The Culling XXIV: Easy-to-Follow Instructions

August 26, 2010

The Culling continues in the spoken word section. I’ve finished literature (poetry, prose and drama) and now I’m in instructional records. I must say it’s a welcome breath of goofiness after such literary heavyweights as T.S. Eliot and Samuel Beckett. Here’s a sampling:


Betty White’s How To Cha Cha Cha

Not that Betty White – this Betty was “one of America’s most prominent dance instructors”. She authored several books including Dancing Made Easy, Teen Age Dance Book and Teen Age Dance Etiquette.

She also released a series of “Strictly for Dancing” instruction records (with male narrator) including Fox Trot, Hustle, Rhumba, Waltz, Polka, Tango and Disco.

I’ve found no biographical information about Betty online amidst the millions of hits for the other Betty White, but I did find the complete text of her 1952 Teen Age Dance Book.


While there’s a certain absurdist charm in listening to Getting Along in English or The 700 Words You Will Need Most In Germany, I can’t see myself wanting to use any of my language instruction records again, so I’ve culled the lot. I may regret this if I take up conversational Yiddish or Swahili in the future, but I’m willing to risk it.


A collage of excerpts from some of the notable fitness records in my collection:

Armed Forces Workout

Master Gunnery Sergeant Bill Dower, who trained Lou Gossett Jr. for his role as the drill instructor in An Officer and A Gentleman, conducts the Armed Forces Workout on this K-tel record. Workout music includes sound-alike covers of Eye of the Tiger, Gonna Fly Now (Rocky Theme), and Beat It.

Trunk Benders


It’s Ed Allen Time

Ed Allen hosted a popular syndicated TV exercise program that began in 1963. The music on this 1965 record is very different from the type of music you find on later fitness records.

Keep Fit To Drums

also has unusual music for exercise routines – drums and steel drums played by “The Samaroo Kids”

Get Fighting Fit with 2Para

What delights me about this record is that the instructor reminds me of Monty Python’s Eric Idle, who I can totally see playing a  character like this.

And finally…


Billy Golembiewski: Hear How To Be A Better Bowler

A sop to the deluded Googler who comes to this site expecting to find something about bowling.


2 Responses to “The Culling XXIV: Easy-to-Follow Instructions”

  1. My mom used to put on her black leotards and “work out” with exercises like trunk benders while listening to Keep Fit with Drums! Love it! Found it on a Google search – awesome – you shoulda kept it!

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