Sunday, October 14, 2012

"I Lost My Girl to an Argentinian Cowboy"... and Other Non-Hits

Today on Facebook I noticed a couple of friends, Dale and Ensley, talking about hearing funny songs on the radio that they couldn't believe were real songs. It reminded me of this amazing CD my husband picked up a few years ago and brought home as we listened to it, doubled over in laughter. It's AMAZING.

You've probably all heard of vanity publishing — where non-writers with a lot of money pay publishing houses money to publish their usually terribly written books — but in the 60s and 70s, there was a small movement of vanity recording. In short, recording studios would put ads in the paper asking you to write your own lyrics, send them with a particular amount of money between $75 and $400 to the studio, and they'd bring in one of their on-staff singers to set it to music, sing it, and they'd record it.

The result was songs like "Do You Know the Difference Between Big Wood and Brush" or "Ho, I Got to Find You, Baby," or "Jimmy Carter Says 'Yes'," or, my personal favourite, "Blind Man's Penis (Peace and Love)" (the parenthetical part of the title makes me laugh even harder) that contains the hit-making lyric, "A blind man's penis/ Is erect because he's blind."

A few years ago a collector went out searching for these and began buying them up, and put them together into this gut-busting collection. The words are terrible and awesome, the singing is half-assed, the music is rehashed, and the result is pure awesome.

The album is called The American Song-Poem Anthology and you can get it at Amazon by clicking on the title. And I can promise you, you've never heard anything like it.

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