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Space Age Music Maker

Sandy Warner


THE cover girl of space age pop, Sandy Warner graced the covers of 16 Martin Denny albums, each in a different costume, often with dramatically different make-up, hairdo, and even hair color. Warner's ambiguously Caucasian/Asian face on the cover of Denny's first album, Exotica, captures the genuine/fake cultural blend that characterizes much of exotica and space age pop music. It was a standing joke among disk jockeys that many of them discovered only later that there was a record inside the dust jacket.

Although Warner was best known as a model, she worked in a number of different aspects of the entertainment business. While still in her teens, she appeared along with her twin sister, Sonia, in several B-movies and at least one A-movie, "The Human Jungle," in bit parts. Sandy appeared in several other films, including Nicholas Ray's "Party Girl" and Don Siegel's "Point Blank," and in episodes of "Perry Mason," "The Twilight Zone," and "The Fugitive." She and Sonia also had a small nightclub act, and Warner's success and recognition as the Denny cover girl eventually led to her recording as a singer for a small label, Mayfair. As Denny wrote in the liner notes for Fair and Warner:

Now, at last, Sandra emerges as a vocalist. When I was asked if I would write these liner notes for her album I thought it was a fitting switch. In this album Miss "EXOTICA" herself emerges as a talented performer whose voice and personality merit the attention her lovely face has attracted heretofore.
Unfortunately, Mayfair didn't see fit to invite Warner to as many return engagements as a singer as Liberty did as a cover model. She appeared on other albums besides Denny's, such as Mickey Katz's The Most Moshige, with less notoriety. Ironically, for all her exposure, Warner was able to pull one over on Denny himself when they first met. He later recalled,
I'm playing the piano, and right on the edge of the stage, there's a young couple sitting there, a very attractive gal. I finish the show, and she motions to me to come over to her table, so I did. She says hello, I say hello, and she says 'You know. we have a lot in common.' I say, 'How come'?' And she says, 'Well, I'm the girl on the cover of Exotica.' I looked at her and by God she was! She was on her honeymoon with her new husband. She was a model on at least ten of my albums, and on each one she has a different characterization, a different look and everything. A very stunning girl.
Indeed--even forty years later.


Recordings

  • Steve Allen Presents Fair and Warner, Mayfair 9733S


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