Wednesday, April 24, 2019

"Just Some of Those Songs Mrs. Robinson"--King Richard's Fluegel Knights (1968)

Don't ask me--I just work here.  "Just Some of Those Songs Mrs. Robinson" may not be the weirdest LP title ever devised, but, then again, maybe it is.  If the photo story has you going "Huh?" then join the club.  Mrs. Robinson (I assume that's her in the granny glasses) is window-shopping for mod clothes.  She sees a young couple and decides to break in.  She and the young man share a cigarette--I think.  The girl leaves, they end up naked in an alley.  Just your everyday slice of 1968 life.  Then the cops show up.

No, I have no idea, really.  Maybe the U.K. version of this LP gives us some clue:

Well, it was a thought.

I suppose the album art is pretty creepy, though I just see it as period weirdness.  Actually, the last word in creepy has to be the Gary Puckett and the Union Gap hit Young Girl (selection 8).  We're spared the words, and this is good.

The inside jacket tells us that Richard Behrke was the leader of the Knights.  And it isn't joust kidding--he was.  I checked.  There are ridiculous notes (kindly scanned for you) by Sal Forlenza, who designed the album with Bob Venosa.  I know this because of the credit which reads, "Forlenza Venosa Associates" for the album design.  Sal and Bob also did a 7-inch 33 and 1/3 record on Columbia called My Fair Salesman, year unknown, and I can't wait to never hear it.

Luckily, in a 2013 entry on the page for a used LP, Amazon reviewer George O' Leary sheds lights on the Knights.  I quote: "As an orchestra leader/arranger, Richard Behrke backed lifelong friend Bobby Darin on his 1960/61 hits Artificial Flowers and Lazy River on the Atco label, as well as being instrumental in the music chosen for Beyond the Sea, the 2004 film based upon Darin's life starring Kevin Spacey (Peter Cincotti played Behrke in the film).  Before that, however, he recorded (six) albums for MTA with a a group that, featuring a flugelhorn (a brass instrument looking like a bloated trumpet), evoked similarities to the music of Herb Alpert's Tijuana Brass."

Which is my problem with this record--it sounds like Herb Alpert.  The musicianship is superb, and the arrangements are professional as can be, and I like what's done with Burt Bacharach's Trains and Boats and Planes (listed as Trains, Boats and Planes), but I just get tired of the Alpert sound after four or five tracks.  However, what matters is what you think, dear reader/listener.  And I knew I wouldn't get away with presenting the jacket minus the music, so I didn't even try.

That horrible phrase "generation gap" shows up in Sal's liner essay, and something told me the term must have come from social science.  I was right.  Wikipedia: "Early sociologists such as Karl Mannheim noted differences across generations in how the youth transits into adulthood and studied the ways in which generations separate themselves from one another, in the home and in social situations and areas (such as churches, clubs, senior centers, and youth centers)."  Because no one ever noticed stuff like that before.  Might explain why we Boomers didn't listen to Rudy Vallee and wear raccoon coats. Or dance to Kay Kyser.  I mean, generally speaking.

New generations, new ways.  Someone had to discover this, because how else would we know?

Anyway, highly well-done music, and one of the all-time examples of album design bizarreness to ever turn up in a VOA thrift bin.  I'll have to be nicer to the budget LP jackets from now on.  Even the tackiest of them are at least sane.

DOWNLOADJust Some of Those Songs Mrs. Robinson--King Richard's Fluegel Knights (1968)


Dessert (Al Kessler)
Like to Get to Know You
By the Time I Get to Phoenix (J. Webb)
Do You Know the Way to San Jose (Bacharach-David)
Scarborough Fair
Turnabout (R. Behrke)
Something Classic (R. Behrke)
Young Girl
Train, Boats and Planes (Bacharach-David)
Gentle on My Mind
I Will
Mrs. Robinson (P. Simon)

Just Some of Those Songs Mrs. Robinson--King Richard's Fluegel Knights (MTA MTS 5011; 1968)



Buster said...

At about the time this LP came out, Jimmy Durante had a minor hit with "Just One of Those Songs," which may have something to do with the album title. My theory would be more credible if King Richard had actually included the number on his record, of course.

Diane said...

So many albums *seem* inexplicable. But this one actually is.

Ernie said...

To be honest, when I've seen this LP out in the field and flipped past it real fast, I thought that was King Richard in the background, keeping an eye on the out of focus young couple. I didn't realize it was the Mrs. Robinson of the title. I now see the error of my ways.

Lee Hartsfeld said...


Hm. That's a possibility. It's a bit of a stretch, but then so is this LP! A stretch from here to the rings of Saturn....


I just want to know what they were thinking. No, actually, I don't. Some questions are better left hanging!


Well, I'm glad I helped lead you to the truth. Now, if only I could figure out what on earth the album design was meant to convey. It doesn't relate to the song, the movie, or to the "generation gap," since Mrs. R. looks to be pretty young once she ditches the older-person hairstyle and granny glasses (and her clothes). This goes beyond being a mystery. Mysteries are things with the potential to be answered.

Philip said...

Could the picture story be a sort of badly-remembered retelling of the plot of "The Graduate"? (Boy involved with girl his age and her mother.). The movie certainly included the song "Mrs Robinson" and, I think, "Scarborough Fair". Just a thought.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

Good point. And I had thought about "The Graduate" plot--the older woman seducing the young man away from the young girl. I guess one big problem is that the song has nothing to do with the movie--"Jesus loves you more than you will know; wo, wo, wo." But good points. This thing just fails as a package. The UK cover is more reasonable, as thematically it's right out of the movie.

Philip said...

On top of that, as I recall, only two lines of the song were heard in the movie. ("Here's to you, Mrs Robinson,/Jesus loves you . . .")

My recollection also is that Simon said the song had nothing to do with the movie. (In fact, at one time it was called "Mrs Washington"!) But with their (I would have thought minimal) involvement with the movie, S and G started calling the song "Mrs Robinson".


Brian in Sorta Sunny So Cal. said...

Cast your eyes upon thine further sonic adventures in '6Ts Stereophonic surprises by KR's FKs on Discogs & such sites.

The LP chosen by our gracious hosts here is one that surfaces often, even though there are a lot of others by Rich & crew Out There.

For some raisin (maybe the parsley, sage, rosemary or thyme is not ripe) a group photo is hard to find, but here's a quickie bio of The Man (Dick Behrke):

Timmy said...

All I know is that the gal with no top on, shown hugging the guy in the full frame photo, is a well known actress, but can't think of her name. She was in a lot of TV during the 70's...
So perhaps these stills are from some short film she was in.

Lee Hartsfeld said...

That's interesting! Thanks.