Saturday, 7 May 2011

Grace Pauline Chew, I Love You

Following leads given by various WWR readers after I posted two earlier 45s penned by the gloriously inept Grace Pauline Chew, I recently tracked down (again, courtesy of GEMM) another hysterically awful single from a woman who has, for me at least, become the goddess of bad records.

This particular pair of peculiar ditties, Could You Would You and Moon Crazy was released on Bingo Records in 1958. Bingo was, unsurprisingly, registered at the same Philadelphia address that was home to Art Service Music, the distributors of both the Musicart and Silver-Song labels, and home too to Grace Pauline Chew, her husband and son. The Planets, the act credited with this dreadful, positively atonal performance, are clearly Hank and Jimmy, who had previously performed Grace Pauline Chew's seminal Your the Only One For Me on Musicart.

Both sides are perfectly dreadful. On Could You Would You The Planets are listed as being accompanied by 'Cha Cha, solovox and piano'. Whatever the 'Cha Cha' (their capitals, not mine) was, it appears to be mercifully silent; the solovox was a primitive, three-octave monophonic keyboard which employed vibrating metal reeds and an oscillator to create a vibrato effect. I love the fact that, although the unnamed solovox player makes several mistakes during this recording, no-one bothered to put him straight or decide that a second take was necessary. Given the quality of the sound coming out of the piano it has to be the same, discordant instrument employed on nearly every other one of Grace Pauline Chew's masterpieces. You have to wonder if the great lady herself sat at this omnipresent instrument during these obviously chaotic recording sessions.

The b-side, Moon Crazy is, for me, the prize: woeful, out of tune vocals from a pair of male singers often singing completely different words to each other; someone kicking a bass drum out of time; what sounds like a pair of castanets (possibly the missing Cha Cha from side one?) being thrown about with gleeful abandon and, to cap it all, a whistling solo so tuneless and inept that it would make Roger Whittaker turn in his grave (if he were dead, of course!)

I've said it before, and no doubt I'll say it again, but truly this has to be one of the worst records ever made if not The World's Worst Record. And god, I love it.

Enjoy!



5 comments:

  1. is it me? but i actually like this

    ReplyDelete
  2. Moon Crazy is embedded twice: I'd love to hear the a-side too! Also is it possible to download these songs? DivShare "link to mp3" doesn't seem to work..

    ReplyDelete
  3. Hi Ubunoir,

    That link is fixed now. To download all you need to do is click on the Divshare logo on the right of the embedded player; that should take you directly to the Divshare download page.

    If that's not working for you let me know and I'll repost using rapidshare or another filesharing site. Failing that, send me your email and I'll send you the tracks.

    Best,

    Darryl

    ReplyDelete
  4. Two comments: I can find neither Grace Chew nor "Moon Crazy" anywhere (and the promise I have from "Could You Would You" intrigues me), and the file here doesn't seem to be functioning. The other? In case I'm not mistaken, and this is so far a George Husak-free zone, here is a link to the inimitable crooner not just of "I'm Surfing," but an entire album (split with his brother Charlie). http://blog.wfmu.org/freeform/2009/05/george-w-husak-mp3s.html

    ReplyDelete
  5. Moon Crazy is embedded twice: I'd love to hear the a-side too! Also is it possible to download these songs? DivShare "link to mp3" doesn't seem to work..

    ReplyDelete

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