Various Artists, MGM Parade Of Stars, MGM SNP-90569, 1965
There are a lot of record label compilation albums, but this is one of the weirdest ones I’ve ever seen. It’s for that rare music listener who likes Connie Francis and The Animals, plus Show Tunes and Latin Punk Rock, but also Boy Bands and Orchestras. Luckily, MGM didn’t really try to sell this album.
This actually an ad for the Capitol Record Club. You would join the club and something this would be your sign up bonus. MGM was thoughtful enough to make the whole back cover an ad for their own artists’ fully priced albums. Stereo cost $1 more!
At least this is a stereo copy. Hearing I’m Into Something Good in original stereo is well worth it, as is The Osmond Brothers (without Donny) singing along to a groovy version of Downtown. I don’t usually go for these kinds of records, but I’m glad I did.
Cost: $2, $797 Remaining
The Wilburn Brothers, I’m Gonna Tie One On Tonight, Decca DL-74645, 1965
I usually try to write a snappy headline, in fact I’ve done for every record up to now. But this gem from The Wilburn Brothers just cannot topped. Nor can the song selections, snappy titles like Drivin’ Nails In My Coffin, and Cigarettes, Whuskey, And Wild Wild Women ensure that the listener is in for a night to not remember.
Even the monochrome back cover has it’s share of debauchery. The liner notes by someone named Bill Claiborne begin “Decca picked me to do some commenting on this album because I tie one on every night…”.
And fitting to the album theme, the record has a distinct aroma of a shag carpet the morning after a frat party. Not that it detracts from the enjoyment of something I never heard of before I shelled out less than half of a pint at my favorite microbrewery.
Cost: $2, $801 Remaining
Gale Garnett, The Many Faces Of Gale, RCA LSP-3325, 1965
This is embarrassing. I always look up a record before I blog about it, mostly to confirm the issue date and catalogue number for the description. I love Gale Garnett’s voice, but I only really know it from her one hit, We’ll Sing In the Sunshine. When I saw this 1965 followup record, I knew I wanted it despite the lack of a hit single. I also like to read a short biography of the artist, and in this case, I was sure I remembered that she had died.
Imagine my surprise when my quick background research revealed that someone I was sure had died was, in fact still alive. Sorry Ms. Garnett!
Anyway, RCA didn’t really go all out on this record. The back cover has no pictures on it, just a “letter” from NBC-TV star Pernell Roberts, an odd choice if ever there was one. I guess because Bonanza was an NBC show, and NBC was owned by RCA at the time, there was a corporate relationship going on.
The good news is, like many adult oriented records, this one was well cared for down to it’s period correct inner sleeve. Almost half of the tunes are self-penned, which is impressive, but I found the covers to be the better arrangements.. I’ll keep this record handy for a fall afternoon when I want something a little melancholy and different.
Cost: $3, $896 Remaining
Peggy Lee, Then Was Then-Now Is Now, Capitol ST-2388, 1965
Miss Peggy Lee. What else is there to say? By the time I became aware of her she was so past her prime, wearing Platinum wigs and sunglasses on the C-List variety shows she would occasionally turn up on. To be honest, I thought she was a laughing stock. And that is really wrong!
At their core, an artist is an original, someone who can stand out from their peers who are trying to do the same thing, and someone who preservers to attain perfection, even though they never reach it. Not everything they do moves the ball forward, but the end result is fantastic. That’s Miss Peggy Lee in a nutshell.
She recorded for Capitol for 25 years, and while they call their headquarters “The House That Nat Built” after Nat King Cole, I really think it was Peggy Lee that financed the place. She never really had many hit singles in the Rock Era beyond 1958’s Fever, and 1969’s Is That All There Is, but she sold millions of albums from the 40s into the 70s. Her Blues Across The Country (1962) is one of my favorite albums, and The Beatles covered her version of Till There was You from 1960’s Latin A La Lee.
This albums is still in it’s shrink wrap, with an early version of an IBM computer research card on it! May coffee maker now has a more powerful computer that the mainframe that took cards like this, so it’s a double mid century modern technology win! Unfortunately, this record falls into the Trying Too Hard category. Side one is pleasant, the kind of “Then” music you’d expect from her, but side two with it’s “Now” feeling that kind of takes my breath away. Johnny Rivers may have lit up the Sunset Strip with songs like Seventh Son, but they seem so odd from a middle aged jazz singer. But hey, kudos for trying Miss Lee. It always gives me Fever to find a mint Capitol album of yours!
Cost: $2, $920 Remaining
Davy Jones, David Jones, Colpix CP-493, 1965
“I saw The Beatles from the wings of The Ed Sullivan Show and the girls were gong crazy. I said to myself, this is it, I want a part of this”. So said 18 year old David Jones about his February 9, 1964 appearance on what became the most watched show in TV history when it aired. He was appearing on Broadway as The Artful Dodger in the cast of Oliver!, for which he would earn a Tony nomination. With every American record company looking for British singing stars to sign in the wake of that night, it’s no surprise that young David Jones was signed to Colpix RecordIt was a fine pairing actually. Colpix was the record division of Screen Gems, the television arm of Columbia. In 1966, it would evolve into the Colgems label and sell a bazillion Monkees records. But in 1965, Colpix’s new teen sensation was given some really lame material to try to sing. None of these songs were ever performed on The Ed Sullivan Show.
So imagine you’re an executive at Colpix Records, and your teen idol sensation of 1965 totally flops, but appears in 1966 as one of the brand new Monkees who quickly outsell even The Beatles. This record did chart (#185) and produce a charting single (What Are We Going To Do? # 94), but it must have been a massive disappointment. But hey, why not slap a big orange sticker on it and call attention to Monkee fans that, hey, here’s a Davy Jones record you don’t have!
Of course, it didn’t work. The record was quickly forgotten, rightfully so. It’s a fun listen (once) just to hear Davy Jones singing Dylan’s It Ain’t Me Babe, but in all honesty, I blew $2 on it for the orange sticker.
Cost: $2, $951 Remaining