Folks, tunes like Scotch Tape (by Lana Johnidas with the Swinging Strings) and Portland Rose Song (by Bert Lowry with Orchestra and Chorus) could only have come from a "vanity" record label like Film City, who provided us and future generations with a plethora of endearingly awful little masterpieces.
Ramsey Kearney was a teenage country music prodigy nicknamed the Dixie Farmboy, a rockabilly singer with the Jimmie Martin Combo, a songwriter for Brenda Lee, and a producer of the most cloying Elvis tribute single ever recorded. Kearney would have almost no connection to alternative music whatsoever until John Trubee, a notorious crank phone caller and sideman for Zoogz Rift, found an ad in the back of the Midnight Globe tabloid from Kearney's Nashco Records label, a song-poem company offering to put his words to music for a small fee. Trubee sent his own disturbing LSD-fueled lyrics to Nashco, but to his surprise, Nashco accepted the lyrics after taking a $79.95 fee from Trubee. Kearney tweaked the lyrics slightly in order to avoid a lawsuit from Stevie Wonder, but the end product was the cult classic novelty song, Blind Man's Penis. (more inside)
Off in the Christmas Cosmos. Concert promoter Andy Cirzan spends a lot of his free time scouring record stores, thrift shops and flea markets for odd and obscure Christmas music. You used to have to be an industry insider to get a copy of his annual compilation, but now there's a download courtesy of Sound Opinions (the world's only rock 'n roll talk show). If the barrage of Christmas standards has left you with the holiday blahs, let the Free Design, Lord Beginner, and the polka of Don Cornell get you back in the mood. If that's not enough, get more (including Mr. Cirzan explaining what the heck you're listening too) on the SoundOpinions podcast.