and rockabilly singer and musician, during the 1950s and early 1960s, best known for his international hits beginning with the 1959 single “The Battle of New Orleans”, which was awarded the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording. The song was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award and in 2001 ranked No. 333 of the Recording Industry Association of America’s “Songs of the Century”. His first number 1 country song was in 1959, “When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)”.

Horton’s music usually encompassed folk ballads based on American historic themes and legend. He had two successes in 1960 with both “Sink the Bismarck” and “North to Alaska” utilized over the opening credits for the John Wayne film of the same name. Horton died in November 1960 at the peak of his fame in a traffic collision, less than two years after his breakthrough. Horton is a member of the Rockabilly Hall of Fame and the Louisiana Music Hall of Fame.

Horton was born in Los Angeles, to John Loly Horton (1889–1959) and the former Ella Claudia Robinson (1892–1966), the youngest of five siblings, and reared in Rusk in Cherokee County in east Texas. His family often traveled to California to work as migrant fruit pickers. After graduation from high school in Gallatin, Texas, in 1944, Horton attended Lon Morris Junior College in Jacksonville, Texas, with a basketball scholarship. He later attended Seattle University and briefly Baylor University in Waco, although he did not graduate from any of these institutions.

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Horton soon returned to California, where he got a job in the mail room at Selznick International Pictures. His future wife, Donna Cook, was working at the studio as a secretary at the time. After a short stint studying geology in Seattle in 1948, Horton went to Alaska to look for gold. It was during this period that he began writing songs. Returning south, he entered and won a talent contest in Henderson, Texas. Encouraged by this result, he returned to California to pursue a music career.

His guest appearances on Cliffie Stone’s Hometown Jamboree on KXLA-AM and KLAC-TV in Pasadena and his own half-hour show The Singing Fisherman led to the opportunity to record some songs on the Cormac record label. By the time the company folded in 1952, Horton recorded ten singles for that label. Fabor Robison, owner of Abbott Records, acquired the masters. Around this time Horton married Donna Cook.

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By this time Horton was appearing regularly on Louisiana Hayride, so he and Donna moved to Shreveport, Louisiana, where the show was recorded. He also signed a contract with Mercury Records and began recording. His first song for that label, “First Train Headin’ South” b/w “(I Wished for an Angel) The Devil Sent Me You” (Mercury 6412), received good reviews. He and his new backup band, the Rowley Trio, began touring under the name The Singing Fisherman and the Rowley Trio in 1952, eventually changing the name to Johnny Horton and the Roadrunners. The group included Horton as lead singer, Jerry Rowley on fiddle, his wife Evelyn on piano, and his sister Vera (Dido) on guitars. The constant touring was hard on Horton’s marriage, and Donna moved back to Los Angeles. They were soon divorced.

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On September 26, 1953, Horton married Billie Jean Jones, widow of Hank Williams, who had died January 1, 1953. Horton parted ways with the Rowley trio, but continued to appear occasionally on Louisiana Hayride. His contract with Mercury expired in late 1954, with his recording of “All for the Love of a Girl” (Mercury 70227) being his best seller, at 35,000 to 45,000 copies. Horton, himself always an avid fisherman, got a job in a tackle shop and put his music career on hiatus. But by the following year, his new manager and bassist Tillman Franks had obtained Horton a one-year contract with Columbia Records. They traveled to Nashville in a borrowed car for their first recording session. Influenced by the work of Elvis Presley, Horton began adopting a more rockabilly style.

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“Honky-Tonk Man” was recorded on 11 January 1956 at the Bradley Film & Recording Studios in Nashville, one of four songs Horton recorded that day. Session musicians on the recording were Grady Martin and Harold Bradley, as well as Bill Black (at the time Presley’s bassist). Soon afterwards “Honky-Tonk Man” was released as a single (Columbia label: 4-21504) paired with another song from the same session, “I’m Ready if You’re Willing”. They went out on tour, with the band featuring Franks on bass and Tommy Tomlinson on guitar. He then moved to East Peoria, Illinois where he had had four children with Darcy Melba Dwyer.

“Honky-Tonk Man” was reviewed by the March 10 issue of Billboard, which said of “Honky Tonk Man”, “The wine women and song attractions exert a powerful hold on the singer, he admits. The funky sound and pounding beat in the backing suggest the kind of atmosphere he describes. A very good jukebox record.”[1] Their review of “I’m Ready if You’re Willing” was also positive: “Horton sings out this cheerful material with amiable personality. This ever more popular stylist ought to expand his circle of fans with this one.” The song peaked at No. 9 on the C&W Jockey chart (now Hot Country Songs) and at No. 14 on the Best Seller chart.

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Horton returned to the studio on May 23, but the “A” side of his next single, “I’m a One Woman Man” (Columbia 21538), was one of the songs recorded back in January. The “B” side was “I Don’t Like I Did”. Billboard described “One Woman Man” as a “smart and polished job,” and Horton as “singing with a light, airy touch. Guitar work is just as convincing, adding up to listenable, commercial stuff”. He and his band toured through the United States and Canada to promote the record, which reached No. 7 on the Jockey chart and No. 9 on the Best Seller and Jukebox charts.

“I’m Coming Home” / “I Got A Hole In My Pirogue” (Columbia 40813) was released around this time as well. On February 9, Billboard noted that “not only Southern markets are doing good business with this, but Northern cities report that both country and pop customers are going for this in a big way”.[1] It was again a success on the country charts (No. 11 Jockey, No. 15 Best Seller) but it failed to score the popular music charts.

Later major successes include the song “The Battle of New Orleans” (written by Jimmy Driftwood), which was awarded the 1960 Grammy Award for Best Country & Western Recording. The song was awarded the Grammy Hall of Fame Award and in 2001 ranked No. 333 of the Recording Industry Association of America’s “Songs of the Century”. Horton had two other successes in 1960 with “Sink the Bismarck” and “North to Alaska” for John Wayne’s movie, North to Alaska.

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On the night of November 4–5, 1960, Horton and two other band members, Tommy Tomlinson and Tillman Franks, were travelling from Austin, Texas to Shreveport when they collided with an oncoming truck on a bridge near Milano in Milam County, Texas. Horton died en route to the hospital, and Tomlinson (1930-1982) was seriously injured; his leg later had to be amputated. Franks (1920-2006) suffered head injuries, and James Davis, the driver of the truck, had a broken ankle and other minor injuries.

The funeral was held in Shreveport on November 8, 1960, officiated by Tillman Franks’ younger brother, William Derrel “Billy” Franks, a Church of God minister. Johnny Cash did one of the readings, choosing Chapter 20 from the Book of John.[1] Horton is interred, with a cemetery bench in his honor, at the Hillcrest Memorial Park and Mausoleum in Haughton, east of Bossier City in northwestern Louisiana.

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When Johnny Cash, a good friend of Horton’s, learned about the accident he said, ” locked myself in one of the hotel’s barrooms and cried.” Cash dedicated his rendition of “When It’s Springtime in Alaska (It’s Forty Below)” to Horton on his album Personal File: “Johnny Horton was a good old friend of mine.” Over time, Horton’s material has been re-released a number of times, through boxsets and compilations.

Horton was inducted into The Louisiana Music Hall of Fame and posthumously inducted into the Delta Music Museum Hall of Fame in Ferriday, Louisiana.

Some racist songs by “Johnny Rebel” have sometimes been incorrectly associated with Horton. Rebel did not begin recording until after Horton’s death. The mistake is apparently because Horton recorded the historical song “Johnny Reb”.

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Horton was married twice. His first marriage, to Donna Cook, ended with a divorce granted in Rusk, Texas. In September 1953, he married Billie Jean Jones, the widow of country music singer Hank Williams. (She was Williams’ second wife.) With Billie Jean, Horton had two daughters, Yanina (Nina) and Melody. Billie Jean’s daughter, Jeri Lynn, was legally adopted by Johnny. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a compilation album, produced for the German record market in 1973.

Enjoy this trip in the early days of Country & Western music !

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Personnel:
Johnny Horton (vocals, guitar)
+
a lot of other musicians

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Tracklist:
01. The Battle Of New Orleans (Driftwood) 2.31
02. When It’s Springtime In Alaska (It’s Forty Below) (Franks) 2.37
03. Johnny Reb Kilgore) 2.20
04. Sink The Bismarck (Horton/Franks) 3.14
05. North To Alaska (Phillips) 2.49
06. The Golden Rocket (Snow) 2.05
07. Got The Bull By The Horns (Boyd/Jones) 2.10
08. Johnny Freedom (“Freedomland”) (Weiss/Styne) 2.47
09. John Paul Jones (Driftwood) 2.20
10. Young Abe Lincoln (Make A Tall, Tall Man) (Huffstettler/Horton) 1.57
11. Rock Island Line (live) (Traditional) 2.41
12. All For The Love Of A Girl (live) (Horton) 2.54
13. Whispering Pines (Halsey) 2.56
14. The First Train Heading South (Horton) 2.20
15. Lost Highway (Payne) 2.36
16. The Battle Of Bull Run (Payne) 2.37
17. The Sinking Of Reuben James (Almanac Singers) 0.40
18. I’m Ready, If You’re Willing (Claud/Organ) 2.19
19. Honky-Tonk Man (Horton/Franks/Hauser) 2.13
20. I’m Coming Home (Horton/Franks) 2:05

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In may of nineteen forty-one the war had just begun
The germans had the biggest ships
That had the biggest guns
The Bismark was the fastest ship
That ever sailed the seas
On her deck were guns as big as steers
And shells as big as trees
Out of the cold and foggy night
Came the british ship the Hood
And ev’ry british seaman he knew and understood
They had to sink the Bismark the terror of the sea
Stop those guns as big as steers
And those shells as big as trees

We’ll find that german battleship
That’s makin’ such a fuss
We gotta sink the Bismark
‘Cause the world depends on us
Hit the decks a-runnin’ boys
And spin those guns around
When we find the Bismark we gotta cut her down

The Hood found the Bismark and on that fatal day
The Bismark started firin’ fifteen miles away
We gotta sink the Bismark was the battle sound
But when the smoke had cleared away
The mighty Hood went down
For six long days and weary nights
They tried to find her trail
Churchill told the people put ev’ry ship a-sail
‘Cause somewhere on that ocean
I know she’s gotta be
We gotta sink the Bismark to the bottom of the sea

We’ll find that german battleship
That’s makin’ such a fuss
We gotta sink the Bismark
‘Cause the world depends on us
Hit the decks a-runnin’ boys
And spin those guns around
When we find the Bismark we gotta cut her down

The fog was gone the seventh day
And they saw the mornin’ sun
Ten hours away from homeland
The Bismark made its run
The admiral of the british fleet said
Turn those bows around
We found that german battleship
And we’re gonna cut her down

The british guns were aimed
And the shells were comin’ fast
The first shell hit the Bismark
They knew she couldn’t last
That mighty german battleship is just a memory
Sink the Bismark was the battle cry
That shook the seven seas

We found that german battleship
Was makin’ such a fuss
We had to sink the Bismark
‘Cause the world depends on us
We hit the deck a-runnin’ and
We spun those guns around
We found the mighty Bismark
And then we cut her down

Various Artists – European Jazz – Volume 03 – Italy (2012)

FrontCover1.jpgAt one time, the concept of “European Jazz” meant very little indeed. While jazz was developing in the USA in the 1920s, there was almost no European jazz to speak of. Some Americans – Benny Carter, Coleman Hawkins, Sidney Bechet – came to Europe and made an impact there in the 1930s but it was not until the thirties that Europeans began to develop their own jazz significantly. Perhaps the most outstanding group was the Quintet of the Hot Club of France, formed in 1934, with its two virtuosos Django Reinhardt and Stéphane Grappelli.

This group is not represented in this ten-CD boxed set, which suggests that the compilation is making no attempt at a historical survey. Indeed, it is difficult to know what this set is trying to do. It seems as if the compilers simply put together tracks to which they had access, and there is little attempt to provide a balanced view of European jazz. Nevertheless, this collection can be educative in opening our ears to some artists we may not have heard before. It also supplies a cross-section (albeit limited) of how Europeans developed jazz, mostly in the 1950s and 1960s.

This compilation makes it clear that European jazz was very much influenced by the Americans. For example, the tenorist on track 2 of the third CD sounds very like Stan Getz, while the altoist on the third track betrays the influence of Charlie Parker. And the Michael Naura Quintet on the eighth CD could be mistaken for the Modern Jazz Quartet.

I can’t tell you who most of the individual musicians are, as detailed personnels are sadly not given. This is a nuisance, as I would like to be able to identify (for instance) the bongo Brandenburgplayer on track 9 of the fifth CD. However, one lesson of many tracks in this collection is that many Europeans learnt from the bebop pioneers – and from such groups as the Gerry Mulligan Quartet. As most of the tracks in this compilation come from the fifties and sixties, there is little individuality in the music from the different countries, as it was only later that they began to develop their own distinctive styles.

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I shall not attempt to describe the music in detail but will simply pick out tracks, artists or groups of note. Most discs are devoted to particular countries …

… Another weakness of these selections is that they are often chosen from a narrow range of bands. Thus the second CD illustrates Scandinavian jazz with 15 tracks, of which ten are by The Swedish Modern Jazz Group, all taken from the same 1960 LP. At least it included Lasse Gullin and Nils Lindberg – two of Sweden’s best-known jazzmen.

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The third CD with the theme of Italy includes at least one musician who is still very active today. Enrico Rava. He was in his teens when his quartet recorded the three tracks here, although he doesn’t appear on Tema for Franco. His playing is clear although a little uncertain. The recording quality is remarkably good on these three tracks. (by musicweb-international.com)

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No, no, no … this compilation is not so weak, as we read above … it´s a great compilation with lots of rarities from the young European Jazz-Scene during the 50´and this time we hear great Jazz from Italy ! Excellent stuff !

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Tracklist:
01. Quintetto Basso-Valdambrini: Lotar (Basso) 3.18

Franco Cerri:
02. Flavio‘s Blues (Ambrosetti) 4.06
03. Just One Of Those Things (Porter)

Piana, Mondini, Donadio, Azzolini:
04. Bag‘s Groove (Jackson) 5.23
05. All The Things You Are (Kern) 2.43
06. There Will Never Ne Another You (Warren) 2.13

Enrico Rava 4tet:
07. Tema For Franco (Lama) 2.45
08. Line For Lyons (Mulligan) 3.25
09. Fine And Dandy (Swist/James) 4.19

Modern Jazz Gang:
10. The Drum Is A Tramp (Santacci/Scappa/Bronollini) 3.15
11. Polimnia (Scappa/Santucci/Metallo) 3.42
12. Blue Mirria (Brugnolini) 3.30
13. Carme For J (Metallo) 3.16

Sestetto Bebop Gilberto Cuppini:
14. Esophagus (Spotti) 2.57
15. Perdido (Tizol) 6.19

16. Nunzio Rotondo and The Sextet Of Hot Club Of Rome: The Man I Love (Gershwin) 3.04

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Gilberto Cuppini2

More from the “European Jazz” edition:

More

Various Artists – Bravo Mexico ! (1969)

FrontCover1.JPGThe music of Mexico is very diverse and features a wide range of musical genres and performance styles. It has been influenced by a variety of cultures, most notably the culture of the indigenous peoples of Mexico and Europe. Music was an expression of Mexican nationalism, beginning in the nineteenth century.

Many traditional Mexican songs are well-known everywhere, including María Grever’s first international hit “Júrame” (“Swear to me”), and her song “Te quiero dijiste” (English version “Magic Is the Moonlight”), written for the 1944 Esther Williams film. “La Noche de los Mayas,” Huapango de Moncayo, “Sinfonía India (Second Symphony),” “Sobre las Olas,” “La Sandunga,” “Cielito Lindo” (“Beautiful Sweetheart”), “Bésame Mucho” (“Kiss Me a Lot”), “Perfidia”, “Solamente una vez” (English version “You Belong to My Heart”), “Esta Tarde Vi Llover” (English version “Yesterday I Heard the Rain”), “Somos Novios” (English version “We Are Dating”), “¡Ay, Jalisco, no te rajes!”, and “Jesusita en Chihuahua,”

Irma SerranoOther famous songs include “México Lindo y Querido” (“Beautiful, Beloved Mexico”), “Jarabe Tapatío’ (known internationally as “The Mexican Hat Dance”), “El Rey” (“The King”), “El Triste” (“The sad one”), “Pelea de gallos”, “Enamorada” (“Enamoured”), “Échame a mi la culpa” (“Blame me”), “La ley del monte” (“The law of the land”), “La Bikina” (“The Bikina”), “Por Debajo de la Mesa,” “La Media Vuelta,” “La Bamba,” (“The Bamba”), “Lilongo,” and “Jarabe Pateño”. “La Cucaracha” (“The Cockroach”), although popularized during the Mexican Revolution, is a Mexican corrido. (by wikipedia)

And here´s a rare sampler, produced for the German record market with many of popluar singers from Mexico during this period. And maybe you will hear te soul of Mexico …

And we hear the roots of this famous sound of HerbAlpert and his Tijuana Brass Band …

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Tracklist:
01. Mariachi Los Mensajeros: El Sonero – El Guaje (Sones Jaliscienses) (d.Loza) 2.18
02. Irma Serrano: Flor del Rio (Cordero) 2.45
03. Jorge Valente: El Vivio (Ruiz/Zorrilla) 2.58
04. Mariachi “Jalisco” De Pepe Villa: Guadalajara (Villa) 3.04
05. Los Panchos; La Corriente (Navarro) 2.59
06. Eva Garza: Pader Nuestro (Delfino) 2.32
07. Fernando Soto: Rayando El Sol (Cancion Mexicana) (Traditional) 2.19
08. Mariachi Los Mensajeros: Chapala (Son) (Traditional) 2.21
09. Irma Serrano: La Martina (Castro) 3.03
10. Cuco Sanchez y Antonio: Bribiesca Maria Elena (Barcelata 3.07
11. Linda Vera Guindame: La Hamaca (Guaracha) 2.24
12. Irma Serrano: La Abandonada (Castro) 3.18
13. Mariachi “Jalisco” De Pepe Villa: El Mariachi (Guizar) 2.51
14. Jorge Valente: Calladamente (Maldonado) 2.26
15. Irma Serrano: Cariñto De Mi Vida (Valdes/Ortega) 1.46
16. Coral Mexicano: Cielito Lindo (Fernandez) 2.22

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Los Panchos