Sandy Warner: Exotica King Martin Denny's Cover Girl

By | September 24, 2019

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Sandy Warner on the covers of 'Exotica' and 'Primitiva,' albums by exotica musician Martin Denny. Source: Flickr

You’ve seen Sandra "Sandy" Warner on Martin Denny's album covers, even if you're not sure who Martin Denny is. The albums had titles like Exotica, Primitiva, Quiet Village, Afro-Desia, and The Enchanted Sea, and the music Martin Denny played was in the very dated genre known as exotica. Sandy Warner was an actress and singer, but will always be most famous as the face of exotica.

It's fair to say Sandy Warner is the second-most famous album cover model of the vinyl era, behind Dolores Erickson, Herb Alpert's "whipped cream girl."

Sandy Warner's Covers Remain Appealing. The Music? Not So Much

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Sandy Warner on the cover of Martin Denny's 'Hypnotique' (1959). Source: Flickr

Sometimes she has her long brown hair pulled back, sometimes she’s bleach-blonde and positioned against a wall with African idols, but she’s always tempting the listener with those almond-shaped eyes to escape modern American life and take a trip with her to somewhere exotic. Warner appeared on 16 Martin Denny LP covers, and while she had a minor career beyond her appearances as a tiki icon, it's these photos that defined her career and created a cult following that still exists today. 

Though it's rare to hear exotica albums today, you'll see these records in collections and vinyl shops simply because of their visual appeal.