Eric Burdon Animals House Rising Sun

Eric Burdon Animals House Rising Sun

One of the goals of my Bethel Woods Museum tours is to more accurately present the Woodstock Music and Art Fair. Clear up that Woodstock haze.

A common misconceptions is that the 400,000 there were a bunch of hippies. Using a picture I took the Saturday of the festival, I half-kiddingly point out that the majority of young people there were “white kids getting sunburned.”

Eric Burdon Animals House Rising Sun
photo by J Shelley

Guests typically chuckle and I add, “Look at the rest of the pictures and find the hippies. Find tie-dyed clothing.” Picture perusal yields little of either.

Eric Burdon Animals House Rising Sun


On September 5, 1964 “House of the Rising Sun” by the Animals hit #1 on the Billboard Hot 100. They had recorded it on May 18 and released it in the UK in June and in the US in August. At 2:58, the song barely made it under the AM radio de rigueur  3 minute limit.

Animals House of the Rising Sun

British Blues Invasion

When songs by British invaders like the Rolling Stones and the Animals started playing on American radio airwaves, many teenagers loved their gritty soulful feel. Little did we innocent and naive white segregated American teenagers realize, as the Stones and Animals did, that the songs were American.

Animals House of the Rising Sun

Not Hello Dolly

“House of the Rising Sun” is such an example. The song’s origins may go as far back as the 1700s. The classic American bluesman, Leadbelly, recorded two versions in the mid-1940s.

As with many musical genres, the Animals adapted the song’s story to their own way by changing the viewpoint from that of a woman to that of a son whose father is satisfied only when he is drunk.

This was not She Loves You, Hello Dolly, Everybody Loves Somebody, or any other of 1964’s #1 songs. Its intensity and darkness set it apart.

You can find more about the song’s history via a American Blues Scene link.

Eric Burdon Animals House Rising Sun

Charles Mingus Fables Faubus

Charles Mingus Fables Faubus

On September 4, 1957 Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus had called out the National Guard to prevent nine black students from entering Little Rock’s Central High School. The Soviet Union used the event to  propagandize tales of the horrors suffered by African Americans.

Columbia rejects

Jazz bassist Charles Mingus composed “Fables of Faubus” in reaction. It is one of his most explicitly political works. He recorded it for his 1959 album, Mingus Ah Um, but his label, Columbia, refused to include the lyrics. so he recorded song  as an instrumental.

Candid accepts

On October 20, 1960 he recorded Fables of Faubus with lyrics for the album Charles Mingus Presents Charles Mingus with the more  independent Candid label. Contractual issues with Columbia forced Candid to re-name the song Original Faubus Fables.


The personnel for the Candid recording were Charles Mingus (bass, vocals), Dannie Richmond (drums, vocals), Eric Dolphy (alto saxophone), and Ted Curson (trumpet). The vocals featured a call-and-response between Mingus and Richmond.

Critic Don Heckman commented of the unedited “Original Faubus Fables” in a 1962 review that it was “a classic Negro put-down in which satire becomes a deadly rapier-thrust. Faubus emerges in a glare of ridicule as a mock villain whom no-one really takes seriously. This kind of commentary, brimful of feeling, bitingly direct and harshly satiric, appears far too rarely in jazz.” See this Musiqology article for more.

Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em shoot us! Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em stab us! Oh, Lord, don’t let ’em tar and feather us! Oh, Lord, no more swastikas! 

Oh, Lord, no more Ku Klux Klan!Name me someone who’s ridiculous, Dannie. Governor Faubus! Why is he so sick and ridiculous?

He won’t permit integrated schools. Then he’s a fool! Boo! Nazi Fascist supremists!

Boo! Ku Klux Klan (with your Jim Crow plan) Name me a handful that’s ridiculous, Dannie Richmond.

Faubus, Rockefeller, Eisenhower Why are they so sick and ridiculous?

Two, four, six, eight: They brainwash and teach you hate. H-E-L-L-O, Hello.

Charles Mingus Fables Faubus

Happy Vinyl Record Day

Happy Vinyl Record Day

August 12

Thomas Edison

While  American inventor Thomas Alva Edison was officially credited with inventing the phonograph on November 21, 1877 and did not file for the patent until December 24, 1877, August 12, 1877 is the date popularly given for the completion of the model  which used a cylinder.

With these various dates to choose from, in 2002 Gary Freiberg of Los Osos, California decided that August 12 would be National Vinyl Record Day. The Mission Statement is:  “The Preservation of the Cultural Influence, the Recordings and the Cover Art of the Vinyl Record” 

Freiberg is  a radio host and investment counselor in San Luis Obispo County.  (

Happy Vinyl Record Day


Happy Vinyl Record Day
Emile Berliner

At the same time as Edison, Emile Berliner (invented the microphone that became part of the first Bell telephones) patented the gramophone, which  was the first flat vinyl record player. The device had to be operated by hand, and played seven inch discs (first of glass, then of zinc, then of plastic).

In 1901, the Victor Company released a record player called the Red Seal, and it played ten inch vinyl records. Interestingly, RCA adopted Berliner’s trademark: a dog listening to “his master’s voice.” The picture was actually based on an 1899 painting by Francis Barraud.

Barraud with one of his many copies of the painting “His Master’s Voice”.
Happy Vinyl Record Day


In 1948, Columbia Records developed the 33 13 rpm LP (for “long-play”) format.

In response, RCA Victor developed the 45 rpm format and marketed it in 1949. The 45 format allowed for juke boxes to proliferate.

Audio Fidelity offered the first commercial stereo two-channel records in 1957, however, it was not until the mid-to-late 1960s that the sales of stereophonic LPs overtook those of their monophonic equivalents, and became the dominant record type.

Such stereo technology combined with LSD’s psychedelia created an opportune format for many bands to present their music.

Happy Vinyl Record Day

CDs Kill Vinyl/Streaming Kill CDs

With the 1990s vinyl recordings, despite their sound quality, were largely replaced by the compact disc, then around 2000, digital downloads and streaming replaced CDs.

In 2007, vinyl sales made an unexpected small increase, starting its comeback, and by the early 2010s it was growing at a very fast rate.


Gary Freiberg

In a June 25, 2010 Goldmine site interview, Gary Freiberg explained his idea for the day: It was spurred by a couple of things. I conceived the idea in November of 2001 inspired in part by the events of September 11th. The idea for Vinyl Record Day (VRD) came from both the intense constant news that we were getting then, combined with my growing involvement in vinyl. It seemed we needed a break from war, terrorism and however random thought occurs mine was establishing VRD with one of the goals of Vinyl Record Day to remember regardless of world events we always have our personal memories of good times, of good people. And music is the primary vehicle to those memories. Everyone has their own soundtrack, as Dick Clark called it, when you hear a song and instantly fondly remember a good time or people you relate to that song. I wrote a proposal to the Board of Supervisors where I live and they officially declared Vinyl Record Day in San Luis Obispo County. Not to be corny but think of the good for the national psyche to have a day that we remember to keep in touch with life’s basic goodness regardless of the world news or personal challenges. Preservation is a natural primary goal of VRD but I see the two goals: preservation of our audio history and a day of music, friends and family as equally important goals.

Happy Vinyl Record Day


In 2016, fans purchased more than 3.2 millon LPs, a rise of 53% over 2015 and the highest number since 1991 when Simply Red’s Stars was the bestselling album. 2016 was also the first year that spending on vinyl outstripped that spent on digital downloads.

In 2018,  vinyl sales moved nearly 10 million units.

In 2019 CNBC reported: This past week, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) released its mid-year report. It showed that 80% of the of music industry’s revenue comes from streaming, but it also showed that revenue from sales of vinyl records is on track to overtake that of compact discs by the year’s end, should current trends continue.

And on July 3, 2020, the Statistica site reported that, “Continuing one of the more surprising comebacks of the digital age, vinyl album sales in the United States have grown for the 14th consecutive year. In 2019, 18.8 million LPs were sold in the United States, up 14 percent compared to 2018 and more than 20-fold compared to 2006 when the vinyl comeback began.”

Happy Vinyl Record Day

Sweet vinyl’s sound return.

Here is an interesting perspective about our shelves today and vinyl records. The New York Times article begins with, “When I was 13, in the early 1990s, I dug through my parents’ cache of vinyl records from the ’60s and ’70s. We still had a phonograph, so I played some of them, concentrating on the Beatles. Their bigger hits were inescapably familiar, but a number of their songs were new to me.”

And below is a 2015 video from the New York Times about this vinyl renaissance and keeping up with pressing records. It features Independent Record Pressing in Bordentown, NJ.

And a WHYY 2020 video from their site:

Happy Vinyl Record Day

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