“At the Organ: The Detroit Tigers Superstar Swings with Today’s Hits”
submitted by: Gary H.
What I like about this record is that the guy actually plays on it, unlike many other “sports” records that have the star on the cover but other people’s music within.
McClain’s baseball career was short but eventful. Although he won the Cy Young Award, was named the AL Most Valuable Player, and pitched in the World Series, all in 1968, he suffered from a series of injuries and scandals. From wikipedia:
“Sports Illustrated reported that a foot injury suffered by McLain late in 1967 had been caused by an organized crime figure stomping on it for McLain’s failure to pay off on a bet. McLain missed six starts because of this injury, coming back to pitch and lose the Tigers’ final game of the season against the California Angels, which cost his team the 1967 pennant. McLain’s story of what caused the injury kept changing: on various occasions, he claimed that he had kicked his locker after a particularly disappointing start; fallen asleep watching television, then wrenched his toes against some furniture when he woke up in the dark; kicked some garbage cans being ‘terrorized’ by squirrels; and fallen into a manhole while being chased by a pack of wild dogs.” It goes on from there…
In 1967, the game company approached the Combinations, a garage band from Easton, Pennsylvania, and asked them to be the sound for what they hoped would be the next new dance and game craze. Dance Instructor to the Stars “Killer Joe” Piro was recruited to write and perform the dance (he’s the guy on the cover).
Listen to “Bump Ball”:
The band was put up in a New York studio with Julie Andrews’ producer and James Brown’s horn section and emerged with one song… the steaming pile of crap that serves as the title track to this record. The song is an awkward mish-mash that sounds like it was recorded by three different bands who couldn’t hear one another. But that didn’t stop Milton Bradley from thinking they had the Next Big Thing on their hands.
Jimmy Ellis aka Orion was the most successful Elvis impersonator (who claimed not to be an Elvis impersonator) of all time.
For years Ellis tried to make a career as a country singer, but his voice and manor were so similar to Elvis’ that he was dismissed as an imitator. His voice and appearance apparently caused enough confusion that fans thought he might actually be The King himself performing. One of his early singles was titled, “I’m Not Trying To Be Elvis”.
After Elvis’ death, he finally stopped resisting the comparisons and developed the “Orion” persona, named after the title character of a book about a rock star who fakes his own death. Orion’s ultimate coup was getting signed to Sun Records, Elvis’ original label, for his first album. As one might expect, many fans apparently believed that Orion actually was Elvis Presley.
Orion released several albums in the early 80′s and even had a few charting singles. He then quit the Orion/Elvis charade until the early 1990′s, when he released several more records. He died in 1998, when he was gunned down in a robbery of his convenience store in Selma, Alabama.