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Muskrat Love (Record Offer, 1977)

Here's a really hilariously terrible record offer called Muskrat Love from TEJ Records.

Why did the artists involved allow their songs to be re-recorded by sound-alikes?

"So you don't forget, send before midnight tomorrow!"

This aired on local Detroit TV on Saturday, February 26th 1977 during the 5pm to 6pm hour. (not Chicago TV, but still cool)

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This clip aired on Saturday, February 26th 1977, and is included in the following categories:

Viewer Comments

I wonder how many super small-market radio stations around the U.S. had LP's like this in their library, played the songs and tried to pass them off as being by the original artists? (Not too dissimilar to the time around 1980 when a radio station in Liberty/Monticello, NY played The Tokens' 1961 hit version of "The Lion Sleeps Tonight" and the DJ actually said it was Robert John's 1972 cover.)

This ad's voiceover (whose name I know not) was heard on many music mail-order ads, particularly from the New York City area, since at least the late 1950's. Either doing the ad spiel as here, or heard at the end saying "To order, call . . . "

Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 5:18am.

Wow, that version of "More Than a Feeling" was awful! The whole commercial reminds me of the old SCTV "Stairways to Heaven" commercial.
Comment posted by afdave on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 11:22am.

WhoEVER thought up the idea of taking original songs and make them SOUNDALIKES should be beaten down!!! I mean what's a record collection of hit music if it's not from ORIGINAL artists!! I mean what person would want an album of re-records???
Comment posted by michiganfan on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 2:22pm.

I have to agree and say the More Than A Feeling was beyond awful. Sounds like they hired someone off the street to record that. Besides, what was the song doing on a mostly dance album anyway? Reminds me years ago when my parents bought an 8 track claiming "original artists" and it was a group called that (or something like that).
Comment posted by LaPrincess on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 5:02pm.

The funny thing about that "SCTV" "Stairways to Heaven" parody was, one of the artists supposedly covering this Zeppelin track on that faux compilation was Dolly Parton - and in real life, some two decades later, Ms. Parton did an actual bona fide rendition of the song.
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 5:36pm.

"Offer Not Available in Canada",aren't they lucky!

These records might have served a purpose two years later,at Comiskey Park on July 12,1979 (I think we all know what it was).

This "Collection" not only offended music lovers like us, but with "Nadia's theme" being sung like it was, they offended lots of "Young and the Restless" fans as well.

Comment posted by SoxOnTV44 on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 6:20pm.

Whoever paid $3.99 for this awful collection should have their head examined.
Comment posted by HUdson 3-2700 on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 7:14pm.

I actually heard "Muskrat Love" on the True Oldies station today as part of their "Cheesy & Easy" song of the day!
Comment posted by smctopia on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 8:42pm.

"Whoever paid $3.99 for this awful collection should have their head examined."

Correction: Whoever paid $3.99 for this awful collection should have their bank account examined. LOL!

Wait, they included the Young & the Restless theme in the lineup? This was like a year after it was used on Young & the Restless the time Romanian gymnast Nadia Comeneci won the gold medal in the 1976 olympics.

Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Friday, January 22nd 2010 at 10:39pm.

The announcer does say that these are "25 of today's biggest, *BADDEST* chartbusters"! And no one has even mentioned the crappy artwork!
Comment posted by T.K. on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 12:11am.

As to the vocal rendition of "Nadia's Theme": I think I remember one radio station playing it. WRFM 105.1 FM in New York, in 1977.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 5:59am.

Hmm...Let's see for this album here; "Car Crash" performed by Folks Wagen. "You Make Feel Like Dancin...Off a Bridge'" performed by Leo Sprayer, "I Wish...I were Stevie Wonder" performed by Stevie Wander, "More than a Stealing" performed by Kenosha, "Not-ia's Theme (or; Just Plain Restless)" performed by Chuck and Scott from their mother's basement in Berwyn, and of course "Rat Love" (couldn't afford the royalties for use of the title) performed by Sergeant and some girl working her way through truck driving school.

Did I miss any?

Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 10:27am.

How 'bout "Jisco" by Stucco, "Sorry's Not That Hard a Word" by Dean Baldry, "You Absolutely Do Have to Be a Star" by Marilyn Coocoo and Willie Mavis, "Busy Line" by the Tinnfoyles, and "The Rubber Check Man" by the Schwinners.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 11:19am.

Oh . . . wouldn't that other piece be "Groundhog Love" by the Buck Private and Pooneil?
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 11:32am.

armitagenlowell & W.B. - Good ones. I especially like "The Rubber Check Man" and Stevie Wander. :-D
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 11:55am.

That's some funny stuff right there!
Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 2:40pm.

Brookville Marketing distributed the album.
I wonder if they are a division (or sub-division) of Dewey, Cheatem and Howe? Or even STD?

Comment posted by armitagenlowell on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 4:39pm.

I actually remember this commercial, so it DID air in Chicago. I remember the shot of the suds getting hosed off...(Anybody who bought this really DID get hosed...) I was only eight so I didn't pick up on the fact that the songs were horribly bad covers. There was a "money back guarantee"; wonder if many sent the damn thing back?
Comment posted by wretchedrepast on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 9:45pm.

@ Wretched: I'm glad you didn't buy the Muskrat Love record collection.

Comment posted by ChitownTVFan on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 9:58pm.

And did anyone notice on the far shot of this LP, the labels appear to be of Thomas J. Valentino's Major Records label (famous for their series of LP's of royalty-free sound effects that were used by some TV shows)?
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 10:02pm.

"Muskrat Love (Record Offer, 1977)" is now #16 with a bullet on the Most Commented Videos list! Let's hear it for those crazy muskrats...
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 10:06pm.

I also seem to recall that in New York, this ad aired a lot on WOR Channel 9. I don't think the other stations touched this with a 10-foot pole.
Comment posted by W.B. on Saturday, January 23rd 2010 at 10:09pm.

All I can say is: Wow.
Comment posted by DinkCincinnati on Sunday, January 24th 2010 at 12:31am.

F.T.R., the act playing these cheesy recreations was called "Dimensional Sound." T.E.J. Records was (ostensibly) the label.
Comment posted by W.B. on Sunday, January 24th 2010 at 9:37am.

The voiceover of this "Muskrat Love" ad was also heard at 11:38-12:08 at the tail end of another ad for "soundalike" recordings from 1958, on:

Comment posted by W.B. on Monday, January 25th 2010 at 6:16am.

Milli Vanilli style singers!

Even vocals on Nadia's Theme?

Comment posted by dth1971 on Monday, January 25th 2010 at 9:16pm.

So, what happens after midnight tomorrow?
Comment posted by motownphilly on Wednesday, January 27th 2010 at 11:20am.

The records will turn into pumpkins? ;)
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, January 29th 2010 at 11:10am.

I remember this commercial and now that I hear it again 33 years later, these must the worst covers of songs that I've ever heard. I guess the speaker in the old RCA Magnavision TV must have hidden a lot of the fidelity of these songs. Wow, that "More Than a Feeling" cut was painful.
Comment posted by Stevie TV on Sunday, January 31st 2010 at 10:15pm.

To 'Stevie TV': The group that performed these soundalikes was called "Dimensional Sound," but evidently their "sound" was extremely *one*-dimensional (if even that). While Boston's follow-up LP, "Don't Look Back," was delivered under extremely rushed circumstances (much to Tom Scholz' eternal chagrin, thus spurring a feud with powerful CBS Records then-chief Walter Yetnikoff down the road), it sounds as carefully and meticulously crafted as their debut album in comparison to this rendition of their "More Than a Feeling."

And while the original '70's numbers could be considered "cheesy," they sound like absolutely sublime masterpieces of art if placed alongside this set.

It should be mentioned that before 1977 was out, this "Dimensional Sound" group was replaced by another hack soundalike group, "Dynamic Sound" (another misleading name, as that group's sound was not exactly dynamic). I seem to remember hearing ads circa 1977-8-9 on local New York radio stations inviting would-be singers to put their voices on pre-existing instrumental demo tracks at a recording studio which may've bore the name(s) of one of these "soundalike" acts, and I wonder if it was the case that those would-be "demo" singers were the ones heard on these recordings.

Comment posted by W.B. on Sunday, January 31st 2010 at 11:30pm.

I wonder if I can buy this album on iTunes?
Comment posted by motownphilly on Tuesday, March 2nd 2010 at 9:38am.

Correction: It's TEJ Records, not "DEJ".
Comment posted by FuzzyMemories on Monday, March 22nd 2010 at 12:12am.

For those who are interested (or masochistic - or whatever), there's actually someone offering an 8-TRACK of one volume of this LP set:

Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, March 23rd 2010 at 2:57pm.

25 HITS? Why not the Muskrat Love title?
Comment posted by dth1971 on Wednesday, March 24th 2010 at 7:37am.

It should also be noted that Dimensional Sound's ripoff covers were issued on two labels: the aforementioned T.E.J., and also Los Angeles-based United/Superior Records (one-record sets of 10 songs apiece, as "Disco Gold #__"). In fact, my memory of their mangling of "Car Wash" was from United/Superior's "Disco Gold #2" (US-7808) - not from this "Muskrat Love" set. I'm wondering if there was a connection between this and their being replaced with Dynamic Sound effective with their two-record "Can't Stop Dancing" LP that T.E.J. put out in late 1977.
Comment posted by W.B. on Friday, March 26th 2010 at 3:12pm.

Who the hell would've paid $3.99 for an album in 1977, that was ripoff awful & had a cover that looked like it belonged on a children's book? ROFLMAO!
Comment posted by OldTVNut on Thursday, June 9th 2011 at 8:58pm.

As Casey Kasem said: "Muskrat Suzy, Muskrat Sam, soon to be Mr. and Mrs. Muskrat".
Comment posted by Dth1971 on Friday, October 14th 2011 at 7:51pm.

See how starved for good entertainment we were back then? However, Rubberband Man sure was cool! *downloading now*
Comment posted by ScarlettOHara on Sunday, October 16th 2011 at 4:28am.

Believe it or not, Elton John early in his career was recording cover songs for albums like this in England. You can find 'em on the CD Reg Dwight's Piano Goes Pop. Some of his covers were very good ("My Baby Loves Lovin'" and "Yellow River"); but I can't imagine why they had him record "Young, Gifted and Black"?!?
Comment posted by ChrisBCritter on Tuesday, February 26th 2013 at 12:57am.

Thus making it especially ironic that, now that Elton was a superstar, someone was impersonating him. Does anyone know if this Elton soundalike ever made it on his own?
Comment posted by W.B. on Tuesday, February 26th 2013 at 5:17am.

Never mind the cheap re-recordings. Only an idiot would buy an album just named after one of the worst songs of all time.
Comment posted by Studio76Art on Monday, March 25th 2013 at 11:05pm.

I have this album, what you hear on this commercial is mostly accurate. However, the version of "Nadia's Theme" on my copy is 100% instrumental.
Comment posted by OddityArchive on Monday, March 3rd 2014 at 9:29pm.

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This clip has been viewed 4926 times.
This clip debuted on FuzzyMemories.TV on Thursday, January 21st 2010.
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WFLD Channel 32 - "Happy Halloween From the Kids" (Bumper, 1984)

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Comment posted in WGN Channel 9 - "We're For You" (Promo, 1979) by Dth1971 on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014 at 2:24pm CT

Do you think the syndicated "The Palace" was a short lived revival attempt of the original 1960's ABC variety show "The Hollywood Palace"?

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Super Cartoon Sunrise (Jetsons Bumper #2, 1984) by OldTVNut on Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 2:42pm CT

OOOPS! It seems that somebody got Jane Jetson's & Judy Jetson's hair colors mixed up LOL.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - The Jack Benny Show - "Pre-Emption Notice" (1975) by Burr-Rabbitt on Monday, October 20th, 2014 at 11:29am CT

This aired the day I was born!

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by HUdson 3-2700 on Saturday, October 18th, 2014 at 8:52pm CT

GalagaFleetCommander - Johnny Unitas used to wear his hair in a crewcut until about 1970, when he decided to let it grow out to where he could part it. A real square...

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by GalagaFleetCommander on Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 9:23pm CT

Johnny Unitas did WHAT? I can't believe that! He's got that perfect haircut you can set a watch to like Abe Simpsons said! I wonder if he made anyone any significant amount of money.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by ER3017 on Wednesday, October 15th, 2014 at 7:37am CT

About 2 years ago, my brother and I was on our way to the park and I saw boxes and boxes of videos, and my brother and I agreed to get almost all of them. Unfortunately, due to my strength, I didn't carry a lot, so I grabbed like 2 boxes and some videos are quite interesting I tell you. I'am still waiting to deliver these to you because if I wait, not only they'll rot but worried that these will be in the dumpster like my mom did but retrieved by me thank god.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by FuzzyMemories on Tuesday, October 14th, 2014 at 12:48pm CT

davismv - Thanks Mark! Well, we do have some late-breaking developments - once again provided by our researcher extraordinaire, Mr. Chris Tufts (Phantom). He found this interesting article on the development of Teletext in the U.S. as well as it's use on Nite-Owl. It's from New Scientist magazine and dates to July 22nd 1982. After reading this one has to wonder - what happened? Everything seemed so rosy. They had lots of viewers, and were making some advertising money apparently. So why did Nite-Owl quit just about a month later at the end of August 1982? Were they just tired of "giving it away for free"?

In any case, Chris found another interesting article, this time from Broadcasting Magazine dated September 7th 1981. In it, we finally learn that the true start date of Nite-Owl was early Friday, September 4th at 12 Midnight! Therefore, we can say with certainty that the clip you see here is the opening of Nite-Owl's Second Episode! We'll have to adjust the airdates of a few other clips to reflect this new information.

(T.K. - the answer to your question regarding Nite-Owl's music is also in this article - although who knows, perhaps they changed music providers at some point during the run of the show)

One other thing - the article mentions that WFLD was actually including teletext pages over its regular broadcasts since April of 1981. I had never heard this before. This information just leaves me wanting more. Did they transmit the teletext pages over every program that aired on WFLD since April 1981? Secondly, if you have a recording of a WFLD broadcast from that time period and you are able to fashion some kind of decoder, can you see the original teletext pages that aired during the broadcast? According to this article, there were at least 100 decoders floating around the Chicagoland area. Did anyone save one?

davismv - Regarding your questions: this was recorded by someone who was a "serial taper" but who also apparently had a short attention span. His tapes are filled up with 4-6 hours of material per tape, and rarely are there complete programs, but instead have little "snippets" (no pun intended) of news, sports, commercials, and whatever else struck his fancy I guess. There are a lot of good "bits" but unfortunately almost each one makes you wish he stuck with the recording at least a little longer. (but then again, if he recorded longer segments we wouldn't have the variety that he captured, so it's a six-of-one situation)

Regarding finding tapes: more and more I believe that the best way to find tapes is by asking neighbors, friends, or acquaintances. Why? Because unfortunately these home recorded tapes are seen by most people as virtually worthless most of the time, and if something is viewed as worthless it has way less of a chance of even making it to a thrift store or garage sale. People would just throw them out (which is sad, I know).

Also, some thrift stores now have policies of not letting "home-recorded" tapes make it to the shelf at all - they will just toss or recycle them if donated. The reason I've heard for this is that either someone complained before about something they found on one of the tapes ("adult" content perhaps), or the thrift store people are just being proactive and trying to avoid any issues like this from happening in the first place. In any case, it does stink. One idea I had that you might want to do is call all of your local thrift stores in your area and ask them if they ever get any home-recorded tapes and what they do with them. (first hurdle is making sure they understand what you're talking about - I usually use the term home-recorded tapes and then make sure it's clear by saying I'm not talking about "store-bought" movie type tapes - but tapes that people recorded themselves at home off of TV) If they say that their policy is to just throw them away or recycle them, tell them to save them for you. Give them your name and number and tell them you will pay for them too if they are what you're looking for. Make sure you're talking to a manager or someone at the store that actually has the power to make this change. Also remind the manager to inform his workers so that they are aware of what to do with the tapes too. And lastly, it couldn't hurt to call the stores again every couple months or so, and talk to the same manager if possible, to double check they are still saving tapes for you and that they haven't lost your contact info. :-)

One last tip - when buying tapes I don't buy them based on what is on the labels. The stuff written on the labels can be a red herring. I go by the age of the tapes. If you've been doing this long enough you can identify a pre-1985 videotape just by the box style as well as certain markings on the videotape itself. The stuff written on the labels can be a nice clue, but again I don't hold much stock in it. There could be a Sony K-60 Betamax tape that could potentially date to 1975 and the person could have recorded over most of it and wrote "Jurassic Park 2" on the label - doesn't matter - because you may still find an untouched 10-20 minutes at the end of the tape of a 1978 airing of Baretta with original commercial breaks for all you know. Anyway, happy hunting and of course please let me know if you find anything good. :-)

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by Phantom on Monday, October 13th, 2014 at 6:41pm CT

An article in Broadcasting Magazine in February 1982 says Nite-Owl had as many as 110,000 viewers on some nights.

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by T.K. on Sunday, October 12th, 2014 at 10:04pm CT

It struck me how much Keyfax resembles the graphics of the Prodigy online service several years later. I guess I shouldn't be surprised because they both used the NAPLPS graphics language, which was originally developed for videotex and teletext use.

Now I'm curious how Nite-Owl's music feed originated. Usually the all-night news tickers run by stations in other cities simply carried audio from a sister radio station or the local National Weather Service broadcast. It sounds like Nite-Owl had a dedicated playlist. Did WFLD have a full-blown radio automation system with multiple carts and reels run off a clock, like something by Harris or IGM? Or did someone just dub everything together onto a new reel for each night's playback? Or did the overnight master-control operator sit there and play each song back from its own cart?

Comment posted in WFLD Channel 32 - Keyfax Nite-Owl Service - "Episode Two!" (Opening, 1981) by Detroit4Chicago on Thursday, October 9th, 2014 at 12:09pm CT

Kinda neat to see an early computer-based newsfax system up and running for a UHF Station in a big market about this time. I'm thinking WFLD was trying this out to see if it became successful, it would have been used within years at the other Field stations across the country. Another possibility was to compete locally against WGN, WBBM and possibly WSNS (with of course, ON-TV) in the wee hours of the morning.

But what's neater-than-neat? Watching the Empire State Building take off like a Saturn V rocket in Commodore 65 form!

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