Hello and welcome to another edition of the Vintage Media Millennial blog. Since starting this website nearly five years ago, I have had moments of struggling with writing blog posts. I often find myself beginning to write, before stopping in a bout of confusion. Then, I tend to leave it in the drafts folder to gather virtual dust.
This is why I have decided to go through those drafts and pick out things that I’d like to share with you. Often I’d start with an observation, before being unable to take things any further. Below are snippets from my ‘failure’ collection. Most of these concerns CD releases by Bear Family Records.
Let It Rock from Scotty McKay Rocks
Earlier this week, I reviewed the latest addition to Bear Family Records’ Rocks series, Scotty McKay Rocks. One of my picks from this excellent compilation is his rocking rendition of Chuck Berry’s Let It Rock. I love it when an artist tries to put their own spin on it, and Scotty did it superbly here. The combining of verses accentuates the vibe, along with the Back In The USA-inspired ‘Woah Yeahs’ present throughout the record. The combined vocal thickens up the lead, giving a live feel. This track is available on Scotty McKay Rocks from Bear Family Records.
Bayou Ball by Shorty Joe & His Canyon Cowboys
One of the few instances where a digital version just isn’t available! An ultra-rare track to start us off this week, which featured on volume 34 of Bear Family Records’ long-running series That’ll Flat Git It! The first release on Bella records was released around 1952/3. The amount of sheer energy of this performance and the atmosphere that comes with it I just love. I hum this tune regularly!
I Love Another Shipwreck by Status Quo
Like many legacy bands in the 1980s, British Rock band Status Quo experimented a lot with their sound; With varying degrees of success. This version of Andy Bown’s (also the keyboard player of Quo) disco-infused track Another Shipwreck, is given a complete 1980s makeover. Soaked in synthesizers, flashy guitar sounds and era-specific gated drums, this track has literally everything from a producer’s toolbox. Although not loved by the fan base, I have a fondness for this track. I’m probably one of the few who believe they could have struck big with this one, especially with the memorable repetitive ending that comes straight from a classic romantic comedy. Another Shipwreck is available on Status Quo’s 1988 album Ain’t Complainin’
Rockin’ With The Krauts Volume 1
Although my grasp of the German language isn’t great, I really enjoyed this excellent German Rock n Roll focused compilation from Bear Family Records. It contains 33 tracks recorded between 1957 and 1965; Focusing on the harder side of Rock and Roll.
Frankie & The Rockets’ Frankie’s Twist is an instrumental joy that I just can’t get enough of. The reverb-drenched lead guitar pounced on by the consistent snare drum is a simple combination that works so well. Similarly, Ted Herold’s Little Linda has a groove that you can’t help but bop your head to.
This compilation proves that whatever the language, the expressions of Rock ‘n’ Roll are universal and can be enjoyed the world over. The familiar staples of Rock ‘n’ Roll, including many compositions by Chuck Berry, can be found here. Hearing common arrangements of Bye Bye Johnny, Be My Baby, Sweet Little Rock ‘n’ Roller, The Wanderer, No Particular Place To Go and others, is an intriguing listen. Rockin’ With The Krauts – Volume 1 is available from Bear Family Records.
Now, I want to share with you the start of a piece I wrote in 2018. It was intended to be a long blog post about the vintage television that I had consumed that year. It is fair to say 2018 was quite a pivotal year for shaping my taste in television, as I discovered the delights of the American game show and classic US sitcoms from the mid-1950s. In this short excerpt, I discuss my newfound love for The Donna Reed Show.
I Love The Donna Reed Show
When searching for vintage series to watch, I tend to gravitate towards sitcoms, as I find them comforting. While searching through Amazon Prime one evening, I stumbled upon the Donna Reed Show, a quaint sitcom that aired on ABC between 1958 and 1966. I, initially, found the series quite hard to swallow as it had felt like a reversed continuation of the Father Knows Best formula.
It was not until about a month later that I began to stick with the series, and became so glad that I did. Despite the perfect exterior that this show seems to project, there is a juicy underbelly that makes you care about the characters. I began to consider the problems of Donna Stone and her family as my own, and wonder how they would resolve them. The concept of relating to likeable characters would continue to be a trend in my year, as I discovered many ‘new’ sitcoms including What’s Happening!! on Amazon Prime.
Thank you for reading this edition of Vintage Media Millennial. I doubt that I shall do another post like this, as much of my writing goes in the bin these days. However, you never know!