Thursday, June 1, 2017

Listen to Gary Player's 1970 Album, 'Gary Player Sings'

Gary Player is one of the greatest golfers of all time, and one of the best-known. As in, avid golf fans really know a lot about Gary. Probably too much given that he once posed semi-nude for ESPN the Magazine.

But I bet you didn't know Player once recorded a record album, singing 10 songs, a selection of standards, classics and little-known ditties that were some combination of folk, country and pop. The album was titled Gary Player Sings (in South Africa it was released as Sing Along with Gary Player) and it was released on the MCA label in 1970.

What kind of singer is Gary? Well, as a singer he's a hell of a golfer.

This is the track list on the record:

A1. Gentle On My Mind
A2. When The Saints Go Marching In
A3. Jenny
A4. Happy Heart
A5. Singing The Blues
B1. Kum Ba Ya
B2. Deep In The Heart Of Texas
B3. Over And Over Again
B4. Rock A My Soul
B5. Green Green

The sound? Well, the sound is uniquely 1970s - early 1970s. If you're old enough to remember that period of AM radio - or if you've found a way to sample that era of pop music - you'll know exactly what we mean. And if not ... you'll know once you hear the record.

Because, through the magic of the Internet, you can listen to Gary Player Sings right now:

The 1970 album wasn't even Player's first time singing on record. In 1967 he released a single titled If There Was No You. And while I've found an image of the record sleeve, I've not yet found the recording.

Decades later, in an interview with the South African edition of Playboy, Player was asked if there was anything people don't know about him. He replied:

"I once recorded an album of country songs. It was called Sing Along with Gary Player. I think if Sam Snead had heard it he probably would’ve listened to the whole thing from start to finish, and then told me, 'Son, I ain’t heard you sing yet.' "

Player isn't the only major championship winner to record an album, though. John Daly has a couple of them. Raymond Floyd never recorded an album, but in the 1960s he did help manage and promote an all-female band that performed topless.