Sunday, June 10, 2018

Soma (miscellaneous)

The first Soma disc, circa 1955

Wall in the offices of the company
For the past few years I have taken up the task of acquiring copies of every disc issued by Soma records of Minneapolis.  The company didn't leave behind any ledgers that we know of, so a full discography is unavailable.  I compiled an excel file (included in download) listing all the discs I know of.  On that list there are 281 singles (78rpm and 45rpm) and roughly 50 Lps.  I am missing about 70 of the 45s, and need to upgrade about 30 of my discs that are lower quality than VG+.  The first 30 or so discs were pressed on both 45rpm and 78rpm.  Many of the first Soma discs were songs originally issued on the FM Recordings label in Hollywood, CA.  Not sure how that came to be.  Those who knew are most likely deceased.  I hope someday to have all the records, but I'm not entirely sure I'll end up finding all of them.  It's been fun so far and I have no reason to give up. I don't have plans to do anything with the collection once (or if) it is ever complete.  I suppose I have plenty of time to think about it.

I thought I'd upload some of the lesser known discs, which individually wouldn't be worth posting.  I have also included my list of needed records, in case anyone out there can help.   And inside the download folder is a brochure catalog (says complete but it is not) printed by the company, circa 1963.  I was able to scan this rare document from the collection of Dan Heilicher's son Jamie.


Friday, May 18, 2018

Harry C. Browne

The first issue in Columbia's budget label series.  For those who are not familiar, Columbia released the same sides, with the same matrices (in parentheses) on three different budget labels:  Harmony, Diva and Velvet Tone.  I won't go further into that here, since there is information elsewhere online and in print form.

[please be aware the N-word is used throughout "Uncle Ned"]

Harmony 1-H
Year:  1925
Label location:  Bridgeport, Conneticut
Pressed by:  Columbia

Uncle Ned

Goodbye, Liza Jane

Sunday, May 13, 2018

Starday Custom Pressings box set

Starday Custom Pressings are sought-after low-pressing gems from the 1950s and 1960s.  Most often only 100-200 copies were made, and the records are highly collectable.  Some fetch more than $1500+, others only $15.  I have been downloading audio from youtube and ebay for the past 10 years, trying to grow my audio archive of this series.  But my efforts pale in comparison to those of Malcolm Chapman and others, who are way ahead of me.  Several CD compilations have previously been issued, in attempts to get these tracks out commercially.  But those sets have focused on the most valuable of the lot, and couldn't be very comprehensive with only 2-3 discs. 

Here Malcolm and his associates have given us a near complete box set of the series, only missing a few numbers.  Sitting down with this box set and its companion book is a delight.  For those who cannot afford to spend thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours that would be required to obtain all the discs, this box set is an easy solution. 

It is the first of what should be 2 or 3 box sets, according to Malcolm.  This box set was put together by Malcolm in cooperation with the same people who are responsible for The Texas Box and The Michigan Box, and others.  It takes up a bit of room on your shelf, but the space is well spent.

Thank you Malcolm for sending me a copy of this wonderful, long-awaited treasure.

Front of box

The book

Back side of box

Monday, April 23, 2018

Len Gale (updated post from 2014)

Golden Wing GW 3011
Year: 1962
Label location:  Minneapolis, Mn
Pressed by: Kay Bank 3309

What Did I Do

Don't Awaken Me

Studio City SC 1006
Year:  1963
Label location:  Minneapolis, Mn
Pressed by:  Kay Bank

Foolish Pride

Sentimental Me

I sent two emails to Len, but no reply.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Rose Mae LaPointe

Rose Mae at the Sioux Tribe Fair in Rosebud, South Dakota around 1940.

An online guitar forum discussion concluded that she is playing a Kay Guitar.

Rose Mae Lapointe Desersa was born 1923 in Todd, S.D.  Her name suggests she had French-Canadian ancestry.  Father was Herbert DeSersa, mother was Elsie Kills-Plenty.  It is not known what year she died.

Some remember her being on the radio in South Dakota radio at some point.

Her nephew Jock wrote:

"a traditional woman powwow dancer, a ranch wife, a cook for indian health service, IHS. She drove like a maniac but when she got older, if I seen her comin, i pulled over a bit. i think someone should remake Phantom Buffalo. I believe that was a priest who wrote that. . . . she gave me my first guitar."
Michelle wrote:

"Tahca Sapa, Black Deer. From context, it sounds like the song is about a man named Tahca Sapa hunting phantom buffalo. I heard this song many times on KINI, the radio station in St. Francis."

I'm posting the audio here because I want her family to be able to hear it.

Studio City 1017
Year: 1964
Label location:  Minneapolis, MN
Pressed by:  Kay Bank

Phantom Buffalo:

Maybe Now

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Earl Ketchum's Circle A Ranch Gang

Vocal: Bob Gray

Master Label Recording Co
Year: 1952
Label location: ?
Pressed by:  RCA

Always Means Forever

It's All Over Now