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Archive for December 3rd, 2010

Marshall Tucker Box Coming Soon

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Southern rockers The Marshall Tucker Band will commemorate their near-40-year legacy with a new box set next week.

The Capricorn Years is a 10-disc affair that collates the first seven MTB LPs (from the self-titled 1973 album to 1978’s Together Forever), all of which were originally released on Capricorn Records (and many of them reissued on Shout! Factory with a live bonus track or two in recent years). It also includes another Shout! Factory-originated product: the two-CD/one-DVD Carolina Dreams Tour ’77, released in 2007. Each disc is remastered and features expanded liner notes. The box also comes with a special band 2011 calendar.

It can be ordered through the band’s own label Ramblin’ Records here; orders will start shipping on December 10. Hit the jump to reacquaint yourself with the track listings. (Credit to Vintage Vinyl News for reporting this story.)

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Written by Mike Duquette

December 3, 2010 at 11:04

Friday Feature: “Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol”

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This special holiday-themed Friday Feature originally appeared in December 2010, but we’ve rescued it from The Second Disc Archives to share it with you!  It is dedicated to the memory of Leslie Nielsen, who could count Mr. Magoo as just one of many of his indelible film creations, as well as to the gone-but-not-forgotten Jim Backus, Morey Amsterdam, Jack Cassidy and Paul Frees.

Before Rudolph, Frosty and Charlie Brown ruled the television airwaves each December, there was the nearsighted Mr. Quincy Magoo. A product of the UPA animation studio (pioneers of “limited animation” in answer to the more realistic Walt Disney style) under the guidance of maverick director John Hubley, the irrepressible, irritable and perpetually mumbling Magoo made his debut in 1949. By 1962, big screen animated shorts were well on the way to becoming a thing of the past, and those remaining at UPA turned their attention to television. Little did producer Henry G. Saperstein know that he would be making history when Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol premiered on December 18, 1962 as the first-ever animated holiday special produced especially for television. We celebrate its long-overdue soundtrack release (albeit only in digital form) in today’s Friday Feature.

Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol had a stellar pedigree, adapted by Barbara Chain from Charles Dickens, directed by Abe Levitow (a key collaborator of Chuck Jones at the Warner Bros. studio) and starring an A-list of performers. Jim Backus, as always, voiced Magoo (still before he would create Thurston Howell III on Gilligan’s Island) while other voices were provided by Morey Amsterdam of The Dick Van Dyke Show fame, voice artist extraordinaire Paul Frees (whose characterizations for Disneyland attractions are still heard around the world today) and Broadway’s Jack Cassidy, surely the best-ever actor at portraying vain, egocentric gentlemen yet totally believable as the voice of the sympathetic Bob Cratchit. If you’re not familiar with the work of David, Patrick and Shaun’s father, just listen to  “My Fortune is My Face” from Jule Styne’s musical Fade-Out, Fade-In, not to mention any of his other definitive original cast performances, or catch a rerun on any number of television shows in which he guest-starred, including Bewitched and The Mary Tyler Moore Show.

Yet what many remember most about Mr. Magoo’s Christmas Carol is its delightful original score, written by two Broadway veterans. Jule Styne had only three years prior composed his most enduring work in the form of his score with Stephen Sondheim for 1959’s Gypsy. Since then, he had written two more musicals with the team of Betty Comden and Adolph Green, 1960’s Do Re Mi and 1961’s Subways Are for Sleeping (which yielded its own Christmas favorite, “Be a Santa”). Joining Styne to contribute lyrics was Bob Merrill, the hit songwriter of “Mambo Italiano” and “How Much Is That Doggie in the Window?” Merrill had an idiosyncratic sensibility far-removed from those novelty songs which he brought to Broadway via three musicals including New Girl in Town (1957), Take Me Along (1959) and Carnival (1961). The team would, of course, go on to give Barbra Streisand her signature song in “People” from their score to to the legendary Funny Girl in 1964. Hit the jump and you’ll find yourself way back in 1962! Read the rest of this entry »

Written by Joe Marchese

December 3, 2010 at 10:28

Posted in Features, Reissues, Soundtracks

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