Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Vincent Price: dramatic readings, audio documentary (of several sorts), and narration....spoken word recordings (and a little singing).

Among the Caedmon covers by Leo and Diane Dillon
I had included links to a couple of the Caedmon recordings in last week's Overlooked A/V...but Horror List member Jeff Swindoll pointing to The Sound of Vincent Price site on Monday, with a number of its links dead or less complete than those below, made traveling down this rabbit hole almost inevitable...that and how much I enjoyed listening to Price's recordings previously linked...

Samples of radio drama and cast recordings:

The Adventures of the Saint (CBS, Mutual/MBS, NBC Radio, 1945-51) starring Price as Simon Templar
Escape (repeat performance): "Three Skeleton Key" (CBS Radio 1950 originally)(recorded again in 1956 as an episode of Suspense)

Capitol Custom Records, 1962. Seattle World's Fair speculation on the next century, full of typical gosh-wow boosterism, and Alexander Laszlo's score. Selections audible here, at The Sound of Vincent Price (note blue vinyl).

from Darling of the Day (Original Cast Recording): "He's a Genius" (RCA, 1968) (Price speak-sings; Broadway production which flopped quickly despite major talent involved--co-star Patricia Routledge won a Tony for it.)

(Cadet Records, 1970; sketch comedy featuring Price and a good cast generally. Nothing online from it that I've seen.)

The Price of Fear: "Remains To Be Seen" (episode one; adapting the Jack Ritchie story; BBC Radio 4, 1973)

The Price of Fear: "Specialty of the House" (ep. 11; adapting the Stanley Ellin story; BBC Radio 4, 1973)

In 1979, Price was the Wednesday night host for the mystery, suspense and horror episodes of The Sears Radio Theater. I'm not sure if he acted in any episode. (Five nights a week, slotted on CBS Radio with The CBS Radio Mystery Theater, also stripped, with Sears offering westerns (with Lorne Greene) on Monday, humorous drama (with Andy Griffith) on Tuesday, Cicely Tyson hosting romantic drama on Thursdays; Richard Widmark adventure drama on Fridays.  Sears at 8p, Mystery at 9p in Honolulu.

Spoken Word Records:

Poems of Shelley (Caedmon Records, 1956)

"With a Guitar, To Jane" (and several more at adjoining links)

Co-Star: The Acting Game: Vincent Price (Co-Star Records, 195?)
--part of a series of Co-Star albums with actors playing scenes that took the Music Minus One concept to drama...you're acting, with script provided, the scenes with the actor in the album at hand. Albert Brooks must've had some of these...: "The Governor's Son"

America the Beautiful: The Heart of America in Poetry (Columbia Records, 1961) 

Tales of Witches, Ghosts and Goblins (Caedmon Records, 1972)

A Coven of Witches' Tales (Caedmon Records, 1973) "Baba Yaga"

A Graveyard of Ghost Tales (Caedmon Records, 1974) "The Lavender Evening Dress"

Edgar Allan Poe: The Imp of the Perverse and Other Stories (Caedmon Records, 1975)  "Morella"


A Hornbook for Witches (Caedmon Records, 1976) 

Edgar Allan Poe: Ligeia (Caedmon Records, 1977) 

The Goblins at the Bathhouse and [The] Calamander Chest (Caedmon Records, 1978) Part 1 of the Ruth Manning Sanders story

Part 2
Part 1 of the Joseph Payne Brennan story
Part 2

Fancies and Goodnights: The Stories of John Collier (Caedmon Records, 1980)--don't find any posts from this album online.

HarperAudio, which bought the Caedmon catalog, has reissued some of these recordings in various compilations, and licensed a few others to other labels.

Audio/multimedia documents:

Panorama: A ColorSlide Tour of  the Cleveland Museum of Art, Cleveland, Ohio (Harry Abrams/Columbia Record Club 1960) a book with slide cards (one presumably was provided with a custom projector when one subscribed to Panorama)  and a 7" 33rpm disc, as with several others narrated by Price (at not quite double-time to cram it all in 16 minutes, in this case) among other hosts--I had a secondhand couple of the books in the Panorama series when I was young, with the slide cards but no projector and no records still with them.

Witchcraft--Magic: An Adventure in Demonology (Capitol Records, 1969)
--an attempt at "nonfictional" documentary in a double-album set

Price had also done a fair amount of recording about cooking and wine, and audio documentaries about Christian matters, including the double-album His Son, and an earlier LP about art appreciation, Gallery.


SteveHL said...

I hadn't heard anything from Darling of the Day before but I had read about it. From William Goldman's book The Season:

Leonard Harris [then a critic for CBS] was, I think, the first critic to use the adjective abysmal about any musical performer's singing voice this season when he accurately summed up the sound of Vincent Price in song.

I can't tell much from the one song you posted but I don't think Price sounded that bad.

Todd Mason said...

No, he was certainly not much if any worse than any number of speak-singers of his time...here he is from a tv production of RUDDIGORE: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KEZUCKM_6Xo