LP: William Holden Presents a Musical Touch of Far Away Places
Song: "Junk City Hong Kong"
[ listen ]
Here are some exotic sounds from the Orient, courtesy of orchestra leader Warren Barker, actor William Holden, and producer Bill Stewart. The song "Junk City Hong Kong" should conjure up images of a city filled with this kind of junk, of course, rather than this kind or even this kind, and it features lots of unusual instruments that were dragged up out of Bill Holden's basement. He found some of them while making the film LOVE IS A MANY-SPLENDORED THING, which features Holden as a war correspondent stationed in China who falls in love with a beautiful-but-practical "Eurasian" nurse, played by Jennifer Jones. Incidentally, I just watched the film last week, and it's a real four-hankie sudser—sort of an ALL THAT HEAVEN ALLOWS set in Hong Kong. As for Warren Barker, he was born in Oakland, California in 1923, studied at UCLA, then worked in film and television for many years. He's the genius behind that little tinkling xylophone sound whenever Samantha wiggles her nose to work some magical mischief on "Bewitched," and he also wrote the "I'm a Little Bit Country, I'm a Little Bit Rock-n-Roll" theme song for "The Donny & Marie Show." You can read more about Warren Barker on the Space Age Pop website here, and read William Holden's notes for Barker's 1959 "Far Away Places" LP below. And speaking of far away places, I'll be galavanting around Ohio for the next few weeks, visiting a bunch of charmingly rusty old cities while gathering up the Buckeye State's most thrilling, unusual, and reasonably-priced records along the way. I'll be back in mid-August to share all the wonderful things I've found.
[ Warren Barker: April 16, 1923 — August 3, 2006 ]