Sunday, January 4, 2009

Caterina Valente

Whenever I think of Cheapo I get weepy.

I discovered Cheapo in 1986. I was in the twin cities, that’s Minneapolis / St. Paul, and the Cheapo location I discovered was on Snelling in St. Paul. And it was treasure house of second-hand LPs. A Treasure house.

I picked up Sam The Sham & The Pharaohs and Bobby Blue Bland and Caterena Valente. I went back in 89, and again in 95. Last time I went they had on store on one side of the street that sold CDs, and another store on the other side of the street that sold LPs, and I got a handful of reissued 45s.

I still have the business card, it shows 5 locations in greater Minneapolis, and 2 in St. Paul. They are still around, and their web site shows only 3 locations one of which is in Fridley. And I don’t know where Fridley is. But the store on Snelling is still there, so there is hope for the world yet…

And so that’s where I got this Catarena Valente album.

Caterina Valente:

Poinciana – A song about a tree
More – This is the theme from Mondo Cane. It was a hit for Kai Winding, but there are hundreds of versions. Caterina sings it partially in Italian, with a samba rhythm.
La Paloma – A hit for Billy Vaughn.
The Peanut Vendor
What A Difference A Day Made – A jazz standard and a hit for Dinah Washington
The Breeze And I – This seems to have been her only hit, and that was in the spring of ’55. The Tordadoes recorded an instrumental version, and it was on the flip of Ride The Wind, which was their obscure follow-up to Telstar.
La Golondrina
Besame Mucho – Written in 1940, in Spanish, this is an English-Spanish language version. Others versions are by The Beatles, The Coasters, The Trammps.
My Shawl – A story song about an article of clothing.

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