In 1998, Rhino Records put out a compilation record called, “Golden Throats.” It was a collection of celebrities, mainly actors, who had decided to venture into the world of making a record album. The songs they collected for this collection turned out to be equal parts funny, scary and ear-splittingly bad. I’ve selected a half a dozen of them and they’re featured in this week’s MBIP Sunday Record Party. So, put in your ear-plugs if you have them and enjoy!
Mr. Tambourine Man by William Shatner (From the album, “The Transformed Man”)
This “theme” album came out in 1968 when William Shatner was still portraying Captain Kirk on the TV series Star Trek. It’s often been wondered if William Shatner was having fun at our expense, or if he really thought he was doing some ground-breaking musical work here. To me, his vocal stylings on this version of Bob Dylan’s, “Mr. Tambourine Man” sounds like someone who’s been constipated for over a week and is desperately trying to take a shit while singing/talking the song.
In 2006, Q Magazine ranked “The Transformed Man” number 45 out of the 50 worst albums of all time.
Proud Mary by Leonard Nimoy (From the album, “Outer Space/Inner Mind”)
Not to be outdone by the good Captain Kirk, Leonard Nimoy also pursued a music career in addition to playing Mr. Spock on Star Trek. He actually was pretty ambitious with his musical career and ended up putting out five studio albums and four compilation sets. After listening to him struggle to find the right notes on this sorrowful version of Proud Mary, it’s highly illogical I will ever listen to another song from his less than illustrious musical career.
Something by Telly Savalas (From the album, “Telly”)
This album, simply titled, “Telly,” came out in 1974 when his hit series Kojak was riding high in the ratings. Maybe it’s me, but his singing voice simply gives me the creeps! If you listened to it right before bedtime, I'm sure this would induce horrific nightmares. Who loves his version of this song? Not me, baby!
Blowin’ In The Wind by Eddie Albert (From the album, “The Eddie Albert Album”)
This song title always makes me think of a store that used to be in Times Square. This is back in the early '90's when Times Square was still pretty seedy and It was purportedly the largest X-rated video store in the country and I used to like going there and looking at all the different titles of the movies. One time my brother Jim was visiting and we went there and were yukking it up over porn titles like: "Sperms of Endearment", "Saturday Night Beaver", "On Golden Blonde" and "Buttman and Throbbin'" when I came across the greatest title for a porn movie ever, it had a picture of a half naked blonde on the cover and above her head was the title: “Blowin’ In The Wind.” Ha!
It Ain’t Me Babe by Sebastian Cabot (From the album, (Sebastian Cabot, Actor - Bob Dylan, Poet”)
Eddie Albert wasn’t the only TV actor covering Bob Dylan songs in the ‘60’s. Sebastian Cabot, known to the TV world as Mr. French from the show, Family Affair, released an album of Bob Dylan covers in 1967. I967 was a year that many classic albums were released like, “Sgt. Pepper” by The Beatles, “Younger Than Yesterday” by The Byrds, “The Who Sell Out” by The Who, “Are You Experienced?” by The Jimi Hendrix Experience and many more.
This wasn’t one of those records.
Twist and Shout by Mae West (From the album, “Way Out West”)
This album of Mae West covering rock ‘n’ roll songs came out in 1966 and did better than expected and reached number 116 on the Billboard Hot 200 list. She was 72-years-old at the time and she became the oldest woman ever to have a solo album on the Hot 200 chart. That record was broken in 2011, when 73-year-old, Wanda Jackson released, “The Party Ain’t Over” in 2011 and the record peaked at number 17 on the rock charts.
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