Spike Jones - Back in Radio's Day with Spike

Spike Jones - Back in Radio's Day with Spike
Back in Radio's Day with Spike
Music Comedy, Novelty, Comedy, Satire, Song Parody
Release Date:
March 24, 2009

Spike Jones & His City Slickers were not only known for wacky jazz, but also radio broadcasts that featured some music and lengthy comedy skits. These shows from the tail-end of World War II in November of 1945 offer a 30- and 15-minute program, each based on Jones posing as a collegiate soda jockey interacting with various women and characters. There's detailed, but small print information on who is in this large band from an A.


Local 47 union contract (in the category of "general amusement") and they are identified as pilot programs, performed live for a studio audience with assumedly no editing. The CD is authorized by the Spike Jones estate, and produced by Spike Jones, Jr., the sound reproduction is excellent, the material campy, genuinely funny, and well organized, with sponsor Victory War Bonds commercials included, and the scant few tunes are played very much with the goofy, trumped up hilarity that only Jones could muster.

The 30-minute show has Jones as the perpetual sophomore "attending" Sub-Norman Normal University, working at the Everything Nice Malt Shop, being interviewed by Ann Rutherford for the school paper, and chased by wannabe diva Mabel Todd. The standard "Liza," a quilted multiple themed "Hotcha Cornya," and the operatic "Chloe" are included. Jones declares he's "the dandruff in long haired music," and encounters football hero Red Bagel, who is also supposedly vying for affection from the females. In the shorter show, there's more music, including the fairly straight take of "Crazy Rhythm," the famous "Holiday for Strings" loaded with differently accented instruments including bike horns, siren whistles, and coffee cans playing the melody, while falsetto crooning vocal choruses identify "Cocktails for Two." Todd claims she had been chasing Van Johnson but would settle for Spike, while Bagel makes not so thinly veiled homosexual references when approaching Jones, pretty risque for the time.

All in all a very entertaining set considering the time frame and the wartime tension that existed in the U.S., this is a rare treat to hear Jones in a multi-media setting. Interestingly enough, these pilots did not produce a supporting commercial sponsor, though the Coca-Cola company would become the exclusive advertiser for similar efforts Spotlight Revue in 1947, and the successful 1948 project The Spike Jones Show.

Spike Jones Radio Pilot #1Spike Jones30:49
Spike Jones Radio Pilot #2Spike Jones15:50

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