It still boggles my mind that Ronco somehow found a way to compile an album featuring tracks from top pop acts – Jimi Hendrix, Buffalo Springfield, The Beatles, and The Byrds – one would not normally associate with TV-advertised hits labels, such as Ronco.
Jimi Hendrix —
3rd artist listed after The Beatles
In light of this knowledge I began to wonder: Is it possible Jimi Hendrix has appeared on a K-Tel album?
Jimi Hendrix on a K-Tel album cover!
“Wind Cries Mary” —
Side two, track six
Note the misspelling of Jimi
2nd Hendrix photo on K-Tel LP!
Perhaps the strangest release of all would be K-Tel Australia’s The Legend of Hendrix album (date unknown).
3rd known Hendrix photo on a K-Tel cover
18 tracks in all — note the curious decision to include a Noel Redding composition, “She’s So Fine” (fittingly, the final selection):
1. Hey Joe
2. Purple Haze
3. The Wind Cries Mary
4. Burning Of The Midnight Lamp
5. Stone Free Again
6. All Along The Watchtower
7. Foxy Lady
8. Voodoo Chile
9. Crosstown Traffic
11. Like A Rolling Stone
12. Ezy Rider
14. Johnny B Goode
15. Blue Suede Shoes
16. Gypsy Eyes
18. She’s So Fine
“She’s So Fine” by Noel Redding’s Jimi Hendrix Experience (1967)
Of course, all of this begs the question — why no Hendrix tracks on US K-Tel releases? Was Warner Brothers afraid that the appearance of a Hendrix track on a K-Tel album might inflict damage on his viability in the marketplace, given the snobby rock press?
The Beatles on K-Tel:
A Neglected History
K-Tel, by the way, would pull another Beatles stunt, with the inclusion of (the Bert Kaempfert-produced) “Ain’t She Sweet” – recorded 1961 in Hamburg – on 1974’s K-Tel’s Pop Greats (K-Tel Germany), as well as 1975’s Flashback Fever (K-Tel Canada), and 1981’s 14 Grandes Exitos (K-Tel Argentina).
K-Tel album featuring “Los Beatles“!
“My Bonnie,” likewise, would show up on 1973’s K-Tel’s Story of Pop (K-Tel UK), as well as 1975’s K-Tel’s British Greats (K-Tel Germany). Also worth pointing out that 1978 album, Explosion 60 (K-Tel Spain), appears to be the only K-Tel collection to feature The Beatles’ version of “Twist and Shout.”
“My Bonnie” on this 1972 4-LP set =
Only US K-Tel LP release to feature The Beatles!
The Stones on K-Tel:
The Truth Is Out There
1982 would prove to be the year the band made the momentous decision that permitted K-Tel UK/Ireland to sell a 2-LP (mostly monophonic) “greats”-only package, Story of the Stones, in Great Britain, as well as Spain, Portugal and (“unofficially”) Japan and Singapore.
Any quibbles, Stones fans?
The following year, the Stones’ Organization then made the staggering decision to allow “Satisfaction” the honor of kicking off K-Tel’s Best Party Album in the World — a various artists release that would also include “Get Off My Cloud”!
Any Other Ronco LPs with Hendrix Tracks?
Q: Besides Do It Now, are there any other Ronco LPs that feature Jimi Hendrix tracks?
A: Yes! “All Along the Watchtower” would join 43 of its closest friends for Ronco UK’s soundtrack to the film, Stardust, from 1974.
Additionally, in 1974 Ronco Netherlands would release 44 Golden Hits of the Sixties, a 2-LP set that included (you guessed it) “All Along the Watchtower.”
By the Way…?
Columbia’s Great Gaffe:
Ladyland vs. Landlady:
In 2016, Heritage Auctions (“the world’s largest collectibles auctioneer”) sold two acetates of Jimi Hendrix’s Electric Ladyland album — note that the Columbia label for the left image reads “Electric Landlady“(!)
Double-Click on images for optimal resolution
Inspiration for Kirsty MacColl’s 1991 album, Electric Landlady
Note the Billboard chart listing (“Electric Landlady“) for the week of October 19, 1968 + October 26, 1968 [Dave Michaels of ‘Progressive Rock’ WOXY in Oxford, Ohio] + November 2, 1968 [Barry Richards of ‘Progressive Rock’ WHMC, Gaithersburg, MD].