Saturday, March 19, 2022


I am sick to death of what's going on in our country right now and I decided to block it out by going back to my childhood. I remember how much my family loved to gather 'round the radio and our special favorite was Spike Jones. He and his orchestra were loud, corny and irreverent but they were also hysterically funny 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. I
loved the way Spike 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” 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 …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’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 … especially this week.


Blogger troutbirder said...

Corny zany or not it was great fun....:)

5:17 PM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

Less than two weeks, Ginnie! Hang in there.

5:36 PM  
Blogger kenju said...

You are no more disgusted with it than I am, but I can hardly hold my tongue. I cannot wait for this to be over - and I hope it is after the 8th. Someone may refude to agree with the results, you know. BOO.

I remember Spike and listening on the radio. He was very funny. I always thought the horse's name as Titlebaum.....LOL

9:36 PM  
Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Times were more innocent.

2:19 AM  
Blogger possum said...

Oh, MY! I had forgotten all about him. But I DO remember sitting on the living room floor listening to him on our humongous radio. Those were innocent times, at least for me as I was just a young kid. I only vaguely remember seeing Spike on TV when that became available. It seems there was a lot of comedy back then. Or perhaps my grandparents were just careful about my exposure to things. They also made sure I heard a lot of classical music, and for that I will always be grateful.

Thanks for the memory jog!

6:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these years, I though he was saying "Beetlebomb." Loved old Spike.

8:39 AM  
Blogger Arkansas Patti said...

Boy does that take me back. Loved the radio days when our imaginations got a work out. My parents loved Spike Jones.

10:45 AM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

Ginnie, like you I too am tired of all the political news and while I never listened to Spike Jones myself, I believe that my parents did as we always had a radiomplaying in our home. These days I listen to podcasts.

4:10 AM  
Blogger NCmountainwoman said...

My aunt had a record of Spike Jones. And like Schmidley, I thought he was saying, "And it's Beetle Bomb." Thanks for setting me straight.

I'm with Beatrice. I listen to a lot of podcasts and I knit or read. Anything to keep me away from the "news" and political ads.

6:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brings back some memories as, strange as it may seem, Spike Jones was very popular on BBC radio (we called it the 'wireless')here in the UK back then.

7:37 AM  
Blogger joared said...

Spike had some funny sound effects. Bob & Ray were favorites of mine, too. "Don't forget to write!" and "Hang by your thumbs!"

7:47 PM  
Blogger Beatrice P. Boyd said...

After reading this post, Ginnie, I looked up Spike Jones online and found some great clips to watch. He was before my time by a few years, but I could easily see how his form of entertainment was much appreciated in the mid 1940s.

1:22 PM  
Blogger Marie Smith said...

I will look up Spike Jones. He sounds hilarious! A nice break from world news too. Thank you.

5:56 AM  

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