Tuesday, 23 September 2014

To the depth and breadth and height my soul can reach



Ooooh, how utterly camp is this?

From Martin Schneider, writing for the ever-sublime Dangerous Minds site:
Shakespeare, Tchaikovsky & Me, Jayne Mansfield’s delicious album from 1963 or 1964 (depending on where you look), has never seen a CD release and it’s not available on the music streaming services I consulted. That scarcity has driven up the price: right now you can get a copy from Amazon.com for $60 and up.

Assessing Mansfield’s intelligence is something of a mid-20th-century parlour game. Quoting Wikipedia: “Frequent references have been made to Mansfield’s very high IQ, which she claimed was 163. She spoke five languages, including English. ... Reputed to be Hollywood’s ‘smartest dumb blonde’, she later complained that the public did not care about her brains: ‘They’re more interested in 40–21–35,’ she said.”...

So how are her recitations of some of the greatest erotic poetry in the English language? Welllll, just fine, I think. I wouldn’t say she exactly reads them well - she reads them about the way you’d expect a big movie star to read them, crisply and evenly, perhaps a little too briskly. She brings a purr to the material that you wouldn’t probably get from current U.S. poet laureate Charles Wright, let’s say.

Here’s a track listing, followed by a clip of about six minutes from the album:

Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “How Do I Love Thee”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “The Indian Serenade”
Percy Bysshe Shelley, “Good-Night”
Robert Herrick, “You Say I Love Not”
Henry Constable, “If This Be Love”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “The Lady’s ‘Yes’” -
Lord Byron, “She Walks In Beauty”
William Shakespeare, “Cleopatra”
Christopher Marlowe, “Was This The Face”
Joseph Beaumont, “Whiteness, Or Chastity”
Anonymous, “Madrigal”
Leigh Hunt, “Jenny Kiss’d Me”
Anonymous, “Verses Copied From The Window Of An Obscure Lodging House”
Thomas Otway, “The Enchantment”
Christopher Marlowe, “The Passionate Shepherd To His Love”
Robert Herrick, “Upon The Nipples Of Julia’s Breast”
Ben Jonson, “Drink To Me Only With Thine Eyes”
Lord Byron, “The Lovers”
Robert Herrick, “To The Virgins, To Make Much Of Time”
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, “Inclusions”
William Butler Yeats, “When You Are Old”
William Wordsworth, “Daffodils”
William Shakespeare, “Take, O, Take Those Lips Away”
Thomas Carew, “Mark How The Bashful Morn”
Anonymous, “Oh! Dear, What Can The Matter Be?”
Alfred Lord Tennyson, “The Miller’s Daughter”
Charles Sackville, “The Fire Of Love”
Sir John Suckling, “The Constant Lover”
John Dryden, “Why Should A Foolish Marriage Vow”
Thomas Moore, “Believe Me, If All Those Enduring Young Charms”
Anonymous, “Love Me Little, Love Me Long”



I am in raptures.

Contrary to what the author says, it would appear that those fine purveyors of the "weird and obscure" - Sort Of Records - do in fact offer a vinyl to CD recording of this camp gem.

Browse their magnificent "cabinet of curiosities".

Here (from an enquiry I made back in 2012 to their email address - SunPK@aol.com) is what they replied about prices:
Most of the collections are $20 and albums are usually $15 or $16. Singles and EPs are usually $8. There's a 10% volume discount for 3 or more at once and 5% off for discs without jewel cases (full set of inserts included). Shipping to the UK is $4 or more depending on the size of the order.

You can Paypal me at sunpk@aol.com or send a cheque or money order (USA only) to:

Sun PK
131 East Ave. #5
Walden, NY 12586

Audio quality is terrific. Inserts are printed on coated matte papers and look excellent. So let me know the titles that interest you and I'll give you a total.
I never did get back to them. Their catalogue is somewhat overwhelming, and at the time I was a little "strapped for cash".

Now I have heard that snippet of Jayne, I may well have to rectify the situation and place an order - Dody Goodman's there, as are Lizabeth Scott, Mae West, Kim Novak, Gypsy Rose Lee, and (errmm) Rock Hudson!

Shopping and Jayne Mansfield. Two favourite pastimes.

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