The 1940’s, SPIKE JONES & his CITY SLICKERS !
Now this is really going back in time but when I was a little girl I remember how much my family loved to listen to the radio and we especially loved to hear Spike Jones. He and his orchestra were loud, corny and irreverent but they were also hysterical and it was a relief to laugh in those war-torn years.
Spike’s orchestra, consisting of 12 to 16 talented musicians, played practically anything that made a loud noise, including cow bells, horns and whistles. A washboard was Spike’s musical choice.
I loved the way he murdered the classics and, particularly, his version of “The William Tell Overture”. He turned this serious classic into a frantic and corny horse race entitled “Girdle in the Stretch” and featuring the horse, “Feitlebaum”, who, against all odds runs the entire race as a distant last and suddenly surges ahead to win!
For those who have not heard it, here is a sample of the words being called out as “The William Tell Overture” plays softly in the background:
“It’s a beautiful day for the race. Stu Chan is the favorite today, Assault is in there, Dog Biscuit is three to one, Safety Pin has been scratched and at twenty-to-one: … Feitlebaum.
THERE THEY GOOOOOOOOO!...Cabbage is second by a head, Banana is coming up thru the bunch... aaaand Feitlebaum …(etc., etc)
Around the turn, heading for home, it’s Stu Chan and Dog Biscuit. Girdle’s in the stretch, Mother-In-Law nagging in the rear and, OH, OH, here comes Feitlebaum and it’ll either be a photo finish or an oil painting...And THERE GOES The WINNERRRRRRR.....
it’s FEITLEBAUM !!”
I know...it’s corny and slapstick and wouldn’t have a chance on today’s stage, but it was great fun in the 40’s and a wonderful memory.