April 30, 2015

20,000 Vinyl LPs 37: Stan Freberg ~ Presents the United States of America Volume One: The Early Years

Stan Freberg died earlier this month on April 7, 2015. Freberg was, in my opinion, the greatest humorist of all time. And his album, The United States of America: the Early Years, was the greatest comedy album of all time. Produced as if it was a Broadway musical, it had all the elements of a great musical.

photo of album cover by Styrous®

Freberg parodies episodes of the history of the United States from 1492 until the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783. The album combined dialogue and song in a musical theater format. The music and dialogue was written by Freberg and released on Capitol records in 1961. Billy May orchestrated the music. In addition to Freberg, the cast included the following performers:

  • Maurice Dallimore
  • Peter Forster
  • John Frank
  • Paul Frees (narrator)

The themes were politically and socially satiric and brilliant! Freberg used anachronistic and self-referential humour in these sketches, such as referring to the Fourth of July weekend in the "Declaration of Independence" sketch, the Thanksgiving Day in the skit on Take an Indian to Lunch, (an hilarious song that would be highly un-PC today) as well as the "Thanksgiving Turkey" portion, and Columbus Day in the "Columbus Discovers America". Freberg also referred to McCarthyism in the "Declaration of Independence" sketch, where Benjamin Franklin says, "You...sign a harmless petition, and forget all about it. Ten years later, you get hauled up before a committee."

Freberg produced many parodies of pop songs of the time; all of them brilliant. There is the hilarious take off of Banana Boat (Day-O) by Harry Belafonte; a send up of Lawrence Welk with his bubble machine on Wun'erful Wun'erful. and his most classic of all, the  lampoon of Jack Webb in St. George and the Dragonet. There are many of them to listen to on YouTube (link below).  


Side 1:

1 - Overture     2:18
2 - It's A Round, Round World (Columbus Discovers America) - 9:55
3 - Take An Indian To Lunch (Pilgrim's Progress) - 3:24
4 - Under The Double Turkey (The Thanksgiving Story) - 1:12
5 - Top Hat, White Feather, And Tails (The Sale Of Manhattan) - 5:55
6 - The Boston Tea Party - 1:44

Side 2:

1 - A Man Can't Be Too Careful What He Signs These Days (Declaration Of Independence) - 6:27
2 - Everybody Wants To Be An Art Director (Betsy Ross And The Flag) - 2:58
3 - Command Decision (Washington Crosses The Delaware) - 4:43
4 - Yankee Doodle Go Home (Spirit Of '76) - 4:04
5 - The Battle Of Yorktown - 6:43
6 - Finale -  

Capitol W/SW-1573

Net Links:  

Musical numbers on YouTube:  
It's A Round, Round World (Columbus Discovers America)    

Top Hat, White Feather, And Tails (The Sale Of Manhattan)       

Take An Indian To Lunch (Pilgrim's Progress)    

United States of America (parts 1 & 2)      
United States of America (parts 3, 4 & 5)

Other song parodies by Freberg on YouTube       

Thanks for all the chuckles and gaffaws you gave us with your psychotic projects, Stan, you made our life a little more sane.

Styrous® ~ Thursday, April 30, 2015

April 22, 2015

Earthday 2015 in Jingletown with the JABC

     Today is
Earth Day
April 22, 2015!

Earth Day is an annual event, celebrated on April 22, on which day events worldwide are held to demonstrate support for environmental protection. It was first celebrated in 1970, and is now coordinated globally by the Earth Day Network, and celebrated in more than 192 countries each year. 

The day originated in 1969 at a UNESCO Conference in San Francisco where peace activist John McConnell proposed a day to honor the Earth and the concept of peace, to first be celebrated on March 21, 1970, the first day of spring in the northern hemisphere.

A month later a separate Earth Day was founded by United States Senator Gaylord Nelson, a Democrat, as an environmental teach-in first held on April 22, 1970. Nelson announced the idea for a “national teach-in on the environment” to the national media; he persuaded Pete McCloskey, a conservation-minded Republican Congressman, to serve as his co-chair; and recruited Denis Hayes as national coordinator. It may have been the last constructive act by both parties.

Nelson was later awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom Award in recognition of his work. While this April 22 Earth Day was focused on the United States, an organization launched by Denis Hayes, who was the original national coordinator in 1970, took it international in 1990 and organized events in 141 nations.  

The Jingletown Arts & Business Community (JABC) did it up in fine style last weekend as they have for several years.

photos by Styrous® 

(click on any image to see larger size)


Links to more info about Earthday:    
Earth Day official website      

Styrous® ~ April 22, 2015  

April 18, 2015

8th Annual Record Store Day ~ April 18, 2015

Record Store Day logo
design by Kosmo Viny

Today is the 8th annual Record Store Day!

Record Store Day is an internationally celebrated day observed on the third Saturday of April each year, to celebrate the culture of the independently owned record store. It was founded by Bull Moose Records.

photo by Gabe Souza, Staff Photographer

Record Store Day was officially founded in 2007 by Eric Levin, Michael Kurtz, Carrie Colliton, Amy Dorfman, Don Van Cleave and Brian Poehner and is now celebrated at stores across the world, with hundreds of recording and other artists participating in the day by making special appearances, performances, meet and greets with their fans, the holding of art exhibits, and the issuing of special vinyl and CD releases along with other promotional products to mark the occasion.

This coincides with the Vinyl LP revival currently being experienced in the music field due to the increase of mp3 downloads and the demise of the CD.    

The logo for Record Store Day was designed by Kosmo Vinyl, who was manager for The Clash, as well as being associated with Ian Dury & the Blockheads and The Jam, three seminal English bands of the 1970s and 1980s.  

photo by Pat Gilbert

Record Store Day

Observed by Record stores
Record collectors
Record labels
Type Cultural, commercial
Celebrations Live performances, limited edition music releases
Date Third Saturday in April
Frequency annual
2015 date April 18

Net links to more Record Store Day info:
Throwback Saturday          
The Musical Box       
Wondering Sound     
Everything You Need To Know   

Get on out there and buy that vinyl!

Styrous® ~ Saturday, April 18, 2015


April 14, 2015

Edith Piaf á la Bibliothèque nationale de France (French National Library)

Pictures of Edith Piaf displayed in the exhibition on her life at the Bibliotheque Nationale de France in Paris, France
photo by Joel Saget
April 9, 2015
© AFP/File

An exhibition opened today, April 14, 2015, at the Bibliothèque nationale de France celebrating the 100th anniversary of the birth of Édith Piaf. For the occasion, the BNF – Bibliothèque nationale de France François Mitterrand, the French National Library, hosts a special exhibition on the private life of the singer through 400 recordings, pictures, letters, lyrics, posters, personal objects and her famous little black dress. The exhibition is a unique opportunity to take a closer look at her mysterious life.  

The national library (Bibliothèque nationale de France, called BnF), in Paris, organizes a major exhibition to celebrate Edith Piaf's birth centenary.

Hundreds of various documents- sound and written documents, images- evoke the destiny of a street singer who became a popular idol and an international icon. A moving tribute is so paid to one of the most famous voices of French music. 

"Allez, venez Milord...", "Non, rien de rien...", "Si un jour la vie t'arrache à moi...": we all know Edith Piaf's songs. Her voice, her life, her repertoire: everyting contributed to turning the small street singer into a variety star, one of the major and worldwide famous figures of French popular culture

The major part of documents on display belong to the BnF's collections that surprisingly hold various elements of popular culture: photographs, letters, posters, records, sound recordings and film excerpts.     

Bibliothèque nationale de France
Galerie 2
Quai François-Mauriac
75013 Paris

Her memory and her songs will live forever!

Net links:  
Films about Piaf    
Songs by Piaf     
Piaf on YouTube     

Styrous® ~ April 14, 2015

April 11, 2015

Slow Art Day 2015 @ the Gray Loft Gallery

Today is Slow Art Day

photos by Styrous®

What is Slow Art Day, you ask? Slow Art Day is the global all-volunteer event with a simple mission: help more people discover for themselves the joy of looking at and loving art.  

One day each year – April 11 in 2015 – people all over the world visit local museums and galleries to look at art slowly. Participants look at five works of art for 10 minutes each and then meet together over lunch to talk about their experience. That’s it. Simple by design, the goal is to focus on the art and the art of seeing. Slow Art Day is made up entirely of volunteers.

The Gray Loft Gallery celebrated it in the true spirit of the event.

(click on any image to see slideshow)

Links to info about Slow Art Day:
ARTnews ~ Slow Down You Look Too Fast   

Slow Art Day

Styrous® ~ Saturday, April 11, 2015