Monday, April 30, 2018

Something a Bit Different from Tin Pan Alley


As I wrote on my other blog, and reiterate today, time is simply getting away from me this month. So just a relative few words about this week's posting (very few about the second side), and then they can speak for themselves.

I bought this record last week, and wanted to get it right up here because it's so unusual. For one thing, neither artist seems to show up on any other song-poem 45. For another thing, one side is an instrumental, something you rarely see on a song-poem. It's certainly possible that "Carment Y Laura Waltz" by The Mandoguitars is a vanity release - a completed recording which someone paid Tin Pan Alley to release. But (and I may be missing something) I'm not aware of TPA doing vanity releases. But there are a handful of other records from this era of the label (1958-59) which also feature otherwise unknown names, so it's possible. But regardless of its parenthood, it's an interesting listen, and something that seems to be virtually unique among TPA releases.

Download: The Mandoguitars - Carmen Y Laura Waltz

Okay, raise your hands, how many of you even knew a Mando-Guitar was a thing. I didn't.

The flip side, featuring the equally otherwise unknown Frank Villani with "My Little Valentine" couldn't more clearly be a song-poem - and a fairly awful one at that, if it came stamped with "I am a song-poem" on the label.

Download: Frank Villani: My Little Valentine

1 comment:

Stu Shea said...

The A-side is really pretty! The copyright entry for this song says 1961, though the record certainly could have been done before that.

Given that the "Mando Guitar" was "invented" by Vox in the mid-sixties, I assume that the "mandoguitars" referred to here are simply mandolins with electric pickups on them, or with machinery built in to amplify them.

The players are certainly both picking them and strumming them as one would a traditional mandolin, in order to get the sound of a "Mexican guitar" (a vihuela).

A totally off the wall entry for TPA, as you state. Thank you for buying it and posting it!