Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Thrift Store Archives: Animated Egg/Jiminy Cricket/Leo Teel & His Teel Billies

First off, I'm sure a few of you are saying "okay, you promised to upload one new song a day throughout September, and you failed to do so." Okay, I missed a day, so for today you have THREE, count 'em, 'EKOLU songs for you to download and listen to. I will continue with more music, and I'll update them on a regular basis.

Also, there will be brand new Thrift Store Adventures coming up very soon, so please stay tuned for more stories and audio along with it. Let's begin:

Animated Egg-I Said, She Said, Ah Cid (2.97mb)
Far out, dude. I became a fan of the 101 Strings when I read an article about them in a great fanzine from the early 90's called Breakfast Without Meat, written by Gregg Turkington. In it he spoke of always being able to find 101 Strings albums at thrift stores, yard and garage sales. I too had seem them but ignored them because it wasn't what I would listen to on a regular basis, with album upon album upon album of classical schmaltz. Turkington would not only buy the junk, but also discover some of the oddities of the 101 Strings catalog. By association, he would also purchase some of the albums on the same labels (Somerset and Alshire) and discovered something. In time, the 101 Strings would move from releasing classical records and recording "adult" cover versions of pop songs to doing weird, trippy hippie stuff, especially in the late 70's. How does a full orchestra end up doing songs about peace, love, and weed? Well, they didn't.

Enter the Animated Egg. The name itself seems fitting in the era of "Incense And Peppermints", and this band released an album of far-out instrumentals for grooving and loving. "I Said, She Said, Ah Cid" may sound Beatlesque but the truth is the title refers to acid. WOW, FAR OUT!!! To be honest, the album is not bad, probably from a bunch of unknown studio musicians in L.A., although knowing how session musicians worked back then, maybe they were well known after all.

The story would have stopped there if it wasn't for the fact that the album would be repackaged, renamed, and resold as a 101 Strings record, the infamous Astro Sounds From Beyond The Year 2000. While the 101 Strings were far from being "holy grail" material, that album would become the hardest 101 Strings record to find. Meanwhile, the Animated Egg album collected dust in bins across the nation, without anyone realizing both albums were one and the same. Blame it on Al Sherman, the man behind Alshire Records and the guy who actually purchased the rights to the 101 Strings name and recordings.

As for the previously mentioned Turkington, he made a 45 under the name The Easy Goings and would press up the 45's at Alshire, the same company responsible for, that's right, Animated Egg. Far out.

Jiminy Cricket - The Cannibal Song (3.51mb)
When I found this record, someone e-mailed me and said "you have to upload The Cannibal Song, I haven't heard that since I was a kid." Here it is, a Disney character talking about eating people. Nice.

Leo Teel And His Teel Billies - Fertilizer (3.27mb)
This record and I go way back, as it was a record I had found at a pawn shop when I would skip class in high school. I was fed up with school and would spend hours looking for records. To this day, my mom has not seen my report carts from my senior year. I was stubborn, basically.

This was a random 45 on Decca that I had found, and I probably bought it because I thought the name "Leo Teel & His Teel Billies" was funny. I was also in radio/TV production class at the time (the one class I did go to daily), and that involved being a radio DJ heard around town. While the format of the station was (at the time) heavy metal, the only time I could play anything else was during April Fool's. I played it, and some of my friends came up to me and said "what was that record, that was great?" Years later when I was a news producer, a lady who worked with me said she remembered me from my radio show and also remembered "Fertilizer". She asked if I still had the record, and of course I certainly did.

A few years ago I received an e-mail from one Leo Teel, who said he was proud to know that someone still remembered him. He said he wanted to do an interview, and when I told him I'd be more than happy to, I never heard from him again. So Mr. Teel, if you are still around and this webpage somehow gets to you, please e-mail me as I am very interested in speaking with you about this record.

1 comment:

Trorine said...

I would like to talk to you about Leo Teel & His Teel Billies
the song
My grandfather wrote it:
e-mail me at rexgriffin_music@yahoo.com