Tuesday, 29 August 2017

The Sound of Muzak

Although I have a had a copy (well, an MP3 rip) for a number of years now I had always assumed that Beatle Songs by Joah Valley was a send up. Apparently not.

Issued in 1980, this album – which features 11 whacked-out covers of Beatles’ classics plus a reasonably straight reading of Puccini’s Nessun Dorma - first came to my attention via Wfmu around a decade ago. I thought that I had featured a track from this record back in 2011, on a post about bad Beatles covers, but (again) apparently not. Allow me to make amends here.

Also known as The New Wave Sound of Joah Valley, the album was only available through mail order direct from Joah himself. There’s a note on the back cover, offering a gift to the first 25 people to notify Joah of any store or P.O Box trying to flog copies of the record. I would imagine there are at least 24 unclaimed prizes gathering dust on a shelf in Los Angeles.

If you think that the cover looks exactly like a Columbine compilation, that may not be such a surprise. Several correspondents have suggested that his real name is/was Andrew Clyde Diltz, and a ‘songwriter’ of that name began his career in music in the 1940s. An A. C. Diltz copywrited a number of compositions in 1946, including Evening Star, I Walk With You, A Song of Your Love and The Wanderer, and during the 1950s he was still writing songs and submitting them to song-poem companies. In 1955 he and his brother Cecil wrote and copywrited the song I’m Sending You My Love, and he’s credited as writer or co-author on a number of songs recorded and released by the Vellez song-poem outfit, including Kibble Kobble (The Flying Saucer Song) and The Lean Green Vegetable Fiend (From 'Tuther Side Of The Moon), both of which were recorded by Jimmy Drake, a.k.a Nervous Norvus.

Now, although others have suggested that these two are in fact the same person, I’m not entirely convinced. An Andrew Clyde Diltz died in California in 1966, and our Joah was still working in California in 1980. Andrew Clyde Diltz was a commercial artist and cartoonist by trade, and I believe it was he that wrote novelty songs in the 50s. Joah Valley could, of course, be a relative. In his obituary brother Cecil is listed but no children are mentioned, which makes me think that if Joah’s real name is indeed Andrew Clyde Diltz then he has to be, at best, a nephew if he is related at all. I also believe that our Joah would have been far too young (if, in fact he had even been born at this point) to have been writing songs in the 40s and 50s.

In 2008 the album’s producer Garry Goodman, commenting on the Wfmu blog, confirmed that Joah was indeed a stage name and that his real moniker was Clyde Diltz (this info also appears on Discogs). Have Andrew Clyde and Clyde become confused? Perhaps there's no connection at all outside of a similar name. Maybe someone out there knows for sure?

Anyway, on to the music. Here’s the vaguely discofied Things We Said Today and Joah murdering the greatest album opener of all time, I Saw Her Standing There.


Enjoy!

Download Things here


Download Standing here

2 comments:

  1. Both song are "I Saw Her Standing There". Great site by the way!

    ReplyDelete

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