3/17/10

Retrospace Mix Tape: Music for Your Cocktail Hour


I'm proud to announce the first ever Retrospace Mix Tape.  I've compiled some of my favorite examples of groovy bachelor-pad music for your listening pleasure. So, grab your hi-balls and get ready for some high fidelity magic courtesty of 17 lounge legend extraordinairs. Cheers!

On An Evening in Roma - Dean Martin
Harlem Nocturn - Esquivel
Lady is a Tramp - Frank Sinatra
Angel Eyes - Jack Jones
Barbarella - Ferrante & Teicher
Hey Bellboy! - Gloria Wood
I Wanna Be Like You - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
It Had Better Be Tonight - Lena Horne
Little Girl - Vic Damone
Moon River - Henry Jerome
Seance on a Wet Afternoon - John Barry
The Girl from Ipanema - Richard Hayman
The Lively Ones - Mel Henke
The Topless Dancers of Corfu - Dick Hyman
Thirteen Men - Miss Ann-Margret
Underwater Chase - Al Caiola
What is this Thing Called Love? - Keely Smith

Download mixtape here via Rapidshare
To learn about some of these tracks and listen to some samples, read on!

On An Evening in Roma - Dean Martin
This Capitol single only reached number 59 in 1959, but it remains one of my all time favorite Dino tunes.


Harlem Nocturn - Esquivel
The "Mexican Madcap" pushed so-called "easy listening" to the limit in the early 1960's.  Here's one of my favorites from the undisputed king of Space Age Bachelor Pad music.

Lady is a Tramp - Frank Sinatra
This isn't the one you're used to hearing - this is Frank live back in his glory days. He even swears in this one.

Angel Eyes - Jack Jones
From the guy that sung The Love Boat theme, comes this classic from 1959. During the Cold War, Jones was among the Vegas elite. I'm sure this song brung 'em home at The Sands.

Barbarella - Ferrante and Teicher
Originally F & T wanted it to sound cosmic and experimental; however, they wound up playing it straight - just a piano with some accompaniment. The result is an amazing piece of music made for the space age bachelor pad.


Hey Bellboy! - Gloria Wood
Wood's hormones are running high as she begs for the services of her hired help. You'll need a cigarette by the time this song is done with you.

I Wanna Be Like You - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy
A more contemporary take on that Luis Prima classic from The Jungle Book, made popular by inclusion on the Swingers soundtrack.

It Had Better Be Tonight - Lena Horne
I remember Lena as the Good Witch in The Wiz and for her appearances on Sanford & Son and Sesame Street; however, long before that, she was a premiere performer at The Sands during Vegas' heyday.

Little Girl - Vic Damone
Damone's real name was Vito Rocco Farinola - it don't get more Italian than that, folks. Don Draper from Mad Men would like this one.

Moon River - Henry Jerome
This has to be peppiest rendition of the Breakfast at Tiffany's classic ever created. Daddy like.


Seance on a Wet Afternoon - John Barry
From the 1964 movie by the same name, this spooky marimba is perfect for contacting the dead whilst sipping your Black Velvet cocktail.


The Girl from Ipanema - Richard Hayman
Every lounge act had their own interpretation of The Girl from Ipanema, and Hayman's experimental version may be the strangest, but I love it. It's from the album, Genuine Electric Latin Love Machine.



The Lively Ones - Mel Henke
The mastermind behind the jingle "See the world today, in your Chevrolet" released one of the hippest party records ever - La Dolce Henke (1962). The voice at the beginning of this track is none other than Herschel Bernardi - famous for Fiddler on the Roof and the original voice of the Starkist Tuna character.  You can almost hear the sexual revolution trying to burst forth in this track.




The Topless Dancers of Corfu - Dick Hyman
From the album The Electric Eclectics of Dick Hyman, this track puts Hyman's brilliant keyboarding skills to use on the new instrument in town - the moog!

Thirteen Men - Miss Ann-Margret
This post-apocalyptic Cold War Era ditty from her third LP, The Vivacious One, tells the tale of 13 virile fallout shelter survivors vying for Miss Margret's attention.




Underwater Chase - Al Caiola
From the 1965 album Music To Read James Bond By. You can just picture the evil frogmen, the mini-sub in pursuit, and the vixen in her wet suit.

What is this Thing Called Love? - Keely Smith
Smith was Louie Prima's partner in crime in the golden days of Vegas. She was the perfect counter to his crazy chimp act, and an amazing vocalist as evidenced in this Cole Porter classic.

11 comments:

  1. My ears are already doing a happy dance.

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  2. I just can't believe that one guy's name was (is?) Dick Hyman.

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  3. Last night I saw a Dragnet episode where we saw Joe Friday's sparse (but still kinda swanky) 1969 bachelor apartment. A little leather bar in the corner, gilded cigarette box on the coffee table.

    "Place looks clean, Friday."
    "I have a woman in once a week."

    I can just see Joe coming home from his shift, inviting new divorcee Betty (from down the hall) in for a drink. And these sweet sounds are coming from the hi-fi... THANKS GILLIGAN, YOU ROCK!! It's one thing to let us listen, but the downloadable mix-tape is awesome!! :)

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  4. To the Editor:

    I am outraged. You call that a Retrospace Mix Tape? For shame! How could you not include Frank's "One for My Baby, and One for the Road"? Or "Summer Wind"? And NOTHING from Julie London, like "Love for Sale"?

    And nothing from Herb Albert's Whipped Cream and Other Delights? So what if the album was pedestrian--You only listened to the album as an excuse to eyeball the cover.

    You owe your regular readers an apology.

    I remain:
    Wholly upset.
    Bill Abendroth

    PS Kudos on remembering The Horne. Ms. Lena was the complete package.

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  5. But Bill, he gave us Ann Margaret--and Al Caiola!! I'll take anything by Al Caiola over Herb Albert's giant breast album any day! (That record was in my mom & dad's collection, I think I listened to their rendition of 'Fool on the Hill' around a million times.)

    FYI, growing up I listend to Al Caiola every week. Here in Pittsburgh, from the mid-60s to early 80s, "Experiment in Terror" was the theme music to Saturday night's "Chiller Theater". How I miss it!

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  6. Fantabulosa - a brilliant selection and wonderful notes. I'm having a groovy moment right now. Cheers for this and your blog - one of my (new) fav places on the web. XpS

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  7. Nothing like a mixtape to cause a ruckus. I'm glad Louis Prima was sort of included, but I'd have chosen a duet with Keely Smith. I'm glad you didn't cram it full of the wacky Esquivel-type stuff. One or two is enough. I love "space age bachelor pad music" but there's plenty else from this era to enjoy.

    Good job.

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  8. Loving this...great snappy version of Moon River and now Seance on a Wet Afternoon?? You're the best!!

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  9. As I was reading this post, Frank Sinatra happened to spin up on the iTunes. Perfect. And thanks for the music. I actually bought a 1967 Ferante & Teicher album probably around 1970. Although I was heavily into rock and roll something about this record really got to me. I practically wore it out. Just recently I made a digital recording of it. I hadn't listened to it in years. I still like it.

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  10. Thanks for the positive comments. And, Bill, stay tuned for future mix tapes and perhaps your lust for lounge will be satiated.

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  11. I've been gone for a week, just downloaded this and looking forward to listening to it.

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