Sunday, February 08, 2009

Spike Jones Records

Every once in a while I'm tempted to go to the trouble of recording old records on the computer. It's not much trouble to put one on the turntable and turn it on, but that's where the drudgery begins. Cleaning, making sure there aren't any big specks, volume, then keeping track of the details of the song. It all adds up, more or less, to a big waste of time. Unless you're going to be listening to them quite a bit on an mp3, which I don't generally do.

Once you've got it on the computer, you have to clean the beginning and end, and also wonder what to do with all the surface noise, clicks, pops, etc. I have an instruction sheet somewhere by a guy who had an extensive regimen for making the track sound as good as possible. But I'm too lazy really to go to too much work. For me it only sounds like a good idea for about the first 20 minutes, then I'm thinking my life's a'wasting here!

I only worked on two records tonight and that about did me in. Both were Spike Jones records, not that I was wanting them especially but they were in the first stack I reached for. The first one is a record I like, one side anyway, "I'll Never Work There Any More." I was looking up things on this song a month or so ago, not about Spike Jones exactly but just about the song. The Spike Jones version is especially cute, with the various voices of the City Slickers. According to the label, The Mello Men (they would be the consistent, nice background singers); George Rock (the child's voice), Ole Svenson (referring to the smorgasbord), and Dick Morgan (probably the racetrack guy; I don't know my Spike Jones names). This is a really good side. The flip is "I Went To Your Wedding," funny to listen to maybe every five to 10 years but that's about it. The vocal is by Sir Frederic Gas, and it's a laughing song. That's RCA Victor 47-5107.

The other one also has a really good side and one that's not bad but not the greatest. And in fact the latter is Side A, "Ya Wanna Buy A Bunny?" with George Rock as a child whose bunnies are multiplying and he's trying to get rid of them. It's cute as can be. But for me and this record I've always preferred the other side "Knock Knock," a series of cute knock knock jokes. There's again a series of Spike Jones characters reciting the jokes, which are pretty good jokes. Doodles Weaver, Sir Frederic Gas, George Rock, and Freddy Morgan. And I'm guessing Dick Morgan and the Four Fifths handle the vocals apart from the comedic singers. The record is RCA Victor 47-2894, a good one.

They're both good records. But it's tooooooo much work recording them off. So I guess I'll just keep my stacks of records and listen to them when the spirit moves me. With the record player.

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