“Downtown,” Mrs. Miller
Best to kick off with a larf, I always say, and this catastrophic recasting of Petula Clark's cheesy crowd-pleaser always gets me giggling.
Someone from Winnipeg must have requested it from the local pop station, because in 1979 Mrs. Miller was experiencing something of a resurgence, and “Downtown” was all the rage on morning shows. It had been recorded over a decade earlier, and the DJs were now selling the urban myth that had grown like mold around the track: that this was a vanity project gone monstrously awry. It seems, at least from this article, that although Mrs. Miller had dabbled a bit with self-produced records, this was most definitely not that.
In fact, given the illustrious career that followed this release (Ed Sullivan, fer crying out loud!), there is no question that at some point Mrs. Miller was very much in on the joke. Did she know it from the get-go? Listen, and decide for yourself.