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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Jukebox for January 11, 2009

Ben Light was another musical master who worked within the field of "Party Records." He has a handful of sides over at archive.org (click on his name), which include two genuine delights -- the other is "The Full-Her Brush Man," which I intend to present on a future occasion. The others please me less. "Give It To Me, Daddy," is a fairly standard number for the genre, and its ending is a little creepy by today's standards. Ditto "It May Not Be Love, But It's Wonderful," which is actually reprehensible to my 21st-century ears. "When You Gotta Go, You Gotta Go" is one I seem to have forgotten. I might give it another listen and see if I like it now.

Ben's vocalist has a breezy delivery, and Ben's own piano playing is superb, with scales and arpeggios that tinkle like running water at times. His small backup ensemble includes a guitar and either a clarinet or a saxophone and not much else. Searching on the title didn't get me much of anything. Archive says it's as given below, though it would seem more logical that it would be the same as the first line of the song proper. This suggests to me that the song was written to be sung by a woman, and he's covering it in the third person. If you think that's complex, wait till we get to the brush man!

Anyway, before the introduction overshadows the piece itself (a sound file is linked from the title), here we go:

I'm Gonna Get Me a Robot Man
by Ben Light and His Surf Club Boys

(intro)
People laugh at Science
The reason I can't see
For science has done many things
For girlies like Marie

First it gave us radio
That reached around the world
Now it's found another way
To help the working girl

She has had her troubles
With sweethearts by the score
But hip hooray for science
She won't have them any more!

(choruses)
She's gonna get her a robot man
He'll do things nobody else can
She'll turn him on about a quartet to nine
And keep in action all of the time

Switch him off at a quarter to ten
Rest a while then start him again
She'll have lovin' that's simply grand
When she gets her that robot man
(He'll keep givin'!) When she gets her that robot man.

She must have one with a guarantee
One that loves nobody else but she
She'll have gadgets that are unique
Turn him on on Monday and he'll run for a week

A robot man cannot cheat, you see
She'll control his electricity
He'll never feel tired and never get low
Flip a switch and he's ready to go, no foolin'
Flip a switch and he's ready to go.

(interlude -- Ben plays that tinkling piano)

A robot man cannot rust or spoil
All he needs is a little oil
And talk about your sex appeal
He'll be a Casanova made of steel

A metal papa that can go to town
He's got a battery that won't run down
If you want lovin' that's simply grand
Get a scientific robot man and he'll keep pitchin'
Get a scientific robot man!

Update: I believe the vocalist's name is Bob Tank. Ben Light went on to an instrumental career, some of which can be found in the recently uploaded hoard of around 25,000 78s (sides or disks?), recorded with some care and reasonable file size.
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