Various Artists, Current Hits Volume 7, Hit Records 1007, 1963
It’s funny what people do for money sometimes. Sam Phillips heard an unemployed truck driver named Elvis Presley and signed him to his Sun Record Company. Billy Sherrill was the country version of Phil Spector, and became a huge songwriter with tunes like Stand By Your Man and The Most Beautiful Girl In The World to his credit. But in 1963, despite all their incredible success, they oddly made this record.
There’s obviously not any artist credit, let alone pictures, but the back cover does have a hilarious write up of how hard the producers had to work to find a singer in Nashville Tennessee who could sing the Japanese lyrics of Sukiyaki. The actual Japanese singer they found refused, so one of their “contract singers” “came through with flying colors”. Having heard the results, I can honestly say that Kyu Sakamoto neededn’t have worried about the competition.
No matter what they wrote in the liner notes, this record is just a compilation of the efforts of the Hit Records stable of unknowns who were signed by Sam Phillips to re-record the hits of the day cheaply and then hope to fool as many people as possible into buying their record instead of the actual hit record. The lower price these records sold for may have helped the sales, but oh, the disappointment when these actually listened to what they just bought.
Yes, they’re terrible records, but they’re very rare to find and funny to listen to. In fact, until I found a few a few of them in a clearance bin. I always buy Hit Records 45s, I treasure my version of Please Please Me by The Buggs, but I never knew they released albums.
Cost: $3, $778 Remaining