I anticipated Celebrity Vinyl as the official vindication for my own personal collection of records by TV & movie personalities who decided to try their hand at being singing sensations. I had hoped for a deep analysis of the psychology of tone deaf celebrities and their toadying yes-men in the studio who said..."great job, that’s a wrap". There is however the disclaimer that "this is not a study in pop culture".
It is however a handsome, well printed volume showing album covers of 100+ records by the likes of Telly Savales, Lorne Green & John Travolta. There are some true hall-of-famers in the awful performances genre. As a personal guilty pleasure, I do take odds with some of the authors selections and glaring omissions. For example, why only one Leonard Nimoy album (when his entire oeuvre is worthy of a massive book in itself?) and why are 3 Jimmy Swaggart albums (including instrumentals?), my guess is the selection of albums had more to do with the comic commentary potential and random nature of the collection in hand than anything else.
The author's one line commentary on each of the albums is a highlight and often hilariously cruel. I get the impression he hasn’t listened to all of the records. I recall that Anthony Perkins and Jerry (not Lee) Lewis have decent singing voices and just happen to be celebrities. Why the Sebastian Cabot album of Bob Dylan cover songs or Herve Villechaize (see youtube, please see youtube) are not included is a mystery to me. The Rhino Records "Golden Throats" albums cover a good slice this material but this book is a good visual and sarcastic commentary companion to that series. A few other nits to pick: The majority of "artists" covered are from the 70s & 80s when the 1960s had some truly amazing celebrity albums, Some of the dates are wrong, and Tracey Ullman is the one inclusion that has the premise reversed: a good voice but is an awful celebrity.
I truly believe this phenomenon is worth further study and if I choose to go for my PhD this may well be the topic of my dissertation