Sunday, 20 July 2014

Vido Musso - Teen Age Dance Party (Crown LP 5029)






Side 1
1 Honky Tonk
2 Speak Easy
3 Blues For Two
4 Oh Yes
5 Oh Marie

Side2
1 Sorrento
2 Intermission Riff
3 You Feel It
4 Rockin' Time
5 Sweet Sue

Ripped from vinyl at 128 kbps.

Download from here (no password):

http://www48.zippyshare.com/v/27350511/file.html

Many thanks to El Enmascarado who salvaged this 1957 Crown LP for an eye watering outlay of 50 cents. As you can see from the above scans the cover was rather trashed, especially the back which made me feel nauseous every time I looked at it. I've included a cleaned up version in the download but I'm afraid my limited graphic skills don't run to reinstating the damaged front cover. The disc itself was in pretty good condition so the sound quality on these mp3s is fine, with just an occasional thump and click.

As for the content, there are similarities with the Bill Ramal LP "Screamin' Saxes" which I posted back in December 2012. Both albums feature a veteran former swing era big band tenor sax player attempting to appeal to the teen market. On "Screamin' Saxes" it was Georgie Auld who honked away gamely on a series of R&B cover versions, including "Honky Tonk" which is also on "Teen Age Dance Party."

Sicilian born Vido Musso was well into his 40s when he cut this LP for the Bihari owned Crown budget label. In the mid 1930s he had joined the Benny Goodman band and was on their recording of "Sing, Sing, Sing." He had spells in the bands of Gene Krupa, Harry James and Woody Herman among others, and after the war he had a successful stay with the Stan Kenton band.

Vido Musso on sax with Benny Goodman and Big Sid Catlett.
William Gottlieb collection, Library of Congress
By the early 1950s Vido was established on the West Coast working with small jazz groups. He recorded singles for Trilon in 1947, Arco in 1951 and Galaxy in 1952. In 1953 he joined the Bihari's Modern / RPM group of labels, recording two singles in 1953-4, "Blue Night" / "Vido's Boogie" and "Vido's Drive"/ "Frosty", which were released on RPM. These singles were followed by the jazz album "The Swingn'st" which was released on Modern and then on Crown.

"Teen Age Dance Party" was released in 1957 on Crown which was by that time the Bihari's budget label. Cynics might say that this is a fine example of exploitation, an attempt to leap aboard the current rock and roll craze, and they would be right. We've had a few examples of "exploitation" LPs on the blog before, such as the aforementioned "Screamin' Saxes" and "rock and roll" albums attributed to "Hen Gates" which turned out to be recycled Freddie Mitchell and Lockjaw Davis tracks. And of course there was the Crown LP of "twist" tunes by Jimmy McCracklin which had nothing whatsoever to do with the dance craze but turned out to be an excellent blues album.

But whatever the motive behind the making of this LP, the music stands up quite well. The version of Bill Doggett's "Honky Tonk" is especially good and other tracks rock along nicely.

Ace Records in the UK own the Modern masters and they have released a CD which includes just about all of Vido's recordings for Modern/ RPM / Crown. Ace CDCHD1035 uses the artwork of the original "The Swingin'st" LP.


There is an interesting article by Peter Gibbon on Vido Musso on the Ace website here.

With thanks to El Enmascarado.

Stop Press: Joan K has sent in a cleaned up version of the front cover:


5 comments:

Anonymous said...

This LP came from a grungy flea market. The seller was a really nice guy, and gave me half off on my batch of vinyl. I was unmasked at the time, but he would have known where I was coming from, had I worn it. Speak Easy is really I Believe, by Elmore James. I really like semi-sleazy exploitation albums like this. Considering what the cover looks like, I was amazed how well-preserved the disc was. It's too bad more people in the 50s didn't keep the inner sleeves from their records. It's an unusually good pressing for a Crown, too... The Masked One

boogiewoody said...

Yep - I thought "Speak Easy" was really a version of Elmore James'"Dust My Broom."

"Sorrento" and "Intermission Riff" were apparently originally performed by Vido when he was with the Stan Kenton band.

Did Crown issues actually have inner sleeves back in the 50s? Some of the budget US releases that occasionally turn up over here in the UK lack inner sleeves.

Anonymous said...

We're both right- Elmore James mostly had one song he played over and over. He just changed the words. Dust My Broom and I Believe are a couple of the most popular examples of Elmore's song. If you're a guitar player, tune to Open D (D A D F# A D, low to high) and put your slide on fret 12. Voila! You've now got the Elmore James sound. I've seen a number of Crowns with a plain white paper sleeve. This record had a sleeve like that. A label that erratic was quite capable of leaving out the sleeves randomly, so......The Masked One Strikes Again

Hit Parade said...

Boogiewoody,

Thank you for posting this album, to me it is a perhaps small forgotten treasure. With your efforts Vido Musso's story and his music will survive. And of course thanks to El Enmascarado :-)

Hitparade

Anonymous said...

Many Thanks! Honky Tonk alone was worth the price of admission!

Peace
Gill