Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Kojak - 4 Exciting Detective Stories


Growing up, I always assumed that the DC and Marvel superheroes were the main "stars" of the Power Records line, and the other stuff--Star Trek, Space: 1999--were just ancillary releases, sort of similar to what went on in the world of comics. Well, after working on this for a couple of years now and making so many Power Record discoveries, it's clear that the sci-fi and TV licenses clearly were just as important to the Peter Pan company.

Case in point--Kojak. One of the seemingly oddest choices for a kid's record, Telly Savalas' titular detective received not just a book and record set, but a second LP of audio adventures, seen above (including two I had not heard before). This was another one of those Power LPs I had no idea existed until a Google search, and it only took a quick look on eBay to find decent scans of the both the front and back covers. Amazing. The search never ends!


Rockwell J. Pugglesworth said...

The Power Records Kojak actor is as good as the Power Records Steve Austin actor. That is one spot-on Telly Savalas. Interesting, too, that they got to use the TV show theme - something not afforded the Star Trek and Space: 1999 PR recordings.

I never watched Kojak as a kid and I don't think I've seen an entire episode as an adult either, but I like the records (which I also only heard as an adult) because its one more opportunity to hear the Power Records stock company of actors, and the PR library of sound effects and music. Seems like weird subject matter to market to kids, but Kojak had his own action figure in the Mego style, so what do *I* know?

Earth 2 Chris said...

Wow, just WOW. I just listened to the first story on my lunch break.

3 homicides, a female cop shot, and a shootout in an airport. Power Records never fails to surprise me with its idea of "kids" entertainment.

We have to cover this on the podcast.

The guy does do a good Savalas.


MikeInFla said...

Awesome, I had this record when I was a kid. However, since I was just a kid I found Kojak to be very boring. I think I bought this record for $1 at K-Mart in the late 70's or early 80's. Can appreciate it more as an adult, thanks for the memories.

Armpit Studios said...

I'm sure you've posted all 4 episodes before, because I've been listening to all 4 of them since they were added to my iTunes library on October 20, 2012. I don't know where else I might have gotten them.

And I'm pretty sure that this really *is* Telly doing the Kojak voice here. Nobody else has those Tellyisms. The way he says "hu-huh. Try it, kitchy-koo. Try it." in "The Prodigal Son" sounds authentically Telly.

Touch-and-go Bullethead said...

I remember seeing the Kojak albums when they were new, and thinking then that this series was an odd choice. It still seems one, but now I can get at least a glimmer of the reasoning behind it. You have to bear in mind two facts:

1. In the 1970s, the detective show was the dominant form of drama on American TV. The Western was in decline, there was only one successful medical drama ("Trapper John, MD") introduced in that decade, and only two successful spy shows ("The Six Million Dollar Man" and "The Bionic Woman," which of course mixed a lot of other elements in with the espionage), but there were plenty of successful detective shows. It was probably inevitable that a company which used licensed properties, such as Power Records, would give the genre a try.

2. "Kojak" was produced by Universal Studios, and Power Records obviously had contacts with Universal (it also produced "The Six Million Dollar Man" and "Gemini Man"). If "Kojak" was an odd choice, so would any of the other popular Universal detective shows have been--"Columbo," "MacMillan and Wife," "The Rockford Files," "Bsnacek," "Baretta," etc. Power probably simply went for the most popular (or maybe the one with the star easiest to imitate).

And, Armpit Studios: There is absolutely no chance that Telly Savalas was actually involved in this album. If he had been, the album cover would have declared, in very large letters, "Starring TELLY SAVALAS as KOJAK!!!!" This is not the sort of thing you keep hidden.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...