Vinyl Dynamite #15

I try to design posts on Retrospace around on what I, personally, would like to see - and I love looking at old album covers. However, it is often frustrating for me to look at some of these strange and unique old album covers and not know what they sound like. One of my favorite sites to visit is the LP Cover Lover, but I'm often frustrated that I can't listen to what's behind the cover. It's like seeing an incredibly intriguing movie poster, and knowing you'll never get to see it.

That's why I include sound clips in my Vinyl Dynamite posts. Not because the record is particularly good (they are often huge disappointments), but to give obsessive people like me closure.

So anyway, this album is no exception. It's horrible. But lets take a look and listen anyway...

I'm sure many of you are familiar with the guy on the left with the suspenders - the famous chef, Justin Wilson. However, I wonder how many people saw this 1973 LP thinking the dude with the glasses is Jean Barleycorn? I mean, it's called Justin Wilson Meets Jean [John] Barleycorn and shows him presumably meeting someone!

The guy on the right, however, is definitely not Jean Barleycorn - unless he happens to be the ancient pagan personification of alcohol made from barley (i.e. whiskey and beer). I'd encountered the name a long time ago via the 1970 Traffic album, John Barleycorn Must Die, so I knew better. The bespectacled fellow is actually Peggy Bercegeay, the owner of the bar.

Basically, the whole album is Justin Wilson telling stories about drunken Cajuns. Here's a sample:

Justin Wilson began his career as a safety engineer, but became frustrated by the boredom and disinterest he encountered when giving training sessions. He started to inject Cajun humor into his presentations and it was a big hit. Before long, Wilson was on The Ed Sullivan Show telling his entertaining Louisiana tales.

Over the years, Justin recorded several records and became a well known chef thanks to his cookbooks and PBS cooking shows. Much like Emeril is identified today with "Bam!", Justin had his own trademark catch phrase, "I gar-on-tee!" He even appeared on Letterman as well as The Hollywood Squares, and even had his own line of kitchenware.

I'll end by saying that if you can sit through an entire album about nothing but alcoholic Cajuns, I gar-on-tee you have a higher tolerance for pain than I.


  1. My wife's late father had all of Justin Wilson's albums. I just played her this clip with no warning and she got all misty-eyed as she remembered it as one of her dad's favorite stories. She wanted me to thank you for the memory!

  2. That is so cool. I never knew that Justin Wilson had any albums. I do remember watching his cooking show with my family. We all loved it.

  3. Wow. How awesome is that. Tell her you're welcome, and thank you for sharing this misty eyed flashback.

  4. Keith- Yes, Justin was the King of All Media; TV shows, records, kitchenware, guest spots on Hollywood Squares.... he was quite the entertainer for an old Louisiana safety engineer.

  5. Sorry I don't include sound clips with my albums, but I haven't got the technology to do it yet.

  6. Also, is that Tim Allen in the top photo?

  7. A friend of mine is a big fan of cooking shows and I watched Justin Wilson's show a couple of times with him. Wilson's big trick was to claim (apparently in every show) that he could measure out an exact teaspoon of salt in his hand. Then he would pour some salt into his hand and then pour from his hand into a teaspoon. Perfect every time.

  8. retrohound- That sure DOES look like Tim Allen!

    capewood- He was also fond of pouring gallons of alcohol in his dishes. He was to booze what chef Paula Dean is to butter.

  9. Interesting bit of Trivia, taken from one of Justin Wilson's cookbooks..... "Peggy" was a nickname...... according to Justin, Mr. Bercegeay loved the song "Peggy O'Neal" and always played it on the jukebox, hence the nickname.