Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Listen Here: The Weirdest Cash-In Album Ever Made By An Actor


Peter Wyngarde (born Cyril Louis Goldbert on this day in 1933, though the year is disputed) is certainly an unusual figure in the British theater. Rail-thin, baroquely outfitted, and equipped with a mellifluous voice, he makes an unforgettable first impression, glanced through a window, in THE INNOCENTS (1961). He was a flamboyant figure who, ironically, cultivated an impression as a ladies man, and, if he had been a good actor in his youth, he was more of a character man in middle age, where our story begins.

Here's an interview in which you get a sense of the man's public persona and acting talents:


But he was a big, entertaining performer, and perfect for the small screen, where he starred as the pulp novelist and bon vivant Jason King in the British ITC show DEPARTMENT S (1969-70) and JASON KING (1971-72).


With Jason King, Wyngarde found a character who he could ride to the top of the ratings. He was named "The Man With The Sexiest Voice In Television" by the Sun newspaper, and was considered a national sex-symbol. At the same time, his handlers allegedly had their hands full extricating him from vice-squad trouble in London.


At the height of his fame, Wyngarde was persuaded to record an album. The result, a spoken word-over-music effort, is one of the strangest things ever, and oddly compelling. The presumptuous, politically incorrect Wyngarde does not come across very sympathetically, but that's part of the historical appeal of the record. It's not something you'll want to hear more than once, other than to play it for friends and baffle them too.

Here's one of the less offensive tracks. If you care to explore further, don't say we didn't warn you.

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