Fact or Fiction #13: The Joyce Drake Mystery Unraveled

From retrospace

Recently, I received an anonymous email in response to my post The Mysterious Mrs. Drake about the infamous Joyce LP. In case you're not familiar: the Joyce record has become the poster child for bad album covers around the world; however, the identity of Mrs. Drake has been a bit of an enigma.  Perhaps, we now have an answer:

It is Joyce Drake. She is my aunt. Yes, she is a pastors wife in Sealy, TX and she knows. Considering that album was made in 1983, there is nothing bad or super funny about it. Everyone looked like that in the 80's. There are too many lame people making fun and trying to find out who she is. Recently her album was featured on a segment with Jeff Bridges on the Ellen show. Instead of wasting your time on sites such as this, how 'bout sending Ellen an email requesting Joyce be on the show. At least then you can see the person behind the album.
I have a few thoughts in response to this message...

1. Thank you for the comment. All comments are appreciated at Retrospace (except for Chinese spammers).

2. I think you shouldn't be too hard on people who take delight at your aunt's expense. The fashions of the 70's and 80's are hilarious - you can't find fault with folks who have a sense of humor about it. If pictures of me from this time period were plastered on album covers, I guarantee they would be a source of widespread amusement.

3. I couldn't agree more with your statement that everyone looked like this in 1983. Truer words were never spoken. However, the reason your aunt's cover has stood out among a plethora of bad album covers isn't because it's worse than all the others, it's because it is just so perfect. It's not too busy or muddled - it's just Joyce in all her glory. The simplest imagery is what ends up being the most "successful", just ask anyone in marketing. If the cover had contained her family, maybe her living room, etc., it wouldn't be the icon that it is today.

4. You have to admit that she wasn't exactly a Cheryl Tiegs. So, the romantic pose with the rose definitely strikes at the funny bone. Guys like Will Ferrell capitalize on this sense of irony as a source of humor all the way to the bank.

5. I would love to see Joyce today. I doubt she'll wind up on Ellen, but a picture of her today would be fantastic. Send one to me, and I promise to post what the real Joyce looks like today. Not as a subject for ridicule, but for closure for us idiots who are obsessed with bad album covers.

And finally, as proof that Joyce Drake was by no means alone in her fashion choices, I point Retrospace readers to Life's Railway to Heaven, IMHO the best collection of awful religious album covers (sometimes called "saved vinyl") out there. Here's a taste...


  1. Great response! And thanks for even more really bad covers! Joyce should be happy she has achieved some sort of celebrity!

  2. I'm just glad she didn't have one of those scary dummy with her on the cover. I always thought she looked like the "Edna" character from SCTV.

  3. Seriously Joyce's Niece, have a sense of humor already. And yes, please send a current pic of Joyce. I'm sure she's just as lovely now as then.

    Besides, Joyce's hair has NOTHING on the Singing Richey family's mom. My God, how did that woman maintain that do? It looks like a Roman sculpture.

  4. Call me crazy, but I would imagine she looks like Mrs. Roper from "Three's Company" today. Take off the glasses, put on a little weight and add a mumu. Tell me I'm not right. Not that there's anything wrong with that look. I'm just sayin'. I had a pair of pants made out of the same cloth (nylon) as Joyce's shirt. I know what it was like to dress in the early 80's. You have to learn to laugh at yourself every now and then.

  5. Go ahead and email it to ELLEN. I mean, who knows? They got lots of time to fill!

    AS for the Chinese spammers, I was chasing 'em down and deleting 'em from mine last night, buddy! They posted 15 "comments" before I could reset it to moderated only and then they trried to move to another one of mine so sadly ALL my blogs are now on Moderated Comments Only.


  6. What's wrong with The Archer's cover? I wanted to dress like that so bad... except maybe the guys' shoes.

    I'm surprised Joyce hasn't taken her bit of fame and tried to make money from it. Shows she has class.

  7. She looks like Dustin Hoffman's Tootsie character

  8. Dack ThrombosisFebruary 27, 2010

    Very representative of the time. Hell, my mom had hair like Joyce, and wore similar glasses.

    Look around today. I guarantee you people are going to howl at what folks look like now in twenty or thirty years. Those helmet shaped hairdos young boys have? Ridiculous.

  9. If the mysterious anonymous relative that wrote you wanted to suggest you email Joyce, why didn't they bother to post her email address?

  10. I think Joyce is incredibely hot and I would give up my left nut to be with her.

  11. Here she is! Click on the photos to see that it's, in fact, her.


    1. Thank you. She is as lovely today as she was then.

  12. Try "Joyce Landorf" - she was a popular author as well, in fact better known as an author.



  13. PS The Archers? That was over-the-top even when it was released in the mid-80's, stylists gone mad!

  14. It really is the perfect cover. Simple, great colors, elegant lettering, subject right up front. :)

  15. Joyce looks like she could be a character played by Kevin McDonald on "Kids in the Hall."

  16. "everyone looked like that in the 80s"? i didnt. not in the least. i was more into the punk/new wave scene so probably more of a cross between sid vicious and duran duran. and that gloria roe one looks more like late 60's/early 70's. hair gone wild. no wonder we have holes in the ozone.

  17. "everyone looked like that in the 80's"? i didnt. not in the least. i was more into the punk/new wave scene so my look was probably a mutant cross between duran duran and sid vicious. as far as that gloria roe cover,that looks more late 60's/early 70's. and yes, that hair on the archer women is quite impressive. i mean seriously....

  18. ....actually, it looks more like 1979, then 1983...no one I knew looked like this by 1983..things had started to look much sleeker in '83.

  19. If you've ever seen the final season of Charlie's Angels (the one with Tanya Roberts), there was an episode where the Angels concocted a scheme to outsmart a con man who charmed wealthy women and conned them out of everything they had. The girl who was a museum curator (and the con man's next intended victim) looked suspiciously like Joyce!

  20. Well, it appears Joyce is a big ol' Texas Republican, and although her Facebook posts are mostly positive, I'm sure she's right at home with the RWNJs. I liked the holy bible meme she shared: "I believe in every word in this book, and I don't care if you think I'm an idiot because of it." (Kinda explains TX governor Perry.) And she loves them Bushes.