everything that was or will be
everything that was or will be

At no point does the bio on the back of the album mention any incident of castration for Mr. Hart, though his voice tells other tales. This album seems to be from the 70s. You will notice it features the “keyboard stylings of Don Wyrtzen.” Indeed, Mr. Wyrtzen gives this the feel of a piano bar performance. Such playing can only be qualified as stylings.

Ray Hart Ten Thousand Angels

I believe this is the same Joe King from Canada that I posted a song by before, but there is little information on this one other than the band members’ first names - none of them are the same as on the album I previously posted - and the label, Star, which is the same label as the previous album. Anyhow, this is good barroom music, a lament about an extra marital affair and the world not understanding that it was not sordid. 

Joe King and The Ramblers Back Street Affair

This is amazing - an edited down version of a TV movie VD drama from the 70s starring Cloris Leachman, who also warbles the theme song. I was 9 or 10 years old when this aired, so it was probably “too mature” for my innocent eyes at the time. I think I want to see the whole film.

This is the most depressing gospel song I’ve ever heard. They don’t sound too sure of what they are positing. The entire song can be summed up as, “Boy, life is horrible, but Jesus said that once we get to heaven, all this horribleness will lead to something good. He promised it so it’s got to be true? Right? Right? Because it seems pretty awful right now so I want to make sure he’s not pulling a fast one on me.” Or something like that. You can find out more about the Speer Family here. The actual reason I bought this record is the cover - each track is accompanied by a photo of the recording facility it was performed in, all places in Nashville. For the record, this was recorded in Roy Acuff Exhibits and Buckleys.

The Speer Family Heaven Will Surely Be Worth It All

This clunky performance was given away by a local bank in the early 1980s, a tribute to something most people who live in the Northern Berkshires can spot outside their window. Mount Greylock is the highest peak in Massachusetts and on top of it is a massive lighthouse. I like to think that it was put up there to warn flying saucers of a high peak, but it’s really a war memorial. 

Norman Najimy and Agnes Donovan Mount Greylock Tower, A Grateful Remembrance

Easter was always my least favorite holiday and it’s no wonder why - the trade-off wasn’t even. Candy, sure, but horrible dress clothes - I’m talking the ’70s here and a yellow leisure suit - and the most endless church service of the year in exchange for the candy? No thanks. You couldn’t even really go out and play to pass the time until ham dinner because you would get your Easter clothes dirty. All for something I think is total nonsense anyhow - the resurrection of Jesus. At least Peter Pan knew the right way to present the story - narrated on a record, with dramatic organ flairs and accompanying read-a-long comic book. All religion is better with those.

The Children's Bible In Sound and Pictures The Ascension and the Pentecost

Straight from 1974, some groovy Christian rock and a “rap session” about God that’s meant to appeal to middle school age Catholic kids. Ayres was friends with Harry Chapin had a weekly radio show on ABC and it is claimed that “Father Bill interviews leading rock performers and plays the best in rock music.” Mt. Airy is the name of the rock band on this record - it features Tom Chapin, Harry Chapin’s younger brother. The whole effort is as sincere and as square as I remember liberal-minded youth-focused ministries of the era.

Father Bill Ayres Be Yourself - A Rock Radio Show on Prayer

The 1975 album that features this little slice of Greek pop funk seems to have been released solely for the purpose of promoting the restaurant Basel’s, which apparently specializes in Greek parties. How unfortunate they don’t tell you what city Basel’s is in, or a phone number, or address, or anything. You’re out of luck. 

The Hellenic Strings and Marco Naha Ta Chronia Sou (I Wish I Was Your Age)

Don’t mind my snickering, I know it is childish, I don’t need a lecture. Singing suggestive songs about Jesus isn’t Shultz’s only talent - he’s also a magician and ventriloquist, neither of which comes through on this album, sadly. 

Joe Shultz Deeper and Deeper

I’ve said before and I will stand by it that there is no bad version of Boots, and the detail that makes this one particularly special is its use of the guitar riff from Day Tripper, to say nothing of Lynn’s quipping to the audience. This album is from 1969. Lynn seems to have had a respectable career, though I admit she is not someone I am familiar with. The back of the album describes how Lynn  ”parlayed the Miss Montana title and her basic belief in what is good and proper into one of the most fabulous careers in the entertainment world.” Well, there you go. She retired from music to become a minister, and died in 2010 - her obituary is here, and makes it plain that she was a special brand of Vegas country music.

Judy Lynn These Boots Are Made For Walking