Mar 13, 2016

The Semi-Annual "That's So Strange" Post With Liberace's Protege And Oodles More, Plus A Secret Song For Sisters!

What's strange to you? To me, strange is all those ladies in the 1950s and 60s who were swooning over Liberace. I know, I know, it was another time - but really? This?

Still, brace yourself, because there's much stranger to come in the form of Jamie Redfern, a fourteen-year-old Australian singer who leaped to prominence on the TV show "Young Talent Time" - and faster than you can say the-priest-wants-to-play-stoop-tag-in-the-asparagus-patch-with-little-Billy, he was snapped up by Liberace, who deigned to become his "mentor."

No, I'm not implying anything (yes, I am), and the now-adult Jamie denies, denies, denies, but the photo-pairing of this duo on the LP cover isn't even the strangest thing about Jamie's 1972 LP "Sitting On Top Of The World." It's his voice, which I'll refrain from describing so as not to ruin the delicious horror surprise. As far as I know, there was no electro-tweaking done (on Jamie's vocal tracks, not his...oh, never mind). This is what Aussie audiences in the 70s were groovin' to. It's oddly mesmerizing and scary as all get out. And, yes, strange.

Is there anything strange about Robert Mitchum, below chawing on a bit of hay in 1949's "Red Pony?"

Yes, indeed there is. In 1957, Robert became so enamored with calypso music while trekking through Trinidad (as one does) that he decided to cut an LP with congas, steel drums and a Caribbean beat, yo. And, yes, he sings throughout, sometimes adopting a sort of Rasta-Caribbean accent, which means "man" becomes "mon," for example, and "this" becomes "dis," making it one of the loopier examples of what the kids nowadays call "cultural appropriation." And yet despite all that, the LP's thoroughly entertaining and Mitchum's voice is actually quite smooth. Strange can be terrific, too, dont'cha know.

One of my favorite bad movie musicals of all time is "Lost Horizon," which I've taken to calling "the very latest Liv Ullman musicale extravaganza." Likewise, "Everyone Says I Love You," pictured below, is something I call "Julia Roberts' musicale triumph!" because when I think of musicale starlets, I think of Julia.

Like many late-era Woody Allen movies, "Everyone Says I Love You" is alternately wonderful, head-scratching, overlong and strange, this time made even stranger by Allen's decision to have his largely non-singing cast break into song, and without dubbing them with better voices (as Liv Ullman was). And yet it's oddly endearing to hear the likes of Ed Norton and Billy Crudup striving to stay on key, though Drew Barrymore insisted that she be dubbed by a better singer, which means she's either saving us from terrors unknown or she's a whole lot less fun than we think she is.

Below, behold Angelina. Known only as Angelina, "the singing model." Obviously, she's very shy.

And behold, too, the cover for her lone LP, 1957's "Confidential" (a Seriously Strange Exclusive! just for you) wherein - oopsie-daisy! - Angelina's in the midst of her own wardrobe malfunction. Meh, it happens. What'cha going to do? Trust me, your kids have seen worse. I don't know anything about Angelina, and the photo above and her LP cover below are the only pictures of her I could find. Which is strange, because her bawdy-bubbly songs, in which she's accompanied only by piano, are wonderfully blue in a hot-cha early-vaudeville fashion. And the first song "Vice Versa," which mixes up the sexes into a blur, seems prescient given our new Trans Era ("Trans is trending!" belches this one) (and don't forget this divine duo). Plus, she performs songs like "He Forgot His Rubber" and "All The Girls Like Big Dick" (as in Richard) (of course), so you know you'll love it.

Imagine being celebrated for you creamy-dreamy voice - only it's not you they're celebrating, but a host of others. Now that's strange, but it's the hand that was dealt to the lovely Annette Warren, pictured below with her renown pianist husband Paul Smith in 2013.

Back in the day, Annette was one of Hollywood's go-to Ghost Singing gals, which means she provided the singing voice for a host of non-singing actors, like Lucille Ball in "Sorrowful Jones," Ava Gardner in "Show Boat," and countless more. Plus, she was a celebrated jazz singer, traveling the globe from clubs in London and New York, along with making all the requisite appearance on popular TV shows of the day, like "The Ed Sullivan Show" and...wait for it..."The Liberace Show." Do you think she swooned over him? Somehow I doubt it. This spanking new 2-CD set brings together a huge helping of her recordings, most from her Verve and Capital records, so if you've never had the pleasure, this is place to discover her luscious vocals. And get this. As of 2015, she was still performing live. Go, Annette, go!

Did you know The Secret Song File has a twin sister? I know, quelle scandal. Which means all this time you've either been looking at her - or her twinsie! They're real twinsies, mind you, not fake ones, like a certain retro-singing trio who pass themselves off as triplets. Which is fine, of course, though strange, because they're not going to fool anyone between the sheets, if you get my drift.

Despite that and accordingly and such 'n; such, their latest is pure fun and giggles - with a syncopated beat. So if you want triplets, this is definitely the way to go. I won't judge, and neither will The Secret Song File. Just clean up afterwards and keep that phone video to yourself.

Why? Because no one wants to see anything that strange!

But do leave the very oddest remarks in the comments, if you like. 


Anonymous said...

As your intermittent mystery friend from the land Down Under let me start off by saying that the LP by Liberace and Jamie Redfern effectively kick-started the psychiatric profession here in the 1970's. Okay, maybe I'm exaggerating just a tad but if it didn't then it sure as hell should have! LOL. Seriously though: WTF? Love your blog! I'll take Angelina for a spin and se how she performs... :-)

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

That album cover is the stuff of nightmares, so I can only imagine having to see him on TV every week! I'm glad you survived intact. And do take heart. At least you aren't of The Belieber Generation. How I fear for the children, because that's much too hard-core for anyone.

tony said...

I think Angelina would make Rusty Warren blush.....

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

She lays it all out there, that's for sure.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks again for the uploads but 2shared appeared to have deleted the "Liberace/Redfern" and "Everyone Says I Love You" files. Did anyone else notice this? The Mitchum and Angelina files were OK.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Hmm. All the links are working for me. Maybe 2shared was being skittish when you tried, so give it another go. Also, make sure you have your Ad Blocker on, or things can get confusing.

GraceNotes said...

Any chance you can offer up Robert Horton's "Man From Shenandoah"? He died this week at 91, and it's an exceedingly hard album to find -- saw it featured in his NYTIMES obituary. Thanks!

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

Unfortunately I don't have that right now, but I'll keep a look out for it.

Anonymous said...

"Liberace/Redfern" and "Everyone Says I Love You" worked this time! Thanks again. The problem was some hyphens in the URLs which for some eerie reason were turning in small rectangular shapes in my browser. Hard coding them back to hyphens did the trick.

The Cheerful Earfull! said...

I'm glad it finally worked, but what a pain in the butt for you!

Is anyone else encountering this issue? I use Chrome and don't have a problem with any of the URLs.