1927's Roodles features some great vocal effects and some boogie-woogie piano (the latter not a common item on Twenties dance band 78s). It describes in music pretty much how I felt during this last week's heat wave. And the Green Grew All Around should read The Green Grass...--sorry. The Vamp is one my favorite 78s of all time, and this, sorry to say, is the least trashed copy I've found to date. The most awkward pop song lyrics of all time? You decide.
Then, four Alice in Wonderland-related titles, including Irving Berlin's wonderful 1916 show tune of that name, plus the novelty instrumental, Jabberwocky, played in Art Hickman style by Joseph Samuels' Jazz Band in 1921. A little further down the playlist, we encounter the lyrics, "I hear the train a'coming, a'coming 'round the curve....", but the singer is Kelly Harrell, the song is Rovin' Gambler, and the recording is from 1925. The line eventually found its way into Gordon Jenkins' Crescent City Blues (1953) and then into Johnny Cash's borrowing thereof, Folsom Prison Blues.
Speaking of borrowings, Surfin' Bird is a budget sound-alike of the hit by the Trashmen, which was a steal of two numbers by the Rivingtons--The Bird's the Word and Papa-Oom-Mow-Mow. I have no idea if that sentence made any sense, but we'll keep going. Our third to last title, Holy Smoke (Can't Ya Take a Joke), is probably not remembered as one of Johnny Mercer's best efforts. Just a guess. Meanwhile, I've Got a Walkie Talkie (1946), while nicely done, gives us little clue that it was co-authored by the lyricist who later penned Alfie, The Look of Love, and I Wake Up Cryin' (Hal David). But it was.
Oh, and another Bacharach lyricist, Bob (Any Day Now) Hilliard, gave us the words for 1951's I'm Late and Alice in Wonderland (the sixth and seventh titles in our playlist). With all that cleared up, to the novelties: Novelty Festival, Vol. 4
PLAYLIST (All ripped by me from 78s in my collection)
ROODLES (Joe Sanders)--Coon-Sanders Orch., 1927 (Victor 78).
AND THE GREEN GRASS GREW ALL AROUND--American Quartet, 1913 (Victor). THE VAMP--Waldorf-Astoria Singing Orch., dir. Joseph Knecht, 1918 (Columbia).
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Berlin)--Anna Howard-Harry Macdonough, 1916 (Victor). JABBERWOCKY--Joseph Samuels' Jazz Band, 1921 (Okeh).
I'M LATE (Hilliard-Fain)--Alan Dale w. Percy Faith O., 1951 (Columbia).
ALICE IN WONDERLAND (Hilliard-Fain)--Stuart Foster w. Hugo Winterhalter, 1951 (RCA).
WHEN ROCK AND ROLL CAME TO NASSAU TOWN--Martin Conliffe.
THE REUBE QUARTET--Peerless Quartette, 1915 (Columbia 78).
ROVIN' GAMBLER--Kelly Harrell, 1925 (Victor 78).
NEW RIVER TRAIN--Kelly Harrell, 1926 (Victor 78).
SURFIN' BIRD--No Artists Credited (Hit Parader 45).
HOLY SMOKE (CAN'T YA TAKE A JOKE)--Blue Barron, voc. by Charlie Fisher, 1939 (Bluebird).
COME, JOSEPHINE, IN MY FLYING MACHINE--Harry Tally, 1910 (Columbia).
I'VE GOT A WALKIE TALKIE (David-Rodney-Block)--George Olsen O., voc. by Judith Blair, 1946 (Majestic).