Various Artists, Do It Now, Ronco LP-1001, 1970
This is a weird one. At first glance, it seems like a pretty incredible compilation for something “as advertised on tv”. I know of no other instance where a Beatles song appeared on something like this, let alone big hits and interesting filler from the likes of Jimi Hendrix, Buffalo Springfield and Janis Joplin. And yes, there was, and still it a Do It Now organization that was a youth run charity founded to combat teen drug use.
It’s just that this record doesn’t seem to have anything to do with fundraising for the charity, even though the back cover describe how important the mission is. True, the real Do It Now foundation funded their organization with a fundraising album that included The Beatles, but that’s not this record. I think it’s just a blatant copy with some added filler designed to cash in on the charity’s coattails. Yuck!
And as catalogue number 1001, this is the very first Ronco album to appear. If you didn’t grow up with things like this, it’s almost impossible to believe that such a thing could have happened. They (and their main competitor K-Tel) would cram as many hit songs as they could onto two sides of a record and then advertise the life out of it on tv until it sold millions of copies. Of course, it didn’t matter to the company that the tightly wound grooves needed to hold all the music meant a loss of fidelity that “real” records never had. When the songs got too long to cram, they would actually (very crudely) edit them down so that they would fit. Having a few of these records as a kid, I was always amazed when I heard one of the songs on the radio because it meant hearing whole verses that the record I had didn’t contain. I just wish they hadn’t picked on a charity.
Cost: $2, $694 Remaining