Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Remembering a musical genius

Spike Jones would have been 100 years old today but sadly, he died in 1965 at the age of 53.

Weird Al Yankovic explains Spike’s importance in the music world of the 1940s, ‘50s and early ‘60 eloquently and puts what follows into context.

My parents took me to a Spike Jones concert at the Elliott Hall of Music on the Purdue University campus when I was about 5 years old. I was absolutely dazzled and saved the program from that evening in a scrap book.

Spike Jones and his City Slickers were the funniest thing I had ever heard and even today, I laugh out loud at several of his musical derangements.

Unfortunately, several generations have grown up without being exposed to Spike’s brilliant insanity. That is a tragedy. I can’t imagine a person being musically literate without appreciating the works of Spike Jones.

Here are some samples. Sometimes, they start out slowly, but stick around for the payoff:

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