Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Helping Out Our Readers

>>>Does anyone remember a comedy record, spoken over music, with a sort of Maynard G. Krebbs type 60's hipster who kept repeating, "Like man, I'm a musician, and I blow drums."  Driving me wacko trying to remember this ... and I think I even used to have a copy too.  Sheeesh.  And lastly but not leastly, does anyone know the origin of a DJ-only record in which Mel Blanc did one-liners as the various Warner Bros. characters?  The format was a knock at the door, a one-liner, then a door slam.  Bugs Bunny and Tweety & Sylvester and the rest were all there; but the two I remember most were Porky Pig wanting "a job as a radio an-n-nn-, a radio a-nn-n-nn, a d-dd-d-disc jockey," and Yosemite Sam shouting "Kill the power!  Ah cain't stand it no more!!"  I've heard it might have been called something like "Run-Ins" or "Run-Throughs," but have never seen a copy "in the wild."  (Jim)  

Don't have a clue regarding Jim's inquiry about a comedy record with a Maynard G. Krebs type musician, but the Mel Blanc liners, I think I can help you with.    
Mel had a production company in Hollywood during the 60's and '70's called Mel Blanc Associates, Inc., that created commercials for ad agencies and clients.  In '66, the company created a library service for radio stations called "Superfun".  Over 200 radio stations subscribed to the service, which often added new discs to the library.  It had all kinds of DJ liners, recurring comedy bits like "Believe It Or Don't" and "The Story Lady', even a quite funny on-going soap opera called "Return To Paper Plates" (Peyton Place, get it).  The company used all the top voice talent in LA, including Gary Owens, Arte Johnson, Joanie Gerber and, of course, Mel Blanc.
Subscribers to Uncle Ricky's Reel Radio site ( can check out the 22 minute demo album for "Superfun".  It's titled "Mel Blanc Associates Superfun Demo 1968".
Mel also did DJ liners back in the early 1960's for a station library service called "The Big Sound".  Many celebrities - Carol Burnett, Stan Freberg, etc., did liner discs for the company (it was from the Peter Frank Organization), but that was a long time ago.  We had that series (and there were at least 60 to 70 vinyl discs) at CHUM.  It had production music, sound effects, commercial beds, comedy liners, etc. 
Some of those "The Big Sound" discs have sold for over $100.00 each on eBay.
Doug Thompson - Toronto

One of your readers wanted to know about a spoken recording with instrumental background with the voice sounding somewhat like Maynard G. Krebs. There were a few "beatnik"? type of records made in the late fifties - early sixties. I thought of two or three but checked them and none of them were it.

We may have found it ... FH Reader Ken Voss tells us ...  

The song with "You know, I'm a musician" is the version of "I Kiss Your Hand, Madame" on Spike Jones' Liberty LP "60 Years of Music America Hates Best." It's available on a CD in tandem with "Omnibust." 

Give a listen to this, Jim, and see if it's the one you remember.  (Now that I think about it, Stan Freberg recorded a few of these "beatnik raps" too back in the day!)  kk

Hello Kent - 
I co-host a '60s radio show on occasion, with my friend, longtime Madison, WI, deejay Rockin' John McDonald (WORT-FM - streaming live and archived). He will be doing a WLS-AM radio '60s theme show tonight between 6 - 8 pm CST, as he hosts regularly on Saturday evenings. 
I suggested that he play "It Could Be We're In Love" by The Cryan' Shames. It charted at #1 for many weeks in the summer of '67, but my question is, which I could not find when googling, is an interesting rumor that I heard, which I thought would be a good trivia piece for the audience. Is it true that a Beatles song finally knocked it off the Chicago charts at #1?  Do you have any knowledge of this? I wrote to Tom Doody, lead singer, (Jim Fairs wrote the hit) and he did not know for sure. I do not believe that I could reach a Chicago deejay  (maybe Dick Biondi?) at this short notice. 
I hope you can hurry this info to me, as his show will be in less than four hours - I would like to furnish him with it very soon.   
Thanks a lot, Kent. I really value your website and service. 
Best regards, 
Joanie Baker
Our long-time FH Buddy J.C. Hooke (Jim Pilster) has told me many times over the years that to this day he HATES Bobbie Gentry's "Ode To Billie Joe" because THAT was the song that knocked The Cryan' Shames out of the #1 Spot (after four weeks on top of The WLS Silver Dollar Survey) back in 1967.  A quick check of those charts confirms his statement. 
Ironically, we featured BOTH of those tunes on Tuesday, August 27th, when I celebrated my 60th birthday.  The only Beatles song out at this time was their national chart-topper "All You Need Is Love", which stalled at #8 here in Chi-Town.  (It fared a little better at WCFL, where it peaked at #4). 
Sorry we missed your show ... would have loved to have tuned in for that one.  Hit me with a little more notice next time and we'll invite ALL of our readers to tune in and listen!  Thanks, Joanie!  (kk)
Hi Kent - 
Sorry for the short notice.  I took a chance and had my antennae out for other people as well that day.  But, as it stands anyway, the show is not until September 14.  My friend and I evidently got our lines crossed. So now there is ample time.  Maybe Jim Fairs will get back to me with a definitive answer and  details.  So "Ode to Billie Joe" was the one?  Never liked that song, anyway. 
I found out today that a Beatles song was 'stalled' making it to #1, while "Could be Were in Love" stayed in that position.  
Thanks a lot!  
Well, we looked at the actual charts and confirmed this to be the case.  But September 14th DOES give us all a chance to listen so check out the times and link shown above.  
(This is going to be a tough one for me ... September 14th is Frannie's birthday and I know we'll be downtown at Navy Pier.  Maybe you could tape it and send me a copy???)  Thanks!  
"All You Need Is Love" just wasn't meant to be a #1 Song here in Chicago ... as mentioned above, it peaked at #8 on WLS and #4 on WCFL.  (kk)   

And, speaking of "Ode To Billie Joe" ...   

So you're sixty ... happy birthday! 
I'll be joining you soon enough, old-timer ... 
And I might be getting older, but it to looks good on me ... lol  
Speaking of 'Ode to Billie Joe', after all these years, the question came up ... "What was the preacher's name?" ... and I couldn't come up with it ... arghhh! 
Gary Renfield  
Well, if you listened to our birthday clip the other day, you were reminded that "that nice young Preacher Brother Taylor came by today".  (kk)   

This has been driving me crazy for years.
There was a band who played in the midwest just around the time CTA (Chicago) was out. They were around in the early 70's; maybe 70 - 72. They played at Drag Races a lot. They had a great horn section and had a song out with the letters USDA in it.
Does that ring a bell with you? The name of the band or the song?
Thanks -
Buddy M

Wow, no, sorry, not with me ... by I didn't really do the Drag Strip scene either.  However, maybe one of our local readers can help you out with this one???  Putting it out there, folks!  (kk)

Hey Kent,  
I’m putting together a compilation CD of the Winter Dance Party Show at the Surf Ballroom from February, 1959. (The day the music died). I found the set lists for Bopper, Valens and Holly. However, Dion and the Belmonts were also on the bill, but I’m having trouble finding their set list. Hopefully someone can help. I need the songs they played in order. Plus where were they in the line up to take the stage? I would think Bopper opened, then Valens, followed by Dion(?) and finally Holly. Any help would be appreciated. As always, “Thanks” so much for keeping us music fanatics in touch with others who truly care about the music.
Wow ... anybody got any concrete evidence on this one???  (kk)