Loaded with new, informative articles on the coolest and strangest music you never thought you'd hear about, this issue features a 4-color cover, lots of high-quality photos, tons of new wacky and weird CD reviews, and it's more fun than Lawrence Welk's bubble machine!

This issue features:

Burt Bacharach


    Raise a glass to this issue's cover feature! In the 1960s and '70s Burt Bacharach penned a cascade of memorable tunes that raised the bar in pop music and supplied chart hits for Dionne Warwick, Tom Jones, Herb Alpert, B.J. Thomas, The Carpenters, Naked Eyes, and The Drifters. His swingin' style and sophisticated songwriting was a breath of fresh air in the often formulaic Brill Building song factory.

    Skip Heller provides an appreciation of the man who's been described as both "the last real composer of standards" and a forgettable "cheese peddler." Whatever your opinion of the prolific man's output, this article pulls the curtain back for a look at the story behind the amazing career.

Martin Mull - Normal MARTIN MULL


    These days he's known for his acting gigs in film and television, but Martin Mull's rise to fame began with an early detour into music. Between 1972 and 1979 he released a handful of comedic albums that ranged from Monty Python-esque silliness to witty satire in the spirit of Randy Newman.

    The bulk of his material is long out-of-print, and consequently overlooked by most fans of musical comedy. Gregory Grahl digs up the details for an overview of this funnyman's recorded legacy.


    Before lo-fi and home recording had become all the rage in indie circles, Daniel Johnston was pouring his heart into a $59 Sanyo cassette recorder perched atop the family piano. His disturbingly personal and undeniably intriguing self-released cassettes earned him an underground following that gradually blossomed into a cult phenomenon. He's amassed an impressive body of work over the last two decades, and there's an equally extensive list of other artists who've covered his songs.

    With the success of his recent Rejected Unknown album, he's enjoyed another dizzying round of media exposure. Joe Tepperman catches up with Daniel to discuss unrequited love, the pursuit of fame, and rock'n'roll mythology.

Sound Tour: Hawaii MUSIC TO TRAVEL BY

    Now that the airline industry is struggling to adapt to this new climate of heightened security and international tension, it's time for an apt look back to the golden age of travel records. Often sporting covers with alluring ethnic beauties or a jetsetting couple cavorting in the far corners of the world, these compilations tantalized landlocked listeners with a safari in high fidelity sound.

    Grab your passport, don't forget your headphones, and join Jonathan Schroeder and Janet Borgerson for a guided tour of this globetrotting genre!

Perez Prado - Prez


    Following America's infatuation with such Latin dance crazes as the tango, rumba, and conga, a dynamic Cuban bandleader came along and popularized an exciting new style called mambo. It captivated the nation throughout the 1950s and earned Pérez Prado the title of "The Mambo King."

    Although he sometimes suffered the disdain of purists for making the mambo too commercial, he is forever identified with it. Joseph Levy follows the colorful career of the man Newsweek once dubbed "The Glenn Miller of Mexico."


Randy Van Horne

    Although his name may not ring a bell with the average Cool and Strange reader, a quick listen to some of Randy Van Horne's work will no doubt produce a number of familiar moments. The lengthy resumé of session work by the Randy Van Horne Singers includes the famous cartoon themes to "The Flintstones," "The Jetsons," and "Yogi Bear," as well as various albums with the likes of Esquivel, Dean Martin, Mel Tormé, Martin Denny, and Jimmy Witherspoon.

    Brad Bigelow turns the spotlight onto the man behind one of the top session vocal groups and gets the story on working with Esquivel, Hanna-Barbera, and being anonymously famous!


    A visit to this famed town just wouldn't be complete without an afternoon of record scavenging. As the heart of a vibrant country music scene for decades, you can bet that Music City USA has its share of unusual offerings on vinyl. Nick Archer assembled this handy guide to point you in the right direction for Cool and Strange music.


    Her last name contains the words 'fun' and 'nice,' which more or less sums up Annette's enduring image. She first won the hearts of American viewers as one of Walt Disney's "Mickey Mouse Club" Mouseketeers in the 1950s, and became a fixture of numerous beach party drive-in films during the 1960s.

    Never the most confident singer, she still lent her voice to a string of albums and became a nationwide teen sensation. Laura Pinto and Don Charles lift up the mouse ears for a dissection of the Disneyland diva's numerous records.

Modern Artist Profile: The BRAN FLAKES The Bran Flakes

    Mr. Otis F. Odder and Sir Mildred Pitt are masters in the art of audio recycling. They skillfully plunder thrift store record bins for sonic nuggets to mix into amazing and amusing new creations.

    Get your recommended allowance of fiber with Todd Faulkner as he spoons out the goods on this pair of musical collage kings! Won't you come and play?


Gloria Roe - To Teens... With Love

    Can we get a witness to this issue's Cover-Mania! Photo Spread?! It's a glorious bounty of spiritual sleeves from the hallowed collection of Jim Blanchard. Yes, even the faithful are not immune to bad hair, plastic smiles, and tacky album designs!

Add to all of that a ton of music reviews and other goodies, & you've got yourself a mother lode of

So make it easy on yourself!
It's gonna be a cool ride through
the wild, wacky and sometimes tacky
world of records!