Sunday, July 29, 2007


Prepare yourself.
You will not forget the four minutes you are about to download.
All I can really add is that I've met Christopher Lee, I've spoken to Christopher Lee, and the moment he fixes his eyes on you and speaks to you...IT IS SCARY!
Well, intimidating might be a better word.
He carries himself with dignity and eschews modesty when it comes to debunking his status as a mere movie monster. No, he rightfully will list all his achievements as a linguist, a swordsman, a connoisseur, and, yes, a remarkable hybrid; the singer who can emote (or, the actor who can sing). Restless for any challenge, at 84 he not only chose to make a solo album, he chose to do what even Sinatra, Bennett or Shatner wouldn't think of doing...songs in a variety of styles from opera to show tune to Christmas carol.
Here's Mr. Lee assuming the character of a cowboy and singing "High Noon" (along with a brief sample clip of the Sinatra & Anka classic "My Way" and some errant dialogue).
The CD version is a British pressing only, at the moment, BUT it's available in mp3 downloads from iTunes and eMusic. If you like this sample, buy some tracks. I did. It will encourage a sequel (he has plans, folks) and it may inspire more celebrity singing albums in general (conservative record execs usually check sales figures of similar projects before proceeding). I hope this publicity gets some sales for you, Mr. Lee! I'll go hide under a blanket...
...while discerning seekers of the unusual download...



Thank you, Tony Scheuren for NOT tossing a "wine/whine" pun into this thing.
His song from the 70's National Lampoon "Goodbye Pop" lp skewers the ego behind Neil Young's notion of "A Man Needs a Maid."
It references "After the Goldrush" (with the "patches on my jeans" back cover) and loads up on recognition humor ("Neil" longs to live in "North Ontario. It's safer than Alabama. It's safer than Ohio"). If you don't know "Old Man" or "Cowgirl in the Sand" some lines here won't raise a smile.

Mr. Young had a bit of a crooked grin through segments of the Demme concert film "Heart of Gold," but it's doubtful he was all that amused when this parody came out. (Which is why the photo's been altered so he can flip the bird!) What sacrilege, to take a poke at a sensitive singer-songwriter, and even do an elbow in the musical rib over CSN&Y's anthem about four dead students at Kent State.
Scheuren is not just "a comic." He began his career as a musician, and at 19 sang lead vocals with "Chamaeleon Church," a group that did release an album on MGM in 1968. (Kyle Garrahan, also chronicled on this blog, was a member.) He also toured with Ultimate Spinach and is on "Ultimate Spinch III." For most, his most vivid work remains with the Lampoon, both their discs and radio show.
And remember, unless you live in some still hippie-esque canyon, or behind the gates of a Beverly Hills or Malibu home, you'll agree with the faux Neil here, that...

14 JACK THE RIPPER SONGS + Soundtracks

Heavy metal was what Jack the Ripper wielded, and it's no surprise that the favorite bad guy for metal bands is a real murderer, not make-believe monster.
Ripper fans include: Judas Priest, Motorhead, Chemical Romance, The Horrors, Screaming Lord Sutch, The White Stripes, AFI, Buckethead, Iced Earth and One Way Street. Let's not forget guys like Link Wray, who recorded his own "Jack the Ripper" instrumental rumble, though he might have imagined a surfer Jack ripping the waves.

Unlike Dracula, or even Dr. Jeckyll's Hyde, the Ripper existed. He made a hobby out of killing prostitutes. A "better watch out for Dracula" song would only be mysterious and spooky, and altogether ooky for hip thrashers. Instead, with the Ripper, they can be more urgent with screaming guitars that match a knife's glint, and rumbling minor key melodies that evoke dark alleys. The misogynist aspect can't be overlooked, since these guys attack the vocals with such enthusiasm. Included here is "Whores in da House" by Jack the Ripper, just to document that rappers, of course, find this guy a role model, too.
There is no certainty about how many victims there were (between 5 and 19), if the Ripper was male or female, if several people were involved, why the killings stopped, or how many (if any) of the notes signed "Jack the Ripper" were hoaxes. Almost all evidence and every theory can be believed or ripped to pieces. Eyewitnesses differ on specifics (the cloaked Ripper in a top hat is folklore too). Movies paint the ladies as young and beautiful when they were in fact middle-aged dregs, some toothless, who sold themselves cheap in a slum area. Making the victims more sexually attractive only further fogs up the motives in the case. Check the Net and you'll find entire websites about Jack, including "fun" sites that list the likely victims and suspects.
It's all speculation and nothing more, with plenty of theories to prop up or debunk a particular suspect or motive. We'll have to wait for the next book, and the author's appearance with Regis & Ripa (no, the photo is just an illfoax hoax...Ripa never actually posed with Rip Torn).
There are 14 Jack the Ripper songs well as seven of the most evocative tracks from two ripper movies, "Jack the Ripper" (score by Pete Rugolo, 1959) and "Study in Scarlet." 21 download tracks. That's rippin' a lot of Rippers....
Let her Rip


What a scene last week with Tammy Faye interviewed by Larry King. Deathly face, slow speech, glazed eyes...and Tammy Faye wasn't in good shape either.
The soggy saga of Tammy Faye Bakker Messner has been blogged and flogged all over the Net. Some, like Harry Shearer, say "her only claim to fame/notoriety was to have been the marital partner of a convicted crooked televangelist," which denies her fame and notoriety as a campy TV personality who rode the tabloid roller-coaster like a pro, and was never more up than when she was down.
In death, her most vocal admirers were Christians who forgave her any sins caused by her husband, and the gay community that admired her drag-queen make-up and her lack of judgemental accusations against them, which made her very different from other religious fundamentalists.
Cynics might say Tammy's tolerance started with her hubby's alleged bi-sexuality, and that she learned from Anita Bryant what kind of physical and financial assaults can happen to a woman when gays act up.
In a country that wants entertainment more than anything else, she was good to the last drop, turning her fatal erosion into a media event. You can't really fake this. Just as Britney is trailer trash and Paris is a slut, Tammy proved to the world that above all else, she BELIEVED. She went to her grave telling the world that she was really going to heaven. America bought her act. Why not?
When you're 65 pounds (and 55 of them make-up), and you've spent ten years dealing with cancer, and your doctors have now pretty much told you it's not IF but WHEN, it takes a lot of faith to think that God is merciful, God exists, and a living hell is just a prelude to eternal heaven.
So in the end, Tammy Faye Bakker was the Lucille Ball of televangelists. Both were good businesswomen, funny, unique, and possessed of a deep instinct for survival. Both married assholes first, and parasites second. In Tammy's case, a goofy-faced sex fiend who over-sold timeshares, followed by a fame-clutching ex-con who did time for bankruptcy fraud.
Did Jim Bakker and a friend drug and rape Jessica Hahn? Did Tammy know how he amassed the money for their three luxury homes, fancy cars and other extravagances? Did she think owning gold faucets was Christian humility or the deserved spoils of running a religious theme-park? Was she closer to the schemes of Falwell and Swaggart than the sincerity of Billy Graham? Did she think appearing with porn hedgehog Ron Jeremy on a "reality" show was something Jesus would do?
Oh, it's too heavy for THIS blog, so instead, let's have a stupid dirty song!
The "Tammy Faye" you are about to hear has taken one of the best Cheap Trick songs and turned it into Jesus porn, complete with orgasms. If you want to hear some of the campy religious tunes from Tammy and Jim Bakker, check the link on the left for the musicformaniacs blog. For the parody "SURRENDER," that starts out sincere and turns sleazy, click the link below, and may God have mercy on your hole.
"Mother told me, yes she told me, pray to Jesus Christ!
I didn't listen, was not a Christian, I led a sinful life...suddenly I heard a voice from somewhere up on high...oh just swallow it..."
SURRENDER, instant download or listen on line. No porn ads or wait time.

Thursday, July 19, 2007


"You like your girlfriends big or small
you like your women short or tall
just cruise on down to the corner stand
give your money to the man!
A mugger carries a couple of knives -
All I wanna do is look at READERS WIVES."

Plink plank
Wink wank.

The pictures enlarge, if you really wanna see these readers wives.

DAVE EDMUNDS Buy his Greatest Hits, after hearing this song about some of the Greatest Tits


The image of "The Highwayman" is romantic, largely because of the Alfred Noyes poem (most sucessfully mated to music by Phil Ochs). In reality, most highwaymen were just robbing hoods. Anyone riding by was "fair game" to them, and that led to the formation of the Horse Patrol in 1805.
The year before, William Brennan was hanged. The Irish highwayman is still one of the most famous of his profession, a romantic figure before the arrival of his rivals Jesse James in America, or Ned Kelly in Australia.
Brennan may have been one of the few to practice "sharity," since the earliest broadside ballads about him (circa the 1820's) paint him as a hero, a rebel targeting British nobility and the RIAA (Royal Idiots and Aristocrats). "He robbed from the rich, and gave it to the poor," is a line from "Brennan on the Moor."
When the actual Brennan died, it was without much fanfare or notoriety...or a catchy melody. As the song about him grew in popularity over the years, few could actually state where he was born (probably Kilmurry) or why he became an outlaw. Some said that he joined the army where he rebelled against its discipline and deserted. Others said he was already a crook and stole a watch from a foppish officer and had to flee after the crime was discovered.
It's up to the Clancy Brothers to give an authentic, and brief version of "Brennan on the Moor." Other versions go on for stanza after stanza, filled with his exploits.

Also here, in two versions (one male, one female) is "The Newry Highwayman." The other highwaymen are not named, but their personalities, exploits and attitudes are vividly brought to musical life by: Blue Cheer, the Brotherhood of Man and Tinsley Ellis.
The choice here for a musical setting of the Noyes poem is not the least bit noisy; it's Loreena McKennitt. She's not the only blonde on the bill, though. You also get "The Highwayman" as sung and described by Stevie Nicks. And yes, that odd song about reincarnation, whether it's a criminal or a damn builder, is on this download too, "The Highwayman" as written by Jimmy Webb and performed by The Highwaymen (led by Johnny Cash).
One of the most famous phrases in all of crime belongs to the highwayman: "Stand and Deliver!" That bold demand yields two very different songs, one from Wishbone Ash and the other from Adam Ant.
It would've been an unlucky 13 to include "Dennis Moore," the Monty Python song about the man who stole from the rich...but largely confined himself to pilfering lupins. "Lupins??"
Stand & Deliver! 12 Highwayman Songs Folder

ILL-USTRATED SONGS#2 : Ruby, Dont Take...

As sick and lame (literally as well as lyrically) as the Kenny Rogers version was, it only gets worse via Walter Brennan. Who do you feel sorrier for; this wrinkled anti-semitic old geezer, or the girl who is told to sit around watching him dry-rot?
Brennan's raspy, expressive voice evokes instant sympathy for him the first time you hear it. Second time, the sympathy's all for Ruby, consarn it! Just look at the picture!

RUBY DON'T TAKE YOUR LOVE TO TOWN Dust Walter Brennan off instead. Instant download or listen on line

JERRY HADLEY sings PROCOL'S "Grand Hotel"

You'd think singing on a faux Procol Harum CD would be the low point in Jerry Hadley's life, but on July 10th, amid divorce, depression and bankruptcy, America's best known tenor, age 55, put an air rifle to his head. He lingered on life support but after nearly a week, on July 16th, the plug was pulled. He died two days later.
Hadley was a rising star through the 1980's, handsome and energetic. Leonard Bernstein chose him for the 1989 revival of "Candide." For two decades he was sought after for both opera and CDs of light classics that also included Broadway hits.
In 1995 he joined Tom Jones, ex-Curved Air Darryl Way and several others for "A Long Goodbye: Symphonic Music of Procol Harum." Wikipedia considers Hadley's contribution to be the album's highlight, "a stirring vocal interpretation of the Procol Harum classic, Grand Hotel."
It gives a pretty good idea of why this tenor was in demand. His other notable foray into territory rock fans might know, was his starring role in Paul McCartney's "Liverpool Oratorio."
Hadley made what turned out to be his final Metropolitan Opera appearance in "Great Gatsby" in 2002 and won a Grammy award for "Jenufa" in 2004, but by then, there were traces of strain in his formerly fluid delivery, and the always finnicky opera crowd began to find fault with him. He last appeared on stage in an Australian production of "Madama Butterfly" in May of 2007.
Most of Hadley's friends knew he was depressed for quite a while, even if he was still working. They did their best to offer optimism and hope. A warning sign was his arrest in New York City last year on a DWI charge. Perhaps the anti-depression medication made him pull a "Del Shannon" and grab that rifle at his upstate New York home. One of his friends wrote, "I don’t know what led him to this inescapable despair, to this sense that things were so very bad that they could never, ever get better. I guess I never will know."
JERRY HADLEY sings GRAND HOTEL No wait or porn ads. Download or listen on line.

Monday, July 09, 2007

GEORGE MELLY In the Electric Chair

Just last year he was working with Van Morrison, resisting cancer treatment, continuing to tour, and vowing to have a damn good time to the end. He did. George Melly died July 5th, at 80.
Your download sample of this eccentric retro-jazz singer is "Send Me to the Electric Chair," a murderer's hip howl:
"Judge yo' honor, hear my plea...I don't want no sympathy, I slit my woman's throat! I found her with another man, I warned her 'bout it before. I took a knife and...the rest you oughta know! Oh judge, judge, good Mister Judge...wanna pay a visit to the devil down below..."
Melly was way too lively to really want to off himself before his fact, it took a sly Illfolks photo-collage to actually stick him into an electric chair.
The barrelhouse melody sounds a bit like "Low Down Alligator" mixed with "Oh You Engineer" while the singing owes something to the first person who popularized it, Bessie Smith.
Born in Liverpool, Melly vowed to bring American classic jazz to new audiences, and sang with Mike Mulligan's Magnolia Jazz Band in the 50's, and John Chilton's Feetwarmers from the 70's onward. Aside from music, he wrote the comic strip "Flook," was an art critic and put together a three-volume autobiography.
The talented Melly was also adept at bisexual sex and was a cheerful exhibitionist. At parties he might strip naked and twist his bulky body from man to imitation woman, and then on all fours, a bulldog!
Last year he recorded his final album, "The Ultimate Melly" with Van Morrison guesting. Last month he made his final stage performances fronting the Digby Fairweather Band.
One of the last of the bohemians, in later years his coy garb and eye patch making him look like a butt pirate, Melly could discuss art with an intellectual, or sing dirty songs to a bar maid. His obit in Britain's "The Telegraph" mentioned Melly was survived by his second wife and had gone from homosexual to "bisexual on his way to being a mighty camp heterosexual." Typical of his flamboyance was his appearance at a 1985 exhibit, "Salute to British Surrealism." The paintings weren't the show: "The entire art world had come from London for the opening and there was George wandering around naked."

Here's an electrifying performance from the Unchained Melly Instant download or listen on line. No waiting, code numbers or porn ads.

UNCHAINED MELODY x 25 incl. Peter Sellers

He almost made it to 100.
Hy Zaret, lyricist for "Unchained Melody" (music by Alex North) was born Hyman Zaritsky on August 21, 1907. He died on July 2, 2007.
Here's 28 versions of Hy's famous song, including a banned one.
Yes, the Goon Show-styled cover from Peter Sellers was considered sacrilege when it was first recorded, but, Sapristi! - here it is. (There are several more obscure covers of the song in this download, so consider the famous ones just throw-ins. This blog IS basically to promote lesser known music! Not to mention lesser known songwriters like the low-profile Mr. Zaret)
When producers asked for a title song to help sell their forgettable film, Zaret wasn't interested. He was painting his house, and the shmearing was taking up a lot of time. Besides, what rhymes with "unchained?"
Allowed to write a generic love song, Hy hacked out some trite lines ("I need your love. I need your love. God-speed your love") and more triteness ("Lonely rivers flow to the sea, to the sea. To the open arms of the sea") and even more triteness ("Lonely rivers sigh wait for me, wait for me. I'll be coming home, wait for me"). Well, these are song lyrics, folks, not poetry.
Now what should the title be? "Wait for Me" or "I Need Your Love?" Nah. North had written a melody for the film "Unchained" so it stayed that way: "Unchained Melody."

Todd Duncan sang it in the film, but the 1955 hit versions were by Al Hibbler (US) and Jimmy Young (UK) and later Roy Hamilton and June Valli. The song became a reliable standard but it took exactly ten years for it to reach "hit song" greatness, thanks to the Righteous Brothers cover (produced by arranger/gun enthusiast Phil Spector).
The song finally became a movie hit when it was used in the film "Ghost," the soundtrack for a scene that effectively visualized the lyric's yearnings. Simon Cowell (yes, the wiseguy in the tiny t-shirt) produced a hit version of the song for the team of Robson and Jerome in 1995, exactly 40 years after Hibbler first hit the charts with it. In 2002 the song was again a hit via British "Idol" contestant Gareth Gates.
And here? Here you get Shayne Ward, Dobby Dobson, Ann & Nancy Wilson (huh? they covered it??), Matt Monro, the late Boots Randolph, U2, Pitney, Orbison, and a host of others.
The song is a perfect example of how a great melody can float and enhance very simple lyrics. Zaret deserves credit for mating his imagery ("lonely rivers flow to the sea") to the sea change of North's key change. And there probably isn't an amateur alive who hasn't tried to croon that lush opening line: "Oh, my love, my darling, I've hungered for your touch!" I think Joni Mitchell once did it in a Chinese cafe.
If you want to survey more of Zaret's lyrics, try "Dedicated To You," "There I Go," "So Long For a While (theme for tv's "Your Hit Parade") and the immortal "One Meat Ball." Rock fans will consider Zaret's hy-lights to be a World War Two song "The Partisan" (covered by Leonard Cohen) and "Why Does the Sun Shine," covered in 1994 by They Might Be Giants.
Yes, that's Hy and his wife Shirley superimposed on the original sheet music, which features a shot of the pre-Perry Mason Barbara Hale, who is still with us, and one of the nicest ladies in show biz. Hail Hale, goodbye Hy, and let's unchain the download...



Homer Randolph III, of Paducah, Kentucky, grew up to be "Boots Randolph," Nashville's most respected sax player. His brother gave him the "Boots" nickname, so as not to confuse him with his father, Homer II. Boots backed Brenda Lee, Elvis Presley and Roy Orbison, and got his big break when a song he wrote tickled Jethro Burns (of Homer & Jethro).
The tune was "Yakety Sax," inspired by the manic Coasters' novelty hit "Yakety Yak." The Coasters often had a showy highlight sax solo and Boots figured to make a whole song out of one. Ironically, when first recorded via Homer & Jethro's RCA label, the song went nowhere. It was a re-recording for Orbison-friendly Monument Records in 1963 that kicked Boots up to solo fame.

He went on to open his own Nashville nightclub (1977-1994), tour 100 or 200 times a year, make many albums, and see Benny Hill adopt "Yakety Sax" for those crazed scenes involving heavy slapstick with bra-and-panty-clad girls (as you've already noticed on this page, you sly dog).
Boots appreciated Hill's use of the tune and aside from the Boots-Hill connection making a killing for him, he admitted, "'Yakety Sax' will be my trademark. I'll hang my hat on it. It's kept me alive. Every sax player in the world has tried to play it. Some are good, some are awful."

It probably gave many a sax player a headache...and Boots himself died of a cerebral hemorrhage on July 3rd. He was 80, and from the heady way he blew, it's remarkable he didn't succumb 20 or 30 years earlier. His wife of 59 years, Dee Randolph, survives him, as do two children, four grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.
Randolph recorded many "straight" albums and singles but would sometimes try for a virtuoso comic tune that might rival "Yakety Sax," and that's what you'll find in the download below. You all know "Yakety Sax," but maybe not "Cacklin' Sax," a pretty corny but cute little novelty. Randolph probably didn't die with his boots on, but you can be sure that a fragment from "Yakety Sax" was on the radio in explaining the enduring legacy of this Nashville great
Don't be chicken: Try CACKLIN' SAX instant download or listen on line.


The breathy-sexy stylings of past mistresses French Claudine Longet and Brazilian Astrud Gilberto have been inhaled, and now exhaled by Asian cutie Kahimi Karie.
First, check out "I Am a Kitten" the download single offered below. If you find it mew-sick, then go no further. If her French purrs and final "meow" makes you juicier than sushi (or "raw like sashimi") then proceed to "Nunki," a full album of her precocious whispers and mewmurs that might form the soundtrack to a very peculiar evening of sex and/or eating.
Unlike the obvious "I Am a Kitten," recorded in France and full of the influence of European friends, the full album "Nunki" has varied pleasures and a much more Asian tone.
There's a whisper in your ear called "Yubitsugi," the sugary meditation "I'm in the Rain," the guitar pluck and sound-effect plinks of "All is Splashing Now," and "Taiyo To Tsuki" which includes odd click noises that suggests the lady has emerged from the beaded curtain in an exotic geisha house and...she'll be plucking a few more bills from your wallet very soon.
The expert Ms. Karie (born Mari Hiki, March 15, 1968) has been practicing her Shibuya-kei for over a decade now, and became a superstar in Japan via "Huming ga kikoeru," the theme song for the anime "Chibimarukochan." Like Astrud Gilberto, Kahimi was an amateur vocalist until coerced by her friends to turn pro. The ex-photographer found that singing softly and whispering lyric lines created an intimacy and effect that louder, better-trained singers couldn't match. While Karie has recorded experimental Asian music and jazz in Japan, she's also performed with many European musicians and as you'd expect from "I am a Kitten," lives in Paris, land of Bardot
Kahimi the Sex Kitten "I Am a Kitten" song Instant download, No porn ads or wait time.
Karie Album NUNKI via RS, complete.