Okay, technically this is not part of my illustrious album collection, but one of my good friends forwarded me a few of what were called The Worst Album Covers of All Time. This one was my favorite. Meet the famed gospel group, The McKeithens.
First off, their name is grammatically incorrect and one of my all time pet peeves – the incorrect use of an apostrophe. Second, I’m not sure where to begin on this hideous family. A little research tells me that this particular album is from 1976, which was all in all a hideous year for fashion anyway. But, take 1976 kountry kitch’n fashions, add a giant Marge Simpson beehive and you have got yourself a masterpiece!
If you want to see one of the McKeithens today, click here to see Angela (the fetching blonde) and her new band!
Ahhhh… the Grease Soundtrack. Do you know that I listened to this so much that I actually wore it out and had to buy another one? Did you even know that you can wear out a record? Well, you can and I did.
Grease was my favorite movie of all time when I was a kid. I saw it about 20 times. Then, one of my friends got the first VCR (I think it was a BetaMax) I ever saw and she got a copy of Grease for Christmas! Then I saw it about 100 more times. Never mind that I didn’t really understand half of it – like that Rizzo thought she was pregnant(!), and that Danny was trying to feel Sandy up at the drive-in, or the message I was subliminally receiving that I need to “slut it up” to get the guy. No, I just loved the songs and of course I had a crush on John Travolta like every other 10 year old at the time.
I used to spend hours in my room listening to this double-record. I still pretty much know every word to every song. I mean, do you know the words to It’s Raining on Prom Night? Unfortunately I do. I can also do the hand jive, sing all of We Go Together, and act out the entire girls’ sleepover scene myself. Did I mention I was an only child?
Oh, and to this day my favorite karaoke song is Hopelessly Devoted to You. In fact, it’s my only karaoke song. If it’s a good night, I can bring the house down with that one. If it’s a bad night, well… let’s focus on the positive, shall we?
This fine album was one of the first albums I ever bought myself with my allowance. Yes, it’s a Fonz record. Not only that, it’s a Fonz record with special appearances by Laverne & Shirley and the Sweathogs. Cool, huh? I certainly thought so when I bought it in the Bargain Bin at Woolco.
Yes, I used to like the Fonz. Why, I have no idea. I look at that horrible show now and I don’t even know why I watched it. It was a big deal in 1976 – I guess that’s what happens when you only have four channels. Anyway, I liked the Fonz so much that I stole for him. I went to Skagg’s with a friend and I shoplifted a Fonzie pin that looked kind of like the one he has on in the album cover that said “SIT ON IT” and had a picture of the Fonz with his trademark “Aaaaaay” thumbs-up stance. My parents wouldn’t let me wear it because they thought that SIT ON IT was a rude thing to say. Ahhhh.. the innocent 70s. So, basically, I stole it and couldn’t even wear it. There’s a lesson in there somewhere, I think.
I was so excited when I had saved up enough money to buy this record! Then, I got it home. It was kind of a rip – it only had two songs about the Fonz (Fonzarelli Slide and The Fonz Song) and the rest was old recycled 50s music. Oh, and a final track of an “impressionist” saying all the cool Fonz sayings so you could learn how to say them, too. Like I couldn’t say SIT ON IT or AAAAY without the “impressionist” teaching me. The Fonzarelli Slide had some ridiculous gimmick in which both the Sweathogs and Laverne & Shirley somehow are involved and sing about the Fonz. It didn’t make sense on a lot of levels, but I was 9, what did I know?
The coolest thing, though, was that the back of the album cover had a fold out tab that allowed you to stand this up as a picture, which I am sad to admit, I did. Proudly.
Oh, SIT ON IT!
My first record was a 45 (look it up) of Oscar the Grouch singing “I Love Trash.” I don’t remember where that record came from, but I do remember begging my parents to play it over and over again on their cool console hi-fi when they were more into Lynyrd Skynyrd. I know it used to drive them crazy, and one day my dad “accidently” stepped on my Oscar the Grouch record and that was the end of that. But, it started my lifetime love of music.
When I was about 8 I got a little plastic portable record player and played my Disney records such as The Jungle Book, Lady and the Tramp and Gilbert & Sullivan. Being an only child, these records kept me occupied for hours and out of my parents’ hair, which was a win-win for everybody.
Then, when I was about 11, I asked for a real stereo for Christmas, which I think my parents finally bought me because it came with a headphone jack. This was when my true music stylings came to life. I now saved my allowance for records now instead of candy. And what a wonderful record collection I amassed over the years. Wonderfully horrible! The Fonz singing? Check. Anne Murray covering the Monkees? Check. Xanadu Soundtrack? Check. One Hit Wonders of the 80s? Check! Check! Check!
Unfortunately, my parents took it upon themselves to throw away all my records after I moved to Chicago after college. No, they didn’t ask me first, but if you knew my parents, you would understand. But, thanks to the magic of the internet, I can still stare at my favorite album covers and even download some of the songs on my iPhone. Somehow it’s just not the same.
I’ve decided to pay homage to my favorites by posting them here for all to see. And, believe it or not, and it turns out my mother-in-law had a copy of the 45 of “I Love Trash” in her basement! She gave it to me last year, so all is right with the world again.