Famous Teetotalers 013: She’s a little bit country, and he’s a little bit rock and roll

Donny and Marie
Donny and Marie Osmond.

Donny and Marie Osmond have been singing as a brother and sister act since the early 1970s. Both don’t imbibe, and possibly never did, accounting as to why both look so young. They still have their brother/sister act, which they perform mostly in Vegas these days. Marie has liberal views about marriage and out of support for her lesbian daughter, she supports LGBT rights, something not necessarily agreed to by all of the Osmonds.

You might remember that Donny starred in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat back in the ’90s. The Toronto musical eventually went on tour, and had a very successful 6-year run. Andrew Lloyd Webber was so impressed, that he chose Donny again to star in the film adaptation shot in 1999. Both Donny and Marie have been raised as Mormons, living that way their entire lives.

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Crappy Album Covers #240 — Overdone

The Funk/R&B/Disco group Parliament has built thier image on over-the-top costumes and stage settings. Parliament’s 1976 LP “The Clones of Dr Funkenstein” is no exception.

George Clinton seems to be saying “Hey! Who put boobs on this clone?!?”

Manowar, if you have read my last entry on them, were noted for their independent business practices, a more than overt homosexual slant in their depictions of themselves, and really loud concerts (139 dB, it is rumored … the pain threshhold is 120 dB). Their concerts are slightly quieter than planes taking off from an aircraft carrier, but louder than a jet engine. Just remember, that to put this in perspective, a jackhammer is a mere 120 dB. That’s 1/80th the sound energy of a Manowar concert.

Views: 96

Crappy Album Covers #239 — More Exotica (or how does the chick keep her bra on?)

More exotica, yet, due to the surfeit of strapless gowns, strapless brassieres, and strapless halters, we return to the same eternal questions. How do they stay on? Why aren’t the chicks modelling for WonderBra instead of propping up the Exotica industry? In this phot lies part of the answer. The chick couldn’t keep hers on. Crouched and arms folded. Bad sign.

What the heck is Modesto doing wearing cutoff jeans?

But Maya Angelou just keeps this mystery eternal. Angelou is a poet, and this 1957 record is reputedly a poetry reading, perhaps meant to be performed with a dance accompaniment.

Angelou (Born Marguerite Ann Johnson in St. Louis Missouri in 1928) is a person who may well be placed in the category of “lives well-lived”. She is many things to many people: a writer, a peformer, a dancer, a civil rights activist, a university professor, a playwright (also performing in Porgy and Bess). In the late 70s, she wrote many movie scores, and composed for R&B singer Roberta Flack. Her most notable book, “I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings”, is the 5th most banned book in schools in the United States for the years 2000 to 2005, according to the American Library Association. This means that it’s a book children will be spending their saved allowances to put on order on Amazon. When will the censors ever learn?

Views: 96

Crappy Album Covers #238 — Extreme Exotica

Juanita Banana appears to be a major musical comedy act in the French-speaking world. She appears to have been doing this for quite a while.Below is a YouTube video with Juanita Banana. It is completely in French, but I think the visual humor survives translation. It appears that it is someone else lip-synching her, but going by the comments on YouTube, it appears legit.
This is a rare depiction of violence. Is it a fair fight? Girl drops dagger, guy has a bull-whip? But never mind that. The real question on everyone’s mind is: how does her bra stay up?Chaino, born Leon Johnston (1927-1999) was a fellow of questionable origin (I have heard stories that he had been the last born of a nearly extinct African tribe, for example), but what is not questionable was his contribution to the Exotica trend in the late 50s and early 60s. Allmusic tells us he was born in 1927 in Philadelphia.

Reviewers say that his recordings, with Chaino normally as the sole musician in multiple percussion tracks, was once described as being like the best sex you never had. Reissues of his recordings have appeared as late as 2008.

Juanita Banana:

[media id=98 width=400 height=300]

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Crappy Album Covers #237 — Lamers!

There’s Lennon, McCartney;
Elton John, Bernie Taupin;
There’s Bacharach, David;
and Holland/Dozier/Holland;

But do you recall
the most earth-shat’ring duo of all
I’m talking about –
Nimoy and Billy Shatner;
Singin’ with their shiny prose
And like a moss infection
You would even say it grows
People who were non-Trekkies
Used to laugh and call them names
You’d wonder why they’d still make records
‘Cause most of what they sing is lame

I am feeling vibrations …. Ooooh lots of vibrations … ooooohh ahhh. no, wait a minute, I’ll switch off my cell phone, sorry.

My crystal ball tells me, uh, it tells me that, uh, you like to stare down women’s cleavages. There’s a ladies’ lingerie shop in your future. That, and something to do with dressing rooms and pinhole cameras.

Millie Jackson is at it again, with another tasteless record cover. But this one is an artistic masterpiece compared with her earlier entry into this CAC blog.

Views: 134

Crappy Album Covers #236 — More family Bands

The previous version of this posting was accidentally deleted. This was God’s way of telling me that my soul will burn in hell for eternity for making CAC entries, especially those mocking Christian-oriented family bands. Oh well… in for a penny, in for a dollar…
In this photo, the father is illiterate but can sing. So that’s why Little David signs all the contracts and does the legal work in clearing copyrights. He named the band “Little David and Family” himself, knowing that Dad couldn’t read anyway, so shilling a bit for himself won’t hurt.
There is something about family bands that seems to say that the family that dresses together stays together. Even down to the heavy-rimmed glasses. Why don’t they wear Groucho noses while they’re at it?

No info on The Simmons or “The Touch of God” could be found. Clearly most of them look a bit touched.

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Crappy Album Covers #234 — Judgement Issues

The jumpsuit was never a big hit as a fashion item, being more of a centerpiece in prison haute couture instead. Here are the four escape convicts of the lavender and sky-blue wings of a co-ed maximum security prison who call themselves ABBA: Agnetha, Benny, Bjorn, and Anni-Frid, with a Spanish rendition of the 1977 hit “Thank-you For The Music”. A hit record from that album appears below, sung in Spanish.
Abba will likely be the most successful international act to come out of Sweden for a long time to come. Their trademark harmonies, a “wall of sound” style borrowed from Phil Spector, and simple tunes that anyone can sing and relate to, made them the giants in music that they were, with hits that stick in your mind decades after they were composed. The band lasted as long as the marriages: Agnetha to Bjorn and Benny to Anni-Frid. They broke up in 1983, although they have later appeared as a group as audience members for performances such as “Mama Mia!”In 2000, they had reportedly turned down a 1 billion-dollar (US) offer for them to re-unite and do a 100 concert tour. It would have been nice to see them re-unite, but the reasons they gave for not doing it were compelling and reasonable: that they feared becoming similar to the Robert Plant reincarnation of Led Zeppelin: fogeys who are only a cover band for their own material. I hear you, Abba.By the late 70s, they were a bigger money maker than Volvo or Saab, having to date sold over 375 million records worldwide. They are expected to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame some time today, probably earlier today.
Californian classicial musician Terry Riley is here with his 1967 LP “A Rainbow in Curved Air”, his second of 12 records so far. This LP has wound up on many CAC journals, likely because of the placement of the author and title, relative to Terry’s expansive forehead.

Riley performed in many innovative concerts in the 1960s (music for vacuum cleaner and harmonium, and was one of the first to use tape loops in concerts and recordings), and later composed for the Kronos Quartet.

Here is ABBA, with their Spanish hit “Reina Danzante”, which english speakers will also find familiar:

>Dancing Queen (Spanish)>>

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Crappy Album Covers #223 — More Bodily Functions

FYI, this was an album cover released, according to my reliable informants, during the fifties, and was meant to be a gag album cover with no actual vinyl LP inside. If it did have an LP inside, you would hear the tunes listed on the back cover, which consisted of titles such as “Just Sittin’ and Rockin'”, “In the Wee Small Hours of the Morning”, and “At Last”. It may have been purchased at the same joke shop that sold “Half ashtrays” (for your half-ash friends).  A cardboard insert inside explains the gag.
Well, if you are a CAC fan like I think you are, you probably figured sooner or later I would display the Pooh-Man album 1992 cover “As Funky as I Wanna Be”.  Old jokes, re-told on countless blogs I visited that display this CD cover, consist of banter such as “giving birth to a guy with shades must be painful.” And if you hold the record upside-down, well… then we get really gross.

Lawrence Lee Thomas sings the three sacred topics in the Rap Trinity: money, sex and murder. He knows that no rapper has ever lost a dollar singing about those topics, and he’s going to make a mint and wave it in your face, like a good rapper should.

For all the hoopla, I think all the publicity for his album must be coming from blogs like these. This LP never made it into the Billboard Hot 100, but only just made the R&B charts at #38. That being said, this album was the high water mark for MC Pooh, and as far as I can tell, he has never returned to this level of artistic achievement since.

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Crappy Album Covers #220 — Poorly thought-out concepts

This is an awfully dry album cover for the former members of The New Pornographers and Wolf Parade. I mean, a courtroom? In their 2009 album “Enemy Mine”, it is not clear if there is any connection at all between this cover and the album’s contents.

Apart from that, this kind of art might be OK for a newspaper courtroom artist who wants to capture the likenesses of large numbers of people. Unless  your album is about famous or notable court cases, courtroom art is a bad idea.

This album is an improvement over Swan Lake due to the lack of a courtroom image.

Al Jolson was known for his imitating a black singer by covering his face in black makeup, but it appears as though this black guy covered his face in even blacker makeup. But alas, it looks like a wax carving.

Some amusing tidbits: I found a larger image than this in a place called the “Uncyclomedia Commons“. The web page containing the image declares that “This image or article is a copyright violation”. Then in small print, it continues: “Luckily, nobody cares.” The link on “nobody cares” points to an aticle in the “uncyclopedia” called “nobody cares“. The Uncyclopedia is touted as a “content-free” encyclopedia, but it appears to be satire.

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Crappy Album Covers #219 — Beefcake or fruitcake? You be the judge!

Crossing the line between soft porn and insanity, Mike Bones offers us this picture of himself spending time at the Betty Ford Clinic. Honest, he just let one of his buddies play with his camera while he was visiting him, and being too drugged up to notice, a picture was taken of him, desaturated to black-and-white in Photoshop, and made into the cover of his second solo CD, entitled “A Fool For Everyone”, which got released in 2009.

Honestly, I have no idea of the circumstances for the photo. The above idea was competing in my brain with another scenario, that he is photographed here showing the after effects of interrogation, imprisonment and starvation.

Mike Jones was Mike Strallow, lead guitarist of such indie/underground bands as Soldiers of Fortune and The Mighty Flashlight. The Mighty Flashlight looks like it was used in this album cover photo as part of the interrogation, as evidenced by the washed-out image.

Former Italian fashion model and romance novelist Fabio Lanzoni would stand for none of that black-and-white, washed-out photo nonsense. He still looks like he walked off a GAP commercial … the one that might have had the slogan “Everyone in love with themselves”.

Fabio has also appeared in countless movies and soap operas. Not much info on his singing career. If you want to know if Fabio can sing, then buy the album and write me back.

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Crappy Album Covers #218 — Old-School Telephones

Buy this album and you will always be able to see this beautiful photo of a telephone held by someone in a tasteful suit. Yes, I’ll bet you will stare at this one forever.

I’m only saying all this because I’m jealous, of course. Aren’t you, knowing now that Jerry Irby has a hotline to heaven? Look at him smiling! Don’t it make you want to rip the phone out of his hands?

“Yo God! I’m really happy for Jer’! I’ll let him finish, but I just want to say that Millie Jackson has one of the worst album covers of all time!”

Jerry Irby mixed gospel with country music. Bobby Bland mixed gospel with blues and R&B. This 1962 single had Bobby imprisoned for overuse of the depiction of a telephone, just because the word “call” appears in one of the titles.

Bland recorded 30 albums and released around 45 singles over the years between 1958 and 1998.  That is, 45 hit singles out of a total of 120.  During that time, he had served in the US Armed Forces. He has been entered into both the Blues Hall of Fame, and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

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Crappy Album Covers #217 — Too much for metal

The only thing this album has going for it is the “Explicit Lyrics/Parental Advisory” sticker that tells adolescents that these are the only kinds of recordings they should buy.

The Metal parody group Steel Panther currently play weekly in Los Vegas and Los Angeles. They must be metal, because their website overuses gothic fonts and umlauts above every occurence of the letter “o”.

“Feel the Steel” was released in the UK June of 2009, and a few months later in North America and Australia. Previous albums included spoken-word comedy tracks, but this one is just the music. Their website features this CD and sells it bundled with a T-shirt for around 26 bucks. CD is 11 bucks.

Metal, mullets, tattoos and babes the trappings of the CD design for Reel Big Fish’s 2009 CD “Fame, Fortune and Fornication”. The guy on the cover is actually not a member of the band, but Brian Klemm of the group Suburban Legends, wearing the same clothing (or not) as he had on the album cover of “Let’s Be Friends” from the previous year. Klemm acts as a guest backing vocalist on the LP. No one knows who the token female is.

The entire album consists of cover ska versions of songs done by John Mellencamp, Van Morrisson, The Eagles, Tom Petty, and Poison.

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Crappy Album Covers #216 — Stereotypes and other things that bug me

Come to Sweden, “… where the facts of life are stranger than fiction.” “The most permissive state in the world!” (sez the cover) Well, that’s got to mean only one thing, folks. That they’re all a bunch of debauched perverts, and the rest of us uptight Westerners should pass up this film or become debauched ourselves. Oh! Our virgin ears! Our virgin eyes!

I guess no film has ever lost money over simplistic stereotypes.

Avco Embassy Pictures made mediocre to half-decent movies. They filmed The Graduate (1967), and The Producers (1968) for example. Later films included Blade Runner, and This is Spinal Tap.

Avco changed hands and names several times over the decades. The 1968 film “Sweden Heaven and Hell” is not listed as one of Avco’s “Notable Films” under Wikipedia. The “Hit Single” “Mah-Na-Mah-Na” never made the Billboard Top 40 (peaking at #55 in the US in 1969), but was later used on The Muppet Show and Sesame Street.

Don’t remember the song? Oh yes you do! Scroll down, plress “Play” to hear the Sesame Street version on YouTube. It won’t leave your head for a week! I guarantee.

Here are more things that bug me… Bugs!

Hi-Fi bugs are a class of “bug” species that all point to Magnetic North whenever they hear the key of Middle A, as depicted in this real-life nature photo.

Pete Rugolo was born in Sicily on Christmas Day, and has spent most of his life in Califronia. He played in a band with Paul Desmond druing World War II. Since 1949, he was hired as the East Coast music director for Capitol Records, backing and arranging for such notables as Mel Torme, Nat King Cole, and Peggy Lee. During the 60s and 70s, he contributed music to a number of TV shows, including “Leave it to Beaver”, “Felony Squad” and “The Challengers”. His most recent work was for music to the the 1997 movie “This World, Then The Fireworks”, an adaptation of a Jim Thompson novel.

Mah-Na-Mah-Na was on Sesame Street at one time, apparently:

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Crappy Album Covers #215 — Your Miranda Rights

You have a right to remain silent, while Carmen Miranda has a right to sing her fool head off. It almost isn’t fair, is it? Here she is depicted as being attacked by a fruit bowl, and you stand accused.

She’s smiling because she’s hired the best lawyer in the business, and this is how she finances her jewellery.

Portuguese-born Maria do Carmo Miranda de Cuhna (1909-1955) was a Broadway singer and actress, and many believe she was the highest earning woman in the United States during the 1940s. She grew up in Brazil, earning her nickname “The Brazilian Bombshell”.

Below, the Lady in The Tutti Fruitti Hat sings the title track to this album.

Dick Schory and his merry band of percussionists and other musicians made this LP in 1958 or 1959 depending on what website you are looking at. I’ve seen it categorized as Easy Listening and as Space Age Pop. Either one would be possible for that period.

The music has faded into mediocrity (answers.com gives it only two stars and a lukewarm review), but the crappy album cover lives on in our collective memory. This vinyl LP, whose cover depicts Dick Schory crawling out from underneath a pile of percussion instruments, is considered a collector’s item, with Amazon selling a used copy for around $280.00

WARNING: The picture on the Amazon site, on close inspection is of a 1996 German import CD, not a vinyl LP — Not sure if that is something I would pay close to $300 for. A giveaway is the jewel case, but an even bigger giveaway is the “Compact Disc” logo on the back cover. While there is no overt attempt by Amazon to obscure this (it is listed as a CD), Vinyl Renaissance sells the original vinyl LP used for $55.

Carmen Miranda, “South American Way”

Here is an English translation of the same song by The Andrews Sisters:

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Crappy Album Covers #214 — Where they learn to dance

Cuban born Perez Prado (1916-1989) showed himself as the Head Honcho of Mambo University. I guess it was the Latin kind, not the horizontal kind.  During his tenure, Prado was known as the King of Mambo.

Living for most of his life in Mexico, he had a long recording and performing career which extended from the 1940s to the 1970s.

One of his most famous recordings has the unfortunate name of “Mambo #5.” While it’s not on this record, I thought that I would include a video of the original 1950 tune, followed by a cover version of the song (below) done by the Horizontal Mambo Man Lou Bega, performed 50 years later, around 2000. You are guaranteed not to be able to get the Bega version out of your head.

Many of us recognise the name Arthur Murray as being the name behind the international dance lessons franchise. Now, how do you “learn” to dance to Rock and Roll and “do your own thing”?

Big Dave and his Orchestra could be accused of cashing in somehow with some kind of bandwagon, but in fact, Murray picked out the tracks himself, and there was a serious intent to “teach” rock and roll dance to customers.

Speaking for myself, I dance like a 3-legged cow, but if I wanted to pay for dance lessons, I don’t think I would go for something free-form like Rock, but with something more structured that takes somewhat more effort, like tango, foxtrot, or that kind of stuff.

Mambo #5 by Perez Prado

Mambo #5 by Lou Bega

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Crappy Album Covers #213 — More TV and Movies

Cushy job there, Dean.

Dino Paul Crocetti, known as Dean Martin (1917-1995), played secret agent Matt Helm in the 1966 movie The Silencers.

I can’t see Matt Helm’s agency remaining secret if he continues to chase women.

This looks like the second redesign I’ve seen about the movie Peter Gunn. Same artist, same movie.

Views: 120

Crappy Album Covers #212 — The love of self and others

Common wisdom tells us that you must love yourself if you are going to give love to others. Otherwise, if you see yourself as a miserable chump, others will see you the same way, and only other miserable chumps will be your companions.

The first step in loving yourself is self-acceptance. And with that, being yourself. When you feel comfortable with yourself, others will feel comfortable around you, except your miserable chump ex-friends.

This was the self-help cash cow once milked by Samuel George Davis Jr (1925-1990). That being said this former Rat Packer has won 5 Grammies and 5 Emmies.

Cugat is depicted here, humping jumping on the Cha Cha Cha bandwagon that was all the rage in the 50s and 60s, and which has provided a rich source of crappy album covers for my blog.

He’s doing it wrong. He’s supposed to dance with the lady and put the french bread back on the table.

Xavier was born Francisco d’Asis Javier Cugat Mingal de Bru y Deleufo (1900-1990), but his publicist thought “Xavier Cugat” would not crowd out his picture on the record cover.

Cugat was known for his popularization of Latin dance, notably the Rumba, and has earned himself two stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. Before and after World War II, his band was the resident orchestra at the Waldorf Astoria in New York City. His band has also toured with Enrico Caruso.

Views: 111

Crappy Album Covers #211 — Domestic Affairs

If you cook either with electricity or briquettes, this album is not for you. I think there was a decade between the mid-50s and mid-60s where there were a spate of “Music for X” albums for every occasion. Cook with gas? Then buy this record!

Harry Fields (?-1988) graduated from Julliard with a Ph. D., and was a contemporary of George Gershwin. His orchestra played regularly for the American troops during World War II. A nice article on Fields gives more detail.

The father works, as is the expectation of fathers of the albums of this period, but on the domestic front, there is the family he provides for.

If John is a farmer, it crosses my mind that in order to work his many acres of land, he needs hands, which is the expected contribution of his family members. The kids seem a little young to be farm hands, and there are only two women, one of whom have to tend to domestic affairs. The other? Well, none of them look like they could pitch hay.

Anyone get the impression that the land they are standing on is not theirs?


Views: 122

Crappy Album Covers #210 — Music From Space

Not much info on this record, or on who did the recording. The cover of “Soundproof: The Sounds of Tomorrow Today” gives the air, not of a futurstic vision of music, but rather the kind of music composed by aliens. If that is the sound of tomorrow, then it is a future dominated by an alien takeover, where we have to put up with their crappy music, and crappy album covers.For that reason alone, I would find out where the rebels are hiding and join them.

I think that the group (or series) might be called “The Sounds of Tomorrow Today”, because of this next LP …

What can be crappier than a cliche space scene than an album which depicts Santa being fired out of a cannon which he couldn’t possibly have fitted in, and being sent into orbit? In addition, the rocket launcher thingamagig they have there looks like it’s floating in the sky.Once again, “The Sounds of Tomorrow Today”, offering us an album entitled “Adventure in Carols”. Not much info on this one, either.

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Crappy Album Covers #209 — Keyboard Obsessions

There was a period of time that just about every “nerdy” musical act wanted to record something by Burt Bacharach and Hal David. They were the Lennon and McCartney of predictability and commerciality in the 1960s and early 70s.

While they took few artistic risks, it is not to say that they lacked originality. Their catalogue is quite diverse, ranging from “The Story of My Life” to “Do You Know The Way to San Jose?” And anyone who thinks playing Bacharach is easy hasn’t read the sheet music to the song “Promises, Promises”. Dionne Warwick sings it best.

Dick Hyman, that fella with that unfortunate name, certainly likes to tempt us, with both his name and the album title.

I included this 1965 record because in my last posting, I had “The Man From UNCLE” as a CAC, and now this. If this is a depiction of a spy, he looks like a very tired spy.

Views: 111