Friday, 3 December 2021

Christmas Cavalcade 2021: Part One

Welcome, everyone, to the first installment of this year’s Christmas Cavalcade. Yes, it’s December already, which means that every blog post between now and Christmas day will be given over to the discussion, and appreciation, of terrible yuletide tunes.


And what better place to start than with a magnificent Christmas collection from song-poem giant M.S.R.?


For those of you new to, or with just a passing acquaintance to, the genre, song-poems are paid-for recordings, where amateur lyric writers are encouraged, usually through semi-display advertisements in the small ads, to send in their scribblings (alongside a rather meaty money order, naturally) to companies who promise to turn them into potential hit singles. M.S.R. (the initials stand for founder Maury S. Rosen) is one of the giants of the song-poem world, and alongside Preview, Columbine and Halmark one of the most productive of all of the song-poem stables, producing in excess of 3,000 45s and 300 albums over its lifetime.


The tracks today come from M.S.R.’s 1975 Christmas Album, 16 songs from thirteen different writers (Thomas Guygax Sr., Mabel M. Jost and Nana Smith all contribute two lyrics apiece) issued, unsurprisingly, in late 1975. Nana Smith, who clearly forgot to send in her photo alongside her cheque, is the only author not featured among the baubles on the cover. The tracks are performed by the Sisterhood, M.S.R.’s go-to all-girl vocal group, which consisted of regular M.S.R session singers including Bobbi Blake. She also recorded as Bobbi (or Bobbie) Boyle, but I‘m not sure if that’s the same Bobbi Boyle from Encino, California who recorded a number of songs and appeared on the soundtrack to the Incredible Two Headed Transplant.


I’ve chosen to share a few tracks with you today: to be honest, like most of the Sisterhood alums this collection is a mostly dull affair, with that horrid washy synth sound that permeates M.S.R. productions from this period, but here are three of my favourites, Earl Wyer’s silly Those Elves Have Got To Go (the highlight of the album for me), Thomas Guygax Sr.’s typically wordy and peculiar During Evening and the Christmas Wish, written by Ken Cummings.


if you like these and want more, obscure music collector Sammy Reed posted the entire album on his blog a couple of years ago and it’s still available to download.




Download Those Elves HERE

Download Evening HERE

Download Wish HERE

Friday, 19 November 2021

There's A New Sound

Here's a classic I've not included on the blog before, despite having written about the artist on the B-side... and it also gives me a good excuse to look into the work of pianist, composer and music teacher Anthony Tamburello.

Known professionally as Tony Burrello and Tony Burrell, Tamburello is probably best known around these here parts for his novelty release There’s a New Sound, the flip side to the Leona Anderson (incorrectly credited at Leonna) classic Fish.


Issued in 1953 on their own Horrible Records, There’s a New Sound and Fish were both written by Burrello and Tom Dwight Murray, although Burrello had been writing (both solo and with Murray) since at least 1950, while still working as a teach at New York’s Anthony Scotti School of Music, Drama and Dance.


Murray and Burrello (variously credited as Burrell or as Anthony Tam Burrello) had worked together for several years, with a slew of novelty songs to their names, including Pastafazool, I Didn’t Want To But I Did, and Fulton’s Folly Blues. But major success eluded them, until There’s a New Sound gave them the breakthrough they had been looking for. Time called the song 'an unrelenting and fairly unforgettable satire on such gimmicks as echo chambers and dog barks', and reported that, after an intial pressing of just 500 copies, the pair had received orders for 100,000 more. In August 1953 Billboard reported that the pair were now in great demand, and ‘experiencing a windmill of activity’. Soon they were writing for Tony Bennett, and they even turned their hands to writing commercials, penning several tunes for Coca Cola.


The duo continued to work with Leona when she moved, first to Columbia Records and then to Unique, with Burrello co-writing Limburger Lover (with Simon) and Rats in my Room with Murray. In the same year as …Worms, Murray and Burrello had also written God Bless Us All, a sugary-sweet kiddie ditty recorded by a number of artists including Spike Jones (with vocals by George Rock), Brucie Weill, Jimmy Boyd, Mollie Bee and Baby Pam. and covered in the 1980s by NRBQ.


The following year, Burrello and Murray composed How Do You Want Me To Sing My Love Song?, a novelty for singer Larry Foster on which Foster imitates several big-name singers of the time, including Nat “King” Cole, Al Jolson and Perry Como. The flipside, A Trip to Hollywood, featured Foster imitating a number of movie stars, including Edward G. Robinson, Cary Grant, and Jimmy Stewart.


Burrello (rear right) with Murray
After working with Leona, Burrello moved back to his first love, jazz, issuing several albums including Jazz a la Waller, on the tiny Manhattan Productions label (also available on Cambridge Recordings as Salute to Fats Waller) with his own Tony Burrello Trio, as well as accompanying Broadway star Pat Northrop on the LP I Love New York. In the late 1950s the Tony Burrello Trio issued at least two 10” LPs, Selections from Oklahoma and South Pacific and The Songs Of Hoagy Carmichael, on the British budget label Solitaire, which appear to have been licensed from the US owners of the masters, rather than recorded in Blighty. He continued to work with Tom Murray however, the duo writing material for singer Jerry Vale (for his 1963 season at New York’s Copacabana club),


Under his given name, Burrello has achieved lasting fame with cult TV fans and library music aficionados by composing the instrumental Party Dress, a tune featured in Arrival, the opening episode of the Prisoner, but which first turned up on a Chappell Recorded Music 10” in 1957.

After a long and varied career, which included time in the studio with Sinatra and tours with Tony Bennett, Tony Burrello died in September 1992.


For an insight into Tony’s work in the novelty field, here he is with the magnificent There’s a New Sound, plus Baby Pam and the sickly God Bless Us All, and Larry Foster with How Do You Want Me To Sing My Love Song?




Download Sound HERE

Download Bless HERE

Download Sing HERE

Friday, 12 November 2021

The Rudest Man in Britain

Three years ago this very week we broadcast the very first episode of The World’s Worst Records Radio Show. It was a stumbling and shaky start, but I have now presented more than 150 episodes, or 150 hours if you will, of tortuous music over the ether, in excess of 2,300 different songs of varying degrees of awfulness.


Looking back over those early programmes, I see that there were a few discs in that first show I have not featured on this here very blog, so I shall start to rectify that right now. Today I present for your edification a serious rarity, both sides of the 1953 release from British television celebrity Gilbert Harding and actress Hermione Gingold, It Takes Two to Tango and Oh Grandma!


Harding has become a bit of an obsession for me: an irascible cove who was known as the rudest man in Britain, but underneath the gruffness was a severely troubled and lonely man, who spent his life caught in conflict between his deeply held religious beliefs and his homosexuality. So wrapped up in his life I became that I included his story in my recent book, the Velvet Mafia.


Harding was not an actor, a comedian nor a presenter but his presence would guarantee any TV show vast audiences; the term ‘television personality’ was coined specifically to describe him. The irascible former policeman/teacher/journalist gained an unprecedented level of fame as a panel game juror (he also appeared, as himself, in the Cliff Richard vehicle Expresso Bongo), but few outside of Harding’s immediate circle knew that he was homosexual and, as he put it in his last interview, ‘profoundly lonely’.


Harding broke through at a time when the BBC had the monopoly on British media, controlling the radio airwaves and maintaining the country’s only television channel (Independent Television did not begin broadcasting until 1955). His face, and his voice, was broadcast to millions of homes each and every week, but he was a complex, unhappy man. His struggle to reconcile his sexuality with his Catholic faith caused him to drink heavily, and his stint in the police force made him acutely aware of the inhuman way the law of the land dealt with people like him at that time. He also lived in constant fear of being blackmailed.


Loved and loathed in equal measure, Harding struggled with his fame, calling himself ‘an over-employed phoney’, and he suffered from debilitating stage fright that, like his battle with his sexuality, he relieved through alcohol. By 1957, fed up with fame, he was begging the BBC to cancel What’s My Line?, the very programme that had consolidated his status as Britain’s favourite curmudgeon. ‘I hate being made to jump through the same old hoops,’ he told friend and neighbour Godfrey Winn over supper one evening. ‘I hate being regarded by the public as a circus act.’


In London Harding’s closest friend was the columnist Nancy Spain, and the pair were regularly seen at the Golden Guitar Club, a bar frequented by the LGBT media and that was co-owned by Larry Parnes. Harding was envious of Spain’s ability to live openly with her lover, Joan Werner Laurie. The women were accepted as a couple among their friends, although occasionally stories about a romantic entanglement between Harding and Spain would surface in the press, a sheen of faux-respectability that kept the tabloids and gossip magazines off their tail.


Harding was a man divided: often petulant and testy, he was also enormously kind and generous and, although he tried to keep his sexuality secret from his adoring fans, he was not always so circumspect. When in the mood, Harding would drop in at the nearest pub and drink until well past closing time, invariably accompanied by a group of young male ‘friends’. One day, Harding was in Edinburgh to record an episode of the popular radio show Round Britain Quiz. About an hour before the show was due to go on air, he rang the studios in a panic: he could not leave his hotel room as he had no clothes. His entire wardrobe had vanished. Harding could hardly admit that the young man he had taken back to his room had robbed him, taking everything including his wallet, his luggage, the clothes he had been wearing and the script for that afternoon’s recording.


Another incident occurred in Bristol, when Harding became involved in an animated and noisy argument with another young man he had picked up. His friend Eric Dehn, a broadcaster who had for many years taught in Bristol, managed to deal with the demanding youth, an angry pub landlord as well as unimpressed and unaccommodating hotel staff, and keep Harding’s name out of the newspapers, which would often use coded language when reporting on the exploits of the ‘confirmed bachelor’ who ‘shunned the company of women’.


Although he had worked at the BBC since the war, Harding was starting to become a liability. As one producer put it: ‘A time came when we at the BBC began to wonder how much longer we could go on displaying this drunken homosexual like a freak at a sideshow.’ The last line in his ghost-written autobiography, Along My Line, was the gloomy ‘I do wish that the future were over.’ He spent the last eight years of his life in Brighton, with a chauffeur, his loyal secretary Roger ‘Podge’ Storey, a housekeeper, his beloved dogs and a budgerigar. After Harding’s death many of them sent reporters to Brighton to sniff out scandal: they returned having made barely a scratch in their notebooks.


A few weeks before his death, Harding had been grilled about his personal life by the former Labour MP John Freeman for the TV series Face to Face. Britain’s rudest man was reduced to tears when discussing the death of his mother and admitted to the interviewer that he ‘should be very glad to be dead’, but he refused to be drawn on his sexuality, talking vaguely about living in ‘a cloud of sexual frustration’ and admitting that he thought himself impossible to live with. With the partial decriminalisation of homosexuality still seven years away, no one of his standing could have been open with the public about their sexuality without ruining their career. Freeman later referred to him as ‘just about the most deeply miserable man I have ever encountered’.


On 16 November 1960 Harding collapsed on the steps of Broadcasting House shortly after completing a recording of Round Britain Quiz. His chauffeur attempted to revive him, but he died on the spot from a massive heart attack, aged just 53.


Born in December 1897, Hermione Gingold an English actress known for her sharp-tongued, eccentric character. Her signature drawling, deep voice was a result of nodules on her vocal cords she developed in the 1920s and early 1930s.


After a successful career as a child actress, she later established herself on the stage as an adult, playing in comedy, drama and experimental theatre, and broadcasting on the radio. She appeared in dozens of films, including the wonderful Bell Book and Candle, and was a frequent guest on television chat shows and situation comedies. She also appeared on stage on both sides of the Atlantic, and was a member of the original 1973 Broadway cast of Stephen Sondheim's A Little Night Music.


She died from heart problems and pneumonia in Manhattan on 24 May 1987, aged 89. Her autobiography, How to Grow Old Disgracefully, was published posthumously the following year.


Here are both sides of the pair’s Philips 78, It Takes Two to Tango and Oh Grandma!




Download Tango HERE

Download Grandma HERE

Friday, 5 November 2021

Down, Down, Down to St Helier

This week I would like to introduce you to the late singer, composer, author and tutor Bob Anthony. I am hugely indebted to Richard Heath and the Jersey Evening Post for a good chunk of what follows.


Born in South Africa as Thomas Coleman-Gloss, Bob Anthony, the man behind the 1975 classic Jersey… Ile d’Amour, was a regular in the Johannesburg club scene and was a member of the army’s Entertainment Corps, under the stewardship of sitcom and Carry On… legend Sid James.


In the early 1960s he moved to London to find fame and fortune. He changed his name by deed poll to Robert Anthony, and met his second wife, Marie, who was working in a club. ‘We aren’t 100 per cent sure why he changed his name,’ his daughter Angela told Richard Heath, a reporter from the Jersey Evening Post, in 2017. ‘But he probably thought Tommy Gloss was a bit cheesy. Robert Anthony had much more class about it, although he did become known as Bob.’


Bob became a regular on the capital’s club circuit, and in 1962 he began to teach singing to other hopefuls. By the end of the 1960s he was running a training school for singers, the London School of Modern Singing, which had its own Singers Variety Club attached. Bob and members of his school made their first appearance on TV in May 1970, on the London Weekend show Do Your Own London (presented by Eric Thompson, father of Sophie and Emma, and producer of the UK version of the Magic Roundabout) and they held regular Sunday afternoon sessions at the Horseshoe Hotel on Tottenham Court Road. He also penned a guidebook for people hoping to break into showbiz, Singing to Stardom.


Having released his first 45 in 1969 - the self-penned 24 Hours to Prove It backed with the Only Thing Wrong With Me on President Records - in 1973 Bob issued his first album, We’d Like to Teach You to Sing, an audio course for singers, complete with an instructional booklet penned by Bob himself. Yearning to go back on stage, he also came up with the rather clever idea of accompanying himself via remote control: performing with Mary the Magic Organ - an ingenious set-up where his pre-programmed Yamaha organ was happily playing away on stage - Bob would walk around the audience, using a home-made device to switch between himself, the organ and a tape deck. He became a favourite at Butlins in Bognor Regis, and soon moved his family there.


Bob and the family travelled a lot, and in the summer of 1974 he first went to perform on Jersey. ‘I remember when I was six or seven we went to Jersey on holiday as dad was playing there,’ Angela told Richard Heath. ‘He was playing at a hotel called the Woodlands. He loved the Island so much and spent a few summer seasons performing there. It was long enough for him to fall in love with the Island and write an album about it. He was very enthusiastic about it and put his heart and soul into it. He always spoke very fondly of Jersey and you only have to listen to the lyrics to see how much research he did about the Island.’


Bob was Woodlands’ resident singer for the summer season of 1975, and despite the hotel keeping him busy he clearly had enough free time to explore the island, penning songs about the sights (and sites) he saw along the way. The resulting album was the self-produced, self-funded and self-released classic that is Jersey… Ile d’Amour. Recorded at Basing Street Studio, in London, Jersey… Ile d’Amour is a 12-track song of love to the island, and Bob had a hand in everything, right down to the cover art.


Bob had planned two albums to follow the success of Jersey… Ile d’Amour, and in April 1976 the Stage reported that he had been working on material for one LP about the other major Channel Island, Guernsey, and one about London. The Guernsey album does not appear to have materialised, but around 1977 he issued his third album, The Magic of London. Half of the tracks were Bob’s own songs, with the rest of the album made up of traditional cockney singalongs and pub standards. the back of the sleeve boasted that Bob was a Guinness World Record holder, having twice held the World Non-Stop Singing record, first in 1969 (over 24 hours) and again in 1973, when he more than doubled his previous record at 50 hours. His first release, the 1969 single, the appropriately-titled 24 Hours to Prove It, had been credited to 'Bob Anthony - 24 Hour World Singing Champion'. 


In 1978 he released his last record, a 45 on the Bognor-based independent label Regis Rose Records, Mama Light a Candle for Me backed with Christmas in London. The A-side, composed by Bob, was apparently the winner of the 1978 Nice Song Festival. The following year, he finished an epic 153-hour and ten minutes continuous solo singing marathon – beating the world record he had set twice previously.


After a period working as a timeshare salesman in the Canary Islands - according to his daughter, Bob also recorded an album about his time on the Islands, The Magic of Tenerife and Gomera - Bob retired from the stage to spend more time with his family. He died on 13 December 2008, aged 87. For years he had suffered from a degenerative brain disorder that left him with progressively less movement and speech, and during the final year of his life, he hardly moved or said a word.


One day, a nurse at his care home put on Frank Sinatra’s My Way, the same song Bob had chosen as the closer for the Magic of London. ‘Dad suddenly stood up and sang along and then just sat back down again,’ Angela recalled. It was the perfect ending for a man who had done it his way his entire life. In 2017 Jersey theatre group Plays Rough wrote and performed several pieces inspired by Bob’s masterwork.


Here are a couple of tracks from the utterly wonderful Jersey… Ile d’Amour: Down to St Hellier and Au Revoir Ile d'Amour. Enjoy!

Download Helier HERE

Download Au Revoir HERE

Friday, 29 October 2021

Nasty Little Record

It is not unusual for a sports star to flex his or her vocal cords, and over the years it seems that almost anyone who has enjoyed a modicum of fame on the sports field has been coerced into the recording studio. And thank goodness for that, for without singing sporting celebrities this blog would have petered out long ago.


Some have produced something listenable – although I really am struggling to think of an example right now – but, and let’s be honest here, most are downright despicable. As is the effort I bring you today, with both sides of the 1987 single by tennis bad boy Ilie ‘Nasty’ Năstase, Globe Trotter Lover, and Pour Être Un Homme (To Be a Man).


Born in 1946, in Bucharest, Romania, Năstase was one of the world’s top players during the 1970s, and the World No. 1 1973 and 1974. He is one of only six players in history to win more than 100 ATP professional titles, and has won seven Grand Slam titles, four Masters Grand Prix year-end championship titles, and seven Championship Series titles. In 1991 he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame, and in 2005, Tennis magazine ranked him as the 28th-best player of the preceding forty years. Pretty impressive. He’s also a major sleaze bag, reprimanded for inappropriate comments towards female tennis players (including the former Mrs. James Bond and World Number Three women’s singles player Pam Shriver), racist remarks towards Serena Williams’ then-unborn baby (at a press conference Năstase was heard to say, ‘Let’s see what colour it has. Chocolate with milk?’), and for calling Johanna Konta and Anne Keothavong ‘fucking bitches’. These last few acts finally led to his suspension from the World tennis Federation. The following year he was arrested twice within a six-hour span for drink-driving, and for driving through a red light.


The failed mayoral candidate can’t sing, either. Although in all fairness he doesn’t even attempt to sing on the B-side, simply reeling off the words in a matter of fact (or is it ‘can’t be arsed’) style.


The disc was recorded and released specifically for the French market; with both sides co-written by French songwriters Hervé Faure Lacaussade and Mario Santangeli, and produced by French musician Christian Delagrange. Financed at least in part by his sponsors Adidas, I haven’t tried too hard to translate the lyrics, but the A-side seems to have been based on Năstase’s biographer’s claim of his having slept with 2,500 women. The flip side is some tossed-off nonsense about how hard it is to be a man from his hometown. Perhaps. Do you really care? He certainly didn’t, complaining to one interviewer that, ‘They put it together, I said I cannot do this.’


Bizarrely, this horrible little disc, which took Năstase two whole weeks to record, reached Number Three in the French pop charts, and ‘Nasty’ was asked to appear on several TV shows to promote the disc. In June 1987 he appeared on the well-known entertainment show Champs Elysee, where he actually performed the song live, accompanied by dancers and a small choir. By the time it became a hit he must have softened to the idea, telling the host of the show that ‘A friend from Adidas asked me to do this. At first, I thought it was weird, then I liked it.’


See what you think.


Download Globe HERE

Download Pour HERE

Friday, 8 October 2021

Have You Heard the Fut?

It is the ninth of October tomorrow, the day that would have been John Lennon’s 81st birthday. On next Wednesday’s World’s Worst Records Radio Show I shall be playing an hour of Beatle-related nonsense in tribute to the great man, my first and most enduring musical hero.


The hour is made up of song-poems, bad cover versions, Beatle novelties and some of the most dire tribute discs you have heard in your life, but today I bring you a sneak peek, with one of the most controversial, and confusing Beatle-related discs of all time, The Fut and Have You Heard the Word.


Issued by Beacon records here in the UK in 1970, this disc has confounded Beatles fans for decades. So much so that it turned up time and time again on Beatles bootlegs and as late as 1985 Yoko Ono attempted to register copyright in the song, convinced after years of seeing her late husband’s name attached to it that he must be involved.


He wasn’t.


The Fut were, in fact, Steve Kipner and Steve Groves of the Kinetics, a group originally formed in Australia in 1966. The duo noted the success enjoyed by the Bee Gees after their relocation to London and, in 1969, followed them across the ocean. Forming a new band, Tin Tin, the pair went in search of their old friend Maurice Gibb, who soon persuaded his manager, Robert Stigwood, to sign the new act. Maurice also offered up his services as producer for the band’s debut album, playing bass on several tracks.


Sessions for the album took place over a seven-month period between May and November 1969, taking far longer than anticipated because, in August, Gibb fell down a flight of stairs and broke his arm.


And that’s where things get interesting. That evening, Maurice turned up at IBC studios wearing a cast on his arm, high as a kite on painkillers, accompanied by his wife, Lulu (who he had married in February), and her brother, Billy Lawrie (often miscredited as Laurie). Stories differ as to whether he also came armed with a full bottle of whiskey or simply took advantage of the open bar in the studio. When it came time to work on a new, and unfinished song Kipner and Groves had brought with them the session deteriorated, and after tempers flared they left.


Maurice, off his face and having far too much fun, decided to finish off the song, thinking it would be a scream to put on tape his imitation of John Lennon. No one seems to recall who attempted the impersonation of Yoko One heard at the start of the song, but I somehow doubt it was his Scottish songstress wife.


Dismissed as a potential track for the as-yet-incomplete Tin Tin album, somehow - and Gibb would later admit that he had no idea how it happened – the song was issued on the tiny Beacon label, credited to The Fut. The flip side, Futting, with authorship credited to The Tuf, has absolutely nothing to do with any of those involved with the A-side: it’s a pleasant, if unremarkable, ska instrumental. One can only assume that someone at IBC heard the tape and thought that they could make a quick buck, although I very much doubt that they saw much in the way of financial reward. Issued at around the same time that the Beatles officially called it a day, it did not take long for it to start appearing on Beatles bootlegs, usually listed as an unissued outtake, although occasionally credited to John and Yoko.  


Tin Tin would score a Top 20 U.S. hit with Toast and Marmalade for Tea in 1971. The group disbanded in 1973, although Kipner continued working as a songwriter, producing hits for various acts including Chicago, George Benson and Olivia Newton-John. Gibb and Billy Lawrie would continue to work together: Gibb produced Lawrie’s 1971 cover of the Chuck Berry standard Roll Over Beethoven and, in 1972 the pair wrote and played the theme tune to the film Bloomfield, which was issued as a 45, credited to the Bloom-Fields, that same year. In a far less tenuous Beatle connection Rock and Roller, a track on Lawrie’s sole solo album, Ship Imagination, was co-written by one Richard Starkey... a well-known drummer who was not involved in any way with the Fut single. Honestly. 


Here are both sides of the 45. Don’t forget to tune in to the show on Wednesday, when you can hear a further 55 minutes or so of similar Beatle-related nonsense!



Download Word HERE


 Download Futting HERE

Friday, 1 October 2021

Hail to the Chief

How, in 14 years of blogging, have I never written about Chief Kooffreh before. one of the most original, and most ‘outsidery’ of all outsider artists?


Alternatively known as Bassey Kooffreh, Bassey Kooffreh Bassey, and Kooffreh Bassey Kooffreh, the Chief has been making music since at least 2007, recording and releasing dozens – if not hundreds - of albums in the process. Hugely prolific, and anything but the shy and retiring type, at one point the Chief was claiming that he was ‘a voting member of the Grammy USA and the most recorded published music Star in the Eastern Sea Board of the United States East Coast of USA. 120 Albums, 2400 tracks 250 videos according to Itunes, Spotify and Chief Kooffreh values Family and his millions of fans and friends worldwide.’


The typical Chief K track is spoken work polemic over a sampled loop or karaoke backing, with the Chief announcing himself and the title at the very start, usually something like, ‘Here comes Chief Kooffreh with my millions of fans… ’ before launching into a rap about anything from the evils of Viagra to the death of Diana, Princess of Wales or the dangers of cheating on your woman.


His biggest ‘hit’, if you can quantify these things, is the classic She Will Cut Your Balls Off, although Bitch Get Out Of My Life You Are The Devil is rather special too, as it Bad Medical Doctors Out Of Control Killed Michael Jackson, and the wonderful Stop Beating Gays, Stop The Violence Against Gays Oprah Denial Closet (Download Supporters And Fans). Confusingly, although he claims to have thousands of songs in his catalogue, many are identical: Doctor Viagra, for example, is the same song as Danger Viagra Can Hurt You, Doctor Viagra Hard Hammer and Viagra Can Hurt You Part Two, making it difficult and downright frustrating for Chief Kooffreh completists. To complicate matters even further, Big Viagra Hard Stone is the same song with added echo and eardrum-piercing police siren effects.


Originally from Calabar, Nigeria, the Chief married his wife, Elizabeth, in 2013 and although he claims to work in the financial district of New York, the couple appear to reside in Boston where he works as a supply teacher. In recent years, after studying online with Harvard, he has become involved in IT and software development. I can’t help but wonder if Chief Kooffreh is a character, a persona that Bassey inhabits for his musical forays (rather like Vince Furnier becoming Alice Cooper), and that outside of music he and his wife live a pretty ordinary existence.


In July 2020 Chief K published his first book, Cyber Security Intelligence Bible American Big Dark War Cost $400 Billion a Year, his masterwork on how the American government, and many American companies, are at the mercy of criminal hackers, whose unlimited resources allow them to steal classified information. This was followed shortly afterwards by Skills for Men and Women to Love, Live and Work Successfully with Each Other, credited to Chief Kooffreh Harvard Honors. Later the same year he filed to have his name recognised as a trademark: that application was granted in March 2021, which I guess ow means we have to refer to him as Chief Kooffreh tm


There are dozens upon dozens of Chief Kooffreh songs for you to listen to on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify and other platforms, but here are a couple of personal favourites: the brilliantly bonkers (and NSFW) She Will Cut Your Balls Off and, from the album STARRR, the original version of Tragedy of Princess Diana England, listed as one of ‘the 101 strangest records on Spotify’ by the Guardian in 2012.



Download Balls HERE 

Download Diana HERE

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