Hear How To Converse In Spanish, Carlton How To Series, CHH-21, 1961
Carlton Records was a small New York based label that had a few hit records from the late 50s through the mid 60s. The biggest “stars” on the label were Jack Scott and Anita Bryant (!). Like most small labels, they were always strapped for cash and always looking for ways to sell a record. Their “How To” series was the result.
It’s a simple idea. You’d pay an expert in a field to narrate a script once and then you’d have a record you could sell for years with no further investment. Naturally, basic language instruction was a no-brainer, but topics included bowling, typing and throwing the perfect dinner party. I’m guessing the “Hear How To Achieve Sexual Harmony In Marriage” album didn’t sell well.
If all of the albums are as bad as this one though, I can see why Carlton Records isn’t with us today. It’s pretty funny to listen to, with the stern announcer giving clear, concise instructions in English before incomprehensibly raving in Spanish. “Listen…carefully…to…the…following…conversation…” “Lalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalalala”. It’s not a way to learn a language, at least in a way that would help a traveller in a Spanish speaking country. But maybe it was a good way to sell a few records.
Cost: $2, $237 Remaining