''Star Trek'' sings
What is it about Star Trek that makes so many of its actors want to sing? Next to The Partridge Family, the show has inspired more misguided crooning careers than any other TV series. The most ear-splitting album of them all: William Shatner’s The Transformed Man (1968), on which he sang — well, more like barked — such rockin’ classics as ”Mr. Tambourine Man” and ”Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.” Says Shatner today: ”Some things you do are good; some aren’t. My wife liked it — she thought it was one of the best things she’d ever heard.” She was the only one: Album sales never even registered on the charts.
Other Trek singers include Leonard Nimoy, who cut five less-than-fascinating albums, including Leonard Nimoy Presents Mr. Spock’s Music From Outer Space, a 1967 disc on which he sang such original tunes as ”Music to Watch Space Girls By” and ”Visit to a Small Planet” (it peaked at 83 on the charts) and The New World of Leonard Nimoy, a 1969 bomb featuring his versions of ”Proud Mary” and ”Put a Little Love in Your Heart.” Nichelle Nichols, who played Lieutenant Uhura, did 1966’s Dark Side of the Moon, which included ”Starry Eyed” and ”Let’s Trip.” It never made the charts. Grace Lee Whitney, who played Yeoman Janice Rand, cut a 1976 single called ”Take a Star Trip” (the B side was ”Disco Trekking”). Few fans took notice.
Even actors on The Next Generation are getting into warbling. Brent Spiner, who plays Data, recently released Ol’ Yellow Eyes Is Back, with classic covers including ”Zing! Went the Strings of My Heart.” Backup vocals are provided by the Sunspots (cast members LeVar Burton, Michael Dorn, Jonathan Frakes, and Patrick Stewart). It could be the hottest Trek album of all time. Who says androids can’t sing?