Led by keyboard virtuoso/singer Bill "Casey" Cosby Music Emporium was a part of the unique acid-folk vision of LA's Music scene. Sundazed produced the first ever legitimate reissue of the supremely rare 1968 album on both CD and High-Definition Vinyl in 2001.
"If they possessed a slightly larger oeuvre like, say, what the Left Banke or the Strawberry Alarm Clock (who they bore some resemblance to) had, they might have been a contender for the most underrated group in rock history accolade."
Excerpts of a review by David Chirko (Sudbury, Ontario, Canada)li
The best unknown album of all time? Possibly. Remarkably evocative, dynamic, garage-pop, played with great elan and fire; superb tunes very well-recorded; and love that tinny organ (although this was anachronistic by 1969, Hammonds being the rage by then). Packaging and notes superb. Hard to think of a better Sundazed release.
Accordion Trivia related to Music Emporium
Some may question why this section on Music Emporium is included on this accordion web site. I should like to share a few little known facts that have never been revealed. Music Emporium was happening at my most active time with accordion at UCLA, however I never played accordion with Music Emporium. At the time, I was doing instrumental solos on accordion as the 'break' for the UCLA Men's Glee Club. With increased number of high-school performances, I began to explore providing a 'rock' interlude with a couple other club members. Thus, the original band was born as "Gentle Thursday" on our trip to Hawaii and (after the Glee Club year) evolved into Cage and finally Music Emporium.
Both Anthony Galla-Rini and Tito 'sat in' at rehearsals at one time or another. Even to this day I find this amusing as the band was extremely loud and certainly foreign to everything they were about musically. Tito played on my combo organ. We were all amazed at how he immediately understood the style and the excellence of his 'tasty' (his word) ad lib's. He didn't compete with screaming hand's-full of distorted combo organ sound, but knew how to play the right thing at the right moment. Tito could easily have played in a rock group, though I think the harmonic structures and rhythm (at least in what we played) would have bored him. But he had a good time. Galla-Rini played a Pan Tiger -- a bright orange one. He stood with the same posture he would have used in a concert performance at Carnegie Hall -- ultimate concentration on what the song was about. 40 years later it would have been a favorite on YouTube. He was a wonderful sport about all of it -- and (something that never ended up in any liner notes) both Carolyn and Dora (the bass player and drummer for Music Emporium) played in his accordion orchestra. Both were classically trained musicians.
And though not related to Music Emporium, but to my love of rock music and warped sense of humor, I need also to tell a story about Julio Giulietti. Julio arrived at LAX one Friday evening with a headache and some jet lag. I took him to the Kaleidoscope for a performance of Iron Butterfly.
A final trivia note on Music Emporium not related to accordion: reviewers often comment about Carolyn's vocal on Velvet Sunsets as one of their favorite parts of the album. Carolyn doesn't sing until the final verse -- it is me! LOL
W "Casey" Cosby