Daily Song Study

Cafe Noir – The Great William L.

In songs on September 27, 2011 at 8:32 am

I’ve mentioned before that in years past, a record label logo could sometimes be a mark of quality assurance (as with the aforementioned Chrysalis). Dallas had its own quality mark in the late ’80s and early ’90s in the form of Carpe Diem Records. Operated by Allan Restrepo (later my boss at online retailer w3cd.com), this label put out the first solo album by Rhett Miller (later of Old 97s), most of the Little Jack Melody catalog (my hero), and even albums by progressive alterna-rock acts like Course of Empire, among many others.

One of Carpe Diem’s most successful artists was Cafe Noir, a band whose membership was a hodgepodge of classical & gypsy musicians. On their 1995 album The Waltz King, they combined those elements into an interesting stew. One of the ingredients was national champion yodeler Randy Erwin-Skalicky, who is featured on this track.

Sadly, Carpe Diem fell victim to the rising costs of the music-industrial complex, but I for one am grateful for the works it made possible.

  1. “Music-industrial complex.” Very good, sir. Long live the struggling indie and their quest for niche-based domination. Will have to look into this Carpe Diem Records….

  2. […] was operated by Carpe Diem Records boss Allan Restrepo (who had released Little Jack Melody & Cafe Noir records, mentioned here before), and staffed by a hodgepodge of relatively high-profile Dallas […]

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