Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Big Bands Forever Vol. 1 Kay Kyser And His Makes you Wanna Dance Music - 1977

This is the record that help start this project of digitizing this series a few weeks back. This is the record with the ole "Woody Woodpecker Song" that I had on that old mix CD. I was so glad I went back to digitize this whole record because there are a lot or great tracks on here. Listening to the record again and again in prepping it for this blog made me appreciate Kay Kyser all over again. Let's go down the tracks.

Track 1 Jingle Jangle Jingle. First of all I love some of these songs of this era that we kind of cowboy songs, but at the same time were just jazzy swing songs. Another example of this that I listened to recently is Bing Crosby singing "Deep In The Heart of Texas." Bing isn't really a Cowboy and Texas doesn't immediately come to mind when I hear his voice, but you know what? It works. Same thing here, except perhaps even better. Jingle Jangle Jingle really swings and I do mean SWINGS. It lives up to the album's subtitle of Kay Kyser and His Makes You Wanna Dance Music. This song makes you want to dance. It is also a song that can get stuck in your head for days.

Track two is "He Wears Silver Wings" which is just okay so I won't say much there.

Track three "Praise the Lord and Pass the Ammunition" is another good track. I love how it is such a product of the time and that time being The War. Then there is the whole mixing of religion and war and patriotism that is definitely of it's time. The tune itself is actually quite catchy and you'll find yourself singing along, no matter what your politics.

Track four "Bell Bottom Trousers" is another war song. There is a voice in this one, that sounds like Popeye the Sailor. I don't think it actually is Popeye, but I'm sure that it was supposed to be a reference to the famous cartoon character.

Track five is "Ole Buttermilk Sky" features Michael Douglas on vocals. This one is infectious. It has a great hook. I sang this for days after listening to it. This one also falls into that faux cowboy song genre. It doesn't quite have the full jump factor that "Jingle Jangle Jingle" has , but you can dance to it.

Track six is "Woody Woodpecker" sung by Gloria Wood. Gloria Wood I know from her work on some Disney records. For example she is on "Walt Disney's Christmas Concert" and she is on "A Christmas Adventure in Disneyland". I had this song on a mix CD when my kids were younger and we played it all the time. The funny thing is they haven't really seen much of Woody as far as cartoons.

Track seven "Who Wouldn't Love you" with Harry Babbitt and Trudy Erwin walks the fine line bordering on cheese. Of all the tracks this one sounds like it is more a product of the 50's to me because it is so happy and kind of cheesey. It is decent, but not a favorite.

Track eight is "On A Slow Boat To China" and it features Harry Babbitt again, but this time with Gloria Wood. I like this track. It's not the greatest, but it is four out of five stars on my ipod rating system. For a little more history on this Frank Loesser song, read this article on The Straight Dope website.

Track nine is "Managua, Nicaragua" is another song featuring Gloria Wood. It is also a product of the time where America had a fascination with Central and South America as an exotic location to visit. I can't imagine a song today painting a romantic view of Nicaragua.

Track ten "The Old Lamplighter" finishes off the record and I'll be honest, it is just so so, especially after so many good songs preceding it. It is a slow song, with no swing whatsoever. As a closing track perhaps it works. It sounds like a song for the end of the day. A "closing time" number if you will that gets you ready for bed.

So that's it. That's the run down and now you can give these songs a listen or track down a copy of the record for yourself. I don't think it is on CD anywhere so vinyl may be your only option there.


Kay Kyser and His Makes You Wanna Dance Music

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