For some reason, the 7” 45 rpm (revolutions per minute) vinyl record (we called ’em singles or 45s) became a special, sacred thing to me, when I was a youngster. I started collecting these magical objects at a frenzied pace, buying my first one at, like nine or ten years old. It was perfect; round with a big ol’ hole in the middle. Made out of flattened vinyl with tight little grooves and an interesting, informative label glued to it. And there was a song on both sides. Each circular masterpiece was nestled in its own sleeve. I liked holding them and twirling them on my finger. Probably got pretty good at that. Anyway, I became, what I would call, addicted. I couldn’t stop buying them. My brother and I discovered places around Texarkana that sold old ones that had been in jukeboxes. These were only about a quarter apiece. We would buy, easily, 10 to 20 per visit and half of them I’d never heard of. The top hits for the week, on the other hand, would be around a dollar each. Had to be more discriminating with those. Whatever, I acquired lots and lots of the new and old and in-between. I had my favorite recording stars from all different eras. I dug Lou Christie, Neil Sedaka and James Darren as much as something more with-it, like “Dirty Water,” by The Standells. I could appreciate Liberace’s “Tico Tico” as much as anything else, especially if it was on a single, because it would be so direct and to the point. Albums were okay, too, but they weren’t as cool. Ultimately, my shelves and racks of LPs dwarfed my singles, and everything else in the house, but those were never as precious. Following are six early (pre-British invasion) pop musical influences in my life. I still own all of these, of course.
https://youtu.be/IcL5rz1V6dU I Saw Linda Yesterday
https://youtu.be/hBtcJwDrYrA Rhapsody in the Rain
https://youtu.be/8zAX5StHD6A Foolish Little Girl
https://youtu.be/cBJrrz6mKcs Paper Tiger
https://youtu.be/vvRq91JkFL0 Her Royal Majesty
https://youtu.be/UqTP4SCVgDQ I Wish I Were a Princess
BIG-ASS NEWS! Our Grammy-nominated live album, KICK-ASS POLKAS, is being re-released by Cleveland International Records, with the original cover photo. Our scheduled release date for the album was September 11, 2001. As things usually go, we were a little late and didn’t quite get it out right on time. Then two airplanes hit the World Trade Center and everything turned upside-down for everyone. When we decided to go on with the release we realized the jacket photo, an explosion, might not be the best image, at that time. The USA was still shell-shocked, so we went with generic text only. Now, here we are, 18 years later. Steve Popovich, Jr., son of the late founder of the label, Steve Popovich, Sr., is rebooting Cleveland International and Brave Combo’s recordings for the label get new lives, as well. To make it a special event, we decided to go back to the explosion photo for the 2019 version of KICK-ASS POLKAS and present it as we first intended. The album is now available for digital purchase and streaming on all the popular platforms! https://orcd.co/vr5qarx
LET’S PARTY (and fix stuff around the house)! Our final Oktoberfest/Polkafest for the year is behind us and we’re gonna see what it’s like to not play non-stop for a few weeks, before Christmas crushes everything in its path. Mastering the new recordings will definitely happen while we’re not gigging and jamming. I need to clean, straighten and organize the BC office a bit. I’m at the office now. It’s a block south of the downtown Denton square. I can hear a solo horn, might be a soprano sax, playing “Autumn Leaves.” I don’t know where it’s coming from. I also will spend more time at home with my animals. They all love me a lot and seem to like hanging out with me, even when it doesn’t involve food. But, you know, everyone and everything has an angle. Stray cats will start to trust you because you feed it and show it compassion. They’re just like people; attracted to those who make them feel good and safe. Love something and it will love you back…..usually.
RIP Michael Galbreth, one-half of the Houston duo, The Art Guys. He and long-time collaborator, Jack Massing, transformed themselves into living, breathing conceptual art pieces and had major impact on the art world, at large. If you are not familiar with their work, Google “The Art Guys” and
check them out. We were invited to participate in a few of their happenings over the years, including one which involved composing and recording a song about them and how great they were. It’s called “The Art Guys Polka.” People die. Art lives on. A big thank you to Michael and Jack for including Brave Combo in their world.
Okay. Gotta move on. So much to do and the second hand taunts me. Look at our itinerary on occasion. We just added some new dates and at one of them you just might find the answers you need. So make your plans to attend whatever, wherever, whenever. The Cosmos says hello.