Saturday, August 8, 2009

Go (To) British Co-lumbia!

Go, British Col-umbia: by Bobby Gimby, BC Centennial '71 Committee, 1971

On the off-chance that any of you devoted readers out there in internetland are mulling over, contemplating, thinking about, considering, or even ponderin' a move from your current locale to someplace like, say fer instance, the green and temperate climes of the province of British Columbia on the swellerific west coast of Canada, I thought I'd help learn youse about your new home-to-be with some groovy 7" souvenir records (culled from my soon-to-be-greatly-reduced-in-number record collection) from days gone by.

Produced by the talented Bobby Gimby, of 1967's centennial song "Canada" fame this follow up (above) follows up with the exact same winning template that made his previous single a hit, Hit, HIT! Childrens chorus, singalong lyrics, infectious (but not in a swine flu sort of way) trumpet-lead beat, and kettle drums! How could miss with that tried and true formula? (are you listening Green Day? I see a comeback from your current obscurity if you'd just follow the patented "Gimby Method").

Here's the words and music in PDF form if you're into that sort of thing.

Fortunately for the producers of this long-in-print-but-now-long-out-of-print-although-I-probably-didn't-need-to-point-that-last-part-out late 60s souvenir shop staple Victoria had only one "sound". Otherwise they would have had to have incurred the unneeded expense of producing an entire LP!

Once again hailing from 1966 this 7" wonder, (that's starting to show up in local museum exhibits which, being only a year or two older than your's truly, doesn't make me feel old at all), comes in a handy-dandy mailing envelope to send to friends and relatives far away to let Aunt Wilhelmina and Cousin Belvin know you couldn't think of anything better to buy for them.

An earlier 1960s "Follow the Birds" only recording of this 7" (with the same picture from right side of this one) had an instrumental version on the B-side. I guess the producers figured that by the mid-1970s those polyester-clad folks disco-ing into Victoria's souvenir shops were more likely to shell out $2.98 (suggested retail price not including tax) for two different songs than one.
The 25 cents I paid for my thrift store copy was my upper limit.

Jewel of the West by "The Accents", RCA Victor, 1966.

Not one, not two, not three, not four, not... oh wait, yes... FOUR different interpretations of this lovely tune to commemorate "the 100th Anniversary of the Union of Vancouver Island and the Mainland, 1966, and Canada's centennial, 1967". Apparently bossa nova, rock, folk and choral versions of the same song over and over again don't get tedious at all. Nope, not at all.

I think the back cover's awkward caption says it all... "Here is the surprise song which thrilled so many Canadians when performed on the occasion of the Royal Visit to the Capital of British Columbia in May 1971." Apparently BCers have a different opinion of what constitutes "thrilled".

Or "song".

Long before the announcement of the 2010 Winter Olympics Vancouver BC was the host to EXPO 86, or as it was known in the burgeoning hip-hop community's street slang of the time, "The 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication". As was the fashion in those days, brass-playing politicians meant BIG SALES for any musical venture.

Beautiful British Columbia: George E. Stotts, Angelus Records 1964.

And now the piece de' resistor! If the handwritten cover didn't talk you into buying this then the always enticing prospect of sticky residue on your record certainly would. In point of fact though, this 1964 (watch out British Invasion!) 7" by "Geo. E. Stotts - Star Rt. Cottonwood, Ariz", more closely resembles a vanity / song poem project. So you probably couldn't buy it at the time even if you, for some unknown reason, wanted to. It's hard to believe that 2:51 of vocals and pipe organ could last so long. I would have guessed closer to 12 to 14 minutes if I hadn't looked at the label.

So thanks for stopping by. I hope our little talk has helped ease the move for at least one person out there who is BC-bound, but needed to know that our rich musical heritage includes a fair share of shmaltzy, commercially driven local tunes NOT written by David Foster, Nelly Furtado, or the Dayglos.

1 comment:

K0dama said...

Hmm, I think my favorite has to be "There's A Lot to see in B.C.", because in my mind nothing says western Canada like a Dixieland jazz band.