Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Riverside Records -- The Sounds of Sports Cars during the late 1950s!

Bo-Wevil at Lakeland Speedway
Arfons Bros. Green Monster

Hi folks -- as I was working on my auto theft history project this morning, I pulled out a copy of a Riverside Record that has numerous recorded dragster sounds taken from a drag meet in Michigan in 1959.

Among the cars featured on this record were: the Green Monsters; the Sidewinder; Hurry Up the III; Steel Eel; the Top Eliminator; the Lone Ranger; Isky Special; the Lil Rebel; Tennessee Bo-Wevil; Little Kong; Fujimo.

That got me thinking about Riverside records and one of my most treasured records from youth, the jacket of which is immediately above -- " Vintage Sports Cars in Hi-Fi." I gave that record to a friend when I graduated from college, and really wish I had a copy today, some forty years later. I can still remember the cranking up of a 1.5 liter ERA ( I really didn't know what an ERA was!), a Delage, or a Bugatti. The flip side in which a vintage race was called by David Scott-Moncrief.

In 1953 Riverside was launched by traditional jazz enthusiasts Bill Grauer and Orrin Keepnews. In addition to sports car sounds, became one of the premier purveyors of modern jazz. With Keepnews producing the sessions (and writing the liner notes), Riverside soon brought such giants as Thelonious Monk, Bill Evans, Cannonball Adderley, and Wes Montgomery to the forefront of American music.

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