Wednesday, May 30, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #55


The end is in sight, kids. Down to the last dozen posts for this Spring Spree.

It's not everybody's cup of tea, but for some it's the something they didn't actually know they needed in their tiny lives. (I didn't until I heard it and my life was pretty small even before)

Now I do. And I'm willing to share.

So onward we go even deeper into 1967 for today's installment of the H & J P

May 1967 - lsp-3822 - Nashville Cats

A1 Nashville Cats 2:40
A2 Laugh It Up 2:12
A3 No Matter Where You Go 2:20
A4 Go To Hal 2:27
A5 The Square Song 2:00
A6 He's Goin' Down 2:31
B1 She Loves You 2:20
B2 Hillbilly Hands 1:59
B3 Winchester Cathedral 2:25
B4 Doctor Quincy Quack 2:27
B5 Pusan U (Sioux City Sue) 2:50
B6 Playin' Checkers With My Poodle 2:25

Monday, May 28, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #54


I've still got more than a dozen of  these posts yet to do up at the moment, but I am pleased to say that I just yesterday scored one of the early singles that I've been looking for an original copy of for many  years already. If you've been playing along at home all this time, you've already been enjoying the upgraded fruits of my search for the elusive "I've Got Tears in my Ears/She Made Toothpicks of the Timbers of my Heart" for a while now. But as I type this, I have yet to actually receive it. There's a decent placeholder rip from somebody else sitting in the queue. I eagerly await the opportunity to swap it out for my own copy because it's mine.

It's a matter of personal pride.

January 1967 - lsp-3701 - It Ain't Necessarily Square

Following up half a decade later from "Playing It Straight" the boys throw down another straight up instrumental record of all playing and no jokes. There's some recent hits thrown in with another batch of jazz standards and as always a double helping of Ellington tunes to cap off the festivities.

I have no issues with any of this.

  • A1 Call Me
  • A2 Lil' Darlin'
  • A3 Broadway
  • A4 More (Theme from "Mondo Cane")
  • A5 Cute
  • A6 Liza (All the Clouds'll Roll Away)
  • B1 The Shadow of Your Smile (Love Them From "The Sandpiper")
  • B2 The Sweetest Sounds
  • B3 Shiny Stockings
  • B4 Satin Doll
  • B5 Take the "A" Train

Saturday, May 26, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #53


Still going.

October 1966 - lsp-3673 - Wanted For Murder

Here we go. Back on track with their strengths. Relevant links go to the originals. Of note is the spoken word track "Great Men Repeat Themselves" which is a parody of an urban legend that alleged numerous weird coincidences surrounding the assassinations of Presidents Lincoln & Kennedy.
This is like that, but funnier despite it concerning coincidences featuring then president Lyndon B. Johnson

I Love You Drops
No Hair Sam
He Loves Me
I Want To Go With You
Wanted For Murder
Great Men Repeat Themselves
I Don't Flirt Anymore
Drop Dead Little Darlin'
Lying Time
Tiger By The Tail
Good Little Boys 
What A Lousy Day Was Yesterday

Thursday, May 24, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #52


It's actually been a few weeks since I last put a post together for this project. But I have the advantage of doing these months out in advance so I get to have my yearly Fall bender and try and catch up with that and the Hüsker Dü box set on Numero Group while this can sit and stew for as long as it will. It will still be here and still be months ahead of me for whenever I get around to picking it back up again.

There's even yet a few items I need to pull the trigger on and others to digitize and lots of other recent arrivals that I've really yet to sit down and gone through. It's never fucking ending.

At least it's less expensive than a meth addiction and I get to keep my teeth. Plus the records are reusable and some gain value, so like, totally worth it for whoever gets my shit when I'm dead. (if the people in charge of dispersing it aren't complete morons and just chuck it all in a dumpster...)

But we're here for Homer and Jethro

May 1966 - lsp-3538 - Any News From Nashville

I'll be honest, this is not my favorite of their Lps. It sounds like they had some fun making it, but it's way too Nashville inside joke to really resonate with me 52 years after its release. It's more or less kind of a throwaway for me, but other people's mileage may vary.

I mean, I usually listen to what I'm posting about while I type so I can remember what it is that I'm posting about. In this case, I'm not. I'm listening to Hüsker Dü.

Monday, May 21, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #51


This is my goal number for the night's typing.
I want a coffee and some time on the couch turning my brain off for a while playing Fallout for the umpteenth time and the umpteenth hour.

I feel like I've earned it.

January 1966 - lsp-3462 - The Old Crusty Minstrels

The title is, for those not in the know, a jab at the New Christy Minstrels who were a large ensemble cast folk chorus of interchangeable performers going all across the country being super positive and a well scrubbed Aryan wet dream singing the songs of the people. (And their moniker was in fact derived from Christy's Minstrels who were a pre-Civil War 19th Century blackface minstrel show. So. Yeah, there's that aspect too.)

Relevant links below:

King of the Camp
Red Roses For A Blue Lady
Cotton Fields
She Broke My Heart At Walgreens
The Old Potato Peel Booze
The Chase Is On
The Great Society
Charlie Cheated on His Income Tax
The One On The Right Is The One On The Left (this is actually from 1966 when Johnny Cash made a comedy record called "Everybody Loves a Nut" which included a number of songs previously recorded by his wife's former musical accomplices. This one and the next for example.)
Egg Eatin' Dog (see above)
People Who Like People
Camp Runamuck

Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #50

Half a hundred

This is a lot of typing.


March 1965 - lsp-3357 - Sing Tenderly and other Great Love Ballads

Here we go. Back to the start taking popular songs of the day and giving them that certain Homer and Jethro special country touch. All popular songs that are part of the canon and ones that a quick Youtube search will bring instantly bring up an embarrassment of riches in terms of other performers.

Do that at your leisure. In the meantime marvel at these versions. It was surprisingly the only release they had in the year 1965, for better or worse, and all the more remarkable at a time when most record releasing acts might easily put out two or three lps in any given year.


I Got Rhythm

Fly Me To The Moon

Moon River

Arrivederci Roma

Baubles, Bangles And Beads



I'm In The Mood For Love

You Made Me Love You

Donkey Serenade

The Very Thought Of You

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #49

Need to plow through a couple of fresh posts tonight.


October 1964 - lsp-2954 - Fractured Folk Songs

I'm going to assume that the title alone should give you an idea of what we're dealing with here at the tail end of the great American Folk Revival that was part of the many musical streams killed off by Limeys in this year. It was a sad time. But at least it got Dylan to go electric.

Little Maggie
Mama Don't Whip Little Buford
The Playboy Song
I Don't Give A Hoot (For The Nanny)
So Long (It's Been Good To Know You)
Goodnight Irene
Why Don't You Wash Your Feet
After The Hangover's Over
Rye Whiskey
Fractured Folk Song
Jimmy Drinks Corn
The Funny Farm

Tuesday, May 15, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #48


And so it goes.

March 1964 - RCA 47-8345 - I Want to Hold Your Hand / She Loves You

Like they did with  Elvis the decade previous, Homer and Jethro had to go with the times and attempt to lampoon the then current fad. So they made this one which I won't linger on.
The less said the better.

July 1964 - lsp-2928 - Cornfucius Say

So yeah, 1964 was a different time. Civil Rights were being fought for hard in the streets as well as equality and and end to racial discrimination, but apparently Asian stereotypes were still game.

(See also Mickey Rooney's yellow face portrayal of "Mr. Yunioshi" in "Breakfast at Tiffany's" for even cringier shit)

But it is what it is and to deny that it existed is to deny where we started and how far we've come and still need to go.

(One really shouldn't be looking for racial sensitivity in the comedy from half a century ago anyway.)

So at this point our boys were still doing their Kellogs Corn Flakes work. There were another couple of commercials too. One that is a surreal take on the pervasive nature of advertising and one that would probably prompt an Asian American boycott nowadays. (and I'm not sure I'd blame them.)
At least they have their names on the back of their shirts so you can tell them apart.

This leg of the Corn Flakes campaign even came with its own Cornfucius Joke Book (here in a nice .pdf format from my own personal copy.) that could be gotten as a premium for sending in your box tops collected over the course of many many breakfasts and bachelor dinners.

Contents therein assured to entertain six year olds and grandparents.

Of note on the record is another version of the Frank Loesser tune "Slow Boat to China" (see H&JP #10) and two more particular favorites in "Cousin John and Cousin Mabel" and Cy Coben's great working man's lament "My Boss". He wrote a lot of songs for Homer & Jethro, but this is the clear winner.

Cornfucius Say
Doin' My Homework (While I Watch TV)
Cousin John And Cousin Mabel
Doctor Foo Man Choo
Mother Goose Is Chicken
A Slow Boat To China
Gonna Send 'Em Home
Oh Golly, Cornfucius
Darlin' You Look So Good To Me
Chow Hound's Lament
My Boss
Monsters Of The World, Unite!

Sunday, May 13, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #47

No compilations today.

I want to continue powering through the H&J P.

Be patient.

September 1963 - lsp-2743 - Ooh, That's Corny

Sometime in the midst of 1963, between MLK delivering his "I Have a Dream" speech at the Lincoln Memorial and JFK's assassination in Dallas, Homer and Jethro dropped this Lp.

It also coincided with them hooking up with Kellogs for a national ad campaign for Corn Flakes. Never ones to shy away from really corny humor, H & J fully embraced the steady paycheck from Kellogs and embarked on a second career as shameless sell out shills doing commercials.

One a based on "Rock Island Line", one telling worse jokes than usual and even another one that required some mountain climbing action sequences without stunt doubles all appeared and went out over the airwaves raising their public profile and hopefully their bank balances as well their nightly appearance fees.

And keeping with the corny theme they put out this record with more mostly originals. There's also a redo of both sides of their 1950 release of "I've Got Tears In My Ears / She Made Toothpicks Of The Timbers Of My Heart" (see H&JP #10) and one old timey cover from the 20s thrown in for good measure.

Ooh, That's Corny
Does Anybody Here Play The Piano?
Bread 'N Gravy
The Charms Of The City Ain't For Me
She Made Toothpicks Of The Timber Of My Heart
I Can't Tell My Heart
Don't Go In The Lion's Cage Tonight
When Banana Skins Are Falling
I've Got Tears In My Ears From Lying On My Back In Bed While I Cried Over You
I'll Never See Maggie Alone
I'm The Guy
Mama Get The Hammer (There's A Fly On Papa's Head)

Friday, May 11, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #46

I made a great meatloaf yesterday and I've been awake long enough now that I'm really starting to get a bit hungry for a couple of slices.
I make a damn good meatloaf.


April 1963 - lsp-2674 - Go West

A themed Lp with another Jack Davis cover. A second stab at "El Paso" It looks like most songs here are originals or old enough folk songs that the tune will be familiar enough for most that I don't feel the need to link anything. Go ahead and listen and enjoy without a referential net.
It builds character.

Joe Bean
That Darling Still Of Mine
Ol' Paint
Roll On Deoderant, Roll On
Oh Give Me A Home
Whoopee Ti Yi Yo
El Paso
Freda On The Freeway
Streets Of Weehawken
Down In The Alley
Oh Top Forty
I've Got No Use For The Women

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #45

This is the fifth post I've queued up for the night and a fitting place to pause.


November 1962 - lsp-2459 - Playing It Straight

Their final statement for the year 1962.

It was in this year that John Glenn first orbited the Earth and the year of the Cuban Missile Crisis.
Into this tumultuous time spent with space within our grasp and the possibility of atomic destruction always so near at hand, the boys decided to release a no nonsense straight up instrumental Lp to soothe frayed nerves and liven conversation at smoky cocktail parties.

Pour yourself a little Old Grandad over some rocks and enjoy.
You'll be glad you did.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #44

Still going.


March 1962 - lsp-2492 - At the Convention

Homer & Jethro appearing before a jury of their peers live at the annual meeting of the Country Music Association. You'll have to listen to see how that goes over.

I've also chosen not to divvy this one up into individual tracks because I'm lazy and it's my project and it's one that is probably best digested as its original side long intention.

Sit back and let it drift over you like sleep
only funnier
and probably in need of some Cpap.

August 1962 - RCA 47-8075 - Are You Kissing More (but Enjoying it Less) / She Thinks I Don't Care

As an added bonus. Another stray single that slid out of the aether in 1962.

A side appears to be an original though it was covered by Aussie hair mannequins Bill and Boyd in 1965. Bill and Boyd seemed to be the well scrubbed dudes who were tasked with trying to make Australian hits of other country's hits.

(Among them, Bill & Boyd would also go on to record their version of Joe Harris' Belgian monster "Schwabadaba Ding Ding", but unfortunately that's not on youtube. I can only believe that it bested the original in every way imaginable.)

B side is a song originally done by the always great George Jones "She Thinks I Still Care". Easily one of the greatest vocalists ever and a peer of Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald.

Homer and Jethro. Maybe not so much.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #43


We're two thirds in.

It's May 5th the day that Americans get drunk to celebrate the 1862 defeat of French forces at the Battle of Puebla at the hands of 33-year-old Mexican Commander General, Ignacio Zaragoza because as you know, most college students are great scholars of Mexican history and care deeply about the cultural traditions of our neighbors to the south.
They drink to remember this inspirational victory despite knowing full well that Mexico would go on to lose the Second Battle of Puebla which would eventually lead to the Second Mexican Empire during the Second French Intervention in Mexico and the ascension of Maximilian I as Emperor of Mexico under the approval of Napoleon III.

Mexico would not be free of European control until 1867 when Napoleon III's withdrawal of French troops the previous year left Maximilian vulnerable to advancing Republican forces and he was subsequently executed on June 19.

With history like that rolling around in their heads all day it's no wonder Americans drink...

So to lighten the mood a little, let's get back to the Homer & Jethro.

January 1962 - lsp-2455 - Zany Songs of the '30s

We're totally in their wheelhouse now.

We know these boys like their moldy but goodies. They like silly songs and novelty tunes. They can play in a swinging jazzy style. This is the culmination of all of that.

Links go to the original hits for the curious and adventurous.  (Have fun sliding down that Youtube hole.)

Flat Foot Floogee
Three Little Fishes
Hold Tight, Hold Tight
Hut Sut Song (this was a hit in 1941. So this whole album is a lie.)
Dipsy Doodle
I'm an Old Cowhand
Mairsy Doats (1943. I don't know what to believe anymore.)
Rhythm in my Nursery Rhymes
Bei Mir Bist Du Schon
Your Feets Too Big
The Music Goes Around and Around

It's a 12 song musical edu-ma-cation for the uninitiated.

One never knows, do one?

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #42

The answer to Life, the Universe, and Everything


September 1960 - RCA 47-7790 - Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini / Please, Help Me I'm Falling

A their parting shot to 1960, Homer and Jethro took on the unlikely and impossibly irritating Bryan Hyland hit "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polkadot Bikini" about a girl who was embarrassed by the swimsuit that she chose to go to the beach in. Apparently its lack of modesty didn't occur to her when she was purchasing it in the first place.
It's when you hear the terrible crap like the original here that you realize the impact that Elvis' army stint and Chuck Berry's jail time had on the wretched state of popular music at the time.

 Dark days.
It was still a full two years before Dick Dale and surf music would revive the ailing corpse of rock and roll (only to have a bunch of limeys water it down again two years after that)

The B side is a song that would eventually be included on the next Lp. We'll pick it up now.

February 1961 - lsp 2286 - Songs my Mother Never Sang

Another Lp. Another Jack Davis cover. The originals as I am aware are linked.

For this one Chet Atkins decided to leave some of the studio chatter in with the music as an illustration of what he had to put up with. Chester was a patient man.
(The Connie Francis number that kicks things off still makes me laugh.)

Among My Souvenirs
Sweet Violets
Come Here Little Wifey!
The Tattooed Lady
Please Help Me,I'm Falling
How Come There's No Dog Day?
I Love Your Pizza
Don't Jump Off The Roof Dad
Will You Love Me When
She Was Bitten On The Udder By An Adder
In The Shade Of The Old Apple Tree

February 1961 - RCA 47-7852 - Are You Lonesome Tonight / I Love Your Pizza

As another bonus to go with the Lp our boys had another dig at Elvis with a stab at "Are You Lonesome Tonight" but the song itself is another much older tune.

The song itself goes back to 1927 when the Canadian tenor, Henry Burr recorded it.

There's not much more to say about it.

Tuesday, May 1, 2018

The Homer & Jethro Project #41

Jeebus, we're into May already. Time flies.


February 1960 - RCA 47-7704 - El Paso-Numero Dos / That's Good, That's Bad

A month after dropping the live record our boys took their first swipe at "El Paso" which had been a big hit for Marty Robbins the previous September. They'd have another go at it a bit later on a Western Themed lp, but to my ears, they nailed it the first time.

B side is a bit that as near as I can figure was originated by future Hee Haw star Archie Campbell about the relativity of what is good or not in today's modern society called "That's Good, That's Bad".

It's interesting that there was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to do somebody else's comedy routine. At least Archie gets credited and hopefully made a few bucks in royalties for this B side.

June 1960 - RCA 47-7744 - Sink the Bismark / He'll Have to Go

If you've got a better memory than I then you may remember Johnny Horton from H&JP #39 and his penchant for doing songs based on history.

Well, since the Battle for New Orleans was a winner he opted for something a bit more in recent memory and wrote one about the German warship, the Bismarck and the Allied effort to sink it early on in WWII. Even more puzzling as to why there needed to be such a song is that it became a Top Ten hit. "Sink the Bismarck" was not one of Horton's finest moments except for maybe his bankbook.

Homer & Jethro adapt the song from it's inspiring true tale of the hunt for the deadly menace of the Atlantic and to one that is more likely truer to their war time experiences.
We won anyway.

For the B side the boys take on Jim Reeves dreary doormat/cuckold fetish classic "He'll Have to Go".

It never ceases to amaze me that way that some of these alleged sad and romantic classic songs take a seriously toxic relationship and immortalize it in a gilt frame of backing vocals and strings.

For fuck sakes Jim, grow a pair and dump her already.