Saturday, June 27, 2009

Pro-ject Xpression II

When I bought my first LP in June 2006, I did not even own a LP player. However, that handicap did not dampen my desire to acquire more LPs. I continued to go to Amcorp Mall at Petaling Jaya, Selangor, to buy more LPs on every subsequent Sundays.
Besides buying LPs, I also went all over the places to audition on LP players. I finally made up my mind to buy a LP player in August 2006. The LP player, Pro-ject Xpression II, is made in Prague, Czech Republic.
The player is solidly built. The sound quality is also among the best that I could find at the price point that I paid. Anyway, I have no regret of having this player as it has been providing me with so much enjoyment from countless hours of music listening.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

蔡琴 - 遇见

I am a big fan of CaiQin. I am also a loyal fan of CaiQin. I have been listening to CaiQin since early 80s. I still can't get enough of listening to her.
CaiQin started her career as a folk song singer who performed in folk song pubs in Taiwan. She possesses a natural and magnetically rich vocals. I am totally swept off my feet whenever I hear her sings. When I saw this album displayed at a music shop, I just could help but to fork out almost RM200 to take possess of this album.
Chris Barbida arranges all the songs in this album. As usual, CaiQin belts out song after song effortlessly.
I would like to highlight song number 2 on side B - Leave Your Worries Behind ( 张三的歌) in this album. Whenever I was driving with my wife and kids in the car. If this song was played, all of us would sing along. At the end of the song, one of the kids would call out, "Daddy, please replay the song", then we would start singing the song all over again.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Skeeter Davis - Here's The Answer

In my previous post, I mentioned about a CD that I played very often in my granduncle's house during my 2-year stay in Penang.
Well, this is the album - Skeeter Davis' Here's the Answer.
In fact this is a very unique/one-of-a-kind LP. This album contains 6 songs made famous by RCA artists Jim Reeves, Eddy Arnold, Ray Peterson, Don Gibson, Floyd Cramer and Hank Locklin. After each song is sung by the male artist, there comes the reply (by a song with the same tune but different lyrics) by Skeeter Davis.
The titles of the songs are also very interesting:
Side A
He'll have to go (Jim Reeves)
He'll have to stay (Skeeter Davis)
Last date (Floyd Cramer)
My last date (with you) (Skeeter Davis)
Tell Laura I love her (Ray Peterson)
Tell Tommy I miss him (Skeeter Davis)
Side B
Please help me, I'm falling (Hank Locklin)
(I can't help you) I'm falling too (Skeeter Davis)
I really don't want to know (Eddy Arnold)
I really want you to know (Skeeter Davis)
Just one time (Don Gibson)
I want to see you too (Skeeter Davis)

Monday, June 8, 2009

Jim Reeves - Distant Drums

I first listened to Jim Reeves in 1980.
I was studying in Penang then. As my house was in Sungai Petani, I had to stay in my granduncle's house in Air Itam during the weekdays.
My granduncle was very kind to me. He treated me like a grown-up and imposed no restrictions to me at all. So I could watch TV or listen to cassette tapes whenever I liked. My uncle had a good collection of cassette tapes. I particularly liked a tape which contained a song "He'll have to go" sung by Jim Reeves followed by another song "He'll have to stay" sung by Skeeter Davis.
Wikipedia describes that "Jim Reeves is a crooner because of his warm, velvety voice. His songs were remarkable for their simple elegance highlighted by his rich right baritone". What an apt description.
When I started to collect LPs, I also started to look for Jim Reeves' album. "Distant Drums" is the first Jim Reeves album collected by me. I bought it in July 2006.
At the height of his singing career, Jim Reeves was killed in a small aircraft crash in July 31, 1964. Cindy Walker, the author of "Distant Drums" wrote this at the back of the album cover:
"The words sound almost mystically prophetic as sung by the late Jim Reeves-
'I hear the sound of distant drums
Far away, far away.
And if they call for me to come,
then I must go and you must stay'"