Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Black Ice & Royal Blue

Before the airwaves  are completely swamped with Christmas songs I have unearthed a recording that has had me foxed for the last couple of weeks.

In 1959 Peter Sellers was enjoying  record success with his LP Songs for Swingin' Sellers, a spoof of the contemporary album by Mr Sinatra  Songs for Swingin' Lovers. Producer George Martin wanted a Sinatra sound alike for the opening track and hired Matt Monro who, some say, launched his career with it ... thanks to the ultra conservative BBC adding it to their radio playlist.

So that was long ago and far away. I was reminded of it a couple of weeks ago when Classic FM began broadcasting a Cunard commercial for trips to Manhattan aboard their flagship Queen Mary 2. The first few seconds sure sound like Frank Sinatra, but I was unaware that he had ever cut a track that began ...'Only in New York' with a big band backing.

I have found it on YouTube, performed by Alex McDougall and I am happy to share it with you today.

This black and blue post is scheduled to go live at 0330 GMT so I have posted a new one 'Only in New York' to be broadcast around 0700 so that you can skip it if you don't want to wake the neighbours.

From Field Notes Brand website
Some good news from Field Notes Brand, especially if you live on England's coast.

My main gripe about the famous Field Notes Brand is that they use rubbish staples. Oh sure, they hold the pages together OK but the damn things go rusty in anything approaching a damp atmosphere.

I was so delighted to hear about their latest limited edition with perfect binding that I immediately ordered a pack direct from USA.

It promises a lot of other happy differences too so will it deliver as well as other creative designs from the DDC/Coudal partnership?

I shall report back anon.

Meanwhile another brand has come to my notice with a very similar 'rustic USA traditional offer'. It too has a subscription service and regular quarterly limited editions. Write &Co founder Chris Roth of Maryland is a third generation bookbinder who launched his pocket notebook range a couple of years ago.

His current creation is the Royal Blue collection paying homage to an historic railway.

Good idea except that over in Japan the Travelers Notebook Factory has created regular transport related limited editions featuring, for example, Hong Kong Star Ferries and even the last HK tram. Visit Travellers Notebook Times.

TN do it sooo much better with branding and ephemera offerings, albeit at significantly higher cost for more up-market system notebooks.

You can begin your own research by Googling pocket notebooks and getting lost in a maze of offerings [including those with a notebook theme] listed alongside here.

Ah, these shots of Heidelberg presses instantly transport me back to 1967 ... but that's another story altogether.

Royal Blue images via Write & Co
Under the motivation of wanting to give back to the community, Chris promises to donate a free book to deprived local schools in his area . You buy one and they get one free and then, when you go on line and quote the unique code stamped in your book you can discover which school  was the beneficiary.

Helps salve our consciences about a profligate notebookism addiction a little bit!