So it's been about a month since the Winter Solstice and I'm happy to report that I'm still enjoying the afterglow.
That's partly because my new baby has perfectly adjusted to his new home atop the ledge just inside my front door. (Other than having to dust him about once a week, he's been no trouble at all!)
It's also because I splurged this past Solstice season and acquired something else for myself as well.
I wasn't expecting to be so extravagant, but... how could I not be when I entered a local Half-Price Books store during the last month of a long year of self-denial and found this?
In case it isn't obvious, that's the very first LP ever recorded by Julius Wechter and friends. Although it's far from their best work, it was still something that I've been looking to acquire for a long time. First times don't have to be great to be notable, after all. It's a proven fact that without first times, all subsequent times would be impossible!
Which isn't to say that this LP is completely lacking in charm. Far from it! But I do admit that much of that charm is front-loaded into the very first track, "Comin' in the Back Door" (which was actually released as a single). Although it's an instrumental track completely lacking in lyrics, I've always considered it to be one of the best renditions of the old tale of a drunk husband quietly sneaking into his house late at night, stepping on the cat's tail, falling into a stack of pots and pans, knocking over a china cabinet, setting fire to the couch, and then somehow regaining control of the situation and sneaking up the stairs and into bed while his wife slumbers on, none the wiser.
Side Two's "Acapulco 1922" recaptures some of this charm by opening the very same way before veering off in a very different direction - a startling development for those cynics who may have instantly suspected that the LP had been padded with the same song under two different names. Haha, cynics! (I.e., HAHA!)
Of course the main appeal of this 1964 LP for me is the fact that it's actually survived long enough to end up in my 21st century hands. That I found it at all in any condition is remarkable; that it is completely scratch-free staggers the imagination. Add to this the fact that Half-Price Books had a price on it of just $2.98 and, well, DOES life get any better than this? As it happens, it does - when one gets to the check-out counter and is informed that it just happens to be "Take An Additional 20% Off Day!"
Which means that I got this treasure for about $2.38 (plus tax).
It's things like this that give me hope of someday also acquiring Wechter's second release, "The Baja Marimba Band Rides Again!"
And maybe even the skill to play Henry Mancini's "Walk of the Baby Elephant" on a harmonica!