This is one night when I have to let the readers do the talking.

Little did I know, when I opted last Friday night for a little musical merriment in my post, what a flood of hilariously terrible music videos it would unleash from you, the readers. And so tonight, you have the floor. The dance floor!

If you didn’t read my Friday post (what? you’re not hanging on my every word?) it was a trip down memory lane to the days (okay, the early ’70s – when I was a kid watching it all on the black-and-white TV here at the Manse) when the big names in mainstream, middle-of-the-road music thought it behooved them to get groovy and try some of the songs that “the young folks” were coming up with. My sterling (if I do say so) example was Steve Lawrence doing a kind of a lounge-lizard nightclub version of Harry Nilsson‘s passionate and beautiful Without You on the Carol Burnett Show.

But oh my, what other treasures you folks have unearthed! And readers, if you go to the comments section of that post, here, you can see them all – each one more terrible than the last. Just when you think it can’t get any worse than Leonard (Mr. Spock) Nimoy having a go at Creedence Clearwater Revival‘s Proud Mary, along comes Telly (Kojak) Savalas doing George Harrison‘s Something. I ask you: why did these guys feel they had to sing at all? Let alone tackle songs best left to people a few decades younger than they?

And then there are old warhorses like Mae West (I am not making this up) and Ethel Merman hurling themselves, with disastrous consequences, into, respectively, The BeatlesDay Tripper and a disco version of There’s No Business Like Show Business.

And that’s still not all!

But anyway, because it is my blog, I have decided to declare a winner in the too-old-to-sing-that-song category. Actually two winners, because there are two so screechingly ghastly that I can’t decide which is worse. The first is the one atop this post, and you’ll have known as soon as you saw Tiny Tim that it was going to be bad. But just how bad you won’t know till you hit play.

And then there is this gem, from one “Mrs. Miller.” I haven’t the foggiest who or what Mrs. Miller is or was, but this recording is one for the ages. Thank you, readers!

4 thoughts on “This is one night when I have to let the readers do the talking.

  1. Oh, Katherine … you don’t know about Mrs. Miller? My goodness, you’ve lived a very sheltered life in that Manse, I must say. Either that, or your TV reception didn’t pick up Ed Sullivan’s show when he featured her around 1966. Now, it’s true that she didn’t appear at the Queensborough rock festival, but I suppose it’s because her popularity was over by then (and she was popular, really, for only about 15 minutes, anyway.)

    Mrs. Miller had a gimmick, whereby she would put ice in her mouth just prior to singing, and that would help her to whistle trills, or something like that. She released one album, and songs that received airplay on CJBQ were Downtown (take that, Petula Clark!), A Lover’s Concerto, and other favourites. I happen to have that album, AND the CD re-release (which contains unreleased tracks), and here’s another gem that I know you’ll enjoy — this will have you humming all night.

      • Hi Katherine. You would have been very young when Mrs. M. hit the scene and not many young kids would have been listening to her. Really, she was not around that long, anyway. That’s why the record company rushed out her record and called it a Greatest Hits collection, even though she never had a true hit. She was a brief novelty act, so I’m not surprised that you missed her. As we’re on the topic of odd acts, do you know of Florence Foster Jenkins? She was another one who could not sing (but she was able to fill Carnegie Hall when she gave a concert.) Or, Yma Sumac? Now, she was a wonderful singer, exotic and mysterious, with a five-octave range.

      • My goodness, how do you know all these things, Sash? I’d never heard of either Flora Foster Jenkins or Yma Sumac, though in comments on Raymond’s Facebook link to my post, our friend Sandra mentioned the former (and even included a video). You are a veritable font of knowledge!

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