Various Artists

Rhino

Golden Throats 3: Sweethearts of Rodeo Drive is party music for those times when everyone is severely drunk. On the performances collected here, such luminaries as Merv Griffin, Telly Savalas, and Jack Palance try to “act” their way through a variety of country classics. The disc’s one authentic country crooner, Webb Pierce, is tragically teamed with creepy Carol Channing for “Back Street Affair” (let’s hope there was no issue from that union). Ultimately, words, like the talents involved here, fail. While this disc lacks anything as stellarly ill-advised as William Shatner’s “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds,” John Davidson’s Vegas-style “Hey, Good Lookin’ ” is nearly as ludicrous. An interesting irony is that, if the French and Indian War had gone differently, Lorne Greene’s Gallic version of his odd hit “Ringo” would never have been recorded. Why? Because the cowboy mythos would have developed in a markedly different way, and he never would have grown famous enough on a TV western to cash in on a novelty song. In any language.

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