Alice Armand – Erica Sings


I still don’t quite know what to make of this after a few years and quite a few listens. According to the liner notes “after 8 years of living in the wilderness of her Adirondack farm” the 1940’s movie starlet was spontaneously inspired to write and record music “as the result of some happening”. Bewildering, right? Well, the sounds housed within the ancient home-pasted jacket are equally puzzling. Aside from the patriotic theme (with unexplained male vocal) that opens the lp, and an esoteric keyboard instrumental, it’s a showcase of “Erica’s” rather inept vocals and Hawaiian guitar playing. Overall it’s a unique and intimate trip with a strange, sometimes creepy vibe, and a few truly inspired moments. The most logical conclusion I’ve come up with is that this was intended as some sort of songwriting demo.

“To Hawaii’s Shore”

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“Peek Up At The Stars”

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(Untitled instrumental)

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“Get Your Foot Off The Pedal Mr. Brown”

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35 Comments

  • very nice. “peek up” is like a Moe Tucker song sung by Thelma Todd. haunting picture.

  • Thanks, I can’t stop listening. The untitled instrumental seems to be a cover of Hank Williams’ “I Can’t Help It If I’m Still In Love With You.”

  • wow this is great…is there a date on it?

  • Remember when you could download mp3s here?

  • Hey Ansel, do you offer free podcasts on being a whiny little bitch?

  • This is so weird, I could totally see it being played in like a horror movie in a creepy basement

  • Does anyone know anything else about this woman? Can you find this record anywhere? I need a copy badly.

  • This is my lovley, dead auntie! She was quite the character and I can’t believe someone got hold of the album. The random male vocalist was my quite LIT and lng gone daddy, Fred Herrmann, Aunt rickey’s younger brother. She started out modeling at age 14 at her older sister’s art studio but soon was discovered by John Robert Powers modeling agency. This launched her movie career. she also was known as Ricky Newell and appeared in Marx brothers and Shirley Temple movies. She mostly had cameo and bit roles, but there was a movie called The Three Sisters, and she was one of them. Iv’e got lots of stories, Lanie’s Lullabye was written for me!

  • I was quite excited when I posted the previous comment, so pardon my typos. I’d like to add a few bits of information without writing a book since I believe someone in Kentucky who knew her in her later years in doing just that. Born in 1904, Aunt Ricky’s beautiful face both began and finished her public career. After Hollywood lost interest, she went back to modeling and ended up on many pages of the Sears catalogues. She was married to her beloved husband, Duke, a NYC policeman, from about age 18 to his death in the early 1960s. They did live on a farm in the Adirondack Mountains, but I believe they bought the place to be closer to her oler sister who lived in Schroon Lake and who still ran an art shop and studio. She recorded her album in our living room and self-published it. Aunt Ricky had two children, one early on in her marriage who tragically developed what we now believe to be autism. Her sister Hannah took over raising him when Ricky went to Hollywood. The other son lives in Texas and was born when Ricky left modeling in the mid-1940s. He was quite young when they bought the property in the Adirondacks. At some point, they moved to Pennsylvania to be closer to her other siblings. Erica regaled us all quite frequently with tales of Hollywood, and wept openly every time one of her cronies past away.

  • this is just great!

  • Great Aunt Ricky, what can you say but extroidinary. The most beautiful face ever. Sweetest person you could ever meet. Just a love.

  • I do that’s my Grandmother and we have several boxes of her albums still.

  • Hi John, Can you e-mail on lybbenlyl@gmail.com im very interested in the records

  • Hello John Newman, do you still have any copies of the album? Please e-mail me at jwt1250@gmail.com if you do. The whole story really is quite amazing.

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