Friday, July 31, 2015

Maureen McGovern

Artist: Maureen McGovern
LP: Nice To Be Around
Song: "Nice To Be Around" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Put a Little Love Away" 
[ listen ]

Maureen McGovern has one of those big, dramatic, fabulous singing voices just like her sprawling, exploding hairdo—it's perfectly suited to the big, dramatic, fabulous theme songs from gigantic disaster movies like THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE and THE TOWERING INFERNO, which is where she got her start. (McGovern's "The Morning After" from the famous 1972 sinking boat movie went to #1 on the charts and earned her a Grammy nomination as Best New Artist.) The title track on Maureen's 1974 "Nice To Be Around" LP peaked at #101 on the US singles charts, whereas another single from the album, "Give Me a Reason to Be Gone" peaked at #71. I learned all of this and more from the Maureen McGovern Wikipedia page here, and for even more info you can visit the official Maureen McGovern website here

I was perplexed at first why the Wikipedia entry made no mention of Maureen McGovern's lovely rendition of "Torn Between Two Lovers," from the 1979 film of the same name. But then of course I realized I was getting Maureen McGovern mixed up with Mary MacGregor—and I also began to realize how grateful I am that Marilyn McCoo, Marlee Matlin, Melissa Manchester, Mary McDonnell, Melba Moore and Marilyn Manson didn't each also release powerful theme songs to explosive '70s dramas or I'd never have been able to sort out whose which was what.

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Bae Ho (배호)

Artist: Bae Ho (배호)
LP: Ten Hit Songs (힛트가요 10)
Song: "Who's Crying (누가 울어)
[ listen ]

It took some crafty online sleuthing to figure out who this handsome Korean singer is, and what his album and songs are called. Google Translate actually says the track posted here is called "Who Cry," so I took some minor liberties with that one. Other titles on this 1972 posthumous release of ten Bae Ho hit songs include "돌아가는 삼각지" (Triangle Back), "안개속에 가버린 사람" (People Went Away In the Fog), and "능금빛 순정" (Genuine Gold Performance). You'll find a complete track list in Korean here. According to the limited English-language information I found online here, Bae Ho's pop star began to rise in the 1960s as a singer who blended the sounds of Korean folk songs, Japanese Enka, and the large pop ensembles of the West to create a lush, lovely sound for his deep baritone voice. Sadly, Bae Ho died of nephritis (inflammation of the kidneys; I had to look it up) in 1971, when he was only 29 years old. The website linked to above says that only the elderly in Korea remember the singer nowadays, but this sketchily-translated Wikipedia page seems to indicate that Bae Ho was voted one of the top favorite Korean singers of all time. I can now say with confidence that he is definitely one of mine.

[ Bae Ho: April 24, 1942 — November 7, 1971 ]

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Capital City Chorale

Artist: Capital City Chorale
LP: Teens On Parade
Song: "My Heavenly Father" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Follow, I Will Follow Thee" 
[ listen ]
Song: "Teens Leading the Way" 
[ listen ]

Speaking of people who seem a lot older than they actually are, why is it that when Midwestern teenagers turn to Christ and then start singing, they suddenly sound like they're pushing 40?

[ 1960s Teen Hairdos On Parade ]

Friday, July 24, 2015

Karen Young

Artist: Karen Young
LP: Hot Shot
Song: "Bring On the Boys" 
[ listen ]

I was initially drawn to this 1978 Karen Young record by the fact that she looks a little long in the tooth to be performing disco. (She brought to mind Disco Sally from Studio 54.) Based on the cover, I guessed Karen was somewhere around 50 when this LP was released, and that she had probably also been a guest star on "The Love Boat" at least twice (her frumpy '70s hair/dress combo practically screams Captain Stubing love interest). I was shocked to learn that Karen was born in 1951, which means that she was only 27 when this record came out. Sadly, Karen never made it to 50; she died at age 39, possibly from a bleeding ulcer. You can read more about Karen Young here, and watch her perform "Hot Shot," which peaked at #67 on the US singles charts, by clicking the link below.

Karen Young on YouTube:
[ "Hot Shot" ]

[ Karen Young: March 23, 1951 — January 26, 1991 ]

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Hibari Misora

Artist: Hibari Misora
LP: 7" single
Song: "The Soba Song" 
[ listen ]

This 1954 various-artists 7" EP containing Japanese hits of the time is another one of the things I found at the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift Store in Bremerton a few weeks ago. "The Soba Song" by Hibari Misora provides a glimpse into what American country music might have sounded like in the 1950s if the Mayflower had been filled with Japanese pilgrims instead of British ones. (Anyone know how to say "Manifest Destiny" in Japanese?) Born in Yokohama, Japan in 1937, Hibari Misora (meaning "lark in the beautiful sky") became a national sensation in Japan after WWII with the help of her hit single "Kappa Boogie-Woogie" (河童ブギウギ) in 1949. She went on to a brilliant musical recording career, and also starred in over 160 motion pictures! Like other celebrities before her and after, Hibari had to endure the ritual of being attacked by an over-zealous fan who threw hydrochloric acid on her—a sort of rite-of-passage, I suppose. Sadly, Hibari died from pneumonia in 1989 at the age of 52. Each year on her birthday as a show of respect, Japanese TV and radio stations play 川の流れのように, one of her most popular songs. You can read more about Hibari Misora on Wikipedia here and "The Soba Song" lyrics are included below.

[ Hibari Misora: May 29, 1937 — June 24, 1989 ]

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew

Artist: Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew
LP: 7" single
Song: "Spirit" 
[ listen ]

Speaking of movie remakes, I hear they're assembling an all-female team of ghost-busters for a reworking of the 1984 classic comedy (I've actually never seen it). Melissa McCarthy, Kritsin Wiig, Leslie Jones, and Kate McKinnon have signed up to bust ghosts in the film, set for release in July of 2016. (Go here to listen to an '80s nerd drone on and on about the "Ghostbusters" remake.) Meanwhile, here's a neat single that didn't rank anyplace on the charts, as far as I can tell. It's Doug E. Fresh with his Get Fresh Crew contributing to the 1989 "Ghostbusters" sequel, "Ghostbusters II," which of course I haven't seen either. August may need to be my 'Ghostbusting' month so I'll be all caught up by next summer.

[ Doug E. Fresh & the Get Fresh Crew ] 
(Get Fresh Crew not pictured)

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Hugo Montenegro and The Man From U.N.C.L.E.

Artist: Hugo Montenegro and His Orchestra
LP: The Man From U.N.C.L.E.
Song: "Theme From 'The Man From U.N.C.L.E."
[ listen ]
Song: "A Martini Built For Two"
[ listen
Song: "Watch Out!"
[ listen ]

The first time I came across the ultra-mod '60s spy TV show "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." was in the winter of 1989, during my four-month stay in Glendale, California on my "two-year bicycle tour of Southern California," as I like to call it. The family my companion and I were living with there were lounging around their living room one day watching an episode of the show that featured Stefanie Powers. Not long after that I ordered "The Man From U.N.C.L.E.: The Five Daughters Affair" on video to add to my Joan Crawford VHS movie collection, since she had a bit part in the episode. I picked up this 1965 soundtrack LP in the dollar bins on the sidewalk in front of Spin Cycle on Broadway a few weeks ago, just after seeing the preview for the motion picture remake of "The Man From U.N.C.L.E." that's set to open at cinemas next month. I'm looking forward to it! You can go here to read about the original show, scroll down to find some educational LP liner notes, and go here and here to find more from Mr. Montenegro right here on The Homoerratic Radio Show.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Peggy Lee

Artist: Peggy Lee
LP: The Fabulous Peggy Lee
Song: "Johnny Guitar"
[ listen ]
Song: "The Gypsy With Fire In His Shoes"
[ listen ]

It was exciting to find this Peggy Lee LP in Port Townsend last weekend—not just because of the neat artwork (I love dots), but also because it features "Johnny Guitar," title song for the bizarre 1954 western starring Mercedes McCambridge and Joan Crawford as notorious tough-gals who constantly bicker over the romantic attentions of Sterling Hayden, the musical pretty-boy of the film's title. Peggy warbles "and they call him Johnny Guitaaaaar" briefly as the credits roll at the end of the film, but I always had a hunch that there just had to be more to the song than that. The other tunes on the album are simply gravy—especially "The Gypsy With Fire In His Shoes," featuring heel-dancing by Sammy Davis, Jr. You can read about the fabulous Peggy Lee here; liner notes are included below.

[ Peggy Lee: May 26, 1920 — January 21, 2002 ]