Tennessee Ernie Ford (1919-1991) had a rare million seller with the folk song “16 Tons”. It is itself a 1955 cover version of a song written by Merle Travis (1917-1983) and released in 1947.
Not only is it Tennessee Errnie Ford’s signature tune, Ford sung it so definitively, that it is the only singer one readily identifies with the song. By today, there are easily over 100 cover versions of this song, done by artists as diverse as Johnny Cash, Stevie Wonder, The Dandy Warhols, and Rage Against The Machine.
A year later, Gene Vincent had a smash hit that caused great controversy. And after some kind of a public inquiry, it was concluded that no one could understand the lyrics. There was no dispute that it was a fun tune, and was listed as the 103rd of the 500 top songs of all time by Rolling Stone Magazine in 2004.
Rumor has it that “Shredding for Satan” was an album released in 1957 (same year as Be-Bop-A-Lula). If that is true it seemed to pass without all of the bothersome controversy that was brought to Gene Vincent.
If Yvette Oldemeyer existed at all, it was as a model posing with an electric guitar and a cute yellow amplifier on the cover of a 1957 edition of Popular Electronics, showing her preference for “throbbing vibrato”.
In Canada, due to the activism of former Member of Parliament for Etobicoke-Lakeshore, Jean Augustine, we celebrate Black History Month during the month of February, and I thought it would be worthwhile to show some landmark musical contributions by black people that have caught my attention.
The history of black people contributing to music has been well-documented, and in the 1950’s, it was acknowledged to be a “race barrier” for black people to break into the music charts. What was at the time called “race music” — the music of people like Fats Domino and Chuck Berry, was music often panned by radio stations, while cover versions of the same songs by the likes of Elvis Presley and Pat Boone were played endlessly.
Harry Belafonte was among the first to break the race barrier in 1955 with his album Calypso. The second album by him to reach #1 on Billboard, it contains signature tunes such as Day-o, Jamaica Farewell, and Man Smart, Woman Smarter.
Belafonte is still around, he is 92 years old. Before his ilve performances of Day-o, he would explain a particular lyric in it, which was “Come Mr. Tally Man, tally me banana”. The song was about dock workers loading heavy bunches of bananas on to a boat for export over night, waiting as dawn breaks for the tally man to count their bunches of bananas so they can get paid and go home.
What makes this particular LP special is that it was the first record album in history to sell over a million records. Before that, million sellers were a term attributed to singles, such as Bing Crosby’s White Christmas, or Tennessee Ernie Ford’s Sixteen Tons. But this was the first time a whole album was acknowledged as a million seller. Calypso also stayed on the Billboard Hot 100 for 99 weeks — almost two years.
Belafonte was very much involved with the political activism of Rev. Martin Luther King, and as a result was blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He paid for Reverend King’s bail to get him out of Birmingham Prison in Alabama, and raised bail money to get other unjustly imprisoned black people out of prison on the eve of the Birmingham protests. The protests were against Apartheid-style racial segregation, common in the southern states until the early 1960s, and Birmingham was seen as the focal point of segregation during that time. The person who started this was a local seamstress who boarded a municipal bus in Birmingham, dutifully sitting in the section reserved for “coloured” people. When the white-only section of the bus became full, she refused to relinquish her seat to a white passenger who was standing, as required by municipal and state segregation laws, and as requested by the bus driver. The passenger, Rosa Parks, was also a leader in the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, and the conviction was fought all the way to the Supreme Court, with the conviction and the segregation laws surrounding it being overturned.
While Parkes was fired from her department store job as a seamstress, and received death threats for many years onward, she won world renown, as well as having streets named after her, winning medals of honor, honorary doctorates from several universities as far away as Tokyo, and a county in Washington state dedicated the front-row seats of their municipal buses in her name, shortly after her death in 2005.
The Continental’s (sic) album depicts a female that can’t seem to do a thing with her hair.
No information exists on this album or the artists.
Svenne and Lotta had a hit with Bang-A-Boomerang before ABBA took off with it in 1975. Apparently, Benny and Bjorn wrote it, with Svenne and Lotta entering it into a singing competition. Their hit was overshadowed by ABBA’s version, and they faded out of existence, but remained for a while as a national talent in Sweden.
The 1969 Psychedelic/Glam band known as Wild Thing list their places of origin as, depending on which way the wind blows, either Hudson, Massachusetts or Norfolk, Virginia. Their sound was typical of the more progessive sounds during that time. This is the cover of their 7″ single Old Lady, backed with Next To Me.
Michel Gerard Joseph Colucci (1944-1986), best known as Colouche, was a French comedian. Apparently, as part of his satire, he once ran for French President back in 1980, with support from the satirical publication Charlie Hebdo. One campaign slogan went: “Before me, France was divided in two; now it will be doubled over into four” (the idiom “être plié en quatre,” can be translated as “doubled over laughing.”) At the time, he was up against François Mitterrand, who was very un-amused.
The problem with this concept, is that it is over-done, since a Googling of “Jesus sightings at Wal-Mart” yield over 400,000 hits. Some are links to video blogs, or more traditional blogs where His likeness shows up on a Wal-Mart receipt. Rick Leland has even written a “Jesus at Wal-Mart” trilogy, on sale now at GoodReads, stretching the meme to its ultimate 750-page futility (a rough page total of the three books).The answer to the perennial question “What would Jesus do?”, according to these consistent, and persistent findings by many and sundry people, is that He would shop at Wal-Mart. And if Jesus had His way, Wal-Mart would be renamed Jesus Christ Superstore. That wasn’t exactly my image of Him, but I guess we must respect each other’s freedom of religion.
The website eddiebrumley.com is inactive, and other information on Brumley is very hard to obtain at the time of this writing.
This was the fourth album by Rockabilly artist and Cincinnati native Don Youngblood. He had a fan club headquartered in Indiana. He sings and plays piano, and for the life of me, I can’t find the year of this album, although I saw a vinyl copy on sale at Amazon for around 12 bucks.
Brumley, I found Jesus at a Wal-Mart. To put the correct sense on this tune, Brumley was witnessed to at Wal-Mart. It is not far-fetched to say that Brumley’s near-empty kitchen pantry needed divine intervention, and that’s kind of what he is singing about:
Yes, indeedie … This is the 330th CAC article, collect them all! More to follow. I will try to make these once per week:
The person in this picture does not want to be folked with. Channeling The Clash, the album has all of the visual cues of the London Calling album. Except the guitar, of course.
Not a whole lot of info exists on this incarnation of Emerald. Emerald appears as both a folk group and a metal group. The metal group appears online in some detail but this album doesn’t exist in the discographies I have seen for the “metal” group called Emerald.
That being said, this 2006 album is still for sale on Amazon, Spotify, iTunes, and all the other usual suspects.
Alvis Wayne (1937-2013) seems to be a victim of mixed identities. Someone asks him his name, he says “Alvis”, and the other responds “Oh, hi, Elvis!”; and then he has to correct them, and he finds himself all but handing out a pronunciation key: “That’s Alvis, with an ‘A’.” The other responds with “Elvis isn’t spelled with an ‘A’, what are you talking about?” Facepalm.
Apparently, this Texan hit it big in the UK, and his singles and albums were in high demand. His most recent LP, “Proud of My Rockabilly”, was released in 2001.
The Currie Brothers didn’t get Emerald’s memo. Instead, they are folking around with their accordions. Another victim of mistaken identity, there is currently another band in central Ontario that goes by the same name, also a folk band.
The Hot Stuff LP has been out for some 42 years now. I see a copy currently on e-Bay for about $25.00. Around the 1970s, Jim and Tom Currie won the Scottish Championship for accordion. According to Discogs, recordings of these two exist as late as 2015.
Hey,and I thought I was the only one with a collection of mathematical music. Now, is my time to shine, and make millions! Now, courtesy of Strider’s Records, comes this great collection of mathematical ditties! Using various trigonometric equations, a waveform is fed into a sequencer, where you get the following 16 second hits that will make me obscene piles of money! (Some are up to 18 seconds, for the record)
Get a load of these UFO sounds:
Then, party to “throat-singing” simulations:
And then join the after-party for some warbling simulations:
Then, mellow out to my rendition of Lou Reed’s Metal Machine Music:
This is an alternative cover for Rick Wakeman’s first-ever recording, Piano Vibrations. It’s here, because of the geometric figure on the cover.
Here are the Brady Bunch’s Marcia and Peter Brady (for real). Chris Knight and Maureen McCormick got together to make an album some time after the series ended.Maureen did a string of B-movies along with several cameo appearances on television, and was going through a rough time in her career for a couple of decades, but is still acting, and has also written an autobiography about “surviving” having to play Marcia Brady, who had, as a result of the sitcom, become a role model for the perfect all-American daughter.
Cindy Brady is actually on the cover, but the lighting, subject and camera angle were so bad that she changed her name to LenaZavaroni. Actually, Lena is for real (1963-1999), and here she is at age 10 for her 1974 album, “Ma! He’s Making Eyes at Me”. She lived for most of her life in Scotland, where she had a strong fan base. She had also performed with Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball while in Hollywood. At age 35 she succumbed to anorexia, a disease she had been fighting against since age 13.
I don’t know about you, but this album, by El Tadeo, is being sold by everybody from Napster to Amazon to websites as far-removed as Japan. The reason I am sure it sells so well, is because this is a comedy album with explicit content, which is dull if all you know is English. As you would guess, this album is in Spanish.I guess El Tad expects us all to plop it on our turntable and just let it happen. But I know what’s going on. El Tad is channelling the late John Lennon, who oft times wore a toilet seat around his neck in some of his early concerts. Soon, El Tad will be thinking he is more popular than Jesus. Let’s just pray he doesn’t let this toilet seat thing go to his head … doh! Too late!
The LP was reissued as a CD in 2009. I couldn’t find the year of the original pressing.
Putting cutie monsters in a child-style drawing on the cover does not excuse Alphabutt from the overall grossness in concept. Year unkown. Berkeley, California native Kimya Dawson appears to be somewhat of an activist and has at least 6 albums out.
80s new-wave reggae/dance superstars The Police released this 1978 single, about suicide, called “Can’t Stand Losing You” (from their debut album Outlandos D’Amour) and featured the well-known lineup of Sting, Andy Summers, and Stewart Copeland, who all formed respectable music careers in their own right.As you would have guessed, the cover created some controversy, and was banned in some countries in favour of an alternative cover. Probably not their usual party fare …
But, Iggy Pop is usually more likely than The Police to go all psychotic in his performances. But here he is, as light as bubblegum, with his third and last album on the Arista label, called “Party”, released in 1981. Arista wanted him to record one “commercial” album, and they sure got it.Does Iggy Pop need any introduction to you? Would you believe me if I told you that all he did was produce party albums? “No” to both questions? Doesn’t surprise me.
One knows that Yoko must have been going though a creative slump back in 1991 when Ryko released this EP. It’s hard to fathom who would spend their Christmas putting this one in their CD player.
… Unless, of course, this 2006 Billy Idol album was their only alternative. He should have released this under his birth name, William Broad. Unless he can make “White Christmas” sound like “White Wedding”, it’s probably not going to work out. The track list includes mostly traditional Christmas songs.
Some covers are ugly for a reason. This one’s ugly because it’s a bootleg of a live concert in Philadelphia by the Danish heavy metallers Mercyful Fate. Bootlegs normally have substandard covers done by someone who did not understand the fine line between scary and ugly. You can listen to this bootleg for free here. The sound isn’t that bad.
This LP (year unknown) is a sound effects album by the BBC. The cover is probably intended to be a summary of the contents therein.
Antonio Fargas‘s claim to fame was his work as police informant Huggy Bear in the 1970s police drama Starsky and Hutch. He also acted in a string of so-called “blaxploitation” movies such as Foxy Brown.
He has appeared in many movies and even had a role as Doc in the now-defunct series “Everbody Hates Chris” as late as 2006.
And, there is this track “It’s Christmas” from the album, showing that some Carribean rhythms are not out of place on a Christmas record:
Mr Hankey The Christmas Poo was a South Park character back in 1997 that was a talking and singing poo (are there any other kinds?). The poo would only talk to certain characters. To everyone else, Hankey would just kind of lie there and be … poo.
Imagine having a conversation with Hankey, with passers-by looking at you talking to a poo lying on the sidewalk. Everyone will think you’ve lost it, especially when you try to convince the passer-by that Hankey’s singing to you, too.
Hankey, purportedly, is a reaction to recent moves made by many officials to order the removal of nativity scenes from government buildings. The idea that creators Terry Parker and Matt Stone had, was to represent Jesus as poo. Got you angry for the Lord already, didn’t it? See? It worked!
Apparently, Hankey generated little controversy, probably indicating that no one cared. But actually, someone did care enough in 1998 to nearly file a lawsuit. That lawsuit came from John Kricfalusi, creator of the Ren and Stimpy show. Seems that Parker and Stone stole his idea of a talking poo, because Kricfalusi created the idea of Nutty the Friendly Dump earlier, another talking and singing poo. And so the battle of the poos began in earnest, with each cartoonist fighting for their claim to being the rightful poo creator. But all this misses the point of course. We all create our own poos, and it is the poo within ourselves that we must reckon with. Only when we get our poo together that we find we can go on in life. At least that is what my poo told me. Well, not my real poo, more like my inner poo.
On a faraway planet, children crawl out of their homes inside of outdoor toilets to greet the Sun God. They call their place the “Houses of the Holey.”
Led Zeppelin’s 1973 classic “Houses of the Holy” yielded a minor single, D’yer Maker, but it did end up as one of the top 200 albums of all time, according to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and also won a Grammy in 1974.
The Korean version of this album is a lot crappier where the robot (or whatever it is) is fishing the band members out of a rusty trash barrel (or a busted rooftop, it’s hard to tell).
This is the album containing the 1977 monster hit “We Will Rock You/We Are The Champions”.
Barr is a Swedish group, which released this album with a rather austere and bleak album cover. But the YouTube video below shows that you can’t judge a record by its cover. Barr has had an undeservedly small following, and are relatively unknown internationally. In fact, it gets me into one of my rants where I preach about the fact that popular (top 40) music has only gone to the dogs only because singles are never released of any good music done by musicians with any real skill these days. Just don’t get me started. I can go on all day about it.
“Skogsbo is the place” is a classical/folk album released in 2008 by Barr.
Mystery was a band covered in the last post. Given the choice between adolescent art and a Bryce rendering of geometric and humanoid shapes, it is difficult to wonder which is worse.
This is from their 1992 self-titled debut album.
Here is Barr, doing a track from “Skogsbo is the place”, called Moonfall
Danish prog rockers Royal Hunt released their sixth album in 2001, called “The Mission”, a nod to Ray Bradbury.
There isn’t really much to the Bryce rendering, just a knock-off to say that this album is “interesting”, and you’re supposed to listen to it an think about it a lot. It is highly likely that it is a near copy of the album cover below, from an album released a year earlier by Canadian prog rock group “Mystery”.
Royal Hunt’s most recent album is “X”, released earlier this year.
Canadian prog rockers “Mystery” had this design for their 2000 LP, “At The Dawn of a New Millenium”. While I don’t think anyone cares about stealing the jacket design, I am sure it ruffled a few feathers in the Quebec-based group.
They have borne comparisons to Yes and Journey, and it had been recommended by many in the CAC Blogosphere that if you wanted to get to know their music, this album is actually a great place to start. “Dawn” is actually a compilation of their three albums prior to this one. So, while it doesn’t exactly qualify as a “best of” album, it makes a decent sampler.
As for a comparison to Yes, one of their lead singers, Benoit David, has been touring with Yes as a replacement for Jon Anderson since 2008. He is now an official member of the group. That said, he still had time to release another album with Mystery earlier this year, called “One Among The Living”.
This was likely the same cover used for the prog rock group Jo Jo Gunne for their 1972 LP “Jumping the Gunne”, revived here by Rhino Records, who knows album curios when they see them.
Yes, as you might guess, this was likely the album cover blamed for ending their one-hit wonder career, precipitating their breakup in 1975. Their first hit from their previous, and debut album, a UK top-10 hit called Run, Run, Run, charted in 1972. It also made the American top 40 the same year.
They have since re-formed in 2005 and have started touring again. They even have a web site.
Harry Potter has secretly been taking female hormone supplements, and they tell him the transitioning surgery will be painless. He wants people to call him Alison Arngrim from now on.
Alison Arngrim, who by now is 48 years old, is a New York born actress and stand-up comedian. Her biggest role was during her youth when she played Nellie Oleson in the TV serial “Little House on the Prairie”.
You can actually surf to Alison’s own website, where she parodies Nellie Oleson with her 2010 book “Confessions of a Prairie Bitch” more than I ever will.
Some guys are “leg men”, others are “breast men”. Here’s a “family man”. He should tell wifey to go easy on the popcorn. Followers of this blog will recognise that nudity had been a major staple of classical, big band, and other nerdy non-rock albums throughout the late sixties to early seventies, beginning with Herb Alpert.
By the time this album came out in 1970, Enoch Light and The Light Brigade was a big band that had been around off and on for 40 years. They largely had their heyday in the 1930s, and Enoch Light (1905-1978) was winding down his career by this time. He is credited with making experimental stereo recordings at a time when most homes and radio stations had mono equipment, chiefly during the 1950s and 1960s.
It is widely suspected that this is a Photoshop job. Since allmusic.com says that Buddy Cole (1916-1964) was active before 1960, an album cover like this would have been a little too much for the sensibilities of the McCarthy Era (late ’50s and early ’60s). However, what many claim to be the original cover make the young lady on the cover look like an amputee, with no legs at all. My claim is that they are both ‘shop jobs.
There are many subtle clues that this present cover is a ‘shop job. For one thing, she appears to have no left knee, which should be showing from behind her right arm. I noticed that most CAC bloggers that put this photo up failed to point this out. Actually, if you’re busy admiring her legs, it’s hard to notice. But once you do, you also notice that they’re disproportionately long, that her pelvis appears out of joint with her hips. To see this, size up her butt (I know you’re doing this anyway), then see where her panties are in relation to her butt (I know you’re staring at that too). Her whole butt looks double-jointed. Sorry if I just ruined this for you. But this is called a Crappy Album Cover journal for a reason.
Cole was a pianist who had an interest in the organ, and made several recordings with Henry Mancini and other big-band musicians of the era.
This album, “Have Organ, Will Swing” is not listed on Allmusic.com.
Retro prog rockers Flamborough Head, with their 2005 album, Tales of Imperfection, appear to make an album theme about female body image, although I am not clear if they could carry this for all 7 tracks on this CD and get away with it.
Since Flamborough Head is also the name of a county on the east coast of England, I thought this was a British group. But according to their website, this group is Dutch.
Jamaican Winston Foster, known to his adoring admirers as Yellowman for his albino appearance, has this album which seemed to have upstaged rap and hip-hop stylings by a couple of years at least, with this 1985 album, entitled “Walking Jewlery Store”.
And Hip-Hop and Rap artists have been copping his style since. Sound bites from his songs can be found on albums by NWA, The Notorious B. I. G., Tupac Shakur, and Mos Def, to name a few.
This is possibly a record given to Michelin Tire salesmen in order to give the salesmen something to say to their customers by way of promoting the tires. Here is a track from their promotional material, from about 1960, though it may not have come from this particular album. Kudos to Bunk Strutts at Tacky Raccoons for bringing this to my attention.
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This is from one of my old posts. I post it again because I have found a soundtrack from such albums courtesy of April Winchell.
Bruno’s younger half-brother Tomas wanted to get into show business too. But unlike Bruno, he went to Spain where he thought there may be more of a market for playing accordion while taking your clothes off.At a certain point, when he has taken all of his clothes off, he plays his accordion down at the groin level …. verrrrrry delicately…..
Tomas’s father Andre, mother Bertille, and big brother Laszlo has decided to put out a French-language album, to show off their linguistic diversity. Bertille can’t do much except stare at the floor since she sprained her wrist playing maracas a little over-zealously last week. Laszlo wishes he were in a heavy metal group, but his father made him take accordion lessons instead. This “family band” thing is cramping Laszlo’s style.Don’t know much at all about these records.