|Don “Jake” Jacoby (1920-1992) was a session musician for NBC and CBS, and also played solo at Carnegie Hall. He was also apparently for hire for building demolition contracts. Less risky than using dynamite, he would honk out a note that would cause a resonant reinforcement with the building, and down it comes!
|Ernie Englund’s (1928-2002) notes caused resonance with female specimens that were tested. Apparently, they were not able to keep their clothes on.
Chicago-born Ernie Englund emigrated to Sweden in 1944, where he spent most of his life. He is considered to be a Swedish composer. He died in Gotland in 2002.
|Widely recognized in the “so bad it’s good” category of performing, they are still discussed in many Spanish-speaking blogs, not always in the most endearing of terms. The album Vamos a la playa (Spanish for “Go to the Beach”) is also a staple in the Crappy Album Blogosphere.
Very little straight dope exists about this duo, except that they are from Venezuela, and made their claim to fame out of a botched-up performance at a 2004 talent show where they forgot their lines.
Miranda plays Vamos a la Playa below, probably the way it was meant to be played.
|Probably the brothers of three different mothers, The Omaha Loose Brothers have been described as singing “Pastoral Americana” (I think that means folk music), but there are traces of Jazz also.
This 1978 LP “A Celebration” sells for $300.00 in “very good” condition, according to gemm.com.
Miranda — Vamos a la Playa:
|The 1976 movie “Logan’s Run”, of which this is the soundtrack, characterized a utopia, a domed city where everything is perfect for everybody (hardly any work, so you can pursue whatever your heart desires), except that when you turn 30 you have to die.These guys have numbers after their names for some reason, like “Logan 5”, or “Francis 7”. Dunno why. Now, some folks in this utopia thought that dying at age 30 was a dumb idea. To escape execution on the Carousel (why the heck they call it that?), you had to leave the domed city and arrive at some camp called Sanctuary, where sandmen will chase you down and put you to sleep. Sleep of the permanent kind.
We never know exactly why the community needed a dome in the first place.
|Henry Mancini (1924-1994) was known for his movie soundtracks. He didn’t just do Peter Gunn, but also “Days of Wine and Roses”, “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”, “The Pink Panther”, “Victor/Victoria”, the Tennesee Williams film adaptation of the play “The Glass Menagerie”, and the Arthur Hailey film adaptation of his novel “Hotel”, to merely scratch the surface of just some of what he did.Mancini was nominated for 72 Grammys, winning 20 of them over his 48-year career. He has recorded over 70 albums and soundtracks.
And for all this they give him a shitty-looking album cover.
|This 1965 album by Count Basie (1904-1984) and his orchestra plays a few ditties made famous by the James Bond series: themes from Goldfinger, From Russia with Love, Thunderball, Dr. No, and other tunes.
Down on the right lower corner, you can see the original United Artists’ label. There has now been a re-release using the same album cover under Capitol as late as 2002.
During his lifetime, William Basie has won 9 Grammies and has had 4 of his earliest hit singles inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame.
|This 1957 album by New York native Billy Mure is one of the “must-haves” for collectors. Rock hadn’t quite gelled with people, and much of the guitar on this album could indeed pass for rock music, due to its high tempo.
Being from 1957, it is mono, but that is not to say that it doesn’t sound good. Remember, tube amps were standard in those days, so most recordings had the benefit of a warm, loud, clear sound. Nowadays, amps like that cost thousands of dollars, and most recordings are done digitally.
|This is another Billy Mure LP from 1960, called “Supersonic Guitars” Volume 2. This one is in stereo this time. I have heard that both of these titles are thought to be quite a find.
|Elva Miller (1907-1997) made her claim to fame with purposefully bad Ethel Merman imitations where she sung songs from the Great American Songbook out of tune, along with many other kinds of well-known songs.When Mrs. Miller “Does her Thing”, I think the message here is that it is time to run and hide. You never know what’s in those brownies.
|“Hey! Youse guys want to hear some o’ dat long-hair classical music or what? Well, don’t let some schmuck wearing a tux tell you what classical music is; let me tell you. Now, uh, I think my music teacher told me dat once you hear The Nutcracker, all of the classical music sounds like that. Trouble is, though, my music teacher ran off with my money before I had all my lessons. Dat’s why I dress like a bum. My brudder here got through his lessons, but got killed in an accident with a cabbage truck. We cryogenically froze him in dis position, and so once in a while I take the fiddle from his hand, and fool around with it a bit. Frig it, he’s dead anyway — and I put it back after a while.”
No information exists about Markos and Nadas Gyorgy that I am aware of.
Here is Miss Elva Miller, singing “These Boots Are Made for Walking”. Rather than sounding like Merman, I think that in this song at least, she sounds more like Miss Piggy on the Muppet Show. This is off of her “Greatest Hits” LP:
I once was listening to my favourite Jazz station in the Toronto area when I heard the announcer say something about The Great American Songbook (GAS). It was one of those phrases which kind of rolls off the tongue and seems to have no real meaning, but is a phrase often used by announcers at the station in describing the song choices or past hits of the many artists they play.
I got curious and looked into it, and found that the GAS is actually a more technical term, referring to some period in American history between 1920 and 1960 or so, which includes many of the so-called Jazz “standards”, as well as sing-along stuff that we all take for granted. Songs like “Blue Skies”, “Puttin’ On The Ritz” (both by Irving Berlin); “They Can’t Take That Away From Me” (George and Ira Gershwin); “Ol’ Man River” (Jerome Kern) have all been used in ads, been made into top-40 hits in the past 20 years, been sung by jazz musicians, big band ensembles, and rock and country groups alike. In all, the GAS can be said to represent the American songwriting canon. They are a collection of songs that have had a big effect on American culture, thought, and style. When you filter out all of the lowbrow music, movies and videos that come from the States, the GAS is what is left. It is difficult to sit through an hour or two of all jazz or easy listening without hearing someone covering a tune from the GAS. They have been covered by everyone from Joni Mitchell to Queen Latifah.
It had been agreed by whoever it was to end the time line for the GAS at around 1960, the ascendancy of the Rock era. But I think that is very limiting. It shuts out folks like the songwriting duo Burt Bacharach and Hal David; and the exclusion of rock leaves out Bob Dylan (can anyone say he didn’t contribute to American culture?), and Bruce Springsteen, whose ballads mark points in American history much like the poetry of William Wordsworth or the songs of Pete Seeger. And come to think of it, why was Pete Seeger not included? Seeger would have been alive during the Tin Pan Alley era of American songwriting (in the middle of the GAS period), and the rest of the pre-rock era of American music at the time. It is difficult to believe that Pete Seeger songs like “This Land Is Your Land”, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” would not be considered part of the American canon.
|Yes, Herb Alpert was at it again, back in 2006, when this CD got released. Re-Whipped appears to have some of the same standards on there, with some new stuff thrown in.
In this age of “Hoochie Mamas” and Paris Hilton getting laid in front of the whole Internet, the whipped cream idea doesn’t have the same impact it used to have.
Having discovered many of these covers, I now have a plethora of Herb Alpert wannabees which have now engendered an extension to my “Food On Vinyl” subseries over the next few days.
|At least Peter Nero isn’t flogging food but he certainly is a Herb Alpert wannabe, having stolen his typeface design for his own album. This was released in 1967, about the same year as Alpert’s “Whipped Cream and Other Delights”.
Having won two Grammies, and having many honorary degrees, you would think that he wouldn’t need to play a “salute” to anyone.
Nero has been playing Jazz and Pop music since 1958. He still conducts and plays piano for the Philly Pops.
The Willy Wall Trio is a group of musicians whose soft brand of jazz seems to have an appeal with many sites on the internet. I have seen titles from this album in compilations and from people reviewing the record. One of the tracks, “Cha Cha 89” does not place this record in 1989 for me, but the Winnebago motorhome depicted here places this record not much later than 1969:
It is quite good, if you like jazz. Two other tracks are “Movin & Groovin” and “Snowfall”. Many have categorized this as “lounge music”, and I would agree, but there is a strong thread of jazz to the music.
Movin’ & Groovin’:
|If you are in trouble, don’t care what it is, Billy Swan can help. The song has made it to K-Tel infamy, thereby commercializing and commodifying yet another song about human compassion in the 70s. You can’t blame that on Swan, though.
This Missouri native had his start hanging out with Clyde McPhatter and The Drifters in the early 60s, and later on, writing tunes with fellow Missouri native Jospeph Henry Burnette, or “T-Bone Burnette” as he is known.
One can only hope that no swans were harmed in the making of this album cover.
|They have seemed to have Cha Cha Cha albums for every occasion. Now they have one based on westerns.
For this remake of High Noon, it’s not Will and Harv in a shooting match, but Will against a topless woman in high heels. I guess it’s the only way to go, if you have to die.
Simon (“Si”) Zentner and his Dance Band makes this their second out of a string of 34 albums released over his career, which started in 1959. His last known non-compilation album was a Frank Sinatra tribute released in 1998. A compilation was released in 2007.
|Liz Anderson, with her 1970 LP “Husband Hunting”, shows that she knows how to land her man. The single that bears the same title as the album, peaked at #5 on the Top 40 country and western songs that year.
|I chose these records because both women have similar poses, except this one is more clothing-challenged.
What this lady doesn’t seem to know is that Cerrone keeps more ladies in the freezer she’s reclining on. Cerrone has used nudity on several of his records. When being marketed to his more uptight American audience, the nudity had to be greatly subdued, or covered up.
French musician, talent scout, and stud with the ladies, Jean-Marc Cerrone, marks this as his fifth album out of 26 he has made in total since 1972, the latest one, “Cerrone XXIII”, being released in 2009.
|The lady may not be nude in this second album, but it has every other element needed for proper seduction: a piano, a waiter to keep up the flow of booze to reduce the inhibitions, a smoky bar. I have to admit, however, the lights are a tad bright.
While I can’t think of any women who would be interested in listening to ragtime, Eddie “Pianola” Barnes proves with this 1957 release that, by playing ragtime tunes on his piano, he can play ragtime on his piano and still be a hit with the women.
Honky Tonk Piano is listed on some websites as a jazz album.
|First, let’s talk about trophy animals.Kind of reminds me of the 1986 college radio smash hit “All I Got Were Clothes For Christmas” by Happy Flowers.
Also, looks like the musician is getting friendly with his trophy deer.
There is no info on who this person is or why he has the logo for the American Lung Association painted upside-down on his forehead.
|Everything was going romantically until Ethel noticed trophies of a beheaded blonde and redhead on the wall, and remembering she is a brunette, she concluded that George must be a collector. Things became tense after that.Yes, trophy women. That is, women’s heads as wall-mounted trophies. This should have been the album cover for Fine Young Cannibals’ “Hunters and Collectors”.
Elliot Lawrence was an American Jazz Pianist and band leader during the late 1950s. He won two Tony Awards for his compositions in TV and film in the early 1960s.
|Barry Louis Polisar is another one of many CAC makers that appear to have one solution or another to deal with rebellious children. And you know, it is something that no parent I know has ever thought about: Threaten to eat them!
Eating children has been advocated throughout history as the remedy to one social ill or another. If you recall, Jonathan Swift, when he was still a newspaper editor in Ireland sometime in the late 1600s, wrote A Modest Proposal, which advocated the consumption of children for food. But only the poverty-stricken children, so that it would put an end to the problem of poverty-stricken children in Ireland. It was a clever idea, but sadly however, the urgings of newspaper editorials rarely make it into the cornerstone of Irish public policy (or policy elsewhere, so I hear).
It is nice to know that Polisar is willing to take Swift seriously and put himself on the line for the greater good. Of course, the difference is, Swift was only joking to make a point about poverty.
|Let Ron “The Terminator” Curtis show you the Sounds Of Love, as soon as you tell him where you’ve hidden Sarah Connor.
Does Ron look like he’s in a loving mood? Would you trust him to show you what love sounds like? Is that an Uzi he has in his pocket or is he happy to see you? You can’t tell with these cyborgs. Just stay clear, is all I can say.
Thanks to some folks like Bunk Strutts, I have access to some more awful album covers to comment on. Thing is, I will have to make my postings infrequent. Say about once per week. All of my crappy album posts are still listed under the tag “Crappy Album Covers” so you can have a megadose of crappy album commentary and analysis.
First, I will do a couple of albums from my own downloaded collection from all over the ‘net.
Let’s see… If I wanted to break a sublease, and if I didn’t like my landlord, what would I do? Hmmm… Would I possibly invite 500 of my best friends and play my music as loudly and as obnoxiously as I possibly could? I think then that my landlord would show up just as that lady in the rear of the photo is doing, be properly disgusted with us, and kick us out. Maybe even bring a cop along in the process to get us rapped for disturbing the peace.
The album consists of songs that would have made an older generation sing, out of tune, at the top of their lungs (By the Light of the Silvery Moon is an example). In this album they reportedly provide perfect models of such behaviour.
Perhaps the landlord could have fought back and played this album of a dog barking at top volume and that may have scared at least some of them.
Grr-r-records is your label of top quality barking, yelping and growling that you won’t be able to find anywhere else.
Just be careful and don’t play it at 45 or 78 RPM. You’ll get a chihuaua instead, and it won’t sound nearly so intimidating.
I get the feeling that the best this record can do is tell the burglar where you have the home theatre placed.
But you know, if you have one of those really old turntables, you could play it at 16 RPM and you can get a deep-throated grizzly bear or lion sound. Now, we’re talking scary.
Laverne Tripp is the sole proprietor of Laverne Tripp Ministries.
He preaches. He sings. Oh, does he sing! To date he has released 78 full-length albums of his singing.
Pardon the pun, but I find the cover kind of, …, well, … trippy. It plays with your mind, in a way.
It also looks like he’s falling. I hardly feel the impression of being “saved” or being “in God’s presence.” I don’t know if it was one of those ’70s attempts to bring God and religion into the Space Age.
Allmusic.com does not list a single one of his 80 or so albums, and does not mention anything about him. Surely, this is because of the work of Satan.
Tripp still goes on tour around the Southeastern US, and has his own television program on various religious networks and affiliates.
This album is closer to the 1973 listing of the personnel playing in the Jazz group The Stellar Unit. This is either their website, or a fan’s shrine page. I can’t tell.
I think the story kind of goes like this: They were playing in local pizza parlours in Houston, when some guy said, “they sure sound like a stellar unit”.
Curtis Eugene Keen is depicted here with his two marionettes — oh, no, hold on — they’re for real. They are Joe Stroud and Neil Hecht. Their latest lineup adds a female — Peggy Kaye, playing the banjo.
So, we have a trumpet, keyboard, fiddle, trombone, banjo as possible instruments, along with two vocalists (Keen also sings). They play various jazz standardsin the southern US. I am not aware of them being played elsewhere. In fact, I am not aware of any other albums by them.
This 8×10 autographed photo of The Stellar Unit was listed on E-Bay for $3.99. “Shipping and Handling” (whatever that means for an autographed photo) brings the cost up to 10 bucks. I think the seller just wants ten bucks.
I would suppose that they are not sufficiently obscure enough for their paraphanelia to garner high prices.
This next offering is from a supposed Elton John imitator named Dwayne Smith.
It is hard to get the feeling that you are going to make this album the cornerstone of your dance party with a title like “Get Directly Down”.
It is not known who he is or what he does these days. He could get confused with Jazz bassist Dwayne “Smitty” Smith, until you compare the photos.
Dwayne will play weddings and Bar Mitzvahs.
Phallic symbols, their effects, and other weirdness…
|Sigmund Freud once was quoted as saying “Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.” After inventing the idea of phallic symbols, and knowing how much he loved to smoke cigars, there are people who would have disagreed with Freud’s veiled attempt to shield the psychological dimensions of his own smoking habit from public scrutiny. Cigarettes are no different in their role as phallic symbols.
First, I have got to tell you about Tex Williams. You are looking at the album cover for the biggest hit of his career. “Smoke, Smoke, Smoke (that Cigarette) was a #1 hit on billboard for six weeks in 1947, and was the first million-seller for Capitol Records.
Despite the uber-cheesy look of the album cover, it seems that the song is actually an anti-smoking song, but with a certain postwar morbid sense of humor. Scroll down for the You-Tube video (black-and-white, of course).
|Pioneer flautist Herbie Mann is a big name in Jazz circles. He helped get Chick Corea’s career started by having him play with a few of his ensembles. He has enjoyed quite a range of crossover success, with 25 of his jazz albums entering the top 200 pop charts.
The album cover suggests that he has a talent with more than one kind of flute.
|… Just ask Herbie’s taxi driver. He saw everything. He should have first suspected something was up when he picked up Herbie and his GF in a swanky bar in Lower Manhattan, and then they asked to be driven to an obscure Pizza Parlour in Hempstead (Long Island), taking only the side streets.
After about an hour he had to ask Herbie and his lady friend to tone it down a bit because he had to concentrate on driving the car. However it must be said that talent with playing the flute is really a talent the partner has, and not of the possessor of such a flute.
That taxi driver has quite a smirk on his face…
|Jerry Williams, Jr., known to his adoring fans as “Swamp Dogg”, is a soul musician, and has been putting out such music since the 1970s. He has been making records under various monacres since 1954, and has his present name since the 1970s. He continues to make records to this date.
“Rat On!” is Mr. Dogg’s second LP, released in 1971. Swamp Dogg has commented on the relatively recent trend by rap singers to go for names like “Snoop Doggy Dogg”, “The Doggs”, and “The Dogg Pound”. He seems unsure that he had any influence on those musicians.
Tex Williams: Smoke! Smoke! Smoke!
This album was only released in England in 1976, by a Pop/Country musician from Missouri named Jimmy Payne.
Payne wrote hits for the likes of Gary Puckett and the Union Gap (Remember “Woman, Woman”?), Charlie Pride, Glen Campbell, and Tammy Wynette, among others.
He still lives with his wife in Nashville, and he apparently is still recording music. His last CD was released in 2003.
I now have it on good authority that this album was a charity effort. He gave a concert to some high-risk psychiatric patients at Broadmoor, was well received, and gave a chunk of his album proceeds to the cause of mentally handicapped children in England. You would likely be aware that eight years earlier, Johnny Cash had released his album “Live at Folsom Prison”. Payne made his album in the same spirit as Cash. If you want slightly more info, scroll down.
Broadmoor is one of two high-security psychiatric hospitals in England. Broadmoor is located in Crowthorne, just west of London. “The other” famous psychiatric hospital in London, Bedlam, no longer serves high-security cliients, and I hear they no longer charge admission.
This is the kind of needle used to deliver strong anaesthetic, although I’ve seen something like this used to inject basting juice into the meat of turkeys as they cook.
The visual message here is likely to be that if the syringe doesn’t get you, the music will.
Somethin’ Smith and The Redheads were a vocal group that had their heyday in the 1950s with the song “It’s a Sin To Tell a Lie” (#7 on Billboard), off the album “Crazy People”.
And here they are checking in for their treatment. The expressions on the faces of the nurses tell me they have been bad, bad, bad, naughty, naughty boys, and therefore require some special treatment. Very special treatment. The kind of treatment that involves the three of them being tied to a bench in straitjackets.
As part of your treatment, you are supposed to let the nurses muss up your hair.
Don’t ask me what the flagpole is about.
I would imagine that Rae Bourbon (was Ray Bourbon) (1892-1971), who died in prison on charges of murder, has a few stories to tell besides his operation.
Bourbon’s operation was the first sex change operation performed in North America. Newspapers told of the Mexican operation in 1956. Before that, he was a female impersonator, and had appeared in movies with Mae West.
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 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?