Sunday, May 10, 2009

Ira Ironstrings Plays: With Matches (1959)

Here's the second LP by Ira Ironstrings; The name was a pseudonym used on a string of albums recorded by bandleader / guitar innovator Alvino Rey.

In the earliest days of Warner Bros. Records, the label had something of an 'anything goes' attitude while they were establishing themselves.

Alvino Rey was brother-in-law to WB exec
Jim Conkling, and had the idea for recording campy, light-hearted (though not quite 'novelty') hi-fi Dixieland music.

The pseudonym was used because Rey was still under contract to Capitol Records, but the name and the mystery around it added to the fun.

Produced and arranged by Warren Barker, the quality of the music surpassed many expectations.

As part of the label's initial round of releases, the first album ('Ira Ironstrings Plays for People with $3.98') sold surprisingly well.

From the LP
'Ira Ironstrings Plays:
With Matches'
(Warner Bros. Records, 1959),
Listen to:

Ivory Rag
Twelfth Street Rag
Johnson Rag
Guitar Boogie
Third Man Theme

(click for audio)

- - OR download the full album (12 tracks) in one 57.6 Mb zipfile.

Click here to read back cover liner notes and full track listing.

The following year, Warner Bros. Records signed The Everly Brothers and released two Grammy-winning stand-up comedy LPs
by Bob Newhart.

See also:
- A previous post; from 1946, the Alvino Rey and his orchestra's recording of 'Sepulveda'.

- Alvino Rey featured in a post at Visual Guidance, Ltd.

- Speaking of the early days of Warner Bros Records, the previously-posted
'Music To Read Stan Cornyn's Liner Notes By'.

- Thanks to The Space Age Pop Music Page for valuable info.

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