My listening self is currently adrift in time, split in three ‘ working in the present, listening to pop for pleasure; downloading song after song for this, enjoying right now the summer of ’60, listening for curiosity; and listening to the songs in order to write about them, which doesn’t feel like a duty exactly but is a little daunting.
Guy Mitchell’s ‘She Wears Red Feathers’ was a bugger to track down, not surprisingly perhaps since it’s a terrible record, grotesquely jolly and borderline offensive. She not only wears red feathers, she also wears a ‘huley-huley skirt’ and lives on ‘cokeynuts’. The inevitable wedding between this dubious vision and Mr Mitchell naturally takes place with elephants in attendance.
Three things vaguely mitigate. It was fifty years ago. There is a tradition of this sort of jungle burlesque in pop, from ‘Stranded In The Jungle’ to the Magnetic Fields. And the cod-exotic flourish that opens the record is pretty exciting. That’s as good as it gets, though, with the orchestra settling quickly into a nasty music hall stomp and the bad jokes arriving by the line.