For Stan Freberg, Whose Parodies and Satires Live On

August 7th, 2016 § Comments Off on For Stan Freberg, Whose Parodies and Satires Live On § permalink

To a particular subset of junior comedy nerds, of which I was an unapologetic member, 1976 was a watershed year, for a reason only tangentially connected to the official Bicentennial celebration that faced Americans down at every turn. At a time when the vinyl record remained the primary means of owning recorded music (cassettes were coming into vogue, as were, briefly eight-tracks), the comedy sections of record stores were relatively low on product. Without access to a really good used record Continue reading...

88 Years on 88 Keys: Tom Lehrer, The Salinger of the Satirical Song

April 9th, 2016 § 12 comments § permalink

My memory of the moment is quite vivid, if inevitably inexact. It happened 41 years ago, in the early afternoon, in Mrs. Winkler’s seventh grade science class at Amity Junior High School, as we were doing a “unit” on Ecology. In order to brighten our study of the physical environment, Mrs. Winkler announced one day at the start of class that she wanted to play us a song, and proceeded to put a black vinyl disc on the industrial weight turntable, the cover of which doubled as a speaker. The Continue reading...

Etcetera: Allan Sherman, the “Overweight Sensation”

May 20th, 2013 § 8 comments § permalink

As a teen in the 1970s, I kept testing a small sociological phenomenon. When visiting a Jewish home, I would peek at the record collection of the adults in residence to see if they had the album “My Son, The Folk Singer.” If the family was Catholic or Protestant, I’d look for “The First Family” featuring Vaughn Meader. To my recollection, I never failed to find the anticipated album in the expected home, even though both records were already at least a decade old before I began my study. Continue reading...