Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Hats Off To Roy Mykytyshyn

It's quite unfortunate when a person, especially someone who has entertained many passes away and it seems that nobody remembers them for their accomplishments. A few months ago, I was surprised to find that Roy Mykytyshyn passed away (1945-2006). I found out just by doing a random search on Google.

Roy was a comedian / musician who put out records sometime in the 1970s that was mostly aimed at those who spoke Ukrainian. My grandmother was such a person and owned quite a few of Roy's records, many of which I listened to when I was a young boy. I enjoy all kinds of music, and listening to my grandmother's records was something for me to do while we were visiting her even though I couldn't understand nor speak a word of Ukrainian.

After finding almost nothing on the web except for a mention from a local legion and a brief obituary, I decided that I should put something up. Here are some photos, the obituary I found (which is no longer up) and some of his music. If I could recommend only one song, it would be the Hop Hop Car Song.

If you would like to contribute your memories of Roy, please add a comment.

I'll be putting all of his works up for download. If I'm violating copyright by putting his music here, please let me know and I will take it down. As far as I know, NONE of Roy's music is available on Compact Disc, or is currently in print (with the possible exception of "A Night Out With Roy") If you're looking for official copies of his albums, they pop up on Ebay occasionally.


ROY MYKYTYSHYN October 24, 2006 In loving memory of my husband and father. One year ago today, you were taken away from us, We think of you in silence and speak to you and say your name. You memory is our keepsake God has you in His keeping, We have you in our hearts. - Sadly missed and loved, your wife Betty and family.


Roy Mykytyshyn Sets Your Heart On Fire With Old And New Ukrainian Songs
Reissue: A Night Out With Roy
(download MP3)
(download WAV)
SVLP 3070 

Tracks (New titles for "Night Out With Roy" album in brackets):

01) New Canadian Kolomeyka
02) Freedom Of Ukraine
03) V-Waltz (Pepper's Waltz)
04) Screwball Polka
05) A Long Time From Home
06) Tzeexo-Tzeexo Kolomeyka
07) Don't Cry Mama
08) Hop Hop Car Story
09) Picking Flowers
10) Veceelna Kolomeyka
11) It's Not Your Girl Polka
12) S.O.B. (Wedding Bliss Song)

Comments: Roy's first album and probably my most favorite. The mix is good, the songs are unique and interesting, and the Hop Hop Car Song is amusing for anyone! However, I'm convinced that the original pressings of this album were done with a defective master disc since every copy I've heard is full of noise in the same places.

Marriage & Married Life Ukrainian Style
(download MP3)
(download WAV)
SVLP 3090

Voices: Roy Mykytyshyn, Lillian Sumka, Stefie Sumka
Violin: Ann Kraichy
Accordian: Adam Lukow
Tenor Sax: Don Kraichy
Lead Guitar: Steven Groshak
Rhythm Guitar: Earnie Gentes
Drummer: Bob Kraichy


01) Wedding March Intro
02) Getting Ready For Wedding
03) Their Kolomayka
04) Problems and More Problems
05) Father's Wedding Kolomayka
06) Father and Daughter Disagreement On Choice Of Groom
07) Wedding March
08) Getting Ready For Presentation
09) Father & Mother Sing Their Presentation Song
10) Beer Kolomayka
11) Mother My Mother Song
12) More Presentation Song Ending Wedding
13) Married Troubles
14) Ann Play A Polka For Father
15) Kolomayka The Good Old Days For Father
16) More Problems
17) Finis Kolomayka

Comments: Never been much of a favorite of mine, likely due to the poor production work on this album. The mix could have been a lot better.

Divorce Ukrainian Style
(download MP3)

(download WAV)
SVLP 3097

Voices: Roy Mykytyshyn, Lillian Sumka, Stephie Sumka
Violin: Ann Kraichy
Accordian: Adam Lukow
Drums: Ernie Bandura
Tenor Sax: Don Kraichy
Rhythm Guitar: Earnie Gentes


01) Family Problems Song
02) Family Troubles
03) Winnipeg Travelling Kolomayka
04) Phoning The Lawyer
05) Old Country Was Better Than Here
06) This Country Was Better Than Old Country
07) Phoning Girl Friend
08) The Farmer's Song
09) Girls Shopping
10) Ann's Kolomayka
11) Northend Liquor Store
12) Just How You Leave Me
13) Maxin's Phone Call To Mother
14) Maxin's Good Time At The Bar
15) A Polka For Mother
16) Girls Shopping For Maxin's
17) Maxin's Song For Family Inlaws
18) Finish Kolomayka For More???
19) Ending Polka

Comments: Great album all around, one of my favorites. Excellent production work makes it an enjoyable listen.

Silver 25th Wedding Anniversary Ukrainian-ski Style (download MP3)
(download WAV)
SVLP 3115 


01) Kolomayka
02) Getting Ready For The 25th
03) Oh My Wife, What Are you Good For?
04) Introduction Speech For 25th For The Couple
05) Anniversary Waltz Song
06) Anniversary Waltz Dance
07) Twenty-Fifth Groom's Speech
08) Let's Get Together And Dance All Night
09) Lucky, Unlucky Times For The Wife
10) I Remember , I Wish I Wasn't Born
11) I know I know About Ukrainian Festival
12) National Festival
13) Bad Times For The Groom 25 Years
14) Good Times On The Farm
15) I'm Leaving You Old Woman - A Young One Wants Me
16) Good Times Downtown Boys
17) I'll Think And Drink But You Keep Quiet
18) It's Always Best At Home

Comments: Another great album with fantastic production. This one's a bit hard to find.

Christening Ukrainian Style
(download MP3)
(download WAV)
SVLP 3121


01) Getting Ready for Christening
02) Anne My Love
03) Going To Church
04) Adam's Rib
05) Coming Back to Cars
06) Thanking Song for Super Kid
07) Les & Roy's Party Song
08) Superkid's Thanks for Christening
09) Look At Yourself Dear Waltz
10) My Love My Wife
11) Making Home Brew - Parts 1-2-3 and 4
12) My Dream About Heaven
13) The Baseball Game
14) I Don't Give A Dam
15) Born A Fool
16) Moon Over The Forest

Comments: Probably the most bizarre album of them all, but very nice production work. This seems to be the hardest one to find.

Anne Kraichy - Musical Gems
(download MP3)
(download WAV)


01) Krakowiak
02) Oberek
03) Bachelor Polka
04) Violin Tango
05) Polish Polka
06) Westphalia Waltz
07) Can't Refuse This Polka
08) Golden Dance Medley
09) Longing For You Tango
10) Blondie Polka
11) Memory Waltz Medley
12) Favourite Butterfly Dance

Comments: Anne Kraichy played the fiddle on Roy's albums. This is one of her solo albums, released on Ollytone Records. From the look of the professional packaging, my guess is it was released on cassette only. According to a reader, she has another solo album (Kozachok) released on V-Records. If I find it, I will post it as well.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Worst Album Ever?

I truly enjoy finding albums that are unique, terrible, absolutely horrible, and completely unlistenable. So keeping that in mind, I bring you this:

No, this isn't the worst album ever, but it inspired what would eventually be two of the worst albums ever. Here's the album that made the number one spot on this list of albums that should NOT have been recorded.

The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack - Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

and I quote from the link above...

Whoever thought it would be a good idea to have the Bee Gees and Peter Frampton sing Beatles songs should've been shot in the head, set on fire, cornholed with mallet, and decapitated. Good God, how can you get past this stinking piece of shit?! Not even contributions from Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, Jeff Beck and Billy Preston made this "thing" worth listening to.

For my own personal experience of this album, it just goes beyond the shitty covers of Beatles songs. I don't know about everyone else, but my copy is a real fucking winner. I'm wondering if everyone else's copy is this messed up.

The inner sleeves describe the record's sides as Side A, Side B, Side C, and Side D and gives the track listing for each. Here's how my records are laid out:

First Record:
Side A is actually labelled as "Record 2 Side 2" and the track listing is of Side B
Side D is actually labelled as "Record 1 Side 4" with the correct track listing.

Second Record:
Side B is actually labelled as "Record 2 Side 3" and the track listing is of Side C
Side C is AGAIN labelled as "Record 2 Side 2" and the track listing is of Side B

As you can see, finding ANYTHING on this album is a royal pain in the ass with only ONE of the four sides being labelled correctly.

And now, when you didn't think it could get any worse than a bunch of bad Beatles covers, I found this:

The Complete Music from the Movie Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band as Performed by Abbey Road '78 

(download it here!)

The only thing worse than a bunch of famous artists doing bad Beatles covers is... a bunch of NOBODIES doing bad impressions of famous artists doing bad Beatles covers. The only thing I can give credit to this album is the track order is EXACTLY the way it is listed on the back of this 8-track. Yes, this is another great title from the SPRINGBOARD label!

Also, if anybody would like a dozen (or so) sealed copies of this 'thing', let me know and I'll hook you up. SERIOUSLY.

Of course, this blog entry wouldn't be complete without a clip. I give all three versions:

1) The Beatles doing "A Day In The Life"
2) The Bee Gees doing their impression of the Beatles doing "A Day In The Life"
3) A bunch of crappy studio musicians doing their impression of The Bee Gees doing their impression of the Beatles doing "A Day In The Life"

Click here to listen.

Oh yeah, and if you dare, feel free to print this out and attempt to get some crappy merchandise from this abomination (this form was in the LP)

And if you care, here's another comparison of 'When I'm 64', one of the shittier songs on the soundtrack (and fake soundtrack). Click here to listen!

Just as a side note... In searching for one of the links that I included on here, I came across another list of the '50 worst albums ever' and found Duran Duran's "Thank You" in the number one spot (Sgt Pepper Soundtrack made #15). I'm a bit offended by that since I own the album, and thought most of the songs were covered remarkably well, some of them better than the originals. And dare I say that it's actually one of my more favorite albums in my collection. I actually recommend you pick it up. I can also think of 50 other albums that are much worse than "Thank You".