Original TV Soundtrack, Dennis The Menace, Colpix CP-204, 1960
This is the easiest kind of record to make. In attempt to cash in on the temporary success of their comic strip based sit-com, the producers of Dennis The Menace dusted off two old scripts from the show and edited them down into to two 12 minute episodes, one for each side of an album. The actors came in to read though it, record it, and voila! A soundtrack is born.
I have vague memories of this show being shown in re-runs. It was a predictable, light hearted comedy like Leave It To Beaver. Dennis bothered his neighbor Mr. Wilson in every episode, but it all worked out well in the end. At no point was Dennis arrested, and he didn’t bring and grandbabies home, but flower beds were overwatered occasionally. It’s really hard to imagine a show like this being produced today.
I don’t really know if this is a collectable record or not. Generally when something is collectable, it’s because there’s excessive demand for something people remember fondly, and I doubt very many people today even know there was a show called Dennis The Menace, let alone search out an obscure soundtrack album from it. I only really bought it because it was at a half price sale, and because I’ve never seen one before. I also like the graphics and weirdness of it. I listened to it once, and that will good enough for me for years to come.
Cost: $4, $353 Remaining
Jane Morgan, The Last Time I Saw Paris, Colpix 469, 1964
I never mean to pick on a 94 year old woman, but wow, Jane, this album of yours isn’t that good. It came about in the last moment when Rock N Roll was just one type of popular music. When people who had made a career recording professionally written songs by some of the great names of the American Songbook could still have a big selling album just because. It was a time when tastes were changing so fast that a psychedelic album cover could be used to try to sell a “good” music album, not one of those long haired records recorded by hooligans who recorded their own material.
Miss Morgan even explains her predicament, beginning her liner notes with the phrase “Although ‘good music’ is making comeback inroads on the popular music scene today…”, it never quite materialized for her…or anyone else of her genre outside of The Rat Pack or Bobby Vinton.
Instead of “Good Music” the buyers of Colpix 469 were subjected to the most banal recordings of French standards, needlessly and overly arranged by Nick Perito (whoever he was). They may have called their album “Meh, French Style”. I only really could find the strength to listen to side one, but I doubt side two would give me any desire to eat snails any more than side one had. Really, this record is only something to get for the cover, it kinda feels like Tammy Faye Bakker and Grace Slick meet Doris Day.
Cost: $2, $763 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