For SPIKE JONES enthusiasts ...

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Lance
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For SPIKE JONES enthusiasts ...

Post by Lance » Mon May 22, 2006 4:46 pm

From listening to the radio to hearing a few recordings my parents had so long ago, I developed an interest in Spike Jones and His City Slickers. He was very popular at one time, and there must still be some interest because major record companies continue to release his recordings. There's already been quite a number on CD ... I may list those below in case you missed them ... but here's a couple I recently acquired that may be of interest:
  • EMI [Gold Series] 30102. 12 tracks. These are apparently taken from actual radio broadcasts. Some of the titles include Runnin' Wild; Round Table Discussion: Schubert's Unfinished Symphony; Round Table Discussion: Opera; Visiting Boston, Masschusetts; Il Barko (a take-off on the song "Il Baccio"); Dance of the Hours; This is your FBI-dea (with guest Don Ameche), A Horse Opera, etc.
  • Naxos [Nostalgia Series] 8.120834 - 27 tracks, transferred by David Lennick. Here we have some larger works: The Nutcracker Suite; Carmen; and some repetition (studio recordings) from the EMI issue mentioned above. Also, The Blue Danube, Liebestraum, The Jones Laughing Record introducing The Flight of the Bumblebee." All these recordings were made between 1945-1950.
As Elliott Stein wrote in the liner notes from the EMI issue in 2005, "... the unique music of Spike Jones MUST be heard to be appreciated."[/color]
Lance G. Hill
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When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
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pizza
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Post by pizza » Tue May 23, 2006 3:26 am

They were big stuff in the '40s. When I was in HS I saw them live at Orchestra Hall, Chicago and they played to a sold-out house. I and some of my friends couldn't get tickets and we went around to the delivery entrance in back of the hall and told the guard about our plight. He disappeared for a moment and came back with Jones' manager and he let us in and we watched the show from the backstage wings. What a guy! They were a bigger draw than the CSO. Their "Cocktails for Two" always broke me up! Those guys had a lot of fun performing -- that part was no act! :lol:

johnQpublic
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Post by johnQpublic » Tue May 23, 2006 9:14 am

I have some the items of that Naxos on a old RCA LP but a number of the EMI items are new to me. I must search it out.

BTW the title of my RCA LP is sdomething like "Spike Jones Murders the Classics".

Blip
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Post by Blip » Tue May 23, 2006 11:04 am

I have to say much of Jones' work seems dated to me, but "Cocktails for Two" is still very funny, and the first time I ever heard his version of "Laura," I really fell apart. What makes it hilarious is that he does the first half absolutely straight.

Listening to the radio in my car the other day, I heard "Der Fuehrer's Face," which was very refreshing, since i just finished reading Ian Kerhsaw's two-volume biography of you know who. I remember thinking that Jones got everything right.
One's reponse to blips qua blips depends of course on one's taste in blippification, but I think most would agree that with a blippic approach, form arises not from individual blippicality, but from the accumulation of
blippage.

Reed
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Post by Reed » Tue May 23, 2006 4:18 pm

Ahh, Spike Jones' take on the theme from Laura.

I saw a lot of old movies on the big screen at repretory houses in DC in the '70's. I went to see a friend of mine one night, and told him I had just come from seeing the movie Laura for the first time.

He said, "I have the soundtrack," perfectly deadpan. He put it on the stereo and, as you say, the beginning is completely straight, with the orchestra, singer, etc. Then the gunshots and gargling and burps start. I don't think I've ever laughed that hard in my life.

From that moment, I became a Spike Jones fan. I know the budget label Proper has a 4-CD set of his stuff. Maybe that's overkill, but they tend to be cheap, and have good transfers and notes.

One of my favorite Jones tracks was a take off on the then-burgeoning hi-fi craze of the '50's. Spike is narrating, explaining the improved clarity of the new, high-fidelity recordings. He says, here is what the Blue Danube waltz sounded like on '78's. We hear a scratchy recording of the waltz. Now, here's what it sounds like in high fidelity. Then we hear it with people screaming, pots and pans being struck, etc. "Wasn't that beeyotiful?"[/i]

Lance
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Post by Lance » Tue May 23, 2006 10:44 pm

I forgot to include some previously released recordings of Spike Jones. Here's a partial list of things I have myself:
  • RCA 1216 : The Wacky World of Spike Jones
  • RCA 53748 : The Best of Spike Jones
  • RCA 61982 : The Music of Spike Jones - Spiked!
  • RCA 71574 (2 CDs) : Spike Jones Anthology: Music Depreciation Revue
  • Nimbus 2003 : The Very Worst of Spike Jones
  • Regis 6105 : Lion and Albert: Vintage Comedy Classics (including Spike Jones, Noel Coward, Victor Borge, Judy Garland, Groucho Marx, Flanagan & Allen, Fats Waller, etc. - compilation CD)
  • Naxos 120834 : Nutcracker Suite; Carmen, plus individual tracks
  • EMI 30102 : From radio broadcasts.
That's the list of everything I've got, including the EMI and Naxos items appearing in my first post - and there are also a number of LP albums.

If there are other CDs worth tracking down, please be sure to include them on your post.
Lance G. Hill
Editor-in-Chief
______________________________________________________

When she started to play, Mr. Steinway came down and personally
rubbed his name off the piano. [Speaking about pianist &*$#@+#]

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Post by otterhouse » Sat May 27, 2006 7:06 am


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