I should add Mantovani to the list.
Anyway this came up in the collectibles thread here. Every used record store I’ve been to, every flea market vinyl booth I’ve seen, no matter where I am in America, they always have a bunch of those albums and usually in the discount bins. How come?
How popular were these people back in their heyday?
I’d at least heard of Streisand and Manilow, but I had no idea who Herb Alpert or Mantovani were until I started collecting records seven years ago.
The Beatles and the Rolling Stones were also hugely popular in their day, but I don’t see near as many of their albums at used record stores, and when I do they usually command a premium price, at least for vinyl (about $10 to $20).
So why did so many fans of the artists I mentioned in the title decide to unload all of their albums?
I should add Mantovani to the list.
Streisand and Herb Alpert were at least as popular as any big name rock group other than the Beatles or Elvisin their heyday. Alpert has 6 number one albums and three more in the top ten. Streisand had similar success. Montovani was never as popular, but he sold consistently well and put out a large number of albums. Manilow also had several massive selling albums when he started.
But their music was for an older audience than rock (well, Alpert did have a lot of rock-age fans). As their audience moved on, they moved toward rock, so Streisand and Alpert was the first thing they got rid of. And, of course, now their audience is dying out and their records being sold by their children who have never listened to them.
Herb Alpert, BTW, hold up pretty well. I recommend him wholeheartedly. You can listen to some of his music at http://www.herbalpert.com
I believe it’s mandatory that a thrift store obtain 5 used copies of Herb Alpert’s Tijuana Brass - Whipped Cream and Other Delights before they can open for business.
Older people tended to buy these artists so as they’ve “moved on” (one way or another) their old record collections are more likely to end up at Goodwill. Younger people from the 60s might still be holding onto their albums.
Then who is going to buy them? Someone might buy “Abbey Road” but who’s going to buy “My Name Is Barbra”? So they sit there forever. You don’t see the ones that were donated and bought.
(I’ve bought exactly one used vinyl album in the last 20+ years: “Whipped Cream and Other Delights”. Hmm.)
500 LPs placed in a darkened room unobserved will eventually spontaneously generate a copy of either Frampton Comes Alive or the first Boston album.
Used music bins used to to be full of big-selling but largely forgotten 50s LPs like Jackie Gleason’s Music for Lovers Only and Harry Belafonte albums that are not Calypso. As any perusal of the singles charts or bestsellers from fifty years ago will show, a lot of popular culture gets forgotten.
This is a corollary of Crowley’s Law, which states that any cassette left in an automobile glove box for more than 2 weeks mutates into Best of Queen.
I suppose one possibility is that Herb, Barry and Babs fans are/were early adopters and they have all their favorite music on CDs or MP3 now.
Doesn’t seem likely. The introduction of the CD was after their album sales had peaked, and they never sold as well on CD as they did on album.
There are just fewer fans now than there were in 1970. Mortality has a lot to do with that, plus the fact that their music gets no airplay at all. Younger music audiences have never listened to it.
I was recently surprised that my younger co-workers didn’t know any Barry Manilow besides Copa. I even ‘sang’ some Mandy for them, but no hint of recognition.
You should add Englebert Humperdinck and Captain and Tennille to the list. I see their stuff all the time also.
Barry Manilow as well as Neil Diamond are still very popular in concerts because they are good performers. Lots of younger people know some of their songs even if they don’t really know who sings them or when they were done. The extreme mix radio station that I usually listen to in the Boston area regularly plays both of them.
I am 36 and Barbara Streisand has always been a complete mystery to me. I know who she is but I have no idea why she is famous at all and I can’t name a single song or fact about her. It is just a nose with a name. I have no idea who Mantovani or Alpert are. I have never heard of them.
Spanish Flea by Alpert is very familiar to me. I believe it has been used a number of times in the Simpsons and might also be used in adverts.
If you remember the 1970’s show The Dating Game, you’ve been exposed to Alpert. His “Spanish Flea” and “Whipped Cream” have been extensively used as musical cues on the show.
Drew Carey and the Horndogs covered “A Taste of Honey” quite a few times on the Drew Carey Show.
Can we also use this thread to explain why every used bookstore or library book sale has at least three copies of Jurassic Park and The Lost World?
Plus 20 DaVinci Codes!
Shagnasty, have you ever heard this Herb Alpert song, but just didn’t know the title:
IIRC, it went to #1 on Billboard’s singles chart in 1979. You might have heard it here and there, and perhaps as background music.
Well, if you really cared, they’re simple enough to look up, but…
Barbra Streisand was one of the top singers, and actresses, of the 60s and 70s. Her start was in musical theater, but in the 70s, she was more focused on pop music and movies, and was very successful in both areas. She won a Best Actress Oscar for “Funny Girl” in 1968. She only infrequently records or performs in concert anymore, though she’s also become a movie producer
Herb Alpert was (well, still is, he’s still alive) a trumpet-player. Despite the fact that he’s not Hispanic (he’s Jewish), he had a distinctive Latin sound to his music, much of which was instrumental (no vocals). He and his band, the Tijuana Brass, were very popular in the 60s. (He is also the “A” in the “A&M Records” label.)
Mantovani was a light-orchestra conductor; my parents used to listen to his stuff. The radio station that they used to listen to called its format “beautiful music”, and his stuff is, to me, one of the hallmarks of that sort of music.
I, too, have partaken of the whipped cream.
Our local thrift stores are awash in Sing Along With Mitch albums. I have no idea who the guy is, but apparently he would love to sing with you.
Barbra is one of my favorite singers. OMG. “My Name Is Barbra” is amazing.
Here’s a link for her “Great Performances” special http://www.pbs.org/wnet/gperf/shows/streisandspecials/index.html