We received some nice emails recently from Thomas Stone (brother of Stone label founder Bob Stone). Thomas has sent in some nice images of a very rare German pressed Stone label 45 from 1966. This disc was issued in Germany on a pink Stone label with a cool pink picture sleeve (shown here).
Stone 19 088 AT
"So Fine / These Are Love"
We did some checking and found out that The Santells were a girl group from Ohio, and their disc was issued originally there on the local Courier label (Courier 115). They sound like early Ikettes (think Peaches 'n' Cream from 1965). The 45 was also issued in England on the Sue label (WI-4020, August 1966) which was a subsidiary of Chris Blackwell's Island label. Bob Stone was dealing directly with Chris Blackwell in those days.
As it was issued in Germany on the Stone label, there is a high probability that it was possibly issued in Canada on the Stone label. Any further information about a Canadian Stone release would be appreciated. To date, this is the only example of a Stone 45 released outside of Canada. Strange!
"Christmas Is My Love" is the title of a late 1968 album release (Stone SXS 3738) that featured The St. Rose Of Lima School Choir under the direction of Mr. Bob Slingerland. It was also a fundraiser for The Canadian Save The Children Fund. I must admit that I have listened to both sides of this album this week and it certainly transported me right into the Christmas Spirit! The project was undertaken in Toronto by a group called "The Academy Of Pop Evolution" and many great session people play on the record. Peter Appleyard, Guido Basso, Terry Bush, Brad Campbell, Ted Ottley, John DeNottbeck, and Russ Fearon. The album features the great sounding vocals of a children's choir backed up by tuneful pop that reminds me very much of The Free Design. Candy World on Side 1 could have been a great single.
Apart from the great music on the disc, what is most interesting about this album is the cover which was designed by Toronto artists Harold Town. The front cover has a cutaway square and a Harold Town print slides in and out. The special jacket was manufactured by Modern Album. If you see this album in the bins, pick it up just for the artwork alone. The album inside will also impress you.
This album predates (and ranks up there with) the The Langley Schools Music Project album from British Columbia by 7 or 8 years. And I will be playing this album again over the holidays...
The Stone label was perhaps one of the smartest and hippest of label designs to have originated from Canada during the 1960s. Here is another great example which was listed for sale last month.
The record was originally issued on the Drew label in Detroit (D-1003) in 1967 and is a very nice soul record that has the great Motown sound and beat. The Precisions are in the same class as the Temptations and the Four Tops. Another terrific example of the kind of release that was picked up by Stone here in Canada. The Precisions had another release on Stone later on (Stone SX 729 - A Place / Never Let Her Go).
So put another log on the fire, put your feet up and stack up those old Stone discs on your turntable for the holidays. Here are two classic Christmas 45s on Stone to enjoy, both from Christmas 1967:
Stone SX 722
White Christmas / My Love And I
This version of the Irving Berlin song is much faster than the Elvis version and has a bit of Ska thrown in for good Yule-time measure. Both sides of this disc were produced by Chris Blackwell in either England or Jamaica, and the disc had been issued in England two years earlier, in December 1965.
Stone SX 723
Cowboy Santa / Little Drummer Boy
The A side is more typical of a children's Christmas record with lots of horse "clip-clopping". The B side is a nice slow version of this Christmas classic. The song was featured in the 1968 film Girl in Gold Boots (a film I have never heard of let alone seen!). Larry Cartell was a C&W singer from Philadelphia as far as we can determine and he appeared on the front cover of Billboard at the time this disc was issued (December 16, 1967). The record was originally issued in Philadelphia by Glenolden Records (GR-150).
(please refer to the Stone discography page.)
Special thanks to Thomas Stone for keeping us "Stoned" (er, well you know what we mean, otherwise you wouldn't be reading this!)