Wednesday, 23 December 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho! (Part Four)





I realise that I should be thoroughly ashamed of myself, but I couldn't leave you to enjoy your Christmas without posting this horror, and admitting to you all that I possess not one, but two versions of this atrocity.

Released at the height of the Smurfs fame, it came as both a hard vinyl 7" (backed with a sing-along instrumental) and a one-sided flexi which was available for a limited time for just 10 new pennies. It recounts the tale of how certain Smurf-related toys, which had been widely imported into the UK, were causing all sorts of problems - primarily because the lead-based paint that had been used to decorate the dear little things was highly toxic.

That would probably be reason enough for the disc to find a place in any collection of audio horrors, but it gets better. The record was created by Jonathan King - one time pop emperor, discoverer of both Genesis and 10CC, manufacturer of several huge hits including Everyone's Gone to the Moon, It's Good News Week and Una Paloma Blanca and, of course, a state registered sex offender.

Oh yes! This was recorded by the same man who was sentenced to seven years in prison in November 2001 after being convicted of sexually assaulting a series of teenage boys, aged 14 to 16, between 1983 and 1989. Released on parole in March 2005, King has always maintained his innocence, and over the last few years has released a CD of new material (which attracted even more controversy with one some supposedly about the UK's worst serial killer Dr Harold Shipman) and a volume of autobiography.


Anyway, whatever you choose to believe, here is what I believe must be one of the worst Christmas records of all time. Enjoy, and have a great Christmas!



http://rapidshare.com/files/324914116/Lick_A_Smupr_For_Christmas.mp3

Friday, 18 December 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho! (Part Three)


A bumper bonus for you this week: not one, not two, but three Xmas-themed oddities.

First up a wee video clip for you courtesy of the delightful John Scott Cree who, far from being upset at my including his rendition of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer in our Christmas collection was more than happy to share this with you. John sends his own Christmas wishes to regular WWR fans and especially to Ross Hamilton - the man who brought him to my attention in the first place.





What a lovely man! If you haven't done already, check out his other videos on You Tube.

Now, and again with unending thanks to Ross, another gem of a bad record. I'm Gonna Spend My Christmas With A Dalek was released on Oriole records in the UK just in time for Christmas 1964 - at the height of the first wave of the Dr Who craze - by a band called The Go-Go's (no relation in any way to the 80s hitmakers led by Belinda Carlisle and Jane Weidlin), a semi-professional group from Newcastle, whose ages ranged from 17 to 20. The vocals were sung by youngest member Sue Smith (who put-on a child-like voice and mis-pronounced her 'r's not unlike Morwenna Banks' little girl character from cult Scottish comedy series Absolutely) and a limited amount of copies came in a black and white picture sleeve (see above), showing a cardboard cut-out Dalek frightening gullible passers-by in a London street.

The piss-poor sound effects, incidentally, were not fashioned by the BBC Radiophonic Workshop.




Finally this week one of my all-time Christmas atrocities. Merry Christmas Elvis, by Michelle Cody. I can tell you very little about this abomination, apart from the obvious fact that it was released after August 1977. Just listen, enjoy and try not to choke on your mince pies at the song's saccharine denouement....


I've got one more exceptionally bad Christmas record - released in 1978 by a man who is now a registered sex offender no less - which I hope to deliver to you before December 25. My heart glows with pride at the thought of a number of you downloading these dreadful ditties and ruining what might possibly be the last family Christmas party you ever get invited to!

Saturday, 28 November 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho! (Part Two)


Snaffled from the net a Christmas or two ago, I had fully intended to post this - the second instalment in our countdown to Christmas - last year.



Its hard to know how to describe it: traditional Xmas schlock interspersed with fake news reports, off-key whining kids and a you-can-see-it-coming-for-miles payoff. One thing is sure; it truly is horrible.





Put out by Mercury Records in time for Christmas 1975, the song was produced and co-written by Paul Vance, an extremely successful songwriter/producer whose credits include Brian Hyland's 'Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka Dot Bikini', Perry Como's 'Catch A Falling Star', plus hits for the Cuff-Links and Johnny Mathis amongst a string of others. The singer, one Linda Bennett, was no stranger to the recording studio either, with albums, TV (including and appearance with Ricky Nelson on Ozzie and Harriet) and film credits to her name.


I find it inconceivable that someone at Mercury could have listened to this garbage and though 'mmm...Christmas number one', but I'm sure glad that they did.

Enjoy!



Friday, 20 November 2009

Ho! Ho! Ho!


Welcome to the World's Worst Records countdown to Christmas. The need to celebrate the festive season has caused singers and songwriters to produced a truckload of terrible records, and each week between now and New Year I'll be posting a horrendous ditty for you to marvel at.

First up, in a break from tradition here at WWR, I offer you Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer by Wounded John Scott Cree -as suggested (and kindly donated) by a regular visitor to WWR, Ross Hamilton, who tells me: "It was released on Pye records in 1977. I grew up listening to this bonkers piece of Christmas music after my Dad bought it the year it came out..."

Wounded John Scott Cree, for those who care about these things, is still active today. According to his own website http://myweb.tiscali.co.uk/johnscottcree/ he's a 'comedy singer signwriter (sic) with over 40 years of gigging, telling stories and writing and recording funny songs, with seven kids and a lifetime of cynicism'. Playing live since 1965, Rudolph was originally recorded in 1975 but took two years to place with a record label. says Cree (in his free e-book, A Superfluous Man, available to download from his website) the disc managed a little airplay (enough, apparently for Ross' dad to hear it) with Paul Burnett, Dave Lee Travis and others giving it needle time.

"Tony Blackburn did once and said it was the worst record he had heard all year. That generated my first fan letter from a listener from Yorkshire," Cree writes proudly.

More to come over the next few weeks, but for now enjoy this appalling audio

PS - I've just noticd that the divShare player doesn't appear in all browsers, so here's a link to the Rapidshare download:

Saturday, 7 November 2009

More from Gleneil





Remember our friend Gleneil Roseman? He of Cheapy Chappy and Ito fame (Worlds Worst Records, January 2008):


Well, being the completest record nerd that I am I've yet to give up on discovering more on this man's brilliant career. So far I've managed to uncover precious little more info on our hero, apart from, finally, the complete tracklisting for the Cruise It album.


For those who, like me, can't get enough of this kind of thing the full album consists of just eight tracks, all seemingly self penned, and performed by Gleneil on bass, electric keyboards and vocals, George Reich on guitar and synth and Tom Curtis on acoustic guitar:


Easy Rock/Mr Music Man/Rockin' Chips/Serious Joke/Cheapy Chappy and Ito/Cruise It/How Much Wonder a Little Smile Can Do/Don't You Lose It.


Apparently GRM stands for Gleneil Roseman Music - a vanity project (stands to reason I guess) and there indeed was, as I thought, at least one further album, Soothing (catalogue number GRM 153031). Unfortunately I've not yet managed to find any more audio clips but, thanks to a Japanese trading site I have found the cover and label of the 12" single of Serious Joke/Cheapy Chappy and Ito (above).


If anyone has any soundclips from either album - or if they know of any other Gleneil releases - please get in touch.

Friday, 6 November 2009

For Saddleworth, read Manchester

A wonderfully sick, albeit fairly inaccurate, piece of hokum for you today courtesy of rockabilly singer, occasional actor, TV horror movie host and, apparently, female wrestler Johnny Legend.

Legend has made quite a name for himself over the years as both a musician and through touching on the fringes of the exploitation film industry - with brief associations with, among others Ed Wood Jr, American International Pictures and even Quinten Tarrantino. His story is too long and involved to tell here, but if you need to know more you could do worse than check out

http://www.rockabillyhall.com/JohnnyLegend1.html

True Murders appears to be a self-financed vanity release, I can't imagine for a second that anyone with an ounce of business sense would think to bankroll such a thoroughly distasteful project. Songs about the death of Che Guevara, Bugsy Siegel and the atrocities committed by Ian Brady and Myra Hindley hardly seem likely to attract major record company bucks.

But what the hell. Have a listen to the historically (and hysterically) inaccurate Manchester Moor (there is no Manchester Moor, it was Saddleworth Moor; there were more than three graves involved, although not all of the bodies have been found yet) and enjoy!

(to save file, right click on the divShare logo)


Friday, 23 October 2009

You Silly Savage



















Welcome to the uncomfortably fey world of Teddy and Darrel, purveyors of today's musical monstrosity - Strangers in the Night.

Those of you au fait with with the output of the legendary Camp Records (and if you're not, I'll post some of their ridiculous recordings at a later date) will recognise the modus operandi immediately: the vocalists swishing their way through a well known hit of the day, rendering it suitable for only the gayest of the gay or those idiots who find this sort of thing amusing.

This track, one of a dozen similar cuts on their Mira Records album These Are The Hits, You Silly Savage, (others include These Boots Are Made For Walking and Hold On, I'm Coming made the b-side of the duo's one and only 45, the flipside of which was an appalling meander through the Troggs' classic Wild Thing.

The 'musicians' hiding behind the T&D epithets are alleged to be nascent Hollywood scriptwriter Theodore Charach and writer/producer and erstwhile politician Mike Curb. Shame on them.

(to play Strangers In The Night, click on the arrow on the left of the player below. To download the track, click on the DivShare logo on the right)

Monday, 19 October 2009

A quick question




How are you people getting on with Rapidshare? Would you prefer it if I included an embedded playback/download device on the page (like Divshare, for example) or are you happy to go to Rapidshare to download tracks?




Only asking.....

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Happy Birthday, Part Two


Sorry, sorry, sorry....

I know that I promised to repost some more old World's Worst Records cuts, but life kind of got in the way a bit - what with dashing off to Paris, watching the Pixies in London and trying to keep down a full time job or two I simply haven't had the time to get around to it.

Until now. I did add a snazzy new search engine though (see top right).

The second second Birthday selection cherry picks the best of the 2008 postings, with a half-dozen of my all-time favourites: How Long Are You Staying, Everybody Likes It, Cheepy Chappy and Ito, The Saddest Story, Kinko the Clown and Song of the Burmese Land. For more background info on these try using the search engine - and let me know how you get on with it.

By the way, if anyone out there has a copy of the complete Gleneil album please let me know - I only have a couple of tracks but would love the complete thing.

Incidentally, as I write this 60 people have downloaded the Criswell tune Someone Walked Over My Grave. Which means that there are at least five dozen people out there as sad or as sick as I am. I salute you all and thank you for your support. You've made a happy man very old.

http://rapidshare.com/files/168224280/11_How_Long_Are_You_Staying.m4a


http://rapidshare.com/files/292882740/Everybody_Likes_It.m4a


http://rapidshare.com/files/292884809/06_Cara_Stewart_-_Song_Of_The_Burmes.mp3


http://rapidshare.com/files/292886779/01_Kinko_The_Clown.mp3


http://rapidshare.com/files/292888753/02_The_Saddest_Story.mp3


http://rapidshare.com/files/292891520/Cheepy_Chappy_and_Ito.mp3

Friday, 25 September 2009

Happy Birthday!


I can't believe it's been two whole years since I started this blog. Seems like only 24 months ago...


As a little birthday gift to you all I'm reposting a bunch of early World's Worst Records tracks over the next week; lots of these have been unavailable for download for a while now and one or two people have been asking me to make some of them available again. So here you go. This first bunch all originally appeared on this site in 2007.


I've left a couple out as they're either a bit dull or of dubious copyright (and we don't want to infringe anyone's copyright, do we?), but if there were to be a Best of the World's Worst Records, each of these would deserve a place. Make your own compilation of the best of the first two years if you like, and if there's anything missing that you're after let me know and I'll try and repost that too. Generous, huh?


Thanks for all of the feedback over the last two years, and keep coming back, as I've a veritable untapped goldmine of gloriously wrong records still to post.


Enjoy!


From the very first WWR post, I Want My Baby Back by Jimmy Cross: http://rapidshare.com/files/284738612/Jimmy_Cross_-_I_Want_My_Baby_Back.mp3


You're So Vain, by Jack Klugman and Tony Randall, aka TV's Odd Couple:


If You Were The Only Girl In the World, by Barbara Cartland:


Jesus Put The Stars In The Sky by L'il Markie:


Gloria Balsam's seminal Fluffy:

Mme St Onge, Canada's answer to Mrs Miller, with Prends Moi:

Eli Kaniel sings The Impossible Dream, just for you:

Wednesday, 23 September 2009

The Sound of Excellence


I absolutely love the Halmark stable. Another of the many song-poem labels, Halmark incorporated imprints such as Grand, Chapel and P.R.O.


What sets them apart from the many dozens of other song-poem companies is the otherworldly quality of their productions, caused mostly because, instead of using live musicians - a la Preview, Columbine or MSR - the company instead used a series of recorded backing tracks, or music beds as they're often known for their recordings, utilising the same backings again and again and again.
The fact that Halmark (sometimes incorrectly printed on their own discs as Hallmark) wasn't established until 1967 yet their music beds all seem to have been recorded in the 50s only adds to the overwhelming oddness of their releases. God only knows what the people who sent their dolars in thought when they received their discs back.


This particular ditty, Ode to Our Lady is not, as you might expect, a song about the Statue of Liberty or the Virgin Mary: it's about a recently deceased pooch. Halmark always credited the writer of these peculiar, off-kilter, opuses but seldom gave the performers their due, meaning that unless you've studied their output its difficult to tell who is singing. But as the company relied almost exclusively on just four singers I believe in this instance it's Halmark stalwarts Jack and Mary Kimmell.


Phil Milstein has written an excellent article about his efforts to track down Ted Rosen, the man behind Halmark, which you can read here: http://www.songpoemmusic.com/labels/halmark.htm


Enjoy!


Monday, 7 September 2009

We are all interested in the future, for that is where you and I are going to spend the rest of our lives...




Greetings friends!




As well as having a passion for bad records I lust after bad movies too, in particular the works of Edward D Wood Junior, the actor, writer, producer and director of such cult classics as Glen or Glenda, Jail Bait, Bride of the Monster and - of course - the bad movie to beat 'em all, Plan 9 From Outer Space.



Wood's insane career has been documented elsewhere (and filmed, none to shabbily, with Johnny Depp in the title role), but if you need a recap try http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edward_D._Wood,_Jr.



Ed, like many great directors including his idol Orson Welles, often drew on the same pool of talent for his films. One of his enduring stars was the TV psychic Criswell, famous for his wildly inaccurate predictions. Jeron Criswell King, to give him his full name, found cinematic infamy in Wood's movies, including Plan 9 and Orgy of the Dead. He was a flamboyant figure, with spit curled hair, a portentious speaking style and a wardrobe seemingly borrowed from Liberace. Wood employed the barking mad Criswell primarily because he owned his own coffin, in which he claimed to sleep and which often found its way into Wood's works.



He may be remembered as a failed psychic, but apparently he occasionally got it right: some sources claim that Criswell's most famous prediction was made onthe Jack Parr Program in March 1963, when he predicted that then-President John F Kennedy would not run for reelection in 1964 because something would happen to him in November 1963.



But we love him for something else. The Amazing Criswell passed from this life in 1982, yet some 13 years later his only 45 single was released, the dreadful ditty that is Someone Walked Over My Grave.


And here it is. Enjoy!



Sunday, 30 August 2009

I Want Muscles (sorry Ms Ross)


Here's a real obscurity, a previously unreleased gem from the Joe Meek stable, Muscles by Ricky Wayne.
Ricky Wayne was body builder who later became Mister Universe. He couldn't sing, but to Joe Meek that was never a reason to stop the tapes rolling. Joe issued a 45 by Ricky on his Triumph label (backed by his house band the Fabulous Flee-Rakkers), but this cut - along with several others which have since turned up on compilations - didn't (ahem) make the cut.
Apparently Joe, who as we all know had his biggest hit with Telstar by the Tornados (the first record by a British group to top the American singles charts) but eventually committed suicide after being unable to come to terms with his homosexuality and sliding into depression, alcoholism and violent mood swings, rehearsed a stage show with Ricky, which climaxed in a striptease - some thirty five years before the Full Monty.

Wayne, who also co-presented Joe Meek's weekly slots on radio Caroline in the early 60s, was born Learie Carasco in St Lucia, but emigrated to England in 1960. After his brush with Meek - as Rick Wayne - he wrote numerous articles and books on bodybuilding before becoming interested in politics. He moved back to St. Lucia (where he still resides) and founded the St. Lucia Star and She Caribbean with his wife, former US bodybuilder Mae Mollica Sabbagh. Wayne even served as an opposition party Senator until 1998 when he was removed by then Prime Minister Kenny Anthony for his opposition of a government bailout of the failing St. Lucian airline. Our hero now hosts a politically-charged television talk show, where he is known for aggressive interviews and fiery comments.
A far cry from this drivel.

Enjoy!

Saturday, 22 August 2009

By popular request


A reader of this blog, who rather wisely chose to remain anonymous, asked after the previous post: "Why couldn't we get 'Dig Me A Hole' as well? This is important stuff. We demand action!"
Fair enough. Although it's nowhere near as good, you asked for it so here it is. Sung by Kay Weaver, Dig Me A Hole was written by one Bill Van Gundy, and recorded (as was I'm the Cat) in mid 1977.
Enjoy, you strange person!

Friday, 21 August 2009

Meow


I recently picked up, thanks to a dealer in the States, a pile of song-poem 45s from the late 70s-early 80s that had originally belonged to US radio station WCPC, a Christian broadcasting service based in Mississippi. With a huge proportion of song-poems little more than paeans to God, it's not surprising that a low rent outfit with meagre income would resort to filling their library with music they would not need to pay royalties on, but goodness knows what the good listeners in Tupelo would have made of I'm The Cat.


It's performed by Ralph Lowe, one of the stars of the Columbine stable and, along with label mates Kay Weaver and John Muir (aka Gene Merlino) the singer of literally hundreds (quite possibly thousands) of song poems during his long and eventful career. The wondrous Ralph is also the voice behind such sing-poem classics as Jimmy Carter Says Yes, Disco Dancer You're The Answer, Stop In And Howdy With Me and the brilliantly-titled Grow Up And Go Away.
I had to share this with you. It's everything a song-poem should be. Insane delivery, insane lyrics and a brilliantly wrong backing. Oh, and a spoken word passage, which in my book is always a bonus.
Enjoy!


Sunday, 9 August 2009

Who's the Dummy?

Christian music is world full of weirdness: tons of utterly peculiar releases, as we have seen earlier with L'il Markie. But nothing can prepare you for the bizarre sub-genre of Christian ventriloquism.

I've never been able to get my head around the idea of a puppet singing on a record. Sure, there's an art of sorts to keeping your lips from moving while you've got your hand up a doll's arse but what might work as a novelty on the live stage is a bit lost when you don't actually need the dummy. It's just a fool in a studio putting on a stupid voice.

There are loads of them though: the utterly scary Geraldine and Ricky; Don and Seymour; the Christian Astronauts (honestly - get Googling) and the biggest and most prolific of them all Little Marcy.

Marcy Tigner studied piano and trombone as a child, eventually releasing two trombone LPs under her own name. The committed Cristian was determined to exploit her art to praise God, but apparently there's not a huge market for God bothering trombonists. Undeterred, she hooked up with a small wooden doll, which she christened Little Marcy and, with the gift of her unusual, child-like singing voice, over three decades released around three dozen dopey, odd or downright disturbing albums. This unusual act has been fascinating, inspiring and repelling audiences since the 1960s; the pair appeared on radio programs such as Marcy Tigner's Hymntime and Sing with Marcy, there's a TV special with Smokey the Bear (and, naturellement, an accompanying album) and at least two Little Marcy films.

For more on the Little Marcy phenomenon, check out the exhaustive archives of http://users.vianet.ca/grizelda/marcy/index.html

But, for now, here's Little Marcy singing Devil, Devil, Go Away


http://rapidshare.com/files/265380185/Devil_Devil_Go_Away.mp3

Monday, 3 August 2009

Pick up Thy Dobber and Walk


I'm working my way through another pile of song-poem 45s. As always, a fair few of them are pretty mundane, but there are one or two corkers - including the one I've uploaded for you here. Nice Day is a cheery little ditty from those good people at Preview, written by one Charles Scott and delivered by the always-professional Gene Marshall - who does a cracking job despite the idiotic lyrics:


Have a Nice Day today they say,/It's a real cheer-lobber/It picks up your dobber/It picks up their dobber/It's a cheer-dropper/So pass it on your way, Have a Nice Day
Honestly! Hopeless...although not that far off some of the rubbish spouted by Marc Bolan now feted as art.
Gene Marshall is one of the biggest ‘stars’ of the song-poem industry. A man who has sung on literally thousands of recordings for companies such as Preview and Columbine (as John Muir), under his own name - Gene Merlino - he’s a successful studio singer who has won Grammys, worked with Sinatra and Presley and has even appeared on a brace of Simpsons episodes.

Merlino has had a long association with Hollywood, singing in movies including The Little Mermaid and Beauty and the Beast as well as singing the part of Lancelot in the film version of Camelot. He has coached Bette Midler, has recorded with – among literally hundreds of others - Barbra Streisand, Ray Conniff, Natalie Cole and Elvis (also appearing in Presley’s 1969 film The Trouble With Girls), was narrator on Rod McKewen’s album The Sky and appeared widely on prime time US TV shows including Sonny & Cher and The Smothers Brothers.

His biggest claim to immortality is for holding the record for most songs sung in a single session. Merlino claims to have sung 55 separate songs in a four-hour session back in '69, recording what he always refers to as ‘demos’, for a company (probably Preview) that specialised in song-poems. Merlino estimates that he sang about 10,000 song-poems during the 35 years he was in the business, earning little more than a few dollars a song. Yet his work has become widely sought after in record collecting circles, with several of his recordings appearing on song-poem compilations.

''I guess everybody wants to write a hit song,'' he once told the New York Times. ''It's bred in American culture. I did many thousands of demos, and I don't think any of them - not a one - would have qualified to be a hit.''

People write song-poems about love, God, family, America and current events, from elections to terrorist attacks. ''They don't know anything about music, so they write what they feel,'' he added. ''There's stuff that's poignant, stuff that's hilarious, stuff that's stupid, the gamut of human emotions. But most of the songs were from people writing about their own little world.''

Enjoy another slice of song-poem stupidity

Friday, 31 July 2009

They Bite, the Little Buggers...



Utterly freakin' nuts

Welcome to the strange world of Congresswoman Malinda Jackson Parker - a cut price Nina Simone and Liberian politician much-loved apparently for her unique dress sense, bizarre performance style and kindness to the poor.

Congresswoman Parker loved to sing and play the piano and, thankfully, someone had the foresight to record a handful of her performances, five of which have been available on the peculiarly-titled Tubman Goodtyme Songs of Liberia and, in the best Sam Sacks tradition, each song is introduced by the good woman herself.

According to the Emusic review this “Lovable Liberian eccentric....served a term in Liberia's House of Reps in the '50s during the William V. S. Tubman administration. Musically, the dizzy yet dignified Parker mauled folk songs and addressed societal concerns with a freewheeling half-sung, half-narrated style, while pounding mercilessly on a grand piano. The album offers odes to bush cow milk and palm trees, along with not one but two diatribes against bloodsucking bugs. On "Cousin Mosquito #1" Parker utters the word "cousin" 204 times in three and a half minutes. Madame had independent wealth, was by reports kind, generous and beloved, and was never without a bag of candy to bestow upon street urchins. She dressed flamboyantly, was renowned for an overload of cosmetics and sported a turban festooned with safety pins.”

Fantastic!

Here, for your enjoyment is Cousin Mosquito (Number One). I urge you to seek out the entire album - it's jaw-droppingly brilliant, and worth the price of admission for the spoken introduction to Cousin Mosquito Number 2. Now, how do we pronounce the name of the composer of your favourite piano concerto Malinda? Is that Rattamanoff? Ratamaniov? Ratamaninov?

http://rapidshare.com/files/262172883/Cousin_Mosquito__1.mp3

Tuesday, 21 July 2009

NSFW


Sorry, I know: blogs are like buses - you wait for ages for one and then two turn up at the same time.


I'd almost forgotten I owned this. I picked it up back in the early 80s, and I don't think I've played it for at least 20 years. Back then there was a company in the UK, Oldies Unlimited, who specialised in selling cheap US and European repressings of classic singles. They would often buy in stashes of deleted stock and sell these on in packs - 10 picture sleeve singles for a quid - or from boxes on the counters of service stations, newsagents and other stores. I think I payed the princely sum of 20p for this.
These days Barbara Markay is re-establishing herself in an entirely different field - as you can see from her web site http://www.barbaramarkay.com : Barbara Markay offers music to enhance the journey towards spiritual enlightenment – sounds for the body, mind and spirit (blending) world-beat grooves, sultry flamenco guitar, violin tinged with Middle Eastern influences, occasional new age vocals, and a wide variety of other sounds including pop-oriented electric guitar and ethnic percussion from around the world.


"I try to create music that will help awaken all of us to the calling of the universal rhythmic pulse," explains Barbara. "Shambhala represents the guidance for humanity. There is this wonderful, flowing, positive, totally-organized energy from shambhala that nurtures our whole progression and evolution. That rhythm of life is like a dance to me, and it inspired this music."


That's a royal mile from her earlier forays into the music world. Back in 1980 her self-penned ditty It's All Rite (to Fuck All Night) was a fairly major hit in certain parts of the world, with a heavily censored version managing to make Billboard's European and Disco charts. She continued in the disco porn vein for a while before, in 1985, meeting a meditation teacher and completely changing track.

Still, we still have this - one of the dirtiest - and stupidest - disco records ever. How can you not love a song with such idiotic lyrics as "It's time to stop all this Puritan jive, cause they are dead and we are alive!"? The ridiculous Tijuana Brass horns just add to the maniacal melange.
Go on, download it now. I guarantee you'll be singing "Did you cum, did you cum, did you cum cum cum? La la la la, la la la la, la la la la la" for the rest of the day.
Enjoy.
Update: the original link was broken - you should now be able to enjoy It's All Rite in all it's glory

You Don't Know - You Really Don't...


There's no denying that Orson Welles was a genius. He was the man behind Citizen Kane (quite simply one of the finest and most influential movies of all time), Touch of Evil and a handful of other unmissable films; the man who portrayed Harry Lime in the Third Man and the man who scared the US senseless with his radio broadcast of War of the Worlds.
He lived one hell of a life but, with a plethora of unfinished projects and half-realised films we'll probably never know just how great he could have been. The flashes of brilliance are there, but the canon is chock-a-block with the puerile and pointless too: he 'played' the voice of Robin Masters in Magnum PI, and was involved in endless adverts for wine, sherry and 'probably the best lager in the world'.


But we've not come here to go over the great man's many achievements, nor his cinematic shortfalls. No today, dear readers, I bring you a touch of Wellesian magic - his one foray into the business we call pop. have a listen to his 1984 single I Know What is is to be Young (But You Don't Know What it is to be Old).
Released just a year before the great one snuffed it (on the same day, incidentally, as Yul Brynner), the recording must have taken so much effort that he couldn't be bothered to perform on the B-side. Recorded with the Ray Charles singers and the Nick Perito Orchestra, and released on the long-defunct Splash Records in the UK, it's a slice of ham more suited to Mr Brynner himself, or that other well-known baldie Telly Savalas.
Never mind. His final act may have been to inflict this atrocity on the world but, in 2002, Welles was voted as the greatest film director of all time in a British Film Institute poll of the Top Ten Directors. His light still shines bright.
You can read more about his illustrious career at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orson_Welles

Thursday, 18 June 2009

Now that's just sick, Dick...


Song-Poem fans will be no strangers to the talents of Dick Kent, his inspired vocal deliveries have appeared on such prized poems as Hot Pant and Leather Boots, the original version of Gretchen's New Dish (one of the very few song-poems to be recorded not once, but twice and still sound horrible), the Maker of Smooth Music and the brilliant Octopus Woman, Please Let Me Go.


Dick was one of MSR's busiest staffers, cutting literally hundreds of sides for the company from its inception right through to its demise in the early 1980s as well as for associate companies Songuild, Kay-Em and others, yet little is really known about the man himself. A quick shufti around the interweb led nowhere, and I've yet to track down a photo of the elusive Mr Kent (if anyone out there has one I'd love to see it, but most that I've come across are actually of John Muir/Gene Marshall), but what I can tell you is that Dick Kent, Dick Castle, Sonny Cash, Buddy Raye and Richard House are all one and the same person - whose real name is (or, more likely now, was) Elmer Plinger.


Today's slice of Dick comes from an MSR 45, released around 1976/77 but sounding decades older; in fact this could easily have been recorded at the same time as I Want My Baby Back by Jimmy Cross, dealing as it does with a nigh-on identical subject - the decapitation of a loved on in an automobile accident. The perfect material for a pop song, in fact.


Enjoy!


Tuesday, 21 April 2009

Upset? You will be...


An old favourite this time, one that has been part of my collection for decades. I first became aware of the delights of Mel and Dave's version of Spinning Wheel thanks to the 1978 album Kenny Everett's The World's Worst Records Show (do you see the link here?) that I picked up in Gloucester well over 20 years ago, but it's only recently that I've discovered some more on the recording's origins.
Probably best known for the version recorded by Blood, Sweat and Tears, this particular monstrosity actually comes from reggae's enfant terrible Lee 'Scratch' Perry, appearing on his Upsetter label in the UK (a subsidiary of Trojan, releasing discs between 1969 and 1974). Perry produced the recording; the Dave half of the act is Dave Barker, a singer who has released a string of solo albums along with recording as half of the hit duo Dave and Ansell Collins of Double Barrel and Monkey Spanner fame. The Mel is Melanie Jonas, one of Perry's staff (credited as producer on a number of Upstetters group sessions) who later took the original backing track, added extra organ and released a far superior instrumental version under the name Double Wheel.
But how did three people with such pedigree produce such a turd? Too much spliff in the studio? The singing is inept, out of tune and insane (just the way I like it) and frankly one has to wonder why this nonsense keeps turning up on Trojan/Perry compilations. I know he's a genius and all that, but everyone has an off day - as this proves.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Whatever Happened to Eddie?



My obsession with song-poems can take a back seat today (although I'm now working on a feature for Record Collector magazine about the subject, so expect to hear a few more shockers over the next couple of months) for a little ditty I uncovered a while back but had all but forgotten.





Today I present for you both sides of Butch Patrick's 1983 waxing What Ever Happened to Eddie/Little Monsters. No doubt you'll remember Butch as the cute as a button mini werewolf son of a Frankenstein monster and female vampire (vampiresse? Who cares? I'm still trying to fathom the fuzzy logic of how a green, seven-foot jigsaw of a man sired a werewolf!) in hit 60's TV comedy the Munsters. TV trivia fans might also like to note that Butch made endless other appearances during the 60s, in episodes of The Monkees, I Dream of Jeannie, Mr Ed and as the voice of Milo in The Phantom Tollbooth.





Like many kid actors, Butch struggled to find work once he'd hit puberty and made sod all from the endless re-runs of his finest half-hour (unless you count his one-off appearance in The Simpsons), hence this one-off shot at vinyl stardom; a schlocky, synth-driven pile of predictability based on the theme to the hit show (and released on Rocshire Records) which the gangly former moppet co-wrote and on which he's accompanied by terrible new wave band The Monsters.





Apparently Butch has recorded a second single - It's Only Halloween - which was written by Bill and Ted Golis and released on Park Lane Drive Records in 2007. If his outing here is anything to go by it's got to be worth tracking down.



http://rapidshare.com/files/223148440/01_What_Ever_Happened_To_Eddie.mp3

http://rapidshare.com/files/223149237/02_Little_Monsters.mp3

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Pictorial Supplement #3
















Another collection of the obscure and the downright odd. I'll be posting new tracks over the next few days to make up for the lack of anything for the last few weeks (work, work, work!), but until then....

Thursday, 19 February 2009

Poor little pussy...


I find it hard to believe that I've been putting this blog together for the last 18 months or so and I've not yet posted anything by the Shaggs. Time to remedy the situation.


A favourite of everyone from Frank Zappa to Kurt Cobain, the Shaggs comprised of the three Wiggin sisters, Dot, Betty and Helen (occasionally joined by a fourth sister on bass) teenagers from New Hampshire who had a unique, original musical vision - fostered by their father (a kind of dirt-poor Colonel Parker) - that was complemented by the fact that they could barely play their instruments, at least not by any conventional standards.

Having never seen a live rock band, but having heard their favorite Herman's Hermits and Monkees songs on the radio, the siblings formed a trio playing at local hops to enthusiastic audiences before papa dragged his guileless daughters off to the recording studio. The resulting album, Philosopy of the World (which Rolling Stone's 'Alt-Rock-A-Rama' book ranked among the 100 Most Influential Alternative Releases of All Time) was earnest, authentic and almost unlistenable, with out-of-tune guitars, missed drum beats, wayward vocals and lyrics about everything from pet cats (My Pal Foot Foot) to the eternal struggle between teenagers and their elders (What Are Parents) and, naturally, a paen or two to Christ (We Have a Saviour).


The Wiggin sisters are still alive today but, unfortunately no longer recording, although they did make a follow up a few years later, The Shagg's Own Thing, collected together with Philosophy on an odd, remixed (and now out-of-print) CD from Rounder). Philosopy of the World was reissued by RCA a couple of years back, with liner notes by Irwin Chusid (author of the exceptional book Songs in the Key of Z) and is readily available from Amazon and your favourite music store (but possibly not from Zavvi!)
Here, for your delectation, is My Pal Foot Foot. Enjoy!


Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Seen any dead country stars recently?


More song-poem lunacy; it's a bottomless pit I'm mining here!
I don't know where to start. Is it the virtually comatose singer, the horrendously out of tune stringed instrument plinking away (what is that? An autoharp? A toy steel guitar?) or the shoddy production values that make this such a corker?
Found and purchased recently on eBay during one of my (seemingly endless, often fruitless and occasionally pointless) searches for more song-poem releases, I Saw Jim Reeves Up There appeared on Blu-J records some time in the early/mid 60's I'd guess: Gentleman Jim died in '64, and I would assume that this arrived not long after.
I've been unable to find out anything about the Country Swingers. There are literally dozens of groups out there with the same name and I feel it's safe to assume that the epithet was applied to a bunch of session musos rather than a touring outfit. However Chaw Mank, a name splashed all over the label, is another matter altogether.
Charles "Chaw" Mank Jr. was a songwriter, band leader, silent movie organist, radio host, psychic and fan club operator amongst other things. He was also the co-author of Valentino, the book which inspired the Rudolf Nureyev movie. Oh, and he was a song-poem pioneer too!
Born in Staunton, Illinois (where Blu-J Records was later based), he served as pianist in the Fred Weidner Orchestra, later starting his own group, Chaw Mank's Blue Ribbon Dance Band, who cut several of their own records. He was a prolific songwriter, one of his biggest hits bring Bringing Mary Home, co-written with Joe Kingston and John Duffey and subsequently recorded by the Country Gentlemen, Red Sovine and Ricky Skaggs.
You can read more about his incredible life at:
But, for now, all we're interested in is his time spent running the Blu-J company, part, it appears, of a much larger outfit Jay-Cher Enterprises of Georgia and affiliated with song-shark supremos Globe Recording Studios (the home of the great Sammy Marshall). It's from that period that we present, for your enjoyment I Saw Jim Reeves Up There.

Friday, 16 January 2009

Psychodelic







I can't express the delight on receiving a copy of this hard-to-find gem in the post shortly before Christmas. I've had an MP3 version for a while, but a few years back a small Spanish outfit, Vampi Soul, saw fit to make it available once more (although I doubt if any of the artists involved have seen a peseta!). Apparently only a few of the original 300 or so vinyl pressings of the oddly (or simply dyslexically)-titled Psychodelic Sounds made it out of the box, most having been ruined (legend has it) because they were shrinkwrapped at a meat processing factory!










Released on a private imprint in 1971, Jr and his Soulettes consisted of singer, guitarist and lyricist Harold Moore, Jr. (age 10), aided and abetted by his sisters Vinita Marie (9) on bass and organ, Denise Marshall (7) on drums, and Jacqueln Carol (6) on waw-waw (sic) organ.






It's a truly wonderful album, well worth seeking out. Think the Jackson Five meet Jimi Hendrix, played by the Mini-Pops. That they didn't go on to achieve the mega success of Michael and his brothers is a crime; obviously the US charts were not ready for Oklahoma's own heavily-fuzzed funksters, but when the kids let loose they really can cut it.


Of the 14 tracks on the album the instrumentals are surprisingly good. However, the vocal cuts (as typified in the track I've chosen for you here, the wondrous Momma, Love Tequila) are awful and - in so far as this blog is concerned - worth the price of admission alone.


Enjoy!


Friday, 2 January 2009

More from Cara



Apologies for those of you expecting the promised 'Best of...', before Christmas, but life kind of got in the way a bit. It'll come soon!
Mmmm..what time does the last moon leave? What a question.




It's another gem from the incomparable Cara Stewart. Yes, that's right - she managed to keep going, even after the ignominy of Song of the Burmese Land. This corker, another awesome song-poem (and one which, so far, appears to have escaped the CD compilers), stems from the pen of Henry J Sommers - who also wrote the lyrics to the a-side My Ladder of Dreams. It was released to an unsuspecting world in early 1971 on Advance Records, a moniker chosen by a number of different companies at different times although this particular one hailed from Yucca Street in Hollywood, just a few doors away from the one-time home of one of the greatest of all the song-poem labels, Preview.


It's worth noting the record's credit: Cara Stewart, Vocal, Lee Hudson Orch. Hudson advertised the availability of his 'orchestra' - Hudson's guitar and an orchestra simulated on a Chamberlin a la Rodd Keith but without Keith's bonkers originality - from as little as $16.75 (formerly $26!) in the back of many magazines in the early 60s. Although Hudson never owned a label himself, his productions - accompanied by the 'warm voice of Cara Stewart' - appeared on over a dozen imprints through the 60s and into 1971, when Hudson retired to San Francisco and closed up shop for good.


Enjoy!


For more information on Lee Hudson, check out http://www.songpoemmusic.com/labels/leehudson.htm

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