Tammy (Faye Bakker), Don’t Give Up, PTL Club LP-1850, 1985
Yesterday, we saw Tammy Faye Bakker looking a tad overdone and wildly dressed. Today, well, it looks like the wheels came off the bus a bit. And they actually had. The Bakkers had built their PTL Club into a world wide satellite communications network, and their resort was well on its way to being a religious Disneyland. But it was all a house of cards.
So despite the caring personality that made her one of the first public person anywhere to embrace and AIDS patient, her increasingly over the top appearance made her vulnerable to some not very Christian people around her. Add her husband’s own indiscretions, and you have the makings of the 80s biggest downfall.
Again, Tammy Faye Bakker is more of a personality than a singer of note (or notes in this case). But she was a gifted performer who made the most of her, um, talent. I buy these records because I find them hilarious. You may disagree, but there’s no denying the pure kitsch that is a Tammy Faye Bakker record.
Cost: $1, $765 Remaining
Tammy Faye Bakker, Love Never Gives Up, Pax Musical Reproductions R-2400, 1978
Unlike her husband, whose records were essentially just recorded sermons, Tammy Faye’s records veered deep into light Christian entertainment. It’s not that the lady couldn’t sing, I would describe her as someone who shouldn’t sing. I watched enough American Idol to imagine the questions Simon Cowell would ask during her audition. Something like “Do you find that small animals turn up outside your house when you sing?”.
But no matter how cheesy the package (or the outfits, or the make-up), her personality does kind of come through. It’s not something I will ever listen to again, but you can tell, certainly from this back cover, that she took The Word literally. Unlike too many of her peers in the professional church, everyone was welcome to sing along with Tammy Faye.
I’m sure there was some scam to get people to buy this record, I doubt it would have ever been anything that was sold in a store. After all, massive theme parks in the middle of nowhere don’t build themselves. But everyone of these kind of record that I run across are always in really great shape. I’m sure a grandmother made a few prayer requests that cost X amount of dollars, and this record was a thank you. After grandma went to her reward, her kids and grandkids went through the records and took what they wanted (The Beatles) and donated what they didn’t want (Tammy Faye Bakker). Even at $2, I’m sure I overpaid for this little piece of Heaven, but hey, it’s Tammy Faye.
Cost: $2, $766 Remaining
Jim Bakker, How To Accomplish The Impossble, Pax Musical Reproductions PMR-7001, 1977
Where to begin… The suit, the cheesy graphics, maybe the creepy grin on his face, all are easy topics here. So is the Jim Bakker back story, which I encourage you to look up some snowy night around the fire. Instead, I’ll get right to the record.
Wheesh is it amazing to listen to. No matter what you can say about him, he did have the gift of gab. I’d never really heard him speak, let alone preach, until I saw him crying on TV, but he certainly had a way with words. It’s not even like he really says anything, it all seems to be run-on sentences and asides, with some Bible readings thrown in for good measure. I really didn’t learn much about accomplishing things, except how to give money. But Bakker’s voice had me hanging on every word, not that I could follow what he was talking about.
The Pax Record Company was started by Gary S. Paxton. He was certainly a character in the music business, literally. In 1960, a group called The Hollywood Argyles hit #1 with Alley Oop. The comic character song was voiced by a young Gary S. Paxton. Later he found the Lord and began his religious recording company. I’m guessing Jim Baaker was a good get for his start-up. I also got a great and hard to find Ranwood Records inner sleeve with the record. Praise The Lord!
Cost: $1, $768 Remaining
Elmer Bernstein, The Music From Marlboro Country, Special Products Division Of United Artists SP-107, 1967
I’ve seen old ads for Marlboro, from the era when it was considered a women’s cigarette. I’m not sure when the big switch happened, but this album certainly came out in the era of The Marlboro Man.
It’s really nothing more than several variations of the theme from The Magnificent Seven. Was that the background music for their TV ads? I’m thankfully too young to really know, and I don’t care enough to look it up. But I could certainly see a smoking cowboy riding across the plains to it. Perhaps not the Bossa Nova version, but still.
I love corporate give away records. Just smoke a carton or two of Marlboro and give the company your personal information, and you get a record that you’d probably never listen to! They turn up in flea markets and Goodwill bins, usually in very good shape, because, really. It’s the kind of record from a bygone era that people love to hear now and unleash their inner Don Draper.
Cost: $3, $769 Remaining
Jimmy Bryant, Play Country Guitar With Jimmy Bryant, Dolton BST-17505, 1966
Records came out for every possible application. It wasn’t a thing that people said, but there was a record for that. Guitar lessons by record were a natural. When you’re a struggling Seattle based label trying to please your corporate parent Liberty Records, a sale is a sale, and records don’t get much cheaper to produce than this one.
The packaging had to be a bit complicated though. There’s a 10 page instruction booklet with some very simple instructions that may as well be hieroglyphics for all the sense they made to an air guitar player like myself. And, while original owner took pains to bring this records from The Hague, Netherlands, somewhere along the line this record was in a flood, yet managed to keep the booklet intact, mold stains aside.
This is actually just one of a series of instruction records from Dolton Records. The Ventures were the incredibly successful group that attracted Liberty to buy Dolton, so having them release more records for their adoring fans, the better for the company. As an instrumental group that millions of people knew, they probably had a lot of credibility with struggling musicians.
Jimmy Bryant, though, I’m not so sure about. Yes, he had a legitimate Country music resume, but I had to look him up. Wikipedia says he “was difficult to work with”, so maybe after 20 years of being in the business this was the best deal he could get. It’s a little sad, because I think he has something to teach me.
Cost: $1, $772 Remaining
Frank Sinatra, Swing Easy & Songs For Young Lovers, Capitol 587, 1955
Technologies change. Back catalogues don’t. In 1955, the 12″ vinyl LP was pretty new on the scene, but much more durable and held more music than the old shellac 78 RPM records. In fact, it was possible to fit two old albums onto one new one just because of the added capacity of the newer discs.
That’s exactly what Capitol Records did with Frank Sinatra’s back catalogue, and this album was the result. Combining the huge selling Swing Easy with another album Songs For Young Lovers, Capitol was able to sell some recent hits by their biggest star to people who were upgrading to the new record players.
It’s Frank Sinatra at his best. After the teen idol era, and career rejuvenation that came from winning an Oscar, but before he became The Chairman Of The Board and hung around a bit too long to try to remain relevant, these albums are exactly what every collector should have in their collection. So my apologies to the people in Ranch Records for the scream I let out when I found this nice 61 year old record in their $1 bin.
Cost: $1, $773 Remaining
Peter Frampton, Frampton Comes Alive!, A&M SP-3703, 1976
The Wah-Wah fuzz guitar sound of the 1960s peaked in popularity in 1976. Peter Frampton was a fairly unknown English rocker when this live record came out and made his career literally come alive. Being 10 at the time, I’m here to tell you this album was literally everywhere during America’s Bicentennial year, especially if you had an older brother.
Recorded in New York and California in the Summer of ’75, you have to wonder what they were smoking to be so excited about a performer that wasn’t really all the popular before this. Sure, there are a lot of covers, but it’s the original tunes that stand out. Plus, making a guitar seem to talk is a pretty neat trick. That alone is worth looking for it.
The neat packaging is also far out. The outer cover opens up to for a cheap poster, but in a neat trick that I find annoying now, the slot for the records is at the top (and bottom when opened up), making it very possible for the record to cease to be Alive! after it crashes to the floor.
Finding a decent copy is pretty easy. The album sold about 8 Million copies in the US, and sometimes it seems like only about 250 original buyers have hung on to theirs. It’s not hard to filter through 6-7 copies in a used record store. As I type, I notice that discogs.com has 126 copies for sale beginning at $0.56. Perhaps I overpaid at $2, but this copy is pretty clean, or at least it was before I took pictures of in a desert fossil bed.
Cost: $2, $774 Remaining