We are 45 RPM all of the time with passion!

We are Kent and Nathan. The Czars of 45 RPM. We are 45 RPM all of the time with passion. We spotlight 45 RPM records of various genres and tips for improving playback of your collection and our goal is to have fun! We especially love rare Soul, R&B, Garage, Psych, classic rock and more. Welcome to our world!

Monday, December 5, 2011

Another nice 45 slice of Soul today!

This new 45 is a little bit newer than we normally feature. This one dates from sometime between 1970-1971 or so, features that superb ballad group, The Moments. Sylvia Robinson was at the controls on this session.  "All I Have" is superb, the flipside is uptempo. Followup to the superb "Love On A Two Way Street"

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Merry Christmas, Czars Of 45 Style!

Christmas season is coming right upon us. So, today's post will cover Christmas tunes in our own way. So, today's post will cover one of our favorite bluesy classics by Charles Brown in 1960 for Cincinatti, Ohio's legendary King Records. Our pressing here is a late 1960's reissue post 1968 when  King Records merged with Starday Records. So without ado, here it is! Merry Christmas from The Czars Of 45. Please Come Home For Christmas has proven itself as a standard. Still one of mine and Nathan's favorite Christmas classics.

New finds and yesterday's Roadtrip!

Had to drive to Knoxville yesterday. Had AFO braces yesterday rubbing on my ankle area. Had to get the insert above the footplate modified and the strut required extra padding. Coming out of Crockett O & P, my hand controls on my Volvo broke at a weld fitting. So my neighbor in Knoxville came and collected the car and my ladyfriend arranged for new hand controls to be installed and the car ferried to the garage where a fellow vinylphile and Volvo mechanic installed them and did some minor repairs on the car, thanks Ingrid and Colin. So, Ingrid's neighbors drove to me and drove her spare station wagon to me. So, I got to do some crate digging. Saw fellow blog maven, Nathan and saw Jay Nations at Raven Records and Rarities (who has an awesome 45 RPM selection also) and visited Wild Honey Records (a new shop in Knoxville and a nice fellow who's name escapes me)

So, without further ado, here it is, the music:

First thing up, some 1965 or so era Garage sounds which are superb. A cover of The Reflections' excellent Detroit classic, "(Just Like) Romeo & Juliet. Michael & The Messengers turn in a rollicking good Garage rave-up here. Wesley Willard's sympathetic production is to be commended. A Nuggets selection as Nathan wisely wrote on the 45 price sticker. Paid $3.50 for this scarce delight. By the way, Lost & Found Records is in a nice new store with more space (they even have the old house they now have the shop in ramped complete with handrails, thanks Mike and Maria, you made my life easier)

Sunday, September 11, 2011

We're Back, sorry for the hiatus!

Nathan and I have been busy, lots of new record arrivals (no photos this post). And I have been dealing with clubfoot issues. But, no more moping. Music's better. So, let's get to today's subject, The Memphis Sound!

We'll break this discussion down to the two major record labels in Memphis, Soul and R&B being the main subject matter.

Hi Records. They were formed in Memphis in around 1960 and Joe Coughi and Bill Cantrell and a consortium of several Memphis businessman began the label. So, some music at hand to discuss.

Al Green. He was in the early 1970's the driving force of the label's success along with his superb producer, Willie Mitchell. Willie's soulful, sophisticated dynamic sound spearheaded Hi's revival as a Soul powerhouse internationally. Some of his tunes require special attention and are worthy of listening to. They are:

I'm Still In Love With You
Love & Happiness
Call Me
Sha-La-La-La (Make Me Happy)
Take Me To The River
Belle

Syl Johnson. One of the best lesser known Hi artists who made many fine sides for the label. My favorites are:

Take Me To The River
We Did It

Hi had many other artists we know and love. In both R&B and in Country Music. In further posts, I'll discuss more of them. Also, in later posts, we'll discuss the famous Stax and Volt empire and the sister labels.

In passing, we would like to pay homage to all who served after the horrific events of September 11, 2001 and all Americans and all who lost their lives in this heinous attack. We all lost something that day and our lives will never again be the same. Freedom isn't free.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

New Single posts and update!

It's been very busy around here between foot and ankle issues with me and Nathan preparing for Record Store Day. I had to go to Ankle Foot Orthotic braces, or AFO braces. Needed for gimpy, physically challenged attempts at crate digging. So, carbon fibre and Kevlar save the crate digger's day. So Allard Blue Rockers are now a key tool when record hunting. For further information, go to www.allardusa.com.

So, without ado, TheCzarsOf45 give you today's new off beat 45 single. It is actually Cuban Mambo meets jazz and has nice vocal asides. So, to quote the often cool Xavier Cugat, "Yum, Yum, Delicious" so we have before you "Watermelon Man". Cuban bongo beats meet jazz big band. Mercury hit this classic out of the park. Estimate that this 45 was issued sometime in 1963. And it's a vinyl pressing DJ single in Green Label livery. And was well loved and used on air.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

New finds lately and lots of crate digging and more!

The crate digging has been at fever pitch lately. Good finds have yielded forth here in the land of the 45 RPM single. Today's entry is one of the best off the beaten path for us. So, let's get down, get funky, and get loose and get into this entry. It is "Slap Some Lovin' At Me" by the great Bobby Patterson & The Mustangs. It's from 1967 or so, on the Abnak subsidiary label, Jetstar Records. Meaning some killer Texas sounds. This one is a rare posting of a B-Side for us. Northern Soul hounds have dug this one for some time. Paid $2.50 for this yellow slab of cooking wax. And it's a DJ pressing. Stock copies of this one are black vinyl and much scarcer.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

New single spotlight!

Here's a wonderful slice of 1960's Southern Soul. Ted Taylor made some really wonderful 45 and LP discs for Stan Lewis's Ronn and Paula labels. Here is a 1969 classic "Something Strange Is Going On In My House" which has a wonderful horn section, piledriver rhythm section, and pleading gospel styled vocal. A winner for only $2.50 in high Very Good condition. Plays very well with little noise. If you love Soul and good R&B and bluesy sounds, this track is for you. Many thanks to Jay Nations at Raven Records & Rarities for his wonderful new store in Knoxville, TN and his superb 45 selection. All are reasonably priced. His partner has wonderful movie memorabilia, has a wonderful selection of movie related toys and games, and more. Visit the Raven Records & Rarities Facebook Page when you get a chance. You'll love it.

Update on our status and more!

This Monday, Third Creek in Knoxville had it's banks overflow. Nathan works at Lost & Found Records and has had a lot of cleaning up due to heavy flood damage. And I have had broadcast stations with equipment damage to deal with near Chattanooga from the same storm system. But we are OK in spirit and getting our work back to normal. And now for more positive news.

Phono Cartridge change at Kent T's system:

I am now using the Shure M 44-7 cartridge for my 45 RPM and vintage disc playback. Primary reason is it's still in production, has lots of output, and conical styli are still made for it which track at my desired 1-3 gram tracking force range. And styli replacement is under $30. I still use the Stanton with the EEE-S III stylus for audiophile duty. And it's still one of my favorites.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

New singles we just scored or another radio station library yields forth good singles!

Sorry for the brief hiatus, I am now back with Nathan. We recently attended an auction of the former WOKI-AM/FM studios in my former city I lived in, Oak Ridge, TN. The old studios on Tulsa Road are being demolished soon. I once assisted Buster Sutton, chief engineer when ill or on vacation maintaining the Collins AM and FM transmitters and the old automation system which was tape based. An estate sale company helped sell the contents before the building gets torn down and a new Hotel gets built. There was lots of nice open reel tape machines, cart machines, reels of tape and records to be had cheap and even a Technics SP-10 which needed some repairs (they wanted $400 for it). Which gets us to the record of the week.


Our featured single is from The Staple Singers and is a Vee Jay classic recorded in 1960 and released in 1961. That's right, I've gone off the deep end and posted a Negro Spiritual 45 single. But the famous Staple Singers later on crossed into secular R&B and had successes there on Stax. The tune discussed is "Don't Knock" which spotlight's Mavis Staples' lovely lead vocal which is pure and musical. Pops Staple's lead guitar licks are tasty and the harmonies are lovely and the tune is soulful and tasteful all the way. Johnny Pirkle got some 45 singles from what I think was WATE 620 (now WRJZ which began life as a Top 40 powerhouse and now is gospel) and this one is superb. And it even has a Vee-Jay Company Sleeve (you don't see too many of those anymore)

Thursday, January 20, 2011

A new record of the week and Alabama aping the British Invasion and successfully!

Here is a great double sided piece of Muscle Shoals wax from Alabama. The Villagers here do a superb cover of "Laugh It Off" by The Tams. The Tams being the legendary Carolina Beach Music group. On the flip side the Villagers turn in a nice Beatles cover of "You're Gonna Lose That Girl" which is also equally amazing. Both on the legendary Fame Label. From 1965 when Fame Records switched from Vee-Jay distribution to Atco Record Sales. The lost Manfred Mann tunes you never heard. Unsung, underrated British Invasion bluesy classic we love. Paid $2 for this at last year's Chattanooga Record Show. Unheard at that. Took a punt on this one due to being on Fame. Sure glad I bought this one.

Friday, January 14, 2011

45 RPM playback and the equipment we use!

Kent's turntable setup,

Technics SP-25 motor unit (their parlance for turntable)
Audio-Technica ATP-16T tonearm
Stanton 681 EEE-S II cartridge (I use the A light tracking conical stylus for 45 RPM playback and mono LP use). All of this mounted in a custom mounting base. Basically a broadcast turntable in home use. It worked at an FM station when new. Nathan and I both use Stanton 680 family cartridges with conical needles. We use these conical styli to reduce wear on styrene injection molded 45 singles and also due to their superb tracking on loudly cut 45 singles. Nathan's main turntable is the Technics SL-1200 Mk II. He uses a Technics receiver with Kenwood speakers. I use a McIntosh MAC 1900 receiver or my Sansui 4000 receiver. My speakers are original Large Advents from 1973. All of this equipment was purchased used and retail. No free equipment supplied to us.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

The new record of the week.

Sunday afternoon was very nice and I visited Nathan at the record shop. He explained about some new 45 RPM singles in stock. Didn't see much which grabbed me until I saw a 45 with a White Peacock Label and I had him play it. A nice rocking instrumental with slam and impact and the ad libbed Vocal aside "Spunky Onions" interspersed. Don't know the date of this one but it sounds like 1960 all over again. Billy Davis and crew really turned in a nice Texas slab of wax. Flip side is a Doo-Wop ish tribute to the late Jesse Belvin of "Goodnight My Love" fame. Cost me $3. Not bad for this one. And it's a high VG original. Not too many nice Peacock originals down this way in Tennessee. Many thanks to our reader, Chip-HP for giving me a correct issue year for this 45, 1960.