Sunday, October 20, 2013
Ghost Cat Presents... Madness! Part 2
Ghost Cat, in real life, is Whitey. Whitey lost his tail several years ago--it had to be amputated after an injury (it got pulled out of place, I recall--Dr. Mike, our vet, said a fall was the probable cause). That makes him an honorary Manx. It took a while to get used to the sight of Whitey, minus his large, fluffy tail. Tail loss seemed to mellow him out for a while, but he quickly returned to his bullying ways, menacing other cats just to be doing it. That's his way. Another Whitey hobby is running around as if pursued by invisible demons. Maybe it's his guilty conscience after him.
And we have Madness! Part 2. The fun starts with the insanely inflated lyrics of Oh, That'll Be Joyful, which is actually an oldie called The Peanut Song, whose history I wrote up in 2008: The Peanut Song Story . The Peanut Song was a standard glee club/college song number by the late 1800s, showing up in print under a variety of titles, and who can say when it originated? Not Ghost Cat. It could have been a folk number. Or a published pop number whose copyright was ignored later on. ("Gosh, we didn't know that one had an author"--Publisher.) I do not know.
Also in today's slaylist--a number of deluded souls auditioning for an extended stay in the booby hatch, including the storytelling bus rider in Torero, the smitten-with-a-mannequin narrator of Glendora (a cheap knock-off of a Perry Como hit), the highly successful lover in his own mind whose fantasies are documented in Barcelona, and, of course, Baby Jane, who wonders whatever happened to herself in Whatever Happened to Baby Jane, a ? song title printed on the label without a question mark.
Bob Merrill's Cleo and Meo is a long-time favorite of mine, though this is my first time blogging it. One of Mitch Miller's most imaginative and effective productions, and one of Bob Merrill's most surreal songs. It's a tall tale gone crazy, with no explanatory tag (i.e., no suggestion that the whole narrative is a dream, or that the singer has been drinking, etc.). Cleo and Meo is totally, classically insane.
What else? Oh, Vince Edwards' Squealin Parrot Twist (which I should have included in a "Stupidity!" slaylist) is routinely cited as Squealin' Parrot Twist, but there's no apostrophe on the label. So there. Inane celebrity novelties like this one are often misfiled as "oddball" efforts, but they're actually pretty common. If Time/Life ever decides to do a "Best of Celebrity Oddball Records" collection, they'll have enough titles for a hundred-CD set, plus "bonus" tracks. All for one hundred "easy" payments of $16.99. And, if you order now, you'll avoid ordering later.
Click here to hear the madness, all ripped from 78s, 45s, and LPs in my collection:
Madness! Part 2
Oh, That'll Be Joyful--Bobby Wayne, Gene Baylos, 1954.
Hush... Hush, Sweet Charlotte--The Capettes (of Capital University)
The Looner Fluter--Jon Kenny
Cleo and Meo (Bob Merrill)--The Four Lads and Jill Corey, w. Mitch Miller, 1954
Squeelin Parrot Twist--Vince Edwards, 1962.
Torero--Julius La Rosa, 1958.
Glendora--Bud Roman w. the Toppers.
Barcelona--Billy Murray w. the International Novelty Orch. (Dir. Nat Shilkret), 1926.
I've Been Waiting for Your Phone Call for 18 Years--Beatrice Kay, 1947.
Ah-Ha!--Paul Whiteman and His Orch., 1925.
March of the Lunatics (Pennario)--Leonard Pennario X2, 1960.
Whatever Happened to Baby Jane (L. Heller-F. De Vol)--Music by De Vol, 1962.
Posted by Lee Hartsfeld at 9:27 AM