Ray Anthony – “Today’s Trumpet” (1967)

Plunging down several rabbit holes in recent days has brought me to Ray Anthony’s 1967 release Today’s Trumpet – not once but twice. The last of several dozen Anthony albums the Capitol label had issued since 1950, Today’s Trumpet is, however, more like “yesterday’s 45s,” a compilation of previously-issued singles, than a full-fledged album release.…

Claus Ogerman – “Zorba” (1968)

“Life is what you do while you’re waiting to die/ Life is how the time goes by,” – “Life Is” from Zorba. After a brief – and remarkably unsuccessful – stint on RCA Records, running the gamut of pop genres during the mid-sixties, the German arranger, composer and bandleader Claus Ogerman (1930-2016) was mysteriously recruited…

Claus Ogerman on RCA

The German arranger and bandleader Claus Ogerman (1930-2016) first worked with producer Andy Wiswell (1905-94) at Capitol Records on zither player Ruth Welcome’s Carnival album and on The Manhattans’ single “Sing All the Day” (which Ogerman co-wrote) – both in 1962. When Wiswell moved over to RCA the following year, the two also worked together…

“Rock Dem Bells” – Claus Ogerman

“Rock Dem Bells” comes from the soundtrack to the film Looking for Love, starring Connie Francis and Jim Hutton. Also in the film are quite a number of actors who appeared with Francis and Hutton in the 1960 hit Where the Boys Are. Looking for Love is a slightly more grown-up version of the earlier…

Claus Ogerman on Verve

Some two decades ago, I worked on the four-disc boxset Claus Ogerman: The Man Behind the Music. The esteemed Gene Lees (1928-2010) contributed a typically lovely and well-informed text to the CD while Ogerman (1930-2016) himself chose much of the material and, remarkably, commented on each of the set’s individual tracks. I worked on what…

Kai Winding – Modern Country (1964)

I. Universal Music partnered with the Detroit-based Third Man Records in October 2023 to reissue bebop jazz legend Kai Winding’s 1964 Verve album Modern Country in Universal’s “By Request” series. Third Man pressed both the original Verve black-vinyl version of the album as well as a yellow-vinyl version that features a slightly modified cover. Of…