And Other Musical Matters…

An exchange on a rare visit to Facebook moved me to look up this delicious old piece of ersatz Strudel. It’s as good as ever.

For my sins, I once sang in a chorus of ex-pat Germans who loved to push back the furniture after rehearsal and put a good polka on the sound system. Somehow they just never got around to this one. My late-and-ex husband, who as I’ve mentioned elsewhere was a good deal older than I am, used to reminisce fondly about hearing the original on the radio when he was in bed deathly ill with pneumonia, listening to the war news. As soon as Spike Jones released it, Arthur Godfrey began every morning broadcast with it, and persisted in doing so till V-E Day. “That song saved my life,” said my ex.

For another Big Band era raspberry — one which my father used to sing in the shower — sample “music fair, music foul, music played by Teddy Powell”:

This is the one that really wipes me out. Because all the years we were married (and after), I and my ex-husband — who leapt with excitement when he heard me fetch this lyric up out of memory — searched for any surviving form of the song, which of all Teddy Powell’s productions seemed to have sunk full fathom five. We would sing it to each other. He could recite the whole announcer’s rigmarole. I hunted all over the Net — something which he never “got,” but marveled at — trying to find a sound clip or remastered recording.

Someone uploaded this in December of last year, eighteen months after he died. Goddammit.


5 thoughts on “And Other Musical Matters…

  1. Oh Boy! Spike Jones! I was only a kid but my father (an amateur comic actor) loved his work. I grew up on it. I wasn’t [WHIZZZZZZZZ] damaged [POP] at all [BANG CLATTER]

    Hmmm – I wonder what I can find for a Tuesday Tune sometime soon.

    • I sensed an innate theatricality in your blog…

      This song has haunted me through life, I swear. My first playmate, at six years old or so, loved to re-enact the war stories his father (a trombonist) had brought home from Patton’s Army. His slightly garbled version of “Der Fuehrer’s Face” may have represented the first Bronx cheer I ever heard. We spent hours behind German lines, sneaking up on machine-gun nests in his family’s back yard.

      • Dad was the king of rural amateur theatre, an Irish tenor and a banjo mandolinist when I was a kid. He always wanted to be a “radio announcer” something he had done in the Air Force during the nastiness in the South Pacific. Unfortunately he died when I was 12. I grew up and sort of accidentally moved into lighting amateur stage productions. I have done that sporadically over the years. I have recently realised that my photography is an extension of that stage thing – a photograph is about the same shape as a stage with a proscenium arch. But I love theatre – pity I am over 600Km from my nearest one 😦

  2. I’d love to listen to it but my son recently uninstalled a music application on my computer and now i can’t get sound. Have to wait for him to get back from singapore to fix it 😦

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