Friday, 15 December 2017

Christmas Cavalcade 2017 Part Two

And here we go again... four more awful Christmas-themed audio car crashes for you to endure.

First up is/are both sides of the 1986 45 from Culturcide, Santa Claus was My Lover backed with Depressed Christmas. Unsurprisingly this particular disc is somewhat of a rarity, no doubt having to battle with the estate of the late Michael Jackson and that of Irving Berlin would have made distribution difficult - although you can pick up copies on Discogs right now for around $10. The single was issued in the same year as the band released their most famous album, Tacky Souvenirs of Pre-Revolutionary America, which – like the single - featured the band's satirical lyrics overdubbed onto popular songs by the original artists. These backing tracks were used without permission and the band soon faced legal threats from some of the original copyright holders.

Founded in 1980 in Houston, Texas, Culturcide are still active today.

Now, last week I promised you some Elvis-themed tackiness and, not wanting to disappoint, here it is!

Elvis Won’t be Here for Christmas was issued by Great Northwest Records in 1977, just a couple of months after the King met his demise. Performed by Linda Hughes, it follows on from the Culturcide single by having her intone the dumb lyric over the top of another tune, this time Silent Night. Linda Hughes had at least a brush with the song poem world: she recorded songs by William Howard Arpaia for the latter’s Vandalia Records the same year as she recorded Elvis Won’t be Here for Christmas.

We’re going to close today’s selection with another Elvis-related Christmas song, this time the 45 from Marlene Paula. A fun, infectious little ditty, I Want to Spend Christmas With Elvis was co-written by Bobby Darin and Don ‘Monkees’ Kirshner and issued by Regent Records in 1956.


Download SANTA here

Download DEPRESSED here

Download WON'T here

Download WANT here

Friday, 8 December 2017

Christmas Cavalcade 2017 Part One

Yes, it’s that time of year again, just three weeks to go until some fat bloke tries to break in to your house and creep around while your kids are asleep. And that means another selection of terrible Christmas records for you to enjoy (or endure!)

First up is our old friend Red Sovine. Christmas wouldn’t be Christmas without a huge dollop of misery courtesy of Ol’ Red, and Here It Is Christmas is no exception, the story of an ageing drunk whose wife has left him after 27 years of marriage. Listen to him as he cries in to his ‘flat martini’ (I wasn’t aware that martinis were supposed to effervesce…) 

Such unbridled wretchedness. A peach.

The second song this week is a bit of a rarity – a mostly spoken word performance from the great Cary Grant. Issued in 1967, the year after Cary retired from the big screen and the year in which his daughter Jennifer was born, Christmas Lullaby is sickeningly schmaltzy but you really can’t blame the guy for recording what is essentially a love song to t his beloved daughter. The song, incidentally, was co-authored by none other than Peggy Lee.

I’ll close today’s selection with a couple of Beatle-related Christmas howlers from 1964 – which seems appropriate as today is the 37th anniversary of the assassination of John Lennon. Neither I Want a Beatle For Christmas by Becky Lee Beck nor Bring Me A Beatle For Christmas by the terribly-named Cindy Rella are truly terrible, but neither do they have the charm of Dora Byran’s brilliant All I Want For Christmas is a Beatle. They're essentially the same song, with a squeaky teenage girl opining that she wants a Beatle - any Beatle - under her tree on December 25th. She's not fussy... 

I'll leave the Elvis-related horrors until next week.


Download Red Here

Download Cary Here

Download Becky Here

Download Cindy Here

Friday, 1 December 2017

Hopeless Sings the Blues

Yes, I know it's December 1 - and yes, I'm fully aware that usually means the start of a month of calamitous Christmas crud, but bear with... there's plenty of time for that!

I first became aware of the existence of this week’s disc some six and a half years ago, shortly after my very first WWR post about Grace Pauline Chew… an anonymous tipster mentioned it and had a stab at recounting the lyrics. But that was it. Then, on a Saturday evening a couple of weeks ago, whilst thumbing through old copies of Cash Box magazine I came across the following advertisement.

How exciting was that? Now I had names for the performers, info on the label and an approximate release date. A short trawl around Discogs and Ebay and voila! An actual copy of the actual record for sale. And boy, did it live up to its reputation! Described by my original correspondent as ‘sung to the accompaniment of what sounded to me like a solo pump organ, very wheezy. The tune… was about as downbeat and lugubrious as you could imagine’, Steve Carr’s performance of Chickasaw Blues is simply atonal rubbish. Grace’s usual solovox, piano and bass drum accompaniment dragging the slightly jokey vocal down in to an abyss from which it will never escape. The flip, the disc’s A-side proper, Up Along The Mohawk Valley, is slightly better – at least Bob Colla can sing – but the playing is as woefully inept as ever, and the point where Bob first sings that he wishes he ‘could sing to the girls’ and the keyboard player fluffs their part had me in stitches the first time I heard it.

Of course, as is so often the way, one path leads you down another and I soon discovered that Bob Colla had released at least one further 45 on Bingo, namely Oh What A Night For Love backed with Sally Conboy singing Hi Diddle Diddle Do… and so off I went in search of that disc too. And I found one! And I bought it! And here it is! Oh What A Night For Love is another classic GPC dirge, with the performance credited to Bob Colla and the Girls. It’s impossible to know exactly who ‘the girls’ were, but to my ears one of the two voices belongs to Sally Conboy... and I can’t help but hope that the other belonged to Our Gracie herself. But the flip - Hi Diddle Diddle Do – is ridiculous. Poor Sally tries to inject some fun in to her performance, but the funereal piano and solovox drag her into a hole she stands no chance of ever escaping. Both songs are absurdly gloomy. This is music to slit your wrists to.

For those of you who don’t know Grace Pauline Chew’s story, here’s a brief synopsis. You can read more about her in my first book, The World’s Worst Records Volume One.

Grace Pauline Chew reigns supreme as the World’s Worst Songwriter. Born on September 9, 1898 in Camden, New Jersey, Grace was a voice teacher, soprano, and erstwhile song composer. She came from good musical stock: her father, James Buchanan, was a concert and operatic tenor, so it must have been a massive disappointment to him to discover that his daughter was unable to follow in his footsteps and tread the boards of America’s great concert halls. Educated at the Palmer Institute in California and at the Clark Conservatory of Music in Philadelphia, It seems that Grace learned her true vocation whilst studying in New York under Frank LaForge, a pianist, composer and arranger who had played on the first American recordings by Enrico Caruso and also accompanied the great coloratura soprano Lily Pons.

Grace Buchanan married Walter C. Chew in January 1917 and the pair set up home in New Jersey; the union produced one son, Walter Chew Junior, who was born that same year but who tragically died before his 25th birthday in 1942. It seems that Grace’s way of dealing with her grief was to throw herself into her career. She made a number of concert and radio appearances during the 40s and published her first compositions, I’m Counting on You and the magnificently-titled Put on Your Roller Skates and Roll, Roll, Roll in 1946. Shortly after this she and Walter left New Jersey and relocated to Philadelphia, where Grace set up a company called Art Service Music and established no less than three record labels to issue her art-song compositions: Musicart, Silver-Song and Bingo Records. How this woman managed to finance a company that ran three record labels each of which simply existed as an outlet for her own vanity is beyond me. I’ve yet to find any releases in Silver-Song, and before too long that label disappears from the Art Service canon, leaving Grace to concentrate on Musicart and Bingo.

My own introduction to Grace Pauline Chew came when trawling eBay for bad records. After a couple of hours of searching I found a copy of a 45, You’re The Only One For Me backed with You Don’t Remember Any More, listed on the auction site as a contender for the worst record the seller had ever heard. How could I resist? When the disc arrived I was immediately blown away by it. Mamie Watson performs the funereal You Don’t Remember Any More with the ‘Musicart Ensemble’ – an out-of-tune piano and a kind of reed instrument that, at the time, I was unable to pinpoint. I’ve since discovered that this is/was a Solovox. You Don’t Remember Any More is an absolute dirge; Mamie does her best but is badly let down by both the distinctly untalented Musicart Ensemble and by Grace’s wretched lyrics. It’s turgid, with a strange otherworldly quality: it sounds as if it were written in the 1920s - an odd thing when you consider that the disc was released at the height of the rock ‘n roll era in 1957. I was soon to discover that all of Grace’s material sounds as if it was written either in or for a bygone age: every single song I’ve so far unearthed sounds as though it was composed for Rudolf Valentino’s funeral. If you enjoy the distinct oddness embodied by the Halmark song-poem factory, you’ll adore the work of Grace Pauline Chew.

As for Hank and Jimmy, the performers of You’re The Only One For Me, their accompanists (listed as Rhythm Duo on the disc), appear to be one person playing an out-of tune village hall piano while a second clicks his fingers, kicks at the studio floor in an attempt to keep time with all the elegance and rhythm of a drunken mule, and then provides a spectacularly ham-fisted hand clap solo. It truly is an awesome coupling.

To really get a handle on how spectacularly shocking Grace Pauline Chew’s song writing skills were you need to listen to the hysterically awful coupling of Could You Would You and Moon Crazy, released on Bingo Records in 1957. The Planets, the act credited with this dreadful, positively atonal performance, are clearly Hank and Jimmy again, too embarrassed to have their real names connected with the gloriously useless Grace a second time. Both sides are perfectly dreadful. On Could You Would You, The Planets are listed as being accompanied by 'Cha Cha, Solovox and piano'. Whatever the 'Cha Cha' (their capitals, not mine) was, it appears to be mercifully silent; the Solovox was a primitive, three-octave monophonic keyboard which employed vibrating metal reeds and an oscillator to create a vibrato effect. I love the fact that, although the unnamed Solovox player makes several mistakes during this recording, no-one bothered to put him straight and demand a second take. Maybe Mr Chew’s largesse had finally been reined in. Given the quality of the sound coming out of the piano it has to be the same, discordant instrument employed on nearly every other one of Grace Pauline Chew's masterpieces. You have to wonder if the great lady herself sat at this omnipresent instrument during these obviously chaotic recording sessions.

The B-side, Moon Crazy is, without doubt, the prize: woeful, out of tune vocals from a pair of male vocalists occasionally singing completely different words to each other; someone kicking a bass drum out of time; what sounds like a pair of castanets (possibly the missing Cha Cha from side one?) being thrown about with gleeful abandon and, to cap it all, a whistling solo so tuneless and clumsy that it would make Mrs Miller turn in her grave. God, I love it: this is bad music gold.

Every single disc issued by Musicart and/or Bingo is wretched; spectacularly awful. Maybe none so much though as The Space Ship Blues, copyrighted in 1955, issued by Musicart the following year and performed by ancient vaudeville act The Romany Sisters (accompanied by the grandly-named ‘Instrumental Quartette’). Grace had the temerity to announce, via the pages of Cash Box, that this particular horror was ‘the first space song’. Actually she may have been right: most of the classic 50s space novelties came after the Russians launched Sputnik in October 1957. If so then she deserves a place in the Hall of Fame for that alone.

Around 1961/62 our Grace moved to Florida… the 1962 Cash Box and 1963 Billboard directories have her living at 113 North East First Court, a small bungalow in Dania Beach. She was still running both Musicart and Bingo from her home address, although I have yet to find any releases by the company after 1959. My assumption is that she moved there to retire, possibly after Walter Senior had passed on, although she did continue to write songs and copyright them until at least 1962.

So far I’m aware of more than 60 songs written (occasionally co-written with or credited entirely to Kerry Brooke, which was a pseudonym Grace employed from time to time) and published by Grace Pauline Chew, and I’ve made it my life’s work to track them all down. She regularly contributed to the periodical Musical Chit Chat and also wrote and published a ten-page pamphlet entitled Know How: A Brochure of Information for the Singer Who Wants to Become Professional, in 1953, which contains lists of TV and stage production companies, record labels, opera companies and some words of advice and encouragement from the great lady herself.

As she writes: ‘This is based on years of research…as a voice teacher and musical director of a recording company (I have) had first-hand acquaintance with singers and their problems.’ You have to admire the woman’s cheek.

The complete GPC:

Musicart 101/102: Melody Mac Music In the Sky/Still In Love With You (1949)
Musicart 103/104: Jeanne Heard Music In the Sky/Starlight and Roses (1950)
Musicart 103/106: Jeanne Heard Music In the Sky/Leonard Maclain (Melody Mac) Heaven Sent Me An Angel (1950)
Musicart 105/106: Alfred Federici Another Called You Sweetheart, Why Can’t I?/Leonard Maclain (Melody Mac) Heaven Sent Me An Angel (1950)
Musicart 107/108: Melody Mac It Could Be Forever/? (1951)
Musicart 312/313: Bud Brees with Art Smith It’s Just Because I Love You/Art Smith Will You (1952)
Musicart 314/315: Phil Sheridan I Have No Wealth, I Have No Gold/? (1952)
Musicart 316/317: Don Valino with the Celebrity Singers and the Magictones There’s A Fire In My Heart/Phyllis Moore with the Celebrity Singers and the Magictones Damisela (1954) (78 & 45)
Musicart 318-45/319-45: Phyllis Moore and the Magictones I Don’t Know Where I Stand With You/ Richard Rossiter and the Nightingales Helpless (1955)
Musicart 320-45/321-45: Richard Rossiter and the Nightingales Why Can’t It Be Only Me/ The Romany Sisters The Space Ship Blues (1956)
Musicart 324/325: Hank and Jimmy You’re The Only One For Me/Mamie Watson You Don’t Remember Any More (1956)

Bingo 326/327: Bob Colla Up Along the Mohawk Valley/Steve Carr Chickasaw Blues (1957)
Bingo 328/329: Bob Colla and the Girls Oh What A Night For Love/Sally Conboy Hi Diddle Diddle Do (1958)
Bingo 330/331: The Planets Could You Would You/Moon Crazy (1957)

Grace also copyrighted the following songs: no doubt some of them were recorded and issued on the missing Musicart (108, 322-323) numbers. 

1946: I’m Counting on You; Put on Your Roller Skates and Roll, Roll, Roll
1948: I’m A Fool to Believe It’s Love; I’m Gonna Live to be a Hundred and it Ain’t No Lie
1949: Bob-Bob-Bobbin’ and Hob Nob-Nobbin’ With You; How Can I Tell?; It’s a New Love
1951: Gone From Me; If I Could Ask You; Let’s Join the Easter Parade, You’re My Girl; Take My Love, My Darling
1952: Christmas Serenade; Dance With Me; Somewhere the Sun Must Be Shining; Willie Had a Love Affair
1953: Nothing Can Take Me From You; Santa’s Going to Get Married; Somebody Painted My Bunny’s Tail Blue
1954: China Doll; Give Me Your Shoulder to Cry On; Santa Ain’t Comin’ Down the Chimney Tonight; Shut Your Great Big Mouth; You Gotta Get Happy
1955: The Jungle Rhapsody; What Do they Like About Me; You Believed in Me
1956: Give Me the Right to Fall In Love With You; So Long Joe; The Magic of the Island; Wham, Bang; Who’s That Knocking at My Heart?; You’ll Have to Do It Yourself
1957: Near Me; Part-Time Sweetheart; Sweet and Easy; The Wedding in the Sky
1958: Go Slow; I Fell For You; Let Me Down Easy
1959: Don’t Ever Leave Me; I Gave You My Love (I Gave You My Heart); the Little Lost Sheep; Sunset on the Prairie
1961: I Love You, My Darling
1962: I’m Still In Love With Josie


Download Mohawk HERE

Download Chickasaw HERE

Download Love HERE

Download Diddle HERE

Friday, 24 November 2017

Post Punk Power Station Pop

Who the hell thought that this was a good idea?

Battersea were a group formed specifically to highlight up-and-coming singer songwriter Charles Ridgway Coxill, a.k.a. Charlie Fawn – just one of the many faces on the London punk scene who never quite made it. They recorded an album’s worth of material, but only the one single saw the light of day.

Call me an old cynic if you must, but it cannot have taken the PR department at Anchor more than a couple of seconds to come up with this rubbish. ‘Oh, the Stranglers have just done Walk on By, and it worked for them… let’s take another Burt Bacharach and Hal David classic and give it the punk treatment. I know: we'll call them 'Battersea' - it's like Chelsea... very London, very punk. It’s bound to be a hit’. Sadly, it wasn’t. Always Something There To Remind Me throws every New wave tool in the box in to the mix but falls short. It’s weedy, and the vocals are simply irritating. B-side (Fawn’s own composition) is better, but suffers from the same poor production and idiotic affected ‘punk’ accent. It was never going to compete with Sandie Shaw’s definitive version. the disc's chances were further stymied by Anchor Records going down the toilet that same year.

As the 70s turned in to the 80s Charlie played a number of gigs, released several singles, an album and also recorded a number of sessions for projects that were later abandoned by record companies. Looking not unlike the scrubbed-up kid brother of Sid Vicious there was an air of expectation about him, but he simply wasn’t different enough (or didn’t get the breaks) to stand above the crowd of post-pub rockers now clambering on to the New Wave bandwagon. Blue Skies is a melodic, power-pop tune that could have been a hit, but the affected vocals are a bit annoying, and it’s all a bit too ‘clean’. There’s no grit. Had he worked with Nick Lowe at Radar or Stiff rather than Tom McGuinness (Manfred Mann, McGuinness Flint) it might have charted; as it was, but 1979 he already sounded dated.

Still hoping for a hit, Charlie recorded Always Something There To Remind Me a second time in 1980, this time with a tip of the hat to the latest bandwagon, the two tone/ska hybrid that had worked so successfully for The Specials, Madness, The Beat and so on. Again the disc – this time issued by WEA/Atco – failed to ignite the charts. With no hits and no gigs, he moved in to modelling and acting. Charlie is still about today, and still occasionally making music. He seems like a genuinely nice guy, very self-aware and spiritual. It’s not his fault that Battersea have ended up here: if someone offered you a contract for what, on paper, must have sounded like a sure-fire hit wouldn’t you take it?


Download Always HERE

 Download Split HERE

Friday, 17 November 2017

Kermit the Frogg

Even though it was from the same stable that had produced the successful Sesame Street, the Muppet Show failed to spark in the States, and it wasn’t until ATV’s Lew Grade picked it up that it became a hit. The show debuted in the UK in September 1976, and Kermit, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear, the Great Gonzo, Animal and their friends were soon charming British audiences of all ages.

Riding the back of the Muppet craze, Puppet Love by the Froggs was issued in May 1977. A comedy record that isn’t funny - as far as I can make out, the ‘joke’ is that the Muppets get shot one by one until there’s no one left to finish the song – and copying the well-known Muppets theme tune but making ‘just’ different enough to avoid any claims of plagiarism, it’s a hideous mess. A parody of a parody, and the irony of that seems lost on all involved.

Written and produced by Keith Bonsoir, who also produced (and added backing vocals and keyboards to) the Pinkees recordings, the flip side is the throwaway instrumental Wheeling, included here for completists. Promo copies were issued with ‘this is not a Muppett record’ [sic] stamped on the cover. Sadly the copy I picked up for a quid in Bristol’s Wanted Records this week is lacking that particular detail. I have yet to discover who is playing on the disc, but best guess would be that piano and vocals are handled by Monsieur Bonsoir himself.

The disc was issued on the short-lived Paladin label, which appears to have been connected in some way to singer-songwriter, record producer, music entrepreneur, television and radio presenter and sex criminal Jonathan King: King issued a disc on Paladin (under the pseudonym The Joker), and Bonsoir, who wrote and/or produced a number of tracks for Paladin, had also worked on productions at UK, King’s own label. Paladin existed for less than a year (September 1976-June 1977), but Keith Bonsoir had been making records since the early 70s, and had also worked with John Holt, Geno Washington and cruise ship singer turned actress Sally Sagoe, who appeared in EastEnders for a couple of years in the mid 80s. He had a fair bit of success in Europe, with pop-disco acts including the Bear Brothers, and was also the voice of Alphonse the Horse, a kid’s cartoon/book/record franchise which never quite took off.

After Paladin Bonsoir went to Creole Records, where he produced The Pinkees and 53rd and 3rd among others. The latter act had scored a hit with King and the song Chick-a-Boom (Don’t Ya Jes Love It) in 1975 and issued at least three 45s on UK. I, like many I would assume, had thought that 53rd and 3rd was just another King pseudonym, but apparently not. King also recorded for Creole, issuing the dreadful God Save The Sex Pistols under the alias Elizabeth, (and impersonating Queen Liz). Prince Charles, apparently, asked for six copies of the disc to be sent to Buckingham Palace. King is due back in court to answer charges of historic sexual abuse in June 2018, but sadly I have been unable to discover the current whereabouts of Mr Bonsoir.


Download Puppet HERE

Download Wheeling HERE

Friday, 10 November 2017

I Lost 200lb Instantly!

This is one of those albums that regularly turns up in worst records lists, but I’ll bet very few of you out there have ever actually heard it. Well you’re in luck, for here’s the whole album, just for you

Crying Demons was issued some time in the early 60s by the A. A. Allen Revivals of the appropriately named Miracle Valley. Arizona. Side one is the transcript of one of Reverend Allen’s services recorded, as noted on the label, ‘under the Miracle Revival Big Top’, and includes the good Pastor trying to exorcise the demons within a suicidal woman. Side two is the gold: actual recordings of the aforementioned demons jabbering away. My favourite is the demon who doesn’t like books and appears to suffer from haemophilia. Poor, illiterate thing!

Asa Alonso Allen (March 27, 1911 - June 11, 1970), was a controversial evangelist with a Pentecostal healing and deliverance ministry, dragging an enormous big top – which, reportedly, could house 22,000 people and was the largest gospel tent in the world - across the nation to hold his powerful revival services. He was born in Sulphur Rock, Arkansas to poor, mixed race parents. At the age of 23, Allen became a Christian at the Onward Methodist Church in Miller, Missouri.

Allen, one of the country's best-known evangelists and faith healers, built his ‘nondenominational Christian’ religious group into a multimillion dollar organisation that sponsored Allen’s frequent tours around the nation and published the monthly Miracle Magazine, with a circulation at its height of 350,000. Miracle Magazine is an absolute hoot, replete with stories of how an overweight woman lost 200lb during a service (‘I weighed over 500 pounds when Brother Allen prayed for me; the lord took 200 pounds off me instantly’), how a man was ‘cured’ of being an hermaphrodite and of how audience members at Allen’s tent revivals grew new hips and even new toes.

He also put out an unknown number of records on the Miracle Revival Recordings label with gospel singing, sermons, miracle cures and exorcisms. Allen’s extensive discography includes the brilliant I Am Lucifer, God Is a Killer, and he Died as a Fool Dieth.

A popular televangelist, one of the first to use TV to enhance his ministry (you can find a number of his shows on YouTube), Allen died at the age of 59 in the Jack Tar Hotel in San Francisco. Although it was initially claimed that he died from a heart attack the coroner, Dr. Henry Turkel (who, apparently, was the inspiration behind Quincy M.E.) told the inquest that his death was the result of ‘acute alcoholism and fatty infiltration of the liver.’ His father had also been an alcoholic. Allen’s followers and family dispute the cause of death, claiming that Dr. Turkel later recanted his testimony. Dr Turkel committed suicide shortly after, but some of Allen’s followers have claimed that the Reverend himself arose, Lazarus-like, from the dead.

Allen was buried at his 2,400 acre Miracle Valley headquarters.


Download HERE and HERE

Friday, 3 November 2017

Acid Raine

UPDATE: I can now bring you Mrs Gerald Legge's I'm In Love, courtesy of fellow bad music enthusiast Dame Agnes Guano of the Downstairs Lounge.

Now this is an unusual post: I don’t think I’ve ever blogged about a record that I didn’t have before, or at least didn’t have access to a copy of. But I need your help, so here goes.

I had no idea of this disc’s existence until this August, when the briefest of clips aired during a TV documentary I happened to be watching, but ever since I became aware of it I have been desperate to track a copy down. I can’t imagine it will cost me much, but neither can I believe that many copies remain in circulation after 60 years. It’s not even listed on Discogs, and has not turned up on Ebay once in the last four months. I know it will turn up in a junk shop pile one day… but maybe one of you out there owns a copy?

Released in June 1957 on both 78 and 45, Luck's In Love With You was performed by Her Grace The Duchess Of Bedford. The record’s b-side, I'm In Love, is credited to Mrs Gerald Legge. Both sides feature Geoff Love and his Orchestra, and the b-side has vocal accompaniment from the Rita Williams Singers.

Barbara Cartland penned lyrics to both sides, and the disc was issued to raise fund for charity, Mrs Legge’s Fund for Old People. Mrs Gerald Legge was Cartland’s daughter Raine McCorquodale, who would achieve notoriety as the ‘wicked stepmother’ to Diana, Princess of Wales. Dame Babs, of course, would go on to release the gruesome Barbara Cartland’s Album of Love Songs, which I’ve featured here before.

Reviewed by John Oakland in Gramophone magazine in August of that year as ‘an interesting record, for while it is obvious that neither artiste is a professional entertainer vocally, their voices have a certain something that disarms criticism even if their raison d'etre in the studio did not, and I can honestly say I would rather listen to either or both than to many of the more recognised "singers" from either side of the Atlantic’, so I’m itching to know exactly why the NME labelled the disc the ‘worst record of the year’! The a-side isn’t completely dreadful, which may have had something to do with the fact that The Duchess of Bedford at the time was Lydia Russell, whose mother was music hall singer Denise Orme… but the short clip I’ve heard of the flip leads me to believe that that’s a howler. UPDATE: Raine sounds amazingly like her mother on this, in all her reedy, weedy, off-key splendour. The disc is an absolute joy!

Mrs Legge also fancied herself as an interior designer: for the 1958 Daily Mail Ideal Home Exhibition she fashioned a bedroom and bathroom. Raine was described by The Spectator as ‘the Boadicea of gracious living — whose own programme note reads, “People who are afraid of colour are afraid of life. I am not afraid of anything, so my ideal room is all flame and aquamarine, with glowing, golden furniture.” And acknowledgments to “my mother, Barbara Cartland, my grandmother, Polly Cartland, aged eighty, my son, William Legge, aged eight, my brother, Glen McCorquodale, my brother, Ian McCorquodale, and my son, Rupert Legge, aged seven.” I don't suppose they’re afraid of anything, either.’ Oh wow! ‘All flame and aquamarine, with glowing, golden furniture.’ Now that’s something I’d love to see. I’ll bet it was hideous!

If you have a copy of I'm In Love please share.. but until then, enjoy!

So here, thanks to Dame Agnes Guano, is the only copy on the internet of the wonderfully dreadful I'm In Love.


Download Im In Love HERE

WWR Most Popular Posts