Welcome to my blog, featuring various pieces from my collection of Oz books, artwork and memorabilia!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Psychedelic Oz

Here's another childhood relic. This album of The Wizard of Oz, by Tale Spinners for Children, is from sometime around 1969. I've always found this cover design intriguing, because the image really put a 1960's spin on the characters. Dorothy looks like Goldie Hawn in a mini-dress, and the strange proportions of the characters make the whole thing feel very psychedelic! The back of the album cover advertises a number of other story records, but none have the sophisticated cover art of The Wizard of Oz.

4 comments:

Bell-Snickle said...

Groovy! I can't say the cover art matches my image of the Oz characters, but it's a very interesting and non-traditional take. In a weird way I like it.

Jim Meadows said...

Can you give any production credits on this recording? I had one of the United Artists Tale-Spinners albums as a child. It was an adaptation of Gilbert and Sullivan's "The Mikado" featuring Frank Luther. The work was entirely rewritten, including the melodies of the songs, as I found out when I was older and actually heard the operetta.

The only Wizard of Oz children's record I've actually heard is a cassette reissue of one that possibly dates from the late 50s or early 60s. It copies the 1939 movie shamelessly, but adds its own plot twist at the end. Dorothy doesn't melt the Wicked Witch of the West by accident. Instead, she and her comrades sneak up on her and do it on purpose!

Bill Campbell said...

There is really no useful information provided on this record or album cover - not even a date.
According to the blurb on the rear of the album, "Tale Spinners...introduces an exciting new concept on records for young people. Every album in the series combines three major ingredients: classic stories for all young people; a fine theatrical company plus a famous actor or actress playing the title role, and the music of the Hollywood Studios Orchestra providing the finest background possible."

There's no mention of who the famous actress is playing Dorothy - but then, the album label states "With The Famous Theatre Company And The Hollywood Studio Orchestra"...so I suppose a member of the Famous Theatre Company could be called a famous actor or actress!

It's been so long since I listened to this record - a good 35 years or so - I don't remember how faithful the story is. I'll have to listen to it again and see.

Troy C said...

This record was in my family when my brother and I were growing up - at the time I did find this cover art a little creepy as I was more accustomed to the 'traditional' presentation of the characters.

But I recently had a 'flashback' (ha ha) of this gorgeous illustration, which is what brought me to comment about it here!