Tuesday, September 13, 2011

MUSIC TO SUFFER BY - Leona Anderson

YEAR: 1958

LABEL: Unique Records

TRACK LISTING: I Love Paris, Chloe, Hep Cat, Habanera from Carmen, Il Bacio, Tell Me A Tall Tale, Indian Love Call, Limburger Lover, Giannina Mia, Rats In My Room, Yo Ho the Crow, Italian Street Song

IMPRESSIONS: As a tiny tot, I stumbled upon this musical massacre in my grandparents' record collection slumbering deep inside their 5 foot long record player (from the days when record players were considered furniture). This was at their Pennsauken 3 storey Victorian house on Westfield Avenue. With a title like that and a broken record (actually a demolished record) on the cover, how could a warped little hockey puck like myself resist playing it?!?!? I couldn't and I didn't. Even though the 1958 record was probably only about 15 years old at the time, it seemed like a window into some bizarre and ancient past called the fifties and I was fascinated. Combine this with the Spike Jones and Yogi Yorgesson records I also discovered there, the past was one wacky time for music in my eyes . . . er. . .ears. What exactly went on in the world before I was born???

MY FAVOURITE TRACKS: I Love Paris, Chloe, Hep Cat, Limburger Lover, Rats In My Room, Yo Ho the Crow, Italian Street Song

FACT SHEET: MUSIC TO SUFFER BY is Leona Anderson's first (and only) album and she didn't make it until she was 75 years old. In recent years the album has become an almost legendary comedy classic as "the worst record ever made" outdoing Mrs. Miller in the horrible singing department. Anderson was an actress who has appeared in everything from Charlie Chaplin shorts to the William Castle spookfest "HOUSE ON HAUNTED HILL" with Vincent Price; she's the scary housekeeper whose sudden appearance in the cellar provides the one and only genuine scare in the movie. Anderson was also a favourite of comedian Ernie Kovacs who used her on his ground-breaking early television programme; Anderson's 1955 single "Fish" appears on the cd "THE ERNIE KOVACS RECORD COLLECTION" released in 1997.

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