Crappy Album Covers #197 — Covers with some e'splainin' to do

Desiderio Alberto Arnaz y de Acha III, known to some as Desi Arnaz, came to America as a humble but talented musician from Santiago, Chile, and from the early to mid-1930s, held several odd jobs, including bird cage cleaner, taxi driver, and bookkeeper. He later joined Xavier Cugat in the late ’30s, and showed his musical talents. A couple of years later, he formed his own dance orchestra, releasing several albums during the late 30s and throughout the 1940s.His role as Ricky Ricardo in the sitcom “I Love Lucy” featured the song Babalu in the 1951 pilot episode. He had by this time already been married to Lucille Ball in real life. As a bit of extra trivia, the entire series had always been filmed in front of a live audience.
British comedian Max Bygraves wants us to believe that this series, called “Viva! Congalongamax” survived 10 volumes, although little indication of this appears on Wikipedia. What is indicated, is that this is his tenth album with a different title. What is also indicated, beyond doubt, is his love for album titles with long almost nonsensical words such as the title “Singalongamax”, “Discolongamax”, and this one. These may be found among his 63 album titles Wikipedia says he put out.

The Discolongamax album features such dico smash hits as “Get Me to Church on Time”, “You Need Hands”, and “How Ya Gonna Keep ’em Down on the Farm?”. And of course, he sings “Feelings”.
Faceinhole.com allows its visitors to put a picture in place of Max’s on this cover.

Crappy Album Covers #196 — Superstition and legend

The Incans were ahead of their time. Their legends may have given us the first samples of pornography. Voice of the Xtabay is a legend about a woman who has sex with countless men, then died with Xtabentum (fragrant flowers) growing on her grave. It has all the elements of a plotless porn film. All it needs now is bad acting in between the sex scenes.

Depicted is a very young Yma Sumac (1922-2008), a Peruvian soprano known for her 5-octave vocal range. For the Exotica genre that was popular in the late ’40s and throughout the 1950s, they don’t get more famous than her.

This 1950 studio album, and Sumac’s first, was produced by no less than Les Baxter, who also helped write two of the tracks. It features Peruvian rhythms, and of course, Sumac’s vocal range. The recording can be purchased in CD form through any number of online vendors.

Two Polynesian dudes are busy singing along, when all of a sudden both say: “Hey, who brought in the white chick?” This is yet another CAC from that veritable CAC factory, TOPS.

The composer was Robert Drasnin (1927-2015), at the time, a recent UCLA graduate with a Master’s in Music. In 1959, he was approached by the upper management at TOPS to produce an exotica record. On that record you will likely hear the piano of John Williams, who would later go on to write the musical scores of Star Wars and Jaws. Drasnin himself would later produce music for the small screen, most notably The Twilight Zone, and Gunsmoke. By 1977 he became the director of music for the CBS television network.

To date there has been at least two reissues of Voodoo on compact disc. To show that Exotica has not yet died, Drasnin recorded Voodoo II on CD in 2007 when he was 80.

 

Crappy Album Covers #18 — Travels Through Africa

In installment #2, I believe I mentioned that there would be more albums regarding a white person’s idea of Africa.

Now, there are times that, due to the difficulty in getting black people to act like our stereotypes of them, we must instead get white people to do our dirty work for us.

Dave Harris and the Powerhouse Five would like to remind you that despite social objections, cannibalism can be a good thing for everybody. See the nice lady in the burning pot? Look at how much fun she seems to be having! Wouldn’t you just like to join her?

“Dinner Music for a Pack of Hungry Cannibals” was released by Decca in 1960. Not much more info seems to exist on the band. Except that one blogger observed that the chick in the pot looks a lot like Hilary Clinton. There are still reissues being made of the work of this band on Rhino Records.

Anna Russell here has angered the local native population because she was playing with someone’s bongo drums without asking. You know how it is. How would you feel if you knew your house guest was playing with your drum kit or your guitar that you worked so hard to tune up? Non-musical people don’t seem to sympathise with these things, and just barge in and use our stuff anyway, and it angers us. I don’t have any spears to throw at them, but gosh, I would find something.

Notice also the kinds of loincloths the natives are wearing. They where can i buy tramadol without a prescription look like Scottish kilts without the tartan; cut instead from maybe a tablecloth. Anna Russell, who died in 2006, was a vocalist and comedienne, whom we can’t be sure if her birthplace is London, England or London, Ontario.

Another Decca 1956 recording, “Africa Speaks, America Answers” shows a nice effort to try and establish diplomacy. I understand many people from the that continent will still find it humorous in the sense that Africa always seems to be discussed as if it were just one country.

The artists here are cited as “Guy Warren with the Red Saunders Orchestra under the direction of Gene Esposito”. I am able to suss out that Guy Warren is the black guy on the bongos, whose birth name is Warren Gamaliel Akwei. He has worked with such greats as Theolonius Monk and Charlie Parker. Warren, who now goes by the name of Kofi Ghanaba, now lives in Ghana.

The Limbo has a lot of symbolic significance these days, in North American culture, especially with the effects of free trade on ordianry people. “How low can you go?” is not just for that young lady in the pink dress anymore. It is for labour standards, environmental standards, oh, don’t get me started.

I just wonder, if the limbo rod (or whatever that horizontal thing is called) burns through and burning pieces fall on top of her, does she “lose” this limbo contest? Can she sue for injuries?