Come on everybody, Let’s Kitschercise!

Submitted by windupkitty November 21st, 2009
Certifikitsch Winner

Most of the records I have collected have been chosen for their cheesy album covers (I could spend months submitting them here if I were to do submit them individually. I just couldn’t do that to poor Allee!), but I also definitely look for anything instructional,stories for kids, and certainly religious themes. Here’s a sample of some of my favorite fitness records (of the ones I could dig out yesterday). Hopefully, they won’t disappoint, and perhaps, they may even inspire.

This one is great if you don’t want to exercise at all.

This cover will scare you into exercising, and there’s a pull out poster to help you along…

Richard Simmons: A true favorite of mine! My little sister and I used to listen to this (it’s my Mom’s old record!) and laugh till we were sick while jumping up and down on our yellow/orange/green floral couch….The first song, “Wake Up and Breathe” brought us to tears…..Just look at those people on the cover: I especially like the guy in the black shirt (we named him Hernando, for some reason) in the bottom right corner. His wide open mouth is very impressive. He’s definitely feeling the burn.

Richard Hittleman knew exactly what he was doing. Check out those fly pointy-toe boots! This album is also a booklet that includes the stretching exercises he prescribes, which are only vaguely yoga-related. But, despite his lack of training in the asana arts, he was clearly able to pull in a stone cold fox in black eyeliner, fishnet stockings and a purple leotard. Thank you, 1960s, we owe you one!

7 Responses to “Come on everybody, Let’s Kitschercise!”

  1. Allee Willis

    HOLD ON TO YOUR HAT….: NOT ONLY DID I COWRITE AND COPRODUCE THE ENTIRE RICHARD SIMMONS “REACH” LP BUT I’M ON THE COVER!!!!!!!! I’m the first full face in the top row left hand corner. I know you weren’t prepared for this so I’ll take a moment for you to recover… ….. ………………….

    Working on “Reach” was the ultimate Kitsch experience (and also completely fun and traumatic, depending on the day). It was when Richard was Just starting to be MASSIVE. I was totally bored writing radio songs and he was such a character. I did it as much for an escape as I did for the fact that I thought we’d make some serious coin. I also liked him a lot and it was really wild to be part of his ride at that time. We worked really hard on the songs, had incredible musicians and singers, all of whom had been on hundreds of hits, and it never once dawned on me or my collaborator, Bruce Roberts, the guy in red slightly to my right, that every 2 to 8 bars “LEG UP!”, “SHOULDER ROUND!” and other exercise commands would be screamed over the entire record. That’s how dumb we were. The good news is I came right out of Earth Wind & Fire into Richard Simmons and began a career where I was hell-bent to jump around and have polar opposite experiences so I’d never get bored.

    Unfortunately, I don’t know who Hernando is.

    Now, on to the rest of your collection: If anyone can take you submitting your LP cover separately it’s me! I love to see and hear about each and every one of those precious jewels. With this said, you’ve done an excellent grouping here.

    I always love anything in the Good Housekeeping series, be it books, LPs or whatever. The art direction and color schemes are always great. I love that it’s a plan for reducing off-the-record. Does off-the-record mean the fact that you’re exercising to music on this record or does off-the-record mean that you’re exercising in your spare minutes and therefore it’s “off the record”?

    And who can’t appreciate another in the Jazzercise series, a word that terrorized me in the ’80s as I was so sick of hearing it and never liked to exercise. But I must say that the aerobics craze that Jazzercise led was very good to me as so many of those LPs included my song “Neutron Dance” because it was something like 160 BPM.

    The yoga LP cover is completely gorgeous. Is that thing suspended in the air a yoga symbol, macram√© or what? I love how freshly pressed Richard’s clothes are.

    Now go listen to that Richard Simmons album again with renewed context. And read the credits, please!

      • Allee Willis

        @Jason- I could go either way on this one. Of course, I love anything I’ve worked on to be glorified and, God knows, there’s enough to say about this one! But on the other hand, the greatest of my stories could never be told in public because that’s how I keep my show business friends, by keeping my big mouth shut and never spilling beans about the nuttiness that goes on within the confines of a collaboration. But if windupkitty wants to make “Reach” a separate submission I’m not one to stand in the way of progress in Kitsch.

  2. windupkitty

    Sweet MOther of God. I did need a minute; I still need a minute. I honestly can’t breathe. How I’ve erred by not reading the credits on so many albums. Hold on a minute, this is too much.

  3. windupkitty

    OK, WHAT????? Wait, WHAT???!!!! NO wonder I LOVED this album!!!!! What got us kids most was him screeching “INHALE!” “EXHALE!” over and over again…My Mom never knew about jumping on the couch. She paid money for this record set so she could follow the latest dieting advice, and we weren’t suppose to touch it, so we’d wait till she was at work….

    WOW, can I just be honest here? You’re my hero! To this day, songs from this record are stuck in my head and now i know that it’s of course because well, they were written by the best…….jesus, sweet baby jesus, you are just so cool….

    now i’m gonna have to find some of my richard simmons crap too…..he was a part of our household for many years, and i’ve always been a fan….

    and yeah, that symbol on the yoga album is so excellent…what the hell, no one will know it doesn’t mean anything…..ust throw it up there and we’ll call it spiritual….

  4. Allee Willis

    In a career like mine where some of my favorite moments are when high and lo elements in my art collide, this experience of having one of my own works submitted to my own Allee Willis Museum Of Kitsch is a watershed moment!

    I have tons of video of us during that time, both home videos and us on the Today show and a bunch of others. One day I’ll have to put some of that up here. In the meantime, I hope you do a lot of REACHing over this highly kitschified weekend!