Monday, May 21 , 2018, 12:57 am | Fair 59º


Danny Tyree: Happy 75th Birthday To Capitol Records!

In the peak years of my scouring yard sales and junk shops for second-hand, dollar-bin vinyl record albums, I didn’t really focus on company labels. I paid more attention to genres and artists.

Still, it’s only fitting that I now shine the spotlight on a single company, since I learned that Capitol Records (the first major West Coast record company) celebrates its 75th anniversary on March 27.

Besides the Broadway musical soundtracks, classical recordings, high fidelity jazz sessions and comedy albums (yes, I have a battered copy of Andy Griffith’s 1958 pre-TV Just For Laughs album near my bed), Capitol has hosted some real pop/country/rock superstars over the past three-quarters of a century: Nat King Cole, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Frank Sinatra, The Kingston Trio, The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Glen Campbell, Bob Seger, Queen, Garth Brooks, Coldplay, Katy Perry and hundreds more.

I did not realize until I started researching this column that TV star Bozo the Clown was actually created in 1946 for Capitol’s new children’s record library. Bozo. Capitol. Somehow the two words seem to go together perfectly. (“Oh, the polls shifted suddenly since I started this three-day filibuster? Uh, I think I hear my page calling me.”)

My wife and I watch a lot of the current crop of time-travel TV shows (Timeless, Doctor Who, DC’s Legends of Tomorrow), in which someone is always intentionally or accidentally altering history.

I shuddered when I thought about someone traveling back in time (either with an agenda or just a general flair for mischief) and altering some of the great recordings Capitol has contributed to the American songbook.

What if there was no one to encourage Sloopy to hang on? What if all Helen Reddy’s anthem could manage was “I am woman, hear me mansplain”? Or if “Someday, lady, you’ll accomp’ny me” was about public restrooms?

Would it be as romantic if the original Beach Boys had sung “In My (Wiretapped) Room” or “Wouldn’t it be nice if we were older/Then we could use Medicare before it goes broke”?

Would our musical legacy be as rich if it included “She Blinded Me With Settled Science,” “Blue State Christmas” and “Be True To Your School Voucher” — and if the Steve Miller Band’s “Jet Airliner” was expanded to include a verse for every single new airline surcharge?

Do we really need a ditty as divisive as “Good Vibrations: The Kind That Will Hopefully Slide That Bleeding Heart Sanctuary State Right Into The Ocean”?

It might promote healthier lifestyles, but wouldn’t we lose some of the poignancy if the altered reality found oldies stations playing “The Night They Bicycled Old Dixie Down”?

Audiophiles with different locations on the political spectrum would probably come to blows if “Theme From A Summer Place” became “A Summer Place? EVERYWHERE Is A Summer Place! Watch Out For Drifting Polar Bears!”

Could Loggins & Messina be bribed into producing “Your Mama Don’t Dance And Your Daddy Don’t Have A Y Chromosome”?

Could threats make MC Hammer sing, “U Can’t Touch This — Oh, Wait, You’re A Celebrity, So Go Ahead And Grab”?

Let’s all be thankful for the Capitol discography as it exists — and pray that we don’t wake up to hear a rebooted Ol’ Blue Eyes crooning, “I’ve Got You Under My Skin (And I Feel Downright Patriotic Now That The Government Can Track Me This Way).”

— Satirical columnist Danny Tyree welcomes email responses at [email protected] and visits to his Facebook fan page Tyree’s Tyrades. He is syndicated by Cagle Cartoons. Click here to read previous columns. The opinions expressed are his own.

Support Noozhawk Today

You are an important ally in our mission to deliver clear, objective, high-quality professional news reporting for Santa Barbara, Goleta and the rest of Santa Barbara County. Join the Hawks Club today to help keep Noozhawk soaring.

We offer four membership levels: $5 a month, $10 a month, $25 a month or $1 a week. Payments can be made through PayPal below, or click here for information on recurring credit-card payments.

Thank you for your vital support.

Become a Supporter

Enter your email
Select your membership level

Payment Information

You are purchasing:

Payment Method

Pay by Credit Card:

Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover

Pay with Apple Pay or Google Pay:

Noozhawk partners with Stripe to provide secure invoicing and payments processing.

  • Ask
  • Vote
  • Investigate
  • Answer

Noozhawk Asks: What’s Your Question?

Welcome to Noozhawk Asks, a new feature in which you ask the questions, you help decide what Noozhawk investigates, and you work with us to find the answers.

Here’s how it works: You share your questions with us in the nearby box. In some cases, we may work with you to find the answers. In others, we may ask you to vote on your top choices to help us narrow the scope. And we’ll be regularly asking you for your feedback on a specific issue or topic.

We also expect to work together with the reader who asked the winning questions to find the answer together. Noozhawk’s objective is to come at questions from a place of curiosity and openness, and we believe a transparent collaboration is the key to achieve it.

The results of our investigation will be published here in this Noozhawk Asks section. Once or twice a month, we plan to do a review of what was asked and answered.

Thanks for asking!

Click Here to Get Started >

Reader Comments

Noozhawk is no longer accepting reader comments on our articles. Click here for the announcement. Readers are instead invited to submit letters to the editor by emailing them to [email protected]. Please provide your full name and community, as well as contact information for verification purposes only.

Daily Noozhawk

Subscribe to Noozhawk's A.M. Report, our free e-Bulletin sent out every day at 4:15 a.m. with Noozhawk's top stories, hand-picked by the editors.

Sign Up Now >