Friday, 21 October 2016

Keep It Under Cover

As mad as it may seem, in 1966 a man wearing a ski mask appeared on The Merv Griffin Show (a syndicated talk show started in 1965) on American TV singing a terrible song called The Covered Man. No, it wasn’t Batman or any of his on-screen villains, nor was it the mysterious masked vigilante El Kabong – no, our covered man would go on to become one half of TV detective duo Husky and Starch, and score several international hit singles in the 1970s. Yes, the covered man singing The Covered Man was in fact David Soul (born David Solberg in 1943).

It seems it was Merv’s idea that Soul wear the ski mask, and Merv – as producer/mentor/manager of the young actor – refused to let him rake the damn thing off. The idea seems to have been that people would have been too distracted by Soul’s good looks to take him seriously as a folk singer.

Seriously?

Soul made 25 appearances on the Merv Griffin Show with his balaclava in place. Poor thing. Unmasked he would go on to appear on Flipper, Star Trek and many other TV shows before landing the role that would make him famous, that of Detective Ken ‘Hutch’ Hutchinson on Starsky and Hutch, a role he played from 1975 until 1979.

Now living in London with wife number five (he’s admitted in the past to having beat wife number three – Patti Carnel Sherman who was formerly married to teen idol Bobby Sherman - whilst she was seven months pregnant and while he was dealing with alcoholism), Soul is still acting and occasionally turns up on the West End stage and on TV. He starred as TV talk show host Jerry Springer (a kind of proto Jeremy Kyle for you younger readers) in the stage show Jerry Springer the Opera, which was also broadcast (amid much protest) by the BBC.

The backing band on this single (and, apparently, two more released by Soul on MGM) was the Blues Project, featuring Steve Katz who later went on to form Blood, Sweat & Tears, and Al Kooper, the famed session musician who has played with Bob Dylan (that’s him on organ on Like a Rolling Stone), Gene Pitney, the Rolling Stones The Royal Teens (he plays guitar on Short Shorts), The Who, Alice Cooper and countless others.

Still, here are both sides of David’s outings as The Covered Man: The Covered Man and the Charles Aznavour song I Will Warm Your Heart.

Enjoy!




Top image half-inched from 45cat.com

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