Sunday, March 7, 2021

The Four Coins and Four Coins Drive in Canonsburg, Pennsylvania




Like Perry Como and Bobby Vinton, the vocal quartet The Four Coins came from Canonsburg, Pennsylvania, where a street is named in their honor: Four Coins Drive. 

It's not the most impressive street—it winds past a cemetery and through a commercial zone—but it's a nice gesture in recognition of the group, which charted 16 hits from 1954-1960 between the Billboard, Cash Box, and Music Vendor charts.

Cousins Jimmy Gregorakis and George Mantalis and brothers George and Michael Mahramas originally formed the group as The Four Keys and recorded a couple records for the independent Corona Records label under that name before changing to The Four Coins when Epic Records signed them. 

“Shangri-La," a million seller, was their biggest hit on the Billboard chart, peaking at #11 in 1957, but if you follow the Music Vendor pop chart, they had one hit that charted even higher: "Memories of You" reached #9 in 1955, giving the group its only Top 10 entry. 

Michael Mahramas left the group in 1959 to pursue an acting career and was replaced by brother Jack Mahramas, and The Four Coins soldiered on, recording two albums of Greek songs in the 1960s and continuing to release singles into the 1970s.

Four Coins Drive was named in their honor in the late 1980s, and the group reunited in the 2000s for a some local performances and the PBS special Magic Moments: The Best of '50s Pop, in which they sang "Shangri-La."



Tuesday, February 2, 2021

Mike Thomas – "Bubbly, Bubbly Root Beer" (1977)

 


Donald Archibald copyrighted three songs in 1977: "Bubby, Bubbly Root Beer," "Victory Rock, Rock, Rock!" and "The Lullaby of the Clouds." Only the first one, as far as I know, was recorded. 

Archibald sent his lyrics to Tin Pan Alley, a song-poem company that was founded in New York in 1941, according to songpoemmusic.com, and then relocated to Sarastota, Florida. 

The song-poem industry, if you don't know, was a peculiar area of the vanity recording industry in which musical hopefuls would send their lyrics to companies who advertised in the back of magazines. These advertisements gave the impression that the song-poem companies were mainstream music entities looking for up-and-coming lyricists to supply words for future hit records, but in reality, the companies were bottom feeders who flattered applicants and coaxed them into sending money to finance recordings of quickly and cheaply arranged songs in independent studios, resulting in records that were pressed in very limited numbers and had absolutely no chance of achieving the commercial success that the companies suggested was a possibility.

"Bubbly, Bubbly Root Beer" was performed by Mike Thomas, a stalwart musician of the Tin Pan Alley label who in this particular performance sounds like an Australian singer to me, but his other performances on other Tin Pan Alley recordings sound completely different.

As an enthusiast of song-poem recordings, I think "Bubbly, Bubbly Root Beer" is one of the better efforts in this field. The stanza about moonwalks is questionable, but the rest of the lyrics are pretty solid, and the song itself expresses nostalgia for dad's homemade root beer as well as national brands such as Mason's (a childhood favorite of mine) and Hy's. The minimalist guitar/bass/drums arrangement by Mike Thomas lends the song an appealingly unpretentious garage-rock quality.

I don't know anything about Donald Archibald, but maybe one of his friends or relatives will comment on this post and we'll find out what inspired him to send his hard-earned money and sentimental root beer poem to Tin Pan Alley and commision this song. Whatever his motivation, the combination of his heartfelt lyrics and Thomas's simple vocal/instrumental arrangement resulted in what, as far as I'm concerned, is really a high-water mark in the weird world of song-poem recordings. 


Saturday, January 23, 2021

Wisconsin's short-lived Swastika Records label (1959)

 


One of the most spectacular pivots from a terrible idea to a great one occurred with this short-lived Wisconsin record label that was not only called Swastika Records but also prominently featured a swastika symbol in the logo.

Existing for only two months in 1959, the label was an imprint of Jim Kirchstein of Sauk City, Wisconsin, and became a longstanding source of dismay to Kirchstein, who later believed that the FBI investigated him because of it. Turning lemons into lemonade, Kirschstein quickly abandoned the Swastika label and renamed it Cuca Records, which—as many oldies fans know—became the center of regional independent music making in Wisconsin and achieved national fame with artists such as The Fendermen, whose "Mule Skinner Blues" was a Top 5 pop hit in 1960.

But we're getting ahead of ourselves. First came Swastika Records, which Kirchstein says he innocently, if naively, named in recognition of the large German-American population in Wisconsin and in reference to the traditional meaning of the swastika as a symbol of good luck. He explained his rationale for the name in Gary E. Myers' book Do You Hear that Beat: Wisconsin Pop/Rock in the 50's & 60's:

'That was a very dumb thing I did,' said Kirchstein. 'This was in the 50's and the horrors of World War II were just 15 years before that. I had the idea of creating a series of German related type music and the swastika was basically a symbol of good luck, a symbol of the sun.' 

Swastika Records endured long enough to release only two singles: one by the Midwest Ranchers (Swastika 1000) and one by Willy Tremain's Thunderbirds (Swastika 1001).

The Midwest Ranchers were a country combo with a trumpeter, and their Swastika single was the only record they released. (Steel guitarist Leroy Gilbertson later released a solo single on Cuca in 1962.) The Midwest Ranchers' single contained remakes of the Gene Autry and Smiley Burnette song "Riding Down the Canyon" and Carl Smith's 1950 country hit "I Overlooked an Orchard." Kirchstein paid RCA's pressing plant in Chicago to manufacture 300 copies.


In this label image from Discogs, someone tried to black out the swastika symbol with a marker!

Swastika's other single, the rock 'n' roll instrumental "Midnight Express" by Willy Tremain's Thunderbirds, was again pressed at the RCA plant in an initial batch of 300. 


The record was a good seller, so Kirchstein went to RCA to press another batch of 300. This time, RCA raised objections to the label's name and logo:

...[A]fter he placed an order for more copies of the release, his RCA contact, Bill Leonards found a problem with the records. The original label name chosen for Kirchstein's releases was Swastika and the records' paper labels included the symbol in their artwork, causing workers and management at the RCA facility to feel uncomfortable with the Nazi association. Kirchstein maintained that he chose the Swastika insignia because the large German population of Sauk City considered it a good luck sign. He had no intention of conjuring up pro-Nazi sentiments through his record business. (In later years, he believed the FBI investigated his activities based solely on this "dumb thing" he did.) Impulsively, Kirchstein decided while on the telephone with Leonards to rename his business Cuca, the nickname of his wife's Mexican-American cousin from Los Cusas, New Mexico.[1]

With the founding of Cuca Records, the Swastika name and logo were abandoned, and Willy Tremain's Thunderbirds became the first artist on Cuca, with the spelling of Tremain's first name changed from Willy to Willie.

In its entry on Tremain, Gary E. Myers' second book on Wisconsin music, On that Wisconsin Beat: More Pop/Rock/Soul/Country, contains a follow-up anecdote about the Swastika label: 

In 1995 [Tremain] obtained several copies of his 36-year old disc. 'We used to hire these kids to sell the records at our dances,' he explains. 'A few years ago my brother ran into one of those guys who still had a box of autographed copies on Swastika.' Jim Kirchstein laughingly said he wanted to get them and burn them - Jerry Osborn's 1999 price guide listed the disc at $200-$300.

According to Myers' book, even though the catalog numbers suggest that the Midwest Ranchers' record preceded the one by Tremain's Thunderbirds, Tremain's record was released in July 1959 and the Midwest Ranchers' record in August 1959. Cuca's debut, the reissue of the Tremain record, was also released in August 1959.

By the way, any music lovers who are interested in Myers' highly informative books on Wisconsin music of the '50s and '60s should visit his website where he's offering both of them at clearance prices. 







Sunday, January 3, 2021

The Music Weird's best of 2020



For years I've done most of my music listening in the car while commuting or traveling, but in 2020 I didn't go anywhere, so I had to carve out time to listen to music in a way that I haven't in the past. It was worth the effort.

In the interest of posting this in a timely manner, I'm not going to write about all these tracks individually, many of which are singles and all of which got lots of spins by me this year, but I will mention my three most-listened-to albums of 2020 in order of release:


Woods – "Strange to Explain" (May 22, 2020)

I'm a longtime fan of Woods, but they hit it out of the park with Strange to Explain, their best album since 2009's Songs of Shame in my opinion (although they released a lot of great music in between). I had this playing on repeat all through the summer.




Waifu Shrine - POP (October 9, 2020)

POP has a ramshackle DIY vibe that takes me back to the days of Blackbean and Placenta Tape Club but has plenty of traditional pop songcraft too. Underneath it all, "Spring Arrived Right in Time" is a future pop standard worthy of Tin Pan Alley, and "Toy Keyboard" has one of the best uses of a chipmunk voice since We're Only in It for the Money or even "Martian Hop."



Beach Vacation – I Fell Apart (November 13, 2020)

Just lovely from start to finish. It's not as much of a loss that Wild Nothing no longer sounds like Gemini when we have bands like Beach Vacation creating similarly gauzy, dreamy music that is simultaneously nostalgic and new. 




Music Weird's Best of 2020 Spotify playlist

Artist/track/album

  1. Beach Vacation – "Break the Ice" – I Fell Apart
  2. Spring Reverb – "Bric-A-Brac" – single
  3. Nessie Next Door – "Love Rind" – Dot the Eye and Cross the Tea
  4. Waifu Shrine – "Toy Keyboard" – POP
  5. Jan flu – "Lacrosse" – single
  6. Corey Flood – "Heaven Or" – Hanging Garden
  7. Love Tan – "What's the Point" – Love Tan
  8. I Saw You Yesterday – "Wander" – single
  9. Breakup Films – "All Kinds of Flowers" – single
  10. Hank Midnight – "New City" – Gardens EP
  11. Black Currants – "Carousel" – single
  12. Secret American – "Heavy Feels" – Heavy Feels
  13. Grazer – "Fever Dream" – single
  14. Choo – "Fool" – single
  15. GRMLN – "Sun" – Goodbye, World
  16. The Francine Odysseys – "Hide Your Eyes" – What If We Were Wrong
  17. Keeps – "Light in a Dream" – Affectianado
  18. Lunchbox – "Dream Parade" – After School Special
  19. Emma Kupa – "Nothing at All" – It Will Come Easier
  20. The Memories – "In My Heart I'm Sailing" – Pickles & Pies
  21. Grrrl Gang – "Love Song" – Here to Stay!
  22. The Very Most – "Her Three-Year Old Laugh or the Time the Microphones Played in My Living Room" – Needs Help
  23. Northern Portrait – "At Attention" – single
  24. Woods – "Where Do You Go When You Dream" – Strange to Explain
  25. Terry vs. Tori – "High Tide" – Leap Day
  26. The Sweet Serenades – "City Lights" – City Lights
  27. Tycho – "Weather" – Simulcast
  28. Echo Delta – "After 15" – Subluminal Projections



Best reissues

Various artists – Strum & Thrum: The American Jangle Underground 1983-1987

Various artists – Iconic Pop Standards in Stereo and Iconic Country Originals in Stereo (full disclosure: I worked on these, but they are pretty amazing)


Finally, a new Cozy Catastrophes track from the last days of the year:

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Religious Santa songs



"Perhaps the thing about Christmas that bothers Christians more than anything else," says the Christian Research Institute, "is Santa Claus. Is Santa a hopelessly pagan idea, or can Santa Claus be saved?"

Even though Santa Claus is partly based on the fourth-century Christian bishop Saint Nicholas, the modern Santa is a secular figure who appears in many thoroughly secular contexts, including numerous horror films and even some adult films. 

Some songwriters have tried to "save" the secular Santa by writing songs that place him in an explicitly Christian context. These songwriters, whether or not they viewed Santa as a secular rival of Jesus, usually tried to mend the perceived rift between the two by grafting religion onto Santa or grafting Santa onto religion. 


But some of these attempts to mix Santa and religion seem to confuse rather than clarify. For example, is the vintage greeting card pictured above suggesting that Santa hears our prayers? 

Today on Music Weird, we'll listen to some of the efforts to combine Santa and religion. A few are earnest and a few are jokes, but all are unusual. In these songs, you'll hear a number of offbeat revisions to the Santa and God stories: God is Santa, Santa is God, Santa is immortal, Santa is guided by prayers, etc. 



Pat Boone – "I Saw Santa Prayin'"

I've never seen Santa prayin', but I did see Pat Boone perform this song in concert years ago, and he introduced it by saying that he wrote it as an attempt to reconcile, for kids, the two main figureheads of the Christmas season. How did he do that? By depicting Santa as a prayerful Christian man and servant of the Lord. The chorus is "I saw Santa prayin'/I saw Santa kneel before the Lord." Many years after I first heard it, Boone recorded the song for his 2007 album The True Spirit of Christmas




Hank Snow – "God Is My Santa Claus"

In this 1966 song by Canadian country star Hank Snow, a young schoolboy teaches us that God is Santa and Santa is God. The lyrics not only state that "God is my Santa Claus" but also that the "real Santa" is God.





Restless Heart – "Santa's Prayer"

In the 2013 Restless Heart song "Santa's Prayer," Santa himself decries the commercialization of Christmas and hopes that people will remember its true meaning. A reviewer on Amazon calls this "One of the Best Christmas Songs ever written." 




Jimmy Boyd – "I Said a Prayer for Santa Claus"

Jimmy Boyd, who recorded the original version of the perennial hit "I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus," recorded this religious Santa song in 1953. In it, Boyd prays to keep Santa safe, healthy, and warm as Santa goes about his business at the North Pole and delivers presents to the kids. I particularly like the part where he expresses concern that Santa might run into a television antenna.




Carson Robison – "Will There Be a Santa Claus in Heaven?" 

This tearjerker is about a dying child who asks if Heaven has a Santa Claus. A video of a recording of it by Jerry House used to be on YouTube and claimed that House wrote the words and music, but the song was actually written by Carson Robison and appeared in his 1936 songbook Tip Top Album of Carson J. Robison Songs. No audio is available online at this time, but quite a few people remember and search for this song. David "Stringbean" Akeman wrote and published a different song with this title in 1968 but doesn't appear to have recorded it. A contemporary song that asks the same question is Marshall Fike's "Is There a Santa in Heaven."



Red Sovine – "Faith in Santa"

This is another Christmas song like "Will There Be a Santa Claus in Heaven?" about a dying child. In this dreary recitation from 1978, a homeless boy tells Santa that his father is in prison for shooting his mother's boyfriend, that he prays for Santa, and that he'd like to go to Heaven for Christmas. The boy gets his wish and passes away at the end of the song. It's unclear whether the song is asserting that Santa can send souls to Heaven if that's their Christmas wish.

 

James Brown – "Santa Claus Is Definitely Here to Stay"

This weird, rambling song declares that Santa Claus is here to stay and also urges people to keep the season strong with faith. You could interpret that as faith in Santa, but I don't think that's the intended meaning. Even though the relationship between Santa and faith is murky in the lyrics, the song is included here because most Santa songs don't mention religious themes such as faith at all.



The Penguins – "A Christmas Prayer"

The Penguins' "A Christmas Prayer" from 1955 features an odd mixture of prayer and a desire for material gifts as the Penguins pray that their girl comes home for Christmas and puts her presents under their Christmas tree. (Is that a euphemism?) The song doesn't mention Santa by name, but Christmas gifts fall within Santa's dominion, so I think it counts. 

 

Jimmy Martin – "Daddy Will Santa Claus Ever Have to Die?"

In addition to having one of the cheesiest music videos ever committed to VHS tape, this 1980 song by the King of Bluegrass, Jimmy Martin, informs us that Santa is an immortal being like God. 

 

Pearl Jam "Santa God"

This song by Pearl Jam, from a limited-edition Christmas single released in 2007, is the mirror image of Hank Snow's "God Is My Santa Claus." Hank said that God is Santa, but Pearl Jam says that Santa is God. For kids who are greedy for presents, that might be true.



The Santa and Jesus duet from South Park

This duet between a cartoon Santa and a cartoon Jesus pits a number of religious Christmas carols, including "Joy to the World" and "Away in the Manger," against "Up on the House Top." Santa becomes angry that Jesus has more songs than he does, but Jesus smooths things over in the end and the spirit of Christmas prevails. 

 

Saturday, December 5, 2020

Helen Beasley: Early Indiana blues artist or not? (1929)

 


Indiana is not known as a hotbed of the blues, but I was surprised while browsing the book
Blues: A Regional Experience to see that only one blues singer was listed for the entire state: Helen Beasley, who waxed a single record in 1929. However, after looking into her biography a bit, I'm not sure that Indiana can claim her.

Beasley made three recordings in her brief recording career, all of which were cut in a Chicago studio for Brunswick Records. The recordings were unadorned, consisting only of Beasley's vocals and a piano that was probably played by fellow Brunswick recording artist Frances Wallace, according to Blues & Gospel Records, 1890-1943, Fourth Edition.

Her first session was a test recording of a song called "California Bound Blues" on April 18, 1929. A week later, on April 25, she recorded "Tia Juana Blues" and "Rambling Mind Blues," two original compositions that Brunswick released on a 78 as Brunswick 7077. 

Because of the similarities between the lyrics of "Tia Juana Blues" and the title of "California Bound Blues," some have surmised that they're actually the same song.

As Wim Verbei points out in his book Boom's Blues: Music, Journalism, and Friendship in Wartime, "Tia Juana Blues" has a odd stylistic quirk that recurs throughout. Beasley, instead of breaking up her couplets where a pause would normally be expected, pauses in the second couplet. So, instead of singing this:


I'm going to California, sweet man / just to wear you off my mind

 

She sings this:


I'm going to California, sweet man, just to / wear you off my mind


This unconventional phrasing is clearly an artistic choice on Beasley's part, because she repeats the formula throughout the song.

The other side of the single, "Rambling Mind Blues," is a bit quirky, too, because of Beasley's nearly constant use of the vocal technique known as scooping

After that, she either moved on to other things or didn't garner enough sales to merit an additional release, because that appears to have been her only single.

Beasley's listing in Blues: A Regional Experience provides very little biographical information, but it's nevertheless more information than I found anywhere else. Unfortunately, it also appears to be incorrect. It says she was born Helen Slaughter in Indiana on April 25, 1895, and died in Los Angeles on February 3, 1972, but adds that this information is tentative. On the basis of my research, I don't think any of this information relates to Helen Beasley the blues singer, which calls into question whether Beasley was from Indiana at all.

Slaughter's obituary in the February 5, 1972, issue of the Bakersfield Californian doesn't mention anything about singing, but more significantly, it gives her husband's name as Paul Slaughter, which means that Slaughter was her married name, not her birth name. Also, Paul was white, and although interracial marriages weren't unheard of in mid 20th century America, they were uncommon.

SLAUGHTER, HELEN MARIE — Rosary will be recited at 8 p.m. Sunday at The Hopson Mortuary Chapel and Requiem Mass will be said at 11 a.m. for Helen M. Slaughter, 77, who died Thursday in a Los Angeles convalescent hospital. Msgr. Patrick Hannon will officiate, and interment will follow in Union Cemetery. Mrs. Slaughter, a native of Indiana, had resided in California 50 years. She had been a resident of Bakersfield many years prior to making her home in the Los Angeles area three years ago. Mrs. Slaughter had been self-employed in the antique business for many years. Her husband, Paul, died in 1963. Survivors include one daughter, Ann Jensen of Los Angeles; four grandchildren; a sister-in-law, Mrs. Blyth Slaughter of Modesto, and several cousins. Mrs. Slaughter was a member of the Altar Society of St. Joseph and the Third Order of St. Francis. 

I also found some ads for the antique store, Old House Antiques, that Helen Slaughter ran with her husband. Here's one from 1949: 


Interesting, but most likely irrelevant to the blues. Although it seems questionable to me now whether Helen Beasley came from Indiana at all, the state can claim Scrapper Blackwell as a native son. Wikipedia lists his birthplace as Syracuse, South Carolina, but other sources say he was born in Indianapolis where he grew up, recorded his first record in 1928, and died in 1962 after being shot during a mugging.

Beasley's two commercial recordings are included on the Document Records CD Blue Girls, Volume 1: 1924-1930 and can be heard in the YouTube videos below. Her test recording of "California Bound Blues" remains unreleased.

 




Wednesday, December 2, 2020

"Booby": Curious 1950s novelty ads in Billboard



In 1950, Billboard magazine ran a number of curious advertisements for a "soft, fleshlike" rubber doll called "Booby: The Bouncing Bombshell Queen of Burlesque."

Although Billboard came to be exclusively associated with music in later years, it also used to be a trade magazine for carnival operators and vendors of novelties and gaming devices such as pinball machines. During this time in the late 1940s and early '50s, it carried advertisements for some surprisingly adult-oriented novelties.

Seeing these risque ads in the music trade magazines is surprising not only because the ads are explicit for their time but also because the music trades would periodically rail against smutty records (typically in reference to double-entendre R&B singles), so it seems hypocritical that they published ads that could also be accused of being smutty.

The text of the Booby ad at the top of this post says: 

The Hottest Selling Novelty Item of the Season!

"Booby"

The Bouncing Bombshell Queen of the Burlesque

Delightfully realistic, made of soft, fleshlike plastic rubber. Looks lifelike and feels lifelike . . . with DELICATE MOULDED CURVES and LOTS OF OOMPH!! 6" in height. She WIGGLES, she SHIMMIES, she SHAKES, she BUMPS and GRINDS! A real burlesque THRILLER! You make her do all these fascinating movements with a cleverly concealed mechanical device. This item is copyrighted and any infringement will be prosecuted to the full extent of the law. $7.20 sample dozen. $72.00 per gross. Send $1.00 for sample. 

ORDER NOW . . . be the first in your territory. 

The Harris Mfg. Co. that marketed this compelling novelty item was previously known as the Harris Novelty Company. The company might have changed its name to avoid being confused with another Harris Novelty Company that operated out of Philadelphia.

Billboard reported in July 1950 that the company's Johnny Harris said that Booby was "becoming one of the hottest items on the market." The article also said that the company was adding carnival merchandise to its product line. 

Another product that the company allegedly would soon market was Pete the Poodle, "a fur covered dog that runs in circles and sits up and begs." I haven't seen any ads for this product and don't know if it was ever manufactured.

The following month, Billboard reported that Harris Manufacturing Company had hired additional staff to accommodate the flood of orders for Booby. As a naturally cynical person, I assume that Billboard's ongoing coverage of Booby during this brief time in 1950 was related to Harris Mfg.'s constant ad buys in the publication. 

Also in August 1950, Billboard ran another item that reported on Harris Mfg. Co.'s introduction of "Salome, a two-inch-high soft rubber plastic item." This new novelty promised to be so enticing that Harris expected it to "run close to the Booby, Queen of Burlesque item that hit top sales." 

The Salome figure was a similarly risque "harem dancer" who, ads proclaimed, "WIGGLES and SQUIRMS." 

The address for Harris Mfg. Co.—5864 Hollywood Blvd. in Hollywood, California—was the same address as that of Heinz Distributors, a company that advertised other risque products in Billboard. Heinz sold a 40-page pictorial magazine of "Hollywood's best figure models" that included so-called "Art Nudes." Billboard ran an item about this product too, describing it as a "magazine that is complete with photographic data," which presumably means "photos of naked ladies." Billboard added that the magazine provided instructions "for taking Hollywood glamour photos." Hm. Interesting.

In October 1950, Harris introduced Fifi the Fan Dancer, a "flesh-like soft, plastic rubber . . . realistically molded" figure with a "feather fan." The illustration in the ad was fully nude. Clearly, Harris was marketing its products to the audience that would later make the
RealDoll a viable business endeavor.

Longtime readers of Billboard—at least those who are familiar with the magazine's moralizing stance regarding "smutty" content—might be astonished to see that in 1950 the magazine ran ads that featured illustrations of fully nude women. Just a few years earlier, in 1944, the magazine ran an article about the inability of radio to tap nightclub performers for on-air performances because "the night club guys ... have been entertaining with smut so long their thinking along lines of showmanship is not clean."

Yet Billboard itself didn't hesitate to run illustrations of nudes in its magazine in 1950. It just seems kind of weird. 


Also in 1950, the 5864 Hollywood Blvd. address of Harris Mfg. Co. appeared in ads in Modern Screen magazine for lists of personal home addresses of Hollywood actors and in The Elks Magazine in ads for Hollywood Film Exchange, a seller that suggestively offered "home movies (all types)." 

In 1951, the address appeared in ads by Zusser Mfg. Co. in Popular Photography and Home Movies magazines for 8 and 16 mm film. That same year, Hollywood Film Exchange also ran an ad for its enigmatic "home movies" in The American Legion Magazine

There seemed to be a common thread between these risque businesses that all operated out of the same Hollywood street address. And although the Elks and the American Legion are perceived as conservative social clubs, it's not hard to imagine them as potential audiences for illicit stag films, if that's what these "home movies" actually were. The website of the Museum of Sex in New York says that "screenings of stag films ... were clandestine events that ... would gather together in American legion halls."

Bringing things back to music, the 5864 Hollywood Blvd. address was also used for Crystalette Records in 1953-54, presumably after Harris moved out, but who knows? The address still exists to this day and has been the home to a number of businesses over the years, but it will always be remembered, at least by me, as the home of Booby, the Bouncing Bombshell Queen of Burlesque.