Sam Chalpin had mostly sung at lodge meetings and was a cantor at his synagogue. Ed Chalpin, his son and head of the PPX Record Production Company, decided that if Mrs. Miller gained some fame for her series of shrill and off-key renditions of popular songs, then why not make a similar record with his father -" and Ed would make sure that his father worked for nothing. Existing tracks, a studio he owned and a free singer - investment zero!"
After Sam Chalpin had finished recording the ten tunes of this Atco disc, Ed Chalpin had contacted Ahmet Ertegun [head of Atlantic Records], to whom he stated that his father, who was sixty-five years of age, had made his first recordings. The tunes were issued on the Atlantic Records' Atco subsidiary in 1966.
Sam Chalpin died in 1969.
Mike Rashkow, the recording engineer, has told the story of these recordings at Spectropop.com :
Sam could not read English very well, maybe not at all. If he could read, then he couldn't see. If he was taught the lyrics, he'd forget them. The melody and meter? He had two chances of getting in the vicinity of either one - slim and none. Slim done took the train. Supposedly, he'd learn the song, then Ed would bring him in and we put the head phones on him. I think we actually had to tie them on him - he didn't like it. We'd start trying to overdub him by a): feeding him the old vocal in the cans; b): not feeding him the old vocal in the cans; c): letting him listen over and over again to the line or two he was going to yelp at, and d): Ed standing next to him waving his arms and threatening him with violence.
I swear on my children's lives that Ed made his father cry at least once, maybe more, during these sessions. It was terrible for me to watch, and possibly criminal to be involved in. Today, Ed would be arrested for Elder Abuse, and I would be the one who dropped the dime on him.
If we did one punch-in on a song we did 100. I did so many punch-ins, trying to get a single chorus done, that when the record was complete I was punch drunk. This is not exaggerated. The poor old man couldn't sing, couldn't read, couldn't remember and, most of the time, didn't have a clue what was going on. I may make it sound funny, but truly it was an awful thing for one person to put another person through, let alone a son to his father.