Saturday, April 19, 2014

PETE BRADY - "How The West Was Swung"

Does what it says on the tin: "The Best of the West Done With A Swingin' Beat." This 1962 album, one of the few recorded by lounge crooner Pete Brady before an errant tennis racket damaged his throat, is more fun than a brawl in a saloon. Big, brassy orchestrations (by an uncredited Bob Florence) featuring members of Woody Herman's Thundering Herd thunder their way thru classic cowboy songs.  Very rural songs given a hip urban twist makes for a pretty ridiculous combo, but one that, strangely enough, was not uncommon. Why? A couple guesses: anything western was very popular at the time. Shows set in the Old West were as ubiquitous on mid-century TV sets as detective programs are now.  And swinger-central Las Vegas was still, in the '50s/early '60s, not too far removed from it's Wild West past.  Many early hotels and casinos had a western theme.

In any case, you'll chortle with glee blasting such kooky finger-snappin' remakes of the likes of "Tumblin' Tumbleweeds" and "I'm An Old Cowhand." And any version of Roy Rogers' ode to my homeland, "The San Fernando Valley," is always welcome. A tip o' the hat to Windy for this one.

PETE BRADY - "How The West Was Swung"


vilstef said...

Gotta love the weird sensibilities of the 50's before there was much market research. I read an interview by the guy who produced Bruce Chanel (Hey Baby) who said, they frankly had no idea what might sell so if something didn't work, they tried something else. And if that sold, they produced more like it. Search for the winning formula and jump on it!

Davincie said...

Now that's an interesting link you put in there. Wonder if you got some of the other stuff in there like Tak Shindo's odd Western/Asian mix?

Mr Fab said...

Dont have any of those, tho the Sonny Rollins is pretty well known. Its probably in print. I do have a couple of Tak Shindo's exotica records, but not the Western one - that does look pretty cool.