Banjos in Spaaaaaaaaaaccccce!

Skip DeVol
“Ultrabanjo”
cover art: Pat Lazelle-Sweeney
1978, Artco records #70-1156

“A Message to Disbelievers:  The Speeds of Certain Tunes On This Album Are The Speeds They Are Actually Played”

Check out Skip doing the Star Wars theme:

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Died 2011

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Uh oh… Better get Maaco.

Tommy Ellison
“Let This Be a Lesson To You (Drunk Driver)”
1985, Atlanta International Record Co., #AIR-10086

Died 2009

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Need Lithium, stat.

Kaye Ballard
“Boo Hoo – Ha Ha”
United Artists UAL 3165


kayeballard.com

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Cute Canadian Clowns vs. Evil Hippy Clowns

Sphere Clown Band
“I Can Do Anything”
1983, One Eyed Duck (Canada)

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For Hire

The Klowns
“The Ringling Bros. & Barnum & Bailey Klowns”
1970, RCA #LSP-4438

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Kids, this it what hipsters looked like in 1985

Personal Effects
“Bring Out the Jazz”
1985, Earring Records

When I found this I honestly thought it was going to be a recording of a high school jazz band.  I have to admit being a bit disappointed to find out Personal Effects is actually a nerdy synth-pop group from Rochester, NY.  Not sure what look they were going for on this cover.  The mid-80′s were a weird, confused time…

In a band called Margaret Explosion

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What about soccer??

All Sports Band
s/t
Radio Records / Atlantic #RR19321
1981

Finally, here’s a record that reminds me of why I got into collecting bizarre records to begin with!  A completely fabricated, major-label group specifically designed to cash in on the 80′s teen fad of… sports.

All Sports Band

All the top American sports of the day are represented.  Car racing, from before car racers were rednecks.  Baseball, from the days when baseball players were skinny and doing coke instead of steroids.  Football, because he’s the black guy.  Boxing, because he’s not wearing a shirt.  And of course, karate, the king of all 1980′s sports.

Here’s a vid of Dick Clark talking with the band on American Bandstand.  Apparently the actual musical performance was just too valuable to post on Youtube.

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No, Apple, you did not invent the word “App”


Jack Benny and Friends
“Music to Write Apps By”
1960, State Farm Insurance Records #L8OP0956

Yes, people were using “apps” as an abbreviation for “applications” at least 50 years ago… as they were being driven around town in model-T’s by their negro chauffeurs.

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Turn the lights back out

Vision
s/t
1985, Heartland Records

I’ve never seen a record with such a difference in the band’s look between the front and back covers.  The front cover looks like a band that might have opened up for The Fixx on their “One Thing Leads to Another” tour.  The back cover looks like the band that played your weird drunk uncle’s second wedding.

  Facebook, like everyone else.

 

 

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Tears of a Rodeo Clown

The Eastham Band
“Texas Prison Rodeo Presents: Behind the Walls”
1977, HER-A-IV

From the liner notes:

The colorful history of the Texas Prison Rodeo dates from 1931.  The Rodeo has been held each year, except during the 1943, when no Rodeo was held because of the war.  Each year it gets bigger and better. 

Dr. Harley Rex has been directing the Rodeo Band since 1964, and since that time, the music program has been incorporated into the Wyndham School District.  This year, Dr. Rex’s music directors on the various units have won national honors in several contests….  The Eastham Band and Choir, directed by Gene Ronsonette, received the Sweepstakes Award.  The Louisiana Pacific Corporation sponsored this Nation-wide contest and the judges stated that “our presentation showed the epic struggle of the Blacks and Spanish in an attempt to find their place in American Society.”

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  Torn down.

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Come with me if you want to rock.

Rogue Male “First Visit”
cover art: Peter Gudynas
1985, Elektra/Asylum

A relic of the days when metal was a lot like punk, only with longer hair, more leather, and wider-legged guitar stances.

Peter Gudynas is actually a very talented Sci-Fi book cover artist.  Some of his work is beautiful.  All I can think of is maybe the band ASKED for the “retarded Terminator” look.

Still rockin it, sans the band & mullet.

 

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