Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Radio Personality Christine Vitale Reviews Seven-Inch Vinyl:

Christine Vitale hosts the highly popular, three hour radio program "The Group Harmony Alley," which broadcasts every Sunday night from Fairleigh Dickenson University in Teaneck, New Jersey on WFDU89.1FM. After she read Seven-Inch Vinyl we did a live call-in interview on the show. In addition, she was kind enough to provide the following written review which she posted on her Facebook pages. Thanks so much for the kind words, Christine:

• In Review: SEVEN INCH VINYL: A Rock and Roll Novel


I wonder how many people are more fussy and critical than I am, especially when it comes to reading material. I admit when I received my copy of Seven Inch Vinyl, A Rock and Roll Novel by Donald Riggio in the mail, I didn’t rush to tear open the package in excitement and begin reading in fervor. Nope. In all honesty, I waited, all the while saying to myself,” I’ll get to it, after I get through reading my litany of other reading materials first.” I admit I wasn’t excited because I had seen, read, and tossed aside many-a-cliche music nostalgia-book before, and I didn’t think this one would be any different. But I was wrong.

Within the first few pages, I found the story intriguing and engaging, both in subject matter and in writing style, perhaps more by chance, than by design, but the more I read, the more interested I became, and I couldn’t wait to interview the author on my Sunday night WFDU-FM radio program, The Group Harmony Alley. I couldn’t wait to pick his brain about what inspired this unusual piece of work that I found myself carrying with me throughout the house, keeping me up past my bedtime, and making me late for work in the morning. I was addicted.

What I enjoyed about this book: The simple writing approach: Sophisticated enough to keep me interested (after all, I am an intellectual…lol), and simple enough to read at an easy glide. Likewise, the character development: Not overly-complex, yet enough depth to keep me wanting to get to know some of the characters better with the turn of each page. The storyline: The book mirrors a reality, a view of both the bright and dark sides of the music business and the gritty, shameful realities of life--those awkward social ills we all bear witness to however often, or admit it or not – are tucked away in many-a-mind as skeletons in a closet. Subjects such as racism, anti-Semitism, Holocaust, mafia, infidelity, drug abuse, alcoholism, sexual promiscuity, teen pregnancy, interracial coupling, and infertility. Not quite the topics that come to mind when one thinks “nostalgia” yet each just naturally weaves its way into the fabric of the story. I indulged in this bold statement of honesty, and realism in this novel. I appreciated that the author shows little compromise in dishing out the converse of candy-coated cheesecake nostalgia. Furthermore, I could appreciate the diversity in characters some with interesting and ethnic names that both feed into and defy stereotypes, and others entrenched indelibly in historical reality.

What also grounds this story in reality is the periodic listings of historical fact, interspersed throughout the book. I’m a realist. I personally want to see things as they are, and as they were—and take little interest in being fooled into teenage fantasy. With this book, mission accomplished, Mr. Riggio!



Christine Vitale, Host

The Group Harmony Alley on WFDU-FM/89.1 – Teaneck, NJ

Sundays, 7pm to 10pm - EASTERN

Live stream and archive available at www.wfdu.fm


Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The San Diego DooWop Scene

Steve Thorn is a reporter for the San Diego Troubadour Music Magazine. This month he wrote an article showcasing a hige DooWop concert being presented in San Diego. He had some nice words for me and Seven-Inch Vinyl in the article. My Sincere thanks to Steve.

San Diego Troubadour

Call It R&B, Call It Doo-Wop, Call It Fun!

By Steve Thorn

It was an urban scene that became part of American popular culture; under a street corner lamp teenagers from different ethnic backgrounds hovered together, cleared their throats, and began to sing in unison. At first the words were difficult to decipher. Were they really words at all? No, more like run-on syllables; “Rama Lama Ding Dong,” “Sha Na Na,” and “Oooh Ahh, Oooh Ahh.” It would left to the lead singer to belt out actual lyrics, sometimes in a falsetto register so angelic that it seemed to be the byproduct of divine intervention.



Welcome to the world of doo-wop or, more appropriately, rhythm and blues. It’s difficult to determine when the term “doo-wop” began to be bandied about; certainly, this phrase didn’t exist in the peak years of street corner groups – the ’50s and the early ’60s. Most reliable music almanacs trace the term to one specific person and time; New York Disc jockey Gus Gossert, who began saying “doo-wop” as a reference point during his oldies show on WCBS-FM in the late ’60s and early ’70s.



Although it has been several decades since a doo-wop group topped the Billboard music charts, the music of the street corners never vanished. Motion picture soundtracks from American Graffiti to The Shawshank Redemption have relied heavily on doo-wop, and PBS specials that have showcased doo-wop for entire evenings continue to pull in impressive ratings. Many stars from the PBS broadcasts have hit the road, and the latest musical caravan will be arriving at Humphrey’s by the Bay this month for the “Ultimate Doo-wop Show.” Artists on the bill include the Contours (“Do You Love Me?”), the Spaniels (“Goodnight Sweetheart”), Kathy Young (“A Thousand Stars”), The Vibrations (“Hang On Sloopy”), “The Olympics (“Western Movies”), The Volumes (“I Love You”), Paul and Paula (“Hey Paula”), and The Pentagons/Joe Jones (“To Be Loved”). A San Diego-based a capella group, the Royals, will also join in on the fun, and the Blue Suede Orchestra will provide musical accompaniment. It’s going to happen on Friday night, September 9, at 7:30pm under the stars at Shelter Island.



If Buddy Holly and the Crickets begat the Beatles, who are the original pioneers of doo-wop? Certainly, there were more gospel groups (the Soul Stirrers, the Swan Silvertones, the Pilgrim Travelers, the Golden Gate Quartet) than tambourines to shake in a Sunday morning Southern Baptist service. As for African-American secular music groups, the All Music Guide resource book gave its blessings to the ground-breaking records of the Mills Brothers and the Ink Spots. Originally featuring the quartet of brothers Herbert, Harry, Donald, and John Jr., the Mills offered America and the rest of the world a musical escape from the depression years of the ’30s. The ’40s showed no signs of slowing down as the brothers recorded the classics “Paper Doll” and “You Always Hurt the One You Love.” The Mills continued to record hits during the ’50s and got a kick out of what the teenagers on the street corners were doing. They even went so far as to release a cover version of the Silhouettes’ “Get a Job.” In the tumultuous ’60s the Mills Brothers had their biggest single in years, when a radio-friendly tune called “Cab Driver” (penned by Carson Parks, brother of songwriter-orchestrator Van Dyke Parks) made the top 30 in 1968. The Ink Spots were also in heavy demand for radio shows, movies, and endless road journeys. A YouTube clip of their signature tune “If I Didn’t Care” provides an wonderful example of the spell they would have over future doo-wop acts: exaggerated body language and well-rehearsed choreography; melodramatic lead vocalizing; and spoken-word passages were the trademarks of the Ink Spots. As with so many vocal groups, (the Platters, the Coasters, the Drifters) the Ink Spots would eventually splinter into many different music camps. Archivists today recognize the classic lineup led by leader Bill Kenny and backing vocalists Charlie Fuqua, Deek Watson, and Hoppy Jones as the definitive Ink Spots quartet.



From the boroughs of New York, doo-wop headed West. By the time it reached the California coast, the genre enjoyed a renewed energy. Even a quiet navy town like San Diego produced a doo-wop queen: pretty Rosie Hamlin from National City. Rosie and the Original’s 1960 international smash, “Angel Baby,” represented doo-wop at its peak. It wouldn’t be long before surf music and the British Invasion artists would dominate the charts.



Nearly 50 years after doo-wop’s golden age, fans remain loyal to the music of the street corners. San Diego radio listeners now have the opportunity to hear the best in doo-wop every Saturday night (9-11pm) over the airwaves of KCBQ-AM. Serving as master of ceremonies over the sea of 45RPM records is Mike Zuccaro of Mira Mesa. Originally from the Bronx, Zuccaro’s family moved to the suburbs of Tappan, New York, which he described as a “deadly dull place. I first heard this music when I was about 13, in 1972, when WCBS-FM became the first oldies station – REAL oldies, not Beatles – in the country. They fearlessly and proudly played Laverne Baker, the Charts, Chuck Willis, the Jive Bombers, countless black and white vocal groups that would give modern program directors conniptions. They did the Saturday ‘Night Sock Hop’ and the ‘Doo-Wop Shop’ on Sunday nights with Don K. Reed. It just clicked with me. And I did listen to WABC and other Top 40 contemporary stations. I could easily do a ’70s show just as well. But the great groups, the roots of rock and roll, the duets, the instrumentals, the single artists from 1950 to about 1962 – almost all forgotten about. [They’ve been] vindictively excised from all modern playlists, and there’s no good reason.”



For Zuccaro, the “music hits home. And it was far before my time. No one else in my high school listened. It was a 35+ demographic even then, in the ’70s. But it’s so real, it’s just a visceral zetz in the kishkas (as they say in Yiddish in New York) that it needs to be heard more. Just one man’s opinion.

“Now it’s all over the internet, like all other music,” said Zuccaro. “Easier to find than ever. I read the comments on YouTube that younger people write; they’re just discovering it, along with many other genres. And some of them dig it, they get it. It hits home with them, too.”



Another East Coast transplant, Donald Riggio, has expressed his love of doo-wop in the printed word. Riggio is the author of the critically acclaimed novel Seven-Inch Vinyl (there are those “45” records again), where fictional characters linked together by the music industry react to actual events from the ’50s and ’60s.



“Doo-wop has had a huge impact on my life,” Riggio explained. “I first heard it in the hallways and subways of the Bronx in the early ’60s. When my Beatles-influenced band formed in 1964, we supplemented our repertoire with songs by Dion and the Belmonts, the Earls, the Duprees, and others. It gave us an edge on the other guitar bands forming at the time. I enjoyed the purity of the harmonies and the simplicty of the lyrics…lines like ‘I’m in need of a girl…you’re in need of a boy…let’s put our needs together…’ sheer poetic magic.”



Although he now resides in Las Vegas, Riggio is an enthusiastic supporter of San Diego’s Royals, led by former Bostonian Peter King. I just always liked the music,” said King. “It’s happy, fun, upbeat, and positive.” Did a background in opera help King in doo-wop – or vice versa? “Again, doo-wop has always been my favorite genre. I studied classical piano when I was very young and studied voice for many years with an emphasis on classical music. I’ve also done music theater production and played a variety of music styles all my life. Opera was one phase. Classical music and theory gives anyone a solid foundation that may be applicable in any and all music styles.”



There are unique challenges to performing a capella doo-wop. “An a cappella setting with one voice per part is very challenging in any musical style,” said King. “Everyone has to be very conscious of pitch, rhythm, and blend. Most doo-wop arrangements are relatively easy and have consistently similar chord progressions.”



Initially known around San Diego for his involvement in improvisational and stand-up comedy, former Brooklynite Mitch Feingold now promotes music in addition to the laughs.



“Mitch Feingold Presents is my production company, which produces live music and comedy shows. I got involved with the music in September 2008 when I ran sound for the University Heights Arts Festival at Swedenborg Hall,” said Feingold. “I started Songwriters Acoustic Nights in November 2008. The concept was to make it a unique showcase of quality singer-songwriters from San Diego. It has now expanded to L.A. performers. I also got into producing Saturday shows, some of which included Gregory Page, Carlos Olmeda, the Forget Me Nots, Randi Driscoll, and other well-known singer-songwriters. As for the doo-wop, my friend Peter King had a doo-wop group that sounded great. I invited his group, The Royals, to open at some of my comedy shows. Later I got more involved with that genre and produced several all doo-wop a cappella shows.”



Ask Feingold why he’s passionate about doo-wop. Just expect more of a sermon than an explanation. It’s like asking a Bronx native to speak with gusto about an American League team with distinctive pinstripes. “I grew up in Brooklyn. How can you not be a fan of quality a cappella doo-wop? When you hear it performed properly, it is awesome! The harmony and energy produce a wonderful sound.” Feingold continues to make his pitch on his website. “This style of music was originally created by the neighborhood kids, hanging out on the street corners, harmonizing with the only instruments that they could afford – their voices. Doo-wop was created without formal voice and music lessons. It was their music – singing about what was important to them in the 1950s and early 1960s. It was, and still is, the music of young people and those who are young at heart.



“For many young people, their only exposure to doo-wop has been public television’s version with the groups backed by large bands. That version creates the perception that it is for the older generations only. However, when they get to hear younger groups singing a cappella doo-wop the way it was meant to be performed, their perception changes. Currently, there seems to be a resurgence of this music among young people.”



If we take Feingold’s message to heart – and there’s no reason that we shouldn’t – could the kids who are currently gushing over Glee and going gaga over an envelope-pushing diva one day become devotees of doo-wop? Stay tuned.



THE GOLDEN AGE OF DOO-WOP



Whether the listener is a neophyte or a veteran fan who has been away from the game, there’s plenty of good doo-wop no further away than the computer screen.



Earth Angel The Penguins Topping the poll of favorites for many doo wop aficionados, the Penguins’ tale of a divine beauty has captivated listeners for over half a century. West Coast fans find satisfaction in informing their East Coast constituents that the Penguins hailed from California. California?!!

I Wonder Why Dion and the Belmonts Few artists have skipped so effortlessly through different genres than Dion DiMucci. He’s been a doo-wop singer, a rock and roller of the first degree, folkie, gospel singer, and rocker (again). All were done very well, but doo-wop was where he earned his reputation.



Why Do Fools Fall In Love? Frankie Lymon and the Teenagers Before Michael Jackson, rock’s childhood prodigy was Lymon. And like Jackson, the later years proved stormy. Lymon died in 1968 from a heroin overdose.



Crying in the Chapel The Orioles Gospel music has always been a crucial component to doo-wop, no more so than in this classic. It also happened to be the biggest gospel single Elvis ever had.

Rama Lama Ding Dong The Edsels The Ford Edsel automobile was met with apathy by the American consumer but doo-wop cats and kittens found this frantic rocker one sweet ride.

Come Go With Me The Del Vikings Simple but sweet sounds from one of the earliest of the integrated doo-wop outfits.



Tears on My Pillow Little Anthony and the Imperials Dylan’s a huge fan of Jerome Anthony Gourdine. After doo-wop, Anthony became a soul superstar (“Hurt So Bad,” “Goin’ Out of My Head”) and a Northern Soul icon (“Better Use Your Head”).



Over the Mountain, Across the Sea Johnnie and Joe Heroic, inspiring, transforming – not enough descriptive words exist in the Queen’s English that do adequate justice to 2:13 minutes of recorded bliss. It is easy to spot that I’m a fan.



Tell Me Why Norman Fox and the Rob Roys Talent runs deep in the Fox Family. Norman’s daughter is Kim Fox, one of the best singer-songwriters in the contemporary Los Angeles music scene.



— Steve Thorn







Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Moving Historical Fiction Through Time:

Recently, fellow Henderson Writer's Group Author, Anna Marquez asked me to post something on her blog pertaining to Seven-Inch Vinyl. I came up with this, explaining how I used real-life events to move the story-line along through the years:

Moving Historical Fiction Through Time:
By: Donald Riggio

When I wrote my Rock and Roll novel, Seven-Inch Vinyl, I knew that I would be spanning a period of sixteen years as seen through the eyes of various fictional characters, traveling along several different storylines. I had to come up with some device to propel the narrative ahead through time, sometimes chapter by chapter.
I decided the way to do it was to incorporate some significant event in history where I put the reader down in a future point in a character’s story. I also tried to find events that could be tied to the music of the times.

By doing some research I was able to find out that the song that was playing on the top-40 radio station in Dallas, Texas on the morning President John Kennedy was assassinated was “I Have a Boyfriend,” by the Chiffons so I used that to open a chapter.

In 1965, New York disc jockey Dan Ingram was playing a song called “Everyone’s Gone to the Moon.” The speed suddenly slowed down and a minute later the entire east coast was thrown into a massive blackout. I used this to end a chapter where events had my protagonist experiencing of the darkest days in his career. It was a perfect metaphor.

It’s important for writer’s to keep their audience anchored in the time frame depicted in the book. Occasional reminders of the time and place will do that. Throw in a morsel of history for your reader to chew on.

…On this night,(December 15, 1954) viewers watched the image of Walt Disney behind his desk. In the background, a bouncy tune began to play. Disney’s image
faded into a series of hand drawn sketches that resembled the panels of a comic book. The lyrics of the song described the illustrations. They told the tale of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier…By the time the second and third episodes of the Davy Crockett saga aired in February of 1955, the entire country was caught in a “Davy Crockett” marketing frenzy. Consumers spent millions of dollars on toys, books, clothing, or anything linked to the television show…

In just a few short sentences, the above passage moved the narrative ahead three months in time.

I found that this device works more often than not. Its keep your readers focused on “when” and “where” they are. They trust you, the author, to keep them rooted in your world. If you don’t, your work will go back on their shelf or worse.

Donald also shares daily rock and roll trivia every on his Donald Riggio page on Facebook where he has 2800+ friends. Come by and party like it’s 1959.







Monday, August 15, 2011

Seven-Inch Vinyl expands to a trilogy!

As the creative juices flow over me and I turn things up a notch in writing the sequel “Beyond Vinyl: The Saga Continues” a whole new set of ideas, characters and events propelled me beyond the planned parameters of book two. What choice do I have but to plan for a third, “When Gold Turns To Gray.”

The title was determined by the results of a poll conducted on Facebook recently. By way of explanation, it exemplifies the GOLDen tunes of the past as they and their fans turn GRAY. I want to thank those who participated in the poll. The book will take readers into the new millennium but will remain faithful to the music of the fifties and sixties as the baby boomer generation start to collect Social Security.

But let’s backtrack to book two.

Chapter one begins sixteen years after the events depicted in Seven-Inch Vinyl into the year 1986. Chapter two will flashback to the very minute when Book one ends to follow the life of Joseph Rabinowitz as his amazing journey continues. Flash backs and flash forwards will be the essence of the saga as we return to characters and events we merely touched upon before. We’ll learn more about Chanticleer and his young adult life. Janet’s travels through England will be explored with more in-depth detail. Surprising new characters will be introduced to carry the narrative forward. Other musical genres will come on the scene, Progressive Rock, Hard Rock, Southern Rock and Disco just to name a few will take their place on the record charts but the oldies revival era will continue to grow and flourish both with live shows and on radio and television.

As we did in the first book we’ll traverse the years using real life events that demonstrate how Rock and Roll impacted history and vice versa. The chapter “John and Tricky Dick” will deal with the way the Nixon administration waged war on former Beatle John Lennon when the latter sought to become a spokesperson for the anti-war movement. “Greetings From the Children of Planet Earth,” will continue our fascination with space travel. And in “.44” we’ll see how a deranged killer almost single-handedly destroyed the New York nightclub scene in the seventies.

There will be moments of great joy and sadness within the pages of “Beyond Vinyl,” another treasure trove of emotional memories for those who lived it. The ending will leave readers clamoring for more.

Look for “Beyond Vinyl: The Saga Continues” coming in early 2012.

In case you haven’t caught on to the Seven-Inch Vinyl experience you can order your copy today by using the instructions on the right-side scroll of this blog. Take a look at prior blog posts to see what critics and readers alike have to say.

Much Love,
Donald Riggio

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Entertainment Consumers’ Exchange Spring Newsletter interview and review of Seven-Inch Vinyl.

The Entertainment Consumers’ Exchange’s President, Zee Matulonis met with author Donald Riggio about Seven-Inch Vinyl. She called the book: “…a great read…the love of the music comes through the writing of Donald Riggio. It acts as his tribute to his favorite music and fans can share in that enjoyment.”

Zee’s husband Dale wrote this review which also appears in the newsletter:

“This is a fictional book covering purported events in the recording industry between the end of the Korean War and 1969. It features several characters from singers/musicians to executives involved in the recording industry during that time period. It is spiced up with references to current events in that time period such as: the hippies, sputnik, and the moon landing.
Overall I enjoyed the novel and found it so gripping that I could not put it down until I finished reading it.”

My sincere thanks to Zee and Dale for their interest and coverage of the book.



Tuesday, August 2, 2011

The Four Star review in Coldmine Magazine by Todd Baptista and Readers Comments:

Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel
By Donald Riggio,
Outskirts Press, Inc., 362 pages, softcover
★★★★

By Todd Baptista

As an author, historian, and music bibliophile, I must confess that I’m rarely drawn to works of fiction. I honestly didn’t know what to expect when I opened this tome, set squarely in the ‘50s and ‘60s. The author, a native of the Throggs Neck corner of the Bronx, undoubtedly relied on many experiences of his own upbringing to create the vivid characters that come to life within its pages.
This engaging, realistic account of the music business during rock’n’roll’s first generation takes readers on a journey from rural north-central Kentucky to New York City, introducing the ill-fated Elvis-Buddy Holly-inspired Teddy Boyette and his cigar-chomping “Colonel Parker” stereotypical manager, Cap Stewart, the Bronx street corners singers Johnny Seracino and Bobby Vitale who rose to international fame as members of the Du-Kanes, and wiseguys Richie Conforti and Phil Gambetta who graduate from small-time street hustlers to rulers of Alexis Records (thoughts of Morris Levy’s Roulette empire should immediately come to mind).
The central focus of the novel however, is Joseph Rabinowitz, the son of a classical pianist who we first meet in 1953 as an 18-year old stationed at Fort Knox. Riggio’s well-thought out tale introduces the principal characters in individual chapters building up to the formation of Chanticleer Records, which grows from a basement studio-retail shop to a Brill Building powerhouse.
Along the way, we are introduced to Leo Klein, who gives Joe his first job and eventually becomes his partner in the business, the female gospel-R&B trio, the Pixies with vixen lead singer Evie Rhodes, Chanty, the kind black guitarist-service station owner who inspires the main character, and Janet Cavelli, who becomes Joe’s confidant, lyricist, and wife, sharing his dreams, triumphs, and tragedies. Eventually, “Mr. Rabin’s” success and the pressures of the business compromise his priorities and principles, driving a wedge between the pair. We also experience the effects that the British Invasion had on the American music scene of the mid-1960s in detail. A few minor grammatical or spelling errors (Polyphone Records, Capital Records) are the only missteps in this, the author’s initial effort.
Yes, there’s sex, booze, and drugs in Seven-Inch Vinyl. As I said, it’s an authentic look at the business and the time, but rock’n’roll remains the focal point throughout. Historical facts and noteworthy events from the music scene and the world in general are woven into the fabric of the work, allowing readers to absorb the story in proper perspective. Overall, Seven-Inch Vinyl is a well-crafted and appealing read from start to finish, worthy of four stars.

Readers Comments:

1. Phil R. says:
I was privileged to read Donald Riggio’s manuscript, and was amazed by the quality of the story which intertwined the early era of Rock & Roll music, with the history and culture of that era. The characters are very believable; how business was conducted behind the scenes was educational..all in all, I thoroughly enjoyed “Seven-Inch Vinyl”.

2. Linda P. says:
July 11, 2011 at 1:01 am
A must for anyone who remembers the 50′s with fondness and wants to relive the early days of rock and roll. There is more to this book than meets the eye and it will keep you engaged for more than just a “one time read”. Looking forward to the sequel…

3. Harriet C. says:
July 12, 2011 at 3:36 pm
Ah, the halcyon days of the 50s and the birth of rock and roll. A wonderful, nostalgic read!

4. Chris C. says:
July 12, 2011 at 4:09 pm
Donald Riggio captures events from a unique time in our social history. Combined with current events and the music that was part of our lives, he captivates the reader. For those of us who lived through these precious moments, it transports us back in time and for those who had not, it provides a window to a glorious past. Looking forward to his continuing the journey.

5. Annie F. says:
July 13, 2011 at 4:22 pm
Outstanding!! Even for a die hard fan of Rock and roll, I found things I never heard from!! I am waiting for the next one, thanks Donald.

My thanks to Todd Baptista and all who took the time to comment.


Donald

Monday, July 25, 2011

Another Rave Review for Seven-Inch Vinyl (the 4th this month). This time from noted author, educator and reviewer, Fran Lewis:

Seven-Inch Vinyl

Author Donald Riggio

Reviewed by Fran Lewis



Living in the South Bronx and growing up near a record store that carried the top 100 hits is something kids today will never experience. CD’s, DVD’s and IPod’s are the way to go in 2011 but not so long ago we had stereos, our own 45’s and you were able to pick out the ones you wanted and bring them right to your own special jukebox or turntable. Playing these records, inviting your friends over for a party to dance and have some great fun brought the songs and the artists right into your own home. The greatest things was that good old 45 record never wore out, was right there where you wanted it to be and you never had to play all of the songs on a tape or CD to get to listen and dance to the ones you wanted. Nothing better than taking out those old discs and listening to the artists, looking at the different labels, doo wop sounds, Motown, watching Dick Clark’s American Bandstand and hearing the voices of DJ’s like Cousin Bruce and Alan Freed over the air on the radio to get the fun started.



Seven-Inch Vinyl might be fiction but the events in this book definitely bring back a time when the music was truly great, the artists could really sing and growing up was really fun.



Joseph Rabinowitz and Danny Cavelli were great friends. Both wound up joining the army for different reasons. Joseph loved music and learning the history of many genres, and Danny fixing cars. Author Donald Riggio describes their army tour, their friendship and their passions.



Danny and Joseph both had their own visions of what they wanted for their futures. But, fate steps in and Danny and Joseph are both in a fatal car crash leaving two dead including Danny as the third and Joseph critically injured. As Joseph rebuilds his life he becomes close to Danny’s sister Janet and here is where things begin to change. As he becomes stronger we learn more about his determination to become part of the music industry and start a life with Janet. We also meet Teddy Boyette a young man who finds his way into the music business as one door is slammed in his face another opens. Meeting or trying to get an audition with Artie Franklin proved to be the wrong move or way to go but an accidental encounter at diner with Cap Steward would be the chance of a lifetime. Cap offers him a job and chance to sing and play his guitar that he cannot turn down and one waitress named Dee a different opportunity.



As Joseph and Janet get to know each other, Teddy begins his life on the road and his music career. Janet and Joseph made a bold move and Sol and Myra Rabinowitz will now decide how they feel about their relationship. Janet hoping to win them over and Joseph relentless in his hopes for their future.



Joseph Rabinowitz was enterprising, smart and knew exactly what he wanted when he walked into Harmony Time Music Store. Playing the piano I have to admit that Harmony was where my teacher bought my music. This book brings back so many great memories. As Joseph meets Leo Klein the owner they form a strong bond, he offers him a job and his entire business soars as they now carry the top 40 hits, 45’s, 78’s, record equipment and a brand new recording studio. As Joseph helps Leo embark on their latest venture, Teddy Boyette comes to mind when he calls his friend Chanty to ask if he would like to record a record in his studio. Meeting Teddy, Chanty’s visit and his agent would forever change their lives. Helping many others get started was Joseph’s goal and the end result is still to come.



As their recording studio was built, contracts drawn up and signed and their first record made Billboard Magazine lists Teddy right up there with Fats Domino and Pat Boone. Reading about the how a 45-vinyl record was made, the history behind it and the process really is quite astounding and compelling. The songs that were sung, You Belong to Me and many others of that time period really brought it all back and made this book come alive for those of us that grew up during the 60’s and loved the music of the decade before. But, with everything and in every time period the mob seems to have their hand in things and two friends form a business alliance supposedly selling magazine subscriptions and then become more involved in the music business. How will this affect Joseph and Leo still remains to be seen? How will Janet, his wife feel when he learns he took her poems and turned them into songs? As Teddy becomes more popular and their business booms they move to Manhattan. Added in we learn about Rosa Parks, John Kennedy and the Holocaust, which Joseph’s parents lived through, and will never forget.



But, things heat up and do not always go the way you want and successes become too paramount and then the downslide begins. The mob gets into the business and forms Alexis Records. Just as Teddy’s career takes off and he becomes a household word, teens all over are listening to him and he becomes number one on the charts, fate once again sets in, his plane goes down and his life and career ended. More than upset, Joseph, now Joe Rabin, Leo has to find a new singer, deal with the tragedy and create a newer sound with another singer. Four young men who are friends decide to form a group called the Du-Kanes. Practicing in one of the group’s apartments upsets someone and the police ask them to stop practicing so late. But, one officer goes to bat for them, finds them a place to practice and eventually things turn around as Joseph and Leo now have a new group that soars and some that still have not made it. From Elvis Presley, to Buddy Holly, to Pat Boone, Fats Domino and many others the author reminds the reader of the greats from that time period.



But, things will change as the times do and the mob sinks its teeth into the business trying to control the singers, their monetary gains, but the record industry too. Hoping to make the DJ’s play their songs, their music and their artists would dramatically change the complexion of the industry. But, when the author writes how these four young men celebrated with an egg cream and malteds it really made me smile and reminded me of on once a month treat of a vanilla malted or chocolate egg cream made just right in the candy store that was directly under our apartment building on Southern Boulevard in the Bronx.



Things began to change in the lives of Joseph and Janet as their marriage began to backslide and they drifted apart. He buried himself in his work and she went to England to see the world and the castles. Then the British invasion came along with the Vietnam War, Kennedy’s assassination, the downslide of his business. Losing Janet, several contracts and the Beatles made things difficult not only between Joseph and Leo but others as well. Joseph needed a group that would pull in money, sell records and recoup his loses. Then once again tragedy strikes in an unexpected way when learns of the death of a dear friend and the reason behind it. So many things happened during this time period. Castro comes into power, McCarthy, Kennedy, the Russians and Sputnik and so much more. This was a time period filled with so many changes in the world not only in politic, space but in music too. I remember watching the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan show and seeing some of the greatest performers in person on his show when my dad’s friend got us tickets on a Sunday night. This book is filled with so much history, nostalgia and reminders that things really don’t change only the people do. Music is so different today and the groups varied and the sounds definitely not Motown.



The characters might be fiction but some of the events are real. From Chubby Checker and the twist, to Bobby Rydell, Bobby Darin and Fabian the music of this time period is timeless and this book brings it all back. But, when the author talks about the Bronx, the many different places he lived and Morris Park and Pelham Parkway, I smile. Because, it is all still here and still beautiful just the people are different.



As careers ended and his company was bought out, his life took a different turn and what happens in the world will change not only the complexion of the music industry, government, life for many and Joseph too. How does he revive his business and what brilliant idea does he have? You need to take this outstanding trip back in time when the Du-Kanes reigned, when wearing bobby sox was a definite fashion statement, when Dion and the Belmonts were hot, and the music of the 50’s soared and the emergence of Rock ‘n Roll took over the and performers like Elvis, Dion, Hank Williams, and Jerry Lee Lewis were at the top of the charts. From World War II, to Korea, Vietnam, racial tensions and the first man on the moon, author Donald Riggio brings it all back with a flair that is unique, filled with facts, even a murder, some deceit, treachery and much more before it all comes together in a surprise ending that will bring tears to your eyes and the audience on its feet.



There is nothing like listening to the old 45’s and I still have some of mine and wish I could convert them to a CD to listen to the songs that meant something, had meanings and made everyone get up dance my favorite Lindy Hop with my favorite partner my late sister, Marcia. This is one outstanding novel that everyone should read whether you lived through the era or not the music then will always be the music now to me.



So, Donald, thanks for the memories, the great story, Joseph Rabinowitz, Leo Klein, the Du-Kanes, Chanty and of course Teddy.



This book gets FIVE SEVEN INCH VINYL’s

Fran Lewis: Reviewer

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A Steller Review and some Amazon Readers comments on Seven-Inch Vinyl:

The following review appears in July 2011 issue of Pop Culture Classics Magazine:

“SEVEN-INCH VINYL: A ROCK AND ROLL NOVEL” by DONALD RIGGIO
This highly entertaining novel takes readers from the raw roots of rockabilly through doo-wop, girl groups, into psychedelic sounds and beyond. A wide spectrum of colorful characters is introduced. But the main protagonist is Joseph Rabinowitz. Renamed Joe Rabin, he carves out a career as a songwriter, producer and record exec. Real-life rock figures are sprinkled throughout. And the fictitious characters are composites of many of the greats, such as Phil Spector, Goffin and King, Mann and Weill, Elvis, Colonel Tom, The Blossoms, The Ronettes, etc. We see rock ‘n’ roll rise from ingenuous, mom-and-pop beginnings through payola and mob connections, finally surging towards big business. Riggio provides just the right amount of social and political landmarks, putting the story in context. This is a very satisfying, entertaining work.

I offer my wholehearted thanks to the editors of Pop Culture Classics for their kind words.

The following are readers comments posted on the Amazon.com page:

K. M. says:

July 10, 2011 at 10:58 pm
Donald Riggio has hit it out of the park writing about how rock and roll came to be. His novel, SEVEN INCH VINYL, keeps you guessing about who he’s really portraying. The characters he writes about have such a realness about them because he used a conglomeration of several real-life industry people. His historical intertwining of world events places you squarely in his book for anyone who was alive when JFK was shot or when Neil Armstrong landed on the moon. A fun, quick read which leaves you wanting for more…. can’t wait till the sequal comes out!



Brigitte in NJ -
This review is from: Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel (Paperback)
The author tells a realistic story of rock 'n' roll's early days, always including as a backdrop the current events of the time and how they affected the story's characters. The story brought me back to my teen years, as I recalled how it was to walk the halls of my high school while holding my transistor radio up to my ear so as not to miss any of my favorite singers' newest songs. Well done, Donald!

5.0 out of 5 stars Seven - Inch Vinyl, June 3, 2011
By G.C.
This review is from: Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel (Paperback)
Just For The Record :

Seven Inch Vinyl - written by by Don Riggio

Donald's novel , Seven Inch Vinyl is a rollercoaster ride,blast back to the past, A must have for fans young and old of " Recorded Sound" as told on the ' Printed Page "

Donald's book takes us to the birth of Rock and Roll and.........Beyond

A brilliant and thoughtful book :
that captured the very essence of growing up " Way back then !!

5.0 out of 5 stars A MUST READ!!, May 28, 2011
By R.C. (STATEN ISLAND, NEW YORK, US) -

This review is from: Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel (Paperback)
I have read this book, twice now and am ready to leave my feedback. Not that I am anyone special, nor do I hold any degrees. I am just your average laid back person with her feet planted firmly in the ground. I have read so many books, by so many top DJs', artists and fans of our music. That said, this book, "Seven-Inch Vinyl" takes you on a different journey. One that no one else dares to take you on. One that many do not want you to know about. I love the honesty of this writer. The places he take you to is so unfamiliar, yet familiar. I applaud the honesty of his words and how he does not pull any punches. He allows them to land where they belong and not make any excuses. Bravo for what this book tells about the realities of the music industry. I highly endorse this book and recommend it to be on everyones bookshelf, thin from reading it over and over. Well done, my friend, well done, indeed!
This review is from Lucill whom the book was purchased for by my husband. Donald Riggio did one hell of a job putting you right there in the thick of things. Great job, Don!

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Bring Back 45 rpm Records, April 28, 2011
By I.B.

This review is from: Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel (Paperback)
In his new book "Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel", Donald Riggio pays
great tribute to the music of the 1950's and early 1960's when millions of
young teens spent all their allowance on records. They would play these records
day and night until the records got all scratched and worn out. I know because
I was one of those young teens.

Mr. Riggio comes from The Bronx, home of great doo-wop groups such as
Dion & The Belmonts,Johnny & Joe, The Demensions, and The Chantels. He is the
Facebook D.J. in every way as he plays his videos on his facebook Wall, and gives
us biographies of the song & singer.

His book cover says it all. It was all about the 45 rpm. This book cover is
so very colorful and truly catches the eye of the reader. It brings back the
greatest memories of when music was really music, not noise, no foul words, no
bad messages......the songs of yesterday were filled with words of LOVE.

Kudos to Mr. Riggio. We share the same publisher, so I say welcome to the family.
I also vote Mr. Riggio as the #1 man you would want to do a slow dance with!!!

My name is Irene Brodsky, part-time teacher of writing skills at Brooklyn College
City University of New York, and full time author:
"Poetry Unplugged"
"Adventures of Silly Kitty, Princess Jasmine and First Puppy"
"Queen Esther's New Coloring Book"

5.0 out of 5 stars Memories, April 5, 2011
By
Dennis N. Griffin "Denny Griffin, author" (Las Vegas, Nevada) -
This review is from: Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel (Paperback)
Thanks Mr. Riggio for writing this book! I was a kid growing up in the 50s and 60s and the story certainly brought back memories of those days. This is a must read for folks my age and a should read for everyone else.

5.0 out of 5 stars No bookmark needed, March 23, 2011
By
D. O. (New Jersey) -

This review is from: Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel (Paperback)
This is such a great read and informative book by Donald Riggio, you won't need a bookmark. Probably won't stop reading 'til the end.


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
5.0 out of 5 stars Rock 'n' Roll Forever!, March 4, 2011
By
M. Elliott

This review is from: Seven-Inch Vinyl: A Rock and Roll Novel (Paperback)
An excellent read!! A chance to revisit the 50's and the 60's if you were there then, and if you were not, then it will give you a peek at what it was like then. Donald Riggio has written a fine novel about the music of that era and included historical events for that time as well. The characters are so believable for that time that you will no doubt identify with some if you were around then. I recommend this book to everyone of all ages.

I wish to thank all of you who commented on my work.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Blitz Magazine: The Rock and Roll Magazine For Thinking People:

BOOKS

SEVEN-INCH VINYL - Donald Riggio
(Outskirts Press)

An ongoing factor in the collective mission statements of nearly all who had been involved in the growth of the record collector industry that transpired concurrently with the overall resurgence in rock and roll brought about during the onset of the so-called New Wave/Punk movement in the mid-1970s has been the pressing need to repair the considerable amount of damage that was done by the revisionist history of the late 1960s and early 1970s.

The prevailing train of thought during that most counter-productive of eras was a mandate generated by the movement’s self-appointed “visionaries” to live in the here and now. This is of course a substantial misappropriation of the Rokes’ and Grass Roots’ unintentional clarion call of Let’s Live For Today. Such posturing was promoted by emphasizing such periphery as chronology and peer pressure, thereby placing the music into (at best) a secondary status. The resultant lockstep, flavor of the month perspective under the guise of “do your own thing” became the ultimate expression of hypocrisy.

Sadly, such developments transpired when the conventional mass media was the primary means of communication. As such, it has taken a legion of musicologists, collectors, musicians and academicians more than four decades to undo the damage brought about during that era. However, the rise of the internet and such vehicles of communication as Facebook and YouTube in recent years has leveled the playing field and has given the rescue movement a voice that it was firmly denied when the damage was being done.

Thankfully, there are those who number themselves among those academicians, collectors and musicologists who have maintained the foresight to persevere through those relatively recent channels of communication. In doing so, they have concurrently endeavored to further the cause through the more conventional media outlets that had previously been denied them.

One such individual is the Las Vegas, Nevada-based author, Donald Riggio. His debut novel, Seven-Inch Vinyl has more than bridged the gap between reality and revisionist history through the unlikely juxtaposition of fact and fiction.

Seven-Inch Vinyl is largely the saga of the fictional, New York-based record label entrepreneur, Joseph Rabinowitz and a cast of characters that include an ill-fated army colleague (Danny Cavelli), his sister and Rabinowitz’s future wife (Janet Cavelli), a veteran blues musician (McKinley “Chanticleer” Williams), a flaming star (Teddy Boyette), an aspiring vocal group (the Du-Kanes) and an enterprising retailer (Leo Klein).

The (appropriately enough) forty-five chapters of Seven-Inch Vinyl span the crucial years 1953 through 1969. Therein, Rabinowitz is discharged from military service. Upon his return from overseas duty, he is musically inspired by Williams and the developments in popular music.

From there, Rabinowitz meets and marries Janet Cavelli, forms a business partnership with Klein and launches a record label inspired by Williams’ nickname. Rabinowitz and Klein ultimately oversee the careers of Boyette, the Du-Kanes and others and watches that for which he and Klein worked so hard subsequently withstand the onslaught of the negative cultural changes brought about by the aforementioned revisionist historians.

“The character of Joseph Rabinowitz matures through the narrative from being an angry young man who finds new direction for his life through R&B and rock and roll music”, said Riggio.

“He becomes the owner of an independent record label, songwriter and producer, until his success is threatened by the pressures celebrity brings and the uncontrollable events in the music business; i.e. the British Invasion.”

If Riggio’s cast of characters seem to tread the fine line that often separates fact from fiction, it is because each seems to be based on individuals and corporations that were integral to the development of rock and roll. To wit, Joseph Rabinowitz is as much equal parts Onyx Records’ Jerry Winston and the Celeste label’s David Levitt as Leo Klein is the sum total of the most familiar attributes of Rama, Gone, End and Red Bird cofounder, George Goldner and Commodore Music Shop CEO, Milt Gabler.

Likewise, McKinley Williams is as much an amalgamation of Hank Williams mentor, Rufus “Teetot” Payne and folk rock pioneer, Huddie William “Leadbelly” Ledbetter as the Du-Kanes are the personification of any of the pioneering groups who recorded for the aforementioned labels. Even so, Riggio prefers to err on the side of caution with regards to any such comparisons.

“The fictional characters and performers are indeed composites of real life people” said Riggio.

“However, none of my fictional characters’ actions should be attributed to any specific real performer or group, no matter how similar they seem.”

To Riggio’s considerable credit, he has successfully interwoven their saga amongst various cultural landmarks, including the Korean War, the rise of rock and roll radio, the space race, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Vietnam War and ultimately the rise of the so-called counter culture hypocrisy that fueled the aforementioned revisionist history.

Riggio’s ability to sublimely walk that fine line is best illustrated in the thirty-eighth chapter, in which the author perfectly exacerbated the prevailing lack of reason that typified those factions. He did so by highlighting one of their most familiar missteps (invoking as scapegoats the Monkees, who, as of this writing, are at the midpoint of an immensely successful international tour, celebrating their forty-fifth anniversary as a band) as justification for their questionable logic (indiscriminate use of narcotics and cavalier and/or extra-marital intercourse with only perfunctory regard to long term consequences). It was, to borrow from the words of Charles Dickens, the worst of times, making a project such as Riggio’s at once both a necessity and a blessing.

So are the circumstances that befell Joseph Rabinowitz an inevitable byproduct of such societal developments? Or would he be more likely to call upon the ongoing inspiration of his original mission statement to rise above such circumstances, as he did in Richard Nader-like fashion in the final chapters?

“(Joseph Rabinowitz’s) re-birth as, as you put it as a ‘Nader-esque’ entrepreneur correctly signifies his and the Du-Kanes revival in the business”, said Riggio.

“Seven-Inch Vinyl is an overall tale of rebirth, reunion and revival.”

To that effect, Riggio’s work has to date resonated well with those who have labored in the trenches from the onset and who deservedly continue to reap the benefits of their endeavors. He has earned hearty accolades and endorsements from such musical giants as the Flamingos’ Terry Johnson, Sha Na Na’s Jon Bauman, Jay and the Americans’ Kenny Vance, the Delicates’ Denise Ferri, the Earls’ Lawrence “Larry Chance” Figueiredo and the beloved and highly respected Starlets cofounder, Julia and Laurie label veteran and one-time Angels lead vocalist, Bernadette Carroll.

“The historical references were initially used as a device to move the multiple story lines ahead, so I wouldn't have a War And Peace-type tome trying to follow them all day by day”, said Riggio.

“The more I used it, the more I began to fall in love with the device and sought to use it often. I think I did pretty good job with it!”

Indeed he has. In the words of Bernadette Carroll, Riggio has, “tapped into the essence of what it was like”. Most assuredly, with Seven-Inch Vinyl, Riggio has expertly balanced fact and fiction to make a definitive statement of musical vindication.

My Thanks to Michael McDowell of Blitz Magazine for this wonderful review. - Donald Riggio - Author

Monday, July 4, 2011

A Fresh new look:



For the first post on the revised site I thought it would be fitting to offer my sincere thanks to Miss Mary Wilson, a founding member of the most successful female vocal group in the history of music, The Supremes. I met Mary back in 2007 when we both testified before the Nevada State Legislature for the passage of The Truth in Music Bill. When I finished the novel I gathered testimonials from several prominent music industry celebrities to grace the back cover. Jon "Bowzer" Bauman, Terry Johnson from the Flamingos, Larry Chance from the Earls, Kenny Vance, Bernadette Carroll formerly of the Angels and Denise Ferri, one of Murray the K's original dancing girls honored me with their paricipation.

But it was Mary who so graciously consented to writing a foreward for the book. She commented: "...I throughly enjoyed this novel about life in the fifties and sixties and an inside look at the music industry."

She then continued her support when she spoke about the book and her career at a meeting of our Henderson Writers Group where she simply mesmerized an overflow crowd.

Mary, I send you my thanks and much love.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Seven-Inch Vinyl excerpt - Chapter Thirteen: King of the Wild Frontier


Leo Klein, his wife Gloria, and their sixteen-year-old daughter,
Marlene, finished dinner in their apartment on Pelham Parkway.
Marlene cleared the table as the adults spent a few minutes together
before Gloria left for her weekly Mahjong game at the Adleson’s
apartment two doors down the hall.
“This is going to be the biggest Christmas season we’ve had
since the war ended,” Leo bragged.
Dark haired with sharp features, Gloria Klein was a vain woman,
who always tried to look glamorous and younger than her actual
age. She pampered herself with trinkets and jewelry. Gloria had no
real interest in the business beyond the profit margin, of which she
kept close track. As long as she could indulge in her vices, shopping
at Macy’s and Bloomingdale’s, a two-week vacation every summer
in the Catskill Mountains and weekly visits to the beauty parlor,
Gloria remained a happy woman. She was even happier lately since
the Rabinowitz boy starting working for her husband.
“I’m telling you, that kid has got some great ideas,” Leo went
on.
“You should give him a raise.”
“I already did, twice. He deserves more but he never asks for
anything.”
“Well, I hope he doesn’t come in one day and tell you he’s opening
up his own shop.”
His wife’s comment made him think, until he dismissed the
whole idea. “Nah, he wouldn’t do something like that.”
“So, what’s it all mean, Leo?”
“It means, my dear, that if business keeps up like this maybe we
can start looking for that house in Scarsdale you want so much.”
Gloria’s eyes widened. She dreamed of owning a house in that
plush area of Westchester County north of the city. Her younger
sister already lived there with her husband, a lawyer. To think that
she too might be able to afford a house in Scarsdale made her very
happy.
“Give the kid a raise, Leo, a big one.” She stood and walked
around the table, lingering behind him long enough to plant a kiss
on his head. The peck left a spot of red lipstick between the thinning
stands of his hair.
“Does Marlene have homework?” Leo asked.
“She’s all finished. She wants to watch that Disney program on
television tonight.”
“Television,” Leo scoffed, “another fad. Joseph will want to put
those in the store next.”
“That might not be such a bad idea. Nearly everyone we know
has one. The Feldman’s own two.”
“Two television sets? That’s ridiculous!”
Gloria was halfway out the front door. “I’m sure you’re right,
dear. I love you.”
The heavy door slammed shut before he could respond.
An hour later, Leo sat in his easy chair reading the Daily Mirror,
a newspaper he bought every morning but seldom got the chance to
read anymore. Marlene sat cross-legged on a throw rug in front of
their Dumont console television set. She was a smart, studious child
who’d yet to fall prey to the worldly pleasures her mother embraced
so vigorously.
At seven-thirty, the ABC television network broadcast another
weekly installment of Walt Disney’s “Disneyland,” a popular show
that premiered in October.
The current king of animation and creator of Mickey Mouse
had moved into television production as a way of financing his pet
project, Disneyland, a huge amusement park he planned to open in
Southern California.

On this night, viewers watched the image of Disney behind his
desk. In the background, a bouncy tune began to play. Disney’s image
faded into a series of hand drawn sketches that resembled the
panels of a comic book. The lyrics of the song described the illustrations.
They told the tale of Davy Crockett, King of the Wild Frontier.
Crockett was a simple backwoodsman from Tennessee. He fought
Indians, served in Congress and would go to his death in a desperate
battle at a place called the Alamo. Disney told his viewers that this
would be the first of three installments, entitled “Davy Crockett:
Indian Fighter.”
Leo hardly took notice but Marlene was transfixed. So were
thousands of other viewers.
By the time the second and third episodes of the Davy Crockett
saga aired in February of 1955, the entire country was caught in
a “Davy Crockett” marketing frenzy. Consumers spent millions of
dollars on toys, books, clothing, or anything linked to the television
hero.

“We’re selling fur coats now?” Leo asked Joseph when he arrived
at the store to find him unpacking one of five large cardboard
boxes, which contained dozens of furry looking items. He picked
one up and examined it. “Or rats, maybe? They have tails. They
could be rats.”
Joseph took the item and placed it on his boss’s head.
“They’re coonskin caps, Davy Crockett caps. All the kids want
one.”
Boys and girls everywhere played frontiersman games in backyards,
vacant lots and city streets. They all wanted to look like their
favorite hero. The demand for raccoon fur had jumped from 25 cents
a pound to $8.00 a pound.
“So we sell hats instead of records?” Leo asked, unaware of how
silly he looked.
“No. We sell records, too.” Joseph reached down and handed
Leo a 45 record in a paper sleeve. “This one is headed up the charts
like a rocket.”
Leo read the sleeve. The record was called, “The Ballad of Davy
Crockett,” by Bill Hays.
Walt Disney realized that since Crockett’s story unfolded over
three separate segments airing nearly a month apart, he needed some
way to tie them together to flow easily from one episode to the next.
What better way than to have a catchy little tune, with several verses,
to remind viewers of what transpired before?
“Coonskin caps?” Leo complained. “Joseph, really?”
Leo didn’t notice the attention he was getting from a small child,
browsing through the store with his mother. When the boy of about
seven saw the hat on Leo’s head, he wandered away from his mother’s
side. He stood next to Leo, staring up at him.
“Mister,” the wild-eyed youngster asked, “is that a Davy Crockett
hat?”
Leo looked at him. “Why, yes it is, sonny.”
“Mommy! Mommy!” The boy hurried off yelling to his mother.
“Look, they sell Davy Crockett hats here! Can I get one, Mommy,
please?”
Leo took the hat off his head. “We can get more of these,
right?”
Joseph had a big smile on his face. “Yes, Leo we can get all we
could possibly need.”

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Seven-Inch Vinyl Availability Update

The book is NOW available at:

Barnes & Noble.com
Amazon.com
Booksamillion.Com
Outskirts Press.com
DavisKidd.com And at their bookstores in the Memphis/Nashville area.

Fans in Alabama and Florida have reported receiving their copies. I look forward to their reviews.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Seven-Inch Vinyl Is NOW Available


I'm happy to say that Seven-Inch Vinyl is now available directly from the publisher: www.Outskirtspress.com from their Book Store tab. I will soon be offering discounts for autographed copies through my website www.DooWopinthedesert.com

I want to thank everyone for their patience and I hope you feel the wait was worth it.

Donald