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Spike Jones

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Fozzie and his worn-out Spike Jones records.

Spike Jones (1911-1965) was an American bandleader, drummer and comedian. He was famous for his novelty songs, which usually consisted of a current popular song performed in a non-humorous way, but then the band would play it again, and insert things like gunshots, screams, and other random sound effects into the music. He was also well known for his World War II song "Der Fuehrer's Face" (originally written for the Donald Duck short of the same title), which made fun of Adolf Hitler.

In addition to his recording career (and significant work as a "straight" musician), Jones' Musical Depreciation Revue and other stage shows toured for years, he had his own radio show, and several short-lived TV attempts. Jones' zaniness and style was a major influence on Stan Freberg, "Weird Al" Yankovic, and P.D.Q. Bach, among others.

References

  • "Poison to Poison" was an early Muppet sketch, lip-synced from Spike's 1959 album, Spike Jones in Stereo (featuring the voices of Paul Frees).
  • In the Sesame Street song "Feelings", a female vocalist sings the song through straight one time, but the second time through, the song is punctuated with screaming, yelling, car crashes, and other sound effects, like many Spike Jones songs. The contrast between performances is also similar to Jones' 1947 recording of "My Old Flame" (in which a straight version of the song is followed by wild music, and then a parody performance by Frees as Peter Lorre).
  • On the 1975 album Merry Christmas from Sesame Street, the Count performs "All I Want for Christmas (Is My Two Front Teeth)", which was a #1 record for Spike Jones in 1948.
  • In one installment of The Muppets comic strip (reprinted in Moving Right Along), Fozzie Bear is cleaning his room and considers tidying away all his "nostalgic junk," including his "worn-out Spike Jones records."

Connections

  • Kaye Ballard, initially billed as "Kay Ballad," was discovered by Jones and sang and did impressions for the stage shows (ca. 1946)
  • Victor Borge guest starred on Jones' radio show Spotlight Revue (10/03/1947)
  • Don Hinkley wrote scripts for the nine-episode TV series Swinging Spiketaculars and the unreleased LP Spike Jones as Leonard Burnside Discusses... (both 1960)
  • Gene Kelly guest starred on Jones' radio show (10/08/1948)
  • Al Hirt performed as a sideman on a New Orleans broadcast of the Spike Jones radio show (circa. 1948)
  • Dinah Shore, for whom Jones had played drums on records in the 1940s, guest starred on radio's The Spike Jones Show (01/09/1949)
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