My story begins well over 25 years ago, back to the day when I heard Dr. Demento play an excerpt of a 45 called "I'm Surfing" by George W. Husak. This was during an segment on some of the worst records in his collection. I was intrigued, and was quite glad when, several years later, the good doctor played the record in its entirety, prefacing it with the following (edited) comments:
"If you asked me, 'what is the worst musical performance that was ever actually released on a 45…a record that somebody actually expected somebody to go out and buy‘, this might well be my choice. It’s from some time in the early to mid ‘60’s, and it came out on a label based in San Francisco. The perpetrator of this truly incredible performance is one George W. Husak."
Here is that record, from that episode of the show. It unfortunately contains a couple of turkey sound effects, which were being employed that week, in honor of "Musical Turkeys". I do have a clean version of it somewhere, but have been unable to track it down.
For the last two decades, I've been looking for a copy of this record, a search that was helped, in recent years, by correspondence with Dr. Demento, to whom I am eternally grateful (not just for his help, but for 35 years of radio entertainment). Earlier this year, my searching paid off, to a degree I never would have hoped for. I found an ALBUM by George Husak, in which he shares billing with his brother Anton (curiously, despite the shared credit and shared cover pictures, it's titled "George's Album", anyway).
The album contains twelve songs, three written by George, four by Anton, and five covers, including songs by Hank Williams and Bob Wills. There's even a version of "I'm Surfing", different than the one on the 45 I'd been tracking down all these years. It's not as completely unhinged and radically bad as the 45, but it does feature - like most of the tracks on the album - a barely competent guitarist who is way too overly fond of descending scale riffs, and basically uninspired vocal and instrumental performances all around.
The notes on the back of the album are sort of vague about who is singing when, but I am sure that Anton is the performer on tracks seven and eight, based on the text on the front cover. I've identified George as the singer on the rest of the tracks, but could easily be wrong. I will say this: the most amazing moment - nothing short of astonishing, in my opinion, comes during a crucial spot in one of the two songs I've identified as featuring a vocal from Anton. I'll let you discover the song and the moment on your own - to describe it would be to ruin it.
But I also find this entire album amazing, and a very rewarding end to a search of more than 20 years.
2.) George Husak - Golden Gate Love (MP3)
3.) George Husak - Heartbreak and Teardrops (MP3)
4.) George Husak - Call Me On the Telephone (MP3)
5.) George Husak - The Last Letter (MP3)
6.) George Husak - San Antonio Rose (MP3)
7.) George Husak - Mother, The Queen of My Heart (MP3)
8.) Anton Husak - I Walk the Floor Each Night (MP3)
9.) Anton Husak - Let’s Have a Look at the Bottle (MP3)
10.) George Husak - I’m Surfing (MP3)
11.) George Husak - Cold, Cold Heart (MP3)
12.) George Husak - I’m Sorry If That’s the Way You Feel (MP3)
13.) George Husak - Indianola (MP3)
Front Cover (JPG)
Back Cover (JPG)