William Shatner: singer, actor and all around ham

So, it’s been one of those weeks, already, where nothing seems to go right and you just need some escapism.  Having burned through my DVD collection, I turn to music.  Looking through my collection, I discovered, or, rather, rediscovered one of the true greats of twentieth century music.  A man whose abilities never cease to amaze.  A man who, over the last fifty years has provided gobs and gobs of entertainment.  His multitude of television shows and, as I had forgotten, records are all works of art, though I am not sure just what KIND of art some of it really is.  Who is this master of entertainment?  To whom am I heaping such praise?  Why, none other than Captain Kirk himself:  William Shatner.

Years ago, I purchased a CD called Golden Throats II (yes, there were at least two.)  This collection of songs by unlikely people is a mixed bag.  There’s some real surprises on there, like Cassius Clay singing Stand By Me.  He was not that bad.  He wasn’t that good, but not all that bad.  Bing Crosby singing Hey Jude was listenable, though not something I want to hear too much.  It was, however, William Shatner singing ‘It was a very good year’ that puts the collection over the top. Naturally, I had to find more.  Fortunately, the Zune Marketplace and the Amazon MP3 store has much of the Shatner collection.  Nimoy is there too.  His renditions are better, but not by much.  You have to hear Nimoy singing Ruby to truly appreciate Kenny Rogers’ version.

ShatnerYou might think that Shatner would try to sing like Captain Kirk.  It’s far worse than that at times.  His Mr. Tambourine Man is, well, you have to hear it to understand.  It sounds like he was really pissed off AND high at the same time.  Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds is a real gem.  Shatner was known to have a massive ego and, so I am guessing, when he said ‘I wanna make a record’, no one argued.  Why should they?  He was not a singer.  I suppose someone figured he cut the record and forget it.  Well, he didn’t.  He had MANY records.  Even one with Nimoy.  At least Nimoy had a little singing talent.  Shatner…was…enter…taining, though.  Hell, he recently performed with Ben Folds Five.  How about that?  Personally, I like him better as Denny Crane.  Classic Shatner.  And he’s even gotten lots of kudos for, well, being himself.

Link: William Shatner collection

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