Friday 9 March 2007

(':'*\_e t' s * '. h A v E '* a *' p @ R t y *! :']

In comments yesterday, my pal Liz (we'll phone!), (married to my old pal Pete Mullins), singer, news cameraperson, and all round sweetie, as well as the model for the singing lady in Batman: The Order of Beasts (left), although I'm sure she didn't realize that at the time I was snapping the photos, but didn't mind it as she got to hang out with Bruce Wayne in print, brought back to mind an old recording act I had forgotten completely: The Nutty Squirrels! They did fairly modern jazz numbers in the the 'chipmunks' style, with the speeded up voices, but got some top jazz guys to play, such as Cannonball Adderley for a track on the second album, already famous for his part in Miles Davis' immortal Kind Of Blue album. All daft novelty stuff of course, but good for the wee'uns.

(album covers, 1959, 1961... 'when I was in knee pants,' as the old song says)
It has furthermore reminded me of one of my favorite jazz albums in my collection, and I guess not too far from the novelty end of the spectrum itself, but on the 'trad' side of the tracks, Let's crash a party by The Firehouse Five, (plus two) 1960. The band was led by Ward Kimball and everybody in it was an artist at Disney studios, playing in their spare time. They got all their wives and pals in to make party noises in between the tracks, calling requests to the band and shouting for cocktails and stuff like that, and 'somebody turn that record over!' at the end of side one, and at the end of two the police arrive and they all head off to a party at somebody else's house. A wave of ineffable joy always comes over me as the first track starts up.

(Over there in London, that wee'un Hayley Campbell will be saying 'aw, that's it, i'm on the next plane home.')
'The band recorded at least thirteen LP albums (I'm quoting the wikipedia entry), starting in 1955. The last album, "Live at Earthquake McGoon's" was recorded in 1970 in San Francisco.' How can ya not love 'em?

But before I go, I'm quoting Kimball's contribution to the sleeve notes: "Party people we all are. Parties put people here. Beats, bankers and figs dig parties. FH5+2 blows about 104 parties per annum: Public parties, private parties, Elks' parties, firemen's parties, country club parties, strip parties, booze parties. Going-in parties and coming-out parties. When we blow we see: Drunks, squares, math teachers, matrons, motorcyclists, morons, Miltowns, bartenders and hypes. About 11 pm shoes and coats come off and we see them grab our afterbeat like it was their mother. We sweat and they sweat. Everybody sweats. Everybody yells, everybody screams, and then they want the "Saints." We kindly comply and when they're on the ropes we slip 'em "Old Tige" (Tiger Rag) and everybody dies. We put the tambourines and hats away and go home and our shirts smell like burned veal cutlets."

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Blogger spacedlaw said...

What ?
FirehouseFiveplusTwo ?
That's it: I'm going home for Easter as well...

9 March 2007 at 01:59:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

coming out parties, eh? Was in this in the 50's, 60's or 70's?

9 March 2007 at 03:28:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Hayley Campbell said...

I said 'Oh, fukkit. I wanna go back to Cloud Cuckoo Land where I belong.' if we're being particular about such things.

...And I said it as soon as I saw the ridiculous typography of this post's subject -- before I'd even got to the Firehouse Five bit and read your prediction. So there.

Last night I was explaining the doorspoon to someone living in a house that contains within it The Proper Implement For Any Job You Can Think Of, including a miniature whisk for whisking tiny things in miniature bowls (of which he also has plenty).

I made it quite clear that I thought it was all Very Strange and couldn't imagine living in a place that actually has one of those wooden things with the rivets that characters in cartoons have for honey retrieval. Not the big one, and most definitely not the sinister small one.

I should apologise publicly for being such a Campbell. Er, sorry!

9 March 2007 at 05:26:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The Nutty Squirrels were also a series of cartoon shorts that played on ABC TV back in my childhood years, though nobody I ever mention it to remembers it - it came as a surprise a few years ago to find that they were a legit (of sorts) musical entity (though the only thing I can recall of the show is the openiing titles)

B Smith

9 March 2007 at 06:53:00 GMT-5  
Blogger Jason Michelitch said...

I must confess a rather unhealthy infatuation with the Nutty Squirrels' LP BIRD WATCHING.

9 March 2007 at 07:03:00 GMT-5  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Coming-out parties? * blinks * A gay time was had by all, no doubt.

I get the impression that Eddie would enjoy Spike Jones & His City Slickers, if he isn't already. A little of Spike's oeuvre goes a long way but he can be fun if you don't overdo it.

9 March 2007 at 13:42:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

I was thinking along the same Spiky line...

9 March 2007 at 15:14:00 GMT-5  
Blogger spacedlaw said...

Did you know you could put MUSIC on your blog ?
Try this link
I do not think they have the Nutty Squirrels, but you might find a few things you like nevertheless.
And it's a fun toy !

10 March 2007 at 13:12:00 GMT-5  

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