introduction to ratherrarerecords.com

My first piece for my first site, Neal Umphred Dot Com, was published in July 2013. I had such a backlog of material, that I was able to post more than one hundred articles in the first three months! Where did they all come from? Easy: I have been writing all my life, but while anything that allows me to put word to paper is an open invitation for me to try, the electronic medium intimidated me. Friends who read the few things I showed had been encouraging me to “blog” for years. Grommett only knows that I had… Continue Reading introduction to ratherrarerecords.com

poor boys and pilgrims are going to graceland

THE WEBSITE FOR GRACELAND posted a condensed version of my article, “Elvis Presley’s ’68 Comeback – Burbank to Graceland.” This was done to commemorate the anniversary of the original broadcast of the NBC-TV Special on December 3, 1968. This posting on Elvis Presley’s “official” website has sent tens of thousands of interested readers to the Best Classic Band’s Facebook page to find the complete, original article. (For more information, see the previous post on this site.) So, now more people have read this article in one weekend than have read all the articles on my own Elvis site in three years. That’s all the articles combined! A close-up… Continue Reading poor boys and pilgrims are going to graceland

published on the best classic bands website

I JUST PUBLISHED my first professional article in almost twenty years. That means I got paid for it, rather than publishing it on my own website for free. “From Burbank To Graceland To Facebook” is a look at the NBC-TV Special ELVIS broadcast on December 3, 1968. It was published on the Best Classic Bands website. I’ve posted 800,000 words in three years on my sites. But as a writer paid to publish his work, it’s taken a while to motivate my aging authorial juices to submit my work to websites other than my own. Until now, that is.… Continue Reading published on the best classic bands website

the frank daniels discographies & labelographies project

FRANK DANIELS HAS BEEN COLLECTING RECORDS for a long time. Somewhere along the way, he started collecting all sorts of record-related data and information. For years now, he has been researching, compiling, assembling, and publishing several incredibly detailed and accurate Frank Daniels discographies (listings of records) and labelographies (breakdowns on the visual changes in the label designs of a given record company). Here, for the first time EVER, is a list of all of Mr D’s published discographies (listings of records) and labelographies (breakdowns on the visual changes in the label designs of a given record company). Note that all… Continue Reading the frank daniels discographies & labelographies project

stax records’ main soul men of the ’60s: david porter and isaac hayes

“IT WAS SUMMER 1967, and Isaac Hayes was at Stax Records in Memphis watching Detroit burn. The local news carried alarming reports of a massive riot in Motor City, which started when a police raid on an after-hours bar turned into a tense standoff with patrons and bystanders. Governor George W. Romney deployed the Michigan National Guard to quell the violence, which lasted five days. Even at the time, it was seen as a major event in the American Civil Rights movement, as well as proof that racial friction was not limited to the South. Hayes, an untrained but deeply talented… Continue Reading stax records’ main soul men of the ’60s: david porter and isaac hayes

david anderle’s won-won-wonderfully weird portrait of brian wilson

THINGS WERE GETTING WEIRD in Brian Wilson’s world when he met David Anderle. By the third quarter of 1966, many significant changes had taken place in his life and his surroundings. PET SOUNDS and Good Vibrations and the SMiLE sessions that everyone in L.A. seemed to know about had brought a very different kind of attention to Brian that previous Beach Boys records such as ALL SUMMER LONG and Barbara Ann had not. It also brought many new and important people into Brian’s circle of trust. While the Beach Boys had always projected a very simple, boy-next-door image, Brian’s new music gave off much… Continue Reading david anderle’s won-won-wonderfully weird portrait of brian wilson

meet the new boss (true tales from the men’s room)

IT WAS 1975, and I was out of my hippie wannabe stage. I was playing it straight; not out of choice, but necessity. (But that’s another story.) I was still as anti-authoritarian as all get-out—at least when it came to bosses who were really bullies with authority—taking crap from no one. Except, of course, from my girlfriend. In fact, my boss at the place where I worked was such an arsewhole that to this day I wish I had asked him to step outside and duke it out! But I didn’t. Being the wuss that I was, instead of having it out with him, I was… Continue Reading meet the new boss (true tales from the men’s room)