Allan Sherman – My Son the Vampire

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Allan Sherman

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Listen/Download – Allan Sherman – My Son the Vampire

Greetings all.

I don’t always have something ready for Halloween, but when I do, it’s a doozy.

I must preface this post by looking backward many years to the many enjoyable lunches I spent rapping with my old buddy Voger.

Though (sadly) we haven’t seen each other in years, for close to 20 years – when we both worked at a newspaper where neither of us works any longer – we took every opportunity possible to converse about pop culture of all kinds.

We weren’t  that far apart in age, but both of us had what might be described as an unhealthy obsession with the old, black and white years of showbiz, from decades before either of us was born.

There’s something special about the kind of bond that forms when you’re probably the only two people in a building holding hundreds that have any idea who Mr Fields and Stinky were on the old Abbott and Costello Show.

One of the cooler things he introduced me to way back when, was a bizarre movie called ‘Mother Riley Meets the Vampire’ aka ‘Vampire Over London’ aka ‘My Son the Vampire’.

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The movie, initially released in 1952 was one of series of flicks featuring an English drag performer named Arthur Lucan, who portrayed a character named ‘Old Mother Riley’.

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Arthur Lucan as ‘Old Mother Riley’, and Bela Lugosi as ‘Von Housen’

He created the character as part of music hall act with his wife Kitty McShane (who often played Mother Riley’s daughter), moving on to a successful series of films (Lucan was one of the UK’s biggest wartime movie stars) and even a comic strip.

The character was so beloved, that after Lucan’s death in 1954, another actor, Roy Rolland took over the role and continued to play it on stage and TV into the 1980s.

‘Mother Riley Meets the Vampire’ was not only the last ‘Mother Riley’ film, but also a late entry into the Bela Lugosi filmography. Lugosi plays a mad scientist with an army of uranium controlled robots,who also happens to believe he’s a vampire (I mean it’s Bela Lugosi, so what did you expect…).

The movie – which I saw thanks to my man Voger – is a bit of low comedy, of interest as part of the English drag continuum (see Python, Monty) and as Lugosi-ana.

However, the movie had a second life, thanks in part to the rise of Allan Sherman.

I’ll assume that most of you over a certain age already know/dig Allan Sherman, a kind of proto-Weird Al (with a healthy shmear of New York Jewish culture), who is best remembered these days for his big 1963 hit ‘Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh (A Letter From Camp)’.

Sherman recorded a series of very funny albums in the early-to-mid 60s, composed of song parodies. Admittedly, how funny you find them will have a lot to do with the breadth of your cultural grasp (and probably your age). Many of his funniest numbers tap into NY/suburban Jewish culture, and are based on older pop songs and classical pieces.

I love his records, but I was also lucky enough to have a 4th grade teacher (where are you now Mrs Teller??) who played his records for us. They made me laugh then back in 1971, and they make me laugh today.

I have no idea who had the idea to resurrect an obscure British film, have Allan Sherman create a theme song for it and rename it to tie it into Sherman’s string of album titles, i.e. ‘My Son the Folksinger’, ‘My Son the Celebrity’ and ‘My Son the Nut’, but thus was born ‘My Son, The Vampire’.

Opening with a bizarre percussive prelude, the song opens up into a pseudo-tango, with Sherman shouting either “BLOOD!” or “BLAAHHH!”, then launching into a fairly typical, fairly funny lyric.

The record went exactly nowhere (which is where the movie went, too), but it still makes for an interesting footnote in the Allan Sherman story, and a nice little Halloween treat.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week.

Oh, and…Goodnight Voger, wherever you are.

Peace

Larry

 

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NOTE: Stay tuned for a tribute to the late, great Jack Bruce on the next episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show

 

 

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Iron Leg Radio Show #39

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
The Cocktail Cabinet – Breathalyser (Page One)
Locomotive – Rudi’s In Love (Bell)
Earth Quake – I Get the Sweetest Feeling (A&M)
Harper and Rowe – Here Comes Yesterday Again (World Pacific)
Hal Blaine – Drums A Go Go (Dunhill)
Kim Fowley – Born to Be Wild (Imperial)
Wild Angels Promo

Bobby Sty – Incense and Peppermints (Hit Sounds)
Mike Landers – Hush (Hit Sounds)
Mike Landers – I Can See For Miles (Hit Sounds)
Mustang – Haight Ashbury Time (Somerset)
Mustang – The Acid Test (Somerset)
Soul Strings and a Funky Horn – Grazing In the Grass (Solid State)
Sam Wright Group – Green Onions (Curio)
Tommy Knight and the Knights – Tighten Up (Promenade)
Psych-Out Promo

Associated Soul Group – Are You Experienced (Contessa)
Electric Piano Playground – I Had Too Much To Dream Last Night (Bell)
Electric Piano Playground – Good Vibrations (Bell)
Electronic Concept Orchestra – Aquarius (Limelight)
Electric Indian – Storm Warning (UA)
Electric Tommy – Overture (Viva)
Marketts – Come to the Sunshine (World Pacific)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – Creeque Alley (Dunhill)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – 12:30 (Young Girls Are Coming to the Canyon) (Dunhill)
Stapleton-Morley Expression – San Francisco (Be Sure To Wear Some Flowers In Your Hair) (Dunhill)
101 Strings – A Taste of Soul (Alshire)
The Trip Promo

JP Rags – Scruffety (World Pacific)
JP Rags – The Bells 0f St Barbara (World Pacific)
JP Rags – Still Life (World Pacific)
Karen Karsh – Wasn’t Born To Follow (Dunhill)
Karen Karsh – Musty Dusty (Dunhill)
Brady Bunch – I Just Want To Be Your Friend (Paramount)
The Collage – Would You Like To Go (Smash)
New Life – Canterbury Road (Epic)
Wild In the Streets Promo

 

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 39 – 222MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This time out I have a nice, long show for you, with more than two hours of sonic wonderment.

We get things off to a start with some groovy new arrivals, segue into two long sets looking at the various and sundry types of musical exploitation, and then some softer sounds to round out the show.

If this is your first taste, make sure to drop into the archive in the header and check out the previous 38 (?!?) episodes.

I think you’ll dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Return of the Au Go Go Mixes!

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Iron Leg Digital Trip Number Five – The Party

Playlist

1 Henry Mancini (The Party OST) – The Party (vocal) (RCA)
2 Keith Mansfield – Boogaloo (CBS)
3 Enoch Light – Over Under Sideways Down (Project 3)
4 Moe Koffman – Dr Swahili (Jubilee)
5 Mr Jamo – Shake What You Brought With You Pt1 (SSS Intl)
6 Dick Hyman – The Liquidators (Command)
7 Walter Wanderley – Kee Ka Roo (Verve)
8 Sweet Charity OST – The Pompeii Club (Rich Man’s Frug) (Decca)
9 John Philip Soul & his Stone Marching Band – That Memphis Thing (Pepper)
10 Andre Brasseur – The Duck (Palette)
11 Tony Newman – Soul Thing (Parrot)
12 Jimmy Caravan – Look Into the Flower (Vault)
13 Vic Mizzy (Don’t Make Waves OST) – Vox Box (MGM)
14 New London Rhythm & Blues Band – Soul Stream (Vocalion)
15 Dave Grusin (Candy OST) – Ascension to Virginity (ABC)
16 Henry Mancini (the Party OST) – The Party (instr) (RCA)

Listen/Download 46MB Mixed MP3 – MP3

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Iron Leg Digital Trip #32 – A Not Unpleasing Splash of Colour

Playlist
Keith Mansfield – Soul Thing (Pronit)
101 Strings – Jesus Christ Superstar (edit) (Alshire)
Jimmy Smith – The Cat (45 edit) (Verve)
Enoch Light – C’Mon and Swim (Command)
Living Strings – Out and About (Camden)
Mariano and the Unbelievables – Sunshine Superman (Capitol)
Lady Nelson and the Lords – Soho Strut (Dunhill)
Louis Bellson – The Eel (Project 3)
Quincy Jones – Mohair Sam (Mercury)
Lloyd Green – Steel Blue (Chart)
Mike Sharpe – Spook A Lou (Liberty)
Dave Pike Set – You’ve Got the Feeling (Wagram)
Vic Mizzy – Daybreak In Malibu (MGM)
Andre Brasseur – Pow Pow (MFP)
Virtues – Meditation of the Soul (Andee)
Enoch Light – Bond Street (Project 3)
New London Rhythm and Blues Band – Soul Mate (Vocalion)
Freddie Scott and the Seven Steps – It’s Not Unusual (Marlin)
101 Strings – Spinning Wheel (Alshire)
Mohawks – Baby Hold On Pt2 (Cotillion)
Moe Koffman – Funky Monkey (Jubilee)
US Air Force Academy Falconaires – Day Tripper (USAFA)
Keith Mansfield – Funky Fanfare (KPM)

Listen/Download 102MB/256K Mixed Mp3

 

Greetings all.

This week sees the return (by special request) of two of my favorite Iron Leg Digital Trip mixes, #5 and #32, aka The Au Go Go Mixes.

The yearly Funky16Corners Pledge Drive is underway, and since Iron Leg is an important part of the Funky16Corners Blogcasting Network, and depends on the same paid storage space in which to function, I thought it made sense to tie this blog in with the goings on at that (blog).

If you dig what we do here (or there,or in both places) fall by Funky16Corners, click on the Paypal button and drop a coin (or two) in the jukebox (as it were).

It will be greatly appreciated.

Iron Leg Digital Trips numbers 5 and 32 really do belong together, with the latter being intended as a sequel to the former.
They are my take on the Au Go Go vibe of the swinging 60s, with all manner of groovy stuff stitched together from soundtracks, library music, jazz, pop, soul, funk and kitsch.

You can read the original manifesto here.

So mix yourselves up a cocktail, pull down the ones and zeros and I’ll be back next week with some garage punk.

Peace

Larry

 

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Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #35

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Keith Mansfield – Action Scene (KPM)
Artie Schroeck Implosion – Six O’Clock (Verve)
Bud Shank – Coconut Grove (World Pacific)
Sound Symposium – Darling Be Home Soon (Dot)
Tony Hatch – Black Is Black (WB)
George Tipton – Rainmaker (WB)
Pat Williams – Don’t Leave Me (Verve)
Billy Vaughn – Time of the Season (Dot)

Gary McFarland – Get Back (Skye)
Bobby Bryant – While My Guitar Gently Weeps (World Pacific Jazz)
Don Randi – Tomorrow Never Knows (Reprise)
Cal Tjader – Lady Madonna (Skye)
Count Basie – Come Together (Tiger)
Freddy McCoy – I Am a Walrus (Prestige)
Living Guitars – Baby You’re Rich Man (Camden)
Mike Melvoin – Paperback Writer (Liberty)

Electric Tommy – Amazing Journey (Viva)
Electric Tommy – Sparks (Viva)
Enoch Light and the Light Brigade – Over Under Sideways Down (Project 3)
Ronnie Aldrich – Ride My Seesaw (London)
Helmut Zacharias – Hurdy Gurdy Man (Capitol)
Mariano and the Unbeleivables – Sunshine Superman (Capitol)
Living Guitars – San Franciscan Nights (Camden)

Freddy McCoy – Pet Sounds (Prestige)
Liberace – Suite Judy Blue Eyes (WB)
Sound Symposium – America (Dot)
Paul Horn – Eight Miles High (RCA)
Living Guitars – Out and About (Camden)
Roger Coulam – Dizzy (Contour)
101 Strings – Spinning Wheel (Alshire)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 35 – 191MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

I know I said last week that I would be posting some Dave Van Ronk stuff this week, but I forgot that I already had this month’s podcast in the can, so Dave and his pals will be along next week.

This month, the Iron Leg Radio Show is dedicated completely to instrumental covers of 60s pop and rock tunes from all ends of the instro spectrum. There are jazzers, easy listening, Moog, pop orchestras, you name it, there’s something here for everyone.

It is a groovy collection, and I hope you dig it.

See you all next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Two Servings of Electric Tommy

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Electric Tommy

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Listen/Download – Electric Tommy – Amazing Journey

Listen/Download – Electric Tommy – Sparks

Greetings all.

I thought I’d bring you something this week in which you might soak your ears.

A while back, I was taking myself a a stroll through a recently discovered Discogs store on-line, and grabbed a bunch of interesting looking (and best of all, CHEAP) stuff.

One of the discs I procured you see before you today, the throbbing Moog-fest known as ‘Electric Tommy’.

If the title isn’t self-explanatory enough for you, it should suffice to say that what you have here is a synthesized take on the tunes from the Who’s ‘Tommy’.

Brought to you by well-known Philly composer/arranger/guitarist  Joe Renzetti, and keyboardist Tony Luisi, ‘Electric Tommy’ was recorded and released in 1971 on Snuff Garrett’s Viva label.

As mentioned in this space before, while I’m not a Moog fanatic, I am always on the lookout for records like this, since when they are done well they are quite groovy, and when they are done not-so-well, they are still worth listening to, if only for comic relief.

Fortunately, ‘Electric Tommy’ is actually pretty cool.

The two tracks I bring you today are synthesizer versions of my two favorite tunes from ‘Tommy’, ‘Amazing Journey’ and ‘Sparks’, which also happen to run together on the original LP.

Though I dig the Who very much, I still have a hard time grappling with any rock musician willing calling anything they’ve done an “opera”.

Call it a suite, a song cycle, even a musical, but going from ‘I hope I die before I get old’ to “here’s my opera” in the space of a few short years is a little much.

That said, there were a lot good songs (some great) in ‘Tommy’, and for a variety of reasons – foremost their melodies – these two songs hold up quite well to this kind of treatment.

Some of the success has to do with the way the syths are used, i.e. more musically and less as a novelty, and Renzetti and Luisi were up to the task.

This is “head” music, in all senses of the word.

It should fit well should you become intoxicated and wish to feed something through your earholes into your cranium. There are enough swoops and swishes, wrapped in and around Townshend’s melodies to take your brain for a ride.

I would suggest listening to these tracks, especially ‘Sparks’ at fairly high volume to get the full effect. Renzetti and Luisi manage to approximate the power and texture of the rhythm guitar as well as finding some musicality in the sythesizers that many of their contemporaries could not.

Nothing earthshaking, but an interesting listen nonetheless.

I hope you dig it, and I’ll see you all next week with a new episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

Peace

Larry

 

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PS Head over to Funky16Corners for some soul.

Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #27

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Alan Hawkshaw/Alan Parker – Action Scene (KPM)
The Daily Flash – Jack Of Diamonds (Parrot)
The Daily Flash – Queen Jane Approximately (Parrot)
WC Fields Memorial Electric String Band – Hippy Elevator Operator (HBR)
WC Fields Memorial Electric String Band – Don’t Lose The Girl (HBR)
Unrelated Segments – It’s Gonna Rain (Liberty)
Limey and the Yanks – Gather Your Things and Go (Loma)
The Knack – I’m Aware (Capitol)
The Gas Co – Blow Your Mind (Mirwood)
New Colony Six – I Lie Awake (Sentar)
The Cryan Shames – Ben Franklin’s Almanac (Destination)
Cryan Shames Record Ad

Cannibal and the Headhunters – Land of 1000 Dances (Rampart)
The Atlantics – Beaver Shot (Rampart)
Giant Crab – I Enjoy Being the Boy (UNI)
Giant Crab – Hi Ho Silver Lining (UNI)
The Action – Never Ever (Capitol)
3s a Crowd – Wasn’t It You (Dunhill)
Brewer and Shipley – Truly Right (A&M)
Clover – Wade In the Water (Liberty)
Eyes of Blue – Apache 69 (Mercury)
Carnation Instant Breakfast Spot

Micky Dolenz – Don’t Do It (Challenge)
Danny Hutton – Big Bright Eyes (HBR)
New Life – Canterbury Road (Epic) 
Bhagavad-Gita – Long Hair Soulful (Philips) 
Avant Garde – Yellow Beads (Columbia)
Avant Garde – Honey and Gall (Columbia) 
Electric Tommy – Amazing Journey (Viva)
Electric Tommy – Sparks (Viva) 
Sound Symposium – America (Dot)
Sound Symposium – Darling Be Home Soon (Dot)
Brenda Patterson – This Wheel’s On Fire (Epic)

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 27 – 185MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

Welcome to this month’s episode of the Iron Leg Radio Show.

This month we have lots of groovy new arrivals in the crates, some of that groovy East LA stuff and a closing set with some moog/easy action as well.

Pay special attention to the demented square/brain melt of the Avant Garde, and the gospel meets the Avalon Ballroom ish of Clover, as well as the PNW garage folk of the Daily Flash, a long-time want list item satified.

All in all you get to stuff your ears with an hour and forty minutes worth of quality sounds, all jumping off of the wax and changing magically into the ones and zeros of your dreams.

I hope you dig it.

See you next week.

Peace

Larry

 

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Iron Leg Radio Show Episode #19

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Beep beep beep beep…..

Playlist

Intro/Action Scene – Hawkshaw/Mansfield (KPM)
Byrds – Bad Night at the Whiskey (Columbia)
Brian Auger and Julie Driscoll – Save Me (Polydor)
Captain Beefheart – Who Do You Think You’re Fooling (A&M)
Chris Farlowe – Out of Time (Immediate)
Chris Farlowe – Baby Make It Soon (Immediate)
The Coopers – Didn’t I (White Whale)
The Hassles – You Got Me Hummin’ (UA)
Standells – Why Did You Hurt Me (Tower)
The Yardbirds – No Excess Baggage (Epic)
Yardbirds – Great Shakes Commercial

Hardy Boys – Here Come the Hardys (RCA/Dunwich)
Tradewinds – Mind Excursion (Kama Sutra)
Small Circle of Friends – Kind of Wasted Without You (A&M)
Pleasure Faire – Morning Glory Days (UNI)
Puppet – Best Friend (Date)
James Griffin – Miracle Worker (Viva)
Fun and Games – Don’t Worry Baby (White Whale)
Free Design – Bubbles (Project 3)
Brian Hyland – The Joker Went Wild (Philips)
Grin – White Lies (Spindizzy)
Blades of Grass – I Love You Alice B Toklas (Jubilee)
I Love You Alice B Toklas Movie Promo

Beaver and Krause – People’s Park 45 (WB)
Ananda Shankar – Light My Fire (Reprise)
The Fire Escape – The Trip (GNP Crescendo)
Cher – Hey Joe (Imperial)
Holy Mackerel – Scorpio Red (Reprise)
Living Strings – San Francisco Nights (Camden)
Mickey Newbury – Just Dropped In (To See What Condition My Condition Was In) (RCA)
Peggy Lipton – The Lady of the Lake (Ode)
Mars Bonfire – Lady Moonwalker (UNI)
Scott Walker – Mrs Murphy (Philips)
Terry Reid – Stay With Me (Epic)
Van Dyke Parks – Datsun Commercial

Listen/Download -Iron Leg Radio Show Episode 19 – 176MB/256kbps

Greetings all.

I hope all is well in your part of the world.

It’s time once again for the Iron Leg Radio Show, episode 19!

This time around we have a great one for you, with three long sets of very groovy music.

We get things started with a bunch of garage and other rock, roll on into a set of sunshine and lighter fare, and close things out with a long, trippy grouping of sounds.

As always, I hope you dig it, and I’ll be back next week with something cool.

Peace

Larry

 

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