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Feel Good! Look Great! Exercise Along with Debbie Drake, Epic Records, 1963

The wonderful Debbie Drake! Hi-Fi not included.

With Christmas just around the corner, you can bet that I’m going to be doing my very best to help you stuff those stockings with creative and unexpected surprises.  I have personally curated Le Crap my Etsy Store devoted to Unusual Objets from my personal collection.

Since we all want to look our very best at holiday time, I’ve chosen to lead with a very exciting long playing record from 1963. Long before Jane Fonda created a fitness empire and Susan Powter admonished us to “stop the insanity!”, there was Miss Debbie Drake, who risked a dreadful rug burn to extol the virtues of exercising to orchestral music on a low-pile carpet.  It’s comforting to know that Epic records, the giant Sony label that may or may not even exist anymore, had such a clear A&R vision in those days.  Apparently somewhat of a trailblazer, Drake used the exciting technology of “high fidelity” to prove to women “that it’s fun and entertaining to exercise along with her and the lilting melodies that maestro Noel Regeny composed for this album (twist tunes and waltz melodies among them)!  She anticipated three of my favorite videos, LaToya Jackson’s Step Up and Bonnie Franklin’s I Hate To Exercise But I Love To Tap! and Debbie Reynolds’ Do It Debbie’s Way by over two decades!

So what, you might be wondering, inspired Miss Drake to become the distaff Jack LaLanne and, according to the liner notes a “celebrated personality?”  She tells us that as a youngster “I was skinny and scared.”  I can relate.  The label copy goes on to explain that after experience in secretarial work, she became an instructor in a health studio.  To me, this seems like a very logical trajectory and even though I don’t know her, so very Debbie!

Debbie shows us how....

Some of the aforementioned Noel Regeny “twists” and “waltz melodies” have titles like Javanese Jade, Daffy Debbie, Lady Linda, Fabulous Fay, Clara By Candlelight, Orchids For Olga, and Really Roberto.  Apparently Noel never met an alliterative title he didn’t like. The lavishly illustrated booklet gives Debbie a chance to demonstrate every exercise with precision, ensuring that even the scared novice can grasp abstract concepts like Exercise 3, which appears to be bending over!

Feel Good! Look Great! will make a wonderful holiday gift for the person who has tried other, more conventional weight loss strategies, but may not have considered exercising on a low pile carpet to a waltz melody. Connect to my Etsy store to purchase this lovely and functional record, which promises “outstanding high fidelity through radial sound!”  You can bet that you’ll feel good just knowing that you are helping me pay my rent!

To purchase this well-priced record please link to my Etsy store Le Crap:

1 Comment

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    September 9, 2012 at 11:36 am

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