Monday, October 23, 2017

The Jarlsberg Diaries: Vinyl Resting Place

Oh, sure - "draining the swamp" in Washington sounds like a tough job, but when it comes to a real challenge, "cleaning out crap" in the Jarlsberg home is the stuff of Herculean legend.

As part of the remodeling project, we're trying to get rid of things which have been hiding in closets for decades. Among these items: our last stash of actual vinyl LPs. A couple of days ago, we took a motherlode of standard fare (Beatles, Eagles, Slim Whitman) to Half Price Books and received an insulting pittance for them. Painful, but necessary.

But we've hung onto a few albums which are so weird and so rare that we don't know if they're wildly valuable or entirely unwanted. We'll let eBay, and perhaps a therapist, help us sort that out.

But just for fun, here's a selection of what we've been harboring for years. And we're not kidding here - these are all real albums, we really own them, and these are the pictures we took minutes ago.

This album reminds women that there's no real reason to stay in shape except to look hot for their sedentary husbands. And for those too young to know, there was a time when a young male could do a LOT worse than watching Debbie Drake exercise on TV. Eat your heart out, Jane Fonda!

Nothing says all-American music like the London-based "Big Ben Banjo Band" playing traditional favorites like "Japanese Sandman." We're having strum fun now!

Who doesn't love a family sing-along? Or, if not in a musical mood, just having everyone join in on angry political ranting with a southern drawl? This album is so rare that we've so far been unable to even find a picture of it on the Internet. Originally published on the "Yikes!" label.

Buying this album probably put us on a government watch list 40 years ago. And frankly, the reason we've kept it this long isn't so much our love of the symphonic stylings of "Mohammed El-Bakkar and his Oriental Ensemble," but rather our fascination with this oddly shaped dancer's mismatched boobs.

Ladies, why settle for demeaning jobs like teacher, nurse, or librarian when with a little effort you can enter the high-paying, glamorous world of stenography! Imagine the satisfaction you'll feel scribbling down the barely coherent thoughts of a man who can't even type, takes three-martini lunches, and still makes ten times your salary!

While a lot of these albums seem funny now, we can surely all agree that the work of the "Society for Indecency to Naked Animals" is as important now as it ever was. And yes, the album really discusses why animal nudity is a problem, and what sort of clothing is needed to rectify this disgusting situation. Remember, horses don't need jockeys - they need jockey shorts.

A classic - and still in it's cellophane wrapper! This album captures two of the greatest performances by the legendary mime. Each side is 25 minutes of silence, followed by riotous applause. But how do we know this if the album is still in the sealed shrink-wrap? Because it's not our only copy. That's how much we love this album.

Remember when televisions were black and white, had tiny screens, weighed as much as an anvil, burned coal for fuel, and "Sea Hunt" with Lloyd Bridges was a big hit? You don't? Man, we picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue.

We actually attended Indiana University, the home of the Kinsey Institute, where they compiled all the historic sexual research about what goes where, how often, and what your toes do at the moment when you're really, really happy. We were not, however, personally included in the research because it turns out that none of the records we owned were really useful for seduction.

Still, we owned this album "just in case."

Discover your inner thespian! This interactive album comes with a script that you read aloud, trading lines with famed actor Don Ameche. Talk about a great way to rev up a party!  And in case you're saying "big deal, EVERYONE has this album" we'd like to point out that ours has Don Ameche's autograph on it! 

Why take precious months out of your life to teach your bird to talk when you can simply give him a Costco-sized box of crackers and leave this album playing all day on your stereo? Sadly, the phrases taught are more along the lines of "Hello" and "Pretty boy" than "Help, police!" and "You'll never take me alive, copper!"

And doesn't this seem timely right now? Seriously, if this album had been recorded by Harvey Weinstein instead of Jerry Bloom, we could now sell it for so much money we'd never have to work again! And yes, we're guessing this woman had what it took to be a movie star.

We hope you've enjoyed this sonic stroll down memory lane (or is that "memory lame?"), and if you desperately want to buy any or all of these albums just let us know. Because once we've cleared these out, we can start working on the really weird stuff.


Velveeta Processed Cheese Food said...

Sea Hunt was great. Every week you could count on somebody cutting his air hose.

Unknown said...

Sorry, Jarlsburg- already on the market:
(2 available- Framed for 12.99, with 2.00 shipping)

Mike aka Proof said...

Stilton: My what an...eclectic collection!

JC said...

Remember "Mix Tapes"? I had one labeled "Bear skin rug"

REM1875 said...

AHhh .....Doc?.....Appears to be a trip partially down mammary lane ......

Nice going Doc- Me and Mrs Rem have decided after viewing these that we really don't need to get rid of anything and we are training our blood hound and his is half breed buddy (No5 and No6) to find the dining room table if we ever need it again....
I will never- ever think about throw out the left eye to a tweety bird toy we haven't seen in a decade away out of our junk drawer again after seeing your collection --the next generation or two can deal with it .....
Thank You Doc!!!

Oh and we have decided after some discussion (actually not much at all) NOT to place a bid in on your vinyl collection ....... and to save our cash for nice set of Adults only ceiling fan attachments for the bed room with only some parts missing ...

REM1875 said...

Why is that after carefully reading something 5 times over that it's only after posting the mistakes jump out at you as the very first things you see?

Brie Camembert said...

SKIN DIVING - is that like skinny dipping?

Cridge said...

My mother had an album from Hart's Mountain a pet supply company of canaries singing to try and coax her yellow bird into singing. Didn't work.

james daily said...

That is one of the oddest collections I have ever seen. How embarrassed were some of the people to make them. My weakness has always been books so about 6 months or so ago, I sent 15 boxes to Goodwill, 2 boxes to a buddy, 1 box to me sister. That was just the shelves and boxes stacked in the garage. I have no idea how many are in the attic. Like you, I kept several dozen old favorites. Oh, the boxes were 12 x 12 x 18.
That was an interesting election when ole George ran for President. You could see the worry in the face of that despicable LBJ as he lied on TV. Your last album on How to Become a Movie Star didn't quite work for the young lady on the cover. Those vinyls are very funny stuff. (I was taking scuba lessons when Jaws came out, never went back.)

Geoff King said...

Your collection reminded me of a record I used to own (and wish I still did). It was a flimsy square 45 sized 33 1/3 song that came in a Mad Magazine titled "Nose Job".
Surprisingly, I actually found it on YouTube:

udaman said...

Take a walk down " mammary lane". I do not know how you missed that one, but there it is. You are welcome!

Fred Ciampi said...

I think my rarest albums are a collection of John F. Kennedy's speeches still in their original wrappers. Well, that and a bunch of 78 RPM Danny Kaye hits. Ahhh, music to make moonshine by.

TrickyRicky said...

Although the Port Said album caught my eye, it can't compare with Herb Alpert's "Whipped Cream and Other Delights" in the teenage boy eye candy genre.

BTW, check this out. Gilligan's Island cast related albums....

Emmentaler "Whattaya Mean They Aren't Frisbees?" Limburger said...

AH, yes. She had all the necessary accouterments for stardom. Two of those.... One of those... not hard on the eyes.... and a willing smile. As opposed to Mohammed's dancer , who was down by half of one of those, and looked like she would chew the nose off of Mother Teresa if she got too close.

I inherited my Dad's collection - most of which he inherited from his Dad. No wax tubes (not that I've noticed, anyway), but lots of ginormous, fragile-as-glass 78s. Will have to go through the survivors someday and see what's there...

Emmentaler "The Historian" Limburger said...

(Ol' Mo's album must have been made before their women were required to wear head-to-toe Hefty bags... Can't help but wonder when that may have been? Didn't know they were cutting albums int he 5th century.)

Anonymous said...

I thought National Lampoon's Lemmings album parody of Woodstock was a little eclectic or Uncle Larry and Little Tommy Animal Stories were guilty pleasures that others didn't appreciate...... but your collection beats them all hands down. I think they will be worth a bundle some day..... JK. I drew the line with the singing albums of Leonard Nimoy or William Shatner.

John the Econ said...

Mrs. Econ keeps bugging me to get rid of my vinyl. Can't do it.

The kids today will never understand the artistry of album covers. Actually, generations going back to Gen-X have missed out since the '80s and the emergence of the compact disc, which shank the cover down to near-insignificance. Perhaps, if there are any left, some future anthropologist or historian will correlate America's downfall to the disappearance of the album cover. Or now that I think about it, perhaps album covers were the seeds of our demise.

Yeah, somehow I don't see @Stilton's line of "Wanna come back to my place and listen to my records?" leading anywhere I'd particularly want to go.

I'm really surprised you resisted the urge to add thought balloons to the Do you want to become a movie star album.

@Velveeta Processed Cheese Food, if I had been Lloyd Bridges, I'd have swapped out those flimsy rubber hoses for some aviation-grade braided steel ones, and I would have ruled the sea!

Herb Alpert's "Whipped Cream and Other Delights": Still have it!

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Velveeta Processed Cheese Food- Never has a rush of bubbles been more dramatic!

@Barry Newman- Maybe I'll contact Jeff and Beau Bridges directly to see if they want to buy a copy (I assume they're too important to use eBay).

@Mike aka Proof- Hey, I'm an eclectic kind of guy.

@JC- Ah, nostalgia.

@REM1875- Hey, don't blame me for all the mammaries! It was a simpler and (ahem) more "natural" time for the ladies, when curves were more appreciated than sunken eyes, sharp cheekbones, and inflated lips.

And regarding finding errors AFTER you post, I end up finding two or three things to fix (or fine tune) in almost every post. For some reason, I can't really see what needs to be changed until it goes live online.

@Brie Camembert- It is when it's done right. Albeit not necessarily by Lloyd Bridges. (Stray thought: in the name "Lloyd," which of the L's is silent?)

@Cridge- I believe they're still using that album on prisoners at Gitmo.

@James Daily- I've got some very odd old books, too, but I'm hanging on to most of them (the so-so stuff has been culled out). I pride myself on having an impressive collection of books about human oddities (or "freaks" as they were called in less sensitive times). In fact, I actually appeared in a book of human oddities for something unusual about me...but that's a story for another day.

@Geoff King- I remember that song! And fun to hear it again!

@udaman- And somewhere, Bob Hope is singing "Thanks for the Mammaries."

@Fred Ciampi- I LOVE the old Danny Kaye stuff, and have an album among my "keepers." Here's one I listened to over and over as a kid: "The Fairy Pipers."

@TrickyRicky- "Whipped Cream and Other Delights" is indeed a classic cover, and one I can summon to mind without help from the Internet.

@Emmentaler "Whattaya Mean They Aren't Frisbees?" Limburger- I'm honestly not 100% sure that dancer on the Port Said album was even born female. The hips and waist seem wrong...once you get around to noticing them.

I've got a number of commercial 78's around here and, even MORE delicate, 78's recorded by my parents on cardboard/shellac records from back in the 40's (when, apparently, you could do such a thing). They haven't aged well, but I've been digitizing what I can.

@Anonymous- Good going on skipping the Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner stuff. Even when collecting oddities, it's important to retain a modicum of pride.

@John the Econ- It was painful to let go of a large stash of classic albums. As you point out, those album covers were both art and personal history. I especially liked the album sleeves you could open like a book and read the lyrics inside. You know, back when lyrics weren't unprintable.

Tots said...


OK, I broke up a few times going through the list and made mental notes on what to comment on. Unfortunately they were all lost at the "Train Your Bird to Talk" album.

The reason?

My grandmother was given a bird which she taught to say, "Pretty bird" and "Best sugar in town'. She really enjoyed the bird but ultimately had to give it away because it also learned to say "AW SHIT!" at inappropriate times.

My mom tried to warn her. :D

JJ said...

Hilarious! ...still laughing about Marcel Marceau

Pete (Detroit) said...

My thought on the harem dancer is that she resembles Betty Page... and if her arms were in the same position she'd look a LOT less "unbalanced". But of course, that very imbalance is what enhances the fascination / attraction of the pose.

Recently, west MI, a woman was convicted of killing her husband, partly on the testimony of his parrot - who repeated part of an argument, including hubby's last words - "Don't f8cking shoot!"

Wow! Searching on 'parrot testifies' and it apparently happens not infrequently!

Shatner. Behind the scenes recording "Iron Man" Mercifully brief. and Terribly funny

John the Econ - album covers sowing the seeds of destruction... Heard a comedy routine, guy was going off on too many raisins in the cereal "There I am, with an album cover and a credit card, trying to get a bowl of flakes out of this pile of raisins. (light laugh) For those who didn't get that, that's how we'd clean the seeds out of dope. (bigger laugh) For those who are a little young, there were these things called albums... (good laugh) For those a bit younger than that, dope used to have seeds...."

Jim said...

Stilton, what a great collection! I have an engineer-friend, Bob (now in his 80s,) who was hired by Ivan Tors, to develop the waterproof camera system for the Sea Hunt series. It had been done for film (movies) but this was a first for television. Bob and his wife became good friends with the Bridges' and he says Lloyd was one of the nicest people to know. Also, Lloyd was not an experienced diver before the television series!

Colby Muenster said...


Although I am quite impressed at your determination to "de-junk" your lives, I'm somewhat... disturbed by your choices of what to pitch and what to keep. But beyond that, I'm enjoying the fact that somebody (maybe even you!) actually bought all or at least some of those LP's!

That being said, my collection includes "German Drinking Songs" and "Jan and Dean meet Batman." I guess I have no business pointing fingers!

Regnad Kcin said...

I was once inflicted with the vinyl nervosa syndrome which lasted years and depleted my bank account by relentlessly acquiring and hoarding records of dubious merit and content. Finally, I went cold-turkey and unburdened myself myself of all the hundreds of discs and the $$$$ playback equipment. Such treasures as "The Child's Garden of Grass" and "How to Belly Dance For Your Husband"(great cover)all bit the dust and were relegated to the oily old hippies at the 2nd hand store. I am now a totally recovered former vinyl addict. I thought I had some very esoteric discs, but your examples of questionable acquisition are just above and beyond all rational thought. Where did you shop at ?... the thrift store in the local sanatorium ? God Lord, man, get a grip ! Give them all a decent burial down in the swamp and salt the earth. Then, donate all your goods and chattels to charity and retire to a hermit's life in a storm drain. It's working for me now.........

Unknown said...

Stilton, you are now the official collector of the strangest how-to vinyls ever. I think you need to sell them as a group listing under "Weird But True How-To's." There is a buyer out there for strange recordings and I don't doubt you will get lots of $$$s for these. Best of luck. P.S. I now have a better idea about what goes on in that mind of yours and why you view the world the way you do.

MAJ Arkay said...

I honestly thought my eclectic collection of LPs was strange. But I bow to you, sir, for you have put me thoroughly in my place.

Somehow, these just don't fall into your category of strange and unusual:
Mr. Spock's Music From Outer Space
The Transformed Man (Shatner)
17 Southern Cheyenne Songs
African Tribal Music and Dances
How to Belly Dance

Nope, not even close to your collection.

Rod said...

Ya' know, Stilt; sometimes I worry about you. And these albums have started that up again.

I've been extra busy with Dad's care lately, but am glad I checked in today.

Unknown said...

Just FYI, SINA was a prank by IRL troll Alan Abel. Good one, too.

BonnieMH said...

Those are precious!!!
Should have sold them on eBay!

American Cowboy said...

Aw, Danny Kaye. Who can forget "Nail Broth" and other stories on record?
Or the now nearly worn out Rowan and Martin bits. Or Terrible Tom the Terror of the Neighborhood who now sits in the bread box and stares at us? Or "Bloopers" Records back when funny didn't have to be obscene? Many others too worn out to listen to any more.

JustaJeepGuy said...

I did not know there was an album for SINA. I read a book about Mr. Abel and the "organization". Buck Henry played the spokesman for the group, Dr. Something-or-other. I think they were truly startled by how many people thought it was a good idea. Apparently, too many people didn't notice the "TO" in the title: "Society for Indecency to Naked Animals" part.

These look like they should have been used on David Letterman's old bit, "Dave's Record Collection".

Anonymous said...

Hey, I would like to buy the Wallace LP. Really, I mean it. E-Mail me at

Emmentaler "The Incredulous" Limburger said...

Why does Shatner sound like a Dalek when the music is added in on that Iron Man cover? Is he now trying to horn in on the Doctor Who franchise now, too?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

@Tots- I'm confused; when is it inappropriate to say "Aw, SHIT!"?

@JJ- You'll notice the record spells his name wrong as "Marceao," probably for legal reasons.

@Pete (Detroit)- I'll have to disagree about the dancer looking anything like Betty Page. And believe me, I've seen enough pictures of Betty to know (grin).

And interesting to hear about the various parrots testifying. Tempts me to buy a bird and teach it to say "he didn't do it," just in case.

@Jim- I've also heard that Lloyd was a really nice guy. And very cool to hear about your friend!

@Colby Muenster- I've also got "The Best of Louie, Louie," an album with 12 different bands all playing "Louie, Louie." Yet another way to bring a party to a crashing halt.

@Regnad Kcin- I definitely owned "How to Belly Dance for Your Husband," but somehow let it slip from my grasp. As far as where these records came from, all I can say is "all over." Cut-out bins, garage sales, and retail.

@Sandy Link- You really can get a glimpse into how my mind works with this stuff. I've spent my entire adult life as a professional writer (yes, I'm shocked too), mostly with a comedic bent. So I've always surrounded myself with things that are "outside the box" to serve as inspiration. Or at least a reminder to not be boring.

@MAJ Arkay- Those are perfectly respectable weird LPs! My tastes simply run toward the more esoteric.

@Rod- I'm glad you checked in, too...and glad you enjoyed the foolishness.

@Hopalong Ginsberg- Yes, I actually know that SINA was a gag. A pretty good one, too!

@Bonnie Houghton- Hey, these are the albums I haven't gotten rid of. Some may get sold on eBay, and some may just be kept to confuse the people who have to sort my belongings when I keel over someday. By the way, one of the albums I didn't show here is "Flight F-I-N-A-L," a Christian recording which dramatizes the souls of the recent dead flying to Heaven on a 707. Spoiler alert: not everyone is allowed to deplane in Heaven.

@American Cowboy- Danny Kaye used to do a TV special every year (a million years ago) which was a family event for us when I was a kid. An amazing performer. And I own one of those "Bloopers" albums you refer to, though haven't listened to it in ages.

@JustaJeepGuy- Buck Henry was always a funny guy (and always in a dead pan way). He wrote the screenplay for "The Graduate" and did a hilarious cameo as the hotel desk clerk who asks Dustin Hoffman "are you here for an affair?"

@Anonymous- I'll shoot you an email.

@Emmentaler "The Incredulous" Limburger- Shatner is no shrinking violet when it comes to elbowing his way into other franchises.

Shelly said...

As God is my witness, my stepfather, who was Lebanese, had that Port Said album. Oh my lord, I nearly croaked when I saw it on your list. My ex-husband had the How to Strip for your Husband. Small, small world.

Mark Trahan said...

Our neighbors used to have Music to Strip By. I'm hoping they never danced to it. Ewww.

JustaJeepGuy said...


Buck Henry also wrote for "Get Smart", among other shows.

Anonymous said...

wish your images were larger...