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

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